Rock Island, Illinois

Rock Island, Illinois

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Rock Island is the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of Rock Island County, Illinois
Rock Island County, Illinois
Rock Island County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 147,546, which is a decrease of 1.2% from 149,374 in 2000. Its county seat is Rock Island...

, United States. The population was 40,884 at the 2010 census. Located on the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

, it is one of the Quad Cities
Quad Cities
The Quad Cities is a group of five cities straddling the Mississippi River on the Iowa–Illinois boundary. These cities, Davenport and Bettendorf and Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline , are the center of the Quad Cities Metropolitan Area, which, as of 2010, had an estimated population of...

, along with neighboring Moline
Moline, Illinois
Moline is a city located in Rock Island County, Illinois, United States, with a population of 45,792 in 2010. Moline is one of the Quad Cities, along with neighboring East Moline and Rock Island in Illinois and the cities of Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa. The Quad Cities has a population of...

, East Moline
East Moline, Illinois
East Moline is a city in Rock Island County, Illinois, United States. The population was 20,333 at the 2000 census. East Moline is one of the five Quad Cities,, along with the cities of Rock Island, Moline, and the Iowa cities of Davenport and Bettendorf. The Quad Cities has a population of 379,690...

, and the Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

 cities of Davenport
Davenport, Iowa
Davenport is a city located along the Mississippi River in Scott County, Iowa, United States. Davenport is the county seat of and largest city in Scott County. Davenport was founded on May 14, 1836 by Antoine LeClaire and was named for his friend, George Davenport, a colonel during the Black Hawk...

 and Bettendorf
Bettendorf, Iowa
Bettendorf is a city in Scott County, Iowa, United States. Bettendorf is the fifteenth largest city in the U.S. state of Iowa and the fourth largest city in the "Quad Cities". As of the 2010 United States Census the population grew to 33,217. Bettendorf is one of the Quad Cities, along with...

. The Quad Cities has a population of 379,690. The city is home to Rock Island Arsenal
Rock Island Arsenal
The Rock Island Arsenal comprises , located on Arsenal Island, originally known as Rock Island, on the Mississippi River between the cities of Davenport, Iowa, and Rock Island, Illinois. It lies within the state of Illinois. The island was originally established as a government site in 1816, with...

, the largest government-owned weapons manufacturing arsenal
Arsenal
An arsenal is a place where arms and ammunition are made, maintained and repaired, stored, issued to authorized users, or any combination of those...

 in the United States, which employs 6,000 people.

The original Rock Island, from which the city gets its name, is the largest island in the Mississippi River. It is now called Arsenal Island.

History


Prior to European contact, this area was settled for thousands of years by varying cultures of indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

. By the early nineteenth century, it was occupied chiefly by the Sauk Native Americans. Their major village of Saukenuk was located on the south side of Rock Island, along the Rock River. Fort Armstrong
Fort Armstrong
Fort Armstrong , was one of a chain of western frontier defenses which the United States erected after the War of 1812. It was located at the foot of Rock Island, Illinois, in the Mississippi River between present-day Illinois and Iowa. It was five miles from the principal Sac and Fox village on...

 was built in 1816 on the island after the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

.

Saukenuk was the birthplace of the Sauk war chief
War chief
War chief can refer to* Warlord* Tribal chief during wartime, particularly among Native Americans...

 Black Hawk
Black Hawk (chief)
Black Hawk was a leader and warrior of the Sauk American Indian tribe in what is now the United States. Although he had inherited an important historic medicine bundle, he was not one of the Sauk's hereditary civil chiefs...

, for whom the Black Hawk War
Black Hawk War
The Black Hawk War was a brief conflict fought in 1832 between the United States and Native Americans headed by Black Hawk, a Sauk leader. The war erupted soon after Black Hawk and a group of Sauks, Meskwakis, and Kickapoos known as the "British Band" crossed the Mississippi River into the U.S....

 of 1831–1832 was named. Fort Armstrong served as the US military's headquarters for the war. Today the Black Hawk State Historic Site
Black Hawk State Historic Site
The Black Hawk State Historic Site, in Rock Island, Illinois, occupies much of the historic site of the village of Saukenuk, the home of a band of Native Americans of the Sauk nation. It includes the John Hauberg Museum of Native American Life. The state park is located on a 150-foot bluff...

