L. W. Cleveland, one of the honored pioneer residents of the county, was born in Allegany county, New York, October 5, 1824, and came here with his father, Sylvester Cleveland, in the fall of 1838, being then a youth of fifteen years. His father was born in Vermont and when a young man removed to the Empire state, taking up his abode in Allegany county, and married Miss Lydia Seavey. After removing to Illinois, where his wife joined him in 1840, he devoted his attention mainly to farming and settled upon the present home property of our subject, where he erected a dwelling of which he took possession on the 1st of March, 1841. This continued to be his home until his death, in 1862. His wife continued to carry on the farm with her son until her death in 1871. The family consisted of three children, of whom two daughters are now deceased. Sophronia was the wife of Nelson Kinney, and they removed from New York to this county in 1840, but afterward removed to Pierce county, Wisconsin, where they both died. Phile Ann, wife of Isaac Van Slyke, removed to Nebraska with her family, where her death occurred some years ago.
Few residents of this county are more familiar with its pioneer history than L. W. Cleveland, who found here at the time of his arrival broad prairies covered with their native grasses and the uncut forests which bordered the streams. Few roads had been made, and there were many sloughs which occasioned great difficulty to the traveler driving across the country in his wagon or carrier.
Mr. Cleveland was married in 1855 to Miss Alvira Burbank, who died in 1882. Mrs. Cleveland was also a native of New York, being born in Cattaraugus county, March 12, 1834, and came to Illinois with her parents in 1837. They also settled in Winnebago county, where the families were neighbors for many years. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Cleveland were born eight children, three sons and five daughters, all of whom are living and married. Mr. Cleveland has now passed the eighty-first milestone on life’s journey, and as a venerable citizen and pioneer settler is especially worthy of mention in this volume.
Source: Charles A. Church, Past and Present of the City of Rockford and Winnebago County, Illinois (Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1905), p. 781.