Rockford Area Historical Society News & Update August 8, 2013

history2Terry Konkle – President

The memorial to Jerry Fox last Sunday in Owosso, Michigan was truly a tribute to a fine man who was such a powerful influence on our town and the people of our area. It was well attended, and he would have been proud of his family members and others who spoke with pride about their memories based on their experiences with him. He certainly had a positive effect on many lives. Memorial contributions in his name have been made to the Rockford Area Historical Society and will be used to benefit our community. We appreciate the thoughtfulness of the Fox family and will use the memorial money wisely.

A couple of weeks ago the “Nugget of Rockford History” question asked for the location of the statue of the civil war soldier immediately before it was moved to its present location beside the Community Cabin. Many readers knew that the statue came from the Rockford Library site. I got responses by phone, by e-mail and by meeting people in person. The following knew the answer: Lue Hawkins, Bob Boyer, Gene Berry, Carole Christensen, Zell Gill, Bob Van Renterghem, Bill Boyd, Sandy Oosdyk, Nancy Simonis, Marty Vogel, Shirley Norman, Vic Krause, Tom Krause, John Krause, Tom Lindquist, Bob Christensen and Mary Eadie. My thanks to all for the interest shown.

Several readers told of passing by the statue on the way to school and considering climbing on it. All right, a couple people admitted that they did climb aboard the statue. Zell Gill, who was the Rockford librarian for years, RAHS-eadiementioned that many library users commented on the statue and that she used it in some of her library promotional material. Mary Eadie and her husband Jim shared an event concerning their granddaughter, Taylor Wisner.

When Taylor joined the navy, she decided that she wanted to be commissioned in front of the statue, so the ceremony took place there. Chief Petty Officer Jeffery Roger came to Rockford and Taylor was commissioned LTJG with the statue in the background. Taylor is now at Camp Pendleton and is an emergency room nurse at the naval hospital. One of her jobs is to teach others how to set up an emergency hospital if needed. I can tell readers that, without a doubt, she has two proud Rockford grandparents.

How about a new “Nugget” question? At one time Rockford had a Kroger Grocery Store located downtown. It was managed by a man who was well known in our area. “Who was the manager of the store?” Contact me with your answers by phone (616-866-0530) or in person. E-mail is all right too ( As always, let me know if there are any errors in the column, so that they can be corrected. It is important that identifications and spelling of names is perfect.

Readers should know that one of the rooms (Rockford Area History) in the new museum is nearing completion. The other side has lots of work to be done yet, but when the history area is ready, we will open the museum to the public on a regular basis. I will present more on this next week.

Finally, I want all to know that questions and comments about the society, museum, fundraisers, donations, museum help, auction help and other areas are welcome. Please contact us. Also, if anyone has some thoughts on what might make a good “Nugget” question, let me know!

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