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Below is the enlarged photo of Valentine Amey Lake and his wife, Sophia Matilda Taft Lake.  This may have been a wedding photo in which case he would have been 26 and she would have been 23.  They were married in Clinton, Wisconsin, located about 10 miles northeast from Rockton, Ill. across the state line.  In the text box below you will see the words of Claud Nelson McMillan, genealogist and author of A History of My People and Yours.  In his book, published in 1956 after years of research, Mr. McMillan wrote the definitive and authoritative history of the Lake family in America.   He spent a lifetime of fact finding in libraries compiling his work before the age of computers and the internet.  He corresponded with letters and conducted personal interviews with many living relatives of those families he details.  Quite remarkable, really.

  Valentine Lake came with his parents to southern Wisconsin in 1836 and to Winnebago County, Ill. in 1842. He farmed for some years after his marriage, then entered the lumber, grain and coal business at Rockton.  He also had  large grain elevator for grain storage. During his years at Rockton, he held various Township offices, all with distinction and honor.  He was greatly respected by the people of Rockton, where he died at the early age of but 54 years and where he was buried.

My grandmother Minnie Matilda Jane Humphreys Malcom was named after Sofia Matilda and Sophia's mother, Matilda Benson Taft.  Date of photo is unknown. "Jane" was her grandmother's first name on he father's side of the family

Shown below is the gravestone of Valentine Amey Lake.  This photo was taken on July 8, 2007.  As you can see from the insignia on his gravestone, he was active in the Masons. The monument reads: V.A. Lake, Died Aug. 8, 1878, Aged 54 yrs. 6 mos.  His grave is located in the older portion of the Rockton, Ill. Township Cemeteries.  The grave plot holds places for 5 more graves, presumably places for his wife, Sophia and his 4 unmarried children who still lived at home.  None are there as after his death his family scattered far from Rockton.  As I wrote earlier, Sophia went to live with her daughters and married again at age 68 and died at Bassett, Nebraska at age 81.




















At the right is a photo of the Lake plot in the old section of the Rockton Township Cemetery. ►
Below is the grave stone for Valentine Amey Lake in the Rockton Township Cemetery, Rockton, Ill
.▼ You can see he was a Masonic Lodge member.  My uncle, Vincent Valentine Malcom is named after him.

Below is a great photo of Sophia Matilda Taft Lake and her second husband James Morse.  This is probably a wedding photo taken in Omaha, Nebraska.  He is from Boone Co. Illinois which is right next to Winnebago County and Rockton on the east so they may have known each other for a long time, even from the time they were young.  We don't know when or where they met up again or where they were married in 1895.▼

Here below you see an excerpt from a old book called the History of Rockton-1820 to 1895.  It tells about Valentine Lake, his work and his marriage to Sophia M. Taft although the date of his death is incorrect.