History of Memorial Hall (unknown source)
In the spring of 1899, Thomas G. Lawler, Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Garret L. Nevius Post # 1, presented to the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors a petition signed by more than 200 veterans asking that the county build a Memorial Hall. Rockford Attorney Albert D Early drew up a bill permitting a county board to appropriate money for a memorial after the matter had been passed on by the voters of the county at a general election.
Illinois Legislator Henry Andrus was entrusted with the measure, and the bill passed both branches of the legislature. The Governor signed it without delay on July 2, 1899. Members of the GAR Nevius Post # 1 and the Women’s Relief Corps circulated petitions throughout Winnebago County to place the matter on the November ballot in 1900. The question to appropriate money to build a memorial in Rockford went before the people in November and was heartily endorsed by a margin of almost two to one.
6,021 yes 2,757 no.
Memorial Hall thus became the first building of its kind built in the state of Illinois under that act of legislation
Below is a common statement about Memorial Hall
Memorial Hall is a living memorial to Veterans from all wars. It will serve as a constant reminder to the sacrifices given by brave men and women from Winnebago County, and a way for generations to remember and learn about their lives.
This Stone was placed in front of Memorial Hall in 1966; it is inscribed with the following words:
"This Memorial Hall, the first of it's kind in the United States dedicated to our veterans of all wars, was completed in the year 1903 with dedication ceremonies on june third of that year by our twenty - sixth president Theodore Roosevelt with these words: "No more fitting memorial could be erected to the men who fought, than a hall such as this..... a hall beautiful because of the uses to which it is consecrated"