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War's Greatest Workshop 


Its proven usefulness and limitless possibilities in time 
of peace as well as when put to the test 

Its romantic origin, its unimpregnable isolation, its limitless water power, its gradual development, 

its fulfillment of the prophecies of its various administrative officers, its 

magical response to the exigencies of war. 

Published with the approval of the War Department by the 
Arsenal Publishing Co., of the Tri-Cities, Not Inc. 



The publishers of this work wish to make grateful acknowledgment to Col. D. M. King, Commandant 
at Rock Island Arsenal, to Col. Harry B. Jordan, his immediate predecessor, to Mr. H. L. Noth, 
administrative assistant at the Arsenal, to Mr. John H. Hauberg, author of the chap- 
ter on early Indian history, and to others, for invaluable co-operation and 
courtesies extended in connection with the collection of data and 
the preparation of material for publication, and also for 
the privilege of reference to Mr. B. F. Tillinghast's 
admirable work, "Rock Island Arsenal in 
Peace and War", and to Col. D. W. 
Flagler's historical records 
of the earlier days 
of the Arse- 

Maj. Gen. C. C. Williams, Chief of Ordnance 


N LAYING the ground plan for this story of Rock Island Arsenal, 
the desire has been to weave into the fabric of material fact some- 
thing of the spirit of romance which is so intimately connected 
with its history. So, in the background of the picture, as viewed 
through the long vista of the years, will be seen the Indian wig- 
wams of a vanished people, the heroic figure of Chief Black Hawk, the 
grim outlines of old Fort Armstrong, on a strategic point of the Illinois 
shore, and glimpses of the Mississippi river, dotted with the war canoes of 
the Sacs and Foxes. It is true that these things relate to a time far remote, 
but they belong in the picture, nevertheless. 

The building of Fort Armstrong in the year 1816, as a frontier post 
of the United States army, is very properly regarded as the starting point 
in the History of Rock Island Arsenal, and as the opening of the four 
periods in which its story may be told. Col. Lawrence superintended the 
fort's erection, and he was retained on the Island in command of the Eighth 
U. S. Infantry. This may be classed as the first epoch in the history of the 

In the second period of Arsenal history that of development it made 
rapid strides under Gen. T. J. Rodman and Gen. D. W. Flagler, embracing 
the time covered by and immediately subsequent to the Civil War. 

During the third period the Arsenal had its first real test of useful- 
ness in the Spanish-American War, when Col. Stanhope E. Blunt was 
commandant, and justified every hope of its founders. Succeeding Col. 
Blunt was Col. Hobbs, now deceased. 

Then came America's entrance into the World War, in early April, 
1917, with the Arsenal during this period first in charge of Col. George 
W. Burr, and then of Col. Leroy T. Hillman. Its activity during this time, 
which may be called the fourth period in Arsenal development, is a matter 
of history that finds no parallel in the world's annals, and at the time the 
publication of this work was undertaken Rock Island Arsenal was the 
center of post-war activities under Col. Harry B. Jordan, as commandant 
of the Arsenal, later succeeded by Col. D. M. King in the same position. 

As in modern journalism it is the custom to chronicle at the head of 
a story the big event, and to lead with it, although it may in reality come 
last in chronological order, so the publishers of this volume deem it proper 
to feature in the opening chapters the remarkable part played by Rock 


Island Arsenal in the World War. In that struggle this great military 
establishment fully demonstrated to the nation its supreme importance in 
meeting the exigencies of armed conflict. 

Briefly, then, this may be said to be the outline of the manner in which 
the history of Rock Island Arsenal is covered in the story here presented 
to the public. The results achieved for the nation in the face of the 
gravest crisis the world has ever seen are in themselves the best arguments 
for the continued support by congress of this great military plant. The 
matter of location alone gives the Arsenal that pre-eminence which was 
recognized by General Ramsey, United States Chief of Ordnance, in 1864, 
when in his report to the War Department he said : 

"After a careful study of the question of location, there is no position 
which, to my mind, affords so many advantages, and at the same time pre- 
sents so few objections, as Rock Island, in the Mississippi river." 

For many years its possibilities had been recognized by a few who 
foresaw the part that location, manufacturing resources, distributive facil- 
ities, and other factors might be made to play in a great national emergency. 
Only the stress of actual war, however, could bring it the general recog- 
nition that it always had deserved. When the gate of circumstance opened 
it was revealed as the key to the military strength of the United States, 
and its rapid development was promptly provided for. Not only was the 
manufacturing plant greatly expanded, but storage facilities were mul- 
tiplied many times over, so that now, in time of peace, it is enabled to 
shelter complete equipment, immediately available, for an army greater 
than was even thought of before the World War. 

Besides being always ready to resume manufacture of war material 
at full capacity within a few weeks, this Arsenal is supplied with standard- 
ized tools and patterns designed to quickly transform many privately-owned 
industrial plants from a peace to a war basis. Thus the foresight of the 
founders has been fully vindicated. 

And so, in the telling of this story, the last shall be placed first, giving 
priority to that which transcends all that has gone before. The European 
struggle supplied the acid test of the great Arsenal established by the 
United States on the Mississippi river at Rock Island, Illinois, and opposite 
the city of Davenport, Iowa, in 1862, and therefore deserves first consider- 
ation in this volume. 

Indicative of and bearing out the importance of this mid-western military 
establishment, the official records show that from the day the United States 
entered the World War, on April 7, 1917, until the Armistice was signed, 
on November 11, 1918, the government authorized the expenditure at Rock 


Island Arsenal of $108,955,974.07. Of this amount, due to the cessation of 
hostilities, $19,612,133.48 was revoked, leaving an actual expenditure of 
$89,343,840.59 by the Arsenal during the period of the war. In the total 
expended in this period, $66,526,540.31 was devoted to the manufacture of 
war materials and purchases for this purpose, this item also including $17,- 
120,515.51 for labor; increased facilities, new machinery, alterations and 
new buildings, $17,341,487.69; storage, temporary barracks, guard houses, 
and other incidental buildings, $3,915,812.59; and Savanna, Illinois, proving 
grounds, $1,560,000.00. 

With the problem of reducing armament receiving the earnest consid- 
eration of the nations, and indications pointing to the ultimate adoption 
of a policy of material retrenchment in military expenditures, the question 
naturally arises as to the probable effect upon future activities at Rock 
Island Arsenal. 

Main entrance gate at west end of Island. 





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Location and Advantages 

OCK ISLAND ARSENAL occupies an island in the Mississippi 
river lying on the Illinois side of the channel between Rock Island 
and Moline, 111., and Davenport, Iowa. The tract comprises 896.62 
acres of almost level land, all but a small part lying well above high 
water mark. The name was derived from the island's bed of lime- 
stone, into which the stream has cut on all sides, leaving projecting ledges 
exposed to view. This stone not only adds a picturesque effect, but lying 
near the surface, it furnishes an ideal foundation for the heavy construction 
required in an institution of this kind. The natural beauty of the spot has 
been commented upon from the days of the earliest white settlers. It is 
exceeded at but few points in the middle west. 

Being located on an island used almost exclusively for its purposes and 
all owned and controlled by the War Department, the Arsenal is set apart 
by nature from the surrounding community and is easily guarded and 
singularly free of danger from machinations of enemy agents in time 
of war. Its central location is of the utmost strategic value, since it is 
practically inaccessible to an outside enemy from any possible point of 
invasion, and it is in position to forward military supplies with equal 
facility to all national frontiers, east, west, north, south. Its transporta- 
tion resources include three great railroad systems that spread a network 
over the middle section of the country, with through service to the Pacific 
and direct connections to the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. These systems 
have several local branches and there are, in addition, lines tapping two 
other trans-continental systems crossing the river within a radius of 50 

Water transportation facilities are exceptional, including the great 
Mississippi and its navigable branches, giving access to the Gulf of 
Mexico and much of the interior of the country, and canal connections, 
about to be much improved, opening the way to the Great Lakes and thence 
out to the sea. 

Location of the Arsenal, in short, is such that manufacturing may be 
conducted and war equipment stored with a minimum risk, while, when 
need arises, supplies may be distributed to all parts of the country with a 
maximum of efficiency and speed. 

The Arsenal is practically a complete unit in meeting' the nation's 
military needs. Its storehouses contain everything, with a few exceptions, 
that the soldier uses in modern warfare, and its shops make the vast 


majority of the articles included. At no other place in the country is the 
variety of production so broad and the output so extensive, when in full 

As far as it is practicable to make it, the Arsenal is independent of 
the civil community surrounding it. It has its own water power plant, 
which is sufficient for ordinary needs. In an emergency it can buy power 
in any quantity. There is also boiler capacity on the island sufficient to 
meet present requirements, and wanting only installation of engines and 
electrical equipment. Development of the water power has been largely 
incidental with the government project for the improving of the Rock Island 
rapids for purposes of navigation. The hydro-electric plant has a rated 
capacity of 4,400 horse-power, while the eight steam boilers are capable 
of developing 4,000 horse-power. The Arsenal has its own water and sewer 
systems and a complete and modern fire fighting equipment, manned by 
experts. Shipping facilities include no less than 15.6 miles of railroad 
track, covering the shop and storehouse districts and giving means of 
quick and economical handling of all materials. There are 23 miles of 
of wagon roads, 9.4 miles of which are permanently improved. There are 
quarters for the housing of officers and enlisted men, a hospital, cafeteria 
and buildings for recreation and welfare work among both service men and 
civil employes. 

Facilities for testing field equipment made and assembled at Rock 
Island Arsenal were made complete by the purchase and improvement of 
an extensive tract for proving grounds. These lie near Savanna, 111., 60 
miles north. The project was begun in 1917, and includes large storehouses, 
erected since the World War, and used for housing vast quantities of 
the heavier kinds of war material. 

Rock Island, Illinois, is the Arsenal postoffice, and express, freight and 
telephone business is also handled through that city. 

Valuations placed upon the Arsenal, its equipment, and material stored 
there run into large figures. Here are the latest estimates under the head- 
ings given : 

Permanent buildings $ 18,005,730.00 

Temporary buildings 304,795.00 

Machinery and equipment 19,627,709.00 

Railroad trackage (including bridges) 3,571.500.00 

Roads and walks (including bridges other than 

railroad) 300,000.00 

Grounds (including all fences and improvements) 4,000,000.00 

Sewer and water distributing system 1,301,600.00 

Light, heat and power distributing system 1,457,000.00 

Military stores 299,235,384.00 

Stored raw material 11,485,132.00 

Total $359,288,850.00 

Record During the World War 

O adequate idea of what Rock Island Arsenal accomplished during 
the World War can be gained from mere statistics. Neither can 
the record of any one department, nor, indeed, of several depart- 
ments, be taken as indicative of the extent of the .aid given the 
government in its military effort. To start with, the new methods 
of fighting and the vastly increased scope of activities involved all com- 
ing with such surprising suddenness found the Arsenal, like the rest of 
the country, laboring under the handicap of unpreparedness. New ma- 
chinery and tools, new manufacturing specifications, were required, and 
new buildings were needed to meet the necessity of immediate expansion. 
Under the fearful pressure of a great emergency activities were begun 
or speeded up in a myriad of directions. With all possible haste the 
force of workers was increased, ultimately reaching ten times the number 

Bottling destruction in the form of molten trinitrotoluol, which is being poured into howitzer shells. 

employed normally before the war. Leaders were selected from among 
the experienced and skilled artisans already engaged in Arsenal production, 
and thus was created the nucleus of the augmented organization. 

Supplies already on hand and constantly being received from various 
sources were distributed, experimental work conducted, standardized tools 
made and forwarded to private manufacturers to enable them to turn out 
war material, schools of instruction for workers in private factories and 
also for soldiers untaught in the use of modern weapons were organized, 
contracts let for a vast expansion of manufacturing and storage facilities 
at the Arsenal and a great deal of other work undertaken with the least 
possible delay. 



Obviously, it was impossible for maximum shop production to be 
attained at once in all lines of work, and so the total output during the 
war of some varieties of finished work may seem small. That, however, 
is of minor importance. The significant fact is that the Arsenal was the 
key to a great part of the military production of the country, organizing 
and directing it and supplying its standards. Deprived of its aid, the 
country would have required much more time than it took to get on a 
war-producing basis. As a result of what was done during and immedi- 
ately after the war, the Arsenal is relatively much better fitted than ever to 
cope with any similar situation that may develop in the future. 

. In the absence of anything more impressive to show how production 
was accelerated, it is necessary to resort to figures relating to expendi- 
tures and number of employes. 

Analysis shows that during the period from August, 1914, when the 
European nations began fighting, until April, 1917, when the United States 

I m rn M 

Loaded shells in the shipping room, ready to be issued to the army. 

entered the struggle, the total expenditures at Rock Island Arsenal was 
$11,759,935.90, of which purchases amounted to $7,115,849.53 and labor 
$4,644,086.37. The average monthly expenditure during this period was 
$222,370.29 for purchases and $145,127.69 for labor, or a total average 
expenditure for each of the thirty-two months preceding the entry of the 
United States into the war of $347,497.98. 

But in striking contrast to these amounts are the figures for the period 
this country was in the war. The total amount then expended for purchases 
and labor was $58,587,390.18, and this was divided thus: Purchases, $42,- 
466,874.67; labor, $17,120,515\51. The average expenditure per month was 
$3,077,861.05, and of this average $2,193,536.91 was for purchases and 


$884,324.14 for labor. It must he understood, however, that these figures are 
for the manufacturing department of the Arsenal, and do not include the 
huge sums expended for labor and material by the construction companies 
at work there. 

For some time prior to the outbreak of the World War in 1914, the 
employees at Rock Island Arsenal totaled approximately 1800 men and 
175 women, the latter all office workers, typists and stenographers. From 
that time until the spring of 1916 there was little tendency to increase 
the number of workers, but the disturbance on the Mexican border started 
increased activities at the Arsenal, and by July 1, 1916, there had been 
added to the force about 100 men and 25 women, the latter still being 
confined to clerical positions. From then until the United States entered 
the war, employees were added at the rate of about 200 per month, and' 
on April 6, 1917, there were employed 3,600 men with 300 women office 

High speed and maximum production then became the watchword, 
and employees were added at a rate close to 250 or 300 each month. On 
December 31, 1917, the total was 6,100 men, and 375 women office workers; 
and on May 31, 1918, this total was increased to 8,926 men, and 450 women 
office workers. As a new departure, about 100 women shop workers had 
also been employed. The first of these were taken on May 20, 1918, and 
when the Armistice was signed somewhere near 1,500 women were em- 
ployed in the shops. 

The following table shows the increase in the number of employees 
during the war period : 

Men Women 

August, 1914 1,800 175 

July, 1916 1,900 200 

April, 1917 3,600 300 

January, 1918 6,100 376 

May, 1918 8,926 450 

July, 1918 10,268 572 

August, 1918 11,244 722 

September, 1918 11,899 902 

October, 1918 12,342 1,227 

November, 1918 13,361 1,417 

Succeeding chapters deal in order with the detailed record of pro- 
duction during the war, the construction program made necessary by the 
war's demand, manner in which workers were found and trained, the 
military personnel and means taken to guard the Arsenal. 


Artillery developed by the United States Army Ordnance Corps, like 
the small arm, has no equal in range and effectiveness. This was true during 



the World War, and it is true today. Comparisons that may be readily com- 
prehended are presented in the accompanying diagrams. Range of guns of 
American, French and German make used during the war, and approximately 
equal in bore and weight of projectile, are shown in light, medium and 
howitzer types. Development of the American gun as represented in the 
1920 4.7 model over the 1906 model, which was the best we had during the 
war, is also indicated. Carriages and other equipment for all the American 
guns included are made and assembled at Rock Island Arsenal. 


Weight of projectile U. S. gun, 15 pounds; French gun, 12.2 pounds; 
German gun, 14.96 pounds. 


Weight of projectile U. S. gun, 95 pounds; French gun, 95 pounds; 
German gun, 86.9 pounds. 


Weight of projectile U. S. gun, 95 pounds; French gun, 95 pounds 
German gun, 86.9 pounds. 




Weight of projectile U. S. model 1906, 45 pounds; U. S. model 1920, 
50 pounds ; German gun, 36 pounds. 

Storehouse W-I above, and group of original shops below, contrasting new and old types of construction. 

Main Items of Production 

RINCIPAL articles manufactured at the Arsenal during the war 
were artillery vehicles, recoil cylinders, artillery wheels, spoke 
shoes and spoke shoe plates, artillery harness, arm repair chests, 
rifles, loaded shells and personal equipment items, in addition to 
test tool sets furnished to other manufacturing firms throughout the 

The harness manufacturing department was the greatest and most 
completely equipped in the world. Up to August 1, 1918, all the artillery 
harness supplied to the United States forces was manufactured here. 
Between April 6, 1917, and November 15, 1918, 24,212 sets of artillery harness 
were manufactured and 74,207 sets were assembled. In 1920 the harness 
department was taken out of the hands of the Ordnance Department and 
placed in charge of the Quartermaster's Department, making necessary its 
removal from this Arsenal. It was transferred to the depot at Jeffersonville, 
Indiana. With the coming of motorized artillery and transport, use of har- 
ness and saddles has come to play a relatively unimportant part in army 

Manufacturing of rifles was one of the principal industries at the 
Arsenal. During practically the entire period in which this country was 
involved in hostilities 3,500 men and women were employed in the small 
arms plant. In that time there were manufactured or furnished as repair 
parts an equivalent of approximately 113,670 rifles, model of 1903. High 
water mark was reached in October, 1918, when parts sufficient to make 
30,455 complete arms were made. 

In round numbers, 790,000 complete sets of personal equipment for 
the soldier were produced during the period of hostilities. The largest 
single item was bacon cans, 1,512,190 of them. There were included 354,770 
knives, 649,457 canteen covers, 858,344 haversacks and 400,256 pack carriers. 

Among the larger items of production in heavier ordnance stores were 
159 75mm. gun carriages. Unofficial reports also include 194 4.7-inch gun 
carriages, six 3-inch gun carriages and two 6-inch howitzer carriages. Gun 
caissons made numbered 121 and gun and forge limbers 446. There were 
also 255 battery and store wagons turned out. This Arsenal furnished to the 
Supply Department and to various other manufacturing concerns 264 4.7-inch 
recoil cylinders, complete. The supply division and outside contractors 
received from the Arsenal during this time 9,718 artillery wheels, all of 
which were manufactured here. The same disposition was made of 218,650 
spoke shoe plates, also produced at this place. 



Acres and acres ol storehouses are packed with guns and carriages, the lighter parts being 
racked up in tiers several deep. 


There were manufactured and assembled during the period of hostili- 
ties 13,241 arm repair chests, and 167,195 155mm. howitzer shells were loaded, 
without adapters and boosters. 

In March, 1918, two 75mm. gun carriages were manufactured. The 
same number was turned out in April. In May production increased to 
sixteen, in June to twenty, with twenty-two in July, twenty-three in August, 
twenty-eight in September and forty-six in October. The 4.7-inch gun 
carriages reached maximum production in September, when fifty-eight 
were manufactured. Out of 194 which had been made at this Arsenal after 
the declaration of war, 183 were turned out after January, 1918. 

A comparative statement of production at this Arsenal during the last 
year of the war indicates that at the time the armistice was signed the 
establishment was just reaching a point where maximum production could 
be attained. 

Reduced to figures, the expenditures made at Rock Island Arsenal and 
the work done during the war may be summarized as follows : 

Appropriated for Arsenal $108,955,974.07 

Revoked 19,612,133.48 

Spent at Arsenal during war 89,343,840.59 

Purchases and making war materials 66,526,540.31 

Paid to labor 17,120,515.51 

New buildings, machinery, etc 17,341,487.69 

Spent on Savanna Proving Grounds 1,560,000.00 

Average monthly expenditure 3,077,861.05 

Number of employees August, 1914 1,975 

Number of employees, July, 1916 2,100 

Number of employees November, 1918 14,778 

Number of French 75mm. gun carriages made 159 

Other gun carriages made 202 

Forge limbers made 446 

Battery and store wagons made 255 

4.7 recoil cylinders completed 264 

Artillery wheels made 9,718 

Spoke shoes and spoke shoe plates 218,650 

Sets artillery harness made 24,212 

Sets artillery harness assembled 74,207 

Arm repair chests 13,241 

Rifles, Model 1905, made 113,670 

155mm. howitzer shells loaded 167,195 

Bacon cans made 1,512,190 

Knives made 354,770 

Canteen covers made : 649,457 

Haversacks made '. 858,344 

Pack carriers made 400,256 

Subscribed for bonds and war charities $4,000,000.00 

In addition to the usual work of the Arsenal involving the manufacture 
and issue of stores, there devolved upon it at the outbreak of the war new 
duties in connection with the education of prospective bidders on ordnance 



materials. The heavy demands made upon the government for equipment 
occasioned by the rapid mobilization of troops necessitated the placing with 
private manufacturers contracts for large quantities of personal and horse 
equipments, with the manufacture of which the great majority of contractors 
were unfamiliar. At the time the first contracts were placed over 600 
persons, representing over 200 firms engaged in various activities, received 
information at the Arsenal in person pertaining to ordnance material. 
These firms were furnished over 1,000 samples and more than 20,000 draw- 
ings, route sheets, assembly charts, etc., to aid them in the manufacture of 
the equipment called for under their contracts. 

Various schools, known as the Motor Instruction Section, Supply Sec- 
tion, American Ordnance Base Depot in France, and Machine Gun Section, 


A survey was made by the War Department while hostilities were in progress to discover all available sources of supplies of 
walnut. Seasoned walnut in quantities sufficient to equip millions of rifles is now on hand at Rock Island Arsenal. 

were established at the Arsenal, to which were assigned many officers and 
enlisted men for the purpose of receiving instruction in various duties to 
fit them for work in the field or at the front. The number assigned throughout 
the year varied, averaging, approximately, 1,2CO enlisted men and 150 

Aside from the actual work in the shops for the production of war 
material, employees of Rock Island Arsenal hung up a record for war 



service that has not been surpassed by any manufacturing plant in the country 
in proportion to size. After the declaration of war they subscribed the 
enormous sum of $4,000,000.00 to the various war charities and to the Liberty 
bond issues. The bonds, of course, constituted the principal investment of 
the workers, sales totaling $3,050,000.00. The Red Cross campaigns netted 
more than $11,000.00, the Salvation Army $10,000.00 and the Allied war 
drive 20,000.00. The sale of War Savings and Thrift Stamps, of which no 
record has been kept, brings the total well over the four million mark. 


MM :. 


Commandant's Headquarte 

Vast Program of Construction 

OCK ISLAND ARSENAL was literally transformed by construc- 
tion projects undertaken immediately prior to, during, and just 
following the period in which this country was involved in the 
World War. One familiar with the premises before that con- 
flict would scarcely recognize them after the work was completed. 
All construction was done under high pressure, but most of it was of a 
permanent character and detracts nothing from the impression of dura- 
bility, as well as of architectural beauty and practical utility which the 
institution always has given the visitor. 

Several months before this country actually declared war, congress, 
yielding to the urgent recommendations of the War Department, provided 
for some minor extensions of the Arsenal plant. This work was only fairly 
started when the country entered the struggle, and from that time until 
after the close of hostilities the Arsenal grounds were literally alive with 
construction forces of every description, and new structures sprang up 
as if by magic. Work was done under contract, some on a lump sum and 
some on a cost plus basis, with the exception of a number of storehouses 
built by the Arsenal organization after the close of hostilities and needed 
to shelter the immense quantity of war material returning from the armies 
in France and from the training camps in this country. 

Much additional shop room was needed, and, all told, the additions to 
the plant amounted to more than one and one-half millions of feet of floor 
space, costing more than seven millions of dollars. Chief among the new 
structures built for manufacturing uses were the artillery vehicle plant and 
the artillery ammunition assembling plant. The former consists of a main 
erection shop 120x605 feet, with three wings, each 80x200 feet, and all 
four stories high. The latter is 360x400 feet, in three sections, one three 
stories, one two and the other one story in height. The ammunition as- 
sembling plant cost $2,093,000 and the artillery vehicle plant $2,225,000. 
Both are of reinforced concrete construction. 

As output increased, storage space, both for raw material and com- 
pleted goods, became totally inadequate, and steps were taken at once to 
supply the deficiency. All told, nearly one and one-half million feet of 
additional floor space were provided at a cost of more than three millions 
of dollars. Chief among these projects were thirty ammunition storehouses, 
each 50x200 feet, and costing together $490,000; eight vehicle storage 
buildings aggregating 452,500 feet of space and costing $865,000, and what 
is designated as Storage Building W-I, which is 140x540 feet, six stories 
high, and cost $1,560,000. 



Of course much miscellaneous construction was necessary. A central 
steam heating plant was built at a cost of $610,000. The hydro-electric 
plant was enlarged and modernized at a cost of $748,000. Additional bar- 
racks, offices, a cafeteria, hospital and other buildings, mostly of a tempo- 
rary character, were provided. 

The chronological order in which the various projects were undertaken, 
names of contractors and other information in connection with them are 
summarized in the following: 


In the fall of 1916 a high steel tank for the water supply of the Arsenal 
was started by the Rock Island Bridge and Iron Works, but little was 
accomplished before the next year, in February, when work was resumed. 
The tank was completed November 22, 1917, although its use began on 
September 25, 1917. 

Shop M, one of the largest of the new buildings, viewed from front and rear. 

January 8, 1917, a lump sum contract was awarded to the Heman Con- 
struction Company, of St. Louis, for the erection of seven nitrate and eight 
ammunition storehouses. These have stuccoed tile walls, steel trusses, 
slate roofs, concrete floor and platforms and also necessary trackage. Work 


started February 12, 1917, and on February 1, 1918, it was turned over to 
the Stone & Webster Corporation, then engaged on other work on the 
Island. This work was completed June 12, 1918. 

About this time a temporary wire fence was erected around the Arsenal 
shops, this work being installed by the Outside Department of the Arsenal. 

January 6, 1917, a lump sum contract was awarded Lovell & Co., of 
Minneapolis, Minn., for the erection of one vehicle storehouse (now des- 
ignated as Storehouse "I"), a concrete and steel construction building. 
This was completed November 23, 1917. 

April 14, 1917, the St. Paul Foundry Co. started work on an addition 
to the steel lumber shed, let under a lump sum contract and completed 
December 5, 1917. 

April 16, 1917, the Ammunition Assembling Plant (Shop "M"), a re- 
inforced concrete structure, was started by the Westinghouse-Church-Kerr 
Company, New York, on a cost plus 10 per cent basis. This work 
included, also, 13 storehouses for explosives, a T. N. T. loading building, 
incinerator, railroad trackage and roads. These buildings were partially 
occupied on February 9, 1918, and beginning about February 15, 1918, a 
battalion of the Tenth U. S. Infantry was temporarily quartered in the 
ammunition assembling building, temporary plumbing having been installed 
in the same. Other buildings erected by the Westinghouse-Church-Kerr 
Company were : 

Temporary Barracks "B" begun 9-24-17, completed 11-27-17 

Temporary Barracks "C" begun 12-17-17, completed 1-15-18 

Storehouse "BA" begun 10-23-17, completed 11-30-17 

Dry Kiln (Wheel Stock) begun 11- 5-17, completed 11-30-17 

Dry Kiln (Gun Stock) begun 12-12-17, completed 7- 1-18 

Temporary Garage and Testing 

Labratory begun 2-15-17, completed 4- 4-18 

Post Exchange and Y. M. C. A begun 4- 1-18, completed 4-23-18 

This firm also installed the plumbing in the present Shops "B", "D", 
and "F", which was completed .August 10, 1918. 

May 9, 1917, Henry Kohlsaat started work on a non-commissioned 
officers' quarters, of brick and wood. 

The building of the assembling plant by the Westinghouse-Church- 
Kerr Company necessitated the relocation of the street car track by the Tri- 
City Railway Company, started June 12, 1917, completed October 31, 1917. 

Barracks "A", started June 17, 1917, was completed July 17, 1917. 
This work was done by Arsenal forces. This building was later transformed 
into a hospital for enlisted men. 

June 21, 1917, Stone & Webster started building operations for the 
Field and Siege Building (Shop "M"), a reinforced concrete structure, on 



the cost plus 5 per cent basis, and made a record-breaking time in progress, 
completing the work August 15, 1918. The building was partially occupied 
December 19, 1917. This project includes a duct line from the old tunnel 
to building. Other buildings built by Stone & Webster are: 

R-D Connection Started 7- 1-17, completed 5-24-18 

G-I Connection Started 9-17-17, completed 6- 1-18 

H-K Connection Started 10-24-17, completed 5-24-18 

A-C Connection : Started 11-24-17, completed 7-14-18 

Central Heating Plant Started 7-21-17, completed 7-31-18 

Boilers placed Started 11-28-17, completed 7-31-18 

All these buildings were fire-proof construction, and the connections 
were all stone faced to match the present Arsenal shops. August 15, 1917, 
the first nitrate was shipped to this post, and this was unloaded by Stone 
& Webster into an old storehouse, and later, by the same firm, unloaded 
by trucks and chutes into the nitrate storehouses started by the Hemen 
Co. and completed by Stone & Webster June 12, 1918. 

Typical shop interior, being the craneway in the field and siege building. 

The Stone & Webster Co. also installed a new floor on the Moline 
bridge, September 7, 1918, to September 22, 1918; built the Plating and 
Tinning Shop, of fire-proof construction, starting March 18, 1918, com- 
pleting August 1, 1918; Storehouse "MA", started December 13, 1917, 
and completed April 9, 1918; Gun-Stock Dry Kiln addition, started June 


24, 1918, and completed December 3, 1918. This company also repaired 
stone cornices, remodelled old coal shed into a paint shop, and did consider- 
able plumbing and heating in all shops from time to time. 

The contract for the erection of an Ice Making Plant was awarded 
the Frazier & Davis Co., of Rock Island, on a lump sum contract; 
started June 17, 1917, finished October 4, 1917. This company later in- 
stalled a new filtration bed, sedimentation basin, etc., on a lump sum con- 
tract, starting March 11, 1918, and finishing August 8, 1918. They also 
placed new gas mains at various points, starting May 15, 1918, completing 
August 6, 1918; remodelled the front of the fire station, starting August 15, 
1918, completing October 15, 1918, placing a new sidewalk and driveway 
in connection therewith. 

On June 25, 1917, the Arthur Neuman Co., of Des Moines, Iowa, 
started an addition to Stone Barracks on a lump sum contract, finishing 
May 15, 1918. 

The Central Engineering Co., of Davenport, Iowa, was awarded a 
contract for sub-structure of the addition to the Water Power Dam, on 
a unit price basis, started July 31, 1917. They were later awarded a super- 
structure of brick and steel construction on a lump sum basis, started 
August 5, 1918, completed December 2, 1918. They later contracted for 
taking out the old cofferdam and old dam. 

On February 18, 1918, the Walsh Construction Company, of Davenport, 
Iowa, started on several projects under a cost plus 7 per cent contract: 

Office Building No. 2 Started 4-18-18, finished 5-15-18 

Bakery Started 4-22-18, finished 5-20-18 

Civilian Hospital Started 4-23-18^ finished 6-15-18 

Ward and Isolation Hospital Started 4-23-18, finished 6-15-18 

Remodelled Barracks "B" Started 5-17-17, finished 6-24-18 

Remodelled Barracks "C" Started 6- 1-18, finished 7- 1-18 

Remodelled Y. M. C. A Started 6- 1-18, finished 7- 1-18 

Five Vehicle Storehouses Started 2-18-18, finished 9- 7-18 

Concrete General Storage Bldg Started 2-18-18, finished 3- 1-19 

With the exception of the Vehicle Storehouses and General Storage 
Buildings, these buildings were of frame and of a more or less temporary 

Before building operations could be made possible, it was necessary, 
in most cases, especially at the southwestern and northwestern parts of 
the Island, to clear the land from trees, as a large portion of these sections 
were well wooded with trees ranging from three feet in diameter to brush 
size. Also land levels had to be graded to suit conditions, roads had to be 
built, and at many parts of the Island proper drainage facilities had to be 
effected. Considerable excavating was especially necessary at the grounds 
of the General Storehouse, W-L, as will be seen under that heading. 



In general, Rock Island Arsenal is laid, as the name implies, on an 
island of rock, crusted with its own disintegrated, eroded and finely 
pulverized deposits, this intermixed with sedimentary organic substances, 
mostly of a vegetable character. The rock, like that of nearly all of this 
part of the United States, is a lime-stone, partially oolitic, but mostly 

Above, Shop R, equipped for the manufacture of recuperators. Below, New Steam Heating Plant, housing boilers capable of 

supplying steam sufficient in quantity and pressure to operate the machinery of the Arsenal, 

serving as an auxiliary to the water power. 

sedimentary, extremely finely grained. Outcrop of the rock has been en- 
countered at nearly all parts of the Island, but an average of three feet of 
excavation is necessary in order to reach its bed. At various parts of 
the Island, especially the western part along Main avenue, rock was not 
encountered at over six feet depth of excavation, and in the south center, 
near Storehouse "G". thirty foot tests were made to reach rock. This has 
led, therefore, to the policy, for each project, of establishing rock grade at 
the site of buildings by digging to or sounding rock. 

The entire sewage from the Rock Island Arsenal is drained through 
sanitary drains of vitrified tile, of concrete and of brick. At a point in 
the basement of Shops "A" and "B" there is a 24-inch brick arched sewer 


extending east to the intersection of Shops "H" and "K", and all the 
temporary barracks on East avenue, thence south on Fourth street to the 
center of Fourth street and South avenue, where the laterals from Shops 
"A", "C", "E", "G", ''I", Storehouse "A" and the main Guard House are 
connected. From this intersection the main 36-inch sewer is laid in a 
diagonal line to the power house tail race, into which it empties about 
100-feet south of the power house. It also takes the sewage from the 
Truck Garage and the Temporary Testing Laboratory. 

In August of 1917 the Stone & Webster Company constructed a 30- 
inch vitrified tile sewer to the Artillery Vehicle Plant, draining surface 
water from the low ground around the Powder and Fulminate Caves, the 
sewage from the Ammunition Assembling Plant, the Central Heating Plant 
and the new Cafeteria. This is a very good and properly constructed sewer, 
all laid in a graded trench with iron-covered man-holes at intervals of 
400 feet. 

The west end of the Island is drained through a sanitary sewer in- 
stalled in 1918 by the Walsh Construction Co. The sewage disposal from 
the six-story Storage Building drains off to the northeast through a six- 
teen-inch tile sewer and connects to the thirty-six inch just southwest of 
the Commanding Officer's quarters. Man-holes are provided in appropriate 
places, with a perforated iron cover. 

The upper or east part of the Island is drained by a surface drain 
which empties into the water power pool about 3,000 feet from the Power 

The Steel Storage Building, built by Stone & Webster, is located at 
the west end of the Field and Siege Building (Shop M), is a one-story 
steel-framed building on concrete foundation, and with an outside concrete 
wall to the height of the lower window sills. The superstructure walls are 
of hollow tile, plastered on the outside. The front walls of the building 
are entirely of concrete, to match the architecture of the Field and Siege 
Building as viewed from the Main avenue. The roof is of wood, supported 
on steel trusses. The building is 107 feet wide and 322 feet long, with a 
row of steel columns down the center. Two crane-ways are provided for, 
running the whole length of the building, one on each side of the center 
row of columns. 

The new Cafeteria building is of frame on concrete foundation, 96 
feet by 256 feet, and contains a men's dining room at the east end, 
ladies' dining room and officers' dining room at the west end, and kitchen 
and store room in the center. It is designed for serving meals on the 
cafeteria plan. A small cellar for storage is provided. The building is 
constructed with 6-inch studding, sheathing and drop siding and has a 
monitor 32-feet wide down the center. The floors are maple. The inside 
walls are finished with yellow pine sheathing and the ceiling with wall 



board. At one end there is a cement floor porch 20 feet by 40 feet, en- 
closed, for the sale of candy and cigars. The service equipment was furnish- 
ed by Albert Pick Co., of Chicago, but was installed by Stone & Webster, 
who also installed the plumbing and heating. The electric lighting was 
also installed by Stone & Webster, and a refrigerator plant for cooling 
three boxes meat, dairy and vegetable, and drinking water has been 
installed in the basement. About 2000 feet of dining tables were assembled. 
All the kitchen, refrigerating and service counter equipment was bought 

Shop L is also an imposing structure. Here are two 

by the government and installed by Stone & Webster. The building re- 
quired approximately 275,000 board feet of lumber. Work was started 
October 1, 1918, and the first meal was served January 6, 1919. 

The Parkerizing Plant is a frame building with concrete floor on 
concrete foundation, 36 feet wide by 76 feet long. Work was started 
August 22, 1918, and completed October 17, 1918. 

The first duct line built by Stone & Webster at the Arsenal ran from 
the present service tunnel near East a\ 7 enue, along the south side of the 
old shops, and west to the new boiler house to Shop M. This duct line was 
built to provide the light and power to Shop M and to the Ammunition 
Assembling Plant south of the boiler house. The line consists of eight 3J/2- 


inch fibre duct, encased in concrete, with manholes approximately 300 feet 
apart. Branches from this duct were constructed into the rear of the 
south shops, where transformers were installed by the government. The 
second duct line consisted of a continuation from the government service 
tunnel west of Shop "K", around the north side of the north shops, with 
branches into the courts of the north shops, where transformers were also 
to be installed. Cable was installed in these ducts so that high tension 
current could be brought close to the shops, where it was to be transformed. 
This work was completed during the summer of 1918. 

A new concrete tunnel 4 feet by 4 feet 6 inches, containing an 8-inch 
high pressure line and a 4-inch return line and lJ/2-inch drip line, was 
constructed by Stone & Webster ' from the Central Heating Plant to the 
new Warehouse W-I on Main avenue, to supply steam for heating that 
building. This tunnel is approximately 1360 feet long. 

A new system of water mains for fire protection was designed by the 
Maintenance Department at the Arsenal during the summer of 1918. This 
system is designed for high pressure service (215 Ibs. per square inch), 
which is obtained by the installation of two pumps at the new Hydro- 
Electric Power House. This system consists of class "F" cast iron water 
pipes, ranging from 14 inches to 6 inches, and runs from the Power House 
north along East avenue to Main avenue, west on Main avenue to a point 
about 300 feet west of the Davenport gate. At the junction of Main and 
West avenue there is a branch running north to the new temporary offices 
and a branch running south to connect with the present main at the Nitrate 
Storehouses and the Ammunition Assembling Plant. There is also a main 
south of the south shops from East to West avenues. At the junction of 
Main avenue and East avenue there is a branch running to the Hospital. 
From the main south of the south shops there is a branch running to the 
dry kilns. There is alsOjan extension north from the main on Main avenue 
running along the west side of the new warehouse, and extensions around 
the Artillery Vehicle Storehouses and the new Steel Warehouses north of 
Main avenue. 

The Main avenue line has also been extended, as contemplated in 
the original scheme, to point opposite the old Arsenal Building. Ap- 
proximately 19,600 lineal feet of pipe has been installed, and there are more 
than 70 hydrants. All mains are laid so that there shall be a minimum of 
five feet covering over the top. 

The General Storage Building W-I was erected by Walsh Construction 
Company. Plans and specifications were prepared by the Supply Division 
of the Ordnance Department at Washington, D. C. This building covers 
a ground area of about 96,000 square feet (including platforms) and has 
a cubical content of about 5,496,000 cubic feet. No special difficulty was 
encountered in the purchasing or delivery of materials. The arrival of 


material being sufficiently in advance of work started not to delay normal 
progress of work. Excavation was started March 4, 1918. The floor level 
of the first floor was established about eight feet below the natural grade, 
in order to obtain proper track grades. A most unusual condition of rock 
grade was found, beds of shell rock, sometimes of considerable length 
and thickness, were frequently encountered imbedded in clay, and very 
accurate tests had to be made to determine whether bed rock had been 
reached. The construction is reinforced concrete four-way flat slab, with 
steel sash and frames. It is equipped with five elevators and one suspended 
tray elevator, furnished by the Link-Belt Company, of Chicago. Provisions 
were made for two other elevators. A feature of the building is the 
Three stationary spiral chutes, ten feet in diameter, carried from top floor 

Artillery Vehicle Storehouses, covering many acres of ground near west end of the Island. 

to first floor. This building cost twenty cents a cubic foot and $2.33 per 
square foot of ground area. The plumbing and electrical work was, in- 
stalled by sub-contractors of the Walsh Construction Company, and the 
heating was let under an emergency form of contract to the Henry Ewinger 
Plumbing and Heating Company, of Burlington, Iowa, the Arsenal furnish- 
ing the material. 4 


Vehicle Storage Buildings. Plans and specifications were prepared 
by the Supply Division, Ordnance Department, at Washington, D. C. 
These buildings each cover an area of about 54,500 square feet, with the 
exception of Number 9, which covers about 44,200 square feet of floor 
area. Excavation was started September 15, 1918. The footings are of 
rock, from three to seven feet below the surface, but no tests were made 
as to whether the rock was bed rock or shell rock, as struck at the General 
Storage Building W-I. These buildings cost about 12^ cents per cubic 
foot and about $1.99 per square foot of ground area. They are one-story 
structures built of brick, wooden posts and griders and rafters. 

North and South Avenue Paving. Plans and specifications were pre- 
pared by the Rock Island Arsenal Construction Department from sug- 


gestions and data given by the Portland Cement Association, which co- 
operated with the Arsenal by having a representative on the work during 
a large part of the time. North avenue paving was already started before 
the Construction Division took charge, and was, therefore, 'not reported 
with South avenue. Cost accounts were, however, handled by the Walsh 
Construction Company as one job for the two avenues. 

Motor Truck Garage. Plans and specifications were prepared by the 
Rock Island Arsenal Construction Department engineering forces, and 
were completed about July 2, 1918; rock was struck close to the surface 
on the north end. During the process of excavation, it was deemed 
necessary to alter the position of the building as originally staked out, 
and an extra of $565.00. covered by specifications, was allowed the contractor. 
An extra of $175.00 was also allowed for column spirals, making the total 
cost $32,000.00. This building has a ground area of 7,000 square feet and 
a cubic area of 206,500 cubic feet. About 90 per cent of the material for 
this building was bought locally. The remainder, steel frame work and 
steel sash, was obtained from the Illinois Steel Company, Jacksonville, 
Illinois, and the David Lupton Sons Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

Three steel frame warehouses were authorized in January, 1919. These 
buildings are located adjacent to the vehicle storehouses on the north- 
western part of the Island. Owing to the fact that a number of the former 
Arsenal war workers were deprived of their positions on account of the 
signing of the Armistice, it was decided to erect these buildings with 
Arsenal workmen, thereby giving employment to over three hundred and 
sixty men at one time. These buildings ;were erected more econom- 
ically than if let under a cost plus type of contract, as no overhead or 
purchasing expense was necessary, this work being handled by the Purchas- 
ing and Time Division of the Arsenal. 

These warehouses were originally intended to be erected in France 
for war purposes, and all the steel was fabricated and cut to the proper 
lengths with all holes for connections drilled, and all that was necessary 
was to erect the buildings in place. 


During the summer of 1918, to meet the demand for more filtered 
water, there was installed a new filter bed, which has a capacity of 500,000 
gallons of water per day. This gives now a total supply of 1,500,000 gallons 
of filtered water per day of 24 hours. There was also installed at the filter 
plant a high tank, which has a capacity of 300,000 gallons of water, and is 
one hundred and twenty feet high from the ground line. All of 
the water system is now supplied from this new high tank, which gives a 
constant pressure of 55 Ibs. at the base. 

During the summer of 1918 a new ice plant, which has a 10-ton 
refrigerating capacity, was put in service. The ice plant was used 



principally for cooling drinking water to supply all the shops through 
sanitary bubbling fountains. 

During the summer of 1918 it was found, on account of the rapid 
expansion of production in the shops, that the gas main supplying city 
gas for furnaces, hardening, etc., was not large enough for the demand. 
The old gas main location was from the Forty-second street bridge, Rock 
Island, and through the new Nitrate Storage building site. This was 
considered dangerous, in addition to its being too small. An allotment was 
made to install a new 6-inch gas main from the Forty-second street bridge 
in Rock Island, following the street car track around to the east of Shop 

Temporary Office Building No. 2. It was necessary to provide quarters for hundreds of extra office workers during 
the war. This is one of the buildings erected for that purpose. 

"G" and then north to Shop "H". After this was completed the Arsenal 
was then in a position to take care of all the furnaces that were required. 
This gas is furnished by the Peoples Power & Light Company, of Moline, 
and is metered'in each shop. 

In June, 1917, there was installed in the west wing of Shop "F" one 
Sullivan high pressure air compressor. Previous to this time there were 
only two small air compressors in service. These not being large enough 
for war work, it was necessary to greatly increase the air capacity. There 
Avere also installed in Shop "M" one high pressure Worthington air com- 
pressor of 2500 feet capacity and one low pressure Worthington compressor 
of 2800 feet capacity. It was found during the summer of 1918 that it 
would be necessary to move the low pressure machine from Shop "M" 
to Shop "F" to supply enough air for the additional furnaces installed in 


this building. After this was done there was plenty of air to take care 
of all requirements. 

There are eight 500 horse power Babcock & Wilcox boilers, ar- 
ranged in batteries of two units each. The eight boilers are served by 
one stack, 12-foot inside diameter, and extending 210 feet above the grates. 
The working steam pressure of the boilers is one hundred and fifty 
pounds, and there are four four-inch Ashton safety valves on each boiler, 
set at 150 pounds. Each boiler has 5,080 square feet heating surface, 252 
four-inch tubes and 108 square feet of grate surface. 


A series incandescent light circuit was installed on the fence surrounding 
the manufacturing shops and storehouses one circuit for the Nitrate Store- 
houses and one circuit for the Ammunition Plant. The illumination is such 
that a guard patroling the fence is able to see the entire length, which is, 
in some cases, 2,000 feet, approximately. Flood lamps were placed on the 
power house, lighting the river on both the north and south sides. The 
avenues are lighted with a series incandescent light circuit, eighty candle 
power lamps being installed every two hundred feet. 

For inter-communication between the various shops and departments, a 
three hundred line two-wire local battery automatic telephone ex- 
change has been installed. This system not only takes care of the manu- 
facturing shops and storehouses, but affords communication between the 
outlying guard houses, pumping station and power houses. 

An electric time system was installed in many of the departments, which 
takes care of the job cards of the employees on piece and day work; 
electric time recorders are also used for employees, registering their time 
of arrival and departure. 

An electric signal system, which consists of klaxons installed in each 
shop, are controlled by the master clock through a series of relays. These 
klaxons are sounded automatically for the working hours of the shops. 

On June 30, 1912, the following roads were in use on the reservation: 
8.88 miles of macadam, 11.61 miles of cinder, 0.57 mile of taroid. 

At the end of the fiscal year 1916-1917 the following roads were in 
use: 5.27 miles macadam, 11.61 miles cinder, 4.21 miles taroid. 

Roads on reservation in March, 1919, consisted of : 8.85 miles macadam, 
5 miles taroid, 6 miles concrete, and 6.33 miles cinder. 

At the beginning of the war there was 3.13 miles of railroad trackage 
on the reservation. During the year 1918 approximately 16 miles of 
finished track was laid, all light rails in the old tracks having been re- 
placed with 80-pound rails, switch lights installed, etc. 




Name of Project 

Type of Construction 


Steel Water Supply 

Steel, 300,000 gals, capacity 

Water supply 

$ 21.400.00 

Ice-Making Plant 

Brick and concrete 

Ice for shops and 
refrigeration for 
drinking water 


Non-Commissioned Of- 
ficers Quarters 

Hollow tile, stuccoed 

Quarters for Non- 
Commissioned Of- 


Toilet Addition to Stone 

Stone building with reinforced 
floors, slate roof 

Toilet facilities for 
Ordnance person- 


30 Nitrate and Ammuni- 
tion Storehouses 

Hollow tile, concrete construction. 
Each building 50'x200'. Steel 

Storage of sodium 
nitrate and artil- 
lery ammunition 


Artillery Vehicle Store- 

Keinforced concrete construction 
2-story and attic: 53'xl40'. 

Storage of artillery 


Artillery Ammunition 
Assembly Plant 

Keinforced concrete construction, 
360'x400'; north section, 3 
stories; east section, 2 stories; 
west section, 1 story ; basement 
under entire building 

Assembly of artillery 


Wheel Stock Dry Kiln 

Reinforced concrete and hollow 
tile construction, 105'x2(>7'. Con- 
tains 27 Tiemann type kilns 

Drying wheel stock > 

The cost of 
these three 
*p r o j e cts is 
ly $520,000.00 

Gun Stock Dry Kiln 

Reinforced concrete and hollow 
tile construction, 105'xllo'. Con- 
. tains 11 Tiemann type kilns 

Drying and season- 
ing of gun stocks 

Three (3) Lumber Sheds 

Steel frame, slate roof; each shed 
approximately 40'x240' 

Storage of gun 
stocks and wheel 
stock material 

Addition to Gun Stock 
Dry Kiln 

Reinforced concrete and hollow 
tile construction, 105'xl52'. Con- 
tains 17 Tiemann type kilns 

Drying and season- 
ing of gun stocks 

$ 127,000.00 

Artillery Vehicle Plant 

Reinforced concrete construction. 
Consists of Main Erection Shop 
120'xC05', 4 stories; 3 wings 
each S0'x200', 4 stories and 
basement; and one story Forge 
Shop, KiO'xlCO' 

Manufacture of field 
artillery material 

2 225.000.00 

4 Shop Connections 

Reinforced concrete construction, 
with stone veneered walls. Each 
building GO'xOO', 2 stories, attic 
and basement 

Additional manufac- 
turing space. Small 
arms, harness, field 
artillery material, 


Central Steam Heating 

Reinforced concrete construction, 
containing eight 504 H. P. water 
tube boilers, automatic stokers, 
etc. Stack 210' high, 12' dia. 

Heating of shop 


Steel Storage Building 

Reinforced concrete and hollow 
tile construction, 106'x320' 

Storage of steel used 
in manufacturing 


Tinning and Plating 

Reinforced concrete construction, 

Tinning and plating 
of articles manu- 
factured in Equip- 
ment Shop 


Storage Building W-I 

Monolithic concrete construction 
with flat slab floors and roof. 
140'xo40', (i stories 

General storage 


Eight Vehicle Storage 

Brick exterior walls, mill con- 
structed roofs, concrete floors 
with 35 feet concrete platforms. 
(7 buildings 115'x500' and one 
building 115'x400') 

Storage of artillery 


Motor Truck Garage 

Reinforced concrete construction, 
brick walls, flat roof supported 
on steel trusses, 70'xlOO', two 

Storage and repair 
of motor trucks 


Addition to North Lum- 
ber Shed 

Light steel frame and slate roof 
construction, 36'xl40' 

Storage of lumber 


Office Annex No. 1 

Temporary frame construction, 
3()'xOO'. three stories 

Additional office 





Name of Project 

Typo of Construction 



Barracks "A" 

Temporary frame construction, 20' 

Housing Ordnance 
School personnel 


Barracks "B" and "C" 

Temporary frame construction. 
(Barracks "B" accommodates 
412 men and Barracks "C" ac- 
commodates 405 men) 

Housing Ordnance 
School personnel 


Headquarters for Casual 
Military Personnel 

Temporary frame construction, 

Headquarters build- 
ing for Ordnance 
School Commis- 
sioned personnel 


Kecreation Building and 
Post Exchange 

Temporary frame construction, 

Post exchange and 
recreational quar- 


First-Aid Hospital 

Temporary frame construction, | 

First-aid treatment 
of civilian cases 


Isolation Hospital 

Temporary frame construction, 

Isolation cases 


Hospital Ward and Is- 
olation Ward 

Temporary frame construction, 
standard hospital ward units ; 
each 124'xloO' 

Hospital ward de- 
signed for general 
cases and isolation 
ward for care of 
contagious diseas- 


Laboratory for Motor 
Truck Testing 

Temporary frame construction, 

Testing of motor 
trucks and trac- 


Office Building No. 2 

Temporary frame construction, 
main building 42'xl3(5' ; two 
wings each 43'x98' ; 3 stories 

I n c r e a s ing office 


Barracks "D" 

Temporary frame construction, 
43'xl40', two stories 

Housing battalion of 
10th Infantry sta- 
tioned at Rock Is- 
land Arsenal for 
guard purposes 


Parkerizing Plant 

Temporary frame construction, 
with concrete floor, 70'x36' 

Parkerizing compon- 
ents of U. S. Kifle, 
Cal. .30 


Cafeteria Building 

Temporary frame construction, 
9G'x250'. Concrete foundation 
with maple floors 

Facilities for serving 
lunch to Arsenal 


5 Temporary Store- 

.Temporary frame construction, 
size of buildings as follows : 
OO'xOOO' 1 story (MA) 
O0'x504' 1 story (BA) 
60'x372' 1 story (KA) 
O0'x3r2' 1 story (GA) 
52'xl47' 1 story (AA) 

General storage pur- 


;j Steel Warehouses 

Steel frame construction, corru- 
gated sheet metal siding, pre- 
pared roof, cinder floor. Each 
building 240'x500' 

Geii?ni! storage pur- 


Extension of Hydro- 
electric Power Plant 

Superstructure is a brick build- 
ing, 30'x233'. Extension con- 
tains eight 420 H. P. turbines, 
direct connected to 403 K. V. A. 
generators and 2 196 H. P. tur- 
bines, direct connected to 130 
kilowatt generators 

Increasing power 



With its greatly increased capacity the Arsenal, of course, is prepared 
to play an even more important part in future wars, if any occur, than it 
has in the wars of the past. In order to ascertain just what may be expected 
of it as a manufacturing plant, a close study of its resources has been made 
and the results are summarized in tabular form, as here appended. With 
diversified output the individual items may not seem so imposing, but 
should attention be centered upon a relatively small number of the more 


essential articles of war equipment the output will run into large figures. 
The following ingenuously arranged tabulation gives in most concise form 
all available information pertaining to possible rate of production of the 
various items with the existing facilities: 

"A"- Facilities installed expressly for production monthly of the fol- 

(1) 360 75mm. gun recuperators 

(2) 40 3" A. A. gun recuperators 

"B" Production units for simultaneous production per month of ap- 
proximately : 

(1) 4 155mm. or 4.7" gun recuperators 

(2) 4 155mm. howitzer recuperators 

(3) 4 155mm. gun carriages (without recuperators) 

(4) 4 155mm. howitzer carriages (without recuperators) 

(5) 6 4.7" gun carriages (without recuperators) 

(6) 10 75mm. gun carriages (without recuperators) 

(7) 4 155mm. gun carriage limbers 

(8) 4 155mm. howitzer carriage limbers 

(9) 6 155mm. howitzer caissons or limbers 

(10) 6 4.7'"' gun caissons or limbers 

(11) 10 75mm. gun caissons or limbers 

(12) 10 battery and store wagons, Model 1917 

(13) 10 75mm. forge or store limbers 

"C"- The production units for the items listed in paragraph "B", if 
devoted to one item, could produce a maximum quantity of that item as 
follows : 

4 155mm. or 4.7" gun carriages with recuperators and limbers 

4 155mm. howitzer carriages with recuperators and limbers 

40 4.7" gun carriages, Model 1906 

75 75mm. gun carriages, Model 1916 

250 75mm. gun limbers or caissons 

250 Battery and store wagons, Model 1917 

250 Forge or store limbers, Model 1902 MI 

"D" Tools, jigs, fixtures, patterns and gauges in store at this Arsenal 
available for issue to contractors for a monthly production of : 
60 155mm. gun material 
200 155mm. howitzer material 
100 4.7" gun material 
360 75mm. gun material 
40 3" A. A. gun material 

Note: By "material" is meant complete equipment for carriages, caissons, limbers, battery 
and store wagons, forge and store limbers, reels, carts, tools and accessories, pertaining to the 
calibre mentioned. 


"E" Simultaneous production per month of : 

30,000 U. S. rifles, Model 1903 

6,000 Browning automatic machine guns, Model of 1917 
12,000 Browning automatic rifles, Model of 1918 

Note: The machinery for these two units is at Rock Island Arsenal but not yet installed, 
the above figures is the estimated possible production only, should installation be accomplished. 

"F" Simultaneous production per month of: 

100,000 mess equipment canteens, cups, meat cans, etc. 

3,000 arm racks, Model 1920 
250,000 tin containers for 75mm. ammunition 

13,750 hardware for rolling targets 

27,500 hardware for sliding targets 

20,000 (1) 6" cartridge storage cases 

13,750 (2) 8" cartridge storage cases 

13,750 (3) 10" cartridge storage cases 

11,250 (4) 12" cartridge storage cases 

Note: Capacity limited on cartridge storage cases as above to (1) and either one of (2), (3) 
or (4) simultaneously. 

"G" Simultaneous production of either (1), (2) or (3) of each unit 
at the same time per month : 

5,625 (1) wheels, 56" complete 

3,750 (2) wheels, 58" complete 

2,750 (3) wheels, 50" and 60" complete 
37,500 (1) packing boxes 

90,000 (2) cartridge storage case shipping covers 
18,750 (3) bobbing targets 

15,000 (1) chests for Browning automatic rifles or machine guns 
13,750 (2) rolling targets, complete 

7,500 (3) carpenter's chests 

7,500 (1) arm repair chests 

7,500' (2) sliding targets, complete 

5,625 (3) saddlers' chests 

"H" Simultaneous production of (1) and either (2) or (3) at the same 
time per month : 

75,000,000 (1) target pasters 

600,000 (2) paper targets 6'xlO' 
900,000 (3) paper targets 6'x6' 


175,000 (1) bayonet or bolo scabbards, Model 1910 
60,000 (2) saber scabbards, Model 1913 

Either (1) or (2) can be manufactured simultaneously with other parts 
at this Arsenal, but facilities for the necessary cloth and leather work 



thereon are available to complete a maximum of only 7,500 of either per 

"K" Special machine tools, not installed, which, with addition of 
standard tools, will permit of manufacture in addition to the facilities now 
available as in "A", "B", "C", and "D" above: 

300 155mm. howitzer recuperators per month 
80 155mm. gun recuperators per month 


Among the striking changes the World War brought to Rock Island 
Arsenal was the increase of storage space from 545,000 square feet on 
March 31, 1917, to 948,000 square feet on February 28, 1918, with corres- 
ponding cubical contents of 12,250,000 feet. 

The functions of the storage section of the Arsenal, during the war, 
embraced activities which controlled sixty warehouses, located in various 
parts of the Island, containing approximately 1,764,837 square feet of 

Storehouse VI, showing method of storing artillery. 

storage space under roof, in addition to oil storage space totalling 417,357 
gallons. This storage ranged from newly constructed modern warehouses, 
with elevators, box conveyors and gravity conveyors, to temporary platforms 
roofed in. Some of the major items in use embraced 2,000 feet of gravity 
conveyors, seven locomotive cranes, four tractors, twenty trucks and trail- 
ers, and one shop mule. 



The volume of incoming and outgoing freight from July 1, 1919, to 
June 1, 1920, is shown in the following summary: 

Cars received 9.280 

Cars shipped 2,485 

Cars transferred 2,727 

Total tonnage in pounds 555,404,304 

Government bills of lading received... 10,254 

Commercial bills of lading received _ 3,149 

Bills of lading forwarded 10,700 

Shipments 12,710 

Number of pieces 631,685 

The gradual increase in storehouse activities at the Arsenal may be 
thus summarized : For the calendar year of 1916 the shipments averaged 
approximately 780, representing a monthly average of 8,000 pieces, weighing 
450 tons. In February, 1918, a total of 2,300 shipments were made, weighing 
3,383 tons and comprising 85,000 pieces. In April, 1918, this had increased 
to 3,406 shipments, consisting of 59,796 pieces and weighing 18,312,000 

Building done since the early part of 1918 has more than doubled the 
amount of storage space, so that there are now about two million square feet 
available for the sheltering of war material, manufactured and in the raw 
state. The following table gives the designation of existing storage struc- 
tures, the use for which they were intended, and the capacity: 

Nitrate and Ammunition Storehouses. 






Type of Material 

city in 



Vehicle storage 




Vehicle storage 




Tractor parts 




Vehicle storage 




Vehicle storage 




Tractor parts 




Vehicle storage 




Vehicle storage 




Vehicle storage 




Vehicle storage 




Tank, tractor and vehicle storage 




Artillery gun stock blanks 




Vehicle storage 




Vehicle storage 




Miscellaneous spare parts for artillery and small 


1st floor 

Artillery and small arms 


2nd floor 

Artillery and small arms 


3rd floor 

Artillery and small arms 


4th floor 

Artillery and small arms 


5th floor 

Artillery and small arms 


6th floor 

Artillery and small arms 




Tools, jigs and fixtures 

1st floor 

Tools, jigs and fixtures 


2nd floor 

Tools, jigs and fixtures 


3rd floor 

Tools, jigs and fixtures 


4th floor 

Tools, jigs and fixtures 





1st floor 



2nd floor 





Small arms ammunition storage 




Cal. 30 rifle storage 




(Jal. 30 rifle storage 




Sodium Nitrate storage 




Motor storage 




Tools, jigs and fixtures 




Rifle storage 


. X-8 


Motor storage 




(,'al. 30 rifle storage 




Miscellaneous Mark VIII tank material 




Mark VIII transmissions 




Cal. 30 rifle storage 




Fireworks hand grenade storage 




Small arms ammunition storage 




Sodium nitrate storage 




Sodium nitrate storage 




Sodium nitrate storage 


Y-8 - 


Sodium nitrate storage 




Sodium nitrate storage 




Small arms ammunition storage 




Cal. 30 rifle storage 




So;liurn nitrate storage 




Cal. 30 rifle storage 




Sodium nitrate storage 




Rifle storage 




Rubber tire storage 




Rubber tire storage 




Small arms ammunition storage 




Rubber tire storage 




Mark VIII transmission storage 




Smokeless powder magazine 


L 4 


Primer and fuze magazine 




Primer and fuze magazine 




High explosive magazine 




High explosive magazine 




High explosive magazine 




High explosive magazine 


I, -10 


High explosive magazine 




High explosive magazine 




High explosive magazine 




High explosive magazine 




High explosive magazine 




High explosive magazine 




High explosive magazine 




Inert storage 



3 floors 
1st floor 
2nd floor 

Spare parts for tank 
Spare parts for tank 
Spare parts for tank 


3rd floor 

Snare narts for tank 








of Material 

city in 



Spare parts F. W. D. 

I 12,728 


3 floors 

Spare parts F. W. D. 

1st floor 

Spare parts F. W. D. 


2nd floor 

Spare parts F. W. D. 


3rd floor 

Spare parts F. W. D. 



4 floors 

Returned field stores 

1st floor 

Returned field stores 


2nd floor 

Returned field stores 


3rd floor 

Returned field stores 


4th floor 

Returned field stores 




Returned field stores 




Returned field stores 


Shop "A" 

4 floors 

Miscellaneous material 

for manufacturing shops 

1st floor 

Miscellaneous material 

for manufacturing shops 


2nd floor 

Miscellaneous material 

for manufacturing shops 


3rd floor 

Miscellaneous material 

for manufacturing shops 


4th floor 

Miscellaneous material 

for manufacturing shops 


Arsenal Building 

4 floors 

Inert storage 

1st floor 

Inert storage 


2nd floor 

Inert storage 


3rd floor 

Inert storage 


4th floor 

Inert storage 


Arsenal employees participating in Liberty day celebration, Nov. 11, 1918. 

Expansion of Shop Personnel 

N the 13th of June, 1921, the President, in commenting upon the 
present National Defense Law, made the following statement: 
"Our present National Defense Law establishes an economical and 
democratic military policy thoroughly consistent with our national 
traditions. It provides for a small regular army, to be augmented by 
great citizen forces in the event of national emergency. This is our tradi- 
tional military policy. But, whereas in the past these larger war forces have 
been extemporized after the occurrence of an emergency, the new law wisely 
provides that the frame work of their organization shall be established 
and developed in time of peace, in so far as this is practicable, through the 
voluntary services of patriotic young men. The Army of the United 
States, as defined in the new law, comprises the Regular Army, the National 
Guard and the Organized Reserves. Every patriotic citizen should en- 
courage the development of these forces, each within its proper sphere." 

In line with the policy expressed above, the Arsenals of the United 
States, whose function is the creating of war material, should in time of 
peace likewise be developed, in order that they may be prepared to meet the 
emergencies of war. That this doctrine of development has been pursued, 
is evidenced in the steady growth of the Rock Island Arsenal. In the 
years immediately preceding the Spanish-American War some manufactur- 
ing was done, but it was small in amount and the manufacturing plant was 
of limited capacity. 

