Rockford Area Historical Society News & Update

President, Rockford Area Historical Society 

Terry Konkle Photo by Cliff Hill

Sometimes when I ask trivia questions, I get a few answers and occasionally none at all. My last question was an exciting one, because I not only got a lot of correct replies, but with almost every one I learned how important Zell Gill was in the lives of many people. Yes, Zell Gill was the caring lady who served so well at the Rockford Library from 1960 to 1980.

Here are some statements made by people who contacted me to answer the question: “She inspired my children to read;” “She met my daughter as we entered the library and told about a special book available just for her;” “She was a special lady who helped me with research when I attended Rockford High School;” “She knew her business and it seemed like she never forgot a person’s name;” “Mrs. Gill greeted you with a smile and encouraged you to read;” “Zell Gill instilled a love of reading in my son and daughter and now that I am older with more free time, I have the same passion;” “ Mrs. Gill was the Rockford Library as far as I was concerned.”

Did Zell Gill make a difference in the lives of many Rockford people? You bet she did! The above remarks prove it. Now let me tell you something else. I know for a fact that she still makes a difference in the lives of people. She still cares and takes action to help others.

I received correct responses from: Bill Boyd, Dave Hutchings, Versa Stoner, Ellen Byram Rothwell, Bruce Turner, Bob Winegar, Helen Hessler, Dianne Skiver, LeAnn Merrills, Barb Driscoll, Jan Konkle, Marcia Erickson, Brock Konkle and Carole Christensen. Thanks to all for responding and sharing your remarks.

On Sunday, April 29, 2012, the Rogue River Community Theatre Group performed the “Ragweed Blues.” The show, which lasted just short of two hours, was filled with hilarious action and well received by a nice audience. Patricia Rose, who wrote the play and also had a major acting role in it, was a main force in the fact that there was a special matinee performance. She and all of the other members of the cast gave up their Sunday afternoon to do something to raise money for the new Rockford Area Museum. On behalf of the Rockford Area Historical Society, I thanked her in person and want to thank the whole group publically in this column. Be proud of your performance and be assured that it was appreciated. It is because of caring people who give their time and effort that our project will be a success.

Right now the City of Rockford and the Rockford Area Historical Society are working on a lease agreement. It has been drawn up and discussion of the document has not been finished yet. This will be done soon.

Finally, readers will be interested to know that our fundraising efforts have now raised in donations and pledges slightly over $ 200,000. We have a fundraiser this weekend on Saturday, May 5 with a raffle of a Big Green Egg Cooker ($1,200 value) at Herman’s Boy, 220 Northland Dr., Rockford, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25 and, if still available (only 200 will be sold), they can be found at Herman’s Boy. All proceeds go to the museum fund. A big “ Thanks” to Floyd Havemeier and Herman’s Boy for their positive support!

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.