Introducing our new contributor Margaret Downing

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Rockton-Roscoe News welcomes Margaret Downing to our group of regular contributors, specializing in the local history of Roscoe and Rockton. In November, she gave a presentation on the history of Roscoe Township schools for the Roscoe Township Historical Society.

I wrote a history column for The Herald for about 15 years for Rock Valley Publishing, (most write ups by Herald editor Edson Irving Carr, going back to the 1800s). I basically grew up in Harvard, Illinois; retired from AT&T/Illinois Bell in Rockford after 27 years; currently am administrative assistant at Rockton United Methodist Church, and a reporter for Rock Valley Publishing (my “hobby job” for the past 30 years); and I am a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals in South Beloit. Besides obtaining old Rockton Herald news from the Talcott Library, I also spent several years transcribing the journals and diaries written by Roscoe’s Alice “Allie” Dodge (McCurry) in the latter 1800s. So many of the people she wrote about, along with her and her husband Kay McCurry, are all still together in the Roscoe Township Cemetery. I have been a history buff for most of my life!

Margaret adds, "I love the 1890s Roscoe area drawings that Allie Dodge did." Allie Dodge McCurry of Roscoe (1875-1962) was the author and set designer of many of the pageants for which the early Roscoe Fall Festivals were famous. Click or swipe on the image below to see some of her drawings.

Alice “Allie” Dodge (McCurry) as a young woman
Alice Dodge's friend cleaning Alice's face, Jan 28 1891, at the Beloit railroad depot
Conveyances of the 1890s, as drawn by Alice Dodge
1891 drawing of a horse and train, by Alice Dodge
Edson Irving Carr, publisher of the Rockton Herald, 1876-1899
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