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Local History Database

Find information about Janesville and Rock County history in newspaper articles, photographs, books, and pamphlets.

What you will find:
- Local interest article citations from The Gazette from 1996 to the present.
- Selected The Gazette article citations prior to 1996.
- Index references to books, photograph collections, pamphlets, and newspapers.
Please note: The Gazette articles June 2019-December 2019 have not been indexed.

(as of September 2018)

Architecture of the United States: Vol. 2: The South and Midwest (1981), by G. E. Kidder and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Garden City, New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, pp. 690-691. REF 917.304 Sm57. (Indexed Tallman House entry)

Art Work of Rock County (1893). JR 917.75 ROCK, locked cabinet. 
(Photos of Janesville and Rock County indexed)

Badger State Showmen: A History of Wisconsin's Circus Heritage, (1998) by Fred Dahlinger, Jr. and Stuart Thayer. 791.309 DAHLI. (Chapter 6 about Burr Robbins and his time in Janesville, also note about Keith McLaughlin of Janesville and his collection on Robbins indexed)

The Benton Avenue Historic District (1995), by Janesville Historic Commission.
977.587 ZELLI (Photos, captions and addresses indexed)

The Black Bridge Road (2003), by Don Allison. 977.587 ALLIS. (Indexed this book of memoirs that discusses life just outside of Janesville from approximately 1945-1965)

Book of Beloit 1836 - 1936, (1936), published by the Daily News Publishing Company on the occasion of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the arrival of the first settlers. 977.588 BOOK (indexed entries from book index)

The Bostwick Avenue and Jefferson Avenue Historic Districts: A Guide (2008), by the Janesville Historic Commission. 977.587 ZELLI (Photos, captions and addresses indexed.)

The Center Line, Part Five, Postwar II 1946-1952, "The World's Most Wanted Pen" (1992), by Allen H. Center.  929.2 CENTE.  (Fully indexed, this is a detailed autobiography of 6 years in the life of a Parker Pen public relations man in Janesville, and includes some photographs)

Century of Stories: A 100 Year Reflection of Janesville and Surrounding Communities (2000), by Mike Dupre. 977.587 DUPRE.  (Photos,captions, most stories indexed)

Chronological History, Janesville Public School Buildings, 1836-1985, by Fred Holt. 
JR 371.62 HOLT.  (Includes erection of school buildings, renovations, annexations, closures; includes list of superintendents of education)

City Manager Government in Nine Cities (1940), by Harold A. Stone, Don K. Price,
and Kathryn H. Stone.  352 STONE, pp. 3-52.  (Janesville chapter indexed)

The Circus: Wisconsin's Unique Heritage (1967), by Richard E. Conover. 
JR 791.3 C763, pp. 32-34.  (Rock County circuses indexed)

City on the Rock River (1998), by Carol Cartwright and the Janesville Historic Commission.  977.587 CARTW.  (Concise analysis of Janesville's development, its historic buildings and prominent people. NOTE: the 2006 reprint, which includes some different photos, has not been indexed into the Local History Database)

Combination Atlas Map, Rock County, Wisconsin (Chicago, 1873), by Everts, Baskin and Stewart. 912.77587 EVERT.(Indexed all drawings of houses, farms and businesses by their names or their owner's names)

Conversations With an Old House (1984), by Wendall Kemp. Self-published. 977.587 KEMP.

Courthouse Hill Historic District (1986), by Janesville Historic Commission. 977.587 ZELLI  (Photos, captions, and addresses indexed) The 1997 First Revised Edition is not digitized, and pagination varies from the 1986 original.

Dr. Henry Palmer, "The Fighting Surgeon," 1827-1895 (1977), by Malcolm Palmer Mouat.
Detroit: Harlo. JR 977.58092 PALMER.  (Businesses, prominent people, hospitals, early Janesville settlement indexed)

General Motors, Janesville, Wisconsin, 1996 - present. JR 338.762 GENER. (Clippings from Janesville Gazette and other newspapers about General Motors, includes a few from earlier dates, including the sit-down strike in 1937)

General Motors, Rock River Review, 75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition 1983.
JR 338.762 GENER. (Photocopy of newsletter published for GM employees and retirees of the Janesville, Wisconsin plant. GM chronology and historical photos)

Growing Up In Monterey: Back When (1974), by Marge Van Galder. 977.589 VANGA.

