The John H. Gorsuch Family of Cherry Valley

John H. Gorsuch, his wife Leora, and daughter Laura June moved from Rockford to Cherry Valley on June 1, 1936. Sons John R. (Jack) and Gerald (Jerry) were born in 1937 and 1942, respectively. John purchased land and built their home from an old interurban streetcar. He later built additional homes and ran several businesses, including a root beer stand and restaurants. Jack served in the Marine Corps, and Jerry graduated from DeVry Technical College. John H. was an Explorer Advisor, leading various activities for local boys. The Gorsuch family lived in Cherry Valley for 28 years before relocating to Spooner, Wisconsin, in 1964.

John H. Gorsuch with his wife Leora and daughter Laura June came to Cherry Valley from Rockford June 1, 1936. A son, John R. (Jack) was born February 14, 1937, and another son, Gerald (Jerry) was born May 3, 1942.

John became acquainted with Reuben and Nellie Staff and Mrs. Hilda Staff. He bought land along the Kishwaukee River from Mrs. Staff as he had decided to make Cherry Valley his home. John then bought an old interurban (street car) for $75.00 delivered. This was their home in Cherry Valley for about a year. John then purchased lumber from Jim Cotton at Perryville Lumber Company and added on to their home. This was on Mill Road just north of the creek. Later John built four homes just north on the same road, and the family lived in one of them.

John H. worked at Greenlee Bros. & Company three days a week, but decided it wasn’t enough to raise a family on, so went into business for himself. His first business was a root beer stand in Rockford. Several girls from Cherry Valley worked for him, Ida Mae Kint, Mildred Bremer, Betty Walker (Myers), Betty Decker (Luckey), Patty Wanke (Campbell) and Patsy Tree, a niece of the grocery store owner, Mr. North. John H. also owned a restaurant on Harrison Avenue and llth Street in Rockford and the Cozy Cafe in Cherry Valley.

June, Jack and Jerry attended Cherry Valley School, and Jack and Jerry went on to school in Rockford. Jerry graduated from East High and then attended DeVry Technical College in Chicago. Jerry married Beth Ann Hendricks, and they have two children, Tina Marie and Kenneth Ross. They now live in Palatine, Illinois.

Jack joined the Marine Corps and was in service for four years. He married Bobbie Clark at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. They have two boys, Dennis and Scott, and live in Cherry Valley. June married John R. Edwards and they had three children, Pamela, Paul and Perry. June presently lives in Rockford and Pam, Paul and Perry now reside in California.

Jack has very nice memories of picnics in their own back yard. Almost every week-end friends and (or) relatives would make up picnic dinners (unplanned) and come out. One special picnic he remembers was a Christmas party in July. John’s younger brother, Earl, was in service overseas for four years, and when he came home he said the one thing he missed the most was Christmas. Everyone got together, bought gifts for him, then trimmed one of the pine trees with Christmas lights.

John H. was Explorer Advisor for Post 633 in 1951 and 1952. He started with ten boys. They took a canoe trip, Region 7, Explorer Canoe Base, and participated in the Fall Skill-O-Ree in 1951. He took the boys to Munising, Michigan, in 1952. Later he had about 27 boys in his Post.

John H. and Leora Gorsuch lived in Cherry Valley for 28 years. They moved to Spooner, Wis. in 1964 where they now live.

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