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Immigration and Industry: The Rockford Connection. Created and Compiled By: Judy Vinzant. The Swedish Population. Some of the first immigrants to come to Rockford were the Swedes, who arrived in Rockford in August of 1852.

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Immigration and Industry: The Rockford Connection

Created and Compiled By:

Judy Vinzant


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The Swedish Population

  • Some of the first immigrants to come to Rockford were the Swedes, who arrived in Rockford in August of 1852.

  • Instead of working for mills and factories that were established, as in the case of the East Coast, many Swedes established their own companies—Union Furniture Company, Nelson Knitting Company, and Rockford Drilling Company.


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John Nelson

  • John Nelson, a Swedish immigrant, arrived in Rockford in 1852.

  • He patented the sock knitting machine in 1869.

  • From his socks, the sock monkey was born.


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John Nelson (cont.)

  • John Nelson went on to develop the Forest City Knitting Company in 1891.


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http://www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/33405927v1ch08.pdfhttp://www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/33405927v1ch08.pdf

http://www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/33405927v1ch12.pdf

By 1900, Rockford’s population had reached 31,051.

Winnebago County had a total of 12,318 immigrants living there.

If all of the Winnebago County immigrants lived in Rockford, they would comprise 40% of Rockford’s population.

Most Winnebago Country immigrants were of Swedish and German decent.

City of Immigrants = Rockford, IL.


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