, listed on the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

, includes much of the site of the original village of Saukenuk. The park includes a museum and a number of hiking trails along the Rock River
Rock River (Illinois)
The Rock River is a tributary of the Mississippi River, approximately long, in the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Illinois. It rises in southeast Wisconsin, in the Theresa Marsh near Theresa, Wisconsin in northeast Dodge County, Wisconsin approximately south of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin...

 and in surrounding woods.
As part of later nineteenth-century industrial development, there were two first-class hotels: the Harper House (opened in February 1871) and the Rock Island House. European Americans founded the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad here in 1851. It was informally known as the Rock Island Line. After many decades of transporting produce, commodities, people and goods through the Midwest, the railroad was liquidated in bankruptcy in 1980.

Rock Island Arsenal has been an active manufacturer of military equipment and ordnance for the U.S. Army since the 1880s.

Due to its geography, Rock Island has a rich history of bridge building. The first railroad bridge across the Mississippi River was built between Arsenal Island and Davenport in 1856. Steamboat
Steamboat
A steamboat or steamship, sometimes called a steamer, is a ship in which the primary method of propulsion is steam power, typically driving propellers or paddlewheels...

 pilot
Maritime pilot
A pilot is a mariner who guides ships through dangerous or congested waters, such as harbours or river mouths. With the exception of the Panama Canal, the pilot is only an advisor, as the captain remains in legal, overriding command of the vessel....

s of the day, fearful of competition from the railroads, considered the new bridge "a hazard to navigation". Two weeks after the bridge opened, the steamboat Effie Afton rammed part of the bridge and set it on fire. Legal proceedings ensued and the young lawyer Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 defended the railroad. The lawsuit was appealed to the United States Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

, which ruled in favor of the railroad. Although the original bridge is long gone, a monument exists on Arsenal Island marking the Illinois side. On the Iowa side, the bridge was located near where 4th and Federal streets intersect with River Drive.

Lock and Dam No. 15
Lock and Dam No. 15
Lock and Dam No. 15 is a lock and dam located on the Upper Mississippi River. It spans the river between Rock Island, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa. Lock and Dam 15 is the largest roller dam in the world, its dam is long and consists of nine non-submersible, non-overflow roller gates and two ...

 and the Government Bridge are located just southwest of the site of the first bridge. The Government Bridge, completed in 1896, is notable for having two sets of railroad tracks above the car lanes. It is one of only two bridges in the world with this feature.

Three other bridges span the river between Rock Island and Davenport. The Crescent Rail Bridge
Crescent Rail Bridge
The Crescent Rail Bridge carries a rail line across the Mississippi River between Davenport, Iowa and Rock Island, Illinois. It was formerly owned by the Davenport, Rock Island and North Western Railway, a joint subsidiary of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad and Chicago, Milwaukee, St...

 is a railroad-only bridge, completed in 1899. The Centennial Bridge
Rock Island Centennial Bridge
The Centennial Bridge, or Rock Island Centennial Bridge, connects Rock Island, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa. The bridge is long and stands above water level. On September 4, 1988, lights were installed on the arches, which make the bridge a very scenic sight at night.Construction of the bridge...

 was completed in 1940 for autos only. The newest bridge is the Interstate 280 bridge
I-280 Bridge
The Sergeant John F. Baker, Jr., Bridge, also the Baker Bridge or Interstate 280 Bridge, carries Interstate 280 across the Mississippi River between Davenport, Iowa and Rock Island, Illinois. The bridge opened in 1973 with a blue and yellow color scheme, thought to be unique in the state. In...

, completed in 1973.

Lock and Dam No. 15, completed in 1934 as a Works Progress Administration
Works Progress Administration
The Works Progress Administration was the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions of unskilled workers to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads, and operated large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects...

 (WPA) project during the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

, is the largest roller dam
Roller dam
A Roller dam is a type of hydro-control device specially designed to mitigate erosion. They are most often used to divert water for irrigation but the largest and most notable examples are used to ease river navigation.- Use :...

 in the world. The dam is designed only for navigation, not flood control. During flood season, the rollers are raised, unleashing the full flow of the water.