In the emergency incident to the outbreak of war with Spain the 
necessity for increasing output at once became apparent, and every energy 
was strained to satisfy the demand. The plant was largely increased at that 
time, but arrangements were not entirely satisfactory, and at the close of 
hostilities a well-considered plan for the development and expansion of 
the manufacturing plant was laid down. At that time only two of the 
ten great shops in the Armory and Arsenal rows were utilized for manufac- 
turing purposes. Under the plan of development which followed in later 
years seven of the ten shops were, at the outbreak of the World War, fully 
equipped with machinery and apparatus. 

Recent strides in further expansion of facilities of the plant evidenced 
the perpetuation of the adopted policy of development, and today the plant 
as it stands represents a permanent national investment. 

Of no less importance in the scheme of plant development is that of the 
expansion of the Arsenal working force. It has been the practice of the 
past, at the outbreak of war, to expand the small peace-time organization 



into that of a great non-professional war-time producing unit. The situa- 
tion presented by the World War is recent enough to permit this expansion 
being visualized, but in order that this conception may be more clearly 
developed, a statement concerning the civilian personnel will not be amiss. 

The manufacturing work in the shops is in charge and under the control 
of officers who are specially educated and trained for such duty. The work 
is carried on by civilian employees recruited from residents in the neigh- 
boring cities of Davenport, Iowa, and Rock Island and Moline, Illinois. 
These employees are selected men; are protected in the permanency of their 
employment by the Civil Service laws, and are unquestionably unequalled 
by any body of men to be found in similar vocations. But few industrial 
concerns in the country manufacture at a single establishment the variety 

Women workers in the cloth department, photographed shortly before the Armistice was signed. 

of articles which the Arsenal is called upon to produce, and in few plants 
can be found vocations of so diversified a- nature. Under Government em- 
ployment they have the benefit of clean, well lighted, well heated and com- 
modious shops, with all sanitary conveniences. They have Saturday half- 
holiday, with pay, in the summer months. They have thirty working days' 
leave, with pay, each year, and when disabled for more than thirty days, 
through injury received in the course of employment, are granted full pay 
for the time absent from work on account of such injury; if in the classified 
service, they are pensioned on arriving at retirement age, provided they 
have a maximum of fifteen years' service to their credit. The rule of the 
Government is to pay the same hourly rate of wage as that which prevails 
in the vicinity for similar, work. 

Surely the conditions surrounding the employees at Rock Island Arsenal, 
in respect to conveniences, conditions of work, leave privileges, compensa- 
tion for injury and rate of wages, cannot be equalled by that of any other 
body of men in the vicinity. That these circumstances are appreciated, is 
indicated by the large number of employees of long service included in 
the file of its workers. A large number have records of from twenty-five 
to thirty years, and the larger proportion of employees have been at the 


Arsenal ten years or more. Records of long and steady employment speak 
more for working conditions and contentment than pages of argument 
could do. 

While the conditions cited redound to the benefit of the employees, 
the Government, in turn, benefits through the morale of the organization 
which such conditions engender. Continuity of employment makes toward 
perfection of workers in the line of their endeavor. Through close and long 
association in the manufacture of ordnance they become skilled in the art 
of its specialized manufacture and acquire a technique of inestimable value 
as a factor in increased production. This is especially true in the manu- 
facture of small arms. Recognition of this fact by the Ordnance Depart- 

Of course the Arsenal workers had a band, and it was a good or 

ment can be found at the time the manufacture of small arms was 
first undertaken at Rock Island Arsenal. Workmen skilled in the 
manufacture of the rifle, to the number of three hundred, were trans- 
ferred from Springfield Armory at the expense of the Government to in- 
augurate the work of rifle manufacture at this Arsenal and to school 
new employees in the manufacturing processes in connection there- 
with, owing to the dearth of skill at the Arsenal in this line of manufacture. 

In a large sense this is the duty which devolves upon the nucleus of 
the peace-time organization of the Arsenal when war is imminent, and this 
process of expansion, carried on at the outbreak of the late war, enabled 
Rock Island Arsenal to quickly attain a maximum production to meet the 
demands of the army in the field. The force, which consisted of approxi- 
mately three thousand employees at the outbreak of the war, was expanded 
to a force numbering approximately fourteen thousand. This expansion, 
although gradual, covered, in reality, a remarkably short period of time. 
The responsibility rested upon the Employment Department to determine, 
from statements of capabilities of applicants having no well defined trade, 



such as machinist, carpenter, etc., the particular duty for which the pros- 
pective employee was best adapted; after selection, appointment and actual 
trial in the shops, it oft-times developed that employees possessed capa- 
bilities which justified their selection for other and perhaps more important 
work, differing widely from that for which they were originally selected. 
The duty of imparting to the inexperienced the knowledge of shop practice 
that enabled him to perform efficiently one or several of the many shop 
operations with which charged, and the co-ordinating of his duties into that 
of a well-organized producing unit, was the task which fell to the more 
experienced employee of the Arsenal peace-time force. 

No less complex in its nature was the problem of demobilization of the 
vast working army upon cessation of hostilities. Many workers who, at the 
outbreak of the war, prompted solely by the spirit of loyalty, had left their 
regular lines of employment to assist in the production campaign at the 
Arsenal, returned to their chosen vocations upon the signing of the Armistice. 
In the process of elimination of those that remained, the more efficient were 
retained. The gradual resumption of peace-time manufacture and produc- 
tion required, naturally, very heavy reductions to bring the working force 
within the proportions allowed the Arsenal under its reduced appropria- 
tions. In making these reductions the established policy of the War De- 
partment was followed, and all reductions were based on efficiency, con- 
sideration, however, being given those of the force whose military service 
entitled them to preference. 

Interior of machine shop. 

Military Personnel 

ROM a small and comparatively unknown military post a few years 
ago, Rock Island Arsenal has come to be recognized all over the 
country as one of the leading Government posts. A large military 
personnel is unnecessary, because of the isolated position and 
natural topographical advantages. 

At the beginning of hostilities in 1917 the post had ten officers and 
an ordnance detachment of 89 enlisted men, six enlisted men in the Medical 
Department and three enlisted men in the Quartermaster's Corps. This force 
was gradually increased by authorization of the Chief of Ordnance, until 
at the conclusion of the fighting in Europe there were 76 ordnance officers 
and 169 enlisted men. In addition, there were six medical officers, with a 
detachment of 45 enlisted men, and three officers of the Quartermaster's 
Corps, with 48 enlisted men. 

The following is the roster of officers stationed at Rock Island Arsenal 
for duty at the date of the signing of the Armistice: 

Colonel LeRoy T. Hillman (Commanding Officer.) 
Lieutenant-Colonels Lloyd G. McCrum, Emil Tyden. 

Majors Horace C. Sykes, Robert L. Messimer, Thomas Kirk, Rupert 
L. Penny, Robert L. Streeter, C. K. Boettcher, Lorenze B. Somerby, 
Milton D. Campbell. 

Captains Henry A. Brown, Charles G. Kaelin, Hammond W. Whitsitt, 
Albert R. Chandler, Ernest M. Gross, William G. Noth, Francis H. French, 
Max Steinhauer, Francis S. Day, Norman B. Scott, Richard S. Hosford, 
John J. Berry, Charles A. Barton, John B. Thompson, Robert H. Fulton, Jr., 
Newman M. Marsillius, Ernest Mosman, Victor A. Stibolt, Harry B. Knowl- 
ton, Clifford B. Langstroth, Joseph S. Stringham, S. W. Burford, Walter 
C. Hull, Louis Carson, Leo. C. Smith. 

First Lieutenants Charles P. Tymeson, M. M. Smith, 'G. Jules Polhemus, 
Hulbert D. Bassett, Edgar M. Webb, William D. Lacey, Clarence F. MacKay, 
Elmer L. Kyle, Sam Lewis, Robert G. Meyler, John O. Powell, Edward C. 
Blackwood, Charles P. Skinner, W. A. Gately, J. Reed Lane, Urban J. 
Rockcastle, Robert C. Black, Robert C. Mitchell, Charles H. Tharp, Albert 
W. Davis, Robert F. Peelle, John M. Metzger, Edward R. Kent, E. S. 
Russell, P. R. L. Hogner. 



Col. Leroy T. Hillman, deceased, Commandant at the time of the 
signing of the Armistice. 



Second Lieutenants Frank J. Vonachen, Herman J. Hutkin, Walter 
Latt, Donald F. Smith, Charles R. Martin, H. S. Francis, G. C. Jefferson, 
C. J. Rafinski, Philip N. Wright, Paul Keachie, Harry A. Wilson, E. S. 

Major Chester H. Clark. 

Captains George G. Parlow, Elbert E. Cone, Walter E. Hunt, Fred 
F. Sprague. 

First Lieutenants U. S. Boyer, Otto Kolar (Dental). 


Captain James L. Greene. 

Second Lieutenants Clifford Martin, Thomas F. Drummy. 


First Lieutenant E. C. Wright, Philippine Scouts (Retired) 

Local interest attaches to the fact that in addition to those residents 
of the Tri-Cities whose names appear among those listed above as serving 
at the Arsenal at the time of the signing of the Armistice, the following 
officers, commissioned from civil life either during the earlier stages of the 
war or while undergoing a course of instruction preparatory to overseas 
duty, were stationed at the Arsenal : 

Major Ordnance Reserve Corps Alfred LaMar. 

Captains Ordnance Reserve Corps A. D. Ficke, R. A. Gregory, J. M. 
Hassett, Harry Hoisington, W. J. Larson, A. W. Mitchell, Leon Mitchell, 
H. G. Roberts, O. H. Seiffert, C. P. Skinner, Wm. B. Spears, George W. 
Thompson, J. A. Utts. 

First Lieutenants Ordnance Reserve Corps G. Decker French. E. R. 
Guyer, Emil H. Mass, C. E. Pingle. 

Second Lieutenant Ordnance Reserve Corps M. K. McPhail. 

Troops drawn up to witness presentation of faithful service badges to old employes. 

Civilian and Military Guard 

NE of the most striking features at Rock Island Arsenal during 
the period of the war was the careful and efficient manner of 
guarding the government property by means of both civil and 
military guards on and about the Island. 

Prior to the declaration of war the shop guard consisted of four 
civilian guards and four soldiers, the latter members of the permanent ord- 
nance detachment of the regular army. These were known as "key men," and 
reported by means of clocks at various points in the shops. 

Immediately after war was declared, however, means were taken to 
protect the property and equipment, and a high wire enclosure was built 

Rock Island Arsenal Military Drill Corps. 

around the shops, the main storehouses, and the oil houses. Nine more 
civilian guards were employed to patrol the main gates and the west railroad 
gate. Admission to the wire enclosure could then only be secured by the 
presentation of the proper pass. 

Rock Island Arsenal Women's Military Dr 



At the time the gate guards were employed, sixteen more civilians were 
placed as shop guards and given posts around the shops to patrol. A sergeant 
of the ordnance detachment was placed in charge of these guards. 

In March, 1917, Companies A and F, 6th Illinois Infantry, were ordered 
to the Arsenal for outside guard duty; they continued to guard government 
property until February, 1918, when the 1st Battalion of the 10th United 
States Infantry was assigned to this duty in their stead. The battalion 

Fire fighting force assembled before headquarters. 

numbered approximately 1,000 men and patrolled all the Island outside 
the enclosure, establishing thirty-two posts where a sentry was on duty all 
the time. These posts included the pump house, railroad bridges, magazines, 
power dam, and other places of importance. In the meantime, many other 
civilian guards and members of the ordnance detachment were assigned to 
escort all civilians whose business required their presence inside the en- 
closure, and a traffic squad was organized from the detachment to handle the 
enormous flow of pedestrians and vehicles to and from the Island in the 
mornings and evenings. 

During the first week in August, 1918, the Headquarters 5th Batallion 
and Companies B, C and D, United States Guards, relieved the Tenth Infantry 
from this duty. The guards comprised twenty officers and about 450 men. 



This organization was increased later by a company of the Twentieth United 
States Infantry. 


Prior to January 1, 1918, the fire department at the Arsenal was entirely 
inadequate for the protection of the huge amount of property and many 
buildings, and all members of the department were civilian employees from 
the shops, under the direction of the master mechanic, the entire personnel 
comprising forty men. On January 1, 1918, two 'men were employed as 
drivers of the pumping machine. 

About April 1, 1918, authorization was given for the reconstruction of 
the department, and an experienced fireman was assigned as chief. Twenty 
men were subsequently employed. The double platoon system was placed in 
effect, and a full equipment of the most modern motorized fire-fighting ap- 
paratus replaced the obsolete types formerly in use. A high pressure water 
system was built and an electric alarm system installed. Fortunately, no 
serious fires occurred, due principally to the propaganda of the safety de- 
partment and constant efforts and inspections by the fire marshal and chief. 

Chemical Fire Truck 

Post- War Activities 


A provision in the Act of July 11, 1919 (Public No. 7, 66th Congress), reads as follows: 
"That no part of the moneys appropriated in each or any section of this Act shall be 
used or expended for the purchase or acquirement of any article or articles that at the 
time of the proposed acquirements can be manufactured or produced in each or any of the 
Government Arsenals of the United States for a sum less than they can be purchased or 
produced otherwise." 

HE purpose of the inclusion of the above provision in legislation 
was to provide for placing with the Ordnance Department orders 
for supplies by the Supply Bureaus concerned which could be 
manufactured by Arsenals cheaper or to better advantage than they 
could be procured from other sources. Prior to its adoption 
the large, spacious shops of the Arsenal, with their machines and shop 
appliances and facilities capable of producing work more diversified in 
character than that of any other government Arsenal, had been utilized 
almost exclusively in the manufacture of ordnance with the procurement 
of which the Ordnance Department was charged. 

In order to accomplish the object of the above Act, and to co-ordinate 
the work between the Ordnance Department and the bureaus concerned, 
there was established in the office of the Chief of Ordnance an Arsenal 
Orders Branch, through which medium the Arsenal receives information and 
data concerning the requirements of other bureaus and has opportunity to sub- 
mit quotations on articles for which inquiries are sent out. Bids sub- 
mitted in answer are assured the same consideration as to price and time of 
delivery as are those from other bidders. 

The Arsenal has received 92 orders as a result of bids, 72 from the 
Ordnance Department and 20 from other departments. Of the circulars 
received, over 90 were returned on which no quotations were submitted, 
due to the fact that in many cases they called for small quantities of items 
of commercial manufacture for which it would have been hopeless for the 
Arsenal to attempt to compete, as they were items included in the regular 
output of commercial plants. 

The diversified nature of the work which the orders involved will be 
noted from the statement that the work performed covered torpedo parts and 
forgings for combustion flasks for naval torpedo stations, Bebout weirs for 
use on the Ohio river dam, emergency gates for the United States Engineer 
Department, bomb racks and demolition bombs for the Air Service, and 
mail bags and straps for the Post Office Department. 

The Arsenal, however, under instructions from the War Department, 
must confine its operations to manufactures for which its machinery and 


equipment is adapted, and is not permitted to acquire additional machinery 
for the purpose of further invading the commercial field. 

The production attained at the various Arsenals and by the industrial 
plants throughout the country engaged in the manufacture of munitions 
of war naturally found the government, upon cessation of hostilities, with 
vast quantities of ordnance stores of every description, both in finished 
and partly finished state, on hand, together with large quantities of com- 

The most serious handicap in the manufacture by private concerns of 
war munitions in the World War was their unfamiliarity with the highly 
specialized business of manufacturing munitions, and if the Arsenal is to 
develop in times of peace the technique acquired through developing types 
of weapons, it is essential that it be given orders sufficient to maintain its 
organization to meet this end. 

The estimating section of the Arsenal during the fiscal year ending 
June 30, 1921, submitted through the channel mentioned above, and other 
government departments, approximately 300 estimates or bids. A list is 
given below of the different departments, with number submitted in each 
case, for which estimates were made : 

Ordnance Department 174 

Navy Department 18 

Treasury Department , 1 

Post Office Department 8 

Railroad Administration 1 

Panama Canal 1 

Geological Survey 3 

Lighthouse Service 3 

Engineer Corps 18 

Interior Department 4 . 18 

Signal Corps 4 

Agricultural Department 1 

Land Office 1 

Air Service 9 

Government Printing Office 1 

Quartermaster Department 9 


When, in the spring of 1919, the Rock Island Arsenal received an order 
to assemble 100 Mark VIII tanks, it was not only the largest order ever 
received in the history of the Arsenal, but it involved the most new problems. 

Practically all of the components of the tank required in the assembly 
were shipped to the Arsenal. The principal parts consisted of the heavy 
structural pieces i. e. armor plate, angle iron, steel girders and channels, 
together with a large quantity of equipment, such as tools, Hotchkiss guns r 



camouflage nets, water cans, bird cages, food cans, telescopes, periscopes, 
festoon lamps, semaphores and various other sundries purchased from the 
British Government. The balance of the required material was manufac- 
tured by various outside contractors in the United States, and included 
Liberty motors, transmissions, compound clutches, petrol tanks, radiators, 
electrical equipment, and front control units. 

Construction on the first of these tanks was started July 1, 1919, and 
the last tank was completed and ready for road test June 5, 1920, making a 
total of 286 days to complete the 100 tanks. 

The Mark VIII tank is a fighting tank weighing about 40 tons when 
fully equipped and manned. It carries a complement of eight men one 

The Mark VIII tank. The order to assemble one hundred of these ponderous fighting machines, received in the spring 
of 1919, was the largest ever undertaken at the Arsenal. The task was completed in 286 days. 

in the engine room and seven in the fighting compartment. The seven men 
consist of the officer in command, the driver and five gunners, two of the 
gunners manning the 6-pounder Hotchkiss guns and three the Browning 
machine guns. Storage capacity is provided for 200 rounds of 6-pounder 
ammunition and 20,000 rounds of calibre 30 ammunition. 


During the period of the war only such repairs to the roads had been 
made and labor in the upkeep of the grounds expended as was found to be 
absolutely necessary. The activities carried on in connection with the 
Arsenal's construction projects had left the grounds adjacent to many of 
the new buildings in an unsightly condition. The vast quantities of war 
material turned in from the field and from abandoned plants had, because of 
lack of covered storage space, to be piled in the open in scattered areas 
about the Arsenal. 

The clearing of these sites, the disposing of the serviceable and un- 
serviceable material; the construction of new roads and drives; the repairing 
and resurfacing of many of the permanent roads (the most notable of which 
was that of Main avenue from the main gate to West avenue) ; the removal 
of the flagstaff, formerly occupying the center of Main avenue at its junc- 
ture with West avenue, to its present location in front of the Administra- 



tion building, but out of the line of traffic; the replacing by monolithic walks 
of many of the earlier types of flagstone walks, which had become broken 
and sunken; the planting of trees and shrubs; the laying out of a park for 
the recreation of Arsenal employees; the extension of the exterior lighting 
of roads and buildings, including the placing of lights on the clock tower 
of the old Arsenal building at the lower extremity of the Island, and many 
other improvements have since been completed to restore the Island to its 
former beauty. 

With the advent of war, precautionary measures which the government 
was obliged to take with respect to protection of its plant and property, to 

Col. Jordan presenting faithful service badges to old employes, June 3, 1920. 

the end that its capacity to produce fighting material might not be curtailed, 
compelled the War Department to close the Arsenal to visitors, and where 
heretofore general admission to holders of passes had been granted to visit 
the Island, it became necessary to revoke the privilege and limit the admis- 
sion to those only having business on the Island; the shops and that area 
of the Island which was given over to manufacturing purposes was enclosed 
in a high non-climbable wire fence, and the regulations with respect to ad- 
mission within this enclosure were rigidly enforced. With the signing of 
the Armistice the restriction with respect to passes imposed as a result of 
the war were removed; and while at this government post strict regulations 
are necessarily enforced, passes are generally issued to residents and visitors 
to the Tri-Cities who apply for same and who may desire to avail themselves 
of the privilege. 

Savanna Proving Ground 

HE purchase of approximately 13,000 acres of land for a proving 
ground near Savanna, Illinois, was made possible under an appro- 
priation of $1,500,000 authorized by an Act of Congress on June 12, 
1917, and work on this valuable adjunct to Rock Island Arsenal 
was pushed early after the United States entered the World War. 

It was contemplated that this tract be used for proof-firing gun car- 
riages manufactured at the Arsenal, some sixty miles distant, but upon the 
signing of the Armistice, immediate need for gun carriages having ceased, 
the Savanna project was used as a storage depot for the vast quantities of 
ordnance stores manufactured at the Arsenal during the war. 

In the purchase of the Savanna lands, the United States had the services 
of Hugh E. Curtis, of Rock Island, Illinois, and others, through whom 
options were secured from the owners, and the sales were consummated 

Tractors and tanks 

I awaiting permanent storage. This picture, taken in June, 1919, shows but a small 
part of the equipment brought to Savanna after the war. 

upon acceptance by the government. Out of a total of 13,146 acres, costing 
$890,209.15, only 320 acres were purchased direct by the government, and 
condemnation proceedings were necessary in the acquirement of ten acres 
that could not be obtained in any other way. 

After the Savanna land purchase there remained from the appropriation 
made by Congress approximately $600,000, and this was expended in con- 
structing necessary quarters, barracks, firing points, power house, store- 
houses, roads, and sewage system. 



It will be realized to what extent the Savanna site was used for a storage 
depot from the statement that at the beginning of the fiscal year 1920 
artillery material was being received at the rate of forty carloads a day. 
No covered storage was available, and the material was parked in the open, 
there being something like fifteen acres of this on hand July 1, 1920. To 
care for the material it was necessary to construct forty storehouses, each 
96 by 400 feet, to house artillery and tractors. 

Quarters of Commanding Officer at Savanna proving ground. 

War With Spain 

N 1898 Rock Island Arsenal had its first real test, and it was not 
found wanting. At the outbreak of the War with Spain, in April 
of that year, the extent of the country's unpreparedness may be 
judged by the fact that this Arsenal, though employing only 500 men 
and having less than one-fifth of its shop floor space utilized for 
manufacturing purposes, yet was first of all the arsenals of the country in 
size, number of employees, variety of work performed, amount of output 
and monthly payroll. Inevitably, then, upon this Arsenal fell a proportion- 
ately large share of the work of equipping the suddenly augmented fighting 
forces of the nation. 

Rock Island Arsenal, fully outfitted with machinery and completely 
manned, it had been estimated, should be able to equip and maintain an 
army of 750,000 men, but the spring of 1898 found it with a capacity of not 
more than one-fifth of its estimated maximum output. Congress had not 
appropriated sufficient funds to place it in a state of readiness for such an 
emergency. Nevertheless, it did not fail to do all and more than was ex- 
pected of it. 

The plant, which up to that time had been large enough merely to 
supply the small army maintained in time of peace, quickly expanded to 
meet the increased demands occasioned by the rapid growth of the military 
forces. Additional machines were installed where possible, and where 
hand labor only was involved in the shop operations the great floor space 
available in the vacant buildings was promptly filled. There was no time, 
and, indeed, there was no need for further shop or storehouse construction. 
In six months the crisis was passed. 

The number of employees, which on March 1, 1898, numbered less than 
500, quickly increased until a maximum force of approximately 3,000 was 
attained, with an expenditure of $175,000 per month in wages. 

The old shop and office forces were made the nucleus of the larger 
organization, those especially fitted for leadership being advanced to more 
responsible positions and given the task of organizing and training the 
inexperienced help taken on in such large numbers. 

The extent to which the Arsenal was developed to meet the emergency 
then existing may be realized by stating that the department producing the 
cloth equipment, which, before the Spanish-American War, operated but 
fifteen machines, was expanded until sixty machines were used to turn out 
the product. The shop which at its maximum was producing before the war 
300 tin cups and 125 meat cans per day, and in which no facilities for the 



manufacture of canteens existed, when finally developed, was capable of 
turning out 3,000 tin cups, 6,000 meat cans, and 4,000 canteens per day. 

All shops and departments were expanded in like proportion, and 
although the force was operated continuously twenty-four hours per day, it 
was necessary to augment the Arsenal's output by purchases from private 
manufacturers of large quantities of completed articles of infantry, cavalry 
and horse equipments, delivered in finished condition ready for issue to the 

Interior of Woodworking Shop, above; below, interior of Armory. 

field. With the procurement of these articles, .entailing the preparation of 
specifications, inviting of bids, making of awards, and the placing of the 
orders, the Arsenal was charged. In many cases the contractor performed 
only one certain operation in connection with the complete equipment, such 
as covering with leather of the saddle tree and the wooden stirrups, the 
trees and stirrups for which were manufactured and furnished the contractor 
by the Arsenal. 


As was the case later, during the World War, the Arsenal found much 
to do in organizing and directing private manufacture of materials needed 
by the army, in assembling complete sets of equipment from parts obtained 
here and there and adding the final touches to make them ready for use. 

Orders for large quantities of raw materials were placed, as the limited 
capacity of the Arsenal, operating on a peace-time basis, resulted in only 
.1 moderate quantity of materials for orders then in progress being on hand. 
The magnitude to which the purchases grew under the stimulus of war to 
meet shop production requirements may be indicated by a statement of the 
principal articles procured. 

These included 351,400 yar.ds dyed duck; 1,008,000 yards cotton webbing 
of various widths for haversacks and blanket bags; 654,000 pounds tin plate 
for meat cans, tin cups and canteens; 79,900 pounds brass. wire; 89,500 pounds 
sheet brass for buckles, rings and hooks; 984,000 feet linen rope for lariats; 
205,300 pounds harness leather backs; 1,262,000 square feet collar, bridle 
and bag leather for straps, saddles, saddle bags and carbine scabbards; 
116,200 pounds copper; 1,161,900 pounds steel for gun carriages; 133,000 
feet basswood and ash for saddle trees ; and 690,000 feet other lumber for 
ammunition chests, besides many thousand pounds of minor articles. 

The value of the completed articles purchased during the Spanish- 
American war aggregated $331,262.33. Some of the principal items of 
equipment, showing the proportion in which they were manufactured at 
the Arsenal and the quantities which were acquired by purchase, are as 
follows : 

Manufactured at Purchased from 
Articles The Arsenal Contractors 

Blanket bags 36,190 30,521 

Blanket bag shoulder straps, pairs-. 72,428 12,980 

Blanket bag coat straps, pairs 48,070 20,269 

Canteens 235,553 23,952 

Canteen straps, Infantry 95,671 105,059 

Gunslings 64,942 86,979 

Haversacks 80,588 61,878 

Haversack straps 122,086 29,236 

Meat cans 208,841 29,206 

Tin cups 231,400 29,209 

Of course the foregoing tabulation includes but a small fraction of the 
articles manufactured, purchased and assembled here. In the four months 
from April 15 to August 15, 1898, there were either made here wholly or 
partly, or received from contractors, 25 3.2-inch breech loading rifles and 
other field guns, 53 carriages for 3 and 3.2-inch guns, 210 limbers for the 
3.2 and 3.6-inch guns, 120 caissons, a large quantity of artillery harness, 



saddles, etc., and hundreds of thousands of miscellaneous articles. The 
Arsenal was the largest depot of issue in the country. 

At the outbreak of the war with Spain this country was far behind the 
times in much of its military equipment. The old 45-calibre single shot 
Springfield rifle, firing with black powder, but little better than the weapons 
used at the close of the Civil War, was the only small arm available for 
use by many of the troops. About the only improvement in the army 
uniform made since the 60's consisted in the addition of the campaign 
hat and leggings. Our forces invaded the tropics clad in the regulation 
blue wool garments, ill-fitting and as uncomfortable as they were conspicuous 

Site of old Fort Armstrong, looking down the Mississippi. 

to enemy marksmen. No canteens had been made since the Civil War, the 
surplus left after that conflict being repaired and recovered as needed. 
In many other ways the equipment was far out of date. 

The Spanish war not only stimulated manufacture, but brought about 
a marked change in type of most army goods, which led to a permanent 
expansion of Rock Island Arsenal's facilities and shop forces. Though 
the war of 1898 did not last long, it brought realization of the advanced 
needs of the nation in the way of defenses and was followed by an increase 
in the size of the standing army, which helped to insure continued activity 
at this Arsenal on a scale greater than that which had prevailed up to that 

Among the permanent improvements brought about at once were the 
modernizing of the water power plant and the taking of steps for the manu- 
facture of small arms. During the Spanish War, rifles were cleaned, re- 
paired and issued, but none were made here. 



Major Blunt, the Commandant, in his report for 1893 praises the spirit 
of the shop workers during that year. Referring to the manner in which 
the organization was expanded he said : 

"As the force was increased, the necessity for foremen and inspectors 
familiar with the successive operations (for there was no time to teach and 
develop new men) grew with the expansion of the work. They were found 
among the old employees, and from their ranks a number of temporary 
appointments to these positions were made. They proved capable and 
efficient, and when necessary, as was frequently the case, worked overtime 
with entire willingness; in fact, the spirit they displayed permeated, with 
very few exceptions, the entire force, the men being apparently animated 
by the desire to observe the shop rules and regulations to the best of their 
ability and to render all possible assistance to the government in the exist- 
ing emergency." 

That work turned out at the Arsenal was superior to that made in 
private plants, and produced at a lower cost, is emphasized : 

"While fairly favorable prices were obtained for the $1,110,000 worth 
of finished articles of ordnance stores procured under contracts, yet in all 
cases they exceeded, in some instances considerably so, the cost at which 
similar stores were at the same time being turned out at the Arsenal. * * * 
It must also be remembered that the articles obtained by purchase, especially 
at such a period, as unquestionably has been the case with most of those 
recently procured under contracts, are often inferior, both in material and 
workmanship, to those procured in the government shops. This fact was 
universally admitted by all the contractors who visited this Arsenal during 
the last few months and examined the work in progress." 

Rock Island Arsenal Golf Club, maintained by civilian members from surrounding cities, but under control of Commandant, 
who is ex-officio president of the organization. 




W o 


>-. i. 

O * 



Fort Armstrong 


O fort gave a greater sense of security to the pioneers of the Illinois 
Territory than did old Fort Armstrong. For decades the Indians 
of the Upper Mississippi had been in the habit of uniting their 
forces against their white brethren. Together they shared the 
honors at Braddock's defeat during the French and Indian War, 
and again they were united in Pontiac's War. The seizure of the Illinois 
country by General George Rogers Clark in 1778 was a challenge to the 
warriors, under British control, from Rock River to Lake Superior and 
from Lake Michigan to the St. Peter's river in Minnesota. In 1779, and 
again in 1780, there were fighting expeditions descending the Mississippi 
past Rock Island bent on the re-conquest of Illinois from the Americans, 
and among them braves from the local villages of the united Sauks and 

When the War of 1812-'14 came on, Territorial Governor Ninian Edwards 
wrote: "I believe there is a universal combination among the Indians. 
Independent of the Indians west of the Mississippi, and 300 lodges of Sioux 
on the Wisconsin, we may certainly count on 4,400 who can reach the settle- 
ments on the Mississippi in six or eight days, and come all the way by 
water. Our danger, therefore, is very evident." 

The settlements of the pioneers at that time were mostly near the 
Mississippi, and nearly all south of a line drawn eastward from where Alton, 
Illinois, is now. North of this line was the wilderness, from which came 
Indian bands creeping upon the settlers by stealth and leaving a trail of 
blood. In 1813 Governor Edwards wrote: "The savages have already 
committed murders within the bounds of every regiment in this (Illinois) 

In 1814 the government took aggressive action against the Indians of 
this vicinity. Governor William Clark, of Mississippi Territory, headed an 
expedition to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. His first trouble came as he 
reached Rock Island, where he was attacked by the united Sauk and Fox. 
This was in the month of May. In July of the same year Lieutenant John 
Campbell was attacked at Campbell's Island, a few miles above Rock Island, 
and after a hard fought battle was defeated by Black Hawk's warriors. 
Early in September the same year an expedition under Major Zachary 
Taylor came up stream for the purpose of destroying Black Hawk's village 
and corn fields and to select a site for a fort. Major Taylor was decisively 
defeated by British artillerists and overwhelming numbers of Indians of 
the allied tribes at Credit Island, in plain sight of Rock Island. 

Peace was signed as between Great Britain and the United States in 
December, 1814, but the Indians continued their depredations upon the 



settlers to the south, and so, in 1815, the 8th U. S. regiment was dispatched 
to Rock Island to build a fort. On account of certain hindrances, they did 
not arrive at Rock Island until May 10, 1816, at which time, accompanied 
by the rifle regiment under Brevet Brigadier-General Thomas A. Smith, 
work on the fort was begun. As General Smith remained but a short time, 
the work was continued under Col. William Lawrence, of the 8th regiment, 
and was called "Fort Armstrong," in honor of the then Secretary of War. 

Major Marsten, in 1819, reported as follows: "This fort is about 270 
feet square, with three block houses mounting three six-pounders. The 
barracks are well constructed, of hewed timber, and are sufficiently extensive 

Fort Armstrong, as originally built, from photograph of an old drawing. 

to quarter three companies. The magazine is of stone, and well built. 
The commanding officer's quarters consists of a center two-story building 
28 feet in length and a piazza built in front and rear. The fort is built on 
the lower point of Rock Island, and upon a perpendicular bank of lime- 
stone about twenty-five feet in height. It completely commands both chan- 
nels of the river. The garrison is a great check upon the Indians in this 
country, and from its central situation it appears to me to be a station of 
considerable importance." 

Of its general outward appearance, Governor Ford wrote as follows : 
"The river here is a beautiful sheet of clear, swift-running water, about 
three-quarters of a mile wide. Its banks on both sides were uninhabited, 
except by Indians, from the lower rapids to the fort, and the voyagers up 
stream, after several days solitary progress through a wilderness country 
on its borders, came suddenly in sight of the whitewashed walls and towers 


of the fort, perched upon a rock, surrounded by the grandeur and 
beauty of nature, which at a distance gave it the appearance of one of those 
enchanted castles in an uninhabited desert, so well described in the Arabian 
Nights Entertainments." 

Within the walls of the fort were housed a variety of interests the 
commandant, the surgeon, the interpreter, the Indian Agent, the blacksmith, 
the soldiers, and lastly the servants. Among the last named was the colored 
man, Dred Scott, whose residence at Fort Armstrong provided the grounds 
for the legal battle carried through to the United States Supreme Court, 
made famous in history by the "Dread Scott decision." The blacksmith was 
appointed because of a stipulation in treaties with the Indians that the 
United States should provide such an artisan for repairing the Indians' hoes, 
axes, guns, etc. 

The United States Indian Agent managed the affairs of the Government 
with the Indians. All traders must receive their traders' licenses from the 
agent. He would pass upon the proposed trader's qualifications, upon the 
financial responsibility of those who signed his bond as security, take a 
list of their interpreters, clerks and boatmen, the place where to trade and 
the tribe of Indians with whom he would trade. The agent issued passports 
to Indians wishing to travel to other posts, issued rations to the Indians, 
keeping book account of all such transactions, and paid out the thousands 
of dollars annually as annuities to the red men, etc. In addition to those 
officially connected with the fort, James D. Rishell, in a recent edition of 
"Black Hawk's Autobiography," says: "Around every fort on the border, 
from the earliest times onward, hovered a band of French, English and 
American traders, in sharp competition for the rich furs and peltries of 
the Indians." Colonel George Davenport, in fact, had a permanent trading 
establishment but a few hundred yards distant from Fort Armstrong. 

All through the years, until after the Black Hawk War, Fort Armstrong 
functioned as a restraint upon the Indians. Always there were quarrels, 
battles, killings, stealings, between the two races over a wide range of 
country hereabout. Our earliest settlers would scarcely have dared to 
locate within Black Hawk's village had it not been for the presence of the 
fort. The Winnebago War, and two campaigns, 1831 and 1832, of the Black 
Hawk War, found the fort a refuge to the crowds of men, women, and 
children of settlers, as also the headquarters for the military operations 
which resulted in the expulsion from the old Northwest Territory of the 
last of a long list of patriotic, fighting Indians. 

The stories of Indian treaties negotiated at Fort Armstrong; of refugee 
settlers in fear of massacre; of Black Hawk's attempt to blow up the fort; 
of the legend of the spirit, in the form of a large swan, which inhabited 
the cave underneath the fort; the hustle and bustle of soldiers and supplies 



during the Black Hawk War, at which time the fort was headquarters for 
the army; the coming of General Winfield Scott, and the plague of cholera 
at the fort all these and many others are subjects of too great length to be 
treated in the space allotted to this part of the story of the Tri-Cities and 
the Arsenal. 

From Wm. A Meese's "Early Rock Island" we quote the following: 

"May 4, 1836, the fort was evacuated and the troops sent to Fort Snelling. 

Lieutenant Colonel William Davenport was in command at that time, and 

he left Lieutenant John Beach, of the in- 
fantry, in charge with a few men to take 
care of the property. The fort was never 
re-garrisoned. November, 1836, Lieutenant 
Beach was ordered away and all the prop- 
erty was removed. From 1836 to 1838, 
General Street, Indian Agent, had charge 
of the Island, and he was succeeded by 
Colonel George Davenport, who had been 
appointed Indian Agent. In 1840 some of 
the buildings were repaired and an ordnance 
depot was established at the fort, Captain 
W. R. Shoemaker having charge until 1845, 
when the depot was broken up and the 
goods removed to St. Louis. Thomas L. 
Drum, of Rock Island, was custodian from 
1845 to 1853. Ordnance Sergeant Cum- 
mings was in charge for a short time in 
1853 to 1854; J. B. Danforth from 1854 to 
1857, and H. Y. Slaymaker from 1857 to 

In 1855 part of the fort was reduced to ashes. The last vestiges of 
the fort were removed in 1863, at the time of the building of the large 
Armory clock tower building. It is unfortunate that part, at least, of 
this relic of the stirring days of the past was not left as a monument for 
succeeding generations. 

In 1916, however, the one-hundredth anniversary of the building of 
Fort Armstrong was fittingly observed by a great celebration, in which not 
only the Tri-Cities joined, but visitors from away were here in large numbers. 
Among the noted visitors were Jesse Ka-ka-que, of Kansas, a great grand- 
son of Black Hawk, and Push-e-ton-e-que, chief of the Fox or Mesquakies, 
together with about twenty-five other Indians from Tama, Iowa. As a part 
of this celebration, one of the blockhouses was restored, and is an exact 
replica in form of those which were placed there a century before, which, 
with their six-pounders, gave such comfort to the westward tide of immigra- 

Reproduction of first block house, erected in 1916 
by the people of the community, for celebration of 
100th anniversary of building of Fort Armstrong. 

Squatters' Rights 

LTHOUGH claiming it from the first as a reservation for its uses, the 
War Department had no little difficulty in finally establishing title 
to Rock Island. Seldom has a tract of land no larger than the 
Island offered such obvious attractions to private owners, and many 
and devious were the schemes employed in an effort to wrest it 
from the control of the government. In the end it cost Uncle Sam $221,035 
to buy rights of settlers who were conceded to have just claims to portions 
of the premises, and the water power rights are still shared by private 

Much space would be required to record details of this phase of the 
Arsenal's history. Only a brief outline will be attempted. 

For many years the question whether the Island was lawfully under 
the control of the War Department, or subject to distribution as part of 
the public domain, was considered debatable. Appeal was made at various 
times to the Courts, to the Secretary of War, the President, and even to 

In 1825, and again in 1835, the W T ar Department formally asserted its 
claim to the whole of the tract. Nevertheless, a survey was made by an 
engineer employed by the Department of the Interior in 1832, and the 
land was laid out in quarter sections. After the troops were withdrawn, 
in 1836, squatters appeared and occupied most of the Island, with a view 
of preempting it under regulations applying to all public lands not set aside 
for some particular purpose. 

In 1837 the Illinois legislature gave permission, by special act, em- 
powering David B. Sears and John W. Spencer to construct a water power 
dam across Rock Island Slough, connecting the Island with the mainland 
at Moline. In 1842 the dam was completed, and in a short time a number 
of small manufacturing plants made their appearance at the head of the 
Island, operating with the power generated there. In 1846 Mr. Sears built 
another dam connecting the main island with Benham's Island, on the north 
and just below the head of the former. In 1848, for some reason not clear 
at this date, the Secretary of War wrote to the Secretary of the Interior 
formally relinquishing the Island for military purposes. In doing so, how- 
ever, the former exceeded his powers, as court decisions and subsequent 
acts of the War Department indicated, and so a great many persons who 
claimed interests in the property were disappointed. 

Most of the litigation with respect to the ownership of the premises 
resulted from the building of the Chicago & Rock Island railroad, which 
crossed the Island a quarter of a mile east of the present line, the company 



claiming a tract 300 feet in width by virtue of its charter from the State 
of Illinois. That was in 1854. The War Department resisted the intrusion, 
and the matter was thrown into the courts, which eventually upheld the 
company, apparently more on the grounds of public need of transportation 
by rail than upon proof of technical rights submitted by the defendant. 
Subsequently the railroad was induced to remove its tracks to the extreme 
western end of the Island, where they are now located. 

In 1850, when General Zachary Taylor was President, he issued an order 
for the sale of the Island. Advertisements were not printed in local news- 
papers, and it was charged that the move had been instigated by outside 
capitalists who wished, for obvious reasons, to avoid publicity. Two weeks 

D Gen. Rodman, guarded by guns of type he designed. These weapons were used in the monitors which crushed 
the hope of the Confederacy of striking a vital blow at the north from the sea during the Civil war. 

prior to the date of the sale, however, people of the community awoke to 
what was going on, and immediately such a protest arose that the War 
Department felt impelled to postpone the date. Word to this effect did 
not reach Rock Island until the afternoon of the day" on which the sale 
was to have taken place and an officer was on the ground prepared to 
receive bids. Most active in opposing the sale were those who had settled 
or made improvements on the Island, for they felt that their alleged rights 
were being placed in jeopardy. They banded together and even went so far 
as to post notices in the vicinity warning prospective purchasers that those 
appearing to submit bids would be in serious physical danger. The sale was 
finally called off. 

Many bills were offered. in Congress for the sale of all or part of the 
land, but most of them were defeated through the vigilance of local interests, 



which from the first ardently upheld the effort to maintain the Island as a 
site for an Arsenal. In 1858 the War Department again was induced to con- 
sent to public sale, and bids were advertised for and received, but never 
opened. About this time Congress began to manifest a real interest in the 
utilization of the Island for military purposes, and so in 1859, when the last 
bill ever offered for sale of the premises came up, it was promptly voted 
down, and that ended the controversy. 

In the meantime parts of the Island had been disposed of by act of 
Congress. Colonel George Davenport, the original settler in the community, 
was permitted to purchase at the prevailing price of $1.25 per acre the 

Residence of Commandant of Arsenal. 

quarter section he had claimed and improved at the time the first army 
post was established, and D. B. Sears was given a similar privilege with 
respect to the fractional tract adjacent to his flour mill at the head of the 
Island. The Davenport interests subsequently were re-purchased by the 
War Department for $40,700 and the Sears interests for $145,175. 

An organized effort to get the greater part of the Island by preemp- 
tion was made in 1856, when one Thales Lindsley, said to have been a clerk 
in the Patent Office at Washington, appeared and located a party of squatters 
as "dummies" upon unoccupied parts of the Island; About the same time 
a number of Rock Island men conceived of the same idea, namely, that of 



establishing rights preliminary to purchase from the government. The 
result was that the population of the Island was materially increased, there 
being two or more claimants for each of the more desirable portions. Some 
violence resulted from the clash of interests. Eventually the Lindsley 
party was worsted. Lindsley, however, was not daunted. He remained 
on the ground and interested a number of local men in a plan to get the 
Island by grant from Congress as the site for a great state and national 
university. He drew up a prospectus for an institution of learning, offering 

Beauty spots on the Island. Above, stone bridge leading to Officers' quarters. 
Below, garden near Commanding Officer's quarters. 

more than one hundred courses of study, some of which never had been, and 
perhaps never will be, taught in any school. A bill to carry out the scheme 
was actually presented to Congress. When Lindsley appealed to Senator 
Stephen A. Douglas for aid, that statesman, evidently apprised of the many 
devices already employed with a similar purpose, is quoted as having ex- 
claimed: "For heaven's sake, sir, draw something thicker than a lace veil 
over your scheme !" 



Apparently that sealed the doom of the project, for it did not get 
much farther. Lindsley made one other attempt to improve his fortunes 
through an application to the Illinois legislature for a water power grant 
involving rights in the south channel, already claimed by the Moline Water 
Power Company, but met with defeat. 

Private claim to water power rights in the Rock Island slough never 
was seriously contested by the War Department. The original dam, built 
in 1842, by Sears and Spencer, was taken over a few years later by Pitts, 
Gilbert & Pitts, an eastern firm. Power was supplied to a number of factories 
from the first, but the project was not placed on a permanently paying basis 
till after 1865, when it passed into the hands of the newly formed Moline 
Water Power Company. This concern entered into an agreement by which 
it surrendered all rights to the government, obtaining in return a perpetual 
grant of the use of one-fourth of the power developed, with the option 
of use of surplus power, above the requirements of the Arsenal, at a specified 
rental. The government agreed to bear all expense of development 
and maintenance. This agreement stands to this day, and the Moline Water 
Power Company is still in existence, selling power to the Peoples' Power 
Company, which provides for distribution in the community. 

Flag pole in front of Commanding Officer's headquarters. 

Building the Original Arsenal 

HE first formal move to set Rock Island apart for military purposes 
was made in 1825, when the Secretary of War notified the Com- 
missioner of the General Land Office to reserve the land from sale. 
Ten years later Congress approved of an examination of sites for 
a proposed western Armory, which was made by a commission of 
army officers. 

In 1840 the Commandant of the Arsenal at St. Louis was directed by 
the Chief of Ordnance to ascertain what advantages Rock Island might 
have for ordnance purposes. The report, submitted by Captain William Bell, 
gave an intimate description of the Island and adjoining community, prais- 
ing the transportation and water power facilities, and stating there were 
but two responsible private claimants at that time prepared to dispute 
ownership with the government. 

The following year Congress again ordered an investigation to de- 
termine the site for a western Armory to be located on a waterway. Three 
army officers spent eighteen months in the work and made a voluminous 
report, which gave enthusiastic praise to the natural advantages of Rock 
Island for the proposed purpose. "Articles of subsistence of all kinds, 
for man and beast," the report said, "are abundant, and these are remarkably 
cheap. The site is exceptionally healthy, as evidenced by reports now on 
file in the office of the Surgeon General * * * covering a period of 
more than twenty years, during which the number upon the sick list at 
P'ort Armstrong was proportionately less than at any other post in the 
western country." 

Other reports of similar nature were made to the War Department 
from time to time, up to the date when Congress finally authorized the 
beginning of construction of permanent buildings. A. C. Dodge, chairman 
of the Senate Committee on Public Lands, writing to the Secretary of 
War in 1854, said : 

"Rock Island, as you are well aware, has long been regarded by a large 
portion of the people of the Mississippi valley as an advantageous site 
for an Arsenal of construction." 

From the earliest days of the white men in this vicinity there was a 
strongly defined sentiment in the upper river valley, and especially in the 
more immediate locality, in favor of maintaining and developing the Island 
for military uses. Time after time, the records show, when ownership of 
the land by the War Department was threatened, or the authorities at 
Washington wavered in their intentions along this line, champions of the 



Arsenal project who were able to make their voices heard and influence felt 
in the national capital came forward. Disposition toward hasty adverse 
action was repeatedly halted and the subject kept open till a more deliberate 
consideration of its merits finally won the day. 

By Act of Congress, approved July 11, 1862, a national Arsenal was 
located on Rock Island, and $100,000 was appropriated for buildings. The 
original intention was to use the establishment for storage and repairs only. 

Major C. P. Kingsbury was assigned as the first Commandant, coming 
on the scene in 1863. In that year the first permanent building, the one at 

of original shops. Insert, old stone storehouse at west end of Island. This was the first permanent buidi 

With its tall clock tower it is now the most conspicuous object connected with the Island, 

as viewed by transients. It is now kept chiefly as a relic. 

the west end of the Island, with its clock tower provided with 12-foot dials 
facing in four directions, was begun. This structure was designed as a 
storehouse, and for years has been used only incidentally as circumstances 
demanded. A few years ago it was condemned and ordered torn down, but 
the order was rescinded in response to local sentiment. The building is 
not now a part of the Arsenal, properly speaking. 


General Thomas J. Rodman succeeded Major Kingsbury in command 
in 1865 and remained in charge till his death, which took place in 1871. His 
remains were buried on the Island. Under General Rodman, who designed 
some of the best heavy guns used in the Civil War, those with which the 
monitors were armed being among them, comprehensive plans for the 
Arsenal were elaborated. In accordance with these, the institution was 
constructed and remained with only minor additions up to the date of 
beginning of the World War. 

Two rows of great shops, one on either side of the main avenue ex- 
tending east and west, and located on the highest ground the Island afforded, 
were included. Most of the building was done under General Rodman and 
his successor, General D. W. Flagler. The shops on the south side of 
the avenue were designed for an Arsenal and those on the north for an 

The center shop on the south side is a foundry and blacksmith shop 
and the one on the north a rolling mill and forge shop. Both are one-story 
structures, with monitor roofs. Other shops are two stories, with basement. 

Ground plans for all ten buildings originally were alike. Each has 
two parallel wings, 60x300 feet, 90 feet apart, being U-shaped, with the 
closed end on the avenue. This leaves a court 90x238 feet. The porticos 
at the sides project 12 feet and are 60 feet wide, while those at the ends 
are of, the same width, but project only two feet. During the late war the 
inside porticos of the two end buildings on each side of the avenue were 
joined, to give more floor space and facilitate handling of materials. 

Walls of all buildings are entirely of stone, most of it obtained from 
quarries near Joliet, Illinois. Average thickness of the walls is 3 feet 4 
inches for the first story, 2 feet 10 inches for the second, and 2 feet 4 
inches for the third. An enormous amount of material was used. In Shop 
A, for instance, were placed 30,115,800 pounds of stone, 3,132,800 pounds of 
brick, 2,199,646 pounds of iron, 1,331,500 pounds of lumber, 362,500 pounds 
of slate, 200,000 pounds of plaster and 26,000 pounds of copper. Total area 
of each shop is a little more than one acre. Much of the construction work 
was done by day labor directed by specially trained officers, and reports 
of Commanding Officers comment upon the saving of money effected and 
better structures secured through this plan. 

These shop buildings, supplemented with three fire-proof storehouses, 
barracks, Commanding Officer's quarters, subaltern officers' quarters, 
general offices and fire engine house, all of equally durable and commodious 
character, provided facilities for housing the largest and most effective 
Arsenal and Armory in the country. So much room was there, in fact, that 
only a part of the space afforded was utilized for manufacturing purposes 
and fitted out with machinery until after the European War broke. Good 


use was made of it during the Spanish War flurry, but most of the shop ex- 
pansion then was of a temporary nature. 

Under General Rodman the second Rock Island bridge was begun and 
work was prosecuted in the improvement of the water power. A reservoir 
giving sufficient water facilities for the needs of the institution was con- 
structed and Shops B and C and the Commanding Officer's quarters were 
nearly completed. 

Under General (then Captain) Flagler most of the other buildings were 
constructed as originally planned. The Moline highway bridge was built, 
a sewer system installed, the main avenues were partially improved, and 
miles of driveways about the Island laid out. Most of the trees, other than 
those of the natural forest remaining, were planted at this time. The 
second bridge over the main channel of the river was completed and opened 
for public use. 

Construction lagged under Colonel T. G. Baylor (1886 to 1889), and 
Colonel J. M. Whittemore (1889 to 1892). Under Colonel A. R. Buffington 
(1892 to 1897) the Rock Island bridge was rebuilt to bear heavier traffic, 
this being the chief item in the way of improvements. 

Under Colonel S. E. Blunt as Commandant the Arsenal rendered valiant 
service to the country in the Spanish-American War. Reference of a more 
extended nature under this heading is made elsewhere. The capacity of the 
manufacturing plant was enlarged by the installation of machinery and 
shop fixtures. Congress, stirred by the urgent need of the times, made 
tardy provision for the equipping of the Armory and the manufacture of 
army rifles. Money for this purpose was voted in 1899, and in the following 
year work was begun with a view of increasing the water power plant, 
modernizing it with electricity and placing three of the shop buildings in 
Armory row in readiness for men and machinery. Eventually the Armory 
attained a capacity of 250 rifles daily, but after the immediate needs of 
the army were met the output was cut down to about half the full capacity. 
For some years before the World War little was done at the small arms 
plant, but it sprang into new life with the entrance of the country into the 
great struggle, the number of employees being brought up to 3,000 in this 
department alone. 

The vast additions to shops and storehouses, together with the many 
other improvements brought about by the late war, were made under Colonel 
George W. Burr, Colonel L. T. Hillman, and Colonel Harry B. Jordan. 

What the Arsenal Cost and Its Present 


XPENDITURES for all purposes in connection with Rock Island 
Arsenal during the 58 years of its existence total $32,591,920.94. 
Present estimated value of improvements is $18,310,525.00. With 
grounds, buildings and war material and machinery stored therein 
inventoried at more than $250,000,000, the government has a larger 
investment in this Arsenal than at any other center in the United States, 
outside of Washington, D. C. 

In the table below there are included under "Construction, Repair 
and Preservation" not only the cost of the buildings when new, but also 
the sums required for their repair and maintenance ; the government 
share of expense in connection with the various bridges ; and under "Water 
Power" the sums disbursed for acquisition of power rights and their sub- 

Filtration plant. The Arsenal's water supply is taken from the Mississippi river, being purified by modern methods. 

sequent development; and under "Machinery," the cost of all that has been 
installed, including the earlier purchases, now either worn out or obsolete 
and no longer in use. The totals, therefore, represent actual expenditures, 
and, taking no account of appreciation or depreciation, do not represent 
present values. Against the various items it is proper to charge off the 
benefit that the country has enjoyed from the operation of the Arsenal, 
which, of course, is an item that cannot be reduced to figures. 




TO JUNE 30, 1920 



tion, Re- 
pair and 
tion of 
Sewers, etc. 

tion, Re- 
pair and 
tion of 

Rock Is- 
land Water 
Dikes and 

and Shop 



Maj. C. P. Kingsbury 
Gen. T. J. Rodman 
Gen. D. \V. Flakier 
Col. T. G. Baylor 
Col. J. M. Whittemore 
Gen. A. R. Buffington 
Col. S. E. Blunt 
Lt. Col. F. E. Hobbs 
Col. Geo. W. Burr 
Col. L. T. Hillman 
Col. Harry B. Jordan 

| 1 SOS -fin 

|$ 231,384.72 

52 375.54 




$ 231,384.72 

!.$19.926.26(i.ll |$ 1.323.868.77 !$ 2..840..")S.3() iff 8.501.227.78 |$32.591. 920.94 

Cafeteria, erected to serve thousands of war workers. 

For the single year from July 1, 1919, to July 1, 1920, the cost under 
the four headings was as follows: 

Construction, Repair and Preservation of Buildings, Roads, 

Sewers, etc..., $858,231.57 

Construction, Repair and Preservation of Bridges 33,573.30 

Rock Island Water Power, Dikes and Dams 80,608.61 

Machinery and Shop Fixtures 393,893.33 

Total '. $1,366,306.81 

Two hundred and three items are included in the list of Arsenal improve- 
ments, 168 being of a permanent nature and the balance temporary. Of 
course not all of the buildings originally constructed are now standing, a 
number of the smaller and less substantial sort having been salvaged. By 



far the most valuable of the present structures are those of modern design 
erected during the last few years, as an inspection of the following itemized 
estimate will show: 


1 Main office $ 39,000.00$ 39,000.00 


2 Commanding Officer's quarters 100,000.00 

3 Assistant Officer's quarters No. 2 36,000.00 

4 Assistant Officer's quarters No. 3 . 33,000.00 

5 Assistant Officer's quarters No. 4 23,750.00 

6 Assistant Officer's quarters No. 6 13,500.00 

7 Assistant Officer's quarters No. 7 12,000.00 218,250.00 


8 Stone barracks 127,500.00 

9 Sergeant's quarters No. 10 4,000.00 

10 Sergeant's quarters No. 23 5,000.00 

11 Sergeant's quarters No. 24 4,000.00 

12 Sergeant's quarters Nos. 11 and 12, double 10,600.00 

13 Casual Personnel quarters No. 25, 26 and 27 15,000.00 

14 Quarters No. 28 at chicken farm 1,000.00 

15 Quarters Nos. 19, 20, 21 and 22 20,300.00 

16 Contagious Hospital (wash room for quarters) 3,000.00 190,400.00 


17 Post Hospital 10,000.00 

18 Bowling alley (south of welfare building) 5,500.00 

Post exchange and welfare building 11,500.00 

19 Garage, Commanding Officer's quarters 1 450.00 

20 Garage, quarters No. 2 250.00 

21 Garage, quarters No. 3 180.00 

22 Garage, quarters No. 4 280.00 

23 Garage, quarters No. 6 280.00 

24 Garage, quarters No. 7 250.00 

25 Chicken house, Commanding Officer's quarters 900.00 

26 Chicken house, No. 2 quarters 300.00 

27 Chicken house, No. 3 quarters 280.00 

28 Chicken house, No. 4 quarters 280.00 

29 Chicken house, No. 6 quarters 380.00 

30 Chicken house, No. 7 quarters 300.00 

31 Frame bakery 2,800.00 

32 Post stables 9,000.00 

33 Green houses, Commanding Officer's quarters 9,720.00 

34 Barn west of caddy house 1,800.00 

35 Band stand, National Cemetery 500.00 54,950.00 


36 Shop "A" 600,000.00 

37 Shop "B" 600,000.00 

38 Shop "C" 650,000.00 

39 Shop "D" 600,000.00 

40 Shop "E" 280,000.00 

41 Shop "F" 295,000.00 

42 Shop "G" 375.000.00 

43 Shop "H" 403;500.00 

44 Shop "I" 328,500.00 

45 Shop "K" 377,200.00 

46 Shop "L" 1,916,804.00 

47 Chemical Laboratory L-l 150,000.00 

48 L. court =. 75.000.00 

49 Shop "M" and oil storage, Group No. 4 2,225,000.00 

50 Shop "O" r 150,000.00 

51 Shop "Q" 125,000.00 

52 Shop "R" 450.000.00 

53 Tinning and Plating shop 23,000.00 

54 Paint shop 55,000.00 

55 Shop connections A-C, B-D, G-I and H-K - 360.000.00 

56 Central heating plant 610.000.00 

57 Boiler house "C" 23,500.00 

58 Boiler house shop "F" 35.000.00 

59 Tractor laboratory 17,700.00 

60 Rifle range 5,021.00 

61 Truck garage 35,500.00 



C2 Filtration and ice plant 54,500.00 

63 Stone Reservoir 30,100.00 

04 Pump house, north shore 7,000.00 

Go Pump house L-17 1,500.00 

66 Water tank (high tank) 21,400.00 

67 Parkerizing plant 9,700.00 

68 Oil storage, Group No. 5 (filling station) ' 3,900.00 

09 Proving grounds 2,000.00 

70 Power dam (old) 294,500.00 

Power dam (new) 748,000.00 

71 Truck shed (at truck garage) 5,000.00 

72 Dry kiln (old) 11,129.00 

73 Dry kiln (new) 4,125.00 

74 Dry kiln (wheel spoke) 247,500.00 

75 Dry kiln (gun stock) 374,000.00 

76 Unloading platform (shop "A" court) ^ 4,900.00 

77 Fulminate fuse exploding vault 90.00 12,585,069.00 


78 Storehouse "A" _ 147,520.00 

79 Storehouse I- G' 00,000.00 

80 Storehouse "I" Sl.800.00 

81 Storehouse "K" 119,700.00 

82 Storehouse V-l . 78,000.00 

83 Storehouse V-2 108,000.00 

84 Storehouse V-3 108,000.00 

85 Storehouse V-4 108,000.00 

86 Storehouse V-5 108,000.00 

87 Storehouse V-6 108,000.00 

88 Storehouse V-7 108,000.00 

89 Storehouse V-8 108,000.00 

90 Storehouse V-9 108,000.00 

91 Storehouse V-10 86,333.00 

92 Storehouse V-I1 _. 86,333.00 

93 Storehouse V-12 86,334.00 

94 Storehouse V-14 65,000.00 

95 Storehouse V-15 65,000.00 

96 Storehouse W-I 1,560,000.00 

97 Storehouse X-l 29,277.00 

98 Storehouse X-2 29,277.00 

99 Storehouse X-3 29,277.00 

100 Storehouse X-4 _ 29,277.00 

101 Storehouse X-5 ___ 29,277.00 

102 Storehouse X-6 29,277.00 

103 Storehouse X-7 29.277.00 

104 Storehouse X-8 29,277.00 

105 Storehouse X-9 29.277.00 

106 Storehouse X-10 29,277.00 

107 Storehouse Y-l 29,277.00 

108 Storehouse Y-2 29,277.00 

109 Storehouse Y-3 29,277.00 

110 Storehouse Y-4 29,277.00 

111 Storehouse Y-5 29,277.00 

112 Storehouse Y-6 29,277.00 

113 Storehouse Y-7 29,277.00 

114 Storehouse Y-8 : 29,277.00 

115 Storehouse Y-9 29,277.00 

116 Storehouse Y-10 29,277.00 

117 Storehouse Z-l 29,277.00 

118 Storehouse- Z-2 29,277.00 

119 Storehouse Z-3 29,277.00 

120 Storehouse Z-4 29,277.00 

321 Storehouse Z-5 29,277.00 

122 Storehouse Z-6 29,277.00 

123 Storehouse Z-7 29,277.00 

124 Storehouse Z-8 29,277.00 

125 Storehouse Z-9 29,277.00 

126 Storehouse Z-10 29,277.00 

127 Old Arsenal building 200,000.00 

128 Lumber shed (old) 14,000.00 

129 Lumber shed (north new) 8,500.00 

130 Lumber shed (center new) 8,500.00 

131 Lumber shed (south new) 8,500.00 

132 Oil storage, Group No. 1 (old building) 15,000.00 

133 Oil storage, Group No. 1 (new building) 20,000.00 

134 Oil storage, Group No. 1 (office) 6.500.00 

135 Oil tank, Group No. 2 9,700.00 

136 Oil house and tanks, Group No. 3 29,600.00 

137 Oil house, "AA" (storehouse) 23,000.00 

138 Storehouse "M" (for steel) 173,000.00 

139 Central tool storage No. 2 4,800.00 

140_Primer dry L-4 8,130.00 

141 Powder blending L-5 7,055.00 

142 Gun cotton dry L-6 2,320.00 

143 Cave fulminate L-7 1,980.00 



144 Cave fulminate L-8 

145 Smokeless powder L-9 

140 Smokeless powder L-10 

147 Black powder L-ll 

148 T. N. T. L-12 

149 Smokeless powder L-13 

150 Smokeless powder L-14 _. 

151 T. N. T., L-15 

152 T. N. T., L-16 

153 Magazine A-l 

154 -Scale house 

155 Tool shed, east side of Y-5_ 


156 Mess hall (cafeteria) 

157 Davenport house 

158 Fire and police station 

159 Guard house Ft. Armstrong ave., Station B 

160 Guard house Davenport bridge N. E., Station C 

161 Guard house, main gate, Station D 

162 Guard house, Moline bridge 

163 Guard house, Rock Island viaduct, south end, Station A 

164 Outside Department 

165 Golf Club house 

166 Shelter station (street car) Main and West avenue 

167 Shelter station (street car) R. I. avenue 

168 Loading platform south of central heating plant 

600.00 4,708,675.00 















Grand total valuation of permanent buildings $18,005,730.00 



169 Office* building No. 2 $ 61,000.00$ 61,000.00 


170 Sheep shed (east of V-12) 160.00 

171 Chicken farm (except quarters) 3,730.00 

172 Ward hospital 11,300.00 

173 Infantry stables, cow barn, hay shed 6,500.00 

174 Sheds at post stables 2,625.00 

175 Barracks B 37,000.00 

176 Barracks C 37,000.00 

177 Barracks D _ 45,000.00 143,315.00 


178 Shed court yard, A-C annex 1,800.00 

179 Spray painting shed (east of V-10) ! 500.00 

180 Receiving room G and I court 2040.00 4,340.00 


181 Storehouse V-12A 8,000.00 

182 Oil shed (east of storehouse "G") _ 1,200.00 

1&3 Storehouse "BA" 19,000.00 

184 Storehouse "GA" 19,000.00 

385 Storehouse "KA" 19,000.00 

186 Storehouse "MA" 19,000.00 

187 Machine gun storage 1,500.00 

188 Office "XYZ" _._ 500.00 

189 Machine storage shed 2,200.00 

190 Shed in raw material yard 275.00 

191 Shed north of truck garage 800.00 

192 Shed back of storehouse W-I 300.00 

193 Shed in scrap lumber yard 200.00 

194 Shed (office north of V-10) 250.00 299,880.00 


195 Laboratory sheds _ 3,500.00 

196 Shed west of Z-l 275.00 

197 Caddy house (at golf club) 240.00 

198 Bicycle shed, shop B 150.00 

199 Bicycle shed, shop D 150.00 

200 Bicycle shed, shop F 150.00 

201 Bicycle shed, shop H 150.00 

202 Bicycle shed, shop M 150.00 

203 Bicycle shed, Storehouse W-I 150.00 4,915.00 

Grand total valuation of temporary buildings $ 304,795.00 

Grand total valuation of permanent buildings 18,005,730.00 

Grand total valuation of all buildings $18,310,525.00 

Military Prison In Civil War 

URING the Civil War, 1861-1865, Rock Island became, the site of 
a military prison. It was the policy of both the Union and the 
Confederacy to confine prisoners of war as far as possible from 
the battle lines. This Island answered very well the need of the gov- 
ernment in this connection, being hundreds of miles north of the 
Mason and Dixon line, and comparatively easy to guard. Besides, the War 
Department already claimed the ground and there was abundant room. 

