Stockton's Legacy — Reflections of a Heritage
Stockton, Jo Daviess County, Illinois
 
  • February 17, 1827, Jo Daviess County was organized.
  • In 1887, Stockton was chosen as a site for a depot by the Minnesota and Northwestern Railroad. Stockton was selected in part due to the favorable market for hogs and cattle in this area.
  • April 17, 1890, Stockton was recorded as a village.
  • Stockton's first industry was a woolen mill in 1891.
  • In 1890 a two room schoolhouse was built; there were 81 students and two teachers in 1891; the faculty had grown to four by 1896; a two year high school curriculum was added in 1893; in 1895, Kate Boss Ferguson was the sole graduate of Stockton High School.
  • In 1891 Stockton's first grain elevator and bank were established.
  • In 1892 many businesses and residences were built in Stockton during a "boom time" including" the Great Western Hotel, the Masonic Temple, the Nazarene, Universalist, and First Lutheran Churches, the Niemeyer building, a schoolhouse, and city reservoir, and the Ladies Union Cemetery crypt.
  • March 27, 1894, Stockton Fire Company #1 was organized with thirty-five volunteers. A disastrous Main Street fire occurred September 1896 inspiring a water work's project, the building of a brick reservoir completed in 1897.
  • In 1897 the Kringle Building was built at the corner of East Front and North Main Streets for a dry goods and grocery store, along with the White Building was built 1897, becoming the Hermann Clothing Store and now the location of Karen's Kitchen.

  • In 1898 The Stockton News was founded and continued as a rival to the Stockton Herald until 1919 when the papers merged to form the Stockton Herald News.
  • In 1899 A. M. Smith purchased Dr. Sharp's drug business at site of the current Stockton Area Veterinary Service on Main Street.
  • In 1900 Sheridan's Barber Shop opened as the largest neatest barber shop in the county.
  • Other downtown businesses included a bicycle hospital run by Herman Tyrell for the repair of bicycles and sewing machines.
  • In 1901, the first cement walks were started on Main Street.
  • In 1902, the village passed an ordinance prohibiting saloons. In 1908, a proposition passed allowing them to reopen.
  • In 1903 a new school was dedicated at the cost of $22,000.
  • In 1905 the Holy Cross parochial school was dedicated.
  • In 1907, the M.K. Hammond home was built on north Main Street. It was four stories tall, with 43 windows, eight rooms on the first floor and an impressive stairway in the reception area. Known now as the Hammond House Bed & Breakfast.
  • In 1913, Illinois became the first state east of the Mississippi River to give women the right to vote for township officials. Previously they could only vote in school district elections.
  • In 1914, four business blocks were paved and the mud streets were soon replaced with brick.
  • In 1914 the Kraft brothers formed J.L. Kraft and Company and established their own cheese factory.

  • June 6, 1916, J.L. Kraft patented a recipe for processed cheese packed in tins.
  • In 1915 a two story brick Village Hall was built at the corner of Front and Pearl Streets at the cost was $7,800.

  • In 1927, Route 78 was constructed.
  • 1929 Ė 1960ís more than 100 private pilots received their pilotís licenses, using farm fields as landing strips.
  • In 1944 the "Stockton Community Roll of Honor" was constructed and placed on South Main Street for World War II Stockton veterans, placing gold stars were placed behind the names of those who were killed.
  • In 1943 The Burgess Battery Company of Freeport opened in Stockton
  • World War II saw the creation of relocated Japanese Americans interned at “Camp Stockton”, a “CCC” government work camp on the southeast edge of town. While at Camp Stockton, the fourteen or so Japanese-Americans voluntarily worked at the Bauch Truck Farm near Freeport raising vegetables which were shipped to military camps throughout the area.
  • December 4, 1955, Stockton's school building was nearly completely destroyed by fire. Until a new school was built classes were again held in once abandoned country schools, in churches and at the Atwood Factory.
  • In 1950 Atwood Vacuum Machine built a factory in Stockton.
  • 1998 Kraft Cheese sold the Stockton Plant and it is today the Stockton Cheese Company. Today it produces the Swiss cheese sold by the Kraft Corporation.
  • 1999 the first Stockton Museum was created, becoming the Stockton Heritage Museum in 2005.