On the south side of the city, overlooked by the Black Hawk State Historic Site
Black Hawk State Historic Site
The Black Hawk State Historic Site, in Rock Island, Illinois, occupies much of the historic site of the village of Saukenuk, the home of a band of Native Americans of the Sauk nation. It includes the John Hauberg Museum of Native American Life. The state park is located on a 150-foot bluff...

, is a crossing of the Rock River
Rock River (Illinois)
The Rock River is a tributary of the Mississippi River, approximately long, in the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Illinois. It rises in southeast Wisconsin, in the Theresa Marsh near Theresa, Wisconsin in northeast Dodge County, Wisconsin approximately south of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin...

 to Milan, Illinois
Milan, Illinois
Milan is a village in Rock Island County, Illinois, United States. The population was 5,257 at the 2000 census.The village is located near the Quad Cities of Illinois and Iowa. Before ceasing operations in 2003, Eagle Food Centers was based out of Milan....

. This set of bridges also crosses the historic Hennepin Canal
Hennepin Canal
The Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park, also just called the Hennepin Canal, is an abandoned waterway in northwest Illinois, between the Mississippi River at Rock Island and the Illinois River near Hennepin. The entire canal is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.Opened in 1907, the...

 and Sears Dam (this was named after the entrepreneur David B. Sears, who previously built the Sears Dam between Arsenal Island and Moline.) In 2007 a new bridge was completed between 3rd Street Moline/southeast Rock Island and Milan. It expedites the trip to Milan, the airport, and points south on U.S. Route 67
U.S. Route 67
U.S. Route 67 is a 1,560 mile long north–south U.S. highway in the Central United States. The southern terminus of the route is at the United States-Mexico border in Presidio, Texas, where it continues south as Mexican Federal Highway 16 upon crossing the Rio Grande. The northern...

.

Geography


Rock Island is located at 41°29′21"N 90°34′23"W (41.489083, −90.573154).

According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 17.1 square miles (44.3 km²), of which 15.9 square miles (41.2 km²) is land and 1.2 square miles (3.1 km²) (7.11%) is water.

Demographics


As of the census of 2010, there were 40,884 people, 16,148 households, and 9,543 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,492.0 people per square mile (962.4/km²). There were 17,542 housing units at an average density of 1,101.6 per square mile (425.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 77.13% White, 17.17% African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.75% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 2.41% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 2.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.90% of the population.

There were 16,148 households out of which 26.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.2% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.9% were non-families. 34.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.0% under the age of 18, 13.1% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 89.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,729, and the median income for a family was $45,127. Males had a median income of $32,815 versus $23,378 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,202. About 10.9% of families and 14.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.5% of those under age 18 and 8.4% of those age 65 or over.

Largest employers


According to the City's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the largest employers in the city are:
# Employer # of Employees
1 Trinity Regional Health System
Iowa health system
-Hospitals:...

1,500
2 Rock Island-Milan School District 41 900
3 County of Rock Island
Rock Island County, Illinois
Rock Island County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 147,546, which is a decrease of 1.2% from 149,374 in 2000. Its county seat is Rock Island...

510
4 Augustana College
Augustana College (Illinois)
Augustana College is a private liberal arts college located in Rock Island, Illinois, United States. The college enrolls approximately 2,500 students. Covering of hilly, wooded land, Augustana is adjacent to the Mississippi River...

500
5 Jumer's Casino & Hotel 450
6 Performance Food Group
Performance Food Group
Performance Food Group Company is a company that was founded in 1875. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, United States, the company distributes a range of food products....

450
7 Modern Woodmen of America
Modern Woodmen of America
Modern Woodmen of America is the third-largest fraternal benefit society, with more than 750,000 members. Total assets passed US $9 billion in 2009.-Financial Standing/Rating:...

440
8 YRC Worldwide
YRC Worldwide
YRC Worldwide Inc. is the holding company for a portfolio of brands including YRC, YRC Reimer, New Penn, USF Holland and USF Reddaway. YRC Worldwide has a comprehensive network in North America with local, regional, national and international capabilities...