Extensive barracks for prisoners were built during the summer of 
1863. Construction of buildings was in charge of Captain C. A. Reynolds, 
U. S. Quartermaster's Department, and they were intended to accommodate 
13,000 men. 

Barracks were placed on the north side of the Island near the river 
front and about midway between the east and west ends. The prison took 

p p I 


* ~'' 

Map of Island drawn in 1870, showing location of prisoners' barracks in central part near north side. At that time, it will 
be observed, improvements were few and the land was nearly all covered with trees. 

the form of a rectangle, covering about twelve acres. The four sides faced 
the main points of the compass, the northeast corner being opposite the 
lower end of Pappoose Island. There were fourteen rows of one-story 
buildings, extending east and west, six in a row. Each was 100 feet in length 
and 20 feet in width, with windows in the sides and doors in the ends. They 
were not plastered or painted, but otherwise were well constructed and 
as comfortable as the use to which they were put demanded that they 
should be. A kitchen was located in one end of each building. Double- 



decked bunks were provided for sleeping purposes, each building housing 
120 men. A main avenue divided the seven rows on the north from the seven 
on the south. This avenue was 50 feet wide. 

Though intended to house 13,000 prisoners, there never were that many 
in the prison. The death rate was high, 1,961 men expiring of disease in a 
period of two years. A few prisoners escaped and several were killed 
in the attempt to do so. 

East of the main shop buildings and south of Main avenue is the 
cemetery in which Confederate dead lie buried. They were interred in 
long trenches, bodies being placed in wooden boxes, laid about two feet 
apart. "At the head of each grave is a permanent marker, giving name, 
regiment and state of deceased. 

Farther east is the cemetery for Union soldiers. Here are buried 
about five hundred men. Many of these served at the local post, but the 
burial grounds are open to receive the remains of any American soldier. 
At this cemetery it is the custom to hold services each Memorial Day, 
exercises being under the auspices of the veterans' organizations of the 

Both burial grounds are surrounded by trees and guarded by old cannon, 
and the premises are carefully maintained. 

Entrance to Confederate cemetery, where the remains of 2,000 prisoners were interred. 

The Arsenal's Water Power 

HE water power of the Rock Island rapids was one of the main 
factors which determined the selection of its present site for the 
location in the Mississippi valley of an Arsenal for the manufacture 
of military supplies. Jefferson Davis, while Secretary of War, 
wrote in 1854 to the United States Senate Committee on Public 

Lands as follows : 

"I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of -the 10th 
instant, asking the views of this department as to the expediency of selling 
the military reservation at Fort Armstrong, on Rock Island, Illinois, as 
contemplated by Senate Bill No. 195. 

"The water power available at that place, and the communication by 
water and railroads, projected or in the course of construction, concur with 
other circumstances in rendering Rock Island one of the most advantageous 
sites in the whole western country for the construction of an Armory or 
an Arsenal for the manufacture of wagons, clothing, or other military 

Water power in the south channel, near the head of the Island, was 
developed by private enterprise in 1843, long before there was any clearly 
defined plan to erect a manufacturing Arsenal at this point. When the 
War Department started the erection of factory buildings the Moline Water 
Power Company already had acquired such power rights as a charter from 
the State of Illinois could confer, and had a considerable investment in its 
plant. Power was being supplied to a number of nearby factories. 

After extended negotiations, the Power Company, in 1867, subscribed 
to an agreement relinquishing its rights to the government, being pledged 
in return the free use of one-fourth of the power derived from existing 
or subsequent development of the premises, together with the privilege of 
renting whatever surplus there might be after the needs of the Arsenal were 
supplied. The government, under this compact, assumed all cost of develop- 
ment and maintenance. In pursuance of the terms laid down, the govern- 
ment erected a dam wall parallel to the Illinois shore of the channel south 
of the Island, with numerous flume openings, and later constructed, farther 
along this channel and closer to the site chosen for the Arsenal shops, a 
second dam, known as the government dam. 

In 1895 the government closed all the openings in the first dam wall, 
known as the upper dam, and erected a new dam, located at the west of the 
first structure, where the openings were concentrated and from which power 
is now being developed. 


The abandoned tail-race resulting from the closing of the openings in 
the upper dam wall was filled, and over a section of the filled portion the 
D. R. I. & N. W. railroad is now operating its line, extending service to the 
adjacent factories in Moline. 

Fall in the river from the foot of the Island to the head of the original 
wing dam at the upper end was about seven and one-half feet, but in 1899 
the dam was extended longitudinally up stream about two and one-half 
miles, to what is known as the head of Duck Creek chain, and the head of 
water was increased to about fourteen feet, at rest, or more than eleven 
feet when in operation. Commenting upon the success of this improvement, 

Present power dam, viewed from below. 

Major Blunt, under whose administration as Commandant the work was 
done, in an address to Tri-City business men in 1901, stated that there had 
been provided "a volume of water which it was recently found could not be 
materially diminished, even when all the gates in the two power dams were 
simultaneously opened." 

Following the improvement of conditions above the dam, the channel 
below it was excavated, the tail-race was widened and deepened and the 
united channel, extending from the juncture of the canal south of Sylvan 
Island (the tail-race from the upper dam) with that of the government dam 
to the point where it reaches the deep water below the lower point of the 
Island, was straightened. 

Forty-one openings for water wheels were provided in the darn at 
the time the government reconstructed it in 1890, but only eight of the 
number of openings provided were utilized and turbines installed therein. 
Because of the type of wheel and the low head of water, but 35 horse-power 
was developed from each wheel, the total being but 280 horse-power. This 


amount, however, sufficed for the limited operations of the Arsenal prior 
to the Spanish-American war. When that conflict broke it was necessary 
to supplement the water power with steam power, which was provided at 
considerable additional expense. 

Needs of the War Department for additional facilities for the manu- 
facture of small arms became apparent at the time of the outbreak of the 
war with Spain, as it was found that the equipment at the Springfield Armory, 
which prior to this time furnished a sufficient output for the requirements of 
the army on a peace footing, was wholly inadequate to meet the needs on a 
war footing. As buildings and other facilities were already available at Rock 
Island Arsenal, the original plans contemplating use of the north row of 
shops for Armory purposes, it was natural to turn to this plant for help. 

The south or Arsenal row of shops required a minimum of 600 horse- 
power and the Armory row, fully equipped, would need as much more. 
To supply the combined requirements of the Arsenal and give a liberal 
surplus over minimum needs, 14 new turbines of improved design were 
installed at the power plant. Each was capable of developing from 125 to 
150 horse-power, depending upon the stage of water, or from 1,750 to 2,100 
horse-power, taken together. In addition, at the time of reconstruction of 
the dam, provision was made for installing seven more wheels, which would 
bring the total horse-power developed up to from 2,500 to 3,000, which was 
deemed sufficient to meet the Arsenal's needs, as far as it was possible to 
anticipate them at that time. 

The installation in 1899-1900 provided for fourteen 50-inch Leffel wheels 
and two 500-kilowatt three-phase alternating current generators, with their 
exciters. The wheels transmitted their power through heavy bevel gearing 
to a long, horizontal shaft on which the generators were mounted and ar- 
ranged so that either generator could be connected with either exciter and 
operated by either of the two groups of seven turbines as separate units, 
or the whole plant could be connected and operated as a single unit. Some 
five years later this equipment was supplemented with six more wheels of 
similar type and a 650-kilowatt generator was installed, thereby complet- 
ing the plant as planned at the time the dam was reconstructed. 

Distance from the source of power at the dam to its place of application 
in the shops is considerable, being about two thousand feet. Transmission 
of power was one of the earlier problems of the Arsenal. General Rodman 
proposed the use of compressed air, while General Flagler installed a 
continuous shaft. As neither method was feasible, a wire cable was resorted 
to as being most reliable and economical. Power was transmitted by this 
cable over successive sheave wheels from the dam to the shops, the sheave 
wheels being supported by aerial towers. When the plant was modernized, 
immediately after the Spanish-American war, the old cable transmission 
line was replaced by electricity. 



To carry the transmission wires to the shops a concrete subway or 
tunnel was constructed from the dam to the two shops at the eastern end 
of the north and south rows. Cross tunnels were run under each row of 
buildings, and brackets secured to the tunnel walls, along which the power 
cables were laid. All tunnels are lighted with incandescent lamps set at the 
top of the arch, and are seven feet in height and wide enough to allow 
comfortable passage from end to end, so that conductors can be inspected 
at any time. Separate motors were placed in the shops for independent 
operation of the different main lines of shafting, for elevators, etc. 

In 1914, after it had been in operation 15 years, frequent repairs and 
mounting cost of upkeep of the water plant led to consideration of plans for 

Interior of power house, showing big electric generators. 

replacement of the various units. The water wheels, which were the best 
available when they were installed, already had become obsolete and were 
far less efficient than the modern turbine. The combination of inefficient 
wheels, long shaft and bevel gearing involved a great loss of power. The 
working head of water averaged eleven feet or less, and it required three 
feet to merely turn the generators, so that the plant, with a rated capacity 
of 2,200 horse-power, actually was generating only from 1,300 to 1,400 horse- 
power, or 65 per cent of its supposed capacity. It became evident that the 
demands resulting from increased consumption of electrical 'energy in 
the shops, together with new uses constantly being found for it, would 
soon render the power plant entirely inadequate. During the fiscal year 
ending June 30, 1913, approximately 3,000,000 kilowatt hours of electricity 


was consumed, and it was necessary to purchase some power from private 

The sundry civil appropriation act approved July 1, 1916, among other 
things, contained a provision setting aside $500,000 "toward providing facili- 
ties for manufacturing field artillery ammunition, at a total cost not exceed- 
ing $1,250,000, under a contract or contracts, or otherwise, in the discretion 
of the Secretary of War." The estimate forming the basis for this appro- 
priation included the project for increasing the water power at Rock Island 
Arsenal. It was found that the most economical and satisfactory method 
of doing so was to construct a new concrete dam in the rear of and at an 
angle with the existing dam, and to install therein eight large generator 
units and two exciter units of modern type, giving, with an eleven foot 
operating head, approximately 3,760 horse-power. This was done, the im- 
provement being ready for use June 1, 1919. 

The present plan consists of eight alternators with a capacity of 430 
KVA each at 80 per cent power factor, generating 2,400 volt, three phase, 60- 
cycle current. Generators are of the vertical type, direct connected to water 

Underground distribution was installed from the new power plant to 
the sub-stations in the various shops, distribution being at 2,300 volts, 
stepped down to 550 volts at the sub-stations for operation of motors, etc. 
Each sub-station is arranged for one power feeder, one light feeder and an 
emergency feeder which is capable of caring for both the power and lighting 
at that particular sub-station. The feeder distribution and transformers 
installed are capable of taking care of 6,600 KVA, which was about peak 
load at the Arsenal during the late war. 

Acts of Congress making appropriations for the development of water 
power at Rock Island Arsenal are as follows : 

Act of June 27, 1866 $ 100,000 

Act of June 8, 1868 80,000 

Act of March 3, 1869 150,000 

' Act of July 15, 1870 200,000 

Act of March 3, 1871 200,000 

Act of June 10, 1872 110,000 

Act of March 3, 1873 18,000 

Act of June 23, 1874 5,400 

Act of March 3, 1881 , 50,000 

Act of August 7, 1882 100,000 

Act of March 3, 1883 20,000 

Act of July 7, 1884 18,500 

Act of Oct. 2, 1888 275,000 

Act of August 30, 1890 101,000 

Act of July 1, 1898 : 45,000 



Act of March 3, 1899 21,350 

Act of March 3, 1901... 130,500 

Total ....$1,624,750 

Extraordinary repairs to the Rock Island Arsenal water power have 
called for the following appropriations. 

Act of October 2, 1888 $.... 25,000 

Act of August 18, 1894 30,000 

Act of March 2, 1895 37,500 

Act of June 4, 1897 28,150 

Act of June 6, 1900 97,000 

Act of May 27, 1908 28,500 

Total $ 246,150 

One of the many original forest trees seen along driveways on the Island. 

Improvement of the Rock Island Rapids 

LOSELY linked with development of water power for use of the 
Arsenal has been the improvement of the Rock Island rapids for 
purposes of navigation. Measures taken to create a head of water 
sufficient for Arsenal needs have been of incidental help in deep- 
ening the channel of the stream and furnishing slack water naviga- 
tion over the swiftest and most dangerous part of the rapids. The Island's 
shores form the bank of the present power pool, and almost inevitably will 
perform a similar function in any future hydro-electric development that 
may be attempted. 

In the early days of Mississippi river navigation the Rock Island rapids 
constituted a serious and at times an almost insurmountable obstacle to boats. 
Fourteen miles in length, from LeClaire down to the present Rock Island 
bridge, with a fall of 20 feet at low water, there always was a strong current. 
Fourteen chains of upheaved limestone crossed the stream in that distance, 
and the channel was tortuous. 

Prior to the beginning of improvements the rapids were, in extremely 
low stages, impassable to boats and barges of the larger type. In 1863, 
and again in 1864, it was necessary for a time to transfer freight and pas- 
sengers around the rapids by rail. Boats frequently were wrecked and 
groundings on the rocks were almost of daily occurrence. Rafts of logs 
and lumber often were broken up. 

The first steamboat to pass over the rapids arrived at Fort Armstrong 
May 23, 1823. It was the "Virginia," from the Ohio river, and passed on 
up to the Galena river and the mouth of the St. Peter, now known as the 
Minnesota river. 

Surveys were made at an early date, but Congress did not see fit to 
provide funds for improvements for a number of years. The first survey 
was made by Lieutenant Napoleon B. Bufort, in 1829. A second one was 
made in 1836. Robert E. Lee, then a lieutenant, and later head of the Con- 
federate armies, made the third survey, with a view of removing some 
of the navigation hazards from the channel. That was in 1837, but it was 
1857 before any actual work was done. In that year some rock was taken 
out, and then there was a total lapse of activities for another decade. Since 
1867 work has been fairly continuous in one form or another, and the present 
year is expected to see the original object practically realized, and the 
rapids made as safe for river craft as any other part of the stream now 
considered navigable. 

First excavation of rock was done inside of cofferdams. Later chisel 
boats and dredges were employed, the chisel, weighing about three and 




one-half tons, breaking up the rock, which was scooped up by the dredges. 
This method gave way to that of drilling and blasting, with removal of 
rock by dredging, as is now done. 

First appropriation for removal of rock from the channel was made 
by Congress in 1852. During the years from 1867 to 1882 efforts of the 
river engineers were directed to the opening of a channel 200 feet in width, 
excavated in the rock. This work was done in carrying out a project 
approved by Congress in 1879, calling for a channel of a minimum depth of 
four and one-half feet from the mouth of the Missouri to the head of naviga- 
tion. Subsequently, in 1907, Congress passed an act providing for a minimum 
depth of six feet in the section of the river indicated, and later projects on 
the rapids have conformed to this standard. 

Construction of closing and wing dams to confine the channel and 
aid in deepening it was commenced in 1890. Up to that time spoil from 
excavation was deposited in various places outside of the channel. 

Practically all improvements in the rapids have been made by use of 
government-owned equipment, operated by day labor, and directed by War 
Department engineers. 

The power pool at Moline was originally created by building a rock 
dam about one-half mile up the river, parallel with the shore, from Ben- 
ham's Island, north of and just below the head of Rock Island. This was 
extended three miles farther upstream in 1898. Another dam connected the 
two islands named. These dams virtually cut off the city of Moline from 
benefits of river transportation, since boats entering the pool were forced 
to go around the head of the longitudinal dam. 

The River and Harbor Act passed in March, 1905, provided for the 
remedying of this situation. It appropriated money for the building of 
a lock and dam at the foot of Benham's Island, thus obviating the detour 
to gain access to the channel, and also set on foot the excavation of a 250-foot 
passageway for boats, four feet deep, throughout the entire length of the 
pool. The lock and dam were built in 1907, the cost being $386,000. Later 
the longitudinal dam was reconstructed with a concrete core to prevent 
leakage, and a concrete apron to check erosion in high stages of the river, 
when the dam became a spillway, relieving the pool of surplus water. By 
stopping leakage and making a slight extension of the main dam, together 
with the building of back water dams, the head of water in the pool was 
increased one and one-half feet, giving a channel depth of approximately 
six feet and conforming to the general plan for river improvement. 

With the completion of this work, practically all river traffic was 
diverted through the pool and lock, thus avoiding the worst part of the 
rapids. A difficult stretch of river remained, however, between LeClaire and 


what is known as the Hampton pool. Lateral dams had been built to raise 
the water, but the channel was narrow and the current swift. 

In 1888 maps were prepared by a board of engineers with a view to the 
creation of a longitudinal canal connecting the head of the rapids with the 
Hampton pool, three miles below. With the adoption of the six-foot channel 
project the subject was further investigated, and it was determined to build 
the canal on the Iowa side. Plans called for a longitudinal dam to the head 
of Smith's Island, which was to form the south bank for about a mile, thus 
obviating much work. The height of the dam was to be six and one-half feet 
above low water at the upper end, to serve as a spillway in floods, and the 
lower part was to be above high water mark. Below the island a dam and 
lock were provided for. The original estimate of cost was $1,282,797. 

Work was begun in 1914 and is being continued at the present time. 
Delay has been caused by failure of Congress to make consecutive appro- 
priations, but it is expected that the lock will be ready for use at the opening 
of the 1923 navigation season. 

The LeClaire canal project involved construction of cofferdams and 
the removal of much rock in the upper section. This has made the work 
slow and costly. The lock at the lower end of the canal is 80 feet wide 
and 350 feet long, with a lift of six feet at low water. 

Upon completion of this project the Rock Island rapids will no longer 
be an obstruction to navigation. A safe channel with a depth of not 
less than six feet and not less than 200 feet wide, with no swift water, and 
with two locks capable of passing the largest boats and barges, will be 

But a small part of the potential power of the Rock Island rapids is 
developed by the present hydro-electric plant, and considerable attention 
has been given to the subject of extending the scope of the project. Maps 
and plans have been prepared looking to furthering the undertaking bath 
by the government and by private interests. 

Flow of the Mississippi at this point varies from 20,000 to 200,000 cubic 
feet per second, depending upon the stage of water, and this, with a 20-foot 
fall, forms the basis for varying estimates of the power possibilities in- 

It is apparent that any increase of water power utilization that takes place 
holds important possibilities for Rock Island Arsenal, provided the work is 
done by the government, or under government supervision, and the plan of 
operation be so arranged that the needs of the Arsenal shall be fully pro- 
vided for before any diversion of power for private use is permitted. 

Bridging the Mississippi 

P to the time when the present Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Rail- 
road Company completed its bridge from Rock Island to the Daven- 
port shore, in 1856, the channel of the Mississippi never had been 
spanned. The remains of the south pier of the first bridge to cross 
the stream may yet be seen on the Island shore, about a quarter of 
a mile above the present structure. 

This original bridge was of wood, of what is known as the Howe truss 
type. It was a single decker, with room for but one railroad track. .There 
were six spans, the draw span being 250 feet in length. The first locomo- 
tive, pulling a few empty cars, crossed April 21, 1856. 

Compared with later triumphs of the bridge builder's art, this old 
structure was crude and inadequate, and was doomed to demonstrate its 
shortcomings in a variety of ways. Fifteen days after it was opened the 
steamer "Effie Afton," bound down stream, crashed against the draw span 
pier, took fire and burned, igniting the span, which also was consumed. The 
hull of the boat drifted a couple of miles down stream and sank. Other 
craft subsequently came to grief at this point, and rafts frequently met 
with disaster. There was much property loss and some loss of life. 

Constructed, as it was, at the height of the usefulness of the steamboat, 
when a score of packet lines plied the upper river and hundreds of rafts 
of logs and lumber were brought down from the north each season, the 
bridge was not popular with the river men. As a matter of fact, it greatly 
complicated the feat of successfully negotiating the already dangerous 
rapids, being built just below the most difficult stretch of the rock-infested 
channel. To make matters even worse, the draw span was not set squarely 
across the current. 

In the spring of 1868 the ice, in moving out, caught the first pier from 
the Iowa side and pushed it down stream 25 feet. A few weeks later a 
windstorm from the west rolled the draw span over on its side, so that it 
hung suspended on the pier. These various accidents made it necessary 
practically to rebuild the bridge piecemeal. 

The accident to the "Effie Afton" led to a lawsuit in which the owners 
of the boat endeavored to recover damages from the bridge company. 
Abraham Lincoln was one of the attorneys for the defense. Lincoln con- 
tended that the right to navigate a stream was no more fundamental than 
the right to cross it, and that, therefore, the fact that the steamboat antedated 
the bridge in this case added nothing to the merits of the plaintiff's cause. 



The jury disagreed, which was regarded as a triumph for the defense, in 
view of adverse public sentiment. 

Under the administration of Col. Jordan as Commandant at the Arsenal 
steps were taken to permanently repair the old pier of the original bridge, 
which had been retained as a memorial of the first bridge crossing the Miss- 
issippi, and which was crumbling away. The weakened parts were bound 
up with concrete and a metal tablet with suitable inscription was placed upon 

When Rock Island was set aside for Arsenal purposes in the early 60's 
the question of bridges became one of much importance. Means of access 
to the surrounding cities must be provided, and the government at once 

Original Rock Island bridge, 

iwed from the Illinois shore below the Island. This structure was opened in 1856, and 
Yas the first thrown across the Mississippi at any point. 

took charge of the situation. An agreement with the Rock Island road 
was effected for the removal of its tracks to the western end of the Island, 
and the joint construction by the railroad and government of a new steel 
bridge on the site of the present one across the main channel. 

Work on the second bridge was completed in February, 1872, and it 
was turned over to the War Department four months later. Originally this 
bridge was intended for use in transaction of government business only, 
and not as a thoroughfare between the Illinois and Iowa shores. There was 
much local criticism of the course pursued, but Captain Flagler, the Com- 
mandant, who had just improved and opened the present Fort Armstrong 
avenue, threw the main bridge open to the public shortly after it was placed 
in his hands. 

The second bridge was 1,550 feet long, five spans and draw, and cost 
about a million dollars. It was a double-deck, two-track bridge, with foot- 
paths on the sides below, the same as the bridge of this day. 



Heavier traffic, especially use of larger locomotives and railway cars, 
made it necessary to replace the second bridge with a new steel structure in 
1894-95. The old piers were used. Ralph Modjeska, son of the famous act- 
ress, and to this day one of the leaders in his profession, was the engineer in 
charge of the work. 

The second Rock Island bridge, completed in 1872. 

The trusses of the present bridge, which provides for street railway, 
as well as railroad, vehicle and foot traffic, are calculated to carry a moving 
load of 11,360 pounds per lineal foot, 8,000 on the railroad floor above and 
3,360 pounds on the lower floor. The draw span, one of the heaviest in exist- 
ence at the time it was built, weighs 2,500,000 pounds. The first span at 
the north is 260 feet long, the second, third and fourth are 220 feet, and the 
fifth 260 feet. The draw span, which touches the Island shore, is 368 feet 
in length, with an opening on either side for river traffic of 162 feet. The 
railroad approach span on the Iowa side is 200 feet in length and that at the 
south end about 100 feet. 

The first bridge connecting the Island with the City^of Rock Island 
was a wooden affair, and belonged to the municipality. This the govern- 
ment bought soon after the construction of the Arsenal was begun. In 
the spring of 1868 this bridge was carried away by the ice and was succeeded, 
as soon as an appropriation for the purpose could be secured, by one of 
steel. This later was elevated at the south end and a viaduct built across 
the railroad tracks on the river bank. 

Moline owned the original bridge connecting that city with the Island. 
The government bought this in 1868, and replaced it with the present steel 
bridge in 1873. 

The railroad and street railway bridges from the Island to the Illinois 
shore are under control of, though not built by, the government. 



All told Congress has appropriated $1,310,550 for bridges at Rock 
Island, as follows : 

Act of March 2, 1867 $ 200,000 

Act of July 25, 1868 100,000 

Act of March 3, 1869 500,000 

Act of July 15, 1870 300,000 

Act of March 2, 1889 35,000 

Act of March 28, 1896 96,000 

Act of June 11, 1896 10,200 

Act of May 27, 1908 9,350 

Act of March 4, 1909... 60,000 

Total $1,310,550 

The present Rock Islandjbridge. Insert, Frank E. Bobbins, who has been in the service of the government for 
42 years, and for 29 years has been superintendent of the bridge. 



Being the only artery for use of street cars, vehicles and pedestrians 
between the Rock Island and Davenport shores, the Rock Island bridge 
now bears a traffic which at times tests the capacity of the lower deck. 
When heavy movements of freight are on the railroad tracks, there, also, are 
scenes of much activity. 

Records of traffic, both across the bridge and up and down the river, 
have been kept from the beginning, and a comparison of the figures from 
year to year is enlightening. While travel across the stream has grown 
rapidly, there has been a rapid falling off in the use of the river. The 
record for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1921, follows: 


Engines, 36,385 

Passenger cars 98,568 

Freight cars 469,334 

Street cars 162,688 

Pedestrians 810,142 

Vehicles 3,296,064 

Steamboats 1,607 

Barges 1,466 

Per Day 







7 (for 8 months) 
6 (for 8 months) 

Compare the foregoing with the figures for the fiscal year ending 
June 30, 1874: 

Per Day 






7 (for 8 months) 
2 (for 8 months) 
2%(for 8 months) 

Engines 3,725 

Passenger cars -.. 9,088 

Freight cars 120,775 

Pedestrains 338,786 

Vehicles 290,940 

Steam boats 1,672 

Barges 444 

Rafts, lumber and logs 583 

Street cars . None 

The maximum load for a freight car in 1874 was 30,000 pounds ; in 1921 
115,000 pounds. The 583 rafts that passed through the bridge in 1874 had 
an average of 2,000,000 feet, board measure, or a total of 1,166,000,000 feet. 
In the seventies and early eighties, there were 17 side-wheel packets plying 



between St. Louis and St. Paul. All of those packets were about on a par 
with the "St. Paul" and "Quincy" of late years. 

It will be noted that the records do not indicate the decline in steam- 
boat traffic that actually has taken place since 1874. The truth is that in 
1921 no packets passed through the draw, craft listed being mostly sand 
dredges and government boats and barges working on the rapids, with a few 
excursion steamers, which ply the upper river irregularly during the summer 


Remains of the Island pier of the first bridge, now preserved as a historic relic. 

Passenger Transport 

AYING out driveways on the Island and building bridges connecting 
with Rock Island, Moline and Davenport did not fully solve the 
question of passenger transportation to and from Rock Island 
Arsenal. Workers lived in the surrounding cities, some of them 
several miles from the scene of their employment, so walking was 
out of the question, and in the early days it was impossible for all to ar- 
range for private vehicles. 

The situation was met at first through the use of horse-drawn hacks, 
carrying as many men as a team could conveniently haul, which collected 
passengers at given points, at designated periods in the mornings, and 
returned them to their homes in the evenings. Each driver kept his own list 
of passengers, and compensation was arranged on mutually agreeable terms. 

With the coming into general use, early in the 90's, of the bicycle, this 
became the favorite means of getting to and from work for many of the 
men, especially the younger ones, though the hacks continued to operate 
till after the coming of the street car, which was under the administration 
of Colonel Blunt. Then the Tri-City Railway Company obtained a fran- 
chise to lay tracks on the Island extending from the southern viaduct on 
Fort Armstrong avenue at the west, past the shops, and connecting with the 
Rock Island-Moline lines by means of a bridge across Sylvan Water at 
Forty-second street, Rock Island. Thereafter cars were operated on regular 
schedule over this line, with special cars starting from various points in 
the three cities to collect workers in the morning and returning them to their 
homes at the close of the day. 

Under Colonel Blunt, also, bicycle paths were laid out for the safety 
and convenience of those using this method of traveling back and forth, 
but these became obsolete with the coming of the automobile into general 
use, and occupying part of the building sites when the vast expansion of 
the late war was begun, were discontinued. Many Arsenal workers now use 
their own automobiles, though the street cars continue to operate and do the 
greater part of the passenger carrying, and the bicycle still is in favor with 

In time of war the privilege of the public to visit the Arsenal is of 
necessity closely curtailed, but ordinarily restrictions are removed to the 
limit considered compatible with the security of the institution. Guards 
are stationed at the entrance gates both day and night, and passes are re- 
quired to gain admittance. 

Since the main driveway through the Island offers the shortest route 
between Moline and Davenport, it was to have been expected that efforts 



would be made to have it declared a public thoroughfare. The War De- 
partment, however, has consistently refused this concession, on the ground 
that it would practically remove restrictions upon visitors and would greatly 
complicate the work of guarding the valuable government property at the 
Arsenal. Then, too, wear and tear on the two miles of paving which is 
maintained by the War Department has been an item given consideration. 
A similar policy was adopted with reference to the street car line across the 
Island, which carries no through passengers. 

Regulations respecting the care of property are strictly enforced. 
Visitors are not allowed to picnic on the Island, or to destroy shrubs, 
flowers or trees, or to kill wild birds and animals, which numerously inhabit 
the wooded tracts. Timber squirrels are common, as are imported pheasants, 
which find the premises a haven of refuge. Among the squirrels are many of 
the black variety, which are not native to the locality. 

Fort Armstrong avenue. Public highway between bridges at west end of Island and sole traffic artery between 
Illinois and Iowa shores at this point. 

The Military Museum 

OR the visitor, nothing at Rock Island Arsenal holds greater interest 
than the war museum, one of the most complete of its kind in the 
country. It contains nearly every fighting implement used by man in 
the last century, and some weapons common as far back as Revolu- 
tionary times. It occupies a space 60x216 feet on the first floor in the 
southwest corner of Shop A, and the need for more room is increasingly felt 
to house the exhibits constantly being added to it. 

Prior to the World War the museum was relatively small, but since 
that struggle it has acquired a great variety of new material, including many 
trophies captured from enemy armies. These help to make the collection 
one of surpassing interest. During the war many of the exhibits were 
boxed and stored, while the others were placed on view in the old storehouse 
near the south end of the main bridge. This was done to give more floor 
space for manufacturing purposes. 

In the museum one can trace the history of the development of the art 
of war even as far back as the day of the spear and the bow and arrow, for 
there are included in the collection the weapons of the primitive Indian of the 
locality and the wild natives of the Philippines, as well as tools of destruc- 
tion evolved by the so-called civilized nations. Along with the spear and the 
machete are samples of gaspipe cannon, wrapped with wire to give greater 
strength, that occasionally have been employed since the age of gunpowder 
arrived, to meet emergencies arising from lack of facilities to manufacture 
more effective weapons. Some of these guns were used against our own 
soldiers in the Philippine insurrection. 

Of cannon there is a variety most complete, from the old brass gun 
that a man could carry about and the swivel guns of yore, down to quick- 
firing and destructive implements used in the late war. So far it has been 
impracticable to show the heavier siege guns. There are, however, a number 
of mortars and howitzers of larger bore. Among the guns are some that 
were made for use by the navy. 

It would be difficult to conceive a more complete collection of small 
arms than the one here shown. There are revolvers of every type used since 
gunpowder was invented, and rifles of every description. The old flintlocks 
are here, and so are the deadly automatic rifles and the sawed-off shotguns 
which did such execution in the World War. Not alone are shown weapons 
made for army use, but scores of arms of private manufacture, especially 
of the latter part of the nineteenth century, are included. Here one sees 
the weapons with which the pioneers of this country established their reputa- 
tions for accurate shooting, and which exterminated the buffalo and forced 
the Red Man into subjection. Guns used by foreign armies can be seen 
and studied. 



The machine gun exhibit is one of much interest, and includes many 
trophies over which sanguinary struggles took place in France. With the 
machine guns is a sample repair kit made by the Germans, and well illustrat- 
ing their trait of care and thoroughness in preparing for war. There is also 
a German war map, drawn with infinite pains and delineating every topo- 
graphical and other feature that could be of use in planning and executing 
military maneuvres. Anti-aircraft guns, armor, gas masks, bombs used by 
aircraft, torpedoes, and most of the devices used in trench warfare are on 

Included in the artillery is an exact duplicate of the French gun which 
fired the first shot from French soil at the advancing Germans. There are 
several guns in camouflage, and a field gun and caisson of an earlier type 
appears, hitched to horses completely harnessed and apparently ready for 
marching orders. 

Of leather goods there is a great variety, showing the products of this 
department of the Arsenal, which was the largest of its kind in the world. 
Saddles, harness and the various straps and other devices for which an army 
has use, are all to be seen. There is also a wall exhibit of personal equipment 
sets made at the Arsenal, some of them shown in course of manufacture, the 
effect of each separate operation being indicated. In one corner is a 
Liberty motor set up on a block. 

It is the policy of the department to add to the exhibits of this museum 
from time to time, and to maintain it open to the public, admission free, 
subject only to such rules and regulations as are necessary in the circum- 

Arsenal Museum, showing a few of the many war relics on view. 

The Old Davenport House 

HE early history of the Island, from the founding of Fort Armstrong 
to the establishment of the Arsenal in 1862, is largely a record of 
contention for possession of the premises. It was apparent from 
the first that the land would some day be very valuable, and many 
coveted the more desirable parts of it. Influx of settlers was accel- 
erated at the close of the Black Hawk war, which put an end to Indian 
depredations and assured the safety of the white man. After that there was 
no real need for the presence of troops in the locality. 

Fort Armstrong, however, was maintained until May 4, 1836, and two 
years later Colonel George Davenport was appointed Indian agent and re- 
mained in charge until 1840. Colonel Davenport was the first white settler in 

Home of Col. Davenport, as it stands today. 

the vicinity of the Island. He was identified with it from 1815 to July 4, 1845, 
when he was murdered in his home by a band of robbers and horse thieves. 
The murderers escaped unrecognized, but were afterward arrested, and three 
of them Aaron Long, John Long and Granville Young were hanged on 
October 19th, of the succeeding year. 

Colonel Davenport was an Englishman, born in Lincolnshire, in 1783. 
After many hard experiences at sea, he reached New Orleans in 1806. Dur- 



ing his Island life he became famous as a trader, winning the confidence 
of the Indians. 

The house in which Colonel Davenport was murdered stands near the 
northern shore at the lower end of the Island. It was built in 1833, and 
is by far the oldest structure at the Arsenal. Up to the year 1906 no repairs 
had been made, and it was gradually falling into decay, but in that year 
the Old Settlers' Association of Rock Island County, Illinois, secured per- 
mission from the government to undertake the work of repair and to 
maintain this historic building for the future. 

An organization known as the Colonel Davenport House Association 
has been formed for the purpose of fostering the local traditions and 
history with which the Davenport home is so closely attached. To each of the 
four patriotic societies of the Tri-Cities the Colonial Dames, the Daughters 
of the American Revolution, the Old Settlers' Associations of Rock Island 
County, Illinois, and Scott County, Iowa, and the Davenport family one 
each of the four rooms in the old house has been definitely assigned. 

The preservation of the Davenport house was made possible through 
the efforts of Mr. Phil Mitchell, of Rock Island, Miss Alice French and 
C. A. Ficke, of Davenport, and the Misses Catherine and Naomi Davenport. 

Looking toward Davenport from west end of Island. 

Arsenal Commandants 

HE four commanding officers at Rock Island Arsenal connected with 
the World War time and the period of readjustment immediately 
following were Colonel George W. Burr, Colonel L. T. Hillman, 
Colonel Harry B. Jordan, and the present Commandant, Colonel D. 
M. King. All saw active service abroad, Colonel, now General, 
Burr, in charge when America entered the struggle, and upon whose shoulders 
fell the responsibility of placing the Arsenal on a war-producing basis, 
having been relieved in early 1918, promoted and detailed to service abroad; 
Colonel L. T. Hillman, who went across with the first expeditionary forces, 
and returning was assigned to command of the Arsenal to succeed Colonel 
Burr, and Colonels Harry B. Jordan and D. M. King, also rendering dis- 
tinguished service abroad until the Armistice was declared. The army 
careers of these officers is of particular interest at this time. 


Colonel D. M. King, the present Commandant of Rock Island Arsenal, 
was born in Ohio, November 5, 1869. In 1889 he entered the West Point 
Military Academy, and was graduated in June, 1893. 

After his graduation he was stationed in Washington, D. C., from 1893 
to 1896, and from 1896 to 1899 he was instructor at the U. S. Military Acad- 
emy. In 1898 he was commissioned First Lieutenant, Ordnance Department. 

Colonel King, in July, 1917, upon entrance of the United States into the 
World War, was on the staff of Colonel Burr at the Rock Island Arsenal 
and was designated by the Chief of Ordnance to design, equip, construct 
and obtain the necessary commissioned and enlisted personnel for the 
maintenance of all ordnance material in France. This was a $20,000,000 
project, and required approximately 275 officers and 20,000 skilled enlisted 
men for the operation of the shops and repair facilities. 

The main shops were located at Mehun, France, and about 9,000 men 
were employed at the date of the Armistice. Some twenty smaller plants 
were established, maintained and operated at artillery training camps and 
elsewhere in France. 

Colonel King received the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion 
of Honor was conferred upon him by the French Government. 

Colonel King has been in command of Rock Island Arsenal since June 
3, 1921. 


Upper Left, Col. George W. Burr, 1911-1918; right, Col. Leroy T. Hillman, March to December, 1918. 

Lower Left, Col. Harry B. Jordan, 1918-1921; right, Col. D. M. King, 1921. 



Colonel Harry B. Jordan, Ordnance Department, is a native of Kentucky, 
being born in the Blue Grass State February 26, 1876. He was appointed to 
West Point Military Academy from Washington in June, 1897, and graduat- 
ed with the rank of Second Lieutenant of Cavalry in February, 1901. In 
April of the same year he was transferred to the Fourteenth Cavalry, and in 
July, 1903, was made a First Lieutenant in the Ordnance Department. In 
July, 1905, he was transferred back to the Cavalry with the same rank, and 
was detailed as Captain of Ordnance one year later. His transfer back to 
the Cavalry came the following year, but he returned to the Ordnance De- 
partment in 1908. He was then assigned to Rock Island Arsenal until June, 
1912, when he was again detailed to the Cavalry. In 1913 he returned 
to the Ordnance Department and has been in that branch of the service 
since. In 1915 he was promoted to the rank of Major in the Ordnance De- 
partment, and shortly before the United States entered the war he was made 
a Lieutenant-Colonel. 

When the Expeditionary Forces of the United States went abroad, 
Colonel Jordan was sent to France, where he was placed in charge of the 
construction of Arsenals. For more than one year he was so engaged and was 
then brought back to the United States, with the rank of Colonel, and placed 
in charge of the Artillery Section in the office of the Chief of Ordnance. 

He assumed command of the Rock Island Arsenal on January 20, 1919, 
and continued to serve in this capacity until June 1, 1921, when he was 
relieved of its command and assigned to duty as Chief Ordnance Officer, 
American Forces in Germany, stationed at Coblenz. 


Colonel Leroy T. Hillman, Ordnance D-epartment, was born in Warren, 
Ohio, April 30, 1879, and was appointed to the United States Military 
Academy from Indiana in June, 1896. Upon his graduation he was appointed 
a Second Lieutenant of Artillery in 1900, and received the First Lieutenancy 
in the same branch in 1901. He was detailed to the Ordnance Department 
with the same rank in 1904, and was made a Captain of Ordnance in 1906. 
He was transferred to the Artillery in 1908. His rank of Captain in 
the Artillery dated from January, 1907. He was again transferred to the 
Ordnance Department in 1909, and in 1911 received his Majority. 

During his time as Major he was appointed a member of a special 
examining board for officers who applied for detail in the Ordnance Depart- 
ment. His promotion to a Lieutenant-Colonelcy came in September, 1917, 
when he was sent to France, representing the Ordnance Department. After 
six months service abroad, he was returned to the United States, where he 
received his full Colonelcy and was assigned to succeed Colonel George W. 



Upper row Left to right, Col: F. E. Hobbs, 1907-1911; Col. S. E. Blunt, 1897-1907; Col. A. R. Buffington, 1892-18J7. 

Middle row Col. i. M. Whiltemore,'1889-1891; Col. T. G. Baylor, 1886-1889. 
Lower row Gen. D. W. Flagler, 1871-1886; Gen. T.*J. Rodman, 1865-1871; Maj. C. P. Kingsbury, 1863-1865. 


Burr as Commandant at Rock Island Arsenal. He remained in command 
of the latter post until his death, which occurred at the Arsenal on December 
29, 1918. 


Brigadier-General George W. Burr entered United States Military 
Academy June 15, 1884, and on graduation was given a Second Lieutenant's 
commission, June 11, 1888; he was made a First Lieutenant of Ordnance 
January 10, 1893; commission as Captain followed on April 7, 1899; he was 
commissioned a Major June 25, 1906, and a Lieutenant-Colonel October 23, 

In 1911 General Burr was assigned to command of Rock Island Arsenal, 
and while in command of the post was promoted to the rank of Colonel. 
General Burr served as Commandant of the Arsenal until February, 1918, 
when he was transferred to Washington, where he became the representative 
of the Ordnance Department in purchasing heavy artillery and munitions 
from the British Government and was assigned as Chief Ordnance Officer on 
the staff of Major-General Biddle in England. On August 8, 1918, he was 
appointed Brigadier-General in the National Army and assigned as Chief 
of the Engineering Division of the Ordnance Department. In December, 
1918, he was appointed Assistant Director of Purchase, Storage and Traffic, 
and on March 5, 1919, was promoted temporarily to the grade of Major- 
General. He now holds the rank of Brigadier-General and is Chief of the 
Field Service in the office of the Chief of Ordnance. 




Major C. P. Kingsbury July 27, 1863 to June 14, 1865 

Major T. J. Rodman Aug. 3, 1865 to June 7, 1871 

Captain D. W. Flagler June 15, 1871 to May 12, 1886 

Colonel T. G. Baylor May 12, 1886 to Nov. 8, 1889 

Colonel I. M. Whittemore Nov. 8, 1889 to Mar. 14, 1891 

Colonel A. R. Buffington... Jan. 21, 1892 to Mar. 3, 1897 

Captain S. E. Blunt Mar. 3, 1897 to Aug. 3, 1907 

Lieutenant-Colonel F. E. Hobbs Aug. 3, 1907 to Apr. 12, 1911 

Lieutenant-Colonel George W. Burr July 7, 1911 to Feb. 15, 1918 

Colonel L. T. Hillman Mar. 4, 1918 to Dec. 29, 1918 

Colonel Harry B. Jordan Jan. 20, 1919 to June 1, 1921 

Colonel D. M. King :.... June 3, 1921 to 



Colonel John T. Thompson (retired), whose activities as an Ordnance 
Officer were closely allied with the development of the small arm, first 
served at Rock Island Arsenal in 1891 as a Lieutenant of Ordnance under 
Colonel Buffington, then its Commandant, and again in 1904, when as a 
Captain, he was assigned as Assistant Officer to the Commanding Officer, 
Colonel S. E. Blunt, iri charge of the manufacture of the rifle, the production 
of which, following the establishment of the small arms plant at the Arsenal, 
was to be undertaken in quantity. 

Colonel Thompson entered the U. S. Military Academy July 1, 1878, 
and graduated in 1882 as a Second Lieutenant of Artillery; his promotion to 
the grade of First Lieutenant followed January 20, 1889; in December, 1890, 
he was transferred to the Ordnance; he was promoted to Captain June 15, 
1898; to rank of Major on June 25, 1906; Lieutenant-Colonel on January 
21, 1909, and Colonel October 30, 1913. 

When war broke out Colonel Thompson retired and became associated 
with the Remington Arms Co. in the manufacture of rifles (Model 1914) 
for the British Government. On our own entrance into the war Colonel 
Thompson re-entered the service as Chief of the Small Arms Division, office 
of the Chief of Ordnance, and was the prime moving spirit in the production 
of the Model 1917 U. S. Rifle. He later became Director of Arsenals, in which 
capacity he was charged with directing for the Chief of Ordnance the 
operations of the Arsenals as manufacturing plants and military establish- 
ments, and handling of all matters of general administration. 

At the cessation of hostilities he again retired. Since that time his 
energy has been devoted in perfecting the Thompson sub-machine gun, of 
which he is the inventor. This weapon, the inventor claims, considering 
its small size, the number of blows it can hit in a given time, is the most 
effective portable weapon yet invented. The Thompson sub-machine gun is 
being manufactured by the Auto Ordnance Corporation, of New York. 


The present Chief of Ordnance, Major-General C. C. Williams, entered 
the U. S. Military Academy on June 17, 1890, graduating June 12, 1894, 
as a Second Lieutenant of Artillery. He was commissioned a First Lieu- 
tenant of Ordnance October 4, 1898. On June 14, 1902, he was promoted to 
the rank of Captain, and it was during the period of his Captaincy, some two 
years later, that he was assigned to duty at Rock Island Arsenal as assistant 
to the officer in charge of work in the Armory shops, at that time being 
equipped for the manufacture of the rifle. 

While on duty as Inspector of Ordnance at the works of the Bethlehem 
Steel Co., which assignment followed his relief from duty at the Arsenal, 



he was promoted to the rank of Major. He was made a Lieutenam>Colonel 
April 6, 1915. When the expeditionary forces of the United States were 
ordered to France, General Williams was one of the first ordnance officers 
sent abroad, where he served as Chief Ordnance Officer, A. E. F. On 
August 5, 1917, he was appointed Brigadier-General in the National Army, 
and on May 17, 1918, was assigned to duty as Acting Chief of Ordnance. 
On July 16, 1918, he succeeded Major-General William Crozier as Chief 
of Ordnance, the latter having on that date been appointed Major-General 
in the line of the Army. 

Col. John T. Thompson, retired, who during the war served as chief of the small arms di 
director of Arsenals, and who was twice stationed at Rock Island Arsenal. 

Other Arsenals 

O give an adequate understanding of the relative importance of 
Rock Island Arsenal, it is necessary to furnish a basis of comparison 
with other similar institutions in the United States. There are, 
altogether, eight Arsenals, an Armory and a Reserve Depot under 
the jurisdiction of the Ordnance Department, which is charged 
with the task of providing and caring for all military supplies. Arsenals 
and Armories are manufacturing establishments, while depots have only 
facilities for storage. Rock Island Arsenal is the largest plant of them all, 
and its uses are more diversified, the others specializing in certain kinds of 
ordnance stores. This Arsenal also produces small arms, a work carried 
on nowhere else except at the Springfield Armory, and, besides, its store- 
houses shelter the greatest single collection of ordnance supplies in the 

In connection with the manufacture of field artillery, tests by proof 
firing are necessary. So the Ordnance Department has established proving 
grounds. That at Aberdeen, Md., is the largest. Facilities for emergency 
use of the same sort exist at the Savanna grounds, an adjunct of Rock Island 
Arsenal, and at Erie, Ohio. 

Practically all ordnance manufacturing, except, of course, in emergen- 
cies, is done at the Springfield Armory and the four main Arsenals at Rock 
Island, Frankford, Watertown and Watervliet other Arsenals doing repair 
work only, in addition to storing and issuing supplies. 

Principal work done at the Springfield Armory is in connection with the 
manufacture of the U. S. army rifle, model of 1903, and its spare parts and 
appendages, bayonets, bolos and trench knives. 

The Armory was established at Springfield, Massachusetts, in April, 
1778, as a laboratory for the preparation of ammunition to be used in the 
Revolutionary War. In 1794 it was made a National Armory for the manu- 
facture of small arms, and has continued in this capacity since. In the 
World War the output attained a rate of 6,000 rifles a week. The value of 
the Armory, which occupies 297 acres of ground, is estimated at $12,229,000. 

Before the Armory at Rock Island was opened, in 1905, all rifle manu- 
facturing was done at Springfield, and in 1915 reduction of appropriations by 
Congress made it necessary to again center production at the latter place. 
During the World War Springfield and Rock Island together could not 



supply enough arms. Since that conflict the Rock Island Armory has done 
only repair work, Springfield being able to meet peace time needs of the 
army. With a great supply of rifles on hand, it is unlikely that the present 
type of weapon will again be manufactured at Rock Island. 

Regulation uniform adopted for women workers at Arsenal during the war. 


Watertown Arsenal is located at Watertown, Mass. Its activities 
include manufacture of gun forgings, seacoast gun carriages, railway mounts 


and high explosive and armor-piercing projectiles. It stores and issues parts 
for seacoast artillery carriages and target material. 

This Arsenal was established under act of Congress dated February 8, 
1815. It embraces 87.4 acres, valuation of land, buildings and equipment be- 
ing $20,631,000. The civilian personnel numbered over 3,000 during the late 


Watervliet Arsenal is located within the city limits of Watervliet, N. Y. 
Its main function is the manufacture of both light and heavy guns, and 
accessories. The site was acquired in 1813, and comprises 144 acres. The 
value of its lands, buildings and equipment is $12,029,000. 

During the World War employees numbered 3,300 and production in 
1918 was 578 completed guns, ranging from 1.457-inch to 16-inch. There 
were relined or modified 161 guns, ranging from 6 to 16-inch types. 


Frankford Arsenal is located 10 miles from the center of Philadelphia, 
Pennsylvania. It manufactures small arms ammunition of all kinds, metal 
components of artillery, trench warfare ammunition, and fire control 
and range-finding instruments, including optical parts. This Arsenal was 
acquired May 27, 1816. It covers 91.5 acres, and the value of its land, build- 
ings and equipment is estimated at $24,084,000. Over 5,000 workers were 
employed during the World War. 


Picatinny Arsenal is in Morris county, New Jersey, within 5 miles of 
Dover. Its work is the manufacture of powder, high explosives and metal 
components for the loading of the same. Experimental work is also done 
in development of ammunition. 

Picatinny Arsenal was established in 1880. It comprises 1,615 acres, 
the valuation of land, buildings and equipment being $8,965,000. Number of 
employees during the late war reached 1,500 and the production of powder 
in 1918 was 2,369,200 pounds. 


Located within the city limits of San Antonio, Texas, San Antonio 
Arsenal is a pre-war ordnance establishment, equipped for storing, maintain- 
ing and issuing all classes of ordnance goods, and with facilities for repair- 
ing stores used by troops in that section of the country. The site comprises 
19.65 acres. It was acquired in 1859. There are 235,640 feet of storage space, 
and value of the establishment is placed at $998,000. 

Augusta, Georgia, is the home of Augusta Arsenal. Here are stored 
and issued ordnance material other than ammunition for the 4th Army Corps. 


Minor repairs are also made, shop equipment being sufficient to care for all 
kinds of ordnance, including small arms, field and coast artillery, etc. The 
Arsenal embraces what formerly was known as the Augusta Ordnance 
Supply Depot, located several miles from the Arsenal, and now the main 
storage plant. There are 100 acres of land, of which the government owns 
70, the other 30 being leased. This Arsenal was established in 1826. 


Benicia Arsenal is located one mile from Benicia, California. It stores 
and issues ammunition and other supplies for the 9th Army Corps area, 
and collects and forwards ordnance supplies for the army in the insular 
possessions and Alaska. It manufactures cast iron projectiles, all classes 
of target material and smokeless powder for seacoast armament, and repairs 
ordnance material. Though title to this Arsenal was not finally acquired 
until October 10, 1862, a portion of its present site was used for ordnance 
purposes as early as 1851. It covers 339 acres, the valuation of land being 
$140,000 and of buildings and equipment $1,489,000. 


The Raritan Ordnance Reserve Depot is located on the Raritan river, 
about thirty miles west of New York City, and five miles northeast of New 
Brunswick, N. J. At this establishment are stored, issued and maintained 
ordnance supplies for troops of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Corps areas. There 
is also stored a reserve supply of ammunition and components. Dock facili- 
ties accommodate lighters for loading ocean-going vessels. The Depot was 
acquired in October, 1917. It comprises 2,159 acres. The land is valued at 
$680,000 and buildings and equipment at $14,073,000. Raritan has taken over 
activities of the former New York Arsenal. 


Location of the Erie Proving Ground is seven miles west of Port Clinton, 
Ohio, on Lake Erie. It has storage space and maintains facilities for trac- 
tors, automotive vehicles and heavy artillery, and in addition, in case of 
emergency, proof firing may be done there. It was acquired March 25, 1918. 
Of the 1,218 acres included, 1,165 are owned by the government and 53 by 
the State of Ohio. Valuation of land is $231,000, and of buildings and equip- 
ment $5,527,000. 


The Aberdeen Proving Ground is located 35 miles northeast of Balti- 
more, Maryland. It was acquired December 14, 1917. There are 70,000 acres, 
half of which is under water. Valuation of land is $3,553,000, and of build- 
ings and equipment $13,728,000. In addition to facilities for proof firing 
of guns and carriages, this establishment has a. field service storage area 
with space under roof of 480,000 square feet. 

Resources of Tri-Cities 

VAILABILITY of workers in numbers, qualifications and training 
suited to its needs was vital to the successful operation of Rock 
Island Arsenal in the World War, just as it must be in any future 
military crisis in which the country may become involved. At no 
time during the conflict was there any serious difficulty in recruit- 
ing shop and office workers and building tradesmen as rapidly as they 
could be utilized. Most of them came from the surrounding cities, Rock 
Island, Moline and East Moline, Illinois, and Davenport and Bettendorf, 
Iowa. All were housed without much inconvenience, though the govern- 
ment undertook a project to provide homes in all five cities. This was 
begun in 1918, in anticipation of a prolonged struggle; in all 565 houses 
being finished, none, however, being completed at the time the armistice 
was signed. 

The five cities named, together with their suburbs, generally known 
as the Tri-City community, have a combined population of over 150,000, 
according to the 1920 census. Of this number, according to a recent private 
survey, 73,000 are aged between 15 and 45, and 46,000 males and 13,000 
females work for wages. Industrial workers number 14,000 and trades 
employes 8,000. Diversity of employment offered in the community affords 
opportunity for a wide variety of training, and the people are well above 
the average, taking the country over, in education and wealth. The per- 
centage of families with an income of $3,000 or more is 7.06, against an 
average of 1.94 per cent for the entire United States. The percentage 
with incomes between $1,800 and $3,000 is 23.60, while that for the entire 
country is but 11.06 per cent. 

The Tri-City community is the center of a large area of rich, fertile, 
and thickly populated country. From Chicago the distance by rail is 181 
miles, and from the Missouri river, on the' west, it is 316 miles. North by 
river to St. Paul it is 397 miles, and south by river to St. Louis 332 miles. 
This is the largest population center between the points named. Conse- 
quently an immense business in distributing commodities is carried on. 

Diversity of manufacture and magnitude of trading area make for sta- 
bility and minimize danger of temporary depressions to which communities 
depending upon a limited number of lines of commerce and production are 

There are a number of concerns in the Tri-Cities which do business all 
over the world, and valuable advertising for the community is gained there- 


by. This is the center of the manufacture of agricultural implements 
Deere & Company, the Moline Plow Company, and Rock Island Plow 
Company being leaders in their field, with a combined capital of more 
than $100,000,000. Users of plows everywhere associate with them the 
name Moline. Rock Island's renown is carried abroad by the trans-con- 
tinental railroad which bears its name, as well as by the greatest Arsenal 
in this country, and in many respects the most complete and spacious mili- 
tary manufacturing and storage establishment on the globe. A number of 
large industrial concerns perform a similar service for Davenport, East 
Moline, and Bettendorf. 

The handicap of being located a thousand miles from tidewater has 
not prevented more than a dozen Tri-City manufacturing establishments 
from doing an extensive foreign business. Among them, in addition to the 
farm implement concerns already named, may be mentioned the Western 

City of Rock Island, seen from Arsenal clock tower. 

Pump Company, Davenport Locomotive Works, Gordon-Van Tine Com- 
pany, Red Jacket Manufacturing Company, Victor Animatograph Company, 
Linograph Company, Purity Oats Company, and Western Flour Mills, of 
Davenport; Rock Island Manufacturing Company, Phelps Manufacturing 
Company, Franks Manufacturing Company, and Standard Textile Products 
Company, of Rock Island; Williams, White & Company and National 
Licorice Company, of Moline; and the Troy Laundry Machinery Company, 
the E. & T. Fairbanks Company, of East Moline; and the Bettendorf Com- 
pany, of Bettendorf. 

The famous Velie Motor Cars, manufactured by the Velie Motors Cor- 
poration; the "R & V," manufactured by the R. & V. Motor Company, 
and the "Stephens," manufactured by the Moline Plow Company, are known 
internationally as high-class automobiles, backed by reliable, progressive 
and time-tried concerns. 

The largest washing machine factories in the world are located in Dav- 
enport, Iowa the Voss Bros. Manufacturing Company, the White Lily 
Manufacturing Company, and the Brammer Manufacturing Company. This 
industry had its birth in Davenport. 


The Gordon Van-Tine Company is the largest distributor of ready- 
cut houses in the world. The Victor Animatograph Company, making 
moving picture projectors and slides, is also the largest of its kind any- 
where. About one-third of the machinists' vises used in the world are 
supplied by the Rock Island Manufacturing Company, which furnished 
150,000 vises for use by the allied armies in the World War. Williams, 
White & Co. lead in production of machine shop and foundry tools. The 
Bettendorf Company has the largest shops in the locality devoted to a 
specified line of production, being one of the largest manufacturers of steel 
freight cars in the world. Scores of local concerns send their products to 
all parts of the United States. 

Few communities are better served in the matter of transportation. 
Three trans-continental railroad lines reach the Tri-Cities, and two others, 
having connecting links, cross the Mississippi within 50 miles. Of minor 
branches and interurbans there are several, while the end of 1922 is expected 
to witness the completion of at least one hard road giving access to the per- 
manent highways of the east. Last year a million dollars was spent build- 
ing hard roads radiating from the city of Davenport, while extensive work 
of the same sort, to be undertaken in the immediate future, is planned on 
both sides of the river. The Tri-City Railway Company lines ramify into 
all parts of the urban community, which is also bound together by hundreds 
of miles of paved streets. Two bridges cross the main river, rail, vehicle 
and foot traffic being carried free of tolls by the Rock Island bridge, govern- 
ment owned and controlled. 

In connection with transportation advantages, the facilities afforded by 
the Mississippi river must not be overlooked. Though water-borne traffic 
on the inland streams has greatly declined from that of a few decades ago, 
competent authorities agree that the railroads have about reached their 
physical limits, and that the day of the return of the water carriers is not 
far distant. Everything points to an early demand for use of boats to handle 
the bulkier and heavier commodities that rail lines are expected to relin- 
quish as the business of the country outgrows their facilities for expansion. 
Foreseeing such a situation, the city of Davenport has expended a million 
dollars in levee improvement to facilitate the handling of freight to and 
from river craft. In addition to connection with all points on the Missis- 
sippi and its navigable tributaries, this locality, by means of the canal about 
to be built by the State of Illinois and the existing Illinois and Mississippi 
canal, will be able to ship by water east through the Great Lakes to all ports 
thereon, and, eventually, no doubt, to the seaboard. 

Water power, available in a limited quantity with present facilities, and 
potential, in an amount sufficient to supply all future industrial needs, 
is another important asset of the Tri-City district. As was pointed out by 
Mr. E. S. Putnam, of Davenport, during the World War, when the govern- 



ment was seeking a site for a nitrogen fixation plant, the Rock Island rapids 
make possible a hydro-electric plant developing as much as 100,000 horse- 
power. Within 60 miles distant, at the east, as was shown by the same 
authority, there are extensive coal deposits, where steam power can be most 
economically generated in any amount desired to supplement the water 
power. Transmission from the mines by high voltage wires would be a 
simple problem. 

It may be taken for granted that the Tri-City community is well supplied 
with schools, churches, welfare organizations and other means of promoting 
spiritual advancement and culture. Among the schools are several sectarian 
institutions, including Augustana College and Theological Seminary, St. 

Looking south from Island end ol Moline bridge. 

Ambrose College, St. Katharine's School, and the Villa de Chantal, all of 
which draw pupils from a wide area. The Palmer School of Chiropractic, 
with its 3,000 students, representing practically every civilized country on 
the globe, should not be overlooked. 

It is hardly necessary to state that the cities located on the river shores 
adjacent to Rock Island Arsenal are progressive, that they are modern, 
well kept and sanitary, with many parks and scenic features, the beauty of 
which is being constantly enhanced by judicious expenditure of money and 
effort. Recreation has not been slighted. There are fine theatres, and art, 
music, and sports, both amateur and professional, are well supported. The 
Rock Island Arsenal Golf Club maintains an eighteen-hole course on the 
Island itself that is accounted one of the finest in the country and has been 
the scene of several celebrated tournaments. The club-house, costing $50,000, 
was built and the links were laid out and are maintained by civilian mem- 
bers, but the Arsenal Commandant is ex-officio president of the organization 
and in full charge of the premises. The course utilizes some of the lower 
ground and that adjacent to the officers' quarters, and the Arsenal is in no- 
wise jeopardized, nor is the military reservation encroached upon. Facili- 


ties are afforded for outdoor exercise which regulations require army 
officers to take. 

Growth of the cities surrounding the Arsenal has been rapid ever since 
they passed from the village state, more than half a century ago. Permanent 
improvements annually made range, normally, between five and ten millions, 
tending always upward. Population of the five municipalities increased 
from 96,117 in 1910 to 146,880 in 1920, a rate of growth far above the average 
the country over, being more than fifty per cent. 

Total bank deposits in the Tri-City community were $82,000,000 at the 
close of 1921, reflecting the financial depression by only a slight decline 
from the figures of the preceding year. Davenport enjoys the reputation of 
having the greatest banking resources of any city of its size in the country. 

The community is a great jobbing center, its territory comprising nearly 
all of Iowa and a large part of western Illinois; retail stores rank with 
the best anywhere, and there are many of them, always in keen competition. 
Davenport has a million dollar office building and the largest hotel in the 
State of Iowa. A hotel nearly as large is in course of erection in Moline 
There have been few serious labor controversies to interrupt the good order 
and progress of the community. 

Though there are five cities with separate municipal governmental units 
and trading centers, the fact remains that the citizens of each one enjoys 
the advantages that all have to offer. Boundaries join on both sides of the 
river, and the people are closely drawn together by mutual interests. There 
is, in fact, a maximum of intercourse and a minimum of rivalry and friction, 
offering all the advantages of a single large city of 150,000 and eliminating 
some of the disadvantages. Big things can be and are successfully under- 
taken, commercially, industrially, educationally and in the way or recreation 
-things that no single city of the five could hope alone to support. To 
take a single instance, consider the Mississippi Valley Fair and Exposition, 
which, though ostensibly a Davenport enterprise, has made a phenomenal 
success of the two annual fairs thus far given, having the distinction of be- 
ing the first organization of its class to win recognition in its initial year by 
the International Association of Fairs and Expositions. 

Though the subject might be treated at greater length, it is believed 
that enough has been told to show that Rock Island Arsenal's surroundings 
are such as to insure an ample supply of trained labor and of necessary 
materials to provide for its maintenance in a high state of efficiency at all 
times and under all conceivable circumstances. 

View up the river from head of Island, with Bettendorf car shops in the distan 



Henry W. Horst Company 

The present Henry W. Horst Company is the outgrowth of a concept 
formed in the mind of a twelve-year-old boy, when its president, Mr. Henry 
W. Horst, was a lad in the old country. Not that he saw Rock Island, nor 
that he saw concrete road building or many of the other projects which 
today form integral parts of the large construction work his company now 
carries on, but that there was ever before him from these early days, America 
the country of first promise the building industry, for which he had a 
natural talent, and the determination to excel in building work, and in a 
company of his own. Filled with these visions, and backed by a strong re- 



ligious faith and an unshaken belief in himself, the then embryo constructor 
never permitted discouragements, struggles or setbacks to dim the ardor 
or divert the energies with which he, as a youth, a young man and a mature 
man, continuously pressed forward toward his goal. 

