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Rock Island County, Illinois
Genealogy and History

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Centennial Bridge in Rock Island County
 

Brief History of Rock Island County
(1901)

Rock Island county, in the northwestern section of the State bordering upon the Mississippi River (which constitutes its northwestern boundary for more than 60 miles), and having an area of 440 square miles.

In 1816, the Government erected a fort on Rock Island (an island in the Mississippi, 3 miles long and one-half to three-quarters of a mile wide), naming it Fort Armstrong. It has always remained a military post, and is now the seat of an extensive arsenal and work-shops.


Fort Armstrong

In the spring of 1828, settlements were made near Port Byron by John and Thomas Kinney, Archibald Allen and George Harlan. Other early settlers, near Rock Island and Rapids City, were J.W. Spencer, J.W. Barriels, Benjamin F. Pike and Conrad Leak; and among the pioneers were Wells and Michael Bartlett, Joel Thompson, the Simms brothers and George Davenport. The country was full of Indians, this being the headquarters of Black Hawk and the initial point of the Black Hawk War.

By 1829 settlers were increased in number and county organization was effected in 1833, Rock Island (then called Stephenson) being made the county-seat. Joseph Conway was the first County Clerk, and Joel Wells, Sr., the first Treasurer. The first court was held at the residence of John W. Barriels, in Farnhamsburg.

The county is irregular in shape, and the soil and scenery greatly varied. Coal is abundant, the water-power inexhaustible, and the county's mining and manufacturing interests are very extensive. Several lines of railway cross the county, affording admirable transportation facilities to both eastern and western markets. Rock Island and Moline are the two principal cities in the county, though there are several other important points. Coal Valley is the center of large mining interests, and Milan is also a manufacturing center. Port Byron is one of the oldest towns in the county, and has considerable lime and lumber interests, while Watertown is the seat of the Western Hospital for the Insane. Population of the county in 1880 was 38,302; in 1890, 41,917; in 1900, 55,249

Rock Island County was established on February 9, 1831, with organization completed in 1833.


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Rock Island County Formation:

From 18311833, it was attached to JoDaviess County
18271831- JoDaviess
18251827 - Mercer
18251827 - Henry
18211825 - Pike
18231825 - Fulton
18121821 - Madison
17941812 - St. Clair

County Seats:
18331835 - Farnhamsburg - House of John Barrell
18351841 - Stephenson
- Name changed to Rock Island in 1841.
1841 Rock Island

 

Rock Island Library 
401 19th St.
Rock Island, IL
309-732-7323
Oldest IL Library

   

Andalusia Library
503 Second Street West
PO Box 268
Andalusia, IL
309-798-2542

   

Cordova District Library
402 Main Avenue
Cordova IL 61242-0247
309-654-2330

   

Moline Library
The downtown branch of their library is located at:
504 17th Street
Moline, IL 61265
309-762-6883

Their southeast branch is located at:
3130 41st Street
Moline, IL 61265
309-762-6883

   

Rock Island County Courthouse
1504 Third Avenue
Rock Island, IL 61201
Telephone:
County Clerk - (309) 558-3570
Circuit Clerk - (309) 786-4451
Recorder - (309) 558-3360

   

IRAD Depository
University Library
Western Illinois University
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455
Telephone: (309) 298-2716

Rock Island Data
Data will be added as it is transcribed or contributed.
(We have no further info other than what is online!)

Biographies

Births

Businesses

Cemeteries

Census Records

Churches

Cities and Townships

County Institutions and their Records

Court Records

Deaths
Deceased Doctors 1804 -1929
 

Directories

History
(Indians, Pioneers and Early Settlers)

 Historic Districts, Neighborhoods & Architectural Areas

Immigration

Land Grants

Marriages

Military Records

Naturalization Records

Newspaper Articles

Obituaries

Postcards

Post Offices

Railroads

River Boats

Schools

Wills and Probate Records

   
Website Updates:
Nov 2014:  
1865 voters of Rock Island Township; obit for HOLT, BARNHOEFT; political news for POWERS; petition of soldiers' wives under military news
Aug 2014:
 obit for BARRETT, SMITH
Feb 2014:  
1883 Census of Pensioners, obits for MITCHELL, SHELLEY, LAURENT, STAFFORD, TUNWALL, MULACK, HARDER, MAPES
Oct 2013:  
obit for RIGSBY
Apr 2013:
bio for WOOD
Mar 2013:
obit for ODEAN
Jan 2013:
Class Picture for Hawthorne-Irving School

PREVIOUS UPDATES


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