400
9 Dohrn Transfer Company 300
10 Norcross Safety Products 330

Education


Rock Island is served by the Rock Island/Milan School District. There are also several private schools allied with religious denominations.

Elementary schools

  • Denkmann Elementary
  • Earl Hanson Elementary
  • Eugene Field Elementary
  • Frances Willard Elementary
  • Rock Island Center for Math and Science (formerly Horace Mann
    Horace Mann
    Horace Mann was an American education reformer, and a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1827 to 1833. He served in the Massachusetts Senate from 1834 to 1837. In 1848, after serving as Secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Education since its creation, he was...

     Elementary)
  • Immanuel Lutheran School
  • Jordan Catholic School
  • Longfellow Elementary
  • Morning Star Academy (Christian)
  • Ridgewood Elementary
  • Thomas Jefferson Elementary (located in Milan, Illinois)

High schools

  • Alleman High School
    Alleman High School (Rock Island, Illinois)
    Alleman Catholic High School is a private, Roman Catholic high school in Rock Island, Illinois. It is located in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria.-School history:Alleman High School was established in 1949. It was named in honor of Rev...

     (Catholic)
  • Rock Island High School
    Rock Island High School
    Rock Island High School, also known as "Rocky", is a public four-year high school located in Rock Island, Illinois, USA. Rocky is within the Rock Island-Milan School District No. 41, and the school colors are crimson and gold.-Technology:...


Colleges

  • Augustana College
    Augustana College (Illinois)
    Augustana College is a private liberal arts college located in Rock Island, Illinois, United States. The college enrolls approximately 2,500 students. Covering of hilly, wooded land, Augustana is adjacent to the Mississippi River...

  • Bible Missionary Institute

Former schools, now closed

  • Audubon Elementary (2009)
  • Franklin Junior High
  • Grant Elementary
  • Hawthorne Irving Elementary
  • Lincoln Elementary
    Lincoln School (Rock Island, Illinois)
    Lincoln School is an historic building located in Rock Island, Illinois, United States. It was designated a Rock Island Landmark in 1984, individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, and became part of the Broadway Historic District when it was listed on the national...

  • Villa de Chantal
    Villa de Chantal Historic District
    Villa de Chantal Historic District is a historic district located in Rock Island, Illinois, United States. The property was designated a Rock Island Landmark in 1994, and it was listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Its local landmark status was removed...

     (Catholic, 1978 closure, building destroyed by fire in 2005)

Points of interest



  • Augustana College (Illinois)
    Augustana College (Illinois)
    Augustana College is a private liberal arts college located in Rock Island, Illinois, United States. The college enrolls approximately 2,500 students. Covering of hilly, wooded land, Augustana is adjacent to the Mississippi River...

  • Black Hawk State Historic Site
    Black Hawk State Historic Site
    The Black Hawk State Historic Site, in Rock Island, Illinois, occupies much of the historic site of the village of Saukenuk, the home of a band of Native Americans of the Sauk nation. It includes the John Hauberg Museum of Native American Life. The state park is located on a 150-foot bluff...

  • Jumer's Casino & Hotel
    Jumer's Casino & Hotel
    Jumer's Casino & Hotel is a "Las Vegas style" casino-hotel located in Rock Island, Illinois located on the western edge of the state just of Interstate 280 , 160 miles southwest of Chicago, bordering the state of Iowa by the Mississippi River...

  • Broadway Historic District
    Broadway Historic District (Rock Island, Illinois)
    Broadway Historic District is a nationally recognized historic district and neighborhood in Rock Island, Illinois, U.S.A.. It is roughly bounded by 17th and 23rd street, 5th and 7th avenues, Lincoln Court, and 12th and 13th avenues...

  • Chippiannock Cemetery
    Chippiannock Cemetery
    Chippiannock Cemetery is a cemetery located on 12th Street and 31st Avenue in Rock Island, Illinois. The word “Chippiannock” is a Native American term which means “place of the dead”.-History:Rock Island was in need of a permanent cemetery in 1854...

  • Hauberg Civic Center
    Denkmann-Hauberg House
    Denkmann-Hauberg House is an historic building located in Rock Island, Illinois, United States. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Today it is known as the Hauberg Civic Center.-History:...