Apprenticed under old-country guild rules at the age of 14, this future 
American man-of-affairs served faithfully for three years, devoting a part 
of the time, as per guild requirements, to the study of bookkeeping and 
drafting, and using spare hours to add to his already considerable knowledge 
of foreign language. 

He emigrated to the United States at seventeen years of age, finding his 
way to Rock Island, Illinois, destined at a later date to become the center of 
his far-reaching labors. Keeping the fixed purpose of service through a com- 


pany of his own ever before him, the youth followed carpentry, continuing 
in this line through early manhood, gradually working toward his end 
through sub-contracting, chiefly in the Middle West. 

Mr. Horst feels today that outside of his faith in an all-wise God, no 
one thing contributed more largely to his ability to cope with difficulties 
than seven years of pioneering on the Kansas prairies, homesteading, helping 
to build towns then in their infancy, and at the same time laying the founda- 
tions of his own fine family. In Oakley, Logan County, Kansas, Mr. 
Horst first entered the contracting business. Buildings there, completed in 
1886, still stand to the credit of this step in the development of his purpose. 

Returning to Rock Island in 1892, Mr. Horst soon joined forces with 
another contractor, but only to sever relations after one year's united efforts, 
during which time a splendid church edifice was erected. 

In March, 1893, he entered into a co-partnership with Mr. Emil Peterson. 
This partnership lasted eight years, which time was largely occupied with the 
building of residences. Already the time element, so dominant in all Henry 
W. Horst Company construction, was making itself felt, many fair-sized 
residences having been erected during this period in thirty days each. 
Usually the houses built during this period were designed by Mr. Horst 
himself, who worked long and incessantly during these years of struggle. 

1900 marked the establishment of the individual business of Henry W. 
Horst. For a number of years Mr. Horst not only constructed buildings, 
but kept his own accounts, acquiring his first bookkeeper in 1903. By this 
time, however, his work was so well organized that he found it possible 
for the first time to visit his aged mother and to tour Europe, taking with him 
his oldest son and later business partner. Offices had already been removed 
from the residence of Mr. Horst to a small building on the same lot. Later 
they were moved into a fine down-town location. Before this latter move, 
the Company's first prospectus, an attractive booklet of 28 pages of illustra- 
tions, was published in 1907. In 1911, in order to accommodate the growing 
business, Mr. Horst purchased the lot on which the present spacious Horst 
building stands. The building was erected in 1912. 

By this time the second member and present manager of the company, 
A. E. Horst, had graduated from the University of Illinois, and had become 
superintendent of construction. After three years of this joint work, the 
present company was organized and incorporated. A second and larger 
booklet was published, and a new and larger period of development was 
entered upon. 

During this period Mr. Horst, who had at one time built sod houses and 
had gone through such experiences as that of having brought into Rock 
Island its first concrete mixer and having constructed Rock Island's first 
reinforced concrete office building, saw his company develop to the point 
of covering such work as residences, business blocks, industrial buildings, 


railroads, highways, housing projects, large government contracts, etc. 
Among the accomplishments of the company the following may be cited: 

I. Government Work. 

1. A number of important buildings on the Rock Island Arsenal, 
among which are the Standard Forging building and the Heppen- 
stall building, now known officially as Shop "O" and Shop "Q", 

2. Officers' Quarters and Barracks buildings. Eleven buildings, 
mostly large brick and concrete structures, for housing and caring for 
the military units located on the Government reservation at Proving 
Ground, Illinois. This project was completed 30 days ahead of 
scheduled time, much to the satisfaction of Government inspectors 
and contractors alike. 

3. Railroad. Sixteen miles of standard gauge railroad with a 
dozen spurs, built on government property at Proving Ground, 
Savanna, Illinois. 

4. Nitrate Storage Pit. One of the most unique of the Henry W. 
Horst Company's varied bits of construction, this mammoth pit, 
the size of three city blocks, (1600'x200') and with sloping 17-foot 
sides, all of reinforced concrete, having seven cross-walls, was de- 
signed for the storage of 10,000 carloads of nitrate for the manu- 
facture of explosives. Situated in a veritable sand desert, this huge 
project required for construction some 150 cars of sand, 250 cars 
of stone and gravel, 50 cars of cement and 100 cars of miscellaneous 
materials. 70,000 cubic yards of dirt had to be moved. Undertaken 
in the late fall of 1920, just about the time of the keenest railroad 
transportation difficulties, this pit, with the 16 miles of railroad 
mentioned in the last paragraph, were completed before Christmas 
three days ahead of scheduled time the schedule having been pre- 
pared before the transportation difficulties had presented them- 

5. Housing Projects. Here again the Henry W. Horst Company 
record-breaking time achievements came to the fore. This war- 
time Government contract was to furnish 460 homes for Government 
workers in the United States Arsenal at Rock Island. Time was, 
of course, an important element. The houses were in six groups in 
three localities, one in Moline, two in East Moline and three in 
Rock Island. Although the contract was signed in the fall, the 
seventh of October, this project, said to be the second largest of 
some thirty-eight such Government Housing Projects in the country, 
was the first one finished. 460 permanent and very well appointed 
homes were completed, including decorating, in 117 days an un- 
paralleled record. 




6. Hangars at Chanute Field, including boiler house and heating 
system for 11 hangars at Chanute Field, Rantoul, Illinois. 
II. Concrete Highways. 

With 13 miles of concrete road in the home state of Illinois built 
in slightly more than one year as a beginning, the company soon 
branched out to build such roads in neighboring states, as Iowa and 
Wisconsin, until now its reputation for "smooth-riding" roads has 
spread through the east, the company at this time having under 
construction three fine concrete roads in Pennsylvania. A nearby 
state has recently given the company the record of having built 
the best-riding road in its limits. 





III. Industrial Buildings. 

Here the list grows so large that there can at best be but a touching 
of the work accomplished. Outstanding are such projects as the 
Deere Harvester Plant in East Moline, where five large buildings 
were under construction at one time; the Root & Vandervoort- 
Wagner Ordnance plant, a huge two-story brick building with 
monitor bay and crane way, all turned over complete in 70 days; the 
Deere Foundry and Service building, Moline Power Plant, Crescent 
Macaroni and Cracker factory, Davenport, Iowa, etc. 

IV. Miscellaneous. (Business Blocks, Schools, Clubs, Residences, etc.) 
As samples of business blocks in the Tri-Cities, such buildings may 




be cited as the Robinson building, Rock Island, for the completion 
of which, under unusually trying circumstances, a handsome reward 
was given the president of the Henry W. Horst Company by 
the owner of the building; the Reliance building in Moline, where 
a bonus for speedy completion was awarded the Company; the 
Safety building, Rock Island, the Watch Tower Inn (completed in 
fifty days). Typical schools are the Washington school and the 
Immanuel Lutheran school and hall, both in Rock Island. Among 
residences are the Huber residence, Rock Island, and the Soverhill 
residence in Moline, both perfect in every appointment; and in 
the line of clubs, the Rock Island Club is outstanding. 

For further record of construction the reader is referred to the Henry 
W. Horst Company's booklets of recent years. 

As evidence of continued wide-awake management, under the younger 
Mr. Horst, the Company, just as this history goes to press, has succeeded in 
getting through the LeClaire Canal, before its completion, barges conveying 
material to a point on the Iowa side of the Mississippi, where they are open- 
ing a new highway project. The Company thus becomes pioneer users of the 



1. Industrial Deere Harvester Buildings. 2. Schools Immanuel Lutheran. 3. Railroads. 4. Concrete Highways. 
5. Business Block Safety Building. 6. Residences Huber Home. 



"Seventy Years of Service" 

INTRODUCTORY: - The following sketch of the Rock Island railroad, as it relates to the Arsenal on Rock Island, 
has been compiled from the story of the Rock Island Lines, entitled, "Seventy Years of Service from Grant to Gor- 
man," written by F. J. Nevins, and published by that railway, incident to the celebration of its Seventieth Anniversary 
on October 10, 1922. Copies of "Seventy Years of Service" may be obtained by writing Passenger Traffic Depart- 
ment, Rock Island Lines, LaSalle Station, Chicago, Illinois. 

OVING westward through America, the "Star of Empire" has closely 
followed the lines of the great railroad systems. The steamboat and 
the ox train sufficed for the needs of the early settlers, but fell far 
short of affording transportation facilities required for the upbuild- 
ing of the inland industry of the Great Middle West. 

The steam locomotive came in time to prevent the United States from 
falling apart into two or more separate political units. The steel rail 
linked our far flung settlements to- 
gether and still holds them in a union 
that depends absolutely upon efficient 
and economical transportation. 

The Chicago & Rock Island Rail- 
road, now known as the Chicago, Rock 
Island and Pacific Railway, was the first 
railroad to connect the Mississippi 
river with the Great Lakes and with the 
rail systems then being developed in 
the east. It was the first to bridge the 
"Father of Waters" at any point, and 
the first to reach out into the western 
country beyond, then the land of the 
Indian and the buffalo. 

Seventy years ago the Mississippi 
constituted a formidable barrier to the 
growth of the great land lying west 
of the Trans-Mississippi states. Little 
do we realize now how great an ob- 
stacle the river was to the westward 

movement of human beings and goods necessary to the development of 
the territory lying beyond the shores of this mighty stream. As yet, it was 
unspanned by bridges and the art of the railroad bridge builder was in its 
infancy, comparatively speaking. 

Slow and uncertain ferries, often propelled by horse power, afforded 
the only means of crossing. Westward traffic sought out the places where 
topographical conditions offered the easiest approach on both sides, and 
at those points settlements sprang up. When the railroads came, the 
favored points of intersection of land and water transportation lines took 
on new impetus and rapidly became cities. 

James E. Gorman, President 


This is what happened when the first railroad pushed through to 
the Mississippi in 1854. The "Chicago & Rock Island" found three 
healthy villages Rock Island and Moline, 111., and Davenport, Iowa 
at its crossing point with the Mississippi. It made them cities in a sur- 
prisingly short period. Had the builders of the road selected a different 
route, the twenty-odd square miles now lying in their corporate limits 
would still be used mostly for agricultural purposes. Without the Rock 
Island railroad there is small likelihood that Rock Island Arsenal ever 
would have been established. 

Therefore, the story of the building of the "Chicago & Rock Island" 
railroad, with its pioneer feat of bridging the Mississippi, forms an 
integral part of the history of the World's Greatest Arsenal. It is a 
significant fact that preparation of this book was undertaken while the 
Rock Island Lines were planning observance of their 70th anniversary, 
falling on October 10, 1922. 

It has been generally assumed that the name of this great railroad 
system was taken from the city of Rock Island, but this is not the case. 
It was the Island, the site of old Fort Armstrong, which suggested the 
appellation for the road, just as it did later for the city of Rock Island. 
As a matter of fact, when the rail line was first conceived in the minds of 
a few enterprising citizens of northern Illinois and western Iowa, the 
town of Rock Island was still known as Stephenson, the name selected 
by its founders. 

Soon after the Indian menace to white settlers had been removed in 
the Black Hawk war, a dozen men whose homes were in the district 
between Chicago and Davenport interested themselves in the project to 
build a railroad connecting the Mississippi at Rock Island with the Illinois 
river at LaSalle the western end of the Illinois and Michigan canal, 
the water route west from Chicago. In 1845 application was made to the 
Illinois legislature for a charter for the "Rock Island & LaSalle Railroad 
Company." February 27, 1847, a company was formed under that name and 
with $300,000 capital. Judge James Grant, of Davenport, was the first 

There was plenty of local enthusiasm, but sales of stock dragged. 
A railroad-building scheme financed by the state of Illinois had just failed 
miserably, after $10,000,000 of the tax payers' money had been sunk. So 
the Rock Island & LaSalle did not at first find much favor among those 
with money to invest. Discovery of gold in California in 1848 eventually 
furnished the impetus which set the project in actual motion. 

In 1850 congress was asked for a right of way through public lands 
and the Illinois legislature was petitioned for extension of charter rights 
necessary to make Chicago, instead of LaSalle, the eastern terminus. The 
name became the "Chicago & Rock Island Railroad Company." Since the 
line between Peru and Chicago would compete directly with the state- 



owned canal, a stipulation was forced by the legislature upon the railroad 
company requiring it to pay to the canal trustees sums equal to canal 
freight charges on all commodities except live stock carried by rail be- 
tween the points named. 

October 1, 1851, construction was started by Farnum & Sheffield, of New 
Haven, Conn., and the first passenger train was run from Chicago to Joliet 
on October 10, 1852. Late that year, at a banquet in Davenport, a project 

Above view shows first bridge across Mississippi River. View to right is Island abutment of bridge, preserved as memorial. 
View to left is of the famous Rock Island "Silver Engine" of the early seventies. 

to build a line through Iowa to the Missouri river and to bridge the 
Mississippi at Rock Island was informally launched. 

The Mississippi & Missouri Railroad Company was formed under 
the laws of Iowa, February 22, 1852. In May following, the first rail was laid 


on the Iowa side. January 17, 1853, the Illinois legislature granted a charter 
to the "Railroad Bridge Company," formed by those interested in the rail 
lines it was planned to connect. July 16 of the same year John Warner, 
the contractor, began work on the first pier on the Iowa shore of what was 
to become the first bridge across the Mississippi. 

River transportation interests naturally viewed prospective rail com- 
petition with apprehension. Therefore, they united for the purpose of 
obstruction. At first the idea of bridging the river was merely ridiculed 
as foolhardy. Later more forcible means of opposition were adopted. 
Rivermen were then, perhaps, the most powerful group in the Mississippi 
Valley, with ample funds and means of reaching those in high govern- 
mental positions. 

Right of way across the Island was claimed by the railroad company 
under the terms of its state charter and also under act of congress, giving 
use of necessary space through public lands to all railroad and turnpike 
companies. The Iowa legislature had formally sanctioned the undertaking 
so far as it had authority to do so. However, Jefferson Davis, then sec- 
retary of war, claimed that the Island, having been set aside for use of 
his department, was not public land and the state had no rights therein. He 
forbade the railroad company to lay tracks or build a bridge there. Next 
came application for an injunction in the federal court for the northern 
district of Illinois, made at the request of the secretary of war. Hearing 
was before Judge John McLean in July, 1855, title of the case being "The 
United States vs. the Railroad Bridge Company, et al." The federal district 
attorney contested both the right-of-way on land and the building of the 
bridge, which was held an obstruction to navigation, but the court held 
with the defendant, and denied the motion for injunction. 

In the meantime, work on the railroad and bridge had gone on with- 
out interruption, and on April 21, 1856, nearly two years after the road 
through Illinois had been completed, the first locomotive steamed across 
the "first bridge" to the Iowa shore. Next day a train of three locomotives 
and eight passenger cars crossed. The aggregate weight of this train 
was 67 tons. Trains weighing 2,200 tons now daily, almost hourly, cross 
the bridge at Rock Island. 

Two weeks after the bridge was opened, the steamer Effie Afton 
became unmanageable just above the draw span, drifted against the pier 
and took fire. Boat and span were destroyed. This brought the wrath 
of the rivermen to a climax. Suit for damage followed. Judge McLean 
again presided, the case being "Hurd, et al vs. the Railroad Bridge Company." 
Abraham Lincoln, after visiting Rock Island to familiarize himself with 
the situation, and especially with the river currents at the bridge, appeared 
for the defense. It was one of the last cases in which he took part before 
turning his attention to the political movement which later carried him into 
the presidency of the United States, and served to call national attention to 
Mr. Lincoln. 



A vast mass of evidence was presented to prove the bridge an obstruc- 
tion to navigation. Lincoln handled the issue with his usual skill and 
secured disagreement of the jury, thereby exceeding the expectations of 
his clients. Public sentiment admittedly was averse to the defense. 

About this time congress took a hand in the controversy, ordering an 
investigation to determine if the bridge were, in fact, a serious obstruction 
to navigation. The committee on commerce conducted the inquiry and 
decided in the affirmative, but added that in its opinion the courts were 
fully qualified to deal with the situation. Congress concurred in the finding. 

Encouraged by the report of the committee, the river interests made 
one more fight. James Ward, a St. Louis steamboat owner, started an action 
in the United States Court for the southern district of Iowa to have the 
bridge declared a nuisance and secure an order for its removal. This the 
court, in due time, did, Judge John M. Love finding the structure "a com- 
mon and public nuisance," and ordering destruction of the three northern 
piers with their superstructure, which lay within the jurisdiction of Iowa. 
This order was not carried out, because the United States Supreme Court, in 
December, 1862, reversed the finding of the District Court. That ended 
the litigation, which had been watched with interest all over the country, 
involving, as it did, questions which 
presented themselves wherever rail- 
roads were compelled to cross import- 
ant navigable streams. 

Much that is of interest necessarily 
has been omitted from this brief outline 
of events attending the pioneer work of 
building the Rock Island Lines. With 
the later history of the system the pres- 
ent generation is more or less familiar. 
How the road first planned merely to 
connect two inland waterways, scarcely 
100 miles apart, has grown into a great 
system of 8,122 miles, extending its 
service to the Pacific coast and forming 
the leading artery of commerce through 
the most productive areas of the Mid- 
dle West ; how it always has kept 
abreast of or a little in advance of the 
times, mechanically, and in meeting the 
needs of its territory; how it has built 

up the Tri-City community about Rock Island and made the development 
of the Arsenal there possible, need be no more than referred to here. 
Its tracks form a network, many miles long in the aggregate, in the 

Leon M. Allen, Vice-Pres. and Gen'l Traffic Mgr. 



General Offices ;nd Chicago Terminal Rock Ishnd Lii 


district about the Island, and its great locomotive repair shops at Silvis, 
nearby, are among the largest in the land. 

Having exclusive access to the Island, the Rock Island railroad is, 
and always has been, the right arm of the Arsenal. This was again made 
plain during the World War, when thousands of carloads of material and 
finished products were handled in a manner that was entirely satisfactory. 
After the armistice was signed, thousands of carloads of war material 
were returned there for storage. 

Always the Rock Island Lines have been closely identified with the 
community surrounding the Island which gave the system its name. This 
desirable condition has been furthered by the personal contact of a number 
of high executive officers of the company with the Tri-Cities. Judge 
James Grant, a Davenport man, was president of the original company. 
R. R. Cable, later identified with the road as president and chairman of 
the board of directors, made his home in the city of Rock Island for 
many years. Leon M. Allen, now vice-president and passenger traffic 
manager, began his career in Davenport, and naturally feels a strong 
personal interest in the locality. 

The Rock Island road was founded by men of broad vision and keen 
foresight. Those who have managed it have been able and enterprising. 
Service has been their watchword. They have realized that in the up- 
building of its territory lay the railroad's opportunity for growth. 

The historian's part is not only to record events, but to indicate causes. 
The story of the Rock Island Lines is an interesting story. It involves 
the typical play of forces which have made the United States the greatest 
nation on earth. It tells how the "Star of Empire" came to the Mississippi 
river, and beyond. 


The Tri-Cities and The Burlington Railroad 

In the development of the business community embracing the cities of 
Davenport, Rock Island and Moline, together with East Moline and Betten- 
dorf, and known as "The Tri-Cities," a distinctive factor of constantly 
increasing importance has been and is the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
Railroad, which serves this great region through four gateways its two 
lines from Chicago, one via Mendota, Prophetstown and Denrock, formerly 
known as the Illinois Grand Trunk; the other via Aurora, Shabbona, Sterling 
and Barstow to East Moline, formerly known as the Chicago & Rock River 
Line; its line from East St. Louis, formerly the Rockford, Rock Island & 
St. Louis, and the Davenport, Rock Island & Northwestern, with its 
Crescent bridge, in which the Burlington owns a one-half interest. 

A brief sketch showing how these four important Burlington lines 
entered into the transportation business in the Tri-City territory is of ab- 
sorbing interest. 

The C. B. & Q. Railroad (Burlington Route) was born in Aurora, Illinois, 
with four lines diverging east, west, north and south. 

The Burlington is the shortest rail line between Chicago and Rock 
Island the distance from Chicago via Mendota and Denrock to and into 
Rock Island being 169 miles. This route is over the Burlington's main line 
from Chicago to Mendota, thence to Denrock over the old Illinois Grand 
Trunk (incorporated in 1852 as the Joliet and Terre Haute, and re-organized 
in 1859, but not actually built to Denrock until 1871), and thence into Rock 
Island in 1879. 


The Burlington's other line from Chicago comes in by way of Sterling 
and Barstow to East Moline, then into Davenport over the Crescent bridge. 
This line from Aurora to Shabbona is the old Chicago & Iowa; from Shab- 
bona, as the old Chicago & Rock River, it heads for Rock Falls and Sterling, 
thence to Barstow and into East Moline, and then into Moline, utilizing a 
part of the old Rockford, Rock Island and St. Louis. 

The Chicago & Rock River was organized in 1867, completed to Sterling 
in 1884, and provided an additional Burlington-all-the-way Tri-City-Chi- 
cago line. Thousands of cars of freight are annually handled over these two 


The story of the 300 miles of Burlington rails stretching south from the 
Tri-Cities to East St. Louis is filled with human interest. That splendid rail- 
road is the product of the genius and courage of a distinguished citizen of 




j owa Judge George Greene who did more to develop Cedar Rapids and its 
industries than any other man. 

The original company, called the Rock Island & Alton Railroad, which 
had authority to build "from Rock Island to Whitehall, in Green County, 
Illinois, and thence to Illinoistown" (now East St. Louis), was incorporated 
by a special act of the Illinois Legislature, February 14, 1855. This was a 
"paper" railroad. In 1859 its name was changed to St. Louis, Alton & Rock 
Island. That company secured a large part of the right of way, and in 1860 
had built a railroad grade between Beardstown and Whitehall. Then came 
the Civil War, which stopped all railroad building. 

After the war Judge Greene conceived the idea of building a north and 
south railroad from Rockford, via Rock Island, to St. Louis, and incorporated 
his company as the Rockford, Rock Island & St. Louis. This was a part of 
the great movement for railroad building after the war, which culminated 
in the panic of 1873. Judge Greene's Rock Island road went down with a 
crash. The mortgage was foreclosed, and in 1876 the line was sold at public 
auction to Heymann Osterberg. who represented the Holland bondholders. 
They re-organized the company under a new name the St. Louis, Rock 
Island & Chicago and sold the road to the Burlington, which, in 1879, built 
into Rock Island from Port Byron Junction (seven miles), thus bringing 
the Tri-City territory into their system. 

From Concord, below Beardstown, north, this line is utilized by the 
Burlington as part of its important through coal route, over which thousands 
of cars of southern Illinois coal are carried annually to St. Paul, Minneapolis, 
and the great Northwest. 

Judge Greene lost his money, but his railroad remains to serve the 
public for all time. 


It was a business stroke of the Burlington to promote the construction 
of the Davenport, Rock Island & Northwestern, including the Crescent 
bridge, organized in 1884 as a bridge company by citizens of Davenport, who 
secured an Act of Congress authorizing the construction of the bridge. 

But the company had no money with which to build, and the project 
hung fire for ten years. In February, 1895, the name was changed to Daven- 
port & Rock Island Bridge, Railway & Terminal Company, its articles 
amended to provide for a railroad also from the foot of Perry street across 
the bridge into Rock Island. In 1898 the name was changed to the present 
company. The bridge cost $1,500,000 and was opened for business on January 
1, 1900. 

The money to build the bridge and the lines of railroad connected with 
it was furnished through the credit of the Burlington and St. Paul companies 


jointly, and those two companies operate not only the bridge but the rail- 
road. Under the name "Davenport, Clinton & Eastern," these two companies 
built a line 34 miles long between Clinton and Davenport, which is also used 
jointly. Burlington passenger trains between Minneapolis, St. Paul and St. 
Louis use this route through Davenport, Rock Island and Moline. 

About the same time, pursuant to other plans for developing a great 
terminal system to serve the Tri-Cities, the companies named organized rail- 
roads in Illinois to extend these lines to East Moline and other points in 
Rock Island County. 

As a result of all these activities, the Burlington is in an enviable position 
to provide a highly important and genuinely useful transportation service to 
and from the hearts of Davenport, Rock Island and Moline prepared to 
serve the public with the necessary facilities to enable it to receive food and 
other essentials, raw materials, forward finished products, and travel to 
and from all parts of the world. In this Tri-City territory the Burlington 
and its interests own in round number 208 acres of land occupied by in- 
dustrial tracks and terminal facilities which reach all important industries, 
enabling the road to serve them cheaply with the very best quality of Illinois 
coal and at the same time with its own rails placing them in close touch 
with the markets of Chicago, St. Louis, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Peoria, Omaha, 
Denver, St. Joseph, Kansas City, and all points on its 9,389 miles of road 
reaching into eleven great states, as well as all points on all connecting lines. 

The Tri-Cities have a great future, and the Burlington is prepared to 
promote the interests of the Tri-Cities by providing a businesslike and de- 
pendable transportation service. 

Tri-City passenger business of the Burlington is in charge of the 

M. H. Teed, Passenger and Ticket agent, foot of Perry street. Phone 
743, Davenport. 

G. H. McEwen, 'Ticket Agent, 20th Street Station. Phone 764, Rock 

H. S. Fristoe, Ticket Agent. Phone 860, Moline, Moline Passenger 

H. W. Crawford, Division Freight Agent, is located in the 20th Street 
Station, Phone 679, Rock Island. 




The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad 

Men are deeply interested only in those things which touch and become 
a part of their lives. The more intimate and constant the association, the 
greater the interest. 

Breathes there a man with soul so dead that the sight or sound or a mov- 
ing railroad train does not thrill some fibre of his being, or awaken at least a 
faint yearning for change of scenery, for travel or adventure? Tied down 
to his daily routine behind desk or counter, the whistle of a passing 
locomotive suggests to the city man the free out-of-doors and restful rural 
scenes, while the same sound brings to the farmer or villager visi'ons of the 
busy marts of trade and centers of industry, with their bustling crowds and 
hum of traffic. The man in the freezing north thinks of the balmy south, 
while the man in the torrid clime thinks of places where there is deep shade, 
or where cooling breezes blow. Few among us fail to sense in the sound 
a subtle invitation, and in some measure to respond to it. 

So much for the romantic side. Getting down to brass tacks, the whistle 
of a locomotive means to nine-tenths of our inland population something 
rather more practical, if more prosiac. It means bread and butter, clothing, 
shelter, fuel. It means practically all the necessities of life, with the comforts 
and the luxuries thrown in. Without the railroad this productive and thriv- 
ing Middle West would now be but little farther advanced than it was when 
our forefathers of the covered wagon found it. Small wonder, then, that the 
story of the building and operating of our great railroad systems is one of 
universal interest. 

More than half a century has been required for the building of the 
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway as it is today half a century filled 
with stirring events, with struggle and conquest over the forces of nature 
and rival transportation interests. From a small beginning, it has reached 
out mile by mile, first over the upper Mississippi valley, then over the 
Missouri valley, then across the plains and mountains, finally pushing its 
lines through to the Pacific coast. Wherever it has gone it has been a builder 
of wealth and population, bringing civilization to regions that but for its 
coming would have remained little more productive or inviting than the 

In 1863 the Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company was formed, and 
purchased at foreclosure sale 105 miles of railroad, extending from Portage, 
Wisconsin, to LaCrosse, on the Mississippi. Though it was the ambition 
of the promoters to unite the Wisconsin metropolis with the rapidly growing 
community at the head of navigation on the Mississippi, it was some time 
before their line reached either point. Access to Milwaukee was gained by 
purchase of a number of short lines, but the company operated wholly 
within the state of Wisconsin for a number of years. 

The first stockholders' meeting was held in 1865. Alexander Mitchell 
was the first president and S. S. Merrill the first general manager. Both 


held office many years, the property growing into a trunk line railway 
under their administration. 

In 1867 two lines being built from McGregor, Iowa, to St. Paul, by way 
of Austin, Minn., were bought, and in November of that year a road was 
opened for business, being the first to connect Milwaukee with the Twin- 
Cities, St. Paul and Minneapolis. At first a ferry was used to transfer cars 
across the Mississippi between McGregor and Prairie du Chien. The 
company changed its name to the "Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul" in 1872, 
and the following year it completed its own line to Chicago. 

At the close of the nineteenth century the Milwaukee system embraced 
more than 8,000 miles of track, its rails criss-crossing Wisconsin, Iowa, 
.Minnesota and South Dakota, and reaching up into North Dakota and down 
into Missouri. It had bridged the Mississippi river at six places and touched 
the Missouri at almost as many points. 

Coming of the Milwaukee to Moline and Rock Island was over the old 
Western Union line between Savanna and Port Byron. That road, promoted 
by Milwaukee interests, was completed in 1870, purchasing the Chicago, 
Rock Island & Pacific's stub line between Port Byron and Port Byron Junc- 
tion, now East Moline, and using the Rock Island's tracks and terminals in 
the two cities. In 1881, the Western Union was absorbed by the Milwaukee, 
though the latter did not secure terminals of its own until 1900. 

Prior to 1874, the Davenport & St. Paul Railroad Company was organ- 
ized to construct a rail line from Davenport to St. Paul. This corporation 
built north from Davenport to Fayette, Iowa, with a branch from Eldridge, 
about eleven miles from Davenport, to Maquoketa, and crossing the C. M. & 
St. P. line at Oxford Junction. The company was reorganized in 1876, 
under the name of Davenport & Northwestern, and the property was trans- 
ferred to the C. M. & St. P. in 1879. 

Through co-operation with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, the 
Milwaukee eventually came into possession of a well-planned terminal 
system covering the Tri-Cities, including the suburbs of East- Moline and 
Bettendorf, and also the joint ownership of a bridge across the Mississippi 
river and a line along the river to Clinton, Iowa. Several corporations were 
formed to execute plans for this development. The Davenport, Clinton & 
Eastern was organized in 1895 and completed the road from Davenport to 
Clinton in 1898. The bridge was built by the Davenport & Rock Island 
Bridge, Railway and Terminal Company. The different corporations were 
later merged as the present Davenport, Rock Island & Northwestern, the 
property being jointly owned and operated by the Milwaukee and Burling- 
ton companies. 

In 1901 the Milwaukee completed a cut-off between Muscatine and 
Ottumwa, Iowa, and began operating its southwest service from Chicago 


to Kansas City via the Tri-Cities. Tracks of the Rock Island are used be- 
tween Davenport and Muscatine. Terminal yards were built at Nahant, just 
west of Davenport. 

After the Spanish-American war, giving the United States a foothold in 
the Orient, the growing importance of Pacific coast trade was brought to the 
attention of middle western railroads. The Milwaukee, however, was the 
only one among them that saw fit to reach out for this business with a line of 
its own through to the western slope. Several years were spent in making 
surveys, and in April, 1906, building of the new trans-continental line was 
begun. This extends from Mobridge, S. D., westward across the Dakota 
prairies, the Montana plains and three great ranges of mountains, the Idaho 
panhandle, the eastern Washington hills and valleys and the Cascade moun- 
tains, ending on Puget sound at Seattle and Tacoma. The last spike was 
driven in July, 1909, making the completion of 1,500 miles of heavy con- 
struction. Freight service was inaugurated at once, passenger trains fol- 
lowed two years later, after the road had been brought to a high state of 
perfection and thoroughly tested. About seven hundred miles of this road, 
including sections with the heaviest grades, have since been electrified. The 
company was one of the first to make so extensive a change in its motive 
power, and the undertaking attracted the attention of railroad men all over 
the world. The economies effected have more than justified the added in- 

The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul owns and operates its own sleeping 
and dining cars. It was the first to introduce electric lights on trains and 
the first to operate solid steel trains in trans-continental service. Its position 
has been one of leadership in every department of railroading. It now has 
10,635 miles of track, traversing a rich agricultural territory, the greatest 
grain growing belt in the world, and placing it in touch with the world's 
markets, east and west. With its four lines radiating from them, and its 
comprehensive terminal system, it offers the Tri-Cities the best of service. 

Officers of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway are: 

Mr. H. E. Byram, President; Mr. B. B. Greer, Vice-President, in charge 
of operation; Mr. R. M. Calkins, Vice-President, in charge of traffic; Mr. 
H. B. Earling, Vice-President, Seattle, Wash.; Mr. E. D. Sewall, Vice- 
President, Chicago; Mr. C. B. Ferry and Mr. George G. Mason, Vice-Presi- 
dents, New York City; Mr. J. T. Gillick, General Manager, Chicago; Mr. 
Macy Nicholson, General Manager, Seattle; Mr. H. E. Pierpont, Traffic 
Manager, Chicago. 


The Walsh Construction Company 

Half a century ago, when the original shop buildings were in course of 
construction, a young Davenporter, Patrick T. Walsh by name, worked at 
Rock Island Arsenal as stonecutter. Marks of his chisel may be seen to 
this day upon many a block in those durable walls, for he spent eleven indus- 
trious years there, serving his apprenticeship and becoming a skilled work- 

More than forty years later the Walsh Construction Company, which 
this same young man had organized and made a power in its field, and to 
which he had given his life, came to the aid of the national government in 
the trying days of world conflict, and helped to complete Rock Island 
Arsenal as it stands today. Manned, equipped and organized for doing 
big things promptly and well, and still animated by the spirit of Pat 
Walsh, it quickly turned from peace work to war work. Many of the 
new storage and other buildings that sprang up on the Island during and 
immediately after the close of the war stand as monuments to its efficiency 
and patriotism. 

Strangely enough, there is something more than a casual connection 
between the employment of Pat Walsh as stonecutter at the Arsenal and 
the services rendered during the World War by the company bearing his 
name. If the young man had not been a building tradesman on the Island, 
it is more than possible that there never would have been a Walsh Con- 
struction Company. For young Walsh lost his job. They said he was an 
agitator. He led a fight for an eight-hour day, winning the contest, but 
losing his standing with the bosses. And so, thrown upon his own resources, 
with a family to support, he became a contractor. 

At first his undertakings were small, and his work gave little evidence 
of his latent abilities. From stone cutting he turned to dirt moving. He dug 
cellars and sewers, laid water mains, and gradually prepared himself for 
more ambitious things. Finally, after some years, during which he had 
managed to accumulate a little capital, he secured a contract to make a fill 
on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad at Galva, Illinois, and thus 
entered upon an era of railroad construction which probably has not been 
equalled by any other contracting organization in the United States. Thou- 
sands of miles of track have been laid and millions of yards of earth and 
stone have been moved. Single operations undertaken by the Walsh com- 
panies have involved the expenditure of millions of dollars. The reputation 
of Mr. Walsh as a builder and the magnitude of his resources may be 
judged by the fact that he was one of the few construction men asked to bid 
on the excavating of the Panama canal when it was planned to have the 
work done by private contract. Had that method been followed, there is 




Pounder of the Company || 


little doubt that the Walsh organization would have figured prominently 
in the enterprise that connected the two oceans at the Isthmus of Panama. 

For many years railroad construction of all kinds has been given special 
attention by the Walsh companies. Not infrequently, however, they have 
gone out of their particular field to erect buildings and bridges and to do 
canal, harbor and dock work. Besides the Arsenal work already referred to, 
some of the most notable undertakings in the Tri-Cities are the Kahl build- 
ing and the upper four floors of the Blackhawk hotel in Davenport. Walsh 
companies have operated at one time or another in nearly every state in the 
Union. A fully equipped organization is maintained, capable of almost any 
enterprise in the line of construction. 

In addition to work done at Rock Island Arsenal during the war, the 
Walsh Construction Company was extensively engaged in the erection of 
storehouses at the Savanna Proving Grounds, which are an adjunct of the 
Arsenal. The Symington plant at Chicago, another large supply depot, was 
also completed for the War Department, and much equipment was rented 
to the American International Ship Building Corporation for use at the 
Hog Island ship yards. 

At Rock Island the company built a concrete general storage building, 
five vehicle storehouses, office building No. 2, civilian hospital, ward and 
isolation hospital, and bakery, and remodelled barracks "B" and "C" and 
the Y. M. C. A. building; the total cost being approximately $3,000,000. 

In its earlier days the Walsh organization did considerable street paving, 
a number of the leading thoroughfares in the Tri-Cities having been im- 
proved. Latterly little attention has been paid to street and highway work. 
Most of the more recent railroad construction has consisted of widening cuts 
and fills, reducing grades, double tracking, and building yards, freight and 
passenger stations, engine houses, car shops and bridges. Much of the con- 
struction work of the New York Central is done by this firm. Other lines 
with which the company has had extensive business relations include the 
Hudson River road; Big Four; Cleveland & Youngstown; Erie; Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul ; Chicago & Northwestern; St. Louis & San Francisco; 
Illinois Central, and New York, Chicago & St. Louis. During the current 
year (1922), the Walsh Construction Company undertook its largest contract 
in the building for the Hudson River Road of a bridge across the Hudson at 
Castleton, N. Y., together with grading on both sides of the river. This is a 
$6,000,000 job. 

P. T. Walsh died March 16, 1916, at the age of sixty-one. In every good 
work hi the community he had been a leader, and his interests were many. 
His company he left in capable hands of his own selection and training, and 
his influence is scarcely less potent now than when he was present in the flesh. 

While Mr. Walsh was the dominant figure in all his enterprises, him- 
self doing a prodigious amount of work, it was his faculty for selecting and 



attracting other good men, and of uniting them into a highly efficient organi- 
zation, that made his great accomplishments possible. The loyalty of 
employees, from the humblest shovelman to the highest paid engineer, was 
proverbial. That loyalty was won by a magnetic personality and retained 
by living up to every agreement with his men. The Walsh crews always fared 
a. little better than any others doing the same kind of work. They were 
better paid and provided with better food and quarters. The Walsh equip- 

Root ISUNO Illinois us.*. 




Upper left Drilling for foundation of six story concrete warehouse. 

left Typical one story artillery vehicle storehouse, one of eight completed by this company, dimensions of each being 150x500 feet. 
Upper rightView of six story reinforced concrete warehouse during period of construction. 
Lower rightTemporary office building. 


ment was never allowed to deteriorate. Mr. Walsh knew from experience 
in the years of his humble beginning that a man must be well fed, comfort- 
able and satisfied with his conditions in order to give good service. Another 
influence that kept the organization keyed to a high pitch was the knowledge 
among those capable of larger responsibilities that they would be given their 
chance. Merit did not long remain unrecognized or go unrewarded. Many 
a man who started in an humble capacity with Mr. Walsh rose to a place of 
leadership and affluence, some directing branch companies bearing their 
own names. Among the auxiliary concerns thus formed were the Kahl 
Construction Company, the Walsh-Kahl Construction Company, the Walsh- 
Hogan Construction Company, the McGrath Construction Company, the T. J. 
Walsh Construction Company and the Walco Construction Company. The 
subsidiary concerns were merged in 1899, and incorporated under the laws of 
Iowa, and with the present name, P. T. Walsh being first president. 

Present officers of the Walsh Construction Company are: President, 
T. J. Walsh; Vice-President, H. C. Kahl ; Treasurer, E. P. Walsh; Secretary, 
M. A. Kennedy. The president and treasurer are sons of the founder of 
the concern. Headquarters are maintained in Davenport, with branches at 
Syracuse, N. Y. ; Cleveland and Sydney, Ohio; and Chicago. Work east of 
Buffalo, N. Y., is handled through Syracuse; the Cleveland branch looks 
after general construction in nearby territory, while Sidney covers the field 
farther west. The Chicago office deals with building construction in all 
parts of the country. 

The Company works on a departmental plan, which has been evolved 
during a long experience and has been found best adapted to the needs of the 
business. The financial, accounting and insurance department is under the 
direction of the president, secretary and treasurer. Railroad construction, 
including grading, concrete and bridge work, is handled through the presi- 
dent and vice-president, assisted by district and field superintendents on 
each contract. Each branch organization, when placed on a job, is complete in 
itself, carrying its own accounts, and with full facilities for the purchase of 
supplies, expediting traffic, handling repairs, etc., reporting direct to the 
headquarters office. 

In general, the plan is designed to give elasticity. Each division, while 
working through one central control, is adapted to promote action by the 
local man in charge, so that emergencies may be quickly and efficiently met. 

Necessarily the amount of equipment owned and controlled by the Walsh 
Construction Company is large. It includes standard gauge steam shovels, 
revolving shovels, drag lines, standard gauge twelve-yard dump cars, stand- 
ard gauge 50-ton locomotives, Jordan air spreaders, camp cars, elevator grade 
outfits, teams, locomotive cranes, concrete mixers, together with necessary 
derricks, pumps, boilers, hoist engines, concrete cars, etc. Equipment is 
grouped in units, and is seldom moved except from one job to another. 


Rock Island Plow Company 

The Rock Island Plow Company, one of the foremost agricultural im- 
plement concerns in the world, maintains and operates extensive factories 
and warehouses in the city of Rock Island; branches are located at Minne- 
apolis, Minn., Sioux Falls, S. I)., Omaha, Neb., Kansas City, Mo., St. Louis, 
Mo., Oklahoma City, Okla., Dallas Tex., Denver, Colo., and Indian- 
apolis, Ind. Its products are also handled by jobbers at various other 
places in the United States, and it is represented in many foreign countries. 
Its implements are found in every quarter of the globe where modern agricul- 
tural methods are followed. 

The business was started in 1855, in a small blacksmith shop, by Charles 
Buford and R. N. Tate, under the firm name of Buford & Tate. This was 
the year after completion of the Rock Island Railway to the Mississippi 
River, and the city of Rock Island thereby assumed a new importance as a 
gateway to the great west, where millions and millions of fertile acres 
lay waiting for the coming of the plow. There was opening a vast market 
for agricultural implements, and the goods produced by Buford & Tate 
found a ready sale. 

The first walking plows were made with patented steel shares and mold 
boards and were warranted to scour in all kinds of soil, and they did 
scour, thus securing the approval of the farmer, an approval retained to 
this day. Cultivators, harrows and stalk-cutters were also made from the 
beginning. The Black Hawk two-horse four-shovel cultivator was the first 
of its kind, and this style of implement has been of inestimable benefit in 
the production of corn. 

Mr. B. D. Buford assumed control of the business during the Civil War, 
and the name was changed from Buford & Tate to B. D. Buford & Com- 
pany. In 1881, the factory, then grown to impressive size, was destroyed by 
fire. Heavy loss was sustained by the owners, and it was necessary to 
re-organize the business in order to rebuild. The re-organization was 
effected in 1884, by the incorporation of the present Rock Island Plow Com- 
pany. The late P. L. Mitchell and his son, Phil Mitchell, were prominent 
in the re-organization. In 1907 and 1910 the Mitchell family and their 
associates sold the bulk of their holdings in the company to a group com- 
posed of F. C. Denkmann, J. P. Weyerhaeuser, W. H. Marshall, T. B. Davis 
and S. S. Davis. Under the new control large additions were made to the 
capital, the manufacturing and storage facilities were increased, new branch 
houses were established, and the business greatly expanded. 

In 1911 the "Great Western" line of cream separators, manure spreaders 
and litter carriers was acquired, and their manufacture was commenced at 
Rock Island; in 1912 the well-known "C B & Q" line of hay tools was taken 
over; in 1916, the patents pertaining to the "Rock Island Heider" tractor 



were purchased, the factory machinery was moved to Rock Island, and soon 
after a large modern factory of saw tooth design was built and devoted ex- 
clusively to the manufacture of tractors. The popularity and consequent 
demand for the tractor soon forced the doubling of the factory in which it 
\vas made. The outstanding characteristics of the "Rock Island Heider" 
are its power, durability, reliability, ease in operation, and the facility with 
which it can be changed into a stationary power plant. The production of the 
tractor naturally led to the manufacture of specially designed plows, harrows 
and other implements for use with it. More recently the company has 
developed a winch attachment for the tractor, making it a very successful 
machine for pulling rods and pipe in oil wells; and it has begun the man- 
ufacture of a motor cultivator embodying novel and valuable features, and 
also the manufacture of a combination power unit, adapted to plowing, 
harrowing and cultivating, and to use as a stationary power plant. 

The original small shop has now grown into a plant with forty acres of 
floor space for manufacturing and warehouse purposes. The factories are 
equipped with the best of modern machinery and contain many special ma- 
chines invented by the company's employees to facilitate the economical pro- 
duction of goods of the highest standard. Among the special machines may 
be noted the automatic machine for making and ruling check rower wire for 
corn planters. This machine never fails to arrest the attention of visitors 
to the factory. 




The company has been unusually fortunate in securing and retaining 
the services of exceptionally skilled workmen and mechanics, who have taken 
pride in producing goods of the finest quality. Many gifted inventors have 
contributed their ideas to the improvement of old and the creation of new 
implements. The moldboard plow was for years considered well-nigh per- 
fect, yet in 1913 an expert of the company, by a new application of certain 
scientific principles, produced the "CTX" plow, the supreme triumph of plow 
making. The company was the first to produce a practical hay-loader a 
machine which has relieved the farmer of much of the back-breaking labor 
of the hay field; it produced the first frameless sulky plow, and the first 
frameless lister notable improvements in those tools; it was the first to 
make the disc harrow efficient by adding scrapers to clean away the soil 
adhering to the discs; and it has been the first in many other improvements, 
always striving to produce implements that would lessen the toil of the 
farmer and add to his prosperity. 

The present officers of the company are : 

President S. S. Davis. 

First -Vice-President J. P. Weyerhaeuser. 

Second Vice-President T. B. Davis. 

Treasurer F. C. Denkmann. 

Secretary C. E. Sharpe. 







Weyerhaeuser & Denkmann Company 

Two men of marked capacity for sound, clear thinking, for hard, per- 
sistent work, and for getting things done in a big way united their interests, 
in 1860, when Frederick Weyerhaeuser and F. C. A. Denkmann, brothers- 
in-law, formed a partnership at Rock Island for the manufacture of lumber. 
From a small beginning this firm expanded rapidly, becoming in time, 
national in its scope, with large interests in many states and exerting a 
leading force in the organizing of both manufacture and sale of lumber 
and its products. 

Mead, Smith & Marsh, operating a mill at what is now Fourth avenue 
and First street, Rock Island, succumbed during a financial panic in the 
late 50's, and Weyerhaeuser & Denkmann bought their holdings and began 
sawing lumber. At first the senior partner conducted a retail yard at Coal 
Valley, Mr. Denkmann running the mill. The original capacity was but 
eight thousand feet a day, but it was doubled the first year and greatly in- 
creased thereafter. The first band-saw used in the west was operated here. 

Control of the old Porter Skinner mill on Sylvan Slough in Rock 
island was acquired in the 70's. Out of this holding there grew the present 
Rock Island Sash & Door Works and the Rock Island Lumber Company. 
Late in the 80's the mill of Renwick, Shaw & Crossett, at Davenport, was 
bought. It was operated for a number of years, but burned in 1901 and 
was not rebuilt. A retail yard has since been conducted on the site. 

For some time logs were bought at the mills from logging firms, but 
this method of getting raw material was not satisfactory, so standing tim- 
ber in Wisconsin was acquired, and from that time on the firm cut and 
rafted all its own logs. 

Rafts at first were floated down the river, guided by oars. About 
1874 Weyerhaeuser & Denkmann bought the steamer, "C. J. Caffrey," which 
became one of the first raft boats used on the Mississippi for propelling rafts. 

Most of the timber, of course, was cut on the small branches of the 
river. It was run down in drives to places where boats could go. Weyer- 
haeuser & Denkmann at first cut white pine on the Chippewa river, rafts 
being assembled at Beef Siough, Wisconsin. 

Exhaustion of timber supplies that could be profitably rafted brought 
about, in a period of a few years, the abandonment of the many sawmills 
along the Mississippi. Weyerhaeuser & Denkmann operated their mill at 
Rock Island till November, 1905, when the last log was sawed. 

The Weyerhaeuser & Denkmann Company was incorporated in 1902. 
Mr. Denkmann died March 2, 1905, and Mr. Weyerhaeuser in April, 1914. 
The business, with its many ramifications, is now conducted by their 



The Rock Island Sash & Door Works 

Economic pressure has forced many changes among lumber and lumber 
products concerns during the last generation. Exhaustion of former sup- 
plies of raw material have made it necessary to open new timber areas, 
to change locations and processes of manufacture and to substitute new 
varieties of wood for those which were becoming increasingly difficult 
to secure. The lumbering business of today has survived a rapid evolu- 
tion which has forced numerous erstwhile competitors to the wall. 

Dating back to the earliest days of lumbering on the Mississippi, 
the Rock Island Sash & Door Works has successfully met the vicissitudes 
of time and remains today one of the foremost industrial concerns of 

Rock Island Sash & Door Works, Rock Island, Illinois 

its kind. When raw material in the Wisconsin and Minnesota pineries 
became scarce its owners acquired stumpage elsewhere. When logs could 
110 longer be profitably rafted down from the north they found other 
means of transportation. Early in the history of the concern manufacture 
and sale of rough lumber was subordinated to. the production of finished 
goods, and in this line all competition has been successfully met from the 
beginning. For many years the output has consisted exclusively of sash, 
doors and various other kinds of millwork, both plain and veneered. The 
Crown door which it makes is standard among^ builders all over the country. 

It was in the early 50's that Porter Skinner established what is now 
known as the Rock Island Sash & Door Works. Then, and for years 
afterward, raw material was brought, in the form of logs, rafted down the 
Mississippi from the north. The millsite was advantageously located* on 
the banks of the river, with ample slack water in which to hold logs 


in storage. Early in the 60's Mr. Skinner sold a half interest in his busi- 
ness to others, and the firm name was changed to that of Gray, Cropper 
& Company. In 1868 the original owner disposed of his remaining in- 
terests to Weyerhaeuser & Denkmann, who already were extensively en- 
gaged in lumbering in the locality, and the name was changed to Anawalt, 
Denkmann & Company. Incorporation took place in 1878 as the Rock 
Island Lumber & Mfg. Company, and the name was changed to the present 
one in 1897. This last reorganization took place about the time that 
timber supplies adjacent to the headwaters of the Mississippi failed and 
the rafting of logs became impossible. The old mills were abandoned, and 
since that time sawing of the rough lumber has been done mostly at the 
sources of supply and the lumber brought to Rock Island by rail. 

Weyerhaeuser & Denkmann are among the largest lumber operators 
in the United States. In their hands the Rock Island Sash & Door Works 
has been ably conducted. It has been built and developed with a view 
of permanence. Never has it been more efficiently managed than in the 
last fifteen years, during which it has reached into new fields, found new 

Southern Distributing Branch St. Louis Sash & Door Works, St. Louis, Missouri 

markets, improved its products and its processes. Its sources of supply 
are adequate for a long time and its goods sell on their merits through- 
out a wide area. In the last dozen years, in spite of periods of business 
depression, it has gone on steadily, without closing the plant or materially 
reducing the number of employes. 

Like many another lumbering concern, the Rock Island Sash & Door 
Works has had its baptism of fire. Unlike many others, however, it rose 
from the ashes and with a better plant than ever, one which was not only 
built for permanence, but was much larger than the old one. The fire 
came in October, 1908, under conditions which all lumbermen dread. 
Originating outside the plant during a dry season, it came on at dead of 
night, fanned by a high wind. Successful resistance was impossible. Only 
those parts of the establishment which were outside the direct path of the 


flames escaped. Not even the proverbial charred embers remained only 
ashes and twisted steel, with a few blocks of masonry. 

Not disheartened by the loss, the owners at once decided to rebuild. 
The new buildings were constructed mostly of brick and concrete and 
on a much larger scale. Every precaution to protect the plant against 
future fire losses was taken. Sprinklers were installed and a large steel 
tower built to provide an ample supply of water at all times and under 
all circumstances. Economical handling of materials during the process 
of manufacture also was taken into account, the new plant being considered 
a model among lumbermen. Everything is now under roof, no lumber 
being stored out of doors. Facilities for receiving raw material and those 
for shipping finished products are not excelled anywhere. 

The factory of the Rock Island Sash & Door Works, with its houses 
for drying lumber and storing finished goods occupies four city blocks 
of land, including a frontage of two city blocks on the river. The prop- 
erty is bisected by railroad tracks used by three trans-continental lines. 
The location is central for the shipment of raw material, which is drawn 
from all points of the compass, and also for the distribution of manufac- 
tured goods in an area unexcelled anywhere on earth in productivity 
and buying power. A considerable share of the output is distributed 
through the St. Louis Sash & Door Works, a branch concern efficiently 
operated under the same excellent management as the main plant. Four 
hundred and seventy-five men are regularly employed in Rock Island and 
one hundred and fifty in St. Louis. 

Officers of the company are : 

President F. C. Denkmann. 
Vice President J. P. Weyerhaeuser. 

Vice President, Treasurer and General Manager Charles Esplin. 
Secretary and Assistant Treasurer A. C. Hansen. 

Directors F. C. Denkmann, J. P. Weyerhaeuser, Charles Esplin, E. 
P. Denkmann, F. E. Weyerhaeuser, R. W. Weyerhaeuser, J. H. Hauberg. 


From a One-Story Six-Forge Shop 

The John Deere factory in Moline was built in 1847, on the site of 
the present John Deere Plow Works. 

It was a one-story, six-forge shop used for making John Deere plows. 

For ten years previously John Deere had been a plow manufacturer at 
Grand Detour, Illinois, where, in 1837, he had designed and built the world's 
first successful steel plow. He sold out his interests at Grand Detour and re- 
established his plow-making business in Moline, in order to get the advantages 
of better water power and better river transportation. 

Moline at that time was a thriving little manufacturing village. A dam 
had been built in the river, creating an abundant supply of water power. 
Clustered on the shore and utilizing this water power were numerous saw 
mills, a large flour mill, a foundry and machine shop and a fanning mill fac- 
tory. John Deere's little factory was the first implement-making enterprise 
in the village. 

Numerous hardships were encountered by the new industry. 

There were no banks in the country. Real money was a scarce article. 
A great deal of what little money was in circulation consisted of English, 
French and Spanish coins. Consequently, at the outset, the factory some- 
times had serious difficulty in securing money with which to buy steel; 
and pay-day for the employees did not come at regular intervals. Plows were 
deposited with the merchants in Moline, Rock Island, Davenport and Musca- 
tine, and the plow factory gave its employees orders on those stores for what 
they needed. Plow merchandising was done by leaving plows to be sold on 
commission by merchants of the surrounding territory. No money could 
be collected until the merchants had sold the plows and collected the money 
for them. Sometimes the factory had several thousand dollars' worth of 
plows in the hands of merchants, but not even a hundred dollars in the factory 
safe. One of the most critical times in the life of John- Deere came one day 
in his first year at Moline, when it was necessary to raise $200 in cash, and 
early investigation indicated that there was not that much money in town. 

There were no railroads. A four-horse stage coach was the main means 
of overland transportation. It took from 36 to 48 hours to go to Chicago and 
much longer to go to St. Louis. The route to St. Louis was up the river road 
to Albany, east to Dixon and thence down through the center of the state to 
St. Louis. 

River transportation, though fairly sure, was painfully slow. Steel for 
the plow factory was shipped from Pittsburg, down the Ohio to Cairo, Illi- 
nois, and thence up the Mississippi to Moline. Plow shipments were made 



up and down the river to the more thickly settled sections, and wagons and 
teams were sent overland to transport the goods to interior communities. 

In spite of mariy handicaps, however, the John Deere plow-making 
business expanded steadily. In 1852 the output rose to 10,000 plows a 
notable figure for those days. Better times came with the rapid settlement 
of the great agricultural section of America, the building of railroads and 
the westward surge of commerce and money. 

Larger buildings were erected, the output increased, and John Deere 
plows became known the world over. They were leading instruments in 



Steal Plows. Ustars.CuHivators. and H 




25 HPE 








changing the grass-matted haunts of the buffalo into fruitful acres. Much 
of the soil of Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas, which now feeds a 
great part of the world, was first turned with John Deere plows. They came 
into wide use among the "colonos" on the broad plains of South America, 
among the Hottentots of South Africa, among the bushmen of Australia and 
on the great plains of Russia. Commerce throughout the world grew because 
of greater harvests produced through the use of John Deere plows. 

Today there are few farms in America on which John Deere implements 
have not been used. The little one-story, six-forge John Deere shop of 1847 
has become the Deere & Company of today, owning and operating fourteen 
John Deere factories and thirty-two John Deere branch houses. 

The John Deere Plow Works, the direct descendant of the little shop 
and the parent factory in the John Deere organization of today, is the largest 
steel plow plant in the world. Its floor space is 1,500,000 square feet, or 35 
acres. It produces 450,000 complete implements every normal year, or three 
implements every minute. It uses annually 50,000 tons of iron and steel, 
2,500,000 gallons of fuel oil, 35,000 tons of coal and coke and 1,000 tons of oil 
and paint. 

Two other large John Deere factories the Deere & Mansur Works and 
the John Deere Wagon Works are located in Moline, and the Marseilles 
Works, the John Deere Harvester Works and the Union Malleable Iron 
Company are located in East Moline. 

Other John Deere factories are the Waterloo Boy Tractor Works, 
Waterloo, Iowa; Van Brunt Works, Horicon, Wisconsin; Dain Works, 
Ottumwa, Iowa; Syracuse Chilled Plow Works, Syracuse, New York; John 
Deere Manufacturing Co., Welland, Ontario, Canada; Fort Smith Wagon 
Works, Fort Smith, Arkansas; Reliance Buggy Works, St. Louis, Mo., and 
Moline Lumber Works, Malvern, Ark. 

John Deere branch houses engaged in facilitating the economical distribu- 
tion of John Deere implements are located at Minneapolis, Minn; Moline, 
Illinois; Des Moines, Iowa; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Bloomington, Illinois; 
Omaha, Nebraska; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Kansas City, Missouri; Okla- 
homa, City, Oklahoma; Denver, Colorado; St. Louis, Missouri; New Orleans, 
Louisiana; Nashville, Tennessee; Dallas, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Portland, 
Oregon; Spokane, Washington; Seattle, Washington; Boise, Idaho; San 
Francisco, California; Indianapolis, Indiana; Columbus, Ohio; Lansing, 
Michigan; Baltimore, Maryland; Syracuse, New York; Winnipeg, Manitoba; 
Saskatoon, Sask. ; Regina, Sask. ; Calgary, Alberta; Lethbridge, Alberta; 
Edmonton, Alberta; Welland, Ontario. 

An export department, conducting a large business with foreign 
countries, is located at Moline. 


United Utility Service 

Transportation, Power, Light, Gas and Heat 

Had it lacked the aid supplied by the united utilities of the Tri-Cities 
during the World War, the effectiveness of the Rock Island Arsenal would 
have been seriously curtailed. Street railway transportation for the many 
thousands of Arsenal workers, additional electric power to meet the demand 
for manufacturing purposes, and gas for the treatment of metals were abso- 
lutely necessary. The need for these services was urgent and unexpected, 
yet the capacity was available in all three cases and was supplied at low cost. 

Official records show that the Arsenal and the Tri-Cities shared with 
Chicago the distinction o being the only manufacturing centers in the 
United States during the early part of 1918 where the lack of capacity of 
the public utility companies did not hamper the industrial expansion re- 
quired to meet war needs, and recognition of this fact at Washington had 
much to do with the volume of war orders received by the Tri-Cities. 
Should the country again be called upon for military supplies to the same 
extent as was recently necessary, the showing made by the local Arsenal 
and Tri-City industrial concerns will warrant the confidence they will 

While it is true that there is now a water power development at Rock 
Island Arsenal sufficient for its ordinary requirements, yet it is necessary, 
as is the case with all other low head hydro-electric developments, that it be 
supplemented by a steam plant equipped to assume the load on momentary 
notice, due to failure on account of high water, low water, or ice. The 
Arsenal, having no steam power generating plant of its own, obtains this 
assurance of a constant energy supply from the power company serving 
the Tri-Cities, and when the demand for power required for war activities 
exceeded the capacity of the Arsenal station, the excess energy necessary 
was supplied on call. Energy was transmitted to the Arsenal over 4,800-volt 
transmission lines owned and maintained by the government. 

The company's power house is located in Moline, directly across Sylvan 
Water from the main Arsenal shops, and adjoining the government's 
property. This plant is equipped with steam units having a maximum 
capacity of 61,000 horsepower, supplemented by hydro-electric energy 
purchased from the Moline Water Power Company and the hydro-electric 
plant of T. B. and S. S. Davis, on Rock river, these developments having 
a maximum capacity of 4,000 and 2,500 horsepower, respectively. At such 
times as the output of the government -station exceeds the Arsenal require- 
ments, this surplus is taken over by the power company. Approximately 
eighty per cent of the annual Tri-City power output is generated by steam, 
the balance coming from the hydro stations. 



Industrial expansion in the Tri-Cities prior to 1918 had reached a point 
which would soon require additional electrical generating capacity, which led 
the power company, early in 1917, to order a 25,000 horsepower steam turbine, 
with the necessary boilers, auxiliaries, etc., this unit being received and in- 
stalled in 1918, in time to meet the war demand. When ready for operation 

Gas Works Peoples Bswer Co MatineJll 

High.Ifenfiion. Transmission- line 

Interior Substabon.'"B"Iteoples light Zn.Davenportla. . G"TSew cf tower House Interior Showing large Jutix&seatox-Shlinelll. 

the new turbine cost approximately $1,250,000. As this is written, plans are 
under way for an additional installation of 32,000 horsepower, to cost in the 
neighborhood of $1,500,000, which will increase the total power available 
for the Tri-Cities and the Arsenal to nearly 100,000 horsepower. 

Gas for the Arsenal is produced by the Peoples Power Company at 
their gas works adjoining the electric plant in Moline, and is distributed 
through high pressure mains to the various buildings on the Island. Prior 
to the war the Arsenal used coal and oil for manufacturing purposes, but the 
convenience and practically unlimited supply of gas, together with results 
of research work which proved that gas was in many ways more efficient 
and economical, led to the abandonment of the coal and oil burners and 
their replacement by gas. The average war-time gas consumption of the 
Arsenal was approximately 5,000,000 cubic feet per month, far in excess 



All communications must be addressed to "The Commanding Officer, Rock Island Arsenal. Rock Island. Illinois." 



ROCK ISLAND. ILLINOIS Becsobe r 6 t 1922, 

B.J. Herman, pres. , 
Trl-City Bailway & light So. 
Moline, IllinolB. 

Dear Sirs 

In aoooraance v;i fti your recent request for statement of 
tile activities at this Arsenal In connection with the late war of 
the associate utilities corporations under your charge, I have to 
inform you that your service inolnded not only tiie providing of 
transportation facilities for Arsenal employees but the furnishing 
in large quantities of power ani gas used in the plant's mamfc.ctur- 
ing ope rat Ions. 

The cooperation which the Tri-City Railway Company gave 
and the service it rendered throughout the period of the war, when 
the transporting of Arsenal workmen became a perplexing problem, en- 
abled the Government to afford to its industrial workers facilities 
in this connection which few communities in other leso congested In- 
dustrial fields enjoyed. 

The emergency incident to the war created, in some instancao, 
demands in excess of the Arsenal's facilities. This was particularly 
true in the case of gas and electric power, both of which it was ne- 
cessary to purchase in large quantities. At the outbreak of the war 
the increased demand for electric power made the modernizing of the 
Arsenal Power Plant necessary, and during the period of reconstruct- 
ing the pliant the purchase of power to supplement that which the Ar- 
senal generated became naoesaajy. The purchase of said power from the 
Moline-Eook Island Kann feotur ing Company (one of your associate com- 
panies) at a time when the requirements for power were heaviest en- 
abled the Arsenal to pursue continuously its extensive production pro- 
gram, not otherwise possible had this contract not existed. 

This was also true in the gas supplied by the Peoples POV.TT 
Company. The increased manufacturing operations caused a ccrsuzqpvica 
of twenty-five million cubic feet of gas during the fiscal y^ir 1919 
which the latter company furnished without inter."uption. 


DJJ. King 

Wlone 1 , Ord. Dep t . ,U . S. A. 
Command ing* 

of the normal requirements. To supply this and other rapidly increasing 
local demands, the company installed additional producing and distributing 
equipment at an expenditure of more than $300,000. 

Street railway service to and from the Arsenal is furnished by the 
Tri-City Railway Company of Iowa and the Tri-City Railway Company 
of Illinois. With a line through the heart of the Island, connecting with 









December 7, 1922. 

Mr. B. J. Denman, President, 
Tri-City Railway & Light Company, 
Davenport, Iowa. 

Dear Sir: 

In. recently reviewing the war activities of the 
manufacturers of the Tri-Cities, the record of your company 
durlug that period was brought forcibly to my attention. 