Gruver Photos (1982), compiled and photographed by Bud Gruver. JR 977.587 GRUVE,
locked cabinet. (12 volumes of historical photos of Janesville and Janesville people with compiler's narrative). (Photos, captions, and narrative indexed)

A Guide to Monuments and Historical Markers in Janesville (1987), by Dale R. Dopkins.
977.587 DOPKI.

Headlight Journal (1896).  JR REF 977.587 H344.  (Historic photos of Janesville indexed)

Historic Janesville (1982).  720.9775 HISTO.  (Historic photos, primarily of buildings, and text have been indexed) This is a good short history of Janesville from its beginnings to 1935.

History of Janesville, 1835-1935 (1935), by Mary Ann Bostwick Hulick.  977.587 HULIC.  This is a chronological history of Janesville published in the 1935 "Phoenix" yearbook from Janesville High School. Mary was a member of the Class of 1935.

History of Rock County, Wisconsin; its early settlement, growth, development, resources, etc., war record, biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men, also, history of Wisconsin. (1879), JR REF 977.5 HISTO. Circulating copies available. (Names and places included in index)

Hopscotch, Hobos and Foxholes: a Kaleidoscope of Memories (2004), edited by Ruby Walton.  973.916 HOPSC. (Indexed this collection of memories written by senior citizens. It covers their memories of their childhoods in the early 20th century through their experiences of World War II)

I Remember Janesville (1997), by Gerald Van Pool.  977.587 P. (Indexed entire book. Description of his teenage years working at Jones Grocery is particularly vivid)

Index to the History of Rock County and Transactions of the Rock County Agricultural Society and Mechanics' Institute (1856), by Marge Mikkelson.  JR 977.5 HISTO INDEX 1856. (Indexed entire book)

It Wouldn't Feed Snipe (2009), by Tomas Baxter. 977.587 BAXTE (Indexed book of memoirs of Irish immigrants arriving in Janesville.)

Janesville (1974?), by Office of Development Coordinator.  977.587 V894.
(Aerial photos are indexed)

Janesville Bicentennial Oral History Project (1976), retired General Motors employees, interviewed by Clem Hoff.   977.587 JANES. (Indexed interview outines)

Janesville Calendar (1992 -), by Janesville Commercial Bank.  JR REF 977.587 JANES 1992 - (indexed monthly photographs)

Janesville Fire Department Souvenir Album (1902).  977.5 JANES. (Historic photos, their captions, and the chronology of Janesville history and public officials indexed)

The Gazette, local articles primarily from 1996 - present. A work in progress.

The Gazette obituaries and death notices, 1980-1985, 1993 - six months ago.
A work in progress going forward and backward in time.

Janesville, Wisconsin's Oldest Continuing Businesses: Locally Owned and Operated for 100 Years or More in 2002, (2002), by Albert and Lois Hough. JR REF 977.587 HOUG.

Janesville's Early History, 977.587 JANES.  (The major subjects of each of these essays written by Janesville teachers and residents in the 1950s are indexed)

Johnstown Album, Volumes 1-3, a Visual History of Johnstown Township, Rock County, Wisconsin (1970), with an introduction by Helen Wehler, Lilah Zanton, and Vivian Sturtevant. 977.587 JOHNS. (Indexed names and photographs of township residents)

Know Rock County, 1848-1948(1948), by the Rock County Superintendent of Schools.
JR 977.5 KNOW.