  • Longview Park Conservatory and Gardens
    Longview Park Conservatory and Gardens
    The Longview Park Conservatory and Gardens is a city park with botanical garden, located at 1300 17th Street, Rock Island, Illinois. It is open daily without charge....

  • Quad City Botanical Center
    Quad City Botanical Center
    The Quad City Botanical Center is a set of botanical gardens located next to the Mississippi River at 2525 4th Avenue, Rock Island, Illinois. It is open daily except major holidays; an admission fee is charged.The center opened on June 20, 1998...

  • Rock Island Public Library
    Rock Island Public Library
    The Rock Island Public Library is located in downtown Rock Island, Illinois. The Rock Island Public Library traces its beginnings to 1872, making it the oldest public library in Illinois...

     http://ripl.lib.il.us/
  • Rock Island Arsenal
    Rock Island Arsenal
    The Rock Island Arsenal comprises , located on Arsenal Island, originally known as Rock Island, on the Mississippi River between the cities of Davenport, Iowa, and Rock Island, Illinois. It lies within the state of Illinois. The island was originally established as a government site in 1816, with...

     is a National Historic Landmark
    National Historic Landmark
    A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...



Rock Island, Illinois is the site of the Quad City Hindu Temple, a Hindu
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 shrine dedicated chiefly to the deity
Deity
A deity is a recognized preternatural or supernatural immortal being, who may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred, held in high regard, and respected by believers....

 Venkateswara. The temple opened in 2007. Prior to its construction, Hindu worshippers had to travel to St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

 or Peoria
Peoria, Illinois
Peoria is the largest city on the Illinois River and the county seat of Peoria County, Illinois, in the United States. It is named after the Peoria tribe. As of the 2010 census, the city was the seventh-most populated in Illinois, with a population of 115,007, and is the third-most populated...

 to participate in Hindu festivals and worship.

Cultural organizations

  • Ballet Quad Cities
    Ballet Quad Cities
    Ballet Quad Cities is a ballet company located in Rock Island, Illinois. It was begun in 1996 by Joedy Cook. Its primary performance venues has been the Capitol Theater and the Adler Theater, both in Davenport, Iowa...

  • The Quad City Symphony Orchestra
    Quad City Symphony Orchestra
    The Quad City Symphony Orchestra is a United States symphony orchestra based in Davenport, Iowa and representing the Quad Cities area. The current music director and conductor is Mark Russell Smith. Established in 1916, the orchestra has a full season, performing six masterwork series concerts,...

     plays part of its Masterworks Series' concerts at Centennial Hall on the Augustana College campus.

Sports


Rock Island Legion Post 200 won its 4th State Championship in its history in 2011 in Galesburg, Illinois. Post 200 would finish 4th in the Great Lakes Regional.

Media



Rock Island is the location of television station WHBF-TV
WHBF-TV
WHBF-TV, channel 4, is a television station licensed to Rock Island, Illinois, which serves as the CBS affiliate for the Quad Cities television market...

. Until 1963, WHBF was one of only two television stations in the Quad Cities area. (The other is WOC-TV
KWQC-TV
KWQC-TV, virtual channel 6 , is the NBC-affiliated television station for the Quad Cities television market . It is licensed to Davenport and is owned by Young Broadcasting...

 on the Iowa side of the river.) Rock Island was also the longtime former home of WHBF-TV's former sister radio stations, WHBF
WKBF (AM)
WKBF is a radio station licensed to Rock Island, Illinois, and carries a Spanish Regional Music format. The station's frequency is 1270 kHz, and broadcasts at a power of 5 kW...

 and WHBF-FM
WLKU
WLKU is a radio station licensed to Rock Island, Illinois, with a Christian contemporary format. The station's frequency is 98.9 MHz, and broadcasts at a power of 39 kW.WLKU is owned by the Educational Media Foundation.-Early history:...

, although it does remain the licensed city of those stations.

Also, National Public Radio member station WVIK
WVIK
WVIK is the flagship National Public Radio station for the Quad Cities region of eastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois. It is licensed to Rock Island, Illinois and owned by Augustana College. Studios are located on Augustana's campus in Rock Island...

 is licensed to and located in Rock Island on the campus of Augustana College
Augustana College (Illinois)
Augustana College is a private liberal arts college located in Rock Island, Illinois, United States. The college enrolls approximately 2,500 students. Covering of hilly, wooded land, Augustana is adjacent to the Mississippi River...