About twenty-eight of our largest factories had direct 
contracts with the government for the manufacture of war supplies, 
and other local companies were also manufacturing munitions and 
other war supplies. The requirements of these companies for gas, 
electricity and transportation service were so great as to cause 
government officials to question whether the service available 
would be sufficient for the needs of these manufacturers, especially 
when they had in mind the tremendous increased demand for service 
made on your company by the Arsenal and also that production had 
broken down in many places in the East through lack of sufficient 
supply of gas, electric and street railway service. 

Mr. Charles E. Stewart, Chief of the Power Section at 
Washington, testified before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign 
Commerce of the House of Representatives that there was a satisfac- 
tory surplus of power, gas and street railway service in the Tri- 
City District, which, with the exception of Chicago, was the only 
district in the country where it was recommended that additional 
orders for war supplies be placed. This, of course, meant a great 
deal to our community and our manufacturing interests especially. 

That your company was in a position to meet so completely 
these large demands for gas, electricity and transportation service 
is cause for public thanks. That you were able to so well and so 
rapidly increase your facilities as they were still further 'demanded 
and that you failed in no respect to render satisfactory service is 
cause for additional commendation. The value of such a company as 
yours to the community cannot be overestimated. The record of your 
company during the war gives all possible assurance of the ability 
to furnish any future needs of these communities, no matte 

Very truly you 


a double track system at the west end of the Island and on Forty-second 
Street, Rock Island, it is in position to handle an almost unlimited number 
of workers, as was demonstrated during 1917, 1918 and 1919, when respective 
yearly totals of 1,731,557, 3,231,471 and 2,126,144 passengers were carried to 
and from the Arsenal. A maximum number of 50 cars was required to 
transport this huge and unprecedented traffic. The pre-war needs of the 


Arsenal had been met with five cars, and the additional traffic necessitated 
the purchase of forty-five additional cars for this service alone. In addition 
to the expenditure for these cars, 2.31 miles of track were laid on the Island, 
bringing the total Island track mileage to 4.62. 

The public utility companies referred to in the foregoing as serving the 
Rock Island Arsenal so ably in time of need are owned and operated by the 
Tri-City Railway & Light Company, a holding company organized in 1906 
with a capital of $30,000,000, the operating headquarters of which are located 
at Davenport. This was a consolidation of the utilities of the Tri-Cities, 
which had heretofore been operating independently. The present officers 
and directors of the Tri-City Railway & Light Company are as follows: 

President B. J. Denman, Davenport. 
Vice-President Richard Schaddelee, Grand Rapids. 
Vice-President H. R. Tobey, New York City. 
Vice-President and Treasurer F. T. Hulswit, Grand Rapids. 
Vice-President, Ass't Sec'y and Ass't Treasurer H. E. Weeks, Daven- 

Secretary H. E. Littig, Davenport. 

Assistant Secretary L. H. Heinke, Grand Rapids. 

Directors Officers and William Butterworth, Moline; G. M. Averill, 
Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Joe R. Lane, Davenport; C. N. Chubb, Davenport; 
R. B. MacDonald, Moline; J. G. Huntoon, Rock Island; Wm. Chamberlain, 
Cedar Rapids. 

The operating companies serving the Tri-Cities are as follows: 

Tri-City Railway Company of Illinois Street railway service in Rock 
Island, Moline, East Moline, Silvis and contiguous territory; T. C. Roderick, 
Rock Island, Vice-President and General Manager. 

Tri-City Railway Company of Iowa Street railway service in Daven- 
port, Bettendorf and Rockingham, Iowa; R. J. Smith, Davenport, Vice- 
President and General Manager. 

Peoples Light Company Serves Davenport, Rockingham and Betten- 
dorf, Iowa, with gas and electricity ; steam heating plant serving downtown 
section of Davenport; C. N. Chubb, Davenport, Vice-President and General 

Peoples Power Company Serves Rock Island, Moline, East Moline and 
Silvis with gas and electricity, in addition to wholesaling energy to a number 
of small towns in the immediate neighborhood; R. B. MacDonald, Moline, 
Vice-President and General Manager. 

Clinton, Davenport & Muscatine Railway Company Electric inter- 
urban connecting the three towns forming its name, Clark G, Anderson, 
Davenport, General Manager, 


According to the 1920 census the total population of the territory served 
by the foregoing companies was 137,000. Electric customers total 30,368 
and gas customers 28,791, these patrons being supplied with electricity over 
1,859.3 miles of wire line and with gas through 445.33 miles of gas main 
(reduced to three-inch equivalent). Transportation lines in operation in- 
clude 104.16 miles of single track equivalent street railway and 64.56 miles 
of interurban track. 

The annual coal consumption of the Tri-City utilities is approximately 
125,000 tons, or 2,500 carloads; which, if placed end to end, would form a 
train 30 miles long. Gas manufacture requires 600 cars of coke and 550 cars 
of oil each twelve months. The working forces of the various operating 
companies total about 1,200 men and women. 

The amount expended by the operating companies for improvements, 
betterments and extensions in the ten-year period from 1912 to 1922 ag- 
gregated $7,975,436. This large amount of capital required to take care of 
utility expansion in the Tri-Cities has been furnished by the United Light 
& Railways Company since 1912, when it acquired the Tri-City Railway & 
Light Company. In the last two years capital to finance local requirements 
has been provided to a constantly increasing extent through customer owner- 
ship of United Light securities, which have been sold almost exclusively to 
utility patrons by company employes, the company's prior preferred stock 
now being sold to Tri-City residents at a rate in excess of $700,000 per year. 
Company and consumers have thus become partners in the upbuilding of 
their community, and the confidence engendered by a better understanding 
of the mutuality of interests is evidenced by the spirit of wholehearted 
co-operation and general good will now prevailing. 

The Tri-City Railway & Light Company has always pursued a pro- 
gressive policy, its aim being to anticipate public needs and thus encourage 
the growth of the cities it serves. In its endeavor to maintain the closest 
possible relations with the public by keeping them informed of the practical 
problems involved in the operation of its properties the company feels that 
it has succeeded to an unusual degree. 

The utility companies of the Tri-Cities, prior to their consolidation 
in 1906, were developed for the most part by home capital. The story of 
their progress forms an interesting chapter of local history, and the ag- 
gressive enterprise of the three communities can be shown in no better 
way than by the steady improvement in utility service. 

For the beginning of the history of Tri-City utilities we must go back 
to 1843, when what was known as the Sears dam was constructed to develop 
water power at Moline. Because of the crude methods of distribution pre- 
vailing at that time, the use of energy generated there was limited to the 
immediate vicinity of the plant, resulting in the erection of several small 
factory buildings at each end of the dam, which formed the nucleus of 



Molina's later industrial development. When more Qfficient electrical 
transmission became available some forty years later the water output was 
taken over by the Peoples Light & Fuel Company (predecessor to the 
present Peoples Power Company) for general distribution throughout the 

Gas plants were established about the time the three cities were emerg- 
ing from the village state, the Rock Island Gas, Light & Coke company first 

furnishing service in 1855, and the Davenport Gas Light & Coke Company 
three years later. The first alternating current generator in what was then 
termed the west was installed in Rock Island in the early 80's. One of the 
first, if not actually the first, electric street car successfully operated in 
the United States was run on the Brady Street line in Davenport, in August, 
1888. The first electric street car was operated on Arsenal Island for ex- 
clusive Arsenal service December 28, 1899. 

Since the purchase of all local utilities by the Tri-City Railway & Light 
Company in 1906, the economies and efficiencies resulting from unified 
operation have evidenced themselves in a higher degree of service at a lower 
cost to the consumer than is enjoyed in other cities of similar size and 
wealth throughout the country. 



The R&V Motor Company 

Second only in importance to Rock Island Arsenal in the Tri-City field 
in the actual production of war munitions, the R. & V. plant in East Moline 
rendered valuable service to the United States and its allies during the 
world conflict. Ammunition and ordnance were manufactured in quantity, a 
great shop being built especially for this 
work, and large numbers of tools were 
supplied to other private concerns engaged 
in filling War Department orders. The 
contribution of this industry toward the 
cause of the allied governments may be 
summarized as follows : 

Shells, 8-inch high explosive and 8-inch 
gas, to the number of hundreds of thou- 
sands, delivered to the British and the 
United States governments ; hundreds of 
guns, of 4-inch and one-pound size, and 
large numbers of mounts, sights and gun 
stands for 3-inch and six-pounder guns. 

Large numbers of specially designed 
machine tools for manufacture of ammu- 
nition was furnished to the British govern- 
ment and Canadian and American contrac- 

Great numbers of motors manufactured 
for use in tractors. 

Enlistment and induction into the mili- 
tary service of 460 employes of various 
degrees of mechanical and technical skill. 

Liberty bond subscriptions amounting 
to $1,077,060, exclusive of first loan. 

War saving stamps purchases of more than $18,000. 

Services of W. H. VanDervoort, president, as member of Munitions 
Standard Board and the National War Labor Board. 

Some of the things it was necessary to do in order to manufacture 
munitions on the scale indicated were: 

Construct the buildings used for the shell shop. 

Equip the shell plant with specially designed machinery, produced 
chiefly in the engineering company's own plant. 

Organize a force capable of producing hundreds of 8-inch shells daily. 

Replace one of the important buildings, the heat treating plant, which 
was destroyed by fire. 

Organize a great corporation to handle the ordnance contracts in con- 
junction with the Wagner Electric Manufacturing Company of St. Louis. 


for many years head of the great R&V business in 
East Moline, which was named with the initials of him- 
self and his associate, Mr. O. J. Root. Mr. Van Der- 
voort's death in 1921 was in a large measure the result 
of overwork during the war, when he served as a mem- 
ber of the National War Labor Board and the Muni- 
tions Standard Board, in addition to directing the R&V 
production of ammunitions and ordnance. He was in- 
ternationally known as an engineer and automobile 


Build an ordnance plant with 130,000 feet of floor space and equip it 
with more than 400 specially designed machine tools. 

Replace hundreds of workers who entered the service, and in addition 
recruit new help for the added departments till the total number of em- 
ployes approached 3,000. 

In order to keep the shops working to full capacity night and day, 
which was the rule during the war, women workers were introduced, the 
maximum number employed being 500. 

The help problem brought with it the one of housing workers in the 
near vicinity. The company financed the building of two hotels that were 
conducted under the auspices of the Y. M. C. A.; and mainly because of its 
needs, East Moline was included in the cities where government house 
building projects were approved, the number of dwellings constructed there 
being 111. 

The R&V plants, operating now under the name of the R&V Motor 
Company, always have been leaders in the industrial field. In the early days 
when the manufacture of stationary and portable farm engines was its 
principal business, the Root & VanDervoort Engineering company became a 
major factor in that industry. It contributed materially to the development 
of internal combustion gasoline engines, and sold hundreds of thousands of 
them for use in all agricultural countries of the world. In 1904, when it 
took up automobile manufacturing, it quickly won like recognition, its 
products being repeatedly winners in economy and reliability runs. When, 
in 1913, it adopted the Knight engine as its automobile power equipment, it 
developed an engine that broke all world's records in an endurance test and 
established marks still unbeaten and unchallenged. In the bus motor field, 
where the power equipment requirements are most severe, it won immediate 

When the United States entered the World War it found the R&V com- 
pany with a plant and equipment ready for immediate service, and this fact 
gave the company a great advantage in securing contracts as well as in sup- 
plying tools and patterns to other concerns. Long before this country became 
involved, the British government had turned to the United States for muni- 
tions, and the R&V company was one of the private manufacturers which 
undertook the work on a large scale. It made high explosive and gas shell, 
supplying Great Britain with great quantities of them. On the completion 
of its contracts, the R&V management, convinced that ultimately it would 
be called upon again by either the United States or Great Britain for further 
supplies of ammunition, sealed its shell shops and kept intact its equipment. 
Up to this time, in addition to executing its contracts for shell, it had de- 
signed new machinery which greatly increased manufacturing efficiency 
in the making of shell, and had, at the suggestion of the British government, 
sold large numbers of shell lathes to other manufacturers. 

Thus it happened that when Uncle Sam entered the struggle he found 
the R&V plants ready to produce on very short notice, and so they became 




the most important auxiliary to Rock Island Arsenal in munition production 
to be found in this community. Troops were at once placed on guard to 
protect the company's facilities for the making of shell and ordnance, and in 
a short time the plant was again engaged in war production. At first, at- 
tention was devoted mainly to machining the 8-inch gas shell. Then came 
a proposition to undertake the production of naval ordnance. To provide 
adequate facilities for this, a great new building was constructed. It was 
706 feet long and 165 feet wide. Thus equipped, the R&V company for 
many months produced three-fourths of the 4-inch guns supplied by private 
manufacturers for the United States Navy. One contract completed, others 
were awarded, and sights and mounts for 3-inch rifles and 1-pound guns 
for submarine chasers were added to the 4-inch guns which the company 
originally undertook to produce. 

How well the R&V organization served the United States and its allies 
may be judged from the fact that of all the shell machined, 227,000 in 
number, only 159 were rejected by government inspectors; and of the 1,165 
guns built, not a single one failed to pass the very exacting tests to which they 
were subjected, and every one was accepted by the navy. 

Farm and tractor engine production, being considered necessary in the 
campaign for more foodstuffs, was; continued during the war, and at the 
close of the conflict the company turned again to this field, as well as resum- 
ing the building of automobiles, which had almost ceased. In pursuance of 
its policy of constantly advancing its standards, it shortly brought out a 
six-cylinder Knight motor, a type not then being produced by any other 

PLANT OF THE R&V MOTOR COMPANY This fine building was originally built to handle the prod 

R&V Knight automobile. It is one of the best arrange 



manufacturer in this country. It also put on the market a new four-cylinder 
model, a great step forward in this class, in which it had been a leader for 
a number of years. 

Not only did the R&V institution successfully weather the acute in- 
dustrial depression which followed the war, but it made real progress. 
It liquidated its heavy inventories and advanced its position in the industry, 
passing more than thirty important companies which previously had ex- 
ceeded it in volume of sales. It was one of only four companies which in 
1921 sold a greater number of cars than in 1920, and the only one to double 
in 1921 its 1919 aggregate sales. 

Not content with these achievements, the company set about the task 
of developing an engine that, in performance, should mark a new era in 
the six-cylinder automobile field in this country. This motor, placed in a 
new and greatly improved car, is to be put on the market in 1923. Ex- 
haustive preliminary tests proved that it would meet every expectation, 
with a volume and flexibility of power and smoothness of operation that 
previously had been the unrealized dream of every automotive engineer. 

The Root & VanDervoort Engineering Company grew from a one-room 
upstairs specialty shop in 1897. It progressed only because of the capacity 
of those who have directed its affairs and their superior ability in engineer- 
ing development. Its war service is attested by the volume of business it 
did with the United States government and its allies. The highest achieve- 
ment of the R&V industry is its Knight-Six motor and car. 

of naval ordnance. After the war it was converted into an automobile factory for the manufacture of the 
most perfectly lighted manufacturing plants in the middle west. 



The Federal System of Bakeries 

About six years ago a man stood in front of a bakeshop looking at 
some tempting rolls and cakes displayed on a dirty shelf in a dingy, unkempt 
bakery. As he stood there thinking of the conditions under which these 
delicious-looking cakes and rolls were probably made, there came to his 
mind the picture of a spotlessly clean, well lighted bakery, with the baked 

J. Reed Lane, President 

products made in a rotary oven "right before your eyes." That man was 
Milton Feder. With this idea in mind, he secured a patent on a revolving 
oven and organized the "Chatterton System of Bakeries." 

The first bakery of this system was opened in Oakland, California, and 
proved a big success. People flocked to the store, attracted by the novelty of 
seeing the brown, crispy loaves baked right before their eyes. Several more 
shops were opened in California, and then it was decided to make them a 
national institution. In 1918 the company was reorganized under its present 
name, Federal System of Bakeries of America, with headquarters in Chicago, 
to standardize and supervise these bakeries. A few months later the offices 
were moved to New York. 

In the fall of 1918 two Federal stores were opened in Davenport by 
W. C. Swigart and Wm. R. Doran, which were later purchased by L. J. Yagge 
and A J. Faerber. These stores proved immediate successes. 



About this time J. Reed Lane, of Davenport, became interested in the 
novel methods employed by this company and the apparent favor with which 
they were meeting". He acquired interests in the company and was elected 
Treasurer. Other Davenport men followed his lead, and in January, 1920, 
the city of Davenport became the home office of the company. Mr. Lane 
was elected President and Wm. L. Mueller, Joe R. Lane, Maurice, 

Left Federal System of Bakeries New Home in Davenport. Right Exterior and Interior Views 
of Typical Federal Bakery. 

A. J. Faerber, Charles Shuler, G. Watson French, Ed. C. Mueller, Milton 
Feder, T. J. Walsh and J. W. Bettendorf, directors. The central location 
of the home office offered many advantages. It not only enabled the officers 
of the company to keep in closer touch with the stores in all sections of the 
country, but placed them in direct contact with the wheat-producing and 
milling centers of the country. 

In the fall of 1919 a Federal School was established in the old St. Luke's 
Hospital, at 8th and Main streets, Davenport. Here men were given a 


thorough course in technical and practical baking and merchandising which 
fitted them not only to operate Federal stores under sanitary and modern 
methods, but how to make good bread. 

Federal bakeries are installed under a license system with a royalty 
clause attached. In return for this royalty, the licensees are given service 
under the supervision of twelve departments, Sales, Equipment, Purchasing, 
Stores and Traffic, Operating, Sales Promotion and Advertising, Auditing, 
Installation, Insurance, Chemistry and Research, Mail and Record, Legal 
and Executive. Each department is organized to give prompt service under 
the direction of an expert in his line of work. All advertising is 
done on a national scale and is handled direct by the home office. Similar 
suggestions and methods of advertising are thus distributed to every Federal 
Bakery. A monthly magazine, "The Sunlight Magazine," keeps all managers 
and employees familiar with general conditions and methods of improve- 
ment of their stores. 

"Quality and Service" is the watchword of Federal Bakeries. Standard 
formulas used in all stores call for the best ingredients, substitutes being 
absolutely prohibited. Only the best of flour is used, which is tested before 
use in the company's laboratories at the Federal School. Not only are the 
raw materials analyzed under the direction of one of the leading chemists 
of the country, Dr. J. Sluyter, but a sample loaf of bread is forwarded 
monthly from each store to the laboratories to be tested for quality. Each 
loaf must receive a rating of over 95 per cent before the store can be awarded 
a certificate of Federal quality. From Maine to California and from Toronto, 
Canada, to Tampico, Mexico, the patrons of Federal bakeries are assured of 
a uniform quality of baked goods of the highest type obtainable. 

It is not too much to say that the Federal System of Bakeries of 
America, Inc., dominates the baking field, setting its standards for quality 
and service. In 1921 the estimated total business done by Federal bakeries 
amounted to $20,000,000. The loaves of bread baked daily, if placed end to 
end, would cover a distance of seventy-five miles. "The proof of the pudding 
is in the eating" and the Federal System of Bakeries has established over 
400 bakeries in some three hundred towns in a period of five years and is 
steadily developing new territory until its slogan "Bringing Home the 
Bakin' " is a household expression in every home throughout the United 



The Bettendorf Company 

We often marvel at the rapid mechanical advancement of this age. 
To refer to it is to deal in the trite and common-place. And yet it has been 
achieved in the face of many handicaps, not the least of which is nature's 
failure to implant in the average in- 
dividual of inventive turn enough 
of the practical to enable him to util- 
ize to best advantage the product 
of his genius. 

This defect in man's make-up 
has been responsible for a prodigious 
waste of capital and time in connec- 
tion with really workable ideas that 
never got beyond the formative 
stage, and has deprived the race of 
the earlier use of an untold number 
of devices that would have lightened 
toil, increased production and made 
life generally more worth the living. 

The patent office at Washington 
is a morgue for the dead hopes of 
inventors who did not realize till too 
late that it requires the application of 
business principles to successfully 
make and sell even the most perfect 
and useful inventions. In all too 
many cases those who have lived 
to see the products of their genius 
in general use have been deprived of 
their just rewards by reason of their inability to grapple as successfully with 
the practical as with the theoretical end of their enterprise, others reaping 
the harvest that rightfully was theirs. 

The late W. P. Bettendorf was one of the conspicuous exceptions found 
in the modern industrial field to the rule laid down in the foregoing. Not 
only was he possessed of rare mechanical ingenuity, but he was resourceful 
to a marked degree in applying his ideas, and highly successful in organizing, 
manufacturing and selling, and in financing his undertakings. Further than 
that, he was fortunate in having a brother, J. W. Bettendorf, who, when 
the former was called from earth at the very height of his activities, was 
able to carry on and bring the industry to the place of leadership in its 
field which it now occupies. The capabilities of J. W. Bettendorf are no less 
marked than those of the founder of the concern, and under his administra- 
tion the company has greatly expanded, becoming by far the largest single 

W. P. Beltendorf, Founder of the Company 



industry in the Tri-City community. Its shop buildings cover 24 acres of 
ground and its annual business runs well into the millions. It is one of 
the principal manufacturers of railway equipment in the country, specializing 

in steel freight cars. Over one and 
one-half million Bettendorf truck 
side frames are now in use. 

The foundation of the great 
Bettendorf industry was a practical 
idea, and, strangely enough, it had 
nothing to do with railroad equip- 
ment. It brought into existence a 
new type of metal wheel and the ma- 
chinery for making it, both being the 
product of the genius of W. P. Bet- 

In 1886, Mr. Bettendorf, then a 
young man, brought his ideas and 
the letters patent protecting them to 
Davenport, near three great agricul- 
tural implement factories, and set 
about forming a company to begin 
production. Here his efforts were 
as successful as they had been in 
dealing with the mechanical end of 
the undertaking. In a short time the 
first shops were in operation. The 
type of wheel made, it may be added, 
was soon recognized as ideal for use 
on agricultural implements and the concern which Mr. Bettendorf founded 
remains today the largest exclusive makers of metal wheels in the world. 

As soon as his first venture was well on its way toward success Mr. 
Bettendorf set about looking for new problems to solve. His active mind 
shortly developed a steel gear for farm wagons. Closing out his interests 
in the metal wheel concern, he formed another company to manufacture 
farm wagons. This also prospered greatly and soon assumed large propor- 
tions. Then, gradually, he turned to the making of railroad equipment, in 
which steel was being used in rapidly increasing quantities. First, the 
I-beam car bolster was invented, and later the one-piece cast steel truck 
frame and other steel parts for freight cars were perfected. Finding a 
ready demand for these lines, the company decided to turn its entire atten- 
tion to their production, looking forward, even then, to the making of 
complete cars. Its growth from that time on was phenomenal. 

Early in the manufacturing career of W. P. Bettendorf his brother, 
J. W. Bettendorf, became associated with him, and as the business grew 

J. W. Bettendorf,. President 


the latter, in an executive capacity, took an increasing share of the re- 
sponsibility. His versatility and steady devotion to the firm's interests 
prepared him for the part he was ultimately to play and entitle him to 
much credit for the earlier, as well 
as for the later, successes the concern 

In 1902 the industry had out- 
grown its quarters, and so forty acres 
of land just beyond the eastern limits 
of the city of Davenport, and on the 
banks of the Mississippi river, were 
purchased, and the first factory build- 
ings there were erected. This was a 
fortunate move, for additional room 
was available as it was needed. The 
plant has been gradually built up 
during the intervening years to its 
present immense proportions. To 
provide a place of residence for fac- 
tory workers, a town-site was laid 
out adjacent to the shops and named 
Bettendorf. This has now grown 
into a city, with a city's improve- 
ments and advantages. 

First experiments in the manu- 
facture of cast steel trucks had be- 
gun with the forming of the Betten- 

< * i A . 1 o/~\ r* 1 J- H. Bendixen, Vice-President and Sales Manager 

dorf Axle Company in 1895, but 

slowness in the development of the process of making intricate steel castings 
deferred the perfecting of the Bettendorf invention. Not till 1903 were 
truck side frames actually produced, and then in only a small way. Their 
use soon proved their superiority, and arrangements were made with one 
of the principal steel castings manufacturing firms for quantity production. 
As time passed and the new frame became more and more popular, castings 
orders were placed with other makers. 

To secure uniformity of product in the various foundries it was neces- 
sary for the Bettendorf company to supervise the making of the castings, 
and to install in each plant its specially designed hydraulic straightening 
presses, by which the various parts were aligned and tested. In pursuance of 
the same object, elaborate records were kept of the performance of thou- 
sands of trucks in use. This made possible, also, a more intelligent selec- 
tion of materials and the prevention of defects. As a result of these pre- 
cautions, Bettendorf products rapidly built up a reputation for strength 
and reliability, and a fund of experience was gained which was of im- 



mense value later when the company undertook the making of all its own 
parts. It became evident that open hearth steel was best adapted to the 
casting of steel car frames, and that certain qualities must be incorporated 
to resist the shocks and stresses to which cars in service are subjected. 
Perceiving finally that the most economical and satisfactory way to get 
desired results was to do its own casting, the company, in 1909, began the 
erection of a foundry, which was placed in commission during the following 

Built originally with three twenty-five-ton furnaces, the foundry has 
been enlarged from time to time till it now has seven units which make all 
castings for car trucks, and together have an annual capacity of 320,000 
side frames and bolsters. 

In the arrangement and equipping of its foundry the Bettendorf company 
scored a great mechanical and engineering triumph. Based as it was upon ex- 
perience obtained in a wide field and under varying circumstances, it em- 
braces features not found elsewhere, and turns out a superior product. Ex- 
ceptional strength and uniformity in all parts of the same casting, as well as 
between the separate pieces, is insured by treatment in specially designed 
annealing furnaces, which is also a purely Bettendorf creation. Proof of the 
effectiveness of the Bettendorf process is to be had in the exceedingly low 
percentage of replacements because of defects. 

While the Bettendorf industry was at the height of its expansion pro- 
gram, W. P. Bettendorf was called by death, the end coming June 3, 1910: 
For a time it was feared that the loss of his leadership would permanently 
check the growth and usefulness of the concern in which he had played 
so important a part. Such forebodings, however, were ill-founded. J. W. 
Bettendorf, the surviving brother, proved equal to the heavy task laid upon 
his shoulders. Assuming the added responsibilities, he went ahead with 



the plans for enlargement, and the achievement of the company since has 
been largely clue to his efficient direction. In 1913 a reorganization on a 
broader basis took place, with J. W. Bettendorf president, J. H. Bendixen 
vice-president and manager of sales, and a large and competent staff of 
subordinate officers. 

During the World War the company felt that it could do its bit more 
effectively in manufacturing railroad equipment, then so badly needed, 
rather than by rebuilding much of its shop equipment for the production of 
munitions. It filled an order from the United States Railroad Administra- 
tion for 3,000 box cars and supplied trucks for 30,000 other cars, which 
was its major contribution to the industrial effort of this country. In 
addition, it gave some attention to the machining of artillery recuperators 
and the making of trench mortar forgings. Had the war continued another 
year, it is probable that munition manufacture would have been undertaken 
on a much more extensive scale. At the time the armistice was signed 
the concern was working on an order for casting and machining wheels for 
four-wheel drive trucks. This order, which was for equipment for 7,500 
vehicles, was not completed, and special machinery installed for the work 
was thereafter useless. Plans were in hand at the time hostilities ceased 
for the assembling of 1,500 Mark VIII tanks, involving the handling of a 
vast amount of material, but no actual work was done. 

As in the case of other industries, the Bettendorf organization was 
handicapped by withdrawal of some of its best men to enter the service. 
The number who went from its shops and offices to take up arms was 124. 

The company specializes in one type of car truck, upon which it stakes 
its reputation and in which it embodies the best materials and methods 
of construction that Bettendorf brains can devise and Bettendorf resources 
provide. The present plant has a capacity of 320,000 side frames and 
bolsters and 30,000 underframes, or 12,000 completed cars per year. 

sippi River and Illinois Shore in Dist 


Augustana College 

o o 

Augustana College is one of the early educational institutions of Illinois. 
Pioneer settlers who came from the East and from Northern Europe to the 
tipper Mississippi valley in the 40's and 50's at once felt the need of an 
institution for general education and for the training of ministers and 

Older Colleg 

teachers. Augustana College and Theological Seminary was founded by 
these pioneers in 1860. 

From the beginning Augustana College felt it to be its duty to serve the 
state and community, as well as the church. During the Civil War the 
growth of the institution was impeded, as the prospective students enlisted 
in the Union army. After the close of this war the development has been 
steady, and the College has now grown to number a thousand students.. 

During the years 1860-63 this institution was located in Chicago; during 
the following twelve years it was located at Paxton, 111., and in 1875 
Augustana College found its permanent home at Rock Island. The buildings 
comprise Old Main, Dormitories, one for young men and one for young 
women, and Science Hall. The gymnasium is one of the best buildings for 
its purpose in the state, with running track and swimming pool. On ac- 
count of its size (90x140), it is also used as an auditorium, the acoustics 
being perfect. Citizens of Rock Island and Moline assisted generously in 
contributing to the expenses for erecting this gymnasium. 

The most beautiful building on the grounds is the Denkmann Memorial 
Library, erected by the children to the memory of the parents, Mr. and Mrs. 
F. C. A. Denkmann. In this library building are housed the administrative 
offices of the Augustana College. Four stories of modern stacks give ample 
room for the books; the offices of the library are on the second floor. In 
the beautiful architecture of this building, the reading-room has been ac- 





centuated both as to size (50x120) and by beauty of decoration, so that it 
is one of the finest reading rooms of any College in our country. 

Two buildings are now being erected at a cost of approximately $300,- 
000.00, for the Theological Seminary, one constituting the main building. 

Denkmann Memorial Libr 

the other the Seminary dormitory. Plans are maturing for the procuring of 
funds and for the erection of additional buildings, greatly needed for the 
right development 'of the College. 

The present grounds cover an area of about 36 acres. The buildings 
(of which there are eight), and the grounds represent a value of $494,000.00. 
The Endowment and Trust Funds amount to $656,991.16, making the total 
value of the institution above a million dollars. 

When President Wilson in 1917 called for volunteers, so great a num- 
ber of Augustana students, including the whole band, enlisted, that this 
institution, according to the records at Washington, stood first on the list 
of American colleges as to the number of students enlisted in proportion 
to the attendance. 

The roster .of the 1921 catalog shows that twenty-six states of the 
Union and two foreign countries (Canada and Sweden) sent pupils to 
Augustana. The graduates of the college department now number 850; 
from the Theological Seminary one thousand young men have gone forth 
to serve the church in the ministry. In all, about ten thousand students 
have been wards of Augustana College during the sixty-two years of its 
existence; these former students are now found in all departments of 
American activity, in the halls of Congress, on the judge's bench, in the 
ministry, in law, in business, on the farm, and in foreign parts. 

The fall term begins during the first week in September; the spring 
term in the second week of January. Further information is furnished by 
the President, Dr. Gustav Andreen, Augustana College, Rock Island, 111. 


The McCarthy Improvement Company 

The history of street paving in the middle west might be written in the 
life story of P. F. McCarthy, president of the McCarthy Improvement 
Company, of Davenport. Mr. McCarthy started his active career as water 
boy with Edwards & Walsh, thirty-odd years ago. That firm laid most of 
the first paving placed in the main streets of the Tri-Cities. 

In those days brick was exclusively used, and it wasn't very good brick, 
either, according to modern standards. It would not have long stood up 
under present day traffic. Vitrified paving blocks were then unknown and 
concrete foundations had not come into vogue. The foundation was of 
stone, broken by hand on the ground. On this was placed a sand cushion, 
and then sometimes only one, but usually two, courses of brick. The lower 
course was laid flat, and culls were considered good enough for this layer. 

The first concrete base was made with hydraulic cement and mixed with 
shovels. Then came mixing machinery, crude, but much more economical 
than hand methods. That was the era of the wheelbarrow, which was used 
to feed the mixer and distribute the concrete. Always there was an incline 
up which the material was pushed to be dumped into the hopper. Now there 
is scarcely a wheelbarrow in use on any paving job. Hand labor is reduced 
to a minimum. 

Introduction of the motor truck has revolutionized the paving business. 
Materials are assembled at central points and conveyed to the scene of 
operations as they are needed. In the case of concrete, the ingredients are 
elevated by machinery and dumped into trucks, which carry them to the 
mixers on the scene of operations. Sometimes mixing is clone at central 
plants, where supplies may be prepared for several jobs in progress at the 
same time. This plan has been successfully followed by the McCarthy 
Improvement Company when the haul was as great as seven miles. 

Use of machinery has greatly speeded up street improvement. It has 
also facilitated the standardization of mixtures, insuring uniform work of a 
much better quality than it was possible to turn out by the old hand methods. 
Materials can be more accurately measured or weighed. Inspection is made 
more efficient and formulas are more closely followed. Paving may cost 
more per yard than it did a decade or more ago, but it is vastly better. If it 
were not it would quickly break down under heavy motor traffic. 

Mr. McCarthy worked up through the paving business to the top. 
From water boy he advanced to stone cutter, shaping the stone curbing in 
use in the early days. Then he became foreman, later superintendent, and 
finally organized a company of his own. The McCarthy Improvement 
Company was incorporated in 1903, in Iowa, and three years later took out a 
charter in Illinois. It is now one of the largest paving concerns in the west. 
It pays most attention to city work, its field being Iowa and Illinois, but 
it also does highway construction. Ten years ago it laid some of the first 
concrete paving on a country road in Rock Island county. This stretch 



Above P. F. McCarthy, President. Below T. J. O'Brien, Vice-President and General Manager. 

of highway, which is near Joslin, is still in perfect condition. More recent 
work of this kind was the brick paving on the Brady street road north of 
Davenport. The company never has been called upon to relay paving be- 
cause of faulty work. 



Two Views of First Completed Boulevard Link connecting Rock Island and Moline, and Built by the McCarthy Improvement 

Company. Above Looking East on Nineteenth Avenue from First Street, Moline. Below Looking 

East on Eighteenth Avenue from Thirtieth Street, Rock Island. 

The first asphalt paving put down by the company was laid on Main 
street, Davenport, north of Locust, in 1904, and is still in use with little 
deterioration. Much of its later work has been of this material. It uses 
mostly Mexican asphalt, refined at Baton Rouge, La. Weighing of all 
materials and the system of mixing and treating insure absolute uniformity 
and long life in pavements laid by this company. 

The McCarthy Improvement Company employs about five hundred men 
during the active season. Its work is directed by a skilled staff, most of 
whom have grown up with the concern. It maintains a large amount of 
equipment. Headquarters and general offices are in Davenport. The officers 
are: President, P. F. McCarthy; Vice-Presidents, T. J. Walsh and T. J, 
O'Brien; Secretary, William Wafer; Treasurer, D. R. Lane, 



The Rock Island Telephone System 

When the United States Government established an Arsenal in Rock 
Island at the time of the Civil War, the telephone had not been invented. It 
is doubtful if at that time even a few persons so much as dreamed of having 
their voices carried by wire. Now the telephone is intricately woven into 
all of Rock Island's business and social activities. 

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell made the discovery upon which the 
present art of telephone communication is founded. Less than two years 

Rock Island Telephone Exchange. 

later conversation by wire was possible in Rock Island. It was not until 
January, 1880, that regular service was offered the public, and this was 
through a small switchboard in Davenport. 

There was only a handful of subscribers in the early years and their 
number increased slowly. Later, however, an exchange was established in 
rented quarters in Rock Island. In 1901, the telephone company completed 
its own building on Nineteenth street. Here was a switchboard with places 
for ten girls to handle local calls and two for tolls. 

In 1914, when the Nineteenth street building was nearly outgrown, 
construction of the present telephone building was begun at 635 Eighteenth 
street. On January 18, 1915, the change from the old board to the new was 


There are now fifty-five per cent more telephones in Rock Island than 
there were ten years ago. In that time the population of the city increased 
thirty-seven per cent. Service is given through a switchboard with thirty 
positions for girls handling local calls and ten positions for toll traffic. 

Rock Island now has in use more than 6,300 telephones, of which seventy 
per cent are residence stations. There is a force of more than 100 employees 

Interior, Showing Switchboard in Operation. 

operating, repairing and extending the equipment so that better and in- 
creased service may be given. 

Telephone men and women of Rock Island are a part of the great army 
of 225,000 Bell System employees, all striving for the same purpose the 
rendering of better and increased service. 

The telephone plant in Rock Island is part of the Bell System facilities 
that makes it possible for you to talk to persons in 70,000 other places in the 
United States, Canada and Cuba. 

Citizens of Rock Island, employees and others, are numbered with the 
more than 200,000 shareholders of the Bell System. They are the owners 
yvho have invested their savings to provide a nation-wide telephone system. 



The Builders Sand and Gravel Co. 

First in its line of business in the Tri-City field, the Builders Sand & 
Gravel Company, of Davenport, enjoys the distinction of having furnished 
building material to Rock Island Arsenal from the time that construction 

was started, back in 1863. It has been priv- 
ileged to transact business with the War 
Department under every Commandant from 
Maj. Kingsbury to Col. King. Its first con- 
tract was for supplies used in the old store- 
house containing the clock tower. It con- 
tributed to the erection of the original 
shops and did its part in furthering the 
great construction program undertaken 
during the World War. 

Origin of the company dates back 
seventy years to the time when its founder, 
Hans Goos, father of the present manager, 
began operations. His first equipment con- 
sisted of a small flatboat propelled with 
pike poles. Sand was loaded from nearby 
bars and islands by means of wheelbarrows. 
The first improvement consisted of long- 
handled shovels, flatiron-shaped and per- 
forated to permit the water to escape. With 

these sand was scooped up from the bottom of the stream and a better grade 

was obtained with less effort. 

About this time the pike-pole method of propulsion was discarded in 
favor of a sail, enabling the craft to make longer trips, going as far down 
stream as Muscatine and as far up as Hampton. To pilot such a sailing boat 
over the Rock Island rapids was considered quite a feat. 

Hans Goos, Founder of The Builde 
Gravel Company. 

i Sand and 

Davenport River Front. Showing Loading Bins and Pa 



Hand and wind power gave way to steam about 1880, when the company 
fitted out a steam elevator dredge for loading sand and gravel and secured 
a small sidewheel steamer for towing barges to Rock Island Arsenal and 
other points. Unloading continued to be done by hand from docks along the 
levee until comparatively recent years. 

In 1891 the present company was in- 
corporated. The same year was marked by 
the introduction of a modern centrifugal, 
commonly called suction, pump for loading 
sand and gravel, and a larger and more 
powerful sternwheel steamer to replace the 

The present method of handling, as 
developed by the Builders Sand & Gravel 
Company, consists of loading barges by 
large centrifugal pumps, or, if the material 
is crushed rock, by gravity from bins at the 
quarry. These are then towed to Davenport 
by sternwheel steamboats, of which there 
are two in service. Unloading is done by 
a powerful crane and derrick boat, or a 
locomotive crane, into reinforced concrete 
bins. From these the material is dropped 
into trucks and wagons. In this operation 
crushed rock, sand and gravel may be ac- 
curately measured in desired proportions ready to be dumped into con- 
crete mixers on the job. Thus all hand labor from the sandbar to the 
mixer is eliminated. 

The Builders Sand & Gravel Company enjoys a most advantageous 
location. Its bins for the handling of sand, gravel and stone are on the river 
bank directly opposite the west end of Rock Island Arsenal. It has a 500- 

Hans Goes, Son of Founder of the Company, 
and Present Manager. 

ipment of The Builders Sand and Gravel Compi 


foot frontage there under 25-year lease from the Davenport Levee Com- 
mission. It did the levee improvement work at this point, with the excep- 
tion of building- the sea wall, and paved the driveway with concrete. A 
railroad track runs the full length of the property. 

Warehouses and yards for the handling of building material and fuel 
are located at First and Gaines streets, at the edge of the business district 
of the city. Here there are 800 feet of private railroad tracks; 

The company's first steamboat was named Lone Star. The larger of 
the two present craft is the Lone Star III. The other is the Lone Deer. 
There is also a derrick boat, a large fleet of barges, and a 30-ton railroad 

Almost unlimited quantities of sand, gravel and rock are at hand. 
Sand of best quality is brought from a dozen miles downstream and rock 
is obtained from the Buffalo and Linwood quarries. The company has its 
own gravel pit thirty miles upstream. As much as 1,000 yards or 1,500 tons 
of these materials has been unloaded and retailed in a single day. 

The Davenport Water Company 

Davenport has a safe and adequate water supply, furnished by the 
Davenport Water Company, drawn from the channel of the Mississippi 
river and purified by the most approved processes. In neither quantity 
nor quality has this concern failed to meet the increasingly exacting re- 
quirements laid upon municipal water plants during the last generation. 

After several efforts to provide a city-owned water system had failed, 
Davenport, in 1873, granted a franchise to the present company, which 
was founded by the late Michael Donahue and associates. From the be- 
ginning satisfactory service, rather than large profits, has been the con- 
cern's main objective. Continuity of management has been a factor in 
attaining this end, a number of those holding places of responsibility 
with the company having served it for many years. 

Growing needs of the city have been provided for and maximum fire 
protection afforded by the installation of over-size mains and ample re- 
serve machinery. Average pressure maintained is exceptionally high. 
The company has met every emergency that has arisen in the half century 
of its existence. It now has 120 miles of distribution mains, two pumping 
stations, large sedimentation basins and a reservoir, which, being located 
on the bluff, offers the advantage of gravity pressure in the .business dis- 

The Davenport Water Company was one of the first to install filters 
for the purification of Mississippi river water. It operates under a 25- 
year franchise, which was renewed in 1914. The present officers are: 
President, Thomas W. Griggs ; Vice-President, Thomas J. Walsh; Sec- 
retary and Treasurer, James P. Donahue; Gen. Manager, C. R. Henderson. 



The Borg & Beck Company 

Back of the smoke and smudge and clatter, the stress and toil and grind 
of the average industrial enterprise lies an element of chance a business 
romance that keeps the game ever new for those who direct its movements. 

The play of forces in the fairy tales of our childhood, in which suspense 
gradually grows till the climax in which the prince and the princess are 
married and "live happily ever after" is reached, has its counterpart in 
the dreams of many a plain matter-of-fact individual whose earthly all 
is tied up in some grimy manufacturing enterprise. The difference is that 

The Moline Plant 

in the manufacturer's dream the prince is an ideal product, guiltless of 
mechanical fault or flaw r , whose principality is protected from invasion by 
iron-bound patents, the princess is the universal market that no rival has yet 
wooed, and the dreamer is the good fairy who brings the two together and 
shares with them the happiness that ever afterward prevails. 

Records of the bankruptcy courts unfortunately prove that by far the 
larger part of the dreams of manufacturers fail to come true. Those of 
Charles W. Borg and Marshall Beck, however, were an exception to the 
rule. The manner in which their early hopes and expectations have been 
realized is a story of unusual interest. In the automobile clutch which 
their company perfected they have an ideal device for which there is an 
almost universal demand. It is regular equipment with three-fourths of all 
automobiles of standard design made in this country. 

In 1903 Charles W. Borg was a member of the designing and experi- 
menting staff of the Deere & Mansur Company, Moline. Wooden parts 


of implements and wagons at that time were mostly made by hand or with 
machinery, the operation of which was comparatively slow and expensive 
and often dangerous. Mr. Borg devised a shaping planer, a wood-working 
device which by means of a succession of cam-controlled cutting heads, 
turned out at a single run finished parts with tapers, swells, bevels, rounds, 
and other irregularities of form. Its use greatly simplified the making of 
wagons, to which it was first applied, speeding up the process and reducing 
the number of operations. 

Realizing that he had hit upon something of unusual value, Mr. Borg 
resigned and prepared to manufacture his machines. At first he made his 
own drawings and patterns and did his own machine work. Later he ap- 
plied the shaping planer principle to machinery for- cutting wooden parts 
used in other lines of manufacture, such as barrels, washing machine tubs, 
porch columns and ice cream containers. The greater part of wood products 
of this nature now made in the United States and Canada are shaped by 
Borg machines embodying the original principle. Mr. Borg also devised 
a wheel felloe shaping machine, automatic rim sander, automatic column 
lathe, automatic column cap and base shaper, automatic trim and crozing 
saw, plow share jointer and landside trimmer, all of which were later made 
and sold by his company. 

The co-partnership of Borg cS: Beck was formed in 1904, when Marshall 
Beck came into the firm to take up the office end of the enterprise. Shop 
space was rented in East Moline. Late in 1909 the concern secured quarters 
of its own at Third avenue and Sixth street, Moline, which are still occu- 
pied, though many additions to them have been made. Incorporation under 
the same name took place in 1913, with Charles W. Borg president, George 
W. Borg secretary, and Marshall Beck treasurer. 

George W. Borg, son of the founder of the firm, entered the industry 
in 1903 and soon rose to a place of responsibility. His early training for 
the work was obtained mostly in his father's shops, although he supple- 
mented his factory experience with some technical instruction in college. 
While still in his teens he was spending most of his vacations and other 
spare time familiarizing himself with the' fundamentals of machine design, 
and construction. At 22 he gave up school and devoted his entire time to the 
industry. Like his father, he has a natural aptitude for mechanics and 
takes enthusiastic interest in his work. He has designed, or helped to 
perfect, many of the devices manufactured by his firm. He is gifted with 
rare foresight and judgment in estimating mechanical possibilities involved 
in manufacturing processes. On top of that he has demonstrated unusual 
executive capacity. For the last decade he has been in active charge, re- 
lieving his father of most of his responsibilities, and latterly making his 
headquarters at the main plant in Chicago. 

For the first few years Borg & Beck grew rapidly. The early dreams 
of the founders seemed realized. They had a product which defied competi- 
tion, the demand was heavy and profits satisfactory. But it gradually became 



apparent that the field was limited. Once a factory was equipped with their 
machines, its needs in that respect were met for many years. Replacement 
orders were neglible. By 1912 ninety percent of the prospective users in the 


United States and Canada had installed Borg & Beck equipment. The field 
had played out. It looked as if there were no more worlds to conquer. 

The company, however, did not mean to give up without a struggle. 
When orders for its regular product fell off, instead of laying off men and 
reducing activities, other work was sought. Machining contracts that could 
he executed without radical shop changes were undertaken. 

Among the orders received was one from the Velie Motor Vehicle 
Company for a number of single dry-plate clutches which embodied features 
then new in the automotive industry. Up to that time most clutches used 
had been of either the cone or the multiple disc type. Borg & Beck soon saw 
that the new clutch offered many advantages. License from the inventor to 
manufacture it was secured, and an intensive effort to perfect certain details 
that previously had militated against the complete success of the device 
was undertaken. In this work Gustave C. Nelson, Mr. Borg's first employe, 
who had helped make the original wood cutting machines and who had 
become shop superintendent, rendered invaluable aid. 

In a short time all the essential features of the present friction clutch 
for power transmission, which has carried the name of Borg & Beck all over 
the civilized world, had been perfected. Strongly protected by its own 
patents, the company turned its main attention to the making of clutches. 
At last it had realized the manufacturer's ideal, an exclusive product and a 
demand that was rapidly becoming universal. 

Use of the Borg & Beck clutch is not confined to automobiles. It is 
equally successful in trucks, tractors, tanks and motor boats. It "picks up" 
the power load smoothly and efficiently. Automotive engineers generally 
recognize the Borg & Beck clutch as ideal, because of its dependability, 
effectiveness, ease of adjustment and low cost. 

Expansion of its business after the perfection of the clutch made it 
necessary for Borg & Beck to expand its quarters. Five additions to the 
original plant in Moline were made in rapid succession. Then in 1918, 
because of a local labor shortage incident to the war, it was found expedient 
to open a branch in Galesburg, 111., employing fifty men. Late the same 
year the factory of the Smith Form-a-Truck Company at Clearing, in the 
southwestern limits of Chicago, was bought at bankrupt's sale. The plant was 
new and modern and well adapted to the needs of the new owners. It had 
118,000 feet of floor space, giving room for the employment of 1,000 to 
1,200 operatives. The Chicago Belt Line railroad gave first-class shipping 
facilities and there was a 1,000-foot covered loading platform and as many 
feet of new private service track. The Clearing factory was opened early 
in 1919 and was conducted as a branch till early in 1922, when headquarters 
were removed there from Moline. The Galesburg branch was discontinued 
when the one at Clearing was opened. 

During the World War Borg & Beck worked almost exclusively on 
parts for manufacturing concerns having government contracts. 



Leading Newspaper In Western Illinois 

The Moline Dispatch was established as a daily in 1878, after a number 
of weekly newspapers had lived brief existences. In the first seven years 
of the life of the Dispatch it had its own vicissitudes and many changes of 
ownership. Commencing in 1885, when Messrs. P. S. McGlynn and J. K. 
.Groom became owners, the Dispatch began a growth commensurate with or 
a little more rapid than that of the city. It moved into and occupied its 
present home in October, 1922. 

From 1885 to 1922 the ownership of the Dispatch underwent only two 
changes in 1891, when Mr. Groom sold his half interest to W. F. Eastman; 
and in 1911, two years after the death of Mr. Eastman, when John Sundine 
purchased the Eastman half interest. 



The Rock Island Argus 

Survival of the fittest, is the hard law that has shaped the destinies of 
the daily press of the country. The Rock Island Argus stands today a 
typical product of newspaper evolution during the last seventy years. It 

has fought and won the long battle 
in which its competitors, one by 
one, failed and passed into history, 
building up a record of real service 
and dependability seldom rivaled 
and not anywhere excelled in news- 

There have been many changes 
of ownership, of location, of form 
of publication. Even the name has 
been altered. Originally it was The 
Rock Island Republican. 

till 1881. 

Fred S. Nichols and John W. 
Dunham printed the first issue of 
the Weekly Republican, October 18, 
1851. D'unham tired of the venture 
in six weeks and sold out to his part- 
ner. The latter held on till 1853, 
when J. B. Danforth, who had ac- 
quired an interest a year earlier, be- 
came the sole owner. Robert V. 
Shurley became a partner in 1856. 
September 16, 1857, Pershing & 
Connelly, publishers of the Rock 
bought Mr. Danforth out, and changed the name to The "Rock 
and Argus. About the same time, Mr. Shurley disposed of his 
to Milton Jones, who held an editorial position with the paper 

r. Owner and Publisher of The Argus from 
1881 until his death in 1898 

Mr. Danforth took over the interests of Pershing & Connelly in 1859, 
and the name once more became The Argus. Danforth's connection with the 
newspaper finally terminated in 1869, when he sold to Robert F. McNeal. 
McNeal survived less than a year, selling to J. S. Drake. In 1873 The Argus 
Company was incorporated. Richardson & Powers obtained control in 1881, 
but a few months later publication was suspended. At this juncture, J. W. 
Potter, publisher of the Freeport Bulletin, bought the dilapidated plant and 
placed his son, John W. Potter, Jr., in charge. That was the last change in 
ownership, and marked the beginning of a period of upbuilding that has con- 
tinued to the present. 


The first daily was printed July 13, 1854. July 18, 1859, the daily was 
changed to a tri-weekly, but Sept. 1, 1861, returned permanently to the daily 
field. In the beginning the daily was published in the afternoon. From Dec. 
17, 1855, to Nov. 18, 1861, it appeared in the morning. On the latter date 
evening publication was resumed. A weekly was printed, in addition to the 
daily, till about twenty years ago. 

First publication took place in the Whittaker & Everts building, just 
east of the present Argus home. Quarters were found in the Buford block, 
at the Northeast corner of Second avenue and Seventeenth street, in 1854. 
In 1871 the Buford heirs erected a building for the exclusive use of The 
Argus just north of the original block. Here the newspaper remained till 
1888, when Mr. Potter purchased the present quarters, which have been re- 
modeled several times since to give added facilities. 

Mr. Potter died in 1898. The J. W. Potter Company was then organized, 
Mrs. Potter assuming the presidency of the corporation, which position she 
still holds. J. F. LaVelle became business manager and H. P. Simpson 
editor. Upon Mr. LaVelle's death in 1908, he was succeeded by F. J. Mueller. 

During the years of marked transition in the methods of newspaper 
publishing The Argus kept pace with its contemporaries and rapidly grew 
from a small, eight-page paper to a large modern daily. The Argus acquired 
the first Associated Press report and leased wire service in Rock Island, and 
its mechanical equipment has been steadily increased and improved. 

In 1919 John W. Potter, third in a direct line to bear that name and 
follow the vocation of newspaperman, entered the business and the paper is 
now actively conducted by him as publisher, his brother, Ben H. Potter, Mr. 
Mueller and J. M. Colligan, managing editor. The directors of the J. W. 
Potter Company are Mrs. J. W. Potter, John W. Potter, Ben H. Potter, 
Marguerite F. Potter, F. J. Mueller and H. P. Simpson. 

The Rock Island Daily Union, the last of its competitors in the Rock 
Island field, was absorbed by purchase in March, 1920, and at that time The 
Argus, which always had been conducted as a Democratic paper, became 
independent in politics. 

A year later, in 1921, a new building site at the southwest corner of 
Eighteenth street and Fourth avenue was purchased by the company and 
plans for a spacious, modern plant to be erected on this lot are being drawn. 
The structure will be one of the finest newspaper homes in- the middle 
west and will be modeled so as to accommodate the rapidly growing adver- 
tising and circulation business of The Argus. 



The Daily Times 

There is but one daily newspaper covering Davenport, Rock Island, 
Moline and their suburbs and giving a complete local daily news service, 
with delivery by carrier throughout the Tri-City field. That is the Daily 
Times, published in Davenport. It has been a Tri-City newspaper for over 
twenty years, exerting a powerful influence for community co-operation. 

The Times was established as a Davenport newspaper in 1886. E. W. 
Brady was its founder. In June, 1899, A. W. Lee and C. D. Reimers, of 
the Ottumwa Courier, purchased the Times, which, with the Courier, became 
the nucleus of the present Lee Syndicate, composed of six daily newspapers. 

Under the new owners the Times grew rapidly. Offices were opened in 
Rock Island and Moline and news and carrier service were extended to the 
Illinois side of the river. The Daily Times was the first in its field to 
adopt modern mechanical equipment. 

In 1901 E. P. Adler, the present publisher and president of the Lee 
Syndicate, was made manager of the Daily Times, and Messrs. Lee and Adler 
purchased Mr. Reimers' interest in the enterprise. 

The Times was first printed in a small plant on Front street. After a 
few years it took up quarters on Brady between Second and Third streets. 
September 5, 1911, it occupied its present home on East Second street, con- 
ceded to be one of the finest newspaper establishments outside of the metro- 
politan centers. Its Goss high speed sextuple press has a capacity of 72,000 
twelve-page papers per hour. 

The circulation of the Daily Times has grown from 1,800 to 24,000. 



The Davenport Democrat. -Iowa's Leading Newspaper 

When the Democrat Publishing Company, headed by Frank D. Throop, 
purchased the Davenport Democrat in the autumn of 1915 the paper looked 
back across 60 years of continuous publication under practically unchanged 

The first issue of the Iowa State Democrat 
appeared October 15, 1855, and October 22, 1905, 
the Democrat observed the 50th anniversary of 
the paper by the publication of the Democrat's 
half-century edition a feat of journalistic enter- 
prise which gave to its readers nearly 100 pages 
of historical and reminiscent reading that made 
the edition unique in the field of journalism. 

D. N. Richardson, the long-time editor of 
The Democrat, left his scholarly and dignified 
impress on its pages and made it one of the 
leading newspapers of the west. In his later 
years he won distinction as a traveler and author. 

J. J. Richardson, who survived his brother, 
remained the principal owner of the paper until Frank D. Throop, Publisher 

1915, when it was purchased by The Democrat Publishing Company, of 
which J. B. Richardson is president and Frank D. Throop secretary and 
treasurer. In 1922 the company purchased the property at 407, 409, 411 and 
413 Brady street, where it planned to erect a magnificent $250,000 plant, one 
of the finest in the middle west. 

The paper has played a large part in the history of Davenport from its 
very beginning. Launched as a Democratic daily by Richardson, Hildreth 
and West, in 1848, the Richardson ownership survived several changes in 
the firm, and in 1863, the Richardson Bros, bought out the other interests 
and remained the publishers of the paper for over half a century. D. N. 
Richardson remained editor of the paper for 43 years. He passed to his 
reward July 4, 1898. In 1887 The Democrat bought out the Davenport 
Gazette, and seven years later absorbed another Davenport daily, the Leader, 
and the name was added as a sub-title to the paper. 

Frank D. Throop, present publisher of The Democrat, had been for 
14 years connected with the Muscatine Journal, and for the last nine years 
its publisher, when he came to Davenport and organized the company which 
purchased the Democrat from the Richardson interests. He is the third 
generation of newspaper publishers in his family, his grandfather having 
conducted a newspaper, beginning in 1868. Since the change in ownership 
The Democrat has continued to expand in size and influence, and it is to be 
reckoned one of the leading independent-Democratic newspapers of the 
middle west. 



The Linograph Company 

The Linograph Company 
Davenport, Iowa 

The Linograph Company of Daven- 
port, Iowa, manufactures the Linograph, 
which is a typesetting machine used in 
job printing and newspaper offices. 
When this enterprise started, in 1912, 
there were many who claimed such fine 
machinery as a typesetting machine 
could not be successfully manufactured 
out here "Where the West Begins." The 
success of the Linograph has definitely 
proven that skilled mechanics for the 
highest grade of work can be secured in 

The enterprise was brought here from Minneapolis, Minn., through the 
efforts of a group of the leading business men, acting under suggestions 
from the Davenport Chamber of Commerce, then known as The Greater 
Davenport Committee, and a large number of Davenport people became 
interested as stockholders. 

Since then the Linograph has been developed and perfected, and new 
models have been put on the market which have reached a high point of 
efficiency. This is an international business, for Linographs have been sold 
in twenty-two foreign countries and 
nearly all the states, and are making 
friends everywhere. 

The Linograph Company is essen- 
tially a local enterprise, backed by Dav- 
enport capitalists and hundreds of people 
in the city and vicinity. The men who 
direct the destiny of and are responsible 
for the success of this enterprise are: 
R. R. Englehart, J. W. Bettendorf, Chas. 
Shuler, J. W. Bellinger, Ray Nyemaster, 
H. C. Kahl and H. Petersen. 

The officers and active management 
consists of: R. R. Englehart, president; 
Hans Petersen, Vice-President and Gen- 
eral Manager; Ray Nyemaster, Treas- 
urer; J. C. Pedersen, Secretary and P. 
O. Pedersen, Sales Manager. The Linograph 



Rock Island Bridge and Iron Works 

Facilities for the fabrication and erection of steel parts offered by the 
Rock Island Bridge and Iron Works makes possible greater speed in the 
construction of modern buildings in 
the Tri-Cities and immediate vicin- 
ity. This company is equipped to 
design, fabricate and erect anything 
in structural steel and iron. Its 
plant, occupying six acres of ground 
on the river bank in the west end of 
Rock Island, has exceptionally good 
shipping facilities both by rail and 
water. It regularly employs one 
hundred men. 

Practically all the steel used in 
buildings erected at Rock Island 
Arsenal during and immediately fol- 
lowing the war was furnished by the 
Bridge and Iron Works, which also 
erected there an elevated steel water 
tank of 500,000 gallons capacity. The 
main activities of the plant at that 
time, however, were devoted to the 
fabrication of materials used in the 
construction of the 5,000-ton mer- 
chant ships by the Submarine Boat 
Corporation for the Emergency 
Fleet Corporation. The steel was 

shipped direct from the mills to Rock Island, fabricated there and re-shipped 
to Newark, N. J., where the ships were built and launched. Great quantities 
of material were handled in this manner. 

In peace time most of the work done by the company has consisted in 
the preparation and erection of structural steel for building purposes. It is 
advantageously located for the construction of steel barges, of which it 
has made several, and in the event of the revival of river traffic it will be in 
position to make a strong bid for work of this kind. 

The Rock Island Bridge and Iron Works was incorporated in 1912 with 
$100,000 capital. The officers are: 

President Walter A. Rosenfield. 

Vice-President Walter G. Murphy. 

Secretary and General Manager Edward Manhard. 

W. A. Rosenfield, President 


National Construction Company 

It takes hard work, straight thinking, close figuring and lots of nerve 
to win success in the construction game. That isn't all it takes, but the 
qualities enumerated as essential will make it clear that unless one is pos- 
sessed of more positive virtues than are commonly found combined in one 
individual be had better turn his hand to other things. 

D. E. Keeler, of Davenport, has followed the business for thirty-five 
years. Working under his father, the late Dan Keeler, just thirty-five years 
ago he laid the first pavement in this part of the country. It was of two- 
course brick, on sand cushion, and extended from Perry to Ripley on Third 
street in Davenport. , 

With Mr. Keeler for the last twenty years has been associated J. W. 
Crowley,of the same city, first in the Peoples Construction Company, later 
in the D. Keeler Company and finally in the National Construction Company, 
organized in 1919. 

Heavy bridge building is the specialty of the last named concern, but 
it also does all kinds of railroad work, installs water and sewer systems, 
paves streets and builds and improves highways. One of the big projects 
put through by one of the earlier organizations was the celebrated Belle 
Fourche irrigation system in the Black Hills of South Dakota. This under- 
taking involved the erection of a huge dam, creating a reservoir of 9,000 
acres and supplying water enough to reclaim 240,000 acres of land. 

Other work done by the companies in which Messrs. Keeler and Crowley 
had been the moving spirits includes the building of all the bridges between 
Chicago and Terre Haute for the Chicago, Terre Haute & Southeastern, bet- 
ter known as the John R. Walsh road; building of the cut-off for the C. B. & 
Q. between Old Monroe and Mexico City, Mo.; the Big Lane cut-off of the 
Union Pacific out of Omaha, and all the bridging on the B. & M. from 
Lincoln to Milford, Neb. A sewer system costing a quarter of a million 
dollars was built at Clinton, Iowa, in 1911, and paving and sewer work done 
in the Tri-Cities before and since has run into large figures. One of the big 
Tri-City jobs was a storm drain and sewer system in East Moline, completed 
recently at a cost of a quarter of a million dollars. Among other late under- 
takings was one at Fort Madison, Iowa, which cost half a million and involved 
engineering difficulties, the solving of which has attracted considerable at- 
tention among construction engineers. Since the forming of the present com- 
pany, work done has amounted to more than two millions of dollars, and at 
the close of the 1922 season contracts totaling a quarter of a million more 
were in hand. During the World War sewers were laid for 170 government- 
built houses, construction of which was started in Davenport. 

Mr. Crowley, before becoming associated with Mr. Keeler, was superin- 
tendent of construction for the Davenport, Rock Island & Northwestern 
Railroad Company, having charge of the building of the Crescent bridge and 
of the terminals and connecting lines in and adjacent to the Tri-Cities. In 



1914 he became Commissioner of Public Works for the city of Davenport, 
serving one term of five years and then resigning to return to the construc- 
tion game. 

The National Construction Company has its main office in Davenport, 
with branch offices wherever large undertakings are in progress. The con- 

Big Davenport Sewer, Built by the National Construction Company 

siderable business done in the Tri-Cities and in nearby cities and villages 
is handled direct from headquarters. Officers of the company are: 

President D. E. Keeler. 

Vice-President R. J. Walsh. 

Secretary and Manager J. W. Crowley. 

Treasurer J. F. Schroeder. 

Assistant Secretary and Treasurer Everett J. Thompson. 

Directors Messrs. Keeler, Walsh, Crowley, Schroeder and A. J. Klindt. 



The Geo. Sheldon Company 

The Geo. Sheldon Company is one of the younger construction 
concerns of Davenport, but one which already has won a reputation in 
the field of highway and bridge building. In three seasons it has built more 
than one hundred bridges and laid ten miles of concrete paving. 

Originally capitalized at $25,000, the company has authorized an increase 
to. $150,000. The value of its equipment is conservatively estimated at 
$95,000. With experienced and aggressive leadership and ample means, it 
seems destined to play an increasingly prominent part in the extensive 

Concrete Highway Bridges Built by The Geo. Sheldon Company 

program of highway improvement upon which the middle west is now 
entering, as well as to do construction work along other lines, which it is 
fully qualified to undertake. 

The Geo. Sheldon Company was incorporated in 1920. Its president, 
for whom it was named, had had sixteen years' experience in the general 
construction business. He had built bridges and concrete buildings, laid 
paving and done other work, thereby obtaining a practical knowledge of 
the business. He saw that the field was one of large possibilities, but calling 
for an effective organization and a considerable capital investment to be 
successfully worked. Therefore he set about enlisting the aid of other 
prominent men in the community. Since he was a native of Davenport and 
well and favorably known, it was not difficult for him to secure the required 
co-operation. The vice-president of the company is Fred O. Block, presi- 
dent of the G. W. Block Company, extensive dealers in coal and building 
material, with twelve branches in various cities. The secretary is Gustav 
Stueben, cashier of the Scott County Savings Bank. The Treasurer, G. H. 
Ficke, is in the insurance and real estate business in Davenport. 