Ku Klux Klan, Janesville, Wisconsin (1992-), JR 322.420973 KU.
(News clippings primarily from The Gazette)

La Prairie Country Schools: brief History of the One-room schools of La Prairie Township,
Rock County, Wisconsin. (1982), by the Rock County Historical Society. 977.587 La Pr.
(indexed student and teacher photos and lists of teacher names and schools)

Look West Historic District (1987), by the Janesville Historic Commission. 977.587 ZELLI.  (Photos, captions, and addresses indexed)

Main and Milwaukee: A Guide to Janesville's Downtown Historic Districts (1989), by the
Janesville Historic Commission.  977.587 ZELLI.  (Photos, captions, and addresses indexed)

Medical History of Janesville, Wisconsin, 1833-1933 (1933), by John Vosburgh Stevens. 610.977587 STEVE.

Memories of Forty-Nine Years with the Parker Pen Company (2001), by Philip Hull. 681.6 HULL.

National Register of the Society Sons of the American Revolution (1902).  REF 369 SONS.  (Indexed the four Janesville members who were on this register in 1902)

New Doors to Learning: a special section of The Gazette A special section published by The Gazette (June 2, 1996) to celebrate the opening of the Hedberg Public Library in June of 1996. Includes The Gazette articles, library staff interviews, photographs of the new building and advertisements from local businesses. 027.4775 NEW

The Old Fourth Ward Historic District (1989), by the Janesville Historic District. 977.587 ZELLI. (Photos, captions, and addresses indexed)

One-Room Country Schools: History and Recollections (1996), by Jerry Apps. 370.19346 APPS. (Indexed Rock County schools only)

Our Street: N. Terrace Street, 200-300 Block (self-published 1991), by Frank W. Douglas.
977.587 DOUGL.

Parker Pen Company, Janesville, Wisconsin (compiled 2006 - ), by Reference Dept.,
Hedberg Public Library. JR 681.6 PARKE. Vol 1 - annual reports; vol 2 - news clippings and journal articles; vol 3 - company press releases and miscellaneous. (Indexed annual reports, clippings and brochures)

Pictorial History of Janesville, Wisconsin (1995), by the Janesville Gazette. JR 977.587 PICTO.

Picturesque Janesville (1888), by George W. Wise. JR 977.5 WISE. (Indexed all the photos)

Portrait and Biographical Album of Rock County, Wisconsin, containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of the state. (1889), JR 977.5 PORTR.

Poverty and Relief in Nineteenth-Century Janesville (Wisconsin Magazine of History, Vol. 61, No. 4, Summer 1978, pp. 279-299). (Indexed both content and photos)

The Prospect Hill and Conrad Cottages Historic Districts (1992), by the Janesville Historic District. 977.587 ZELLI. (Photos, captions, and addresses indexed)

Roads to Learning: Adventures in Education (1977), by John Eyster and Michael C. Griffin (pamphlet file Schools - Students). (Indexed photos only)

Rock County Historic Sites and Buildings (1976), by Nancy Belle S. Douglas. 977.587 DOUGL. (Only Janesville buildings, addresses, and photos indexed)

Rock County Schools (1965?). 379.77587 ROCK.  (In this collection of photos and memories of schools, only the school names have been indexed)

Homes of Distinction (1976), by Rockland Builders, Inc. JR 728.3 HOMES. (Indexed model homes styles and their street address, maps, photos from detailed promotional booklet) Milton College student housing and Janesville's Blackhawk Shopping Center sign photos indexed.

Russell D. Feingold, United States Senator, Native of Janesville, Wisconsin (1991-).
JR 328.33 FEING.  (News clippings and miscellaneous materials)

A School and Community: Janesville High School (1985). 370.9775 SCHOO.  (Indexed photos and history of Janesville High School. Includes construction of Samson Tractor company)

Soldiers When They Go: The Story of Camp Randall, 1861-1865, (1981), by Carolyn J. Mattern. 973.7 MATTE. (Indexed photo of Janesville resident who was a child mascot of the Fortieth Wisconsin Regiment.)