.

Film, theater, and literary references

  • Rock Island Line (song)
    Rock Island Line (song)
    "Rock Island Line" is an American blues/folk song first recorded by John Lomax in 1934 as sung by inmates in an Arkansas State Prison, and later popularized by Lead Belly. Many versions have been recorded by other artists, most significantly the world-wide hit version in the mid-1950s by Lonnie...

    was first recorded in 1934. Its many recorded versions include ones by John Lomax
    John Lomax
    John Avery Lomax was an American teacher, a pioneering musicologist and folklorist who did much for the preservation of American folk songs...

    , Lonnie Donegan
    Lonnie Donegan
    Anthony James "Lonnie" Donegan MBE was a skiffle musician, with more than 20 UK Top 30 hits to his name. He is known as the "King of Skiffle" and is often cited as a large influence on the generation of British musicians who became famous in the 1960s...

    , Johnny Cash
    Johnny Cash
    John R. "Johnny" Cash was an American singer-songwriter, actor, and author, who has been called one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century...

     and Bobby Darin
    Bobby Darin
    Bobby Darin , born Walden Robert Cassotto, was an American singer, actor and musician.Darin performed in a range of music genres, including pop, rock, jazz, folk and country...

    .

  • In the 1936 Margaret Mitchell
    Margaret Mitchell
    Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell was an American author and journalist. Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1937 for her epic American Civil War era novel, Gone with the Wind, which was the only novel by Mitchell published during her lifetime.-Family:Margaret Mitchell was born in Atlanta,...

     novel Gone with the Wind
    Gone with the Wind
    The slaves depicted in Gone with the Wind are primarily loyal house servants, such as Mammy, Pork and Uncle Peter, and these slaves stay on with their masters even after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 sets them free...

    , Ashley Wilkes
    Ashley Wilkes
    George Ashley Wilkes is a fictional character in the Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel Gone with the Wind and the later film of the same name. The character also appears in the 1991 book Scarlett, a sequel to Gone with the Wind written by Alexandra Ripley, and in Rhett Butler's People by Donald...

     was imprisoned on Arsenal Island during the Civil War
    American Civil War
    The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

    .

  • The Rock Island Trail, starring Forrest Tucker
    Forrest Tucker
    Forrest Tucker was an American actor in both movies and television from the 1940s to the 1980s. Tucker, who stood 190 cm tall and weighed 93 kg , appeared in nearly 100 action films in the 1940s and 1950s.-Early life:Forrest Meredith Tucker was born in Plainfield, Indiana, a son of...

    , was a Republic Studios production (1950) related to the building of the Rock Island Railroad across the Mississippi River.

  • The opening 'railroad train' number in Meredith Willson
    Meredith Willson
    Robert Meredith Willson was an American composer, songwriter, conductor and playwright, best known for writing the book, music and lyrics for the hit Broadway musical The Music Man...

    's The Music Man
    The Music Man
    The Music Man is a musical with book, music, and lyrics by Meredith Willson, based on a story by Willson and Franklin Lacey. The plot concerns con man Harold Hill, who poses as a boys' band organizer and leader and sells band instruments and uniforms to naive townsfolk before skipping town with...

    (1957) is entitled "Rock Island". It suggests a Rock Island train's crossing from Rock Island to Davenport, Iowa
    Davenport, Iowa
    Davenport is a city located along the Mississippi River in Scott County, Iowa, United States. Davenport is the county seat of and largest city in Scott County. Davenport was founded on May 14, 1836 by Antoine LeClaire and was named for his friend, George Davenport, a colonel during the Black Hawk...

    , known as "River City".

  • Rock Island is one of the markers of the outer edge of the range of Project X in Ayn Rand
    Ayn Rand
    Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism....

    's novel Atlas Shrugged
    Atlas Shrugged
    Atlas Shrugged is a novel by Ayn Rand, first published in 1957 in the United States. Rand's fourth and last novel, it was also her longest, and the one she considered to be her magnum opus in the realm of fiction writing...

    .