In its first season the company undertook a large highway bridge con- 
struction program for Scott County, Iowa, putting in sixty-six of these 
structures. In 1921, thirty-seven bridges for Scott county and five -large 
bridges for the state of Illinois were constructed. Operations for the 1922 
season were confined entirely to highway paving, ten miles of concrete road- 



way being laid for the state, of Missouri. This was a $500,000 contract, and 
the work was highly commended by highway authorities from different 
states who inspected it both while it was being built and after completion. 
Exacting requirements of present-day highway and bridge construction 
make it necessary to use only the best equipment obtainable and calls for 
a degree of executive and engineering skill unknown in such work a few 

the Work of The Geo. Sheldon Company 

years ago. In every department the Geo. Sheldon Company has made 
good. Its equipment includes two complete paving units, five bridge build-- 
ing outfits and camps of modern type for each. 

The company's work has been of such character that it is being sought 
after by highway commissions, county and state, in Iowa and nearby states, 
to undertake new contracts. With its record of achievement and with high- 
way and bridge construction programs of unprecedented extent in hand all 
over the country, the future of the concern seems assured. 


The Tri-City Brick Company 

The Tri-City Brick Company was organized in February, 1922, by Mr. 
J. L. Buckley, then located at Pittsburg, Pa. 

Mr. Buckley organized the Tri-City Brick Company for the purpose 
of purchasing a plant that was owned and operated by the Argillo Works 
and located at Carbon Cliff, 111. The majority of the stock in the company 
is owned by Tri-City residents, and the officers of the concern at the time 
of this writing are as follows : 

President F. K. Rhoads. 

Vice-President C. J. Mueller. 

Secretary and General Manager J. L. Buckley. 

Treasurer C. A. Beers. 

The above officers, together with H. O. Binyon, of Chicago, and F. T. 
Myers, of Rock Island, constitute the board of directors. 

This plant has a large acreage of excellent raw material, both shale 
and fire clay, and unexcelled shipping facilities, both by rail and water as 
well as by truck, as the plant is located directly on the Rock Island-Geneseo 
new paved road. 

The Argillo Company, which is one of the oldest concerns in this 
section of the country, was devoting its efforts entirely to the manufacture 
of hollow ware, but immediately upon taking possession of the plant 
Mr. Buckley discontinued the manufacture of hollow ware and started 
manufacturing face brick, and in a short time very successfully developed 
one of the most artistic lines of facing brick that has ever been manufactured 
in the central west. 

The plant was greatly improved and extended ; new kilns were erected ; 
an entire new set of brick machinery was installed, and before the end of 
the first year the production had been increased to 50,000 brick per day. 

Carbon Cliff Plant o 



Commodious offices were opened up shortly after the organization of the 
company, in suite 318, Robinson Building, in Rock Island, where an exten- 
sive line of its brick is displayed in large panels. 

The Argillo works antedates all other concerns of its kind in the com- 
munity. As early as 1856 the quality of the clay at Carbon Cliff attracted 
the attention of W. S. Thomas, who had some scientific knowledge of 
ceramics. At that time the coal mines there were at the height of produc- 
tion and the Rock Island road had just been completed, connecting the 
Mississippi river with the Great Lakes at Chicago, and giving exceptionally 
good shipping facilities. Mr. Thomas began by making pottery on a 
small scale, experimenting to learn the possibilities of his undertaking. 
Results were so satisfactory that in 1865 a company w r as organized by Mr. 
Thomas, together with A. L. Wait, of Carbon Cliff, and Jeremiah Chamber- 
lain, of Rock Island. It was given the name Argillo Works, Argillo meaning 
white clay. An architect from abroad was engaged to build the first kiln. 
From that time till the present operation of the plant has been practically 
continuous, though the product has been changed from time to time to meet 
market demands. 

Milo Lee became chief owner and president of the concern in 1869. He 
was succeeded in 1897 by W. T. Ball. In 1899 J. F. Robinson. Fred Titter- 
ington and F. K. Rhoads purchased the plant, with the 189 acres of land 
owned by the company, and operations were conducted under the manage- 
ment of Mr. Titterington until the organization of the Tri-City Brick 

Clay at Carbon Cliff is adapted to a wide variety of uses. An excellent 
grade of pottery was made from it in the early days. Crockery and jugs 
formed the staple output for a number of years. Even tableware was 
attempted, but the product was too dark in color to find favor. Good sewer 
pipe was turned out, but the kiln capacity was not large enough to produce 
this line successfully. 



The Sturtevant-Baker Company 

Efficiency and cleanliness go hand in hand in the Sunlight plant, the new 
home of the Sturtevant-Baker Company, manufacturers of Purity ice cream 
and Crystal ice. Located at the corner of Sixteenth street and Fifth avenue, 
Rock Island, convenient for prompt delivery to all parts of the three cities, 
the building was planned primarily for the production of good ice cream. 
Working at full capacity, 240 gallons of ice cream can be produced hourly, 
while the daily output of ice is 100 tons. 

In the ten years since its advent in Rock Island the Sturtevant-Baker 
Company has operated with marked success, building up a reputation for 

New Home of The Sturtevant-Baker Company 

Purity ice cream which extends throughout the three cities and surrounding 
territory. Twice it has outgrown its quarters, and finally was forced to 
construct the present building for its plant, the structure being started 
late in 1921 and occupied early in 1922. 

The business later acquired by the present owners was started about 
twenty-five years ago by the late J. M. Beeman, at Seventh avenue and Fif- 
teenth street. At first a milk depot was conducted, and later the Beeman Ice 
Cream Company was organized. In 1912 O. G. Sturtevant and C. E. Baker, 
both experienced in the business, purchased Mr. Beeman's interests and op- 
erated it as a partnership under the name of Sturtevant & Baker. The old 
quarters were inadequate for the needs of the new owners, and so a new 
building was erected just across the alley west of the former station. There 
the retailing of milk and cream was shortly discontinued and the firm came 
to devote its entire attention to the manufacture and sale of ice cream. 

Details of the present plant were planned with much care and after 
an exhaustive investigation of the best features of similar structures through- 
out the country. The Sturtevant-Baker Company, which was incorporated 
when the expansion was undertaken, was fortunate in securing the site of 


the old rink building, centrally located and with ground space of 100x212 
feet. The building covers all the ground, part of it being two stories in 
height, and is of fireproof construction. In it all that is modern in the way of 
equipment for the manufacture of ice cream and pure ice has been installed. 
While the foundations were being laid an artesian well was drilled to 
supply pure water for the making of ice. The structure is of brick and 
concrete, presenting a pleasing exterior and an interior so admirably adapted 
to its purposes that it is likely to serve for a long time as a model for build- 
ing activities of concerns engaged in the ice cream business. 

Recognizing sunlight as an important factor in promoting sanitation, 
and light interior colors as an aid in the maintenance of perfect cleanliness, 
the builders provided an abundance of windows and skylights and finished 
the inside in pure white. Refrigerating machinery of the latest type fills 
the engine room, from which is piped vaporized ammonia to three separate 
departments. In one of these Crystal ice is produced, being frozen in 
brine reduced to a low temperature by the expansion of the piped ammonia. 
This ice, produced in 400-pound cakes, is handled by an electric crane. 
It is used to pack ice cream and supplied to ice cream dealers, and the 
surplus is sold at retail at the plant. 

Four electrically operated freezers are in the ice cream department. 
They are cooled direct by the ammonia process. The "mix," composed of 
cream, sugar, flavoring extracts, etc., is prepared in three large containers on 
the second floor and fed through closed pipes down into the freezers. There 
the dashers are set at work in the cold cylinders and when tests show that 
the specific gravity has been reduced to the required point, the ice cream, 
still in a partly fluid state, is poured out into paper-lined cans ready to be 
placed in the zero chamber. Each of the four freezers converts fifteen 
gallons of "mix" into ice cream every fifteen minutes. 

In the zero chamber, which is also cooled by direct action of the am- 
monia, a low temperature is maintained. There the ice cream is brought 
to the right consistency for handling. Before being delivered it is packed 
in crushed ice, which keeps it in perfect condition for several hours, even in 
the warmest weather. 

Sturtevant-Baker delivery facilities are up to the high standard of the 
manufacturing plant. Anticipating the heavy demand for its product which 
has since been realized, the company planned a large loading dock, all under 
roof, from which the eight trucks serving the Tri-Cities receive their daily 
loads of ice and ice cream. An overhead mechanism carries the crushed 
ice direct from the crusher to the vehicles so that loading and packing can 
be done most expeditiously. 

The Sturtevant-Baker Company invites inspection of its plant, confident 
that the more the public knows of its methods of operation the sooner will 
the truth of its claim for the purity and goodness of its product be realized 



The Bettendorf Oxygen-Hydrogen Company 

Oxygen and hydrogen, combined in the form of water, are among the 
most common elements. Separated they have long been employed in 
small quantities in various ways, but their general use in the industries dates 
back but a few years, and involves a story of surprising growth. 

Oxygen is used mainly in welding and in cutting steel, expediting both 
operations to a marked degree and offering other improvements upon older 
methods. During the war hydrogen was required in large quantities to 
inflate balloons. 

The business of generating oxygen and hydrogen in commercial quan- 
tities in this country goes back only a few years. In 1914, when the World 
War began, the number of plants in the United States was fifty-one, and the 

quantity of oxygen produced annually was 104,700,000 cubic feet. Now there 
are about one hundred plants, with a capacity of 1,500,000,000 cubic feet 

The Bettendorf Oxygen-Hydrogen Company began operations in 
August, 1914, with a capacity of one million cubic feet of oxygen yearly. 
Its plant is fitted to generate gases by the electrolysis of distilled water. 
A high voltage current is passed through the liquid in cells, setting the two 
elements free in the form of gases, which are conducted to separate holders 
and later compressed into steel cylinders for handling, at a pressure of 
1,800 pounds per square inch. Present capacity of the plant is 7,000,000 
cubic feet of oxygen and 14,000,000 cubic feet of hydrogen per annum. 

Hydrogen is used principally in the hydrogenation of vegetable oils, 
a process which converts them into stearine, used in the manufacture of lard 

During the World War practically all the gases generated by the 
Bettendorf plant were used at Rock Island Arsenal and in Tri-City manu- 
facturing concerns doing war work. A. J. Russell, secretary and manager 
of the company, was chairman of the war* service committee of the oxygen- 
hydrogen industry. 

E. J. Bettendorf is president of the company, T. J. Walsh vice-president, 
J. Reed Lane treasurer, and A. J. Russell secretary and manager. 



The Knox Mortuary 

More than a hundred years ago June 27, 1818, to be exact was born 
at Blanford, Mass., the founder of the Knox Mortuary in Rock Island. 
Charles Bishop Knox was his 
name. He learned the trade 
of cabinet maker, came to 
Rock Island in 1841 and 
opened a shop. 

In the early days cabinet 
makers found plenty of work 
in the newer communities of 
the west. They built furni- 
ture and store fixtures. Coffin 
making was a side line. Such 
factories as there were then 
were far away, and trans- 
portation was expensive and 
slow. Generally work was 
done on order, and few goods 

were made up in advance to The Knox Mortuary 

be held for sale. 

Mr. Knox found a brisk demand for coffins and soon established a repu- 
tation as coffin maker that extended many mi.les beyond the village limits. 
There were no undertakers in the community then. Friends of bereaved 
families generally volunteered to officiate at burials, but even so, something 
better than a rough pine box nailed together by amateurs was demanded. 
Coffins were made to order, and not infrequently Mr. Knox was aroused 
during the night to prepare one needed forthwith at some distant point. Such 
experiences suggested to him the wisdom 'of making up coffins in advance 
in diffierent sizes, and keeping them ready for emergencies. This practical 
expedient, strange as it now seems, set the tongues of the townspeople to 
wagging. It was considered little short of sacrilegious to thus anticipate 
the visits of the Grim Reaper. The Knox cabinet shop then was in the base- 
ment of a one-story brick building at what is now 2010 Fourth avenue. The 
morbid curiosity of people who paused in the street to watch the coffin maker 
at work made it expedient for the owner of the shop to screen the windows. 

The elder Knox conducted his first funeral, according to records now 
in the hands of the family, in 1852, and three years later he definitely em- 
barked in the business of undertaking, being the first in this part of the 
country to do so. From that time till his death, in 1890, he was actively 
engaged in this work, returning to earth the remains of most of the older 
residents of Rock Island and vicinity. 

During the Civil War nearly two thousand Confederate prisoners, who 
died mostly of contagious diseases, were buried on Rock Island, just east 



1852, Pour Generations of Knox Service. ,1922 

Charles B. Knox IHIX-IH./II 
Founder of the Knox Mortuary 

B. Frank Knox 1852-1914 
In Whose Hands the Business Grew 

Harry T. Knox 
The Present Proprietor 

Harry T. Knox, Jr. 
Who is Expected to Carry on 


of the Arsenal shops. As the only undertaker in the locality, Mr. Knox 
was called upon to inter them, also making the coffins. This he did, number- 
ing the graves and keeping a record, still in the family possession, of names 
and all other available data. 

Two sons of the elder Knox learned the undertaking business with him, 
one of them, B. Frank Knox, became associated with his father in 1872, and 
taking over the business upon the latter's death. The son had his first 
introduction to hard work as a boy, being employed in a bakery at night 
making bread for Confederate prisoners and in daytime helping his father 
bury the southern soldiers who had succumbed during the preceding 24 

B. Frank Knox conducted the undertaking establishment until his death, 
Dec. 28, 1914, as the result of an injury in an automobile accident. Then the 
business passed into the hands of his son, Harry T. Knox, who now owns and 
manages it. 

The three generations that have conducted the Knox mortuary estab- 
lishment have witnessed remarkable changes. The village of the 40's, where 
the business was started, has grown to a city. The crudities of pioneer days 
have given, way to the refinements of the twentieth century. The under- 
taking business has passed from its inception through the era of the slow 
and unpretentious horse-drawn hearse to the ornate and swift motor funeral 
car of today. 

In all the changes in its business the Knox Mortuary has been among 
the pioneers. The late B. Frank Knox was one of the first licensed embalmers 
in Illinois. He was among the first to discontinue the use of ice and intro- 
duce embalming fluid. He adopted arterial embalming as soon as its success 
was demonstrated. 

Long ago the original building used in the business was torn down and 
more commodious quarters provided. Fifteen years ago a mortuary chapel 
was added, and is now used exclusively for funeral services. 

The Knox family always has taken a prominent part in political and 
social affairs. Charles B. Knox served as coroner, supervisor and alderman, 
and was one of the first captains of the volunteer fire department. B. Frank 
Knox was chief of the volunteer fire department in 1886 and 1887, later serv- 
ing as alderman from the fifth ward and was mayor of Rock Island three 
terms, being elected in 1895, 1901 and 1903. 

Harry T. Knox has learned the business from the ground up. Like his 
father, he grew up in it, has a natural aptitude for it, and is ever alert to learn 
and apply betterments in his line of work. During the World War he was 
in the aviation service, serving with the 612th Aerial Squadron, which trained 
at Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas, and later had charge of aviation training 
work at the general supply depot at Fairfield, Ohio. 

It is the fond hope of the present owner that the Knox Mortuary will 
sometime pass into the hands of the fourth generation of the family, Harry 
T. Knox, Jr., whose portrait accompanies this sketch. 



Rock Island Register Company 

Founded upon a sound, practical idea, builded with painstaking care 
and fidelity to correct business principles, the Rock Island Register Com- 
pany in a dozen years has grown until it now stands practically without com- 
petition in the middle west in the manufacture of warm air registers. 

"No Streak" is the Registered Trade Mark. Formerly the wall register 
used in warm air heating was objected to because of leakage of air, which 
carried dust up the wall and in time caused streaks. The idea of the founders 
of the Rock Island Register Company was a device to prevent this leakage, 

a patented interlapping slip joint that made a tight connection, and forced 
all the warm air out into the room away from the wall. No competitor ever 
has been able to improve upon or even equal it. 

The Rock Island Register Company is distinctly a Rock Island concern. 
J. J. Burgess and S. P. Burgess, brothers, and natives of the city, invented 
the register, and established the business in 1910. In 1911 they 
formed a corporation in which George Harms and W. G. Harms became 
interested. In 1915 they erected their first building, which was quickly 
outgrown and two additions were made. No more ground room being avail- 
able, they built the present factory building at Fifth avenue and Twenty- 
fifth street. This building is three stories and basement, and has 32,000 
feet of floor space. Forty men are employed. 

From the beginning the company has maintained a high standard for its 
product. During the war it installed heating plants in 460 government-built 
houses in Rock Island, Moline and East Moline, and there never has been 
a complaint. It was the best work of its kind, government housing officials 
said, that was done anywhere in the United States. 

Distribution of the Rock Island register is now national in scope. 


The Rock Island Mfg. Company 

In diversity of output the Rock Island Mfg. Company probably ranks 
among Tri-City. manufacturing concerns next to Rock Island Arsenal. More 
than five hundred different articles are listed in its catalogues. Hardware, 
electrical and farm specialties are its chief products. Vises constitute the 
largest single item. From thirty to forty per cent of the vises used by the 
armies of the United States and its allies during the World War were made 
by this concern. 

The history of the Rock Island Mfg. Company goes back scarcely a 
dozen years. In 1909 it' was organized under the leadership of Carl E. 
Shields, who has served continuously since as president and treasurer. The 
assets of the former Rock Island Tool Company were purchased, and the 
plant at First street and Fifteenth avenue. Rock Island, was taken over. 
Vises had been the main product of the Tool Company, which employed 
thirty to forty men, and occupied twenty thousand feet of floor space. 
Manufacture was resumed on an enlarged scale. New markets were found, 
and the variety of products enlarged to meet growing demands. Feed grind- 
ing mills, emery grinding tools, stock fountains and a line of hand farming 
tools were produced, principal attention being paid to the needs of the 
agricultural communities. Within two years manufacture of sad irons was 
undertaken on a large scale, and this company is now conceded to be the 
largest single producer of sad irons in the world. Popular automobile 
specialties were later added, and in 1918, the Loetcher-Ryan Mfg. Company, 
of Dubuque, Iowa, was absorbed and its factory equipment removed to Rock 
Island. This made possible the manufacture of electrical specialties, electric 
irons principally, at first. Other items have been added and the list is still 

Before this country entered the World War the Rock Island Mfg. 
Company supplied vises in large numbers to England and her allies. Sev- 
eral shipments lie at the bottom of the Atlantic, sent there by German sub- 
marines. When our soldiers were in training they shot at targets the 
metal castings of which were produced by this company. For several weeks 
the foundry was employed exclusively in filling a rush order from Rock 
Island Arsenal to supply all cantonments in the United States with targets. 

In the beginning the sales of the Rock Island Mfg. Company totaled 
less than one hundred thousand dollars a year. Now they normally run more 
than a million annually, and there has been a healthy increase in every year, 
save one. Shop expansion has been necessary, twelve acres of land now 
owned by the company insuring sufficient room for the future. In the reac- 
tion following the war boom, the scale of operations was temporarily reduced, 
but the factory never has been closed. Neither have products been cheapened 
to stimulate sales. Only standard quality goods are made. Floor space 
has been increased to 150,000 feet, and 250 men are employed. 




Villa de Chantal 

Rock Island has a widely patronized school for girls and young ladies 
in Villa de Chantal, conducted by the Sisters of the Visitation, a 
Catholic order of long standing and high achievement. It occupies a 
magnificent site on the bluff overlooking the city and Davenport, and 
unfolding a panorama of the Mississippi valley for miles in each direction. 

The Order of the Visitation was founded in France more than three 
hundred years ago. Its rules and traditions tend to encourage that spirit 
of refinement, simplicity and self-sacrifice which peculiarly fits its members 
for the training of young girls. 

Founded in 1864, in Maysville, Ky., as Francis de Sales Academy, 
the school was removed to Rock Island in 1899. Already widely known for 
the quality of its work and drawing pupils from many states, in its new home 
it found a broader field and shortly became recognized as one of the leading 
college preparatory institutions. 

The academy building is surrounded by fifteen acres of land, mostly 
level and sloping away on three sides, with a precipitate drop toward the 
city at the north. The site is exceptionally well adapted to landscaping and 
for purposes of outdoor recreation. Walks and drives have been laid about 
the grounds, the natural forest growth supplemented with a variety of other 
trees and shrubbery, and lawns and courts installed for the games and 
amusements in which girls delight to take part. 

The course of study embraces academic, intermediary and primary 
departments. The academic department offers two courses, one general and 
the other college preparatory. Recognition that of all the arts music 
is the most subtle and far-reaching in its effects, and that its influence is most 
pronounced in refining and broadening the tastes of those who study it, the 
school always has laid particular stress upon this branch of its work. The 
department for both vocal and instrumental instruction is under the direc- 
tion of graduates of the leading conservatories of the country. The piano, 
organ, guitar, harp, mandolin and violin are taught by competent instructors. 
The department of elocution is under the supervision of a graduate of one 
of the best known schools of oratory. Foreign languages are taught by ac- 
complished linguists. Aesthetic culture and daily physical exercises, which 
promote gracefulness of carriage and the habit of true politeness, receive 
special care. 

Villa de Chantal is centrally located and easily accessible from all 
parts of the Tri-City community. Thus it is enabled to serve many day 
pupils who live within a radius of a few miles. Though the school is con- 
ducted by a Catholic order, pupils of all denominations are received. Two 
free scholarships are maintained and medals are awarded for high standing 
in certain lines of work. The school library is one of the most complete in 
the state. 



St. Ambrose College 

St. Ambrose College, Davenport, was founded by the Rt. Rev. James 
McMullen, D. D., first bishop of Davenport, in the year 1882, and was 
incorporated under the laws of the state of Iowa on October 6, 1885. The 
present officers of the corporation are : Rt. Rev. James Davis, D. D., presi- 
dent; Very Rev. T. T. A. Flannagan, vice-president; Very Rev. William 
L. Harmon, secretary and treasurer. 

It is a Catholic college devoted to the cause of Christian education. The 

institution owes its 
existence to the con- 
viction that in the 
education of young 
men best results are 
obtained where the 
importance of the 
religious element in 
training is recogniz- 
ed and respected. 
St. Ambrose offers 
the regular college 
and high school 
courses. A large en- 
dowment insures a 
high standard of in- 
struction and equip- 
ment. Very Rev. 
Wm. L. Hannon is 

Davis Hal], Men's New Dormitory president in charge 

of the institution. 

Main College Building 



St. Katharine's School 

Occupying a wooded knoll in the heart of the residential part of Daven- 
port, overlooking the Mississippi, St. Katharine's School for girls and 
young women is set amidst ideal surroundings. Conducted by the Sisters 
of St. Mary, an Episcopal order, this institution offers unexcelled opportu- 
nities for the study of music, dramatics and art, and has been most successful 
in preparation of its students for entrance to eastern colleges for women. 

Group of St. Katharine's School Buildings 

Its work is conducted by seven Sisters, twenty-two instructors, all college 
graduates, a physical instructor and a nurse. Girls of all denominations are 
welcomed as students. 

St. Katharine's School was opened September 24, 1884. Its establish- 
ment was made possible by a legacy from the estate of Miss Sarah Burr, left 
to Griswold College for the purpose of founding in the diocese of Iowa a 
church school for girls. A building and five acres of ground were purchased. 
Bishop Perry presided at the opening ceremonies. An addition to the 
building was made in 1885. 

Until 1902 the school was conducted by Miss Emma Rice, later Mrs. 
J. J. Richardson, as preceptress. Then it was turned over to the Sisters 
of St. Mary, whose chief work is education. During the summer of 1902 
the chapel and gymnasium were built. In 1907 three acres of land adjoining 
the school property, with the buildings thereon, were acquired. 

St. Katharine's is not conducted for pecuniary profit. A few generous 
bequests and a modest endowment provided by its friends have made its 
expansion possible. Six scholarships to defray tuition of deserving girls 
needing financial assistance are provided. 

Perhaps the best testimonial to the character of St. Katharine's is to be 
found in its list of alumnae, which is made up of members of leading families 
of Iowa, as well as from many other states, east and west. 


Rock Island Transfer & Storage Company 

Warehousing' has come in the last few years to assume a degree of 
importance hitherto undreamed of. Changes in methods of handling mer- 
chandise and household goods, improved facilities for storing, and above 
all, the development of the motor truck, offering quicker and more efficient 
transport on short hauls, have helped to bring this business to the front. 

Though a comparatively new concern, the Rock Island Transfer & Stor- 
age Company occupies a position of leadership in its field in the Tri-City 

community, with a new $125,000 plant and with facilities to meet every de- 
mand incident to the warehousing business. March 27, 1917, the company 
was incorporated. At that time its equipment was limited to six teams and 
wagons, and it rented modest quarters on West Seventeenth street. 

The company's new home at First avenue and Seventeenth street was 
formally opened June 20, 1922. It is a four-story building, of heavy vitrified 
brick construction, and so arranged as to make possible the erection of two 
additional stories. The main building is 77x110 feet, with garage adjoining, 
73x110 feet, the latter being part one and part two-story. Latest ideas in 
warehouse construction were incorporated; efficient handling, safe storage 
and adequate fire protection being leading objectives. 

Equipment now includes half a dozen trucks, more than a score of 
horses and many wagons. Moving and hauling, packing, crating and storing 
of household goods and storing and distributing merchandise are among the 
company's activities. 

B. L. Burke is president and treasurer, N. B. Gosline vice-president and 
secretary and Loyal Robb superintendent of the concern. 



Augustana Book Concern 

The Lutheran publishing plant, known as the Augustana Book Concern, 
was established in Rock Island in the 80's. At first a small private printing 
shop and bookstore, it was purchased in 1889 by the Augustana Synod of 
North America and made the official publishing house of that Synod. As such 
the business has developed from a modest store and shop to its present 

Home of Augustana Book Concern 

capacity an establishment fully equipped in every department of a modern 
printing and publishing plant, and showing an annual turnover of more 
than $280,000.00. 

The output per year may be indicated by the following totals for the 
last calendar year: The number of copies of books and pamphlets printed 
in 1921 was 210,850, half of which were new, the balance reprints. The 
average number of copies of periodicals printed, counting one issue of each, 
exceeds 100,000. Since its establishment in 1889 the Augustana Book Concern 
has printed 5,014,130 copies of books, tracts, pamphlets and sheet music. 

The business management consists of an elective board and an executive 
head. Mr. A. G. Anderson has served as manager since the founding of the 
synodical publishing house thirty-three years ago, and several heads of 
departments have served the same length of time. In point of volume of 
business done annually, the Augustana Book Concern ranks well to the 
front among commercial establishments in the city of Rock Island, and 
the postal revenues of this city are largely derived from this source. 



Rock Island Fuel Co. Garage 

Rock Island Fuel Company 

During the winter of 1917-18, when the United States Fuel Administra- 
tion was in charge of distribution of coal, the Rock Island Fuel Company 

played a very important part in looking 
after the comfort of the community. 

During this severe period a coal 
famine existed. There was very little 
coal of any kind for domestic or steam 
use, and what little did arrive was 
quickly consumed. The Rock Island 
Fuel Company, using every possible 
resource, managed to secure enough 
fuel to avert real suffering. Besides 
taking care of its own trade, it furnish- 
ed fuel to other dealers. It was at 
times necessary to route shipments through distant points because of exist- 
ing embargoes. 

In emergencies the Rock Island Fuel Company has never failed to 
supply the needs of the community. This company, the oldest and 
largest exclusive fuel concern in the three cities, enjoys a wide prestige 
because of the high quality of the fuels handled and the excellent service it 

The business was started in 1880, by William Hubers, who at that time 
dealt principally in wood. From a small beginning the business developed 
quickly, and in 1889 the Rock Island 
Fuel Company was incorporated with 
William Hubers as president. Mr. 
Hubers has remained at the head of the 
company and still takes an active hand 
in the business. 

Today the company has yards in 
all three cities, and handles on the 
average about 100,000 tons of fuel a 
year. The company maintains a fleet 
of trucks besides many teams, has its 
own blacksmith and repair shops and 

other facilities for the efficient handling of the business. Besides its large 
storage yards in Davenport and Moline, the company has its great gravity 
bins in Rock Island, which are capable of holding six thousand tons at one 

View of Gravity Bins 



Rock Island Wood Works 

Founded as an adjunct to sawmills of the vicinity when the lumber 
business on the Mississippi river was at its zenith, the Rock Island Wood 
Works has survived the days of the log raft, the screeching saw and the 

fragrant lumber pile in its home city 
and has become a permanent concern. 
Able business management and high stand- 
ards maintained in quality of output have 
contributed to its success. 

Starting as a partnership with William 
Roth and C. J. Schreiner as owners, the 
original name was the Variety Wood 
Works. That was in 1891. Mr. Schreiner's 
death late in the nineties led to the pur- 
chase of the Schreiner interests by Mr. 
Roth in 1901, and the incorporation of the 
present company. 

The first factory building at the north- 
west corner of Eleventh street and Sixth 
avenue was soon outgrown and additions 
were made. Soon after incorporating the 
company secured the land on the corner 
diagonally opposite the plant and erected 
thereon the present office and warehouses. 

William Roth, one of the Founders of the 
Rock Island Wood Works 

The company manufactures no stock 
goods, working only on architects' or 
builders' specifications, and has an en- 
viable reputation for the high class of 
its product. Its millwork has been used in 
some of the best buildings in the three 
cities, among which may be mentioned the 
Rock Island postoffice, court house, Central 
Trust & Savings bank, Peoples bank, Fort 
Armstrong theatre, the Washington and 
Audubon schools, the Capitol theatre in 
Davenport and the Reliance building in 

On the death of William Roth, early 

in 1922, his son, G. William Roth succeeded 

him as president and treasurer. Walter F. 

.Roth is vice-president and Max Helpenstell 

secretary of the company. 

G. William Roth, Present Head of Company 



Beder Wood's Sons Company 

Forty-six years ago Beder Wood, of Moline, had sufficient vision to 
see a future in the sand business, and out of that vision grew the flourishing 
industry now conducted by Beder Wood's Sons Company, operating an 

equipment capable of handling 600 tons of 
sand and gravel daily, besides large quanti- 
ties of fuel and building material. 

Concrete was unknown in this country 
in 1876. Sand was used in relatively small 
quantities and gravel not at all in construc- 
tion projects. 

The river then, as now, offered the most 
available supply of clean sand, but the 
method of getting it out of the stream and 
onto the banks ready for use was crude and 
involved a great deal of labor. 

When Mr. Wood began dealing in sand 
he obtained it by shoveling it from bars 
onto barges. The barges were poled from 
the bank at the foot of Sixteenth street, 
where his first yard was located, up the 
river to the nearest bar, and when loaded 
were returned to the starting point by the 
same method. Use of steam power to propel the craft and pump the sand 
had not been thought of. When the stage of the river was high and bars 
were covered with water it was necessary to use long-handled shovels, and 
the task was unusually arduous and slow. 

Mr. Wood had not followed the sand business long before he began 
to cast about for better and more economical ways to handle his product. 
The centrifugal pump was then in use, but it never had been adapted to the 
raising of sand. Mr. Wood set about applying it to this use, and after 
much experimenting and a number of failures, succeeded in getting the 
desired results. He built, the steamboat Edna and rigged it up with an 
equipment which has been the model for manufacturers of sand pumping 
machinery ever since. This was done in the early 80's, his pump being the 
first one used in the business on the Mississippi river. 

Gravel did not come into general use till the 90's and then there was 
some opposition to it as a substitute for crushed stone, which Mr. Wood 
labored to overcome. Gravel now is sold in much greater quantities than 
sand, having to a large extent displaced crushed stone in concrete construc- 

In 1902 the business was removed from Sixteenth street to its present- 
location, the site of the old Keator sawmill on Eighteenth street, where two 

Beder Wood, Founder 



half blocks are now covered by yards and buildings. Modern bins and 
docks have been built, and improved machinery installed for washing, 
screening, grading and handling gravel and sand. 

The firm has built practically all its own boats and barges. Its 
fleet now consists of the steel-hulled towboat, Beder Wood, a pump boat, 
coal boat, spud boat and nine barges. It owns gravel pits at Hampton and 
below the mouth of the Meredosia, 20 miles above Moline. On shore the 
firm operates from ten to forty trucks and teams, the number varying with 

Upper left Towboat Beder Wood. Upper right Pump boat in action. Lower left Unloading barge at wharf. 
Lower right Part of land equipment of Beder Wood's Sons Company. 

the season. Much of its gravel and sand is shipped to inland points within 
a radius of 100 miles. A full line of building materials, including brick, 
cement, tile, etc., is carried, and an extensive retail coal business is done. 
When not otherwise employed its boats do a general towing business. 

Beder Wood, Sr., died in 1914. Since that time the business has been 
conducted by his sons, Beder Wood, Jr., and Benjamin Wood. During the 
World War large quantities of sand and gravel were supplied for construc- 
tion work at Rock Island Arsenal, the War Department always having 
priority in the filling of orders. 



The Robinsons, Pioneer Bankers and City Builders 

Among the men who gave impetus to Rock Island's early growth, none 
was more active or interested in a greater diversity of enterprises than the 
late Capt. Thomas J. Robinson. He and his son, the late James F. Robinson, 

who continued his father's work during the 
few years that he was spared to do so, ac- 
cumulated extensive property holdings, 
now administered as the Robinson estate 
by Mrs. J. F. Robinson. 

Capt. Robinson was of New England 
birth and training. Born in Maine, in 1818, 
he' made his own way from his early teens, 
when he learned the cooper's trade. Com- 
ing west at the age of twenty, he taught 
school, clerked on a river steamer and 
finally took up farming near Hillsdale, in 
Rock Island county. Three years later he 
removed to Port Byron, where he conducted 
a retail store for five years, and then in 
1853 came to Rock Island. With his sav- 
ings he bought from Judge John W. 
Spencer an interest in the Davenport & 
Rock Island Ferry company and took 
charge of the business, acquiring in that 

connection the title of "Captain," by which 

he was known thereafter. 

The young captain lost no time in re- 
placing with steam the horse power then 
used in operating the ferry. In less than 
a decade he had become full owner of the 
enterprise, of which he remained in con- 
trol until his death. 

Capt. Robinson always had supreme 
faith in the future of the Tri-Cities. Act- 
ing on the belief that they were destined to 
became a great industrial center, he exerted 
his energies and invested his capital in 
promoting home enterprises. He was one 
of the organizers of the Rock Island Stove 
Company, the Rock Island Glass Company, 
and many other concerns which flourished 
in the early days. Seeing in an eastern 
city a street railway in operation, he re- 
turned home and set to work to provide a j. F.Robinson 

Capt. T. J. Robinson 


similar utility here. As a result, the line between Rock Island and Moline, 
which became the nucleus of the properties of the present Tri-City Railway 
Company, was built. No other man in the community worked harder to 
secure congressional legislation for the establishing of Rock Island Arsenal 
than he. He spent much time and money interesting national law makers in 
the building of the Hennepin canal as the link in a water route between 
the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. He was a leading promoter of 
the railroad line between Rock Island and St. Louis, which is now operated 
by the Burlington as its St. Louis division. In connection with Weyer- 
haeuser & Denkmann, Rock Island lumbermen, he backed enterprises for 
the development of the lumber industry in Wisconsin. 

In 1871 Capt. Robinson founded the Rock Island National Bank. He 
became its president, holding the office till his death, and made it one of 
the strongest financial institutions in western Illinois. The supreme test of 
his business career came in 1873, when the stability of his bank was threat- 
ened by the resumption of specie payment, ordered by President Grant. 
Many persons now living recall the panic of 1873, in which only the strongest 
business concerns survived. The "Robinson bank," as the Rock Island 
National was generally known, came through unscathed, but its president 
staked every resource he possessed in winning the fight. To provide a 
home for the bank the Robinson building at Second avenue and Eighteenth 
street, one of the landmarks of the business district, was constructed. 

Upon the death of Capt. Robinson, April 12, 1899, his son, J. F. 
Robinson, who was his sole heir, succeeded him as president of the Rock 
Island National Bank. In December, 1899, the Central Trust & Savings 
Bank was organized, with Mr. Robinson president, and occupying quarters 
jointly with the Rock Island National. Later the two banks were merged 
under the name of the younger institution. 

James F. Robinson was born in Rock Island county, February 27, 1849. 
Upon completion of his schooling, which included a classical course at 
Northwestern University, he became cashier of the Rock Island National 
Bank, a position which he held for 25 years. He died May 23, 1902. 

The younger Mr. Robinson was a man of scholarly tastes. Like his 
father, he led a most exemplary life, had no fear of hard work and earned 
n reputation for dealing honestly and fairly with his fellows. Under his 
management the properties he inherited prospered, and he added to them 
by engaging in new enterprises. He always had at heart the best interests 
of his home city. 

Both father and son were affiliated with and actively supported the 
Methodist Episcopal church. Both gave liberally in aid of schools and 
charitable institutions, and devoted large sums to the relief of the needy. 

J. F. Robinson was married in 1879 to Miss Mary E. Rhoads, of Pekin, 
111. Two daughters were born to the union, but both died in infancy. 



Leading Rock Island Merchant 

Credit for Rock Island's high standing as a merchandising center is 
due in large measure to the late L. S. McCabe. For forty-five years 
actively engaged in the retail business in the city, his energy, enterprise 
and fair dealing built up a patronage extending many miles beyond the city's 

L. S. McCabe 

borders and helped in no small degree to bring prosperity to those engaged 
in other lines of trade. Mr. McCabe -always had great faith in the com- 
munity. Combined with his rare ability as a merchant was an unusual 
insight into the motives which actuated the buying public and a belief in 
the power of constant, truthful advertising. The publicity he obtained 
for his enterprise was backed by dependable goods and honest service. 

L. S. McCabe was born in Delaware County, New York, December 11, 
1846, and died in Rock Island September 26, 1915. On coming west in 1868, 


he taught school for two years in Drury township, the late Judge William 
H. Gest being county superintendent at that time. 

The first McCabe store, located at what is now Second avenue and Six- 
teenth street, was opened October 5, 1870, its stock consisting of drygoods 
and household necessities. Even in that early day the young merchant 
saw the advantage of creating separate departments for the sale of different 
classes of goods, which later became the plan of merchandising in all the 
larger establishments. He also realized the possibilities of economy in 
larger buying for a number of business enterprises, and as soon as he had 
sufficient capital he opened other stores, cities in which he operated including 
Davenport, Muscatine and Des Moines, Iowa, and Chicago and Ottawa, Illi- 
nois. Growth of his business in his home city, however, demanded so much 
of his time and attention that eventually he closed out all branches and center- 
ed his resources in Rock Island. There he built up a truly metropolitan 
department store, which, during the later years of his life, was recognized 
as a leader in the Tri-City field. 

Early in his career Mr. McCabe began acquiring real estate in the 
business district of the city. The Gayford block on Second avenue, between 
Seventeenth and Eighteenth streets, the present Second avenue home of the 
L. S. McCabe & Co. store, was his first purchase. Adding to his holdings 
from time to time, he ultimately became the largest individual owner of 
business property in the city of Rock Island. In 1899 the present company 
was incorporated and the following year the Third avenue building, with 
80,000 feet of floor space, was erected, providing a store one block in length, 
with entrances on two avenues. Since his death the business has been con- 
tinued by the company bearing his name. 

While a master of detail and always in close touch with every branch 
of his business establishment, Mr. McCabe never permitted himself to 
become wholly absorbed in it. His abundant energies always sought addi- 
tional outlets, and as a result be became identified with various undertakings 
outside of the retail field. He was vice-president and director of the Moline 
Central street railway, one of the first in the west to be electrified. He 
helped to lay out Prospect Park. He was president of the Rock Island 
Safety Deposit Company, builder of the Safety building, and of the Colonial 
Hotel Company, being owner of the site of the building, now known as the 
Como hotel. He was an organizer and an officer of the Central Trust & 
Savings bank. He was interested in agriculture, owning several fine farms 
on w'hich he raised blooded Angus cattle. 

In religious, social and political affairs Mr. McCabe was also deeply 
interested. In 1902 he was elected state senator to represent the Thirty- 
third district, serving one term of four years and declining re-election. 

Mr. McCabe was married to Miss Marion V. Reck, August 30, 1888. He 
is survived by the widow and three daughters, the Misses Dorothy Clay. 
Marguerite Baxter and Marion McCabe Bruner. 


Federal Surety Company 

The Federal Surety Company is a stock company located in Davenport, 
Iowa. This company, with a capital of one million dollars, writes casualty 
insurance and surety bonds. It is owned by many prominent people in the 
Tri-Cities and at present transacts business in eighteen states and the 
District of Columbia. The Federal Government has licensed this company 
to write government business throughout the United States. The Federal 
is one of only twenty-nine companies in the United States to be so licensed, 
and only two of these companies are located west of the Mississippi. 

W. L. Taylor is the very efficient manager of the Federal Surety Com- 
pany, and the effects of his splendid management are shown in the rapid 
growth of this company. It was established during the month of July, 1920, 
and since that date has attained a position of confidence and trust usually 
accorded only to companies which have put many years of faithful service 
behind them. Best's Insurance Guide with key ratings for 1922 rates the 
Federal Surety's paying record as "excellent" and gives its management the 
highest rating accorded to companies of this kind. 

Each department is managed by men with years of experience in their 
respective lines. The directors of this company are: 

M. H. Calderwood, Ex-President of the Iowa Bankers Association, 
Director and President of the Eldridge Savings Bank, Director and Presi- 
dent of the Mississippi Valley Fair and Exposition Association. 

George E. Decker, Director and President of the Register Life Insurance 
Company, also Director of the Iowa National Bank. 

Charles Grilk, Counselor and Attorney-at-law, General Counsel Register 
Life Insurance Company. 

H. C. Kahl, Director and Vice-President of the Walsh Construction 
Company, Director and President of the Blackhawk Hotel Company, Direc- 
tor and Vice-President of the Miller Hotel Company, Director of the 
Citizens Trust and Savings Bank, Director of the Iowa National Bank, 
also sole owner of the Kahl building. 

Charles Shuler, Director and President of . the Iowa National Bank, Di- 
rector Colorado and Utah Coal Company, Maple Coal Company, also inter- 
ested in some of Davenport's largest institutions. 

Frank B. Yetter, Director and active Vice-President of the Iowa National 
Bank, Director Register Life Insurance Company, member of the Ex- 
ecutive Committee Clearing House division of the American Bankers' 
Association, also Ex-President of the Iowa Bankers' Association. 

W. L. Taylor Vice-President and General Manager of the Company. 
Charles Shuler is the President of the Federal Surety Company 


W. L. Taylor, Vice-President and General Manager Federal Surety Company 


Geo. M. Bechtel & Co. 

In April, 1891, the investment house of Geo. M. Bechtel & Co. was es- 
tablished in Davenport, Iowa, to specialize in the purchase and sale of Iowa 
municipal bonds. For over thirty years the institution has grown and 
prospered by adherence to conservative and safe principles of investment 

It is interesting to note the great difference in the investment field of that 
day and this. We find that while the State of Iowa was well settled, it was not 
the wealthy, highly developed state that it is today. It is reported that the 
entire bonded indebtedness of all the cities, counties and school districts in 
the state at that time amounted to only $11,000,000. But the need of capital 
for public improvements existed, and the prosperity of the greatest agri- 
cultural state in the union was dependent upon it. Naturally many of its 
bond laws were new and untested. We find further that the market for 
municipal bonds existed only among the banks and insurance companies of 
New York and New England, while some of the bonds found their way to 
London, along with other classes of American securities. But the number 
of bond buyers among the general public was limited. At that time it 
may be said that Iowa was considered by the eastern investor as a field for 
high rate semi-conservative investments, such as we now find in so many 
western and southern localities. But above all, Iowa possessed the potential 
wealth and prospect for prosperity that does not exist in any undeveloped 
part of the United States today. The favorable reception of Iowa bonds in 
the market then, and also their future market, was wholly dependent on the 
(judgment of and development by those who dealt in them. This is 
briefly the situation at the time of the establishment of the house of Geo. 
M. Bechtel & Co. 

With no change in policy nor deviation from the ideals of conservative 
investment banking, this institution stands today as a tribute to the judg- 
ment and integrity of its founder, Mr. Geo. M. Bechtel. Money and the 
investment markets are no longer confined to the east. The municipal bond, 
the government bond, or any bond is common stock in trade. The banker, 
the merchant, the professional man and the wage earner look upon a safe 
conservative bond as a logical place for spare funds or savings. A record 
in Iowa municipal bonds of "no loss to any investor of principal or interest 
in thirty years" has earned for them the name of "Little Governments" 
among the customers of Geo. M. Bechtel & Co. It is estimated that there is 
now outstanding in the State of Iowa $125,000,000 of city, county and school 
bonds and probably an equal amount has been issued and paid during the 
past thirty years. In all of this financing this institution has been very 
closely associated. Hardly a municipality exists in the state that at some 
time or other has not been assisted by this house. 

Geo. M. Bechtel & Co. serves today thousands of conservative investors 
in the United States who believe in safe, convenient and tax-free investments. 


The White-Phillips Company 

The White-Phillips Company, Investment Bankers, Davenport, Iowa, is 
recognized as one of the foremost institutions of its kind in Iowa. The 
concern specializes exclusively in the handling of municipal bonds in the 
middle west primarily in Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska. 

The universal interest of the investing public in municipal bonds has 
caused the firm to prepare an interesting booklet explaining how bond values 
are computed and what they represent. Copies of this booklet may be had 
upon request, free of charge. 

Since the World War this class of securities, which found but a limited 
field of buyers twenty years ago, has attained wide popularity, for the very 
good reason that they form a nearly ideal investment for wage earners and 
those of limited means, as well as for those of larger financial resources. A 
people which had learned to buy government bonds to the value of billions of 
dollars has turned largely now to the bonds of cities, towns, school districts 
and counties. 

The White-Phillips Company is at all times prepared to answer any 
questions which may arise with reference to municipal bonds. The services 
and facilities of this banking house are yours to command, and it is their 
earnest desire that you avail yourself of them. All inquiries are accorded 
serious, respectful and courteous personal consideration. 

Specializing exclusively in the handling of municipal bonds in the great 
corn belt, they at all times have on hand an ample list of diversified offerings 
which permit a varied selection to meet any particular requirements. 

The institution has grown to an enviable position of stability, strength 
and high character, and has branch offices located in Dubuque and Des 
Moines, Iowa, and Omaha, Nebraska, with a personnel of over forty people. 

The officers and members of the. firm are : 
President George White. 
Vice-President B. A. Phillips. 
Secretary Robert Alexander. 
Treasurer S. G. Glaspell. 
Cashier Walter E. Vieth. 

Their facilities for handling any investment needs are unsurpassed and 
without peer in their chosen field. 



Peoples National Bank 
and American Trust & Savings Bank 

Forty-eight years ago the Peoples National Bank, now the only national 
bank in Rock Island county, was organized. Bailey Davenport was its first 
president and its directorate included Frederick Weyerhaeuser, George 

J. L. Vernon, President Peoples National and American Trust and Savings Banks 

Wagner, Ignatz Huber, Charles Tegeler, Joseph Rosenfield, August 
Huesing, Frederick W. Kellerstrass, Frederick Hass, Henry Burgower, and 
Peter Fries. All have passed away, most of them many years ago, but de- 
scendants of nearly all remain and the family names are closely linked with 
Rock Island's history from the earliest days. 



The Peoples National Bank first did business in the 1800 block, coming 
to its present quarters about ten years later. In 1911 the property at Second 
avenue and Eighteenth street was purchased and remodeled., 

Peoples National Bank Building 

Henry Burgower was the first vice-president and John Peetz the first 
cashier. On the death of Bailey Davenport, Joseph Rosenfield became pres- 
ident, being followed by Otto Huber. Present officers are: 

President J. L. Vernon. 

Vice-President Robert Wagner. 

Cashier G. O. Huckstaedt. 

Assistant Cashier F. E. Sudlow. 

Directors G. O. Hucksteadt, C. B. Marshall, James F. Murphy, G. \Y. 
Roth, C. A. Schoessel, J. L. Vernon, Robert Wagner. 

The American Trust & Savings Bank was formed in 1912, and occupies 
quarters jointly with the Peoples National. Officers are the same, except 
that the directorate of the former includes S. J. Apple, C. A. Bopes, N. A. 
Larson, C. J. Montgomery, John A. Murrin, L. Ostrom, H. C. Schaffer, and 
J. A. Weishar. 

The combined capital and surplus of the two banks is $400,000 and their 
joint resources approximately $3,000,000. 



R. J. Walsh & Company 

R. J. Walsh 

Founded in 1917 and incorporated in 1920, R. J. Walsh & Company has 
become a leading Tri-City bond and mortgage investment company. Since 

the date of incorporation it has occupied 
attractive ground floor quarters in the Kahl 
building, 320 West Third street, Daven- 

In its earlier years the concern handled 
stock issues for industrial concerns and 
scored a remarkable success. Latterly it 
has turned its attention exclusively to the 
buying and selling of first mortgage real 
estate gold bonds. Here, also, it has done 
a large volume of business and has built up 
an extensive and steadily growing patron- 

The company maintains a staff of ex- 
pert salesmen. It pays particular attention 
to Iowa and Illinois securities, its field be- 
ing one in which real estate values, both 
urban and rural, are uniformly sound and 
normally show a steadily rising tendency, 
making an ideal security for conservative investment. Progressive develop- 
ment of this territory, assured by every industrial, commercial and agri- 
cultural aspect, gives positive promise of a steadily growing volume of 
business, of which the Walsh 
organization may be relied upon to 
secure its share. 

The company is capitalized at 
$250,000. It is backed by local men 
of high standing financially and of 
unquestioned integrity. Its re- 
sources enable it to handle inde- 
pendently large issues of securi- 
ties, thereby doing business expedi- 
tiously and with maximum returns. 
Officers of the company are: office of R. j. Walsh & Company 

President, Treasurer and Manager R. J. Walsh. 
Vice-President A. E. Carroll. 
Secretary I. W. Simons. 

Directors R. J. Walsh, A. E. Carroll, I. W. Simons, Dr. F. Neufeld, 
George A. Parks, Dr. C. L. Barewald, R. O. Denkman and A. C. Klindt. 



Rock Island Savings Bank 

The Rock Island Savings Bank is one of the solid institutions of the 
city. Organized in 1890, it was the first savings bank in Rock Island. Quar- 
ters originally were in the then Mitchell & Lynde building, now the home 
of the State Bank. 

Capital stock at first was $100,000, and E. P. Reynolds was the first 
president, with F. C. Denkmann vice-president and J. M. Buford cashier. 
P. L. Mitchell became president in 1892 and J. M. Buford was promoted 
from the cashiership to head of the bank on the death of Mr. Mitchell, in 1899. 
Phil Mitchell followed Mr. Buford and H. S. Cable served as president from 
i910 to 1922, being succeeded by Hugh E. Curtis. 

From the first the Rock Island Savings Bank made rapid progress. In 
a decade its deposits had increased from $333,864.84 to $1,704,027.06. At 
the close of 1922 deposits were $4,300,000.00. Growth of business neces- 
sitated more roomy quarters, and in the fall of 1911 the present home, at 
Eighteenth street and Third avenue, built exclusively for banking purposes, 
was occupied. Capital, surplus and undivided profits at the close of 1922 
were over $550,000 and resources over $5,000,000. 

Present officers are: Chairman of board, H. S. Cable; president, Hugh 
E. Curtis; vice-president, M. E. Stricter; vice-president-cashier, W. G. 
Johnston; assistant cashiers. J. H. Meehan and R. W. Osterman. 

Directors H. S. Cable, Hugh E. Curtis William H. Dart, Franz Happ, 
W. G. Johnston, Phil Mitchell, John W. Potter, M. E. Stricter. 



Central Trust & Savings Bank 

History of the Central Trust & Savings Bank really goes back to Sept. 
11, 1871, when the former Rock Island National Bank was organized. The 
savings institution came into existence Dec. 2, 1899, and the two were con- 
solidated April 1, 1915, under the present name. 

Captain T. J. Robinson was the founder of the Rock Island National. 
Quarters first were at No. 23, Illinois street, now 1609 Second avenue. In 
1876 the Robinson building, at Second avenue and Eighteenth street, was 
occupied. Consolidation of the two banks was coincident with the occupying 
of the present home on Third avenue at Eighteenth street. 

Captain Robinson, first president of the Rock Island National, was 
succeeded in that office at his death by his son, the late J. Frank Robinson. 
The late H. E. Casteel was the third president. 

The Central Trust & Savings Bank is capitalized at $200,000. Its surplus 
is $200,000 and undivided profits $190,000. The present officers are: 

President, M. S. Heagy ; vice-presidents, H. H. Cleaveland, C. J. Larkin, 
H. W. Tremann ; cashier, L. M. Casteel; assistant cashier, R. E. Swanson; 
trust officer, E. H. Krell. 

Directors M. S. Heagy, H. H. Cleaveland, C. J. Larkin, H. B. Simmon, 
H. W. Tremann, J. W. Tremann, Oscar F. Smith, W. J. Sweeney, Dr. G. A. 
Wiggins, George H. Richmond, H. D. Mack, W. S. Parks. 


State Bank of Rock Island 

Successor to Mitchell & Lynde, Ye Olde Banke, Established 1852 


Phil Mitchell. President K. T. Anderson, Asst. Cashier C. F. Channon, Asst. Cashier 

I. S. White. Vice-President B. .T. Mitchell, Asst. Cashier 

Phil Mitchell I. S. White G. L. Eyster B. D. Connelly Frank Mixter 

E. H. Guyer B. C. Hartz 

Capital $200,000.00 Surplus $100,000.00 Undivided Profits $100,000.00 

The first bank in Rock Island County was established in Rock Island 
in 1852, by Cook, Sargent & Parker, bankers and business men of Davenport, 
Iowa, in the room now occupied by Martin Cigar Store at 1630 Second avenue. 

In 1854 the bank was moved to the then new brick building erected by 
Bailey & Boyle at Second avenue and Seventeenth street, the site of the pres- 
ent State Bank building, which has been the home of this bank and its prede- 
cessors for sixty-eight years, the present structure having been built by 
Mitchell & Lynde .in 1890. 

Mitchell & Cable (P. L. Mitchell and P. L. Cable) bought out Cook, 
Sargent & Parker in 1856. At that time there were four banks in Rock Island, 
including the Rock Island Bank (Negus, Osborn & Lee), Bank of the 
Federal Union (N. B. Buford, president), and Fish, Goodale & Lee. 

Mitchell & Lynde (P. L. Mitchell and Cornelius Lynde), succeeded 
Mitchell & Cable in 1860. 

Following the panic of 1857-1858, and the succeeding hard time years, 
Mitchell & Lynde became the sole survivor, and was the only bank in Rock 
Island for several years, until 1861, when Mitchell & Lynde organized the 
First National Bank, charter No. 108, with P. L. Mitchell as president. This 
was one of the first national banks to be organized, as shown by its charter 

Mitchell & Lynde succeeded the Rock Island Bank in 1861, and also 
succeeded the First National Bank of Rock Island in 1890. 

The other pioneer banks in Rock Island county were Gould, Dimock & 
Co., Moline, dating from 1856, and W. H. Devore, Port Byron, about 1858. 

The Rock Island National Bank (T. J. Robinson, president) was started 
in 1872. 

Phil Mitchell, State Bank president, has been in continuous service with 
the bank and its predecessors since 1861, sixty-one years, and it is believed 
he is the oldest bank officer in time of service in the State of Illinois. 



First Trust & Savings Bank of Rock Island 

Youngest among Rock Island financial institutions is the First Trust 
& Savings Bank. Though it is less than three years old, it has gone ahead 

with rapid strides, prov- 
ing the wisdom, fore- 
sight and ability of its 
founders, and demon- 
strating that there was a 
fine field for its business 
activities. Each month 
since its opening has 
shown a substantial 
growth. Its deposits now 
total one million dollars. 

Charter for the First 
Trust & Savings Bank 
was issued December 29, 
1919. The doors were 
opened for business Jan- 
uary 24, 1920, quarters 
being in the Robinson 
building, at the south- 
west corner of Second 
avenue and Eighteenth 

Organized under the laws of Illinois, the bank is also a member of the 
Federal Reserve system, being thus under both state and federal inspection. 

The First Trust & Savings bank gives special attention to the needs of 
the farmer, for whom excellent service is given. There are attractive 
features for handling long-time farm loans. The bank also enjoys a very 
substantial city business. At the time this was written it was qualifying as a 
trust company, which would provide additional service for its rapidly in- 
creasing list of customers, in addition to existing commercial, savings and 
investment departments. 

Rapid growth of business has made necessary an increase of capital, and 
old and new customers are being offered a part of additional stock author- 
ized at the last annual meeting of stockholders, sale of which will provide a 
total of more than a quarter of a million capital and surplus. Capital and 
surplus now are $130,000. Officers are : 

President, C. A. Beers; vice-president, C. C. Clarke; cashier, O. O. Liitt; 
assistant cashier, R. P. Gilloley. 

Directors C. A. Beers, J. M. Welch, O. O. Liitt, W. S. Yerbury, J. A. 
Wells, Walter Foster, W. J. Krull, Walter J. Klockau, John Lipton, T. A. 
Pender, C. C. Clarke and Allen J. Miller. 



French & Hecht 

Primitive man pushed logs and stones about on wooden rollers. Later 
he evolved the wooden disc wheel and the axle. It was a long step from the 
disc wheel to the spoke wheel, which answered its purpose very well until 
the day of rapid transport dawned. Then it was necessary to have some- 
thing stronger to withstand the shocks and strains incident to the moving 
of heavy bodies at high speed. 

Once the metal wheel was created new uses for it were shortly found, 
and it proceeded to displace the wooden wheel in fields where it had been 

Part of the French & Hecht Plant 

thought the latter never could be improved upon. Only a few years ago 
the wooden wheel was used on nearly all agricultural implements. Now 
few farm labor-saving devices are so equipped. The motor vehicle is 
passing through the same evolutionary process as has taken place in farm 
implements, and the time is not far distant when the wooden wheel will be 
but a memory. 

French & Hecht, of Davenport, are the largest exclusive manufacturers 
of metal wheels in the world. They have developed and perfected the steel 
spoke wheel, in the manufacture of which they stand preeminent. 

French & Hecht started in 1890, as a corporation known as the Betten- 
dorf Metal Wheel Company. In 1909, without material change of owner- 
ship, the present partnership was formed. There are now three general 
partners in the enterprise, Messrs. G. Watson French, J. L. Hecht and W. H. 
Stackhouse, all of Davenport. 



Victor Storage Battery Company 

Rock Island claims the largest western manufactory producing storage 
batteries the Victor Storage Battery Company, located at Mississippi river 
and Fourth avenue. The size of the institution is realized by comparatively 
few Tri-City residents, for while the plant has excellent transportation facili- 
ties by rail, highway and water, it is at some distance from the more 
generally traveled streets. A visit to the factory helps to impress one with 
the diversity of industrial products the community has to offer. 

The Victor Company, whose officers are Dick R. Lane, president; 
George White, vice-president; B. F. White, secretary, and Tully White, 
treasurer, was incorporated early in 1914. During the last eight years it 
has developed a large and well-deserved demand for the S. O. S. line of 

batteries. Manufacturing was started in the building at Twenty-fifth street 
and Fourth avenue, now occupied by the J. Peterson Company. In August, 
1917, the concern removed to Moline and occupied a building at Seventh 
street and Fourth avenue. 

Rapid growth of the business made larger manufacturing facilities im- 
perative. The old Weyerhaeuser & Denkmann sawmill site at the foot of 
Fourth avenue in Rock Island was acquired and the present modern factory 
erected in 1919. This building is the last word in modernity and convenience 
for the making of storage batteries in large quantities. It is equipped with 
the latest appliances in machinery, lighting, ventilation, etc. The initial 
steps in manufacturing take place at one end of the plant and the finished 
product leaves the building at the other end. A switch track from the C. 
R. I. & P. line parallels the factory and makes possible the loading and 
unloading of several cars at the same time. The property extends from 
Fourth to Sixth avenue along the bank of the Mississippi, so that the 
company is in an ideal position to benefit from the revival of river traffic. 

Storage batteries for all purposes are made by the Victor Company, 
but special attention is paid to starting and lighting batteries for automo- 
biles, farm lighting, power plants and for radio use. These batteries 
enjoy an enviable reputation not only in the United States, but in practically 
all parts of the world. 


Phelps Light & Power Company 

Possible uses of electricity on the farm are almost without limit. How 
to get the electricity to the farm remote from central power stations is a 
subject that has been given much attention and in the solving of which much 
capital has been invested. Out of the experimental period has come the 
modern farm lighting and power plant. 

Among the farm lighting and power plants now in the market, that manu- 
factured by the Phelps Light & Power Company, of Rock Island, stands 
without a superior for all-around uses. It is economical, reliable and durable, 

Phelps Light & Power Company Plant 

and it develops sufficient power so that it may be used for belt work and 
battery charging simultaneously. The Phelps generator has a guaranteed 
rating of 1,500 watts. The Phelps motor is guaranteed to deliver three and 
one-half horsepower, in addition to operating the generator. The 235 
ampere-hour battery will run a half-horse power electric motor. 

R. W. Phelps began the manufacture of gasoline motors in 1915 at 
Wilton, Iowa. Early in 1916 he bought out the Warner Arc Lamp Com- 
pany, manufacturers of electrical appliances, and removed to Tipton, Iowa. 
Late the same year the plant was brought to Rock Island, where, till 1918, 
motors were made for the Marron Mfg. Company. In the latter year manu- 
facture of the Phelps farm lighting plant was begun. 

The Phelps factory is the largest in the country exclusively devoted to 
the making of farm light and power equipment. It occupies 40,000 feet of 
floor space, employs 150 men and is capable of producing 100 complete 
plants daily. Phelps plants are being sold all over the United States and in 
foreign countries. The company is capitalized at $800,000 and the officers 
are: R. W. Phelps, president; A. G. Bush, secretary; W. J. Moore, treas- 



The L. Stapp Company, Florists 

For half a century flowers from Stapp's have helped to express the 
deeper feelings of the people of Rock Island and of the Tri-Cities. They 
have added warmth and color and beauty to festivals; they have paid 
tribute to the deserving; they have been offered as evidence of affection and 
loyalty; they have softened the poignant grief of separation. Human 
emotions from the highest to the lowest have responded to their presence 
and their influence for the making of better lives in the community has been 
beyond calculation. 

It has been more than half a century since John Stapp, of German birth, 
and a florist and gardener by training and inclination, established the busi- 
ness which now bears his name. He had a tract of ten acres, in the west end 
of 'Rock Island and there was built the first greenhouse in the city. Always 
he preferred to cultivate flowers, but pioneer Rock Islanders, more prosaic 
than their descendents of this day, preferred to buy vegetables. So at first 
the garden was a more prolific source of revenue than the flower bed, and 
was given correspondingly more space and attention. 

Approximately fifty years ago the site of the present greenhouses on 
Twelfth street was acquired and there a plant has been developed till it is 
the largest exclusively devoted to the production of flowers in the three 
cities, and is exceeded in size only in the larger population centers. Eighteen 
acres of land are cultivated and one-third of the tract is under glass. A 
specialty is made of roses, which few florists attempt to grow extensively. 
About two-thirds of the greenhouse area is devoted to this flower. Produc- 
tion of vegetables was discontinued many years ago. 

Panoramic view of Stapp Greenhous 



L. Stapp, son of the founder of the business, is the present head of the 
company. He grew up in the work, and, like his father, has a special 
aptitude for it. After he attained his majority he became a member of the 
firm, which for a number of years was known as John Stapp & Son. In 
1903 the father retired and in 1916 the present company was incorporated. 

Most of the expansion of the plant and business has taken place under 
the son's management. Year by year the greenhouses have been extended, 
construction always being of the latest and most durable type. During the 
present year (1922) a beautifully appointed family home was erected east of 
the plant on a knoll overlooking the surrounding country. 

In the beginning the Stapp greenhouses catered exclusively to the 
local demand, but in later years a large and steadily growing shipping 
business has been built up, reaching over Illinois and Iowa and even beyond. 
By far the greater part of the output is disposed of at wholesale, though an 
extensive retailing business continues to be done. 