Southeastern Wisconsin: A History of Old Milwaukee County (1932), by John G. Gregory (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, Vol. 2, pp. 609-699) JR 977.5 GREGO.   (Indexed Rock County chapter)

Still Friends (1998), edited by Marcella Murphy Walker and Mary Pregont Farley. 977.589 STILL.  (Indexed Janesville memoirs)

The 32nd Infantry Division in World War II (19-?), by H.W. Blakeley. JR 940.541 T349. 
This book lists names of rosters of men from Rock County in this Red Arrow Division
(Indexed titles of Rock County units)

This is Janesville (1969), by Janesville Area Chamber of Commerce. 977.587THIS. Published by the Janesville Publishing Company. (Indexed photographs of Janesville area.)

Three Hundred Years American: The Epic of a Family (1951), by Alice F. and Bettina Jackson. State Historical Society of Wisconsin, pp. 280-282. 929.2 JACKS.  (Indexed pages relating to an 1864 trip by carriage from Madison to Janesville and Beloit across the prairies)

We Were Here: Contributions of Rock County Women (1975), by Janesville Branch of AAUW. 977.587 WE WE.  (Indexed names of the six Rock County women featured in this booklet)

Wisconsin Heritage, by Bertha Kitchell Whyte (1954). 977.5 WHYTE.  (Indexed all the information and photos about Rock County locales)

Wisconsin Nooks and Corners, by Alonzo W. Pond, self-published in 1947. JR 977.5 POND.  (Indexed Milton House log cabin photo and description and Pond's portrait and biographical sketch.)

Wisconsin's Champion Trees (2005), by R. Bruce Allison. 582.16 WISCO.  (Indexed all the information and photos about Rock County champion trees)

Subject Heading 
This field will tell you the general category this particular information has been put under. Browse the complete list of subject headings here.

This field includes the newspaper headline or a description of the information that can be found about your topic.

This field tells you the date of The Gazette article in which this article appeared (stand-alone dates refer to The Gazette articles), or the books in which the information or photo can be found.

  • Start with the Headlines or Keyword field first. Then try the Subject Heading field. Browse the complete list of subject headings here.
  • For the most thorough search, try separate searches in each field using a keyword. (For example, try "fire" in the Subject Heading field, examine the results, then do another search on "fire" in the Headlines Field.)
  • Using fewer words will produce more hits. Try to use the most unique word.
  • Try to use these certain words for better access in the Headlines Field:
    --To find statistics or maps, type in "graph" or "map"
    --To find a chronology of something, type in "timeline"
    --To find a photo or other illustration, type in "photo"
  • The Date or Source field shows where a particular item is located in Hedberg Public Library. Date format in this field is dd/mmm/yyyy.*
    *If you find only a date in this field (for example, 08 Sep 2006, 1B), it's a reference to an article in The Gazette for that date.
  • Abbreviations used in the Headlines field are: St., Ave., E., W., N., S., Co.
    We use these abbreviations consistently. If you are searching for info on 303 E. Court St., be sure to use the abbreviations; otherwise, you will not find it.

Search the Database

At the Library

Visit the library's Wisconsin Room to find the Janesville Gazette on microfilm from 1845 to the present day.

You'll find books, photos, and pamphlets in the library's Janesville Room.

Library staff can help you access the complete sources.

Some books and photos have been digitized. Check out Janesville's Past to find the full item online.

You may also search:

- Obituaries and Death Notices using our Obituary Index
- All Wedding notices, "Public Record" notices, legal notices, and most sports events; also all Janesville Gazette articles from before 1996  using newspaper microfilm holdings at the library, or newspaper databases listed below.

For additional help, contact Hedberg Public Library's Adult Services at 608-758-6600 or

Other Resources

Archive of Wisconsin Newspapers

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Access to daily and weekly newspapers in Wisconsin, starting in 2005 to the present, with an embargo delay of 60 days.  Available through the Wisconsin BadgerLink project.

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Local History Database

Local History Database

Find information about Janesville and Rock County history in newspaper articles, photographs, books, and pamphlets.

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Newspaper Source Plus

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Full-text newspapers, television and radio news transcripts. Includes selections from the Wisconsin State Journal, Capital Times, and Janesville Gazette.  Available through the Wisconsin BadgerLink project.

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