PROGRESS 99 - A Q-C CENTURY
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McGladrey & Pullen, LLP
Certified Public Accountants and Consultants
600 35 Ave
Moline, IL 61265
309-762-4040

RICCA
1607 John Deere Rd
East Moline, IL 61244
309-792-0292

John Deere Pavilion
1400 River Dr
Moline, IL 61265
309-765-1000

John Deere Store
1300 River Drive Suite 100
Moline, IL 61265
309-765-1007

Birdsell Chiropractic
1201 5th Ave
Moline, IL 61265
309-764-8821

Blades
2484 53 St
Bettendorf, IA 52722
319-332-4163

Blades
17th St and 5th Ave
Moline, IL 61265
309-764-5906

Lagomarcino's
2132 E 11 St
Davenport, IA
319-324-6137

Lagomarcino's
1422 5th Ave
Moline, IL 61265
309-764-1814

Teske Pet & Garden Center
2432 16 St
Moline, IL 61265
309-762-7575

Teske Pet & Garden Center
2395 Spruce Hills Dr
Bettendorf, IA 52722
319-355-7230

Moline Welding Inc
1801 2 Ave
Moline, IL 61265
309-764-3411

Barnett's House of Fireplaces
1620 5th Ave
Moline, IL 61265
309-762-8030

DeGreve Oil Change
2777 18 St
Bettendorf, IA 52722
319-441-2808

DeGreve Oil Change
3400 State St
Bettendorf, IA 52722
319-359-3333

DeGreve Oil Change
3900 N Pine
Davenport, IA
319-388-5233

DeGreve Oil change
2125 53 St
Moline, IL 61265
309-762-6980

DeGreve Oil Change
1618 38 St
Rock Island, IL 61201
309-786-9725

DeGreve Oil change
3560 N Brady St
Davenport, IA
319-386-0305


From frog pond, rail junction, E.M. developed

By Kristophere' Owens, Dispatch/Argus Staff writer

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East Moline State Bank proved a popular spot during the early days of the city.
Starting out as a frog pond, East Moline has blossomed into a major industrial center, looking to do more in the future.

However, progress was slow for the would-be industrial community. It was incorporated as a village in 1902. Forty-six years before East Moline's formation, there was only one place to be: Watertown.

Before its annexation to East Moline in 1914, Watertown accommodated the new settlers of Fort Armstrong. Although the community contained a post office and few businesses, its population was small. The boom town during this time were the Happy Hollow Mines -- near what is now Ill. 5 and 92 and 20th Avenue North.

The backbone of Watertown's progress was its position near the Mississippi River. A five-mile rail spur in 1872 to Happy Hollow shipped coal to the main branch before the mine's end in the early 1880s.

The railroad thrived in Watertown in the following years as steamboats used a rail line to transport their heavy load to Port Byron. The stretch of the Mississippi River between Watertown and Port Byron was a difficult stretch for boats to cross.

During Watertown's growth, five men -- E.H. Geyer, S.H. Veilie, C.H. Deere, George W. Walker and C.H. Pope -- worked to establish East Moline, then called Port Byron Junction. Using 2,500 acres that extended from the Mississippi to present-day 42nd Avenue, an official town was plotted.

The formation of East Moline did not hinder Watertown's growth, as two major developments -- the 900-acre Western Illinois Hospital for the Insane in 1896 and the 900-acre Rock Island Lines railroad shops in the late 1800s -- helped expand its boundaries.

In 1896, Mr. Geyer, Mr. Pope and C.D. White formed the East Moline Land Company, which built a plow factory near a Peoria competitor. However, the plow factory soon failed and was later destroyed by a fire.

East Moline boomed during the 1900s, after the East Moline Development Company announced a strategy to develop and provide infrastructure to the community. The R & V Engineering Company and the Marseilles Company joined the community soon afterward.

The area also saw its first glimpse of Deere & Co., when it first took over the Marseilles Company to create the John Deere Spreader Works. The company also opened the Union Malleable Iron Works.

East Moline was soon incorporated as a village in 1902 -- three years before Watertown's incorporation. The city of East Moline was established five years later -- annexing Watertown soon afterward.

The city's transportation advantages by river and rail contributed to its growth. Deere & Co. built the John Deere Harvester Works -- which attracted more people and immigrants to the city. The city grew larger once it annexed Watertown in 1914.

Over the next 12 years a mix of prosperity and discontent fell to East Moline in the form of strikes, layoffs and political struggles. Although World War I helped bring workers, houses and opportunities as companies manufactured munitions, the postwar period dissolved such progress.

Despite setbacks, the city was able to establish itself as an industrial center by 1926. A $1 million warehouse was built along 12th Avenue in 1927 and Deere Harvester spent $500,000 building additions to its current plants.

An 80-acre International Harvester plant -- now Case IH -- opened in 1926, allowing East Moline to become the "Combine Capital of the World." Case IH and Deere & Co. produce more than 90 percent of the world's grain harvesting machines.

In the 1970s, a 200-acre industrial park on the city's northeast side helped attract a number of companies to the area. According to State Sen. Denny Jacobs, D-East Moline, who served as mayor during that time, the park was "the savior of East Moline."

The creation of Revitalize and Develop East Moline (REDEEM) in 1991 brought the development of the North Hill Retirement Village and the 15-acre Great River Industrial Park.

In addition to new housing construction, the city is looking toward the riverfront for the future. The Quarter -- a 90-acre site featuring shops, restaurants, condominiums, boat docks, sports and interpretive centers, and a working lighthouse -- will give the East Moline its first access to the river in more than 142 years.

A nine-mile water main East Moline constructed to IBP Inc. in Joslin is also important to the city's future -- giving it the opportunity to expand and develop to the east.

Copyright 1999, Moline Dispatch Publishing Co.