Meeting the practical problems of flower culture and sale involves 
activities on a large scale in many directions. For instance, it requires 
a seven and one-half-ton ice machine to keep the cold storage room at the 
proper temperature. The bill for water alone is $1,000 annually, and it 
requires 2,500 tons of coal a year to heat the greenhouses. Hundreds of 
yards of surface soil are hauled from a nearby tract each season to renew 
the fertility of the flower beds and to guard against the mysterious train 
of evils to highly domesticated plants arising from "soil sickness." About 
thirty men are given steady employment. 

new Stapp residence inserted at left. 



The John P. Hand Company 

The first automobile starting and lighting battery service station opened 
in the Tri-Cities was that of The John P. Hand Company, agent for the Wil- 
lard line. It was established in 1914, in a small store room at Second and Iowa 
streets, Davenport, by the present proprietor. At that time present day 
electrical equipment for automobiles was largely in the experimental stage, 
not over 50,000 cars in the United States being so outfitted. Mr. Hand, 
however, was quick to see the possibilities of the battery business, and so 
allied himself with the Willard company, one of the earliest in the field 

Tri-City Service Stations of John P. Hand Company. Top Davenport. Lower left Rock Island. Lower right Moline. 

and which may now be said to dominate the industry, inasmuch as seventy- 
five percent of all automobile manufacturing concerns in this country 
regularly equip their cars with Willards. 

Under the impetus of a rapidly growing popular demand the Hand 
battery station soon needed more room. In 1916 it occupied its present 
quarters at 315 East Second street, built especially for its use. Two years 
later, for the convenience of ow r ners of Willard-equipped cars in that city, 
the company built its present station at 523-525 Fourteenth street, Moline, 
and in 1920, followed with the one at 2001-2003, Fifth avenue, Rock Island. 

Until the current year (1922), the business was confined to battery sales, 
repairing and service. A starter and generator repair department has now 
been installed in all three cities. 



The Faerber Agency 

Deprived of the opportunity for schooling' at the age of eleven, when 
circumstances compelled him to go to work in his father's meat market, 
A. J. Faerber, like many another American boy, yet found a way to acquire 

an education and win success. To- 
day he is head of one of the largest 
insurance agencies in the state of 
Iowa, and interested in a number of 
leading Davenport business and in- 
dustrial enterprises. 

Mr. Faerber was born on a 
farm in Wood county, Ohio, Nov. 
24, 1877. When seven years of age 
his parents removed to Woodlake, 
Minn. At sixteen the youth started 
out for himself, working with the 
Cudahy Packing Company, of Mil- 
waukee. It did not take him long, 
however, to decide that the insur- 
ance business offered a better field 
for his talents than the meat busi- 
ness did. When seventeen he start- 
ed work for the Prudential Insur- 
ance Company and at eighteen he 
was made inspector, a position he 
held till 1902. Then he removed 
to Davenport. 

In Davenport Mr. Faerber be- 
came one of the organizers of the 
Guaranty Life Insurance Company, 
retaining his interest in that concern till 1911. Then the present general 
agency of the National Life Insurance Company of the United States was 
established and he was appointed to that position. 

Mr. Faerber has been an active promoter of a number of new industries 
in Davenport, being an official in several corporations. He was one of the 
organizers of the Federal System of Bakeries and the Community Oil 
Service Station Company, both of which operate extensively throughout the 
central west. 

Mr. Faerber's public spirit is attested by the fact that he is a past 
president of the Davenport Chamber of Commerce; was long- a member of 
the Greater Davenport Committee; a charter member of the Greater Iowa 
Association, now the Iowa State Chamber of Commerce, holding a director- 
ship in the same; is secretary of the board of trustees of the Y. M. C. A., 
and was County Chairman of the Council of National Defense and Chief 
Justice of the Liberty Loan Court, active during the war. 

A. J. Faerbe 



The Iowa Steam Laundry Company 

Only by the closest attention to detail, prompt 
and satisfactory service and uniform courtesy in 
dealing with the public can a successful laundry 
business be built up. The Iowa Steam Laundry 
Company, of Davenport, has filled these require- 
ments. It has made an unusual success in its field. 
Four laundry establishments, some of them among 
the oldest in the city, have been combined to form 
what is now known as "The Laundry of Quality." 

In 1890 J. K. Buck opened the Electric Laundry 
in the east half of the present plant of the Iowa 
Steam Laundry Company, at 209-215 East Third 

street. For fourteen years he conducted the business, Bert Hayes buying an 

interest in the latter part of his regime. Soon after the launching of the 

Electric concern Miller & Lucas incorporated the 

Iowa Steam Laundry Company and set up busi- 
ness just across the street. C. A. Keeler and J. F. 

Halligan became owners of the Iowa Steam Laundry 

in 1907, and also absorbed the Electric Laundry, Mr. 

Buck retiring and Mr. Hayes coming in as part 

owner. The east half of the present quarters was 

occupied at that time. 

William Pohlmann, now president and treas- 
urer, acquired control of the business in August, 
1908. A year later the upper floor of the building 
at 213-215 East Third street was occupied and then 
the building on the west was added, the lower floor Charles H - Ma r t yn , vice-pr es . and s up t. 
being used as an office and the upper for laundry purposes. Eight 
years ago the Star Laundry was absorbed, and in 1918 the City Steam 
Laundry was purchased from the Belle Fink Company, who had conducted 

it for many years. In December, 1917, the capital 

was increased to $75,000. 

The Iowa Steam Laundry Company does a gen- 
eral laundry business, specializing in bundle work, 
and rough dry and finished family laundry. It has a 
big investment in equipment, which includes prac- 
tically every modern device used in the business. It 
has its own power plant and a water softening ap- 
paratus of large capacity. There is a labor-saving 
machine for nearly every operation in the cleansing, 
drying and ironing of fabrics. The company regu- 
Hansen, Sec. and MgrT" Iarl 7 employs from fifty to sixty persons. 



The M. V. Boies Company 

Perhaps no undertaking business in the state of Iowa dates back as far 
as the M. V. Boies Company, of Davenport, founded in the early forties. 

The first shop of Israel Hall, who established the mortuary, was on 
Brady street between Third and Fourth. Later it was removed to the site 
of the present federal building on Perry street, and in 1910 the M. V. Boies 
firm occupied its present 
quarters at 323 Perry 

Exterior and interior views o: 

M. V. Boies Company 


In the early days Mr. Hall and Mr. Boies made coffins as they were 
needed. As soon as casket manufacturing became standardized a stock of 
metallic and wooden coffins was purchased. About this time a hearse and 
box wagon were bought, being among the first vehicles of this kind in the 

Mr. Boies passed away in 1890, and the extensive business that he had 
built up was then incorporated under the present name, Mrs. Boies being 
president and the son, Warren D. Boies, manager. On the latter's removal 
to Chicago some years ago, his place was taken by Selden Morse Clapp, 
grandson of M. V. Boies, who is now in charge. 

The present quarters are modern in every respect, with offices, casket 
display rooms, a preparation room, a large funeral .chapel, which is ex- 
tensively used, a large garage for rolling stock, and .other adjuncts necessary 
to a modern mortuary. The chapel is finished in fumed oak, with beautiful 
stained glass windows of Gothic design. It seats sixty people, but by 
opening into the reception room accommodations are provided for forty 
more. Mr. Clapp is assisted by two male licensed embalmers and by Mrs. 
Lottie Boies Clapp. also licensed as an embalmer, who looks after the 
department for ladies and children. 


The Moline Paint Mfg. Company 

The Tri-City community, a leading center for the manufacture of imple- 
ments, vehicles and other equipment for farm, shop and domestic use, is 

a heavy consumer of paint, much of it for 
dipping purposes. On the ground and 
catering to this demand is the Moline 
Paint Mfg. Company, of which C. P. 
Skinner is head. 

In 1908 the J. C. Scott Paint Com- 
pany, a Freeport concern of some years 
standing, removed to Moline. Mr. 
Skinner became associated with it as trade 
manager. In April, 1910, interests of the 
stockholders of the firm were purchased 
and the present company incorporated 
with $15,000 capital. 

From the first the present company 
has supplied large quantities of paste 
paints to the big implement-making con- 
cerns of the vicinity, being able, because 
of favorable location, to keep in close 
touch with their needs and to give prompt 
service. Quantity production in this particular line was also of great ad- 
vantage in meeting competition. 

During the last five years the making 
of house paints has been given increasing 
attention, and with results that are highly 
satisfactory. A large percentage of the 
firm's business is now done in this line, 
with sales covering an ever widening field. 

Direct distribution to the consumer 
is contemplated in plans that are well ad- 
vanced at the time this is written. This 
method, with the return of normal busi- 
ness conditions, is expected to result in 
a very material increase in output and the 
expansion of the concern's facilities. 

Officers of the Moline Paint Com- 
pany are : 

President Charles P. Skinner. 
Vice-President M. C. Skinner. 
Secretary and Manager W. C. Skinner. 
Treasurer Charles D. Rosenfield. 

Charles P. Skinner, President 

W. C. Skinner, Secretary and Manager 



The Maehr Company 

The Maehr confectionery and bakery is the oldest in point of contin- 
uous service in the city of Davenport. It was founded in 1887 by Frank 
Maehr, a candy maker by trade, and a native of the community. Throughout 
the years of ceasless change in 
methods of manufacturing and sell- 
ing confectionery goods, the firm 
has kept abreast of the times and 
maintained its reputation for the 
high class of its goods and the 
efficiency and completeness of its 

The first Maehr establishment 
was located at 323 West Third 
street. After two years the busi- 
ness of Ed. Brehmer at 110 West 
Second street was purchased and 
the premises there occupied. Here 
Mr. Maehr specialized in the mak- 
ing of cream pie, the excellence of 
which did much to bring his busi- 
ness into general notice and to 
build up a lasting patronage. 

As the business became well 
established Mr. Maehr branched out 
into the manufacture of candies, 
fitting up the second floor of his 

building for that purpose. This department has steadily grown, as Maehr 
candies found favor in an ever widening field. 

Four of the five sons of Mr. Maehr saw service in France during the 
World War. The fifth, Walter P. Maehr, conducted the business, which he 
and two of his brothers had taken over in 1916. 

Store No. 2, located at 316 West Third street, to which the business was 
removed in 1919, is one of the best equipped confectioneries in the west. 
The first floor is used for retailing, and a high class cafe is conducted. The 
second floor is devoted to the manufacture of bakery goods and candy. 

Not only does the Maehr Company make its own candy and bakery 
goods, but it manufactures ice cream and sherbets. It has its own ice- 
making plant and laundry, and cooling within the plant is done exclusively 
by means of brine coils. 

The business in August, 1922, was again being managed by Walter P. 
Maehr, formerly with the Terrace Gardens, and now president of the 

Walter P. Maehr 



The Moline Consumers Company 

Thirty-one years ago the Moline Consumers Company, which now deals 
extensively in sand, gravel, cement, ice and coal, had its origin in the 
Channel Ice Company. Two years later, in 1893, James P. Pearson purchased 
a half interest in the business and assumed the management, which he 
retains at the present time. 

Formed in the first place to harvest, store and dispose of ice at whole- 
sale and retail, the company 
has made rapid expansion, 
with several reorganiza- 
tions to broaden its scope 
under the incorporation 
laws of .the State and to 
provide for additional capi- 

Part of Moline Consumers 
Company fleet at 


The first change of name took place in 1898, when the company was in- 
corporated as the Moline Channel Ice Company, with Mr. Pearson president 
and manager. In 1903 the concern branched out into the coal and building- 
material field. Among the building materials were sand and gravel, to handle 
which it was necessary to operate boats and barges. To run the boats to best 
advantage, the company went into the handling of freight and excursions. 
Since the original charter was not drawn to include all these activities, a new 
company, the Moline Sand Company, was formed with capital of $100,000, 
taken from the surplus earnings of the Moline Channel Ice Company. 

The two companies being inter-dependent to a great extent, the 
problem of accounting became a difficult one, and it was finally decided to 
consolidate them under a new and broader charter, which was done in 1917. 



The present name was then adopted, the capital fixed at $200,000, and the 
present officers chosen, as follows: 

President James P. Pearson. 

Vice-President G. A. Shallberg. 

Secretary Charles C. Loptien. 

Assistant Secretary and Treasurer Oscar W. Ellis. 

The properties of the company include a sand and gravel screening plant, 
located between Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth streets, on the river bank 
at Moline, and one at Ottawa, Illinois. The home plant gets its raw material 
from a pit about thirty miles up the Mississippi. Transportation is by water, 

n, President 

the company maintaining two steamboats, pump boats and twelve barges. 
The plant at Ottawa was acquired in 1916, and includes a large tract of land 
underlaid with some of the best gravel in Illinois. The Moline plant has a 
capacity of 700 tons a day, and that at Ottawa of 800 tons. Both are well 
supplied with rail shipping facilities. 

The Moline Consumers Company has reached its present position of 
financial security through able business management and satisfactory and 
consistent public service. Its total business runs into large figures. 

Over fifty thousand barrels of cement, in addition to a great quantity of 
brick, lime and other building materials, are now handled annually. 

The wholesale and retail coal business, in 1920 totaled 24,000 tons. 

Fifty thousand tons of ice were harvested in the winter of 1921-22, being 
stored in the company's houses and disposed of through various channels, 
half of it being used by the Rock Island road in the icing of refrigerator 
and dining cars. 



The Rock Island Southern 

Offering freight and passenger service between the Tri-Cities and 
points directly south, the Rock Island Southern Railway Company connects 
three county seats and taps a territory rich in agricultural resources. Along 
its line are to be found coal mines, brick yards, gravel and sand plants and 
commercialized shale and clay deposits, as well as modern grain elevators 
and adequate stock yards and station shipping facilities. Through the Rock 
Island Southern Railroad Company it has access to Galesburg. At the south 
it connects with the C. B. & Q., the A. T. & S. F. and M. & St. L., at the 
north with the C. R. I. & P., C. B. & Q., C. M. & St. P., and D. R. I. & N. W., 
and at Gilchrist, midway between the two termini, with the C. B. & Q. So 
situated, it stands foremost as a short line railroad in handling diversified 
traffic to the benefit of the entire population tributary to the territory it 

The Galesburg-Monmouth line was built in 1907. It is electrically 
operated, with power station at Cameron. The Monmouth-Rock Island line 
was built in 1908, connecting at Southern junction with the C. R. I. & P., 
whose tracks were used to reach the northern terminus. Recently the 
company took over this road and now operates it exclusively, together with 
the Sherrard and Cable branches. 

Originally the Monmouth-Rock Island line used electricity as its motive 
power, but in 1920 it was transformed into a steam road. 

Snider, Walsh & Hynes 

Nearly fifty years of service is the record of the above insurance, real 
estate and surety* bond firm. Established in 1874, by the late W. H. Snider, 
the agency has ever maintained close relations with Davenport's manufac- 
turing, merchantile and home interests. 

Eugene Walsh and John Hynes have been members since 1915, and both 
are active, not only in their own business but in everything that looks toward 
the advancement of the community. 



Modern Woodmen of America 

On the evening of January 5, 1883, at Lyons, Iowa, Modern Woodmen 
of America came into existence as a fraternal beneficiary society. That was 
the beginning of what is now the world's largest institution of its kind, 
furnishing life insurance protection coupled with fraternal activities. The 
name, Modern Woodmen of America, was selected by the founder after 
listening to a sermon in which reference was made to "woodmen clearing 
away the forest" suggesting useful employment, honorable labor, and prac- 
tical accomplishment. A charter was granted by thd state of Illinois, May 5, 
1884, its business then being confined to six central states. In 40 years' 

Modern Woodmen Hea 

development the organization has been extended to every state of the union 
except two, as well as four provinces of western Canada. The fact that the 
present fundamental law, adopted in the beginning, contemplated and com- 
prised a thoroughly representative form of government in which all members 
of the organization have a voice, has contributed largely to the success and 
popularity of the institution. The fact, also, that its ritual does not interfere 
with a person's religious or political belief likewise contributes to the 
unanimity and harmony of its members. No similar organization has equalled 
or excelled its record of progress and growth. It now has an enrollment in 
over 14,000 local camps of 1,060,000 members, carrying insurance aggregating 

Its financial record includes payment since organization to date of more 
than 160,000 death claims, covering disbursements to beneficiaries of more 
than $278,000,000. Its invested surplus funds on March 1, 1923, aggregated 



over $26,000,000, this record entitling it to be classed as one of the strong 
financial institutions of the age. 

On September 30, 1897, the head office of the organization was located 
in Rock Island. Its main building was completed for occupancy January 11, 
1899, followed by the erection of an annex of similar size in 1905. Both of 
these buildings are owned and occupied exclusively by the Society in 
handling its vast volume of business. 

The main office building and annex contain the offices of Head Clerk 
J. G. Ray; and his force of 200 employees; the offices of General Attorney 
Truman Plantz; Supreme Medical Directors E. A. Anderson and B. E. Jones; 
Investment Department Manager A. N. Bort; Executive Council chamber, 
and private offices of the Head Consul, Head Banker and Directors. 

The general office of A. R. Talbot, Head Consul, is maintained at Lin- 
coln, Nebraska. He is the chief executive officer of the society and as such 
has complete direction of the field forces and organization and promotion 
work. Head Clerk J. G. Ray, of Rock Island, is the chief administrative 
officer, through whose office is transacted all of the financial, accounting and 
administrative work of the organization, involving annual cash receipts of ap- 
proximately $26,500,000, and disbursements on account of death claims, 
averaging 800 monthly, representing about $1,500,000. The Board of Di- 
rectors has charge of the financial management of the Society, and, together 
with the Head Consul and Head Clerk, comprise the Executive Council, or 
governing body of the institution. This Board consists of John D. Volz, 
Chairman, Indianapolis, Indiana; E. E. Murphy, Leavenworth, Kansas; R. R. 
Smith, Kansas City, Missouri; S. S. Tanner, Minier, Illinois; F. R. Korns, 
Des Moines, Iowa; E. J. Bullard, Detroit, Michigan; and F. B. Easterly, 
Denver, Colorado. 

The Publication building, originally erected in 1908, was doubled in 
size through the addition of an annex 4n the latter part of the year 1922. The 

official magazine, with a monthly 
circulation of over 1,080,000 copies, 
the mailing-list and printing de- 
partments, under the supervision of 
Editor John F. Harris, require a 
force of approximately 150 em- 

Modern Woodmen of America 
has always been a patriotic society. 
It waived nonliability in the Span- 
ish-American war of 1898, and paid 
the claims of all soldier members 
who lost their lives in that conflict, 
and this same action was taken dur- 
on Building ing the World war of 1914-18. 





In addition to maintaining local camps or lodges, it has developed one 
of the greatest semimilitary organizations in its Foresters, or uniformed 
drill teams, which feature is of special interest to young men. 

Modern Woodmen of America was the first of the great American 
fraternal beneficiary institutions to recognize and act upon the belief that 
it is the duty and privilege of a fraternal society to save lives as well as to 
pay death benefits ; that it is more beneficial to its membership and to society 
at large to expend thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in saving 
the lives of members, than to pay unavoidable early losses running into the 
millions. Recognizing that pulmonary tuberculosis was a leading 
cause of death in this country, it not only joined as pioneers in the crusade 
devoted to educating the people on preventive measures against the disease, 
but it established an institution to take care of Modern Woodmen suffering 

Sanatorium for treatment of tuberculosis, near Colorado Springs, Colo. 

from it. And so, on January 1, 1909, the great Modern Woodmen of America 
Sanatorium was established and opened at the foot of Mount Cedar, in the 
Pikes Peak range, a few miles north of the Garden of the Gods, in the Colo- 
rado Springs region. Here, at Woodmen, Colorado, was established that 
which has been developed into one of the greatest life-saving institutions in 
the world, where members of Modern Woodmen of America afflicted with 
tuberculosis are treated and cared for free of charge. Here more than 6,000 
patients have been admitted, and the percentage of cures, improvements, and 
arrests of the disease equals almost 60 per cent. Its daily capacity is 240 
patients. Aside from a modest sum realized from voluntary contributions 
by its members, this Sanatorium, which has a property value of more than 
$1,500,000 in its present highly developed form and perfected equipment, 
has been built and is maintained from the General fund of the Society, to 
which each member contributes for that purpose not to exceed 5 cents per 



Crane Co. 

On the fourth day of July, 1855, Mr. R. T. Crane made the first cast- 
ing in a little frame building in Chicago which started a business that has 
developed steadily until today Crane Co. stands a leader in its specialized 

Davenport Branch of Crane Co. 

field of power plant piping, sanitation and heating equipment, with branch 
houses, warehouses, sales offices, exhibit rooms, and manufacturing plants 
in 140 cities throughout the world. 

The complete Crane line consists of many thousands of articles, such 
as valves, pipe fittings and steam specialties used in piping equipment for 
steam, water, gas, air, oil, chemicals, ammonia in fact "anything for any 
pipe line." In addition to these products the Crane line includes sanitation 
and heating materials for buildings of all kinds and sizes. 

The completeness of the Crane line, coupled with the company's high 
standard of business ethics, and the maintaining of manufacturing facil- 
ities to meet the growing demands of the trade, have brought Crane goods 
into world-wide use. 

The Davenport branch w r as established in 1912, and, like other Crane 
branches, is prepared to serve its surrounding territory with everything 
required for the piping and sanitation equipment of industrial, commer- 
cial and private enterprises. 

An added feature of the Davenport branch is a beautiful exhibit room 
on the first floor 'equipped with a representative line of Crane products, 
and maintained for the convenience of architects, engineers, dealers, and 
prospective builders. A cordial welcome awaits the visitor. 



The Purity Oats Company 

With 250 employes, a factory payroll of $200,000 annually and an in- 
vestment in Davenport of one and one-half millions of dollars, the Purity 
Oats Company is one of the substantial industries of the Tri-Cities. Its 
output is distributed all over the United States, and large quantities are ex- 
ported, especially to Europe. 

Nine thousand carloads of manufactured goods are shipped annually, 
when working to capacity. In addition to oat products, stock, poultry and 
other feeds are made. The capacity is 1,200 barrels of rolled oats, 225 bar- 
rels of corn meal and 300 tons of feed a day. 

The Purity Oats Company started in business in Keokuk, Iowa, in 1909. 
From the first it put an improved product on the market. It had a better 
system of removing all the hull and it originated the "toasty nut flavor," 
which is still a distinctive feature of its rolled oats. It also was the first to 
pack its goods in the cylindrical pasteboard container, or "can," which is 
proof against weevils and makes it possible for a merchant to carry a stock 
for months without deterioration. 

The Davenport plant was opened in 1913, with 500 barrels daily capacity. 
In 1909 the company became affiliated with the American Hominy Company 
and the factory was enlarged to its present size. 

The American Hominy Company is the largest manufacturer of corn 
cereals, such as corn meal and cracked and flake hominy, in the world. It 
has eight plants, five handling corn, one wheat and two oats, the second 
oatmeal factory being the one at Keokuk. 


The Davenport Clearing House Association 

(By Albert J. Jansen) 

The Davenport Clearing House Association was organized in 1895, the 
first actual business being the exchange of checks on Tuesday, September 3, 
of that year. Before the association was formed the banks were compelled to 
spend an unnecessary amount of time on certain work, such as the routine 
business of exchanging checks drawn by the customers of the various banks 
on other banks in the city. Through the association this was done in a 
much more satisfactory manner, the clerks of the different banks meeting 
at the Clearing House daily. 

The association also immediately proved of value in the financial trans- 
actions of the city and county treasurer, which from that time have been 
managed by all the banks, acting together. 

First officers of the association were : President, F. H. Griggs ; vice 
president, I. H. Sears; secretary and manager, Charles Pasche. 

The first president and vice president served for five years, and the 
manager one year. During the entire history of the association the man- 
agers have changed every year, because the office of the association rotated 
from one -bank to another and the cashier or other official of the bank used 
as headquarters has been chosen as manager. 

The Clearing House Association has a very gratifying record to look 
back upon, for during the 28 years that it has been in existence the banks 
of Davenport have been more and more looked upon as leaders in conser- 
vative and yet progressive banking. The high standing which our banks 
hold through the state of Iowa and surrounding states is proverbial. No de- 
positor in one of them ever has lost a penny. 

During the war, when the government found it necessary to raise enor- 
mous sums of money, the Clearing House was useful for the purpose of 
getting the subscriptions for Liberty loans and to enable the people of 
the community to pay the amount subscribed in a convenient way. 

The effectiveness of this organization had much to do with the fact 
that while Scott county was expected to subscribe $16,000,000 for the five 
Liberty loans issued, it actually did subscribe $22,000,000 and the total 
number of subscribers was over 90,000. During this period, and after the 
war, when the government issued certificates of indebtedness running for 
a short time, the Clearing House did its best to help secure the necessary 

The eight banks affiliating with the association are the First National, 
American Commercial & Savings, Davenport Savings, Scott County Sav- 
ings, Iowa National, Union Savings, Citizens Trust & Savings, and Security 
Savings. There are in the city besides four non-member banks. 

Present officers of the association are: President, E. J. Dougherty; 
vice president, I. J. Green; secretary and manager, Herman Oetzman. 



A Davenport Builder and Some of His Work 


* ^^ 

Upper left, Putnam building. Upper right, W. C. Putnam. Below, Department Store building. 


W. C. Putnam Estate 

One of the noteworthy blocks of buildings through the whole history 
of Davenport has been that on the north side of Second street between 
Brady and Main. When Antoine LeClaire laid out his first addition in 
1839, he built at the corner of Second and Main the LeClaire House, famous 
all through the pioneer days. He extended the buildings on to Brady 
street, the stores being known as LeClaire Row and the public hall as Le- 
Claire Hall. Later on the hotel was known as the Newcomb House and the 
stores as Velie Block. 

W. C. Putnam bought the property in 1895, borrowing money to do so. 
Mr. Putnam, who had managed the property for the owners, as his father 
had done before him, knew its possibilities. He also had confidence in the 
city, and immediately began improving and developing the property. 

When Mr. Putnam died, in 1906, he left his entire estate in trust for 
the benefit of the Davenport Academy of Sciences, subject to certain reason- 
able payments to his brothers and sister in lieu of their statutory fees as 
trustees and to a life interest in the homestead to his sister. In addition 
he left for the institution his art collections and his art, history and science 

The institution selected as the beneficiary of the estate was founded 
by a group of scientific men back in 1867. It has had an interesting history, 
building up scientific collections, conducting explorations, especially of 
"mounds," publishing proceedings, bringing lecturers to the city, cooperat- 
ing with schools in advancing scientific education, and carrying on various 
activities in the fields of science, history and art. Instead of a group of 
scientific men, it has developed into a public museum. 

In order that the institution should have an assured income for the 
future, Mr. Putnam made his gift in the form of a permanent trust fund, 
the principal of which must remain intact, only the income being at any 
time available. The bulk of the trust fund was invested in the half block 
already described, in the center of the business district of Davenport. On 
this property there still remained a considerable portion of the loan Mr. 
Putnam made for its purchase. Mr. Putnam directed that the half block 
should not be sold by the trustees but that the old buildings should be re- 
placed by modern fireproof structures. This the trustees have been doing 
as rapidly as the situation warranted. In 1910 an eight-story office building 
was put up at the corner of Second and Main streets and in 1922 a corres- 
ponding department store building at the corner of Second and Brady. By 
the time the remaining center portion of the property is rebuilt and the 
necessary building loans retired, the trust will produce a large annual in- 
come for the museum and art gallery. 



The Photo Art Engraving & Electrotyping 


With a few exceptions, the half tones printed in this book illustrating 
the story of Rock Island Arsenal and of the Tri-Cities and their commer- 
cial and industrial institutions, are the work of the Photo Art Engraving & 

Electrotyping Company. This concern al- 
so made many of the photographs, retouch- 
ed others, arranged the groupings and did 
other art work connected with the publi- 

Established originally to specialize in 
newspaper photography, zinc etchings and 
halftones, the company has rapidly expand- 
ed to include all branches of commercial 
photo engraving and creative art in the 
preparation of catalogue and magazine il- 
lustrations and color plates. It found in 
the Tri-Cities a fine field for its activities. 
When it began doing business in 1910 all 
art and photo engravings produced for Tri- 
City concerns was sent to other cities. Now 
comparatively little is done elsewhere. 
Prompt, dependable and efficient service 
tells the story. The advantage of having 
work of this sort done at home, where it 
can be closely supervised by patrons, is ob- 

Lynn H. Ewing 

Much of the business of the Photo Art company originates with the 
big implement, automobile and other local industrial concerns. In the last 
decade there has been a vast increase in the use of pictures to sell goods, 
and color work is being more and more employed because of the realistic 
effects that are possible with the progressive improvement of the art of the 
photo engraver and printer. 

The Photo Art Engraving Company first occupied a small shop at 1517, 
Second avenue, Rock Island. In 1912 it removed to 2010 Third avenue, 
where it had more room and where, the following year, an electrotype 
foundry was installed. In 1917 Lynn H. Ewing, present head of the con- 
cern, who was secretary of the original company, purchased the controlling 
interest and the name was changed to the present form. 

Crowded for room for the third time, the company in 1920 removed to 
1532 Third avenue, Moline, where it has 10,000 feet of floor space and its 
capacity has been increased until it now employs a force of 24 men. 


Seaman Paper Company of Minnesota, Inc. 

Twenty years ago Ben F. Newhouse, then representing the Seaman 
Paper Company of Chicago, made his first trip into the Tri-City territory. 
Ever alert to find opportunities for marketing the products of the large 
concern with which he was affiliated, he quickly formed a true estimate of 
the present buying power and future possibilities of Rock Island, Moline 
and Davenport and surrounding territory, with the result that he then and 
there resolved to give close personal attention to supplying the paper needs 
of this particular field. This he has done throughout the intervening 
years, and even now, despite the fact that eight years ago he incorporated 
the Seaman unit in Minnesota, now known as the Seaman Paper Company 
of Minnesota, he still makes his regular trips to this locality. Even though 
the Tri-Cities are not in the Minneapolis territory, Mr. Newhouse finds 
much pleasure in returning periodically to his many business friends here, 
taking care of their ever-increasing needs for the kind of paper distributed 
by Seaman. 

The Seaman organization consists of five major corporations, with head-- 
quarters in Chicago, New York, Minneapolis, Detroit and St. Louis. These 
five units control branches located in Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Cleveland, 
Toledo, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Boston, Kansas City, Nashville, New Or- 
leans, St. Paul and Des Moines. 

A number of the country's largest paper mills, with an output aggregat- 
ing almost two and one-half millions of pounds daily, depend upon the 
Seaman organization for the absorption of their tremendous tonnage. More 
than thirty national magazines depend upon Seaman for their paper, not 
forgetting, of course, the thousands of printers and newspapers which also 
find in the Seaman organization a trustworthy source of supply. 

During the World War Seaman took a leading part in supplying the 
government with paper for the targets made at Rock Island Arsenal and 
distributed to all army cantonments in this country. A special quality of 
paper was used for this purpose and many carloads of it were delivered at 
the Arsenal. The paper handled by this organization includes all grades 
and adapted to all purposes for which paper is used. 

Consumption of paper in the Tri-City district has made a remarkable 
increase in the years since Mr. Newhouse secured his first order in that 
field. It is a tribute to his ability, integrity and enterprise, as well as to 
the high class of the product which he distributes, that the Seaman organi- 
zation has more than held its own in the competition for the privilege of 
supplying this market. 



Davenport's Leading Hotels 

Citizens, statesmen and representatives of the United States Govern- 
ment, when visiting Rock Island Arsenal, either for business or for pleasure, 
always voice their praise for the splendid hotel accommodations offered by 
the Tri-Cities' leading hotels. Hotel 
Blackhavvk is a model fireproof building 
containing 400 guest rooms, each equipped 
with private bath, toilet, and circulating 
ice water and with servidor service, also 
offering a fine cafe and coffee shop. Hotel 
Davenport has 155 fireproof rooms, about 
100 of which have private bath. The Dav- 
enport Grille is also a popular eating place. 
These splendid hotels are operated by the 
Miller Hotel Company, an Iowa concern, 
also operating Hotels Fort Des Moines and 
Savery, in Des Moines, and the Hotel Han- 
ford, at Mason City. 

The catering facilities of Hotel Black- 
hawk are equal, if not superior, to those 
of any hotel in the country, and its large 
lounge, Mezzanine floor and ball room 
have furnished a magnificent setting for 
many charming social affairs held in Dav- 

Hotel Blackhawk, Davenport 

The high standard of hotel service and cuisine maintained in the Miller 
hotels sets a pace for quality, and the hotels operated by this company are 
easily among the most "talked of" and certainly the best "thought of" hotels 
in the country. Residents in the Tri-Cities are mighty proud of these hotels 

and take pride in recommending 
them to their friends, and it nat- 
urally follows that visitors look 
forward with delight to their so- 
journ at Hotel Blackhawk and Ho- 
tel Davenport, because they are 
clean, wholesome and well man- 
aged. These hotels are finding 
increasing favor with automobile 
parties, especially those on week- 
end outings from Chicago and 
other large centers, who come to 
visit Rock Island Arsenal and 

Hot.) Davenport. Davenport Other local attractions. 



The Don Sales Company 

Distributors for the Reo line in sixteen Illinois and Iowa counties, the 
Don Sales Company is one of the largest automobile agencies in the Tri- 
City community, maintaining establishments in 
Rock Island, 111., and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

Elbert G. Don, founder of the concern, is a 

son of the late David Don, a pioneer Rock Island 

merchant, who dealt in hardware, stoves, etc., and 

who retired in 1908, after an honorable career of 

half a century as a retailer. The son was one of 

the first in Rock Island to make the selling of 

automobiles a business, and his was the first sales- 
room in the city. He has been in the game since 

1909, having handled several standard makes of 

cars. For more than a de- 
cade he has been in busi- 
ness for himself, latterly on Fourth avenue be- 
tween Seventeenth and Eighteenth streets, where 
in 1920 he purchased the Fred Sauermann build- 
ing, which is the company's present home. 

The Reo agency was secured in 1916. The 
Don Sales Company was formed in 1917, Arno J. 
Tremann, also a member of an old Rock Island 
family, becoming interested. The Cedar Rapids 
branch, which was opened in 1919, is in charge of 

Elbert G. Don 

Arno J. Tremann 

Mr. Tremann. 

The Como Hotel 

Under the management of L. V. F. 
Moore, who became its proprietor in 1921, 
the Como Hotel, Eighteenth street and Third 
avenue, Rock Island, has acquired a reputa- 
tion for good service at reasonable rates 
which has brought it into high favor with 
transients visiting the Tri-Cities. The Como 
has 105 rooms. It is modern, and convenient- 
ly located. 


The Eckman Studio 

A number of the best illustrations in 
this book are products of the Eckman 

Studio, located 
in the Fort Arm- 
strong" theatre 
building, Rock 
Island. Quarters 
it occupies were 
especially plan- 
ned for Mr. Eck- 
man at the time 
the building was 
constructed and 
are thoroughly 
modern, as well 
as centrally lo- 

John Eckman, Photographic Artist 


The Rock Island Sand and Gravel Company 

The Rock Island Sand & Gravel Company was organized and received 
a certificate of incorporation from the Secretary of State of Illinois on 
April 17th, 1902, to conduct a business for the production of sand and gravel, 
and to deal in mason supplies and coal. They started out with a small 
pump boat and towing boat combined and several small barges. In 1906 a 
larger boat was necessary, and from year to year new and larger barges 
were built. In 1910 a locomotive crane was installed on the levee between 
Nineteenth and Twentieth streets and hoppers and concrete wall were built 
to facilitate the handling of their products. 

The increased demand for screened and washed sand and gravel justified 
this company installing a washing and screening plant, which plant was 
built in the spring of 1922, at Mill street and Twenty-first avenue, Rock 
Island. This plant has a capacity of 1000 tons per day. 

The officers of this company are Chas. J. Larkin, president, George H. 
Richmond, vice-president; Wm. M. McConochie, treasurer; and H. J. Larkin, 
secretary and general manager. 



Mercy Hospital, Davenport 

The Catholic Messenger 

The Catholic Messenger was established in Davenport, Iowa, in 1882, 
by the late Thomas L. Sharon. After his death in 1888 the management was 
assumed by his brother, Fred B. Sharon, who is still in charge as publisher. 
The Messenger is the official organ of the Catholic Diocese of Davenport 
and of its Bishop, Rt. Rev. James Davis. For many years after its founding 
it was the only Catholic paper published in Iowa. It maintains all depart- 
ments necessary for a first-class family newspaper. It covers besides all the 
world's news affecting the church, Catholic activities in the social, political, 
economic and industrial fields. 

The Messenger is affiliated with the National Catholic Welfare Council 
and uses its extensive news service, through which it obtains the latest and 
most reliable news of the church throughout the world, gathered by its 
efficient correspondents. The Messenger is also a member of the Catholic 
Press Association. It is published weekly at a subscription rate of $2.50 
per year. 

The present staff of the Messenger consists of Fred B. Sharon, pub- 
lisher; E. M. Sharon, editor; M. E. Sharon, city editor, and C. L. Stebbins, 
advertising manager. 






Map of Tri-City Community 

Showing central location of Rock Island Arsenal with reference to the 
cities of Rock Island, Davenport, Moline, East Moline, Bettendorf and su- 
burban territory. 





Area in square miles 38.4 

Population (1920) 138,000 

Percentage of increase in last decade 42.4 

Average percentage of increase in six decades 40.5 

Assessors' valuation of property. (1922) $133,000,000 

Total bank resources (Dec. 29, 1922) $95,635,128 

Total bank deposits $77,146,425 

Combined postal receipts for 1922 $962,216 

Approximate number of industries 350 

Number of industrial workers 20,000 

Capital invested in industry $225,000,000 

Number of homes 30,000 

Number of owned homes : 20,000 

Percentage of native born whites 78 

Miles of paved streets 261 

Miles of railroad tracks in city limits 256 

Carload lots of freight received and forwarded in 1922 84,524 

Miles of municipal frontage on navigable water 16 

Largest center between Chicago and Vast waterpower available in Mississip- 

Omaha, St. Louis and Twin-Cities. 
Main eastern gateway to Iowa and 

western gateway to northern Illinois. 
Served by three great railroad systems 

and eight branches, anil by two 


and Kock rivers, and coal deposits 
near at hand. 

Greatest agricultural implement manu- 
facturing center in the world, and 
products of a score of Tri-City in- 
dustries are marketed abroad. 



City of Rock Island 

Population (1920 census) 35,177. 

Area ten square miles. 

Total banking resources (Dec. 29, 1922) 


Postal receipts (1922) $259,684. 
Miles of streets 127. 
Miles of pavement 67. 
Miles of sewers 53. 
Miles of water mains 56. 
Miles of street railway tracks 28.7. 
Miles of main line railroad tracks 13.2. 
Miles of other railroad tracks 33.7. 
Number of homes in city 7,910. 
Number of owned homes 4,336. 
Acreage of parks 83.5. 
Assessed valuation of property (1922) $12,- 


Municipal appropriations for fiscal year 1922 

Bonded indebtedness of municipality (close 

of 1922) $82,000. 

Served by main lines of three railroad sys- 
tems, C. R. I. & P., C. B. & Q. and 

C. M. & St. P. 
Has four-mile frontage on navigable stream 

and water freight outlets south and east. 
Midway between Chicago on east, and Pes 
Moines on west, Twin-Cities on north and 

St. Louis on south. 
Elevation above sea level 585 feet. 
Percentage of population native born whites 

Seat of most densely populated county in 

state except Cook. 
One of four adjoining cities with combined 

population of 150,000. 

OCK ISLAND is a healthy, growing American city of 35,000 souls. 
Its location and general facilities are ideal for purposes of com- 
merce and industry. Its social advantages are such as men every- 
where are seeking. Its scenic features are unexcelled in the upper 
Mississippi valley. Its past is rich in historic lore. Its present 

is full of throbbing human interest. Its future holds a promise than which 

none is more bright. 

As part of a community composed of four adjoining cities which, with 
their suburbs, have a combined population of 150,000, it is able to offer 
inducements not found outside of the larger centers. 

In presenting Rock Island's points of excellence it is not necessary 
to indulge in extravagant statements. Its people are content to rest their 
cause on a plain recital of the facts. Facts also give a basis for comparison 
much more satisfactory than any free-hand sketch could offer. 

Rock Island occupies a point of land formed by the junction of Rock 
river with the Mississippi. On the north and west it has a frontage of 
more than four miles on navigable water. Rock river is on the south and 
Moline on the east. Across the Mississippi at the north is Davenport. 
Lying opposite the east half of the city is the island from which its name 
was taken and which is occupied by the greatest Arsenal and military 
storehouses in the world. Here is assembled the largest amount of govern- 
ment property anywhere in the United States outside of Washington, D. 
C. The official inventory shows a value of more than $350,000,000. 

On the banks of the river are the main lines and terminals of three 
great railroad systems, having belt line connections with all parts of the 
business and industrial sections of the city, and, with the several branches 
centering here, giving unexcelled transportation service in all directions. 


The country round about is rich in agricultural resources and highly 
developed. A number of permanent highways giving access to it already 
have been built and an aggressive policy of improvement is being pursued. 

The Mississippi and its navigable tributaries offer the advantages of 
water transportation, while the Illinois and Mississippi canal, otherwise 
known as the Hennepin, connecting with the latter stream just south of the 
mouth of Rock River, opens a way east to the Great Lakes for water-borne 
freight. The Mississippi at this point is spanned by two bridges, one used 
exclusively by two railroad systems and the other a combination two-deck, 
double-track structure, the largest in point of carrying capacity north of 
St. Louis. 

Rock Island has a population, according to the 1920 census, of 35,177, 
an increase over 1910 of 10,842, or 44.6 per cent. The average increase by 
decades in the last 70 years has been 61.5 per cent, with a minimum of 16.9 
and a maximum of 199.8 per cent, shown in 1860. The city is the seat of 
government of Rock Island county, having a population of 92,297 and 
averaging 217 people to the square mile, a density of population not 
equalled in the state outside of Cook county. The adjoining counties of 
Whiteside, Henry and Mercer, together with Rock Island, have a total 
population of 192,433, an increase in the ten years prior to 1920 of 11 per 
cent. Rock Island county's increase from 1910 to 1920 was 31.1 per cent 
and its average increase by decades over a period of 30 years has been 30 
per cent. 

Twenty million people live within a radius of 300 miles of Rock Island. 

There is no more accurate index of a city's greatness than the record of 
its postal receipts. In Rock Island's case a vigorous and steady growth 
is indicated. The totals, taken approximately for five-year periods from 
1889, are as follows: 

1889 .. ._ $ 23,376 

E5 28,930 

1900 64,894 

1905 80,523 

1910 143,804 

1915 158,710 

1920 240,919 

1922 259,684 

Increase in business and resources of the six banks of Rock Island also 
testifies to the city's expansion in commercial and industrial lines. This 
was only slightly affected by the war and was not materially reduced after 
its close, as bank statistics for 1913, 1919 and 1922 given below will show: 

Capital Surplus and Loans and Total 

Stock Profits Investments Deposits Resources 

Feb. 5, 1913 $ 900,000 .$ 710,311.80 $ 8,001,306.20 $ 8,767.448.14 $10,563.072.90 

March 4, 1919 !KX),000 978.893.67 12,963,133.43 13,659,043.09 1 ,141,674.73 

Dec. 29, 1922 1,000,000 1,147,080.68 15,144,577.80 15,298,762.43 17,915,569.58 

Rock Island's area is ten square miles, of which seven and one-half 
square miles are platted, and two and one-half acre property. Within its 


limits there are six parks totaling 8>3 l / 2 acres. One of these, Douglas park, 
centrally located and city owned, has 12 acres and is dedicated to outdoor 
sports having a fully-equipped baseball diamond, with 5,000 seating capacity. 
The parks are well distributed so that people living in all parts of the city 
may enjoy their use. 

Public improvements in Rock Island are up to standard and additions 
to them are being made at a rate which shows a normal increase year by 
year. There are 127 miles of streets, of which 67 are paved. Originally 
most of the paving was of brick, but asphalt has rapidly come into favor in 
late years. An extensive resurfacing program has been undertaken and is 
partly completed. The mileage of sidewalks is more than double that of 
the paved streets. Standard specifications are followed in laying paving 
and walks and inspection is thorough. 

The city has a municipal water plant valued at one and one-half millions 
of dollars. Raw water from the Mississippi is purified by the most ap- 
proved processes. The filters, sedimentation and storage basins are located 
on the bluff, giving the business part of the city on the flat below the 
benefit of gravity pressure. Pressure for the hill district is provided by a 
standpipe 125 feet high. The capacity of the plant is 6,000,000 gallons daily 
and there is abundant room for enlargement. Water rates are unusually 
low, the minimum meter rate being 70 cents per month, with 14 cents per 
hundred for the first 10,000 cubic feet each quarter and a graduated scale, 
water in excess of 40,000 gallons per quarter being furnished for 6 cents 
per hundred. There is also a flate rate. The waterworks is on a paying 
basis and practically debt-free. There are 56y 2 miles of water mains and 
53 miles of sewers. Topographical conditions make satisfactory drainage 
by gravity possible in all parts of the city. 

Public utilities give good service at rates comparing favorably with 
those in other cities of Rock Island's class. Proximity of Moline and 
Davenport, with unified ownership and management of most utilities, affords 
marked advantages both in service and cost to patrons. The combined 
street railway system of the tri-cities long has been accounted one of the 
very best in the country, and the superior facilities of the electrical and 
gas plants are attested by the manner in which the World War emergency 
was met. This community was the only one in the United States, with 
the single exception of Chicago, where the placing of war orders was not 
limited on account of an insufficient supply either of gas or power, or both. 

The Tri-City Railway company has 28.7 miles of track in Rock Island, 
and its repair shops and its largest car barns are in the city. Its single 
fare rate is 10 cents, but identification cards are sold monthly for 50 cents, 
giving the purchaser the privilege of riding for a nickel. 

There are 453 miles of single wire powier distribution lines in the city 
and 200.3 miles of gas mains of 3-inch equivalent. The power rate is 6 cents 


per kilowatt hour for the first 50 kilowatt hours per month and a graduated 
scale down to 1.5 cent for 100,000 or more kilowatt hours per month. The 
light rate is 8 cents for the first 50 kilowatt hours and 4 cents for all current 
in excess of 3,050 kilowatt hours per month. The gas rate is $1.30 per 
thousand for the first 100,000 cubic feet and $1 for all gas used in excess of 
500,000 cubic feet per month. The number of electric customers was 8,897 
and of gas customers 7,709 at the close of 1922. 

The Illinois Bell Telephone company has 6,300 telephones in operation 
in the city, seventy per cent being residence stations. The residence rate 
for individual lines is $4 per month and the business rate $8, with free 
connection with the adjoining cities. 

It may be added that the policy of the utility companies always has 
been progressive, anticipating and encourging expansion of the city. This 
has been especially true of the Tri-City Railway Company. 

Rock Island is served by the main east and west line of the C. R. I. & P., 
better known as the "Rock Island" road; the Chicago-Kansas City line of 
the C. M. & St. P., and the main St. Louis-St. Paul line of the C. B. & Q. 
The first named operates a branch from the city to Peoria, and the Rock 
Island Southern taps the rich country to the south, reaching Monmouth and 
Galesburg. Two of the city's railroad terminals are in the business district 
and the third is within easy reach of it. Railroad tracks, for the most part, 
occupying the river bank, exceptional facilities for transfer of freight to 
and from boats are afforded and dangerous crossings are few. There are 
in the city 13.2 miles of main railroad line and 33.7 miles of other tracks, 
including yards of the C. R. I. & P., the C. B. & Q. and the Rock Island 

Assessed valuation of property in Rock Island for 1922 was $12,417,875. 
This is about half of the actual valuation. The 1921 tax rate was $6.74 per 
hundred dollars. Of this $2.54 was for city and $2.75 for school purposes. 
The city's bonded indebtedness at the close of 1922 was $82,000, or only 
about one-eighth of the maximum allowed by law. The school bonded 
indebtedness was $400,000. 

With its location, transportation facilities and other advantages Rock 
Island offers unexcelled opportunities for commercial and industrial de- 
velopment. It does a brisk business in wholesaling and retailing. Two 
million people live within a radius of 100 miles. The manufacturing enter- 
prises within its limits number about fifty, with a combined invested capital 
of more than $15,000,000 and with 3,500 male and 500 female workers, these 
being the figures for 1922. The output of its factories includes agricultural 
implements, lumber products, tractors, oil cloth and textiles, stoves, registers 
and '.furnaces, hardware and plumbing specialties, structural steel, farm 
lighting plants, paints, electrical fixtures, men's clothing, rubber footwear, 


candies, automobile accessories and pipe organs. These are in addition 
to the products of Rock Island Arsenal shops, in which many Rock Island 
workmen are employed. Rock Island has abundant room for factory ex- 
pansion, with sites level and low in price, reached by street cars from the 
business district in ten minutes, and on paved streets. Belt line railway 
service, and in some cases water transportation, is available. 

With its neighboring cities, Rock Island shares the advantages of water 
power afforded by rapids in both the Mississippi and Rock rivers. With 
a minimum flow of the two streams there is a potential energy of 100,000 
horse power, of which little more than one-tenth has been developed. 
Possibilities in this direction greatly enhance the industrial prestige of the 
community. Large quantities of fuel within a radius of 60 miles make prac- 
tical location of auxiliary power plants at the mines, with economical elec- 
trical transmission. Coal in commercial quantities is mined near enough 
to be delivered by truck, while three railroad lines bring supplies from the 
great bituminous fields of central and southern Illinois. 

Labor conditions, from the standpoint of both employer and employe, 
are exceptionally good. Diversity of industry gives a variety of training, 
and skilled workmen are available for nearly all standard lines of manufac- 
turing. What Rock Island happens to lack usually may be found in adjoin- 
ing cities. On the other hand, the worker failing to find a job at his trade 
in Rock Island may secure one within easy reach in one of the other 
municipalities, and so unemployment is materially lessened. There has 
been a marked freedom from serious labor troubles, wages compare favor- 
ably with those elsewhere, and the cost of living is below the average in 
communities offering equal advantages. The Tri-City Federation of Labor, 
with an affiliating membership of between seven and eight thousand, includ- 
ing 63 unions, maintains headquarters in Rock Island. There is no pre- 
dominating foreign element in the city. Eighty-two and six-tenths per cent 
of the people are native born, and of the others northern European strains 
form a large majority. 

In the distribution of its many fine homes Rock Island is unusually 
democratic. It has no exclusive residence district, perhaps because there is 
nqi one part of the city preeminently favored for that purpose. There are 
so many good locations and builders of the better class of houses have made 
their own selections according to individual tastes. Latterly there has been 
a disposition to favor the bluffs, of which there are several miles overlooking 
the Mississippi and Rock river valleys. Exceptional opportunities for 
landscaping are afforded, with the option of northern, western or southern 
views of valleys and streams, and wooded hills in the back ground. Most 
of the city is built on the level bottom land but the hill district is growing 
rapidly. One may place his home in the valley, on the hillside or on the 
level upland, 150 feet above the river. He may locate it in the open to get 
maximum sunshine, or among the natural forest trees, as he elects. A few 


sites remain within convenient walking distance of the business center. All 
residence localities are well served by trolley lines. 

In Rock Island the home owning class is in the majority. There are 
4,313 rented homes and 4,336 owned, according to a late survey. Of the 
owned homes 2,347 are free from encumbrance. 

Building ordinances enforced for a number of years have checked the 
tendency to cheapen construction as building costs advanced and a better 
class of moderate priced homes has resulted. The rate of building has 
been fairly uniform year after year. In 1922, which was somewhat below 
normal, 120 new dwellings were erected and the total expenditure for 
buildings was $1,624,621. There are two building and loan associations in 
the city and the banks pursue a policy calculated to encourage the construc- 
tion of homes. Rents range rather lower than in other cities of the same 
class, the average for an ordinary five-room house being about thirty dollars 
per month. There are no slum districts in the city. 

Rock Island never has been wanting in appreciation of the importance 
of its public schools. Like most other growing cities, it has had a problem 
in keeping its school building program up with the increase in juvenile 
population, but it is believed that a permanent solution now has been reached 
and that henceforth there will be ample room. Since the World War the 
people have! voted additional revenue to meet the greatly increased cost' of 
building and conducting the schools. Most of the needs of the outlying 
sections have now been met and means are in sight to provide another large 
high school. The city schools are conducted under a special charter which 
gives some advantages not conferred under the general law. School affairs 
are administered by a non-partisan board of education. School sites have 
been purchased on favorable terms in districts which were in process of being 
settled and in other ways the needs of the public have been anticipated so 
far as was possible. 

There are fifteen grade schools, high school and manual arts school in 
the city's system. Three of the grade schools are departmental. In addi- 
tion there are half a dozen denominational schools with a combined attend- 
ance of more than 700. The recent growth of the public school system is 
best shown by comparative statistics on attendance and expenditures: 

Attendance: 19144,440, 19194,975, 19225,685. 
Expenditures: 1914 $292,749, 1919 $303,096, 1922 $396,672. 

The public schools employ 181 teachers and the value of school prop- 
erty is placed at $1,296,410, of which $980,179 is in buildings, $172,542 in 
lands and $115.975 in equipment. 

Augustana College is the principal school maintained by the Augustana 
Lutheran Synod of North America, embracing practically all of the United 


States. It occupies thirty-six acres of land at the edge of the bluff in the 
east end of Rock Island and its buildings and grounds represent a value of 
nearly a million dollars. Its students number 1,000 men and women and it 
has graduated an equal number into the ministry. 

Villa de Chantal is a girl's boarding and day school, with primary and 
advanced departments, conducted by the Sisters of the Visitation, a Roman 
Catholic order. Its students come from many states. 

Organizations for the promotion of spiritual welfare are liberally sup- 
ported in Rock Island. A careful survey indicates a church affiliation of 
eighty per cent of the population. A healthy interest is maintained in all 
the auxiliary lines of religious endeavor. There are twenty-five Protestant 
churches, including practically all denominations, five Roman Catholic 
churches and three Jewish synagogues. The Y. M. C. A., occupying a fine 
new home, has a membership of 665 and the Y. W. C. A. a membership of 

There are a number of benevolent institutions. St. Anthony's hospital, 
conducted by the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, is a 150- 
bed institution, and most of it is. new and of modern construction and ap- 
pointment. The West End Settlement is conducted in the industrial dis- 
trict and covers a large field. Bethany Home cares for homeless children, be- 
ing supported mostly by subscription. The Rescue Mission, similarly 
financed, relieves the urgent wants of homeless adults, giving them food 
and shelter free, or at a nominal cost. There is a municipal tuberculosis 
sanitorium in which patients are treated without charge. A welfare asso- 
ciation is maintained by private citizens as a central agency for the dis- 
pensing of charity. 

Fraternal organizations receive much attention in Rock Island. Masons, 
with an aggregate membership of 2,000; Odd Fellows, with 700; and Eagles, 
with 1,200, have homes of their own, while Elks, with 1,000 and Knights of 
Columbus, with 650, maintain clubrooms and both expect to see plans for 
new buildings soon realized. Woodmen of the World and Loyal Order of 
Moose are among other fraternals strongly represented. Veterans of the 
three wars have active camps. 

The city is headquarters for the Modern Woodmen of America, and 
there are several flourishing local lodges here, one, Camp 26, being the 
largest in the jurisdiction. Here, also, is the head office of the Woodmen 
auxiliary, the Royal Neighbors of America. The Modern Woodmen is 
the largest fraternal organization in the world, and the Royal Neighbors the 
largest conducted exclusively by women. The two societies employ more 
than 500 people in their head offices. The Modern Woodmen, with more 
than 14,000 camps, operates in all states in the union except two, and in four 
Canadian provinces. It has over one and one-half billions of dollars of 
insurance in force and its total disbursements to beneficiaries in the forty 


years of its existence have amounted to $280,000,000. It has an invested 
surplus of $26,000,000. The society maintains a tuberculosis sanitorium near 
Colorado Springs, Colo., with a capacity of 240 patients, which is free to 
members and is accounted one of the most successful anywhere. 

The Royal Neighbors has a membership of nearly half a million; it 
operates in 45 states and maintains 7,200 local camps. It is on a sound 
financial basis. In addition to adult and juvenile insurance, it provides a 
fund for the assistance of members who are temporarily in need. Both 
Woodmen and Royal Neighbors publish official organs which are given 
nation-wide circulation to the number of one and one-half million copies 

Business, civic and social organizations are numerous and active. Lead- 
ing among them is the Rock Island Chamber of Commerce, with a member- 
ship of 600, drawn from nearly every field of business and professional 
activity. A paid secretary and staff of assistants is maintained and the 
organization is always alert to promote the city's industrial and commercial 
welfare. Other organizations of the same nature include the Rock Island 
club, Retail Business Men's association, Industrial commission, Real Estate 
board, Builder's Exchange, Rotary club, Kiwanis club and Business and 
Professional Women's club. 

Women of Rock Island take an active part in civic affairs and in the 
promotion of the arts. The chief agency through which they work is the 
Rock Island Woman's club, with a membership of 1,400. Local and Tri- 
City organizations from time to time sponsor the appearance of the world's 
leading instructors and entertainers in music, literature and the drama. The 
favorite place for such programs is Augustana college gymnasium, with 
seating capacity of 5,000, remarkable acoustic properties, and centrally 
located for Tri-City patrons. 

Rock Island has two libraries, one public and the other an adjunct of 
Augustana college. Building of the former was made possible through the 
generosity of Frederick Weyerhaeuser. The latter was presented to the 
college as a memorial by the heirs of F. C. A. Denkmann, who, with Mr. 
Weyerhaeuser, laid in Rock Island the foundation of the great lumber 
industry which still bears their names. The public library, which was built 
in 1903, has more than 37,000 volumes and the collection is growing at the 
rate of several thousand yearly. There are 12,000 card-listed borrowers and 
the number of books issued for home use in 1922 was 165,621. There are 
two main branches, one in the West End Settlement and the other in the 
Washington school, in the southeastern part of the city. Collections of 
books are also placed in different rooms of the various public schools. 

Rock Island's independent recreational facilities are second to none, 
and they are supplemented by those of its neighboring cities, giving a 


range of offerings to suit any taste. It has scenic attractions not excelled in 
the valley of the upper Mississippi, inviting drives and well kept parks. Of 
its public parks there are six, with a combined area of 83.5 acres. One of 
these, Long View park, is held to be one of the best improved and most 
sightly in the central west. It comprises 40 acres. Then there is Black 
Hawk's Watch Tower on the high bluff on Rock River, which is one of 
the historic spots of northern Illinois. Rock Island Arsenal grounds are 
beautiful and threaded with miles of fine roadw'ays. The Rock Island 
Arsenal Golf club's course is famous and has been the scene of noted 
tournaments. There are fine facilities for outdoor bathing in summer and 
for skating in winter. Fishing and boating are popular and organizations 
are maintained to promote both. Amateur sports of all kinds flourish under 
the direction of the schools, Y. M. C. A. and other organizations. The city 
also has commercial baseball and football teams in season. Boxing is well 
supported. Public playgrounds are operated for the benefit of the children 
in all parts of the city and in summer play is supervised. 

Rock Island is headquarters for the. corps of United States engineers 
in charge of improvement and maintenance of the Mississippi river and 
adjacent waters from the mouth of the Missouri river to the mouth of the 
Wisconsin. Offices are in the Federal building. A staff of twenty-five men 
is employed, in addition to those manning the government fleets used in 
river work, the government boat yard in the Hennepin canal near Milan 
and the government drydock at Keokuk. Through this office from $700,000 
to $1,000,000 is expended annually, depending upon the size of congressional 
appropriations, mainly for the purpose of creating and maintaining a channel 
depth in the Mississippi at all times of at least six feet. Accomplishing 
of this end is expected to greatly facilitate the' efforts of those endeavoring 
to develop the freight-carrying possibilities of the stream. An outdoor 
force of from 800 to 1,000 men is kept at work on river improvement in this 
section during the summer season. 

In addition to the river engineers, permanent offices are maintained in 
the federal building for the United States revenue bureau, department of 
commerce, department of justice, treasury department and postal department. 
The structure is three stories in height and represents an investment of 
$225,000. The local postoffice occupies the entire ground floor. 

Rock Island has adequate fire protection. Its fire department, which is 
under civil service, has six stations, with thirty-two men and standard 
motorized equipment throughout. There are two pumps, one of 1,000 
gallons capacity per minute and the other 700 gallons. Fire insurance 
premiums are based on a Class Three rating. Average fire losses during the 
last decade have been $174,222 yearly. In case of a general fire aid from 
Moline and Davenport can be secured in 10 minutes. 

Streets and alleys of the city are well kept. The sum of $30,000 is ex- 
pended annually for this purpose. The city maintains an incinerator for 
garbage disposal. 


There is a state free employment bureau in Rock Island, which, during 
the last five years, has found work for an average of 75,569 men and women 

A live county farm bureau is in existence, with headquarters in Rock 
Island. This organization has a membership of 700 and maintains a paid 
advisor. There is also a home bureau reaching 800 women in the rural 
sections, and having a competent director. Fine results have been obtained 
by both organizations. 

Not the least important evidence of Rock Island's attractiveness is its 
popularity as a convention city. This has resulted in the holding there in 
recent years of many state and a number of national meetings. 


It was from the island, now the site of the greatest manufacturing 
Arsenal and military storehouse in the world, that the county of Rock Island 
and city of Rock Island received their name, and in the order named. Rock 
Island county was created by act of the Illinois legislature Feb. 9, 1831, and 
the first election of county officers took place July 5, 1833. 

The city, or as it was then known, town of Rock Island did not come 
into being till 1841, when the legislature changed the name of the village of 
Stephenson to Rock Island and provided a charter, under which the first 
election was held in July of the same year. A city charter was adopted by 
the legislature and approved Feb. 12, 1849, and served as a plan of municipal 
government till Feb. 16, 1857, when one better suited to the needs of the 
growing community was provided. This was in force till 1879. Nov. 4 of 
that year the people voted to incorporate under the general law. 

The site of the present city of Rock Island was a favorite one with the 
Indians as far back as written history of the locality goes. Once it was 
inhabited by the tribes of the Illini. The Sacs and Foxes, first known to 
have dwelt along the lower St. Lawrence in Canada, came into this part of 
the country from southern Wisconsin, driving the Illini remnants southward 
and taking possession about the year 1722. A village was built on Rock 
river in the southern part of the present city of Rock Island, the site being 
favored because it was protected by water on three sides and there was a high 
bluff at hand, now known as Black Hawk's Watch Tower, which served as a 
look-out to scan the country round about for the approach of hostile bands 
of warriors. This village, known to historians as Saukenuk, became one of 
the most populous found by the early w r hite explorers. 

Being a strong, courageous people, wisely led, the Sacs and Foxes 
prospered and more than held their own in the wars they carried on with 
other nearby tribes. They took some part in an expedition against the 
Americans at Cahokia in the Revolutionary war and their village was burned 


in reprisal. Again in the war of 1812 the Indians were active on the side of 
the British. From that time on there were many clashes with the white 
settlers till finally Black Hawk, who became chief early in the nineteenth 
century, was driven, with his followers, across the Mississippi as a result 
of the Black Hawk war of 1832. 

The first house on the present site of Rock Island was built in 1826, on 
the river bank near the south end of the Rock Island railroad bridge at 
the foot of Twenty-ninth street, by Colonel Davenport and Russell Farnham. 
This structure, later known as the house of John Barrel, was the seat of 
the original county government and the center of the settlement known as 
Farnhamsburg. The town of Stephenson was laid out under legislative 
authority in 1835 to be the county seat. It comprised twenty blocks; adjacent 
to the present court house square. It was later enlarged to include 
Farnhamsburg and other contiguous territory; 

Protection offered by Fort Armstrong against Indian depredations 
attracted settlers to the locality in the early days. The place became a 
favorite crossing point on the Mississippi, partly because of the presence 
of the fort and partly because the stream was narrow and the banks high, 
making approach easy, and providing good landings. After the Indians 
were gone the land nearby was rapidly taken up and the settlement grew 
apace. First comers were hardy American stock traveling by wagon, on 
horse and afoot from the east, or by boat from the south. There were 
migratory waves from southern Illinois and Kentucky, from Indiana, Ohio 
and Pennsylvania. Some from the eastern states came down the Ohio river 
and up the Mississippi. 

