ROCKTON    A flourishing post village of Winnebago county, is situated both on Rock river and on the Racine and Mississippi Railroad, and is 74 miles from Racine, 12 from Rockford, and 4 from Beloit. It is at the head of navigation of Rock river, and during the past season the steamer Rockford has regularly plied between this place and Rockford, as a passenger and freight boat. Via the river, this place is 18 miles from Rockford. The river at this point makes a bend in the shape of an ox bow, and in this bend the village is built. Some twenty years ago a canal or race was built across this bend by Mr. Talcott, so that in reality and fact, this village has the water of Rock river for three miles centered at this point for manufacturing purposes. It is surrounded by a rich prairie farming ground, and, for a wheat growing country, the region for ten miles around this village, has few superiors.
It has been settled about twenty two years, and has three churches—one Congregational, one Baptist and one Methodist. Rev. J. H. Perham, Rev. Calvin Seldon, Rev. T. Jessup, Rev. M. Cross, Rev. D. B. Purinton, Rev. Geo. W. Lawrence, Rev. James Veness are clergyman of this village.
There are three school houses; one a two story stone building, costing some $2,000; number of scholars, 800.
It contains 2 paper mills, which, with a capital stock of about $70,000, turns out 1,780,000 lbs. of paper annually, the value of which is about $117,000—forty-one men are employed in the two establishments; one corn planter manufactory, capital stock, $10,000, employs twenty-five men and turns out 4,000 planters annually, valued at $40,000; one reaper and mower manufactory, capital, $15,000—three hundred reapers and mowers made annually, valued at $33,000, twenty-five men employed; one carriage manufactory, with a capital of $4,000 and ten men employed, manufactures annually sixty carriages, valued at $4,600; one plow manufactory, turns off five hundred annually, valued at $7,400; one saw mill, with $8,000 invested and four men employed, turns out 300,000 feet of lumber annually, their sales arc about 76,000 feet, valued at $8,000; one wheelbarrow factory, capital, $5,000, with five men employed, 3,000 manufactured annually, valued at $9,000; one harness maker, doing a large and thriving business; one brick factory, with a capital of $10,000, and ten men employed, turns out 2,500,000 bricks annually, valued at $15,000; three lumber dealers, capital $16,000, 1,700,000 feet of lumber constantly on hand, sales, 235,000 feet annually, for which they receive $162,000, fifteen men employed; one planing mill, with a capital of $3,000, and four men employed; one shingle factory, capital, $6,000, manufactures 1,499,000 annually, valued at $42,400, employs five men.
Nearly all of the wheat raised in this locality seeks a market here. There was formerly a fine flouring mill here, but it was burned down. It had three run of stones, coat $20,000, employed ten men, and turned out 31,200 barrels of flour annually.
This village has a lodge of Good Templars —Sunbeam Lodge, No. 48. It has 220 members, which proves that the place is a thorough temperance town, and speaks volumes for morality. Also, a large and flourishing order of Masons, which are doing good every day without bragging about it, and that is satisfactory to them.
An excellent newspaper is published here, called the Rockton Gazette, and is well sustained.
The citizens of this village are mostly Yorkers and New Englanders. There are but few Germans settled in this locality, and not a single German newspaper is taken at the Rockton post office. Population, 500.  George II. Hollister, Postmaster.   (Hawes' Illinois State Gazetteer..., 1859)

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