|Rock Island, Illinois|
|County||Rock Island County|
|• Mayor||Dennis Pauley|
|• City||17.1 sq mi (44 km2)|
|• Land||15.9 sq mi (41 km2)|
|• Water||1.2 sq mi (3 km2)|
|Population (2009 )|
|• Density||2,417.7/sq mi (933.5/km2)|
|• Metro||379,690 (134th)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
Rock Island is the county seat of Rock Island County, Illinois, United States. The population was 39,684 at the 2000 census. Located on the Mississippi River, it is one of the Quad Cities, along with neighboring Moline, East Moline, and the Iowa cities of Davenport and Bettendorf. The Quad Cities has a population of 379,690. The city is home to Rock Island Arsenal, the largest government-owned weapons manufacturing arsenal in the United States, which employs 6,000 people.
Prior to European contact, this area was settled for thousands of years by varying cultures of indigenous peoples. By the early nineteenth century, it was occupied chiefly by the Sauk Native Americans. Their major village of Saukenuk was located on the south side of Rock Island, along the Rock River. Fort Armstrong was built in 1816 on the island after the War of 1812.
Saukenuk was the birthplace of the Sauk war chief Black Hawk, for whom the Black Hawk War of 1831-1832 was named. Fort Armstrong served as the US military's headquarters for the war. Today the Black Hawk State Historic Site, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, includes much of the site of the original village of Saukenuk. The park includes a museum and a number of hiking trails along the Rock River and in surrounding woods.
As part of later nineteenth-century industrial development, there were two first-class hotels: the Harper House (opened in February 1871) and the Rock Island House. European Americans founded the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad here in 1851. It was informally known as the Rock Island Line. After many decades of transporting produce, commodities, people and goods through the Midwest, the railroad was liquidated in bankruptcy in 1980.
Rock Island Arsenal has been an active manufacturer of military equipment and ordnance for the U.S. Army since the 1880s.
Due to its geography, Rock Island has a rich history of bridge building. The first railroad bridge across the Mississippi River was built between Arsenal Island and Davenport in 1856. Steamboat pilots of the day, fearful of competition from the railroads, considered the new bridge "a hazard to navigation". Two weeks after the bridge opened, the steamboat Effie Afton rammed part of the bridge and set it on fire. Legal proceedings ensued—with a young lawyer named Abraham Lincoln defending the railroad. The lawsuit was appealed all the way to the United States Supreme Court, where the ruling was in favor of Lincoln and the railroad. Although the original bridge is long gone, a monument exists on Arsenal Island marking the Illinois side. Bridge Street in Davenport is the location of the Iowa side.
Lock and Dam No. 15 and the Government Bridge are located just southwest of the original bridge site. The Government Bridge, completed in 1896, is notable for having two sets of railroad tracks above the car lanes. It is one of only two bridges in the world with this feature. Lock and Dam No. 15, completed in 1934 as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project during the Great Depression, is the largest roller dam in the world. The dam is designed only for navigation, not flood control. During flood season, the rollers are raised, unleashing the full flow of the water.
Three other bridges span the river between Rock Island and Davenport. The Crescent Rail Bridge is a railroad-only bridge, completed in 1899. The Centennial Bridge was completed in 1940 for autos only. The newest bridge is the Interstate 280 bridge, completed in 1973.
On the south side of the city, overlooked by the Black Hawk State Historic Site, is a crossing of the Rock River to Milan, Illinois. This set of bridges also crosses the historic Hennepin Canal, and Sears dam. (Sears dam is named after entrepreneur David B. Sears - who previously built the Sears dam between Arsenal Island and Moline.) A new bridge was completed in 2007 between 3rd Street Moline/southeast Rock Island and Milan. It expedites the trip to Milan, the airport, and points south on U.S. Route 67.
Rock Island is located at (41.489083, -90.573154).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.1 square miles (44.4 km²), of which, 15.9 square miles (41.2 km²) of it is land and 1.2 square miles (3.2 km²) of it (7.11%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 39,684 people, 16,148 households, and 9,543 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,492.0 people per square mile (962.4/km²). There were 17,542 housing units at an average density of 1,101.6 per square mile (425.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 77.13% White, 17.17% African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.75% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 2.41% from other races, and 2.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.90% of the population.
There were 16,148 households out of which 26.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.2% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.9% were non-families. 34.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.97.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.0% under the age of 18, 13.1% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 89.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $34,729, and the median income for a family was $45,127. Males had a median income of $32,815 versus $23,378 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,202. About 10.9% of families and 14.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.5% of those under age 18 and 8.4% of those age 65 or over.
According to the City's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the largest employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||Trinity Regional Health System||1,500|
|2||Rock Island-Milan School District 41||900|
|3||County of Rock Island||510|
|5||Jumer's Casino & Hotel||450|
|6||Performance Food Group||450|
|7||Modern Woodmen of America||440|
|9||Dohrn Transfer Company||300|
|10||Norcross Safety Products||330|
Rock Island is served by the Rock Island/Milan School District. There are also several private schools allied with religious denominations.