Advent in 1854 of the Chicago & Rock Island railroad, the first to reach 
the Mississippi from the east, gave Rock Island a pronounced boom. The 
place for a time was the sole junction point on the river of rail and water 
transportation lines. Population grew rapidly. Business increased. In- 
dustries, provided with shipping facilities which were exceptional in that 
day, sprang up. The village became a city. Rock Island's fame spread, 
reaching even across the Atlantic. From northern Europe came immigrants, 
the most desirable class that ever landed upon our shores. They came look- 
ing for permanent homes and found them here, building up the city and 
becoming part of it. Many of the pioneer families were of German, Irish, 
Scandinavian or other northern European stock. The east end of the city 
was settled largely by Swedish families and their descendants, overflowing 
from Moline. Later came Belgians and a scattering representation from 
Mediterranean countries. The advent of those from across the sea, however, 
has been gradual and they have been most thoroughly assimilated. The 
native born element always predominated heavily and does to this day. 

Rock Island's foundation was laid by men of unusual force, enterprise 
and wisdom. They had high ideals and sound judgment. The city was 


never suffered to lag behind in the procession. It always has been rated 
as a leader in every field of endeavor. It never was a one-man or a one- 
industry town. The diversity of its interests has been a leading factor in 
its steady progress. 

A heavy shipping business was done by water in the palmy days of the 
Mississippi steamboat, in the fifties, sixties and seventies. The decline of 
the water carriers found the community well supplied with railroad facili- 
ties to take their place, so that the city really was the gainer by the change. 

When the river was the artery down which flowed the pine to build 
homes for the people of the central west the lumber industry in Rock Island 
throve as it did in few other cities. But passing of the log and lumber raft 
into history was not attended by a decline in manufacturing prestige, for the 
reason that other industries had been progressively developed as the supply 
of timber declined and, with more diversified opportunities for investment 
and employment, a broader foundation for community prosperity resulted. 

Since the earliest days Rock Island has gone forward steadily in 
wealth and population. At no stage in its history has its momentum been 
materially checked. It has encountered the usual obstacles, but in all cases 
they have been overcome and invaluable lessons learned in the operation. 
The manner in which it has met and mastered its problems is the best 
possible assurance for its future. As a city of 35,000 its resources and 
opportunities are no less outstanding than they were when it was a village 
before the railroad came. And there is not the slightest reason to doubt 
that the years to come will bring to it growth and prosperity, even as did 
the years that are gone. 



City of Davenport 

Population (1920 census) 56,727. 

Area 16.24 square miles. 

Miles of streets 188. 

Miles of pavement 120. 

Miles of sewers 133. 

Miles of water mains 114. 

Miles of street railway tracks 50. 

Miles of main line railroad tracks 24.5. 

Miles of other tracks 35.9. 

Acreage of parks 750. 

Total banking resources $55,945,060. 

Postal receipts (1922) $481,572.91. 

Assessed valuation of property (1922) $69,- 


Value of moneys and credits $15,063,450. 
Municipal appropriations for fiscal year 

1922 $848,300. 

Number of homes (1920) 12,042. 
Number of families 14,388. 
Percentage of owned homes 75. 

Number of native born white residents 48,- 

Number of registered voters (1920) 28,000. 
Iowa's principal eastern gateway. 

Served by three great railroad systems and 
two interurbans. 

Has seven miles frontage on navigable water. 

Largest city between Chicago and Des Moines 
and St. Louis and Twin-Cities. 

Most important jobbing and retail center in 
its territory. 

One of four adjoining cities with combined 
population of 150,000. 

IRST in Iowa in wealth and third in population, Davenport, the 
state's main gateway to the east, is showing other cities in the 
upper Mississippi valley how to do it. The source of its strength 
lies in the strong common sense of its people, their capacity for 
organization, and their will to go forward. These influences, 
operating for more than three-quarters of a century in a favored environ- 
ment, have won victories in commerce and industry and over the material 
obstacles to municipal growth and greatness such as few communities can 
boast. They have resulted in an impetus which even the reconstruction 
period following the World War did not visibly check. 

Davenport is the "big brother" in the Tri-City group. It enjoys the 
advantage incident to its location west of the Mississippi, being the con- 
verging point of lines of trade and travel from the great west, upon which 
it takes the customary toll. It excels in facilities for the distribution of 
goods, both by wholesale and retail, and for the accommodation of transients. 
Its people have expressed their faith in its future by liberal support of 
improvements, both private and public. With their surplus resources they 
have invested in enterprises which carry the city's name and influence far 
beyond its immediate environs. It is a social and recreational center, noted 
also for its educational and research work and for the extent to which it 
patronizes the arts. 

Nature bountifully endowed the place where Davenport has been builded 
with those things which make life desirable. Well rounded hills rise not 
too abruptly above the Mississippi, flowing past at the south, providing a 
site well calculated to display the structural handiwork of man and supply- 
ing vantage points from which to see, as well as to be seen. Safe above 
flood water, the lower levels give ample room for business and industrial 
development, while the rolling uplands and the hillsides, with their southern 
exposure and perfect air drainage, are ideal for residence purposes. 


Here the early settlers found water to carry goods, to generate power 
and supply the needs of a city. Here was stone and sand and gravel and 
lumber, floated down from the great pineries of the north, with which to 
build. Fuel above ground in the native forests was at hand and beneath 
the ground not far away coal in unlimited quantity. Here was abundant rain- 
fall and a climate not too cold and not too warm. Stretching away to the west 
for hundreds of miles was fertile land, the product of which must ever flow 
eastward to be exchanged for manufactured goods, which in turn must flow 
westward by the same route. 

To this place, so highly favored, came first the explorers, then the traders 
and then the pioneer settlers, pressing back the copper-hued tribes. The 
first whites were of the cleanest and most enterprising native stock. Later 
comers included the best that Europe had to offer, the German element 
predominating. To the river bank opposite came the first railroad reaching 
out from the east, and here the first bridge was thrown across the Mississippi. 
Out of the city the first rails pushed across the prairie westward to the 
Missouri and on toward the mountains. 

And so grew the city of Davenport. Since the first house was built 
each year has brought it added population and wealth. It boomed but once, 
during the fifties, when in a single decade it advanced out of the village 
class. At other times it just expanded gradually and steadily and along 
safe and enduring lines. Let the United States census reports tell the 
story : 

1850 I860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 1920 

Population 1848 11.267 20,038 21,831. 26,872 35,254 43,028 56,727 

Percent of Increase 509.7 77.8 8.9 23.1 31.2 22.1 31.8 

Davenport is the seat of government of Scott county, with a population 
of 73,952, which also has shown a steady growth, averaging 19.7 per cent 
in the last three decades. With the adjoining counties of Clinton, Cedar 
and Muscatine added to that of Scott there is a combined population of 

Numbers are significant, but increase in population in the case of 
Davenport has been accompanied by material prosperity that is even more 
striking. The city now has twelve banks and their total combined re- 
sources at the close of 1922 amounted to $55,945,060. Total annual bank 
clearings are approximately half a billion. The following figures, taken 
from reports of all banks in the city and totalled, offer the best possible 
evidence of financial stability and growth, both in the World War period 
and during the era of reaction following it: 

Capital Surplus and Loans and Total 

Stock Profits Investments Deposits Resources 

Feh 5, 1913 $1,900,000 $2,184,231 $29,470,124 $30,324,957 $39,969,502 

Men. 4, 1919 2.150,000 3,081,695 42,090,371 44,660,713 51,971,925 

Dec. 29, 1922 2,600,000 4,015,734 48,144,843 46,064,952 55,945,060 


The growth of the city's postal receipts also is unusual, and accurately 
reflects the expansion of its business and commercial interests. Note the 
showing by five-year periods since 1900: 

1!)30 _ $ 85,700.00 

1!)05 _____________________________________________ 118378.75 

1015 _______________________________________ 271,:W2.0S 

1020 _____________________________________________ 440,557.14 

1!>> ____________ ____________________________ 4S1.572.!)! 

Assessed valuation of property in the city of Davenport for the collec- 
tion of revenues for 1923 was $69,667,020. Municipal taxes were levied upon 
approximately one-half of this sum and upon $15,603,450 listed in moneys 
and credits, at the rate of 2.7 mills on the dollar. Municipal appropriations 
for 1922 were $848,300. 

Davenport takes a high place in the character and extent of its public 
improvements, and travelers commend it for its well-kept appearance. It 
has 188 miles of streets and 63 miles of alleys. One hundred twenty miles 
of streets and alleys are paved. Pavement, especially in the business dis- 
trict, is kept in good condition by prompt repairs or resurfacing when 
necessary. Streets as originally laid out are wide enough to meet the needs 
of an ever growing traffic. The coming of the motor vehicle did not cause 
the inconvenience so often suffered by other cities which had been planned 
on less liberal lines. 

Davenport lies admirably for purposes of drainage. There are 20 
miles of storm drains and 113 miles of sewers. The river furnishes a con- 
venient outlet. Clogging and overflowing of drains and sewers rarely takes 

Connecting up with the city's streets are eight primary highways leading 
out into the country on the Iowa side, which are being permanently surfaced, 
mostly with brick. Scott county has in hand and nearing completion at the 
close of 1922, a road improvement program involving an outlay of $3,000,000 
and calling for work on all primary thoroughfares centering in the county 
seat. Similar work undertaken on the Illinois side promises early comple- 
tion of hard roads east, north and south. To reach the Illinois side Daven- 
port enjoys the use of the two-deck, double track Rock Island bridge, govern- 
ment owned and maintained, and the only one between St. Louis and St. 
Paul on which no tolls are charged. 

Davenport and Bettendorf, its eastern suburb, together have seven miles 
of frontage on navigable water. Appreciating the advantage of water trans- 
portation and believing in the future of the Mississippi in this connection, 
Davenport has taken the lead among upper river cities in levee improvement. 
Nearly a mile of sea wall has been built, at any point of which freight may 
be transferred by gravity or power from rail to boat and vice versa, doing 
away with expensive hand labor. There are also 1,000 feet of paved sloping 
levee. The Davenport Levee Commission was organized for this undertak- 


ing. It issued bonds, which are being retired by rentals from reclaimed 
land, $205,000 being outstanding at the close of 1922. A municipal wharf 
has been constructed for a packet terminus. Most of the reclaimed land, 
which lies adjacent to the business district, has been transformed into an at- 
tractive park, known as LeClaire park, and comprising 11 acres. Area of all 
the land reclaimed when the sea wall is extended down stream to the present 
city limits will be 125 acres. It is estimated that the cost of the whole 
improvement will be $1,000,000. The entire benefit, which will be much in 
excess of that sum, will accrue to the city. Work already done has wonder- 
fully bettered the appearance of the waterfront, making it a model which 
is being copied elsewhere. 

The area of Davenport is 16.24 square miles, of which 10 square miles 
are platted. About three-fourths of the city lies on the bluff, reaching a 
maximum altitude of 150 feet above the river and of 728 feet above sea level. 
The lower land, well adapted to business and industrial uses, is adequately 
served by rail, as well as water transportation facilities. Railroads parallel 
the river the entire length of the city and branch out into all parts of the 
industrial district at the west end. Three lines cross the city transversely, 
striking back into the country in different directions. In addition to the 
trunk lines of the C. R. I. & P., C. B. & Q. and C. M. & St. P. roads, there 
are the D. R. I. & N. W., a belt line, and two interurbans of the C. D. & M., 
one operating up the river to Clinton and the other down to Muscatine. 
There are within the city 28.5 miles of main line and 35.9 miles of other 
tracks. In addition to the latter there are nine miles of switch tracks form- 
ing the terminal yards of the C. M. & St. P. at Nahant, just west of the 
municipal bounds. There are 32 steam passenger trains in and 34 out daily. 
Interurban trains number 22 each way. In 1922 the railroads received 26,991 
carload lots of freight and forwarded 11,124 carloads. 

Davenporters are fortunate in the character of the public utilities which 
serve them. Standards are unusually high and costs compare favorably 
with those in other cities. The Tri-City Railway & Light Company owns 
and operates street railways, gas and power plants and a central heating 
plant supplying steam to office and business blocks in the down-town district. 

The water plant is privately owned and is one of the best in the country. 

For many years Davenport has had exceptionally good street railway 
facilities. It claims the first electric car regularly operated in the United 
States, There are now 50 miles of street railway track. An 8-cent fare is 

Facilities for the production of gas and electrical energy for power and 
illumination are considerably in advance of the city's normal needs, and 
it is the policy of the company always to so maintain them. There are 205 
miles of gas mains, reduced to a three-inch equivalent, and 703 miles of wire 
for power distribution. The number of gas and electricity users is significant 


of the high standards of living prevailing. There are 13,379 of the former 
and 13,368 of the latter. The 1920 census showed 12,042 homes and 14,388 

The Davenport Water Company installed one of the first mechanical 
filters used in the middle west. Its raw supply is taken from the channel 
of the Mississippi at a point well above the center of the business district, 
and so effective is the process of purification that turbidity is entirely elim- 
inated at all times, and the supply always has met the most exacting tests. 
Large storage reservoirs on the bluff give the business section the advantage 
of gravity pressure. There are 114 miles of water mains and they are of 
greater capacity than is commonly used. Capacity of the filters is 9,000,000 
gallons per day, twice the average consumption, and the capacity of the 
pumps is 31,000,000 gallons. 

Davenport has but one telephone system and through it is given free 
connection with adjacent cities on the Illinois side and also with villages and 
many rural subscribers in Scott county. There are 1,904 business and 9,279 
residence stations connecting with the local exchange. Rates are $4 per 
month for residence and $8 per month for business service. 

Davenport's business interests are well balanced. It is not preeminently 
an industrial city, yet it excels in certain lines of manufacturing, and there 
has been a marked expansion in this direction in recent years. The 1920 
census showed 219 industries, with value of yearly output of $55,000,000 and 
5,271 workers employed. The two years following saw a material increase 
in the number of concerns, but there has been no detailed survey since that 
made by the federal government. Among the factories are several marketing 
part of their output in foreign countries and a larger number distributing 
products on a nation-wide scale. These concerns carry the city's name abroad, 
giving it invaluable advertising. 

Thousands of freight cars are made annually in the Bettendorf shops, 
the largest single industry, with 30 acres under roof. The city leads in the 
making of washing machines, metal wheels, brooms, ready-cut houses and 
motion picture projectors. Other products finding a universal market are 
light locomotives, pumps, type-setting machines, cereal products and pearl 
buttons. Foundry products, cigars, candy, bakery products, overalls, optical 
goods, ladders, industrial gases and packing house products are also exten- 
sively manufactured. There is a $2,000,000 cement mill on the river bank just 
above the city and another one is planned, to be located a few miles below 

Davenport enjoys unusual advantages which appeal to manufacturers. 
Among them are presence of water power, nearness of fuel and raw ma- 
terials and facility and economy of distribution in a territory of exceptional 
buying power. There is also a large supply of well-trained labor, in which 


the city's resources are supplemented by those of its nearby neighbors on 
the Illinois side. 

Good transportation facilities and favorable freight rates also help 
enhance the city's prestige as a jobbing and retail center. There are 120 
wholesale establishments, with an annual business estimated at $50,000,000. 
They employ 700 traveling salesmen. 

Retail concerns include six department stores, eight ladies' ready-to- 
wear, 23 clothiers, 20 shoe stores, 193 groceries and 30 drug stores. 

The city is headquarters of the Federal System of Bakeries, with 
hundreds of shops in all parts of the United States, and is the home of 
several large construction companies prepared to execute almost any kind 
of a contract in any part of the country, and doing an annual business run- 
ning up in the millions. 

Davenport has many fine buildings. Among the most imposing are the 
Blackhawk hotel, with 416 rooms, largest in the state, the $1,000,000 Kahl 
office building and the new eight-story Parker department store, which has 
no superior in middle western cities. A $1,000,000 Masonic temple is in 
course of construction. Among the public buildings are a central high school 
of unusual size and completeness, an imposing court house, fine city hall 
and federal building and a large library. Commodious and well appointed 
homes crown the prominent bluffs overlooking the valley and the landscap- 
ing is effective to an unusual degree. Camp McClellan addition in the east 
end, commanding a view of the river and Rock Island Arsenal, and built up 
with residences of the more costly class, is one of the show places of the 

Good homes are the rule, and the tendency constantly is toward im- 
provement in average quality. New additions are being laid out rapidly. 
There is unlimited room for growth, most of the suburbs being on rolling 
ground and well supplied with paved streets and trolley lines. The 1920 
census showed 12,042 homes, but it is probable that 13,000 would be nearer 
the correct number for 1922. In that year 360 new residences were con- 
structed and $3,249,000 was expended on buildings. It is estimated that 
three-fourths of the homes in the city are owned by the occupants. That is 
an unusually large proportion, and speaks well for the thrift, enterprise and 
stability of the people. Residences and lawns, as a rule, are well kept, 
reflecting the prosperity and content of the owners. Rents are not exorbitant. 
An exceptionally liberal policy is pursued in the financing of home building 

In the matter of schools Davenport is second to none. There are 17 
grade and three intermediate schools and one high school in the public 
system, with 13 parochial and diocesan schools and 17 miscellaneous. The 
high school, built on a commanding site in 1907, at a cost of $350,000, is one 
of the conspicuous structures of the city. It accommodates 1,600 pupils. 


Schools maintained by religious denominations include St. Ambrose college 
for boys and the Academy of the Immaculate Conception for girls, both con- 
ducted by the Roman Catholic church, and St. Katharine's school for girls, 
under the auspices of the Episcopal diocese of Iowa. The miscellaneous 
schools include the Palmer School of Chiropractic, with 2,500 students, drawn 
from all states in the union and from many foreign countries. 

Public school attendance for the 1921-22 year was 9,621. School ex- 
penditures the same year were $820,000. Value of school property was 
$3,006,920 in buildings and grounds, and $280,246 in equipment. The school 
bonded debt was $1,023,000. 

Public school pupils are given every advantage to promote their educa- 
tional advancement and physical welfare. There is special instruction in 
drawing, music, manual training, cooking, sewing, physical culture and 
nature study. School physicians and nurses are employed. Special schools 
are maintained for deaf children and those with defects of speech. A 
training course for teachers is part of the regular high school course. 

The Davenport library is well housed, centrally located and complete. 
At the close of 1922 it had 78,158 volumes and the circulation for the year had 
been 456,564. Eight stations in various parts of the city are maintained. 

More than eighty per cent of the people of Davenport claim church 
affiliation. All told there are 43 churches, including practically all denom- 
inations. There are two cathedrals, this being the see city of the Roman 
Catholic diocese of Davenport, comprising the southern half of Iowa, and 
of the Episcopal diocese of Iowa. Auxiliary religious organizations are well 
supported. The Y. M. C. A. has a membership of 1,300 and the Y. W. C. A. 
of 1,200. The former occupies a building specially erected for its use, and 
the latter has extensive rented quarters. 

Few cities are so well supplied with organizations, business, educational, 
welfare, recreational and for the promotion of science and the arts as is Dav- 
enport. They are numbered by the scores, their purposes cover almost the 
whole field of human endeavor and nearly every resident is enrolled in one 
or more of them. Many are German in origin and character, led by the 
Turners and their various branches. The spirit of mutual helpfulness which 
pervades the community is manifested in numerous beneficiary and welfare 
societies, some with but a few members and some with many hundreds. 
These have headquarters in all parts of the city and do a magnificent work. 
People of means and benevolent inclination have endowed a number of 
these with praiseworthy liberality, enable them to operate on a broad scale 
and to build, equip and plan adequately for the future. 

Leading among the business organizations is the Davenport Chamber 
of Commerce, occupying a handsome home of its own and maintaining traffic, 
credit, manufacturing and retail bureaus in charge of paid secretaries. The 


traffic bureau has complete tariff files and the credit bureau keeps up-to-date 
ratings to the number of 80,000. The Chamber of Commerce is headquarters 
for the live men of the community, and is doing effective work in furthering 
the city's interests and exploiting its advantages. Its motto always has 
been "Business Before Pleasure." 

Benevolent work is participated in by such organizations as the Ladies' 
Industrial Relief and the Davenport Friendly society, having buildings of 
their own equipped for educational and recreational, and, in the case of the 
former, for charitable work. The Visiting Nurses' association keeps six 
nurses whose services are free to those unable to pay for them. The Lend-a- 
Hand club looks after the welfare of working girls and is building a 
$200,000 home for them, a complete club, with all customary club facilities, a 
large dining room and quarters for 80 lodgers. 

There are four hospitals with a combined capacity of 300 beds. Elee- 
mosynary institutions include the Clarissa C. Cook Home for the Friendless, 
a refuge for women, the Fejervary Home for Aged Men, and St. Vin- 
cent's Orphan's home. The Iowa Soldiers' Orphans' home, maintained by 
the state, and capable of caring for 500 inmates, is located in the city. Pine 
Knoll sanatorium, maintained by the county for treatment of tuberculosis, has 
a capacity of 50 patients. 

The public museum of the Davenport Academy of Sciences, organized 
in 1867, ranks with the museums of cities with many times the population 
of the Tri-Cities. The collections fill to overflowing two large connected 
buildings owned by the institution. There are departments of natural his- 
tory, commercial geography, local history, American ethnology and arch- 
aeology (especially Mississippi Valley mound-builders), and exhibits from 
Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, Japan, Peru, Alaska and other parts of the 
world. The museum is visited by 15,000 people in a year. It has been built 
up by the generosity of many citizens. Its endowment is assured by a 
trust fund and it is planning for a new fireproof museum and art gallery 

The C. A. Ficke collection of paintings, valued at half a million dollars, 
recently has been given to the city, and public spirited citizens have under- 
taken to provide a home for it. Permanent literary, debating and study 
clubs are numerous and reach a great many people. Women's organizations 
number more than a score. Many of them are educational in their purpose, 
while others are devoted to the arts, especially to music, which Davenporters 
liberally patronize. The Tri-City Symphony orchestra, taking rank with 
the best in the country, and the Tri-City Musical Association, which 
sponsors entertainments by the world's leading musical celebrities, are 
strongly supported in Davenport and their programs there are given in the 
coliseum; well adapted to such uses and having a seating capacity of 3,000. 


Among the'fraternals, the Masons long have held a leading place. Their 
original temple having been outgrown, the Masonic bodies are now erecting 
one of the most pretentious structures of its kind in the country, to be thrown 
open during 1923. The Elks, Turners, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Knights 
of Columbus and Danish Brotherhood have buildings of their own, while the 
Eagles are building and the Odd Fellows expect to do so soon. Few 
fraternal organizations that are more than local in character are without 
branches in the city. There are half a hundred labor unions, embracing all 
crafts and most of them affiliating with the Davenport Trades and Labor 

In the planning of Davenport, recreation has been well provided for, 
and there are numerous organizations to promote that end. Among these 
may be mentioned the Outing club, with house and grounds only a few blocks 
from the center of the city, the Rock Island Arsenal Golf club, more than 
half of the members of which are Davenporters, certain 'branches of the 
Turners, and numerous clubs to encourage shooting, bowling and other 
sports, both outdoor and indoor. There are 14 parks, well distributed 
within the city limits, and having a combined area of 379 acres. Of these 
VanderVeer park is noted for its flowers, while in Fejervary park is a 
small zoo. Credit island, a tract of nearly four hundred acres, is owned by 
the city and is equipped with golf course, bathing beach, baseball grounds 
and other recreational facilities. It is open to the public free of charge, and 
though outside the municipal limits, is easily reached. At LeClaire park, 
on the levee, the city, in 1922, constructed a well appointed natatorium costing 
$100,000. Attractive and well improved drives leading out into the country 
in all directions have a strong appeal to motorists. A well-appointed 
tourists' camp is provided for visiting automobile parties in summer time. 

Efforts to beautify the city have been highly successful in Davenport, 
and there are many sightly spots within and near its borders. There are 
no "Keep off the grass" signs in the public parks. All schools have play- 
grounds, well equipped, and there are three public playgrounds with wad- 
ing pools. The Davenport Boat Club has a harbor and club house and has 
sponsored a number of regattas, attracting power boat enthusiasts from all 
over the middle west. 

Indoor recreation is supplied by four theatres and 15 motion picture 
houses, among which the new Capitol theatre is recognized as one of the 
finest in the country. 

Davenport's fire protection ranks with the best. Fire insurance is 
written on a Class Two basis, a rating accorded few other cities. Large 
pumping capacity of the water company, over-size mains in the fire limits, 
enforcement of a satisfactory building code, and effectiveness of fire fight- 
ing forces and equipment are factors considered in establishing the low 
rate. There are seven fire stations, with 67 men. Equipment is all motorized 


and includes two large pumps. There are 1,150 fire hydrants in the city. 
Help from Rock Island and Moline is always available on short notice. 
Average fire losses for the past 10 years have been $176,727. 

There are two police stations, with a force of 62 men. Law enforce- 
ment is effective. The number of arrests for the last 10 years has averaged 
2,398 and the average annual collection of fines has been $8,378. Unusual 
attention is given to directing of traffic in business streets. A federal law 
enforcement organization is maintained in the city, including a United States 
commissioner, deputy United States marshal and prohibition agent. There 
is an adequate local health and inspection service. 

The federal government maintains a weather station in Davenport fully 
equipped and manned by a meteorologist and two assistants. Weather data 
from all over the country and river stage bulletins from points on the Miss- 
issippi from Dubuque down to Muscatine are collected daily. Reports are 
sent out over the Tri-City district and are broadcasted by radio, making 
them available for many miles. Records kept since 1871 show an average 
rainfall of 32.27 inches, average winter temperature of 24.3 degrees, spring 
temperature of 49.1, summer temperature of 73.1 and autumn temperature of 
52.4. The average growing season has been 174 days. There have been no 
crop failures in the vicinity in 50 years. 

Davenporters take great pride in their city. They are ever alert to add 
to its advantages and always have a warm welcome for visitors. Many con- 
ventions are entertained. There are half a dozen hotels of high rating and 
a score of others in which visitors may find comfortable quarters and at 
moderate cost. One of the city's leading attractions is the Mississippi Valley 
Fair and Exposition. This was opened in 1920, and took high rank from the 
start. The grounds, just outside the city limits, comprise 90 acres and repre- 
sent an investment of $550,000. There is a modern half-mile track, grandstand 
of unique design, built to afford occupants a view of aerial spectacles, as 
well as those occurring on the ground, and with large seating capacity, to- 
gether with all other necessary buildings of a class usually found only at 
state fair grounds. The annual fair, open for a week in 1922, drew a paid 
attendance of 80,899. 

The Scott County Farm Bureau, formed in 1912, with headquarters in 
Davenport, is one of the three oldest in the state. It has 1,200 members, a 
paid secretary, or advisor, and is one of the most active and progressive in 
the country. Agricultural interests of the county have experienced much 
benefit from its work, which is covering an ever widening field. 

Davenport has Battery B of the state militia, with a total membership 
of 80, and an artillery armory of large size and modern design, which is 
battery headquarters of the Iowa National Guard. 

One of the best boat harbors on the Mississippi is located at the west end 
of Davenport, in the slack water formed by building a dam, also used as a 


driveway from the mainland to the head of Credit island. Many craft winter 
here and some boat building and repairing is done. 

Already well supplied with land and water transportation facilities, 
Davenport expects also to figure prominently in the development of airroutes. 
It now has a commercial flying organization and an aviation field where 
aviators are trained and airships are built. The city is onthe main New 
York-San Francisco route of the United States airways systems as mapped 
out by the aviation branch of the army, and expects also ultimately to be made 
a junction point between the east and west line and the main one crossing 
the country north and south and connecting New Orleans, Memphis, and St. 
Louis with Minneapolis and St. Paul and points in Canada. 


The first house built by white men on the site of the city of Davenport 
was a rude cabin put up in 1833 by Antoine LeClaire and a party of French- 
men. LeClaire, who figured prominently in the pioneer life of the com- 
munity and was a leading resident of the city for many years, was half 
Indian and had an Indian wife. His cabin was placed in the midst of the 
Fox Indian village, which the white men had named Morgan. The Indians 
left in 1834 to take up their abode on the Cedar river. The townsite was 
laid out in 1835-36, and named in honor of Col. George Davenport, an 
Indian trader and first settler on the island, near Fort Armstrong. 

It is probable that the first white mart to see the site of Davenport! was 
Radisson, a Frenchman who explored this part of the country in company 
with a band of Indians about 1660. There is authentic record of the coming 
in 1673 of Marquette and Joliet, who met a tribe of Illini Indians ther'e. 
White men came to the locality to stay when Fort Armstrong was built in 
1815. The year previous an American expedition headed by Lieut. Zachary 
Taylor, afterward president of the United States, had been defeated by 
Indians and British in what has since been known as the battle of Credit 
Island, fought mostly within the present city limits. 

LeClaire came in 1818, as interpreter for the commandant at the fort. 
He acted in that capacity when the treaty following the Black Hawk war 
was negotiated in 1832 at a point now within the city. In this treaty the 
Indians ceded the land to the government, but reserved a quarter section 
for the wife of LeClaire. On this land the first house was built. Two men 
claimed the original townsite. LeClaire bought out both for $150 and joined 
with half a dozen others in platting the ground. Fifty or sixty lots were 
sold at auction, mostly to St. Louis speculators, and the men at the head of 
the enterprise divided the rest among themselves. The town was incor- 
porated late in 1838, and the first election was held April 1, 1839. A new 
charter was voted by the legislature in 1843 and a third one in 1851, which, 
amended from time to time, is still in force. 


What is now Iowa was once a part of the territory of Wisconsin. 
Iowa territory was laid out in 1838. A county government was set up the 
same year and Rockingham was the first county seat. County commissioners 
did not meet in Davenport till 1840. 

Davenport remained a very ordinary frontier settlement, though 
enjoying the advantages of a large river traffic, till the coming of the railroad. 
The Chicago & Rock Island was completed to the latter city in 1854. Several 
years earlier Davenporters had become actively interested in promoting a 
trans-continental line, and in 1852 the Mississippi & Missouri Railroad 
company was organized to build across the state of Iowa and join the two 
streams, with Davenport as the eastern terminus. Ground was broken in 1853 
and some road had been built before the iron horse was brought across the 
river to help with the undertaking. 

The first locomotive to cross the river was ferried over on a flatboat 
July 19, 1855, and was christened the Antoine LeClaire. It pulled the first 
train out of Davenport Aug. 22 of, that year. During the winter following 
another locomotive and seven freight cars were hauled across the river on 
the ice. The first locomotive crossed the bridge April 21, 1856. Not till 
a dozen years later was the road, now part of the C. R. I. & P. system, com- 
pleted to Council Bluffs. 

Davenport grew rapidly as a result of its advantages of location and its 
superior transportation facilities. It became an important distribution center 
for eastern Iowa, handling a good share of the building materials and other 
goods consumed in the developing of the territory, and of the farm products 
given in exchange. 

Manufacturing began with lumber and flour, two basic necessities most 
in demand in the locality. For many years a large business was done, 
especially in lumber. When the lumberman and the miller passed on north 
and west to be nearer their supplies of raw material their places were taken 
by other manufacturers making such things as wagons, implements, clothing 
and food products, and laying the foundation for the later industrial growth 
of the community. 

When it began to assume importance as a city Davenport's banking 
resources grew rapidly. It always has been noted for the number and 
strength of its financial institutions. Confidence in them for years has 
brought depositors from other localities and has helped to make the city 
a center for the buying and selling of securities and for the financing of all 
sorts of enterprises. An important step for the advancement of community 
interests took place in 1895, when the Davenport Clearing House Association 
was formed. 

In the early days, as now, the city excelled as a trading center. The 
opportunities presented attracted men with business ability and means to 


operate on a large scale. Low freight rates by water prevailing in the days 
of the steamboat were met by the railroads, with which the city was well 
supplied, and the resulting advantages made it easy to compete with other 
centers, especially those not on navigable streams. While the river does 
not now figure prominently as an artery of commerce, Davenporters are 
confident that its prestige will be at least partly restored, and at no distant 
date. When this is done and the proposed water way link to the Great Lakes 
in Illinois is completed substantial benefits await the river towns, and Daven- 
port will be in position to share in them. 

In the four score years of its career Davenport has traveled far, and not 
in vain. It has done big things, and by doing them has found the wisdom 
and the strength to grapple with even larger ones. It breathes the atmosphere 
of success. It has won the fight that faces every city which would be 
truly great. 


Moline, East Moline, and Silvis 

Moline population (1920 census) 30,745. Capacity of city pumping plant 17,000,000 
Average population gain by decades since gallons. 

1860 58 per cent. Annual expenditure for public education 
Number of industries 55. $450,000. 

Capital invested in industries $108,000,000. Number of homes (1920 census) 6,535. 

Total banking resources (Dec. 29, 1922) N u mb e r of owned homes 5,000. 

$18,774,497. Has water power and good steamboat harbor. 

Postal receipts (1922) $272,546. Combined population of Moline, East Moline 
Area of city 6.5 square miles. and Silvis 41,950. 

Miles of paved streets 58. Greatest implement making center in the 

Miles of sewers 68. 

. . , Number of workers employed in industries 

Acreage of parks 170. of the three cities 10,000. 

Annual carload shipments in and out 10,000. 

OLINE, East Moline and Silvis together comprise the industrial 
unit of the Tri-City group. Jointly they cover an area of more than 
ten square miles and have a population of 41,393 souls. Moline and 
East Moline form the largest agricultural implement manufacturing 
center in the world. Silvis is the home of the repair shops of the 

Rock Island Lines, one of the most complete establishments of the kind in 

the country. 

Moline, known wherever man cultivates the land with modern tools as 
the Plow City, has a population of 30,734, according to the 1920 census. 
East Moline, laid out a score of years ago to accommodate Moline's indus- 
trial overflow, had a population of 8,675 when the last federal count was 
made, and Silvis was credited with 2,541 people. The combined population 
of the three cities named increased 13,336, or 47.7 per cent in the ten-year 
period from 1910 to 1920. Moline's gain has averaged 58 per cent by decades 
since 1860. East Moline's increase was 214.2 per cent from 1910 to 1920, 
while that of Silvis was 118.4. 

Moline, besides offering many advantages by reason of its exceptional 
location with reference to assembling of materials and distribution, its fine 
transportation facilities and the high class of its labor, is an ideal home city. 
So, also, are East Moline and Silvis. This is primarily because of the 
character of the people, the great bulk of its bread-winners being skilled 
workmen who, favored by steady employment at good wages and being as a 
rule by nature thrifty, have established homes of their own. Sober and in- 
dustrious, fairly rewarded for their labor, they are contented and stand for 
the things that make a city attractive. 

Manufacturing plants in Moline and East Moline are segregated along 
the river, giving the advantage of level sites and accessibility to rail and 
water transportation. Both cities have room on the flat at the foot of the 
bluffs for flourishing business districts, while "the hills and level upland 
farther south are ideal for residence purpos'es. Moline has spread across 
the latter, nearly two miles in width, and is about' to invade the valley. of 


Rock river, the bluffs of which already are occupied by residences. Silvis 
is not on the river, but its manufacturing district is confined to the bottom 
of the valley, in conformity with the zoning of its neighboring cities. 

The progressive spirit of her citizens has made Moline's development 
safe and sure. Established originally as a mill town, it always has aimed 
chiefly at industrial expansion, but its enterprise also has sought and found 
other outlets. Many big civic undertakings have been successfully handled 
and it has weathered periods of depression with never a step backward. Its 
people have shown their faith by their works, and their works have created 
a city that is fair to look upon, and as good as it is fair. 

A typical achievement of Moline was the removal of its business district 
from the north side to the south side of the railroad tracks which bisect the 
down-town section. The advantage of having the main retail area on one 
side or the other was obvious. Crossings were dangerous and often were 
blocked by trains. Overhead tracks were out of the question. There was 
urgent need that something be done, and something was done in a surpris- 
ingly short time and with most gratifying results. 

In the early days the city's retail business was done mostly in two blocks 
on Second avenue. Expansion brought Third avenue to the front, three or 
four blocks there becoming the center of activities, with a gradual encroach- 
ment upon Fifteenth street on the other side of the tracks. And then the time 
came, early in the present century, when still more room was needed. Third 
avenue was inadequate, and anyway the big implement makers had invaded it 
with their warehouses and were in need of still more space there. 

The removal across the tracks did not just happen. It was planned 
deliberately and systematically. It began in 1903. New business blocks 
began to rise on Fifteenth street, on Fifth and even on Sixth avenues. Now, 
after twenty years, there are probably only two or three merchants still on 
Third avenue who were there when the movement began. The present 
business district is almost entirely new, which gives it an air of modernity 
not often found in a city that has been established for more than half a 

The first lot purchased for business purposes south of the tracks in the 
transaction which started the exodus from Third avenue cost $112 per front 
foot. Three years later an adjacent lot sold for $300 per foot. Now it has a 
value of $1,000 per foot. The residence district has been pushed farther 
and farther south as the business district grows. There are also several 
groups of retail establishments on the bluff. 

The move across the railroad tracks was the beginning of a new era 
in Moline. In fact, it may be considered the city's commercial re-birth. 

Joel Wells was the first white settler in the territory that afterward be- 
came Moline. He and his two sons are said to have come to this vicinity 


some time between 1829 and 1832. They at one time had possession of most 
of the land now forming the heart of the city. Other settlers arrived and 
the tract was devoted to agricultural purposes until after 1841. 

In 1841 D. B. Sears and Spencer H. White constructed a dam from the 
Illinois shore to the island now occupied by the Arsenal, to harness the 
Mississippi rapids for the operation of a flour mill. Organizers of the mill 
company were Messrs. Sears and White and John W. Spencer. The plant 
was erected at the southern end of the dam and Thomas G. Patterson was 
the first millwright employed. 

In 1842 the first industrial enterprise of the present Plow City was 
launched. Later Mr. Sears obtained control by purchasing the interests of 
his partners. He built another dam from Rock Island to Benham's island 
and placed a new mill there. Other small factories, attracted by the power, 
soon were located on the mainland and on the island, and so grew a nucleus 
for the later development of the community. 

Meanwhile the spiritual and intellectual welfare of the settlers were not 
being neglected. In 1834 the first religious organization was formed by the 
Methodists. There were few members. Rev. Thomas McMurty, the pastor, 
opened the first school in 1835, and served as teacher. 

Workmen employed at the first mill were without permanent shelter, 
and in 1842 Spencer White built the first frame house to serve as a home 
for the men. The following year the mill company laid out a town and 
divided it into lots, some of which were quickly sold. In 1843, also, the town 
was named. Selection of the name devolved upon a small group of pioneers 
who were interested in the enterprise. They did not agree, and so on the 
plat of the town were written two titles, Hesperia and Moulin. Hesperia 
means the star of the west. Moulin, from the French, means a mill. Charles 
Atkinson, who had the distinction of building the first brick house, held out 
for Moulin, and that name prevailed. The spelling of the name in some way 
was changed to conform with the pronunciation. 

Moline was incorporated in 1848. Daniel Obermyre was the first village 
president, Daniel Gordon clerk, Cyrus Kinsey treasurer, Charles Atkinson 
assessor, A. M. Hubbard constable and collector, and John Patterson super- 
visor of the roads. A special act of the legislature permitted re-incorpora- 
tion in 1855. City organization came in 1872. July 1 of that year the law 
providing for the incorporation of cities became effective. Two days later 
the village trustees were asked to have the question of a change submitted to 
the people. This was done and the proposition carried 261 to 22. Daniel L. 
Wheelock was the first mayor, Orrin Ferguson clerk, Charles F. Hemenway 
treasurer and John T. Browning attorney. John Deere was the second 

It is to John Deere, more than to any other man, that Moline owes its 
prestige as an implement-making center. Deere began making plows in the 


forties, and the excellence of his product, the quantity of his output and the 
vigor with which he sought new fields to market it soon spread the fame of 
the town. Gradually the Deere shops grew and their growth attracted other 
manufacturers, who set up plants to make plows and other implements, farm 
wagons, light vehicles, machinery, etc. Moline also once had its lumber 
mills, but their departure a score of years ago was scarcely noticed in the 
general industrial growth. 

In time absorption of the individual enterprises by the Deere interests 
began. The Moline Plow Company also entered the field as competitor. 
Both major concerns acquired complete lines of plows, cultivating and 
harvesting machinery, tractors and motor and other vehicles. P"or the most 
part these were secured by purchase of home or outside individual manufac- 
turing enterprises which were taken over and operated as a unit. To a large 
extent the industry has been consolidated in Moline and East Moline, with 
many millions invested, an immense output and with distribution facilities 
in practically all parts of the civilized world. 

While the early growth of Moline and the later development of East 
Moline was given the greatest impetus by the implement-making business, 
neither place can be called a one-line manufacturing city. Moline has approx- 
imately 55 industries, including, besides the farm implement plants, one of the 
leading automobile factories in the country. Heavy machinery, furniture, 
steel products, automobile bodies, tools, wood products and licorice are a few 
of the other products that are turned out in large quantities. East Moline also 
has a big automobile factory, in addition to concerns making gasoline motors, 
laundry machinery, scales, storage batteries and metal and wooden novelties. 

Value of the output of Moline factories for 1919, shown in the 1920 fed- 
eral census, the latest official figures available, was $44,811,021. Capital 
invested was listed as $108,000,000. The number of workers employed was 
5,444 and the annual wages $9,470,632. In that year East Moline factories 
employed about 2,600, the annual wages amounted to a little less than half 
of the Moline total, and the output and capital invested were in proportion. 
The number of men employed in the Silvis railroad shops and yards was 
nearly 2,000. 

Moline's acreage is 4,183. Virtually all of this is platted. It has 97 
miles of streets, 58 miles of pavement, 94 miles of sidewalks and 68 miles 
of sewen mains. 

The assessed valuation of property in the city in 1922 was $11,980,000. 
Current appropriations were $528,999. The 1922 tax rate was $7.71 on the 
hundred dollars valuation. The city's .bonded indebtedness in" 1922 was 

There are 170 acres of parks and recreational centers in Moline. Two 
of the parks have lakes where wading and bathing are enjoyed in the summer 
and skating in the winter. Browning field is a completely equipped athletic 


field, with a steel constructed grandstand having a seating capacity of 5,000. 
Professional baseball and amateur games are played there. It is easily 
reached from the business district. The six parks are conveniently located 
to serve the entire city. Public playgrounds are conducted in each of the 
parks by the Community Service League. 

Recreational facilities include many attractive drives in and near the 
city. There is a vehicle bridge connecting with Rock Island Arsenal, the 
golf course of which is reached more directly from the business district of 
Moline than from that of either of its neighboring cities. Many business 
and professional men and manufacturers avail themselves of the advantages 
offered. Campbell's island, named after the commander of a river expedi- 
tion which was attacked and defeated by the Indians during the second war 
with England, is maintained as a watering place, with bathing beach and 
summer camps patronized by thousands each season. There are many camps, 
also, on Rock river. Aquatic sports are popular. Pigeon clubs are numerous 
and flying contests are held in season. East Moline St. Elroy Driving club 
has a half-mile track ori the outskirts of that city and holds regular meets in 
summer and autumn. 

Moline has pure filtered water, the raw supply being taken from the 
channel of the Mississippi. The pumping capacity of the plant, which is 
owned by the city and valued at $1,198,914, is 17,000,000 gallons daily. The 
filter capacity is 5,000,000 gallons, or more than twice the average daily 
consumption. A filtered reserve of several million gallons is maintained. 
Water service is meterized throughout the city. The minimum quarterly 
charge for a five-eighths-inch meter, the size used by the average family, is 
$2.25 ; for a three-quarter-inch $3, and the rate graduates up to $30 for a 
6-inch meter. There are 78 miles of water mains and 749 fire hydrants. The 
factory district is supplied through separate raw water mains with private 
pumping plant. 

The fire department is modern and completely motorized. Four stations, 
centrally located, are manned by a crew of 28. The average annual fire loss 
for the ten-year period ending with the close of 1922 was $85,000. Because 
of its well organized department, complete fire-fighting apparatus, adequate 
water supply and strict attention to lessening of fire hazards, the city has an 
unusually low fire insurance rate, being based on a classification of two and 

Moline has an efficient police department of 28 men. Law enforcement 
is uniformly effective, the city being kept unusually, free from vice. Good 
order is maintained in public places and traffic regulations are not allowed to 
become a dead letter. There is a city court with resident judge. 

Great pride is manifested in the schools of the city. There are 16 
buildings, including a central high school costing $250,000. Total enrollment 
of pupils is 4,900. Annual expenditures for school purposes, is $450,000. The 


value of school property is $1,600,000 and the school debt $321,000. There 
are two Roman Catholic parochial schools with a combined attendance of 800. 

Religious organizations are well supported. There are 27 churches, 25 
Protestant and two Roman Catholic. Combined affiliations of the former 
are 8,000 persons and of the latter 4,500. Four new church buildings were 
started in 1922. Another, begun in 1919, was approaching completion. 
Church property has a total valuation of one and one-quarter millions. 

There is a commodious Carnegie library, located in the business district 
and stocked with 32,000 volumes. 

Moline has three hospitals with a combined capacity of more than 200 
beds. One of these is city owned and supported by a 3-mill tax. There are 
a nurses' home, maternity home and detention hospital in connection and a 
training school for nurses is conducted. One of the other hospitals is main- 
tained by the Rock Island district Lutheran churches, and its equipment 
includes a modern X-ray laboratory. It also has a nurses' training school. 
The third hospital, a private one, specializes in health baths. 

Moline's status as a hotel city was materially advanced by the construc- 
tion of the million-dollar LeClaire hotel, nearing completion at the close of 
1922. This 15-story structure has 202 guest rooms and 70 family apartments 
and is one of the largest and most costly to be found in any city of Moline's 
population. Other local hotels together have regular facilities for the 
accommodation of 200 guests. 

The, city is well cared for in the matter of public utilities. Its power 
and gas supply and street railway and telephone service are not excelled 
anywhere. The power plants generating electricity both by steam and 
water for the entire tri-city district are located within its boundaries, as 
is the gas plant supplying the cities on the Illinois side of the river. The 
capacity of these is far beyond the normal needs of the community. At the 
close of 1922 there were in the city 182.6 miles of gas main, reduced to 
3-inch equivalent, and 423.13 miles of single wire power distribution lines. 
The number of electric customers was 7,238 and of gas customers 6,940. The 
Tri-City Railway Company has two lines operating the full length of the 
city east and west and two north and south. There are three lines connecting 
with Rock Island, one with East Moline and one with Silvis. The combined 
mileage of tracks is 20.63. 

In East Moline and Silvis there are 63.7 miles of gas mains and 280.41 
miles of power distribution lines, with 2,671 electric customers and 1,593 
gas customers. Total mileage of street railway tracks is 8.6. 

There is but one telephone system, that of the Illinois Bell Company, 
with 5,700 stations in Moline and 1,100 in East Moline and Silvis. 

The power, light, gas and telephone rates are the same as in Rock Island, 
being exceptionally low, and the street railway fare, also, is 10 cents, with the 


privilege of riding for a nickel extended to those who purchase monthly 
identification cards, for which 50 cents is charged. The average fare col- 
lected under this plan is a little more than six cents. 

Moline is served by the trunk line of the C. R. I. & P., the main north 
and south line and the Sterling branch of the C. B. &, Q. and the Chicago- 
Kansas City line of the C. M. & St. P. It also has-a belt line, the D. R. I. & 
N. W., connecting with Davenport, Rock Island, East Moline, Silvis and 
Carbon Cliff, and having a system of terminals and service tracks in the 
industrial district. The Milwaukee road uses its main line and the terminals. 
There are 50 trains in and out daily. In Moline and the two cities adjoining 
on the east there are 29 miles of main track and 111 miles of service and other 
tracks, the switch yards including the big division terminal of the C. R. I. & 
P. at Silvis. 

Freight shipments in and out of Moline and East Moline run about 40,000 
cars annually. In 1922, which was below normal, there were 15,032 carload 
lots received and 11,083 forwarded. 

In the days when water transportation flourished Moline, by reason of 
the rapids and the water power development of its river front, was practically 
cut off from steamboat connections. In 1907, however, the government built 
a lock, and subsequent improvement of the rapids has given the city an ex- 
ceptionally good slack water harbor through which all craft navigating the 
Mississippi at this point must pass. With railroads on the river bank and most 
of its big industrial plants within convenient reach, the city is bound to be a 
source of much business for river craft in the event of their revival. At 
this time the river is valuable mainly for the power it furnishes and for the 
possibilities of further development in this direction that it affords. 

Supplementing its railroad and water shipping facilities is a system of 
improved highways which promises to play an equally prominent part in 
keeping Moline on the map. With one hard road to the east connecting with 
city pavement at Silvis completed at the close of 1922, state and county 
building programs already financed promised two more concrete highways 
in 1923. One of these was to be extended south, via Coal Valley, and the 
other northeast through the upper end of the county, paralleling Rock river. 
Two other routes, leading east and north, were to be improved with either 
concrete or gravel. Southwest the city has highway outlets through Rock 
Island and north and west through Davenport. Rock Island in late years 
has co-operated with Moline in laying out and improving through streets 
to facilitate exchange of motor vehicle traffic, and further plans in this direc- 
tion are being considered. Interests of all the adjoining cities in this 
respect are looked after practically as well as if they were under a single 
municipal government. 

Moline already has made material advances as a retail center, having 
three large department stores and many other prosperous concerns dealing 


in the various lines of goods. Removal of the business district across the 
railroad tracks greatly aided its business revival. The city's commercial 
interests are looked after by several live organizations of business men. 
Completion of the road building program is expected to bring great benefits 
to retailers. 

In banking resources- the Plow City is keeping pace with its general 
growth. It has six banks, all in sound condition and with combined resources 
at the close of 1922 of $18,774,497. There are several imposing bank build- 
ings, the home of the Moline Trust & Savings bank, completed in 1922, be- 
ing one of the city's sky-scrapers. Steady growth in all (departments has 
characterized the city's banking history. The following totals for all banks, 
taken from official statements made at three different times in the last decade, 
bear out this assertion: 

Capital Profits and Loans and Total 

Stock Surplus Investments Deposits Resources 

Feb. 3, 1913 $ 975,000 $433,625.60 $ 9 080,141.97 $10,135,732.65 $11,733,536.89 

Mar. 4. 1919 1,075,000 611,451.82 14,567.174.79 15,672.247.12 17.521,545.29 

Dec. 29, 1922__ 1,300,000 991,450.19 16,282,803.15 15,782,710.79 18,774,497.81 

Nothing can better show the growth of Moline than the steady increase 
of its postal receipts during the last 30 years, which amounted to over 1,000 
per cent. The following figures show the advance made in approximately 
5-year periods since 1891 : 

1891 _ _ $ 24,433.28 

1895 III 27,312.54 

1900 _. 43,385.66 

1905 65,480.83 

1910 126,350.43 

1916 _ 182,749.24 

1920 _ 272,546.75 

Moline is an own-your-own-home city. At the last census there were 
6,535 homes, and of these approximately 5,000 were occupied by their owners. 
This is a most exceptional showing. A larger percentage of the industrial 
workers own their own homes than in any other city in the country, it is 
said. The average value of these homes is high and they are well kept. 
The 'rolling character of the residence district gives scope for effective 
landscaping, and the opportunity has not been neglected. A score of costly 
residences established by founders of the city's large industries and their 
families crown the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi and Rock rivers and 
add materially to the natural beauty of the sky-line, viewed from either the 
north or the south. Growth of the residential section is mostly toward the 
south. More than a million dollars is spent normally each year on new homes. 
In 1922, which was below the average, 68 new residences were erected. The 
total expenditure, based on cost estimates given when building permits were 
issued, was $733,473. These estimates did not include plumbing, wiring, 
improvement of grounds, and other items, so that the sum actually spent was 
at least $1,000,000. 

Population classification statistics of the 1920 census gave Moline 23,002 
native white residents, 7,391 foreign born and 338 colored. The number of 


dwellings was 6,535 and families 7,564. Sweden was the birthplace of 3,640 
of the foreign born and Belgium of 1,615. From the earliest days the 
Swedish element has been prominent in the city, and this fact has been one 
of the most potent in connection with the industrial development of the 
community. The industry, thrift, sobriety and spirit of co-operation and 
high quality of citizenship of this class has profoundly affected the Plow 
City's destiny. 

In East Moline, in 1920, there were 5,857 native white, 2,423 foreign born 
white, 409 negroes; 1,287 dwellings and 1,357 families. The Silvis classifica- 
tion showed 1,898 native born whites, 636 foreign born, 7 negroes, 517 dwell- 
ings, 605 families. 

Moline has 13,000 registered voters and East Moline 3,000. 

Organizations for business, fraternal, social, educational, recreational, 
patriotic and welfare purposes are numerous in Moline, East Moline and 
Silvis. The Moline and East Moline Chambers of Commerce have a large 
membership and are wide-awake. The Moline Woman's club is one of the 
strongest in the state. The city is headquarters of the Tri-City Manufac- 
turers' association. Masons, Odd Fellows, Elks and Eagles are well estab- 
lished. There are many Swedish organizations and a number formed by 
Belgian-Americans. There is an Industrial hall, the home of the various 
labor organizations, and owned by the federated unions. Swedish Olive 
lodge of Odd Fellows has its own building, as have the Eagles, who also 
maintain a club house on Rock river which cost $50,000. The Elks also have 
a club house. The Moline Y. M. C. A., with a membership of 600, has a fine 
home and does a splendid work. The East Moline Y. M. C. A. also is well 
housed. Moline has a welfare association which extends its activities to 
East Moline in emergencies. The Red Cross Visiting Nurses' association 
serves all three of the cities, ministering to the sick and holding clinics for 
the promotion of modern methods of handling disease and caring for infants. 
Among cities of 25,000 to 50,000 population Moline ranks as one of the three 
lowest in the United States in infant mortality, with a rate of 35 per 1,000. 

There is a Federation of Girls' Clubs with 22 affiliating organizations, 
a participating membership of 600 and a sustaining and associate membership 
of 400. 

All three cities are liberal patrons of musical and dramatic entertain- 
ments and of the cinema. There are many fine theatres, the largest being the 
LeClaire, costing $300,000 and seating 2,000 people. Sports flourish, es- 
pecially professional baseball, football, wrestling, boxing and bowling. 
Moline is a member of the Three-Eye Baseball league. 

Public buildings in Moline include an imposing modern city hall, post- 
office, library and city hospital. In Riverside cemetery there is a mausoleum, 
built at a cost of $100,000, containing 850 crypts, and the only building of the 
kind in the Tri-City community. 


Perhaps the most imposing group of buildings in the vicinity is that 
of the Western Illinois Hospital for the Insane, better known as the Water- 
town hospital, located on a point of the bluff overlooking the Mississippi val- 
ley at the northeast corner of East Moline. Here, visible for miles down the 
valley, are 21 structures, mostly of stone and of striking architectural design. 
In addition to the grounds about the buildings, which are well wooded and 
beautifully parked, there is a farm cultivated mainly by inmates, and one of 
the show places of the locality. All told there are 590 acres of land in the 
tract and the valuation of the hospital property is $1,340,750. The number 
of patients cared for is about 1,700 and there are 320 employes. 

East Moline was built primarily to take care of the needs of Moline 
industries, which a score of years ago found themselves without sufficient 
room for expansion. Incorporation as a village took place in 1903. Its 
growth was surprising. Four years later it became a city. It now has all the 
improvements and advantages of the average city' of two or three times its 

There are 2,396 acres, or 3.7 square miles, in East Moline. The area 
platted is 1,125 acres. The normal building rate is in keeping with, the rapid 
increase of its population and industrial importance, though many of its shop 
workers are still drawn from Moline. Its residence district is attractive, 
especially that on the bluff, and there are many fine homes. 

The city has 40 miles of streets, 13 miles of pavement, 15 miles of water 
mains, 17 miles of sanitary sewers, 3 miles of storm sewers, 18 miles of 
alleys and 31 miles of concrete sidewalks. 

City property includes waterworks pumping plant, valued at $20,000, 
city hall, $40,000, and barns, $4,000. Pumping capacity of the water plant, 
which draws its supply from wells, is 750,000 gallons- daily and the capacity 
of the standpipes, which are located on the bluff and furnish pressure, is 
600,000 gallons. Average fire loss for the last decade has been less than 
$20,000. Plans are in hand for an extension of the fire department and for 
the building of a new library. 

There are exceptionally fine schools in East Moline, with five grade 
buildings and a township high school. Enrollment in the grade schools in 
1922 was 1,400 and in the high school 282. The high school maintains a 
uniformed band and orchestra. Value of school property is $229,590 and 
the bonded school indebtedness $97,500. 

There are three growing banks in East Moline with total resources of 
$3,000,000 and total deposits of $2,250,000 at the close of 1922. 

Receipts of the East Moline postoffice in 1922 were $28,230.44. In 1912 
they were $10,000 and in 1917 $17,920, having nearly doubled in each five-year 


Three parks, having a total acreage of 32, provide recreational centers. 
Each park has a playground, conducted by the Community Service Council. 
A country club is in course of construction and a nme-hol'e golf course is 
being laid out on a beautiful 110-acre tract, situated just south of the business 
district. The city is within 10 minutes by trolley of Campbell's island, which 
is much patronized by campers and week-end recreation parties during the 
summer months. Many residents also have summer homes on Rock river. 

Silvis was founded in 1906 as a place of residence for workers in the 
repair shops of the Rock Island road. It was named after C. L. Silvis, who 
took a leading part in its inception. It was incorporated as a city in 1920. 
In 1910 the population was 1,163 and in 1920 more than double that number. 
Besides the railroad shops, Silvis has the general store of the entire Rock 
Island railroad system and receiving yards which are exceeded in size at but 
few points. Normally about two thousand men are employed in shops, 
storehouse and yards. Many of these reside in the adjoining cities, being 
transported to and from work by special shop train. 

Silvis has three miles of paved streets, connecting with which is the 
first concrete highway to be built eastward from the Tri-City community. 
Its water supply is taken from artesian wells. Sewer and) water mains cover 
the city. The sewer outlet is in Rock river. The city has two municipal 
parks and an automobile tourists' camp. It has just erected a $45,000 city hall. 

From the Press of 


Rock Island, 111. 




Foreword 7 

Location and Advantages 1 2 

Record During the World War 14 

Main Items of Production 19 

Vast Program of Construction 24 

Expansion of Shop Personnel 45 

Military Personnel 49 

Civilian and Military Guard 52 

Post-War Activities 55 

Savanna Proving Ground 59 

War with Spain 61 

Fort Armstrong :.... 67 

Squatters' Rights 71 

Building the Original Arsenal 76 

What the Arsenal has Cost, and Its Present Valuation 80 

Military Prison in Civil War 85 

The Arsenal's Water Power 87 

Improvement of the Rock Island Rapids 93 

Bridging the Mississippi 97 

Passenger Transport 1 03 

The Military Museum.... 105 

The Old Davenport House 1 07 

Arsenal Commandants 1 09 

Other Arsenals 1 16 

Resources of the Tri-Cities 1 20 

City of Rock Island 2 74 

City of Davenport 286 

Moline, East Moline and Silvis 299 


List of Illustrations 


Rock Island Arsenal, view from the air (Frontispiece) 2 

Maj. Gen. C. C. Williams, chief of ordnance 6 

Main entrance at west end of island 9 

Pouring molten trinitrotoluol into shells 14 

Loaded shells ready to be issued 1 5 

Storehouse W-I and group of original shops 18 

Group of interior views of storehouses 20 

Walnut for gunstocks, in storage 22 

Commandant's headquarters 23 

Two views of Shop M 25 

Craneway in field and siege building 27 

Shop R and new steam-heating plant 29 

Two views of Shop L 31 

Artillery vehicle storehouses 33 

Temporary office building No. 2 35 

Storehouse VI 41 

Nitrate and ammunition storehouses 42 

Arsenal employes participating in Liberty day celebration 44 

Women workers in cloth department 46 

Arsenal workers' band 47 

Interior of machine shop 48 

Col. Leroy T. Hillman 50 

Troops in line at presentation of faithful service badges... 5 1 

Rock Island Arsenal military drill corps 52 

Rock Island Arsenal woman's military drill corps r 52 

Rock Island Arsenal fire-fighting force 53 

Chemical fire truck 54 

Mark VIII tank 57 

Col. Jordan presenting faithful service badges 58 

Tractors and tanks in field at Savanna proving ground 59 

Quarters of commanding officer at Savanna 60 

Group of shop interiors 62 

Site of old Fort Armstrong 64 

Rock Island Arsenal Golf Club 65 

Group of veteran Arsenal employes 66 

Fort Armstrong, as originally built 68 

Reproduction of first block house 70 

Grave of Gen. Rodman 72 

Residence of Arsenal commandant 73 

Beauty spots on island 74 

Flag pole at commanding officer's headquarters 75 

View of first storehouse and original shops 77 

Filtration plant 80 

INDEX iii 

List of Illustrations Continued 


Arsenal workers' cafeteria 8 1 

Entrance to Conferedate cemetery 86 

Power dam, viewed from below 88 

Interior of power house 90 

Typical natural forest tree on island river front 92 

Original Rock Island bridge 98 

Second Rock Island bridge 99 

Present Rock Island bridge 1 00 

Remains of island pier of first bridge 102 

Fort Armstrong avenue 1 04 

Arsenal museum , 1 06 

Home of Col. Davenport 1 07 

Looking toward Davenport from west end of island 108 

Rock Island Arsenal commandants during World War period (Col. 
George W. Burr, Col. Leroy T. Hillman, Col. Harry B. Jordan and 

Col. D. M. King) 110 

Arsenal commandants prior to World War (Col. F. E. Hobbs, Col. S. E. 
Blunt, Col. A. R. Buffington, Col. J. M. Whittemore, Col. T. G. Baylor, 

Gen. D. W. Flagler, Gen. T. J. Rodman, Maj. C. P. Kingsbury) 1 12 

Col. John T. Thompson 1 15 

Regulation uniform for women workers 117 

City of Rock Island, seen from Arsenal clock tower 121 

Looking south from island end of Moline bridge 123 

Looking up the river from head of island 124 


Rock Island Arsenal before World War 10 

Rock Island Arsenal after World War 1 1 

Rock Island, mapped in 1870 85 

Rock Island rapids 94 

Tri-City community surrounding Arsenal 272-273 


Commercial Representation 


Augustana College 182 

Augustana Book Concern 223 

Bechtel, Geo. M. & Co 234 

Beder Wood's Sons Company 226 

Bettendorf Company 1 77 

Bettendorf Oxygen-Hydrogen Company 2 1 2 

Boies, M. V. Company 25 1 

Borg & Beck Company 1 93 

Builders Sand & Gravel Company 190 

Burlington Railroad , 1 38 

Catholic Messenger 271 

Central Trust & Savings Bank 240 

Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad 143 

Como Hotel '. 269 

Crane Co 261 

Daily Times 200 

Davenport Clearing House Association 263 

Davenport Democrat 20 1 

Davenport Water Company 1 92 

Deere & Co 159 

Don Sales Company 269 

Eckman Studio 2 70 

Faerber Agency 249 

Federal System of Bakeries 1 74 

Federal Surety Company 232 

First Trust & Savings Bank of Rock Island 242 

French & Hecht 243 

Hand, John P. Company 248 

Horst, Henry W. Company 1 25 

Iowa Steam Laundry Company 250 

Knox Mortuary 213 

Linograph Company 202 

Maehr Company 253 

McCarthy Improvement Company 1 85 

McCabe, L. S 230 

Mercy Hospital 271 

Miller Hotel Company 268 

Modern Woodmen of America .. 25 7 

Moline Dispatch 197 

Commercial Representation Continued 


Moline Paint Company 252 

Moline Consumers Company 254 

National Construction Company 204 

Peoples National Bank and American Trust & Savings Bank 236 

Phelps Light & Power Company 245 

Photo Art Engraving Company 266 

Purity Oats Company 262 

Putnam, W. C. Estate 265 

Robinsons, Pioneer Bankers and City Builders 228 

Rock Island Argus : 1 98 

Rock Island Bridge & Iron Company 203 

Rock Island Fuel Company 224 

Rock Island Mfg. Company 2 1 7 

Rock Island Plow Company 1 5 1 

Rock Island Railroad 1 3 1 

Rock Island Register Company 2 1 6 

Rock Island Sand & Gravel Company 270 

Rock Island Sash & Door Works 156 

Rock Island Savings Bank 239 

Rock Island Southern 256 

Rock Island Telephone System 1 88 

Rock Island Transfer & Storage Company 222 

Rock Island Wood Works 225 

R&V Motor Company 169 

Seaman Paper Company 267 

Sheldon, Geo. Company 206 

Snider, Walsh & Hynes... 256 

St. Ambrose College 220 

St. Katherine's School 22 1 

Stapp, L. Company, Florists 246 

State Bank of Rock Island 241 

Sturtevant-Baker Company 2 10 

Tri-City Brick Company 208 

Tri-City Railway & Light Company 162 

Victor Storage Battery Company 244 

Villa de Chantal 219 

Weyerhaeuser & Denkmann Company 155 

Walsh Construction Company 1 46 

White-Phillips Company 235 

Walsh, R. J. & Co 238