  • Rock Island is mentioned several times in Jack Kerouac
    Jack Kerouac
    Jean-Louis "Jack" Lebris de Kerouac was an American novelist and poet. He is considered a literary iconoclast and, alongside William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, a pioneer of the Beat Generation. Kerouac is recognized for his spontaneous method of writing, covering topics such as Catholic...

    's book On the Road
    On the Road
    On the Road is a novel by American writer Jack Kerouac, written in April 1951, and published by Viking Press in 1957. It is a largely autobiographical work that was based on the spontaneous road trips of Kerouac and his friends across mid-century America. It is often considered a defining work of...

    . Sal (Jack Kerouac) says that in Rock Island, "for the first time in my life that I saw my beloved Mississippi river dry in the summer haze."

  • The Blues Brothers
    The Blues Brothers
    The Blues Brothers are an American blues and soul revivalist band founded in 1978 by comedy actors Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as part of a musical sketch on Saturday Night Live...

     are from Rock Island.

  • In the 1996 film Hard Eight
    Hard Eight (film)
    Hard Eight is a 1996 American crime thriller film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, starring Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow and Samuel L. Jackson...

    , John, played by John C. Reilly
    John C. Reilly
    John Christopher Reilly, Jr. is an American film and theater actor, singer, and comedian. Debuting in Casualties of War in 1989, he is one of several actors whose careers were launched by Brian De Palma. To date, he has appeared in more than fifty films, including three separate films in 2002...

    , says that they are staying in Rock Island, Illinois.

  • Part of the film Road to Perdition
    Road to Perdition
    Road to Perdition is a 2002 American crime film directed by Sam Mendes. The screenplay was adapted by David Self, from the graphic novel of the same name by Max Allan Collins. The film stars Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law, and Daniel Craig...

    (2002) takes place in Rock Island. Indeed the first track of the soundtrack is entitled Rock Island. The movie was based on the 1998 graphic novel
    Road to Perdition (comics)
    Road to Perdition is a series of fictional works written by Max Allan Collins.The comic book of the original series, with art by Richard Piers Rayner, was published by DC Comics' imprint, Paradox Press...

    , which was in turn based on the life of Rock Island gangster John Looney
    John Patrick Looney
    John Patrick Looney was a gangster in the Rock Island, Illinois area during the early 1900s. Looney was also a successful lawyer and newspaper man in Rock Island.-Background:...

    .

  • In the 2006 film Death of a President, Al Claybon, the character behind the assassination of George W. Bush
    George W. Bush
    George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

    , resided in Rock Island.

  • In the 2001 film, America's Sweethearts
    America's Sweethearts
    America's Sweethearts is a 2001 romantic comedy film, directed by Joe Roth, starring Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal, John Cusack, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The film also stars Keri Lynn Pratt, Hank Azaria, Stanley Tucci, Seth Green, Alan Arkin, and Christopher Walken, and features a cameo appearance...

    , Larry King takes a call from a viewer in Rock Island, Illinois.

See also

  • Mayor of Rock Island, Illinois
    Mayor of Rock Island, Illinois
    The office of Mayor of Rock Island, Illinois has existed since the Rock Island's incorporation in 1841 with Benjamin Barrett serving as the city's first mayor. Rock Island adopted a Mayor-Council form of government. It held that form of government for the next 110 years when in 1952 the city...

  • List of crossings of the Upper Mississippi River
  • Rock Island Independents
    Rock Island Independents
    The Rock Island Independents were a professional American football team based in Rock Island, Illinois. One of the first professional football teams, they were founded in 1907 as an independent club. They later played in what is now the National Football League from 1920 to 1925. They joined the...

     – former NFL franchise
  • Daytrotter
    Daytrotter
    Daytrotter is a website for the recording studio Horseshack, which hosts recording sessions with many popular and typically upcoming indie music acts, although it works with local bands in the Illinois area as well. The sessions can be compared to that of a radio station's lounge recordings, where...

     – National Music Website Based in Rock Island

General references

  • Spencer, J. W. and Burrows, J. M. D., The Early Day of Rock Island and Davenport The Lakeside Press, 1942
  • Wickstrom, George W., The Town Crier J. W. Potter Company, 1948

External links