Elementary schools Edit
- Denkmann Elementary
- Earl Hanson Elementary
- Eugene Field Elementary
- Frances Willard Elementary
- Rock Island Center for Math and Science (formerly Horace Mann Elementary)
- Immanuel Lutheran School
- Jordan Catholic School
- Longfellow Elementary
- Morning Star Academy (Christian)
- Ridgewood Elementary
- Thomas Jefferson Elementary (located in Milan, Illinois)
Middle schools Edit
- Edison Junior High
- Jordan Catholic School
- Washington Junior High
High schools Edit
Former schools, now closedEdit
- Audubon Elementary (2009)
- Franklin Junior High
- Grant Elementary
- Hawthorne Irving Elementary
- Lincoln Elementary
- Villa de Chantal (Catholic, 1978 closure, building destroyed by fire in 2005)
Points of interest Edit
- Augustana College (Illinois)
- Black Hawk State Historic Site
- Broadway Historic District
- Chippiannock Cemetery
- Hauberg Civic Center
- Longview Park Conservatory and Gardens
- Quad City Botanical Center
- Rock Island Public Library 
- Rock Island Arsenal is a National Historic Landmark
Rock Island, Illinois is the site of the Quad City Hindu Temple, a Hindu shrine dedicated chiefly to the deity Venkateswara. The temple opened in 2007. Prior to its construction, Hindu worshippers had to travel to St. Louis or Peoria to participate in Hindu festivals and worship.
- Ballet Quad Cities
- The Quad City Symphony Orchestra plays part of its Masterworks Series' concerts at Centennial Hall on the Augustana College campus.
Rock Island is the location of television station WHBF-TV. Until 1963, WHBF was one of only two television stations in the Quad Cities area. (The other is WOC-TV on the Iowa side of the river.) Rock Island was also the longtime former home of WHBF-TV's former sister radio stations, WHBF and WHBF-FM, although it does remain the licensed city of those stations.
Film, theater, and literary references Edit
- Rock Island Line (song) was first recorded in 1934. Its many recorded versions include ones by John Lomax, Lonnie Donegan, Johnny Cash and Bobby Darin.
- In the 1936 Margaret Mitchell novel Gone with the Wind, Ashley Wilkes was imprisoned on Arsenal Island during the Civil War.
- The Rock Island Trail, starring Forrest Tucker, was a Republic Studios production (1950) related to the building of the Rock Island Railroad across the Mississippi River.
- The opening 'railroad train' number in Meredith Willson's The Music Man (1957) is entitled "Rock Island". It suggests a Rock Island train's crossing from Rock Island to Davenport, Iowa, known as "River City".
- Rock Island is one of the markers of the outer edge of the range of Project X in Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged.
- Rock Island is mentioned several times in Jack Kerouac's book On the Road. Sal (Jack Kerouac) says that in Rock Island, "for the first time in my life that I saw my beloved Mississippi river dry in the summer haze."
- In the 1996 film Hard Eight, John, played by John C. Reilly, says that they are staying in Rock Island, Illinois.
- Part of the film Road to Perdition (2002) takes place in Rock Island. Indeed the first track of the soundtrack is entitled Rock Island. The movie was based on the 1998 graphic novel, which was in turn based on the life of Rock Island gangster John Looney.
- In the 2006 film Death of a President, Al Claybon, the character behind the assassination of George W. Bush, resided in Rock Island.
- In the 2001 film, America's Sweethearts, Larry King takes a call from a viewer in Rock Island, Illinois.
See also Edit
- Mayor of Rock Island, Illinois
- List of crossings of the Upper Mississippi River
- Rock Island Independents - former NFL franchise
- Daytrotter - National Music Website Based in Rock Island
- ^ http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/SAFFPopulation?_event=ChangeGeoContext&geo_id=16000US1765078&_geoContext=01000US%7C04000US19%7C16000US1919000&_street=&_county=Rock+Island&_cityTown=Rock+Island&_state=04000US17&_zip=&_lang=en&_sse=on&ActiveGeoDiv=geoSelect&_useEV=&pctxt=fph&pgsl=010&_submenuId=population_0&ds_name=null&_ci_nbr=null&qr_name=null®=null%3Anull&_keyword=&_industry=
- ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- ^ "American FactFinder". United Staes Census Bureau. 2010. http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_10_PL_GCTPL2.ST05&prodType=table. Retrieved 2011-05-26. Note: Quad City population is equivalent to adding up the populations of Scott County, Iowa and Rock Island, Mercer, and Henry Counties in Illinois.
- ^ "Rock Island Arsenal". GlobalSecurity.org. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/rock-island.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
- ^ "Rock Island, the island", History: Introduction, US Army Corps of Engineers
- ^ "Harper House Hotel, 2nd Avenue and 19th Street" by Diane Oestreich, 2002. Retrieved 2010-08-18.
- ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- ^ City of Rock Island CAFR
- ^ Manjula Batmanathan, "Keeping the faith: Plans proceed for a Hindu temple in Springfield, but another faces resistance in Champaign-Urbana", Illinois Times,10 May 2007, accessed 24 Dec. 2008
- ^ Joni Conrad, "The Quad-City Hindu Temple provides a place to share religious, cultural and culinary experiences", Rock Island News, no byline, accessed Dec. 24, 2008
- ^ "Captain Ernie's Showboat"
- ^ Rock Island Trail at IMDB.
- ^ Jack Kerouac, On the Road, New York: Penguin 1999, 12.
- ^ The Speeches: Blues Brothers Central Retrieved March 1, 2011
- Spencer, J. W. and Burrows, J. M. D., The Early Day of Rock Island and Davenport The Lakeside Press, 1942
- Wickstrom, George W., The Town Crier J. W. Potter Company, 1948
- City of Rock Island Official Web Site
- Watch Tower Amusement Park
- QCOnline.com - Rock Island Argus/Moline Dispatch Newspaper
- Rock Island/Milan School District 41
- Quad-City Times
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