Rockford was first settled in the early 1830s by three individuals who had traveled from Galena. It was the midway point between Galena and Chicago.

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My daughter, who just graduated high school, came home during her last week of school and shared (with a laugh) that she was glad to have passed the constitution test and another similar test about Illinois.

I'm guessing that my phone heard that conversation because the next time I was online, I saw several things pertaining to Illinois's history, specifically Rockford, where I live. Guess what fundamental question about Rockford I couldn't answer?

Let me give you the tiny bit of knowledge that I wish I would've had before reading how Rockford got its name. You're going to need to know that a 'ford' is not just a vehicle manufacturer

What is a 'ford' across a river?


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As a verb - ford - describes crossing a body of water on foot at a shallow point or driving across it in a vehicle. The idea is that you're not using a bridge or a boat to cross the water.

As a noun - ford - means a shallow point in a river or stream.

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How did Rockford, Illinois get its name?

Getty Images
Getty Images
loading... had the answer I was seeking. As I mentioned earlier, the city of Rockford was settled in the early 1830s by three individuals. Rockford was settled in 1834-1835 by Germanicus Kent, Thatcher Blake, and Lewis Lemon.

Rockford was the halfway point between Galena and Chicago, and for a little while, the area was referred to as, "Midway." That name didn't last long as the area became well-known for having an excellent FORD across the ROCK River.

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Illinois Peeps Share 11 Hilarious Things You'd Find at the Bottom of the Rock River

We asked what you might find if Illinois' Rock River was drained. I can now without question, the river has some pretty funny stories lying at the bottom. What's yours?

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