How we started 

Mississippi Laser
7700 47 St
Milan, IL 61264

Longs Carpet
4200 11 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

Roth Pump
Box 4330
Rock Island, IL 61201

Hughes Telephone
1117 Blackhawk Rd
Rock Island, IL 61201

ASAP Equipment
4730 44 St

Taylor Garages
Airport Rd
Milan, IL 61264

Michael Warner, Attorney
1600 4th Ave, Suite 410
Rock Island, IL 61201

Kansas City Life
5019 34 Ave B
Moline, IL 61265

Dr. Romeo
1705 2nd Ave
Rock Island, IL 61201

Morton Building
Highway 6
Atkinson, IL

Pathway Hospice
500 42
Rock Island, IL 61201

QC Carbide
1510 17 St
East Moline, IL 61244

Lyss Chiropractic
5500 30 Ave
Moline, IL 61201

Metro MRI
550 15 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Litton Life Support
2734 Hickory Grove Rd
PO Box 4508
Davenport, IA 52808

Coal Valley is the place to live

By Brian Buehler, Dispatch/Argus Staff writer

The Coal Valley village hall as it looked, circa 1928.
COAL VALLEY -- "We're more of a bedroom-type community, and we've always been that way," said village Mayor Stan Engstrom. Well not always.

As the village's name implies, it traces its roots back to the days of coal mining in Rock Island County.

The first coal mines began operation in 1856, with a railroad line to deliver the coal to Rock Island built the next year, said local historian John Newton. The coal was used by trains and steamboats as well as to heat homes and businesses. Many of the mines were operated by the Coal Valley Mining Company, a parternership of Rock Island businessmen.

The last coal mine in Rock Island County, the Hunky Dory mine, closed in 1948. The coal industry had it heyday around 1870, when Coal Valley township reached a population of 2,500. By 1930 the population was down to 700, although part of the decline was because of a reduction in the township's area, Mr. Newton said.

By the year 2000 census, Mayor Engstrom expects the village's population to be up to 5,000, he said. The increase in population is not the result of new industry but new housing. Final plats for two new subdivisions, Oak Knoll and Oak View, of 80 lots and 37 lots respectively, show the housing boon is continuing in Coal Valley.

There is still evidence of the village's rich history in the now residential community. For example an area known as Welsh Hill, reflects the ancestry of the early coal miners who came from the British Isles.

Unfortunately, a business boom has not followed the expansion in residential housing, said Mayor Engstrom. The village has actually lost some important retail businesses including a hardware store and pharmacy. The hardware store had been in the community for 19 years before closing, he said.

"Unfortunately, we're too close to town," said Mayor Engstrom of the loss of local retail businesses. However, as long as the number of homes in the village increases, businesses are sure to follow, he said.

Not that Coal Valley is totally without commerce. The community has a variety of professionals such as its own dentist and doctor. There are a variety of restaurants and other service sectors businesses as well. However, with larger communities and their malls and large discourt stores nearby, it is a challenge to attract some kinds of businesses.

With limited room for expansion in the village's historic downtown area, new businesses will locate on Coal Valley's north end near U.S. 6. Attracting retail businesses is a priority, said Mayor Engstrom.

Another priority is expanding recreational opportunities for residents, particularly young people and the elderly, he said. One goal is a new community building which would house the police department and village offices. In addition, it would provide a public meeting place which the village currently does not have.

A new community building is probably four or five years away, Mayor Engstrom said.

In addition to seeking retail businesses, discussions have been held with Moline about developing an industrial park northwest of the village. The area is located behind the Candle Light Mobile Home Park. Since the area is near the flight path of Quad Cities International Airport, it is the best way to utilize the area, Mayor Engstrom said.

The village is looking into hiring a full-time adminstrator to aid in attracting new businesses.

Copyright 1999, Moline Dispatch Publishing Co.