Rockford, Kansas, in Bourbon County, was first settled in 1858 by Guy Hinton. Other early pioneers were William E., B. and J. Mason, and William Jackman. The first school taught was by Edith E. Mason, and Guy Hinton preached the first sermon in 1858. The town was named after Rockford, Illinois. In 1859, a sawmill was built on Paint Creek by Farwell & Stadden, and a store was opened by Mr. Donahue.
A post office was established on May 17, 1860, with Ezekiel Brown as the postmaster. A schoolhouse was built in 1866 in Rockford Valley. By the early 1880s, there were three religious denominations in the community, including the Methodist Episcopal, Protestant Methodist, and Cumberland Presbyterian.
The community remained small, and on July 30, 1902, its post office closed. In 1910, it had a population of 27. Rockford was located about 16 miles southwest of Fort Scott.