Rockford, a city and the county seat of Winnebago co., Illinois, on both sides of Rock river, here crossed by a fine iron bridge, and at the intersection of the Chicago and Northwestern railroad, the Kenosha division of that line, and the Chicago, Rockford, and Northern railroad, 80 m. in direct line N. W. of Chicago; pop. in 1860, 6,976; in 1870, 11,049, of whom 3,041 were foreigners; in 1875, estimated by local authorities at 15,000. It is surrounded by a rich agricultural region, and has a healthy situation. The streets and private grounds are well shaded, and there are many fine residences. The city is one of the handsomest in the state. It is lighted with gas, and is supplied with water by works on the Holly plan, recent-ly completed at a cost of about $225,000, The river supplies abundant water power, which is extensively used in manufacturing. There are two paper mills, four extensive flour mills, two cotton factories (producing batting, seamless bags, and yarn), five reaper and mower factories, two machine and mill-casting shops, two pump factories, five extensive plough shops, four sock-knitting establishments, a tack factory (the only one W. of Pittsburgh), two furniture factories, extensive malleable iron works, a woollen mill (producing cloth and yarn), and various manufactories of agricultural implements.
An extensive watch factory has been recently established, with a capital of $150,000. There are four national banks, a state bank, and a private bank, with private deposits on May 1, 1875, to the amount of $1,350,000. The city has two high and seven ward schools; a female seminary, founded in 1849, and attended by about 200 pupils; several private schools; and a public library containing 6,500 volumes. Five weekly newspapers and a monthly periodical are published. There are 16 churches, viz.: 2 Baptist, 2 Congregational, 1 Disciples', 1 Episcopal, 1 Liberal Christian (church of the Christian Union), 4 Methodist Episcopal, 2 Presbyterian, 1 Roman Catholic, 1 Swedish Lutheran, and 1 Swedish Methodist. - Rockford was settled in 1836, and incorporated as a city in 1852.