Events that shaped us 

Mane Designs
Viola, IL

Quad-Cities Graduate Studies Center
639 38 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

Taylor Freezers 1885 Earhart Dr
Sandwich IL 60548

Milan Surplus
I-280 Exit 15
Milan, IL 61264

Metro MRI
550 15 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home Inc.
614 Main St
Davenport, 52803

Ward Chiropractic
1802 W Locust St
Davenport, IA 52804

Cannon Precision Manufacturing
PO Box 289
4th and Washington St
Keithsburg, IL 61442

Associated Environmental Management Services Inc
PO Box 586
1701 13 St
Viola, IL 61486

Edward Jones
1632 5th Avenue
Moline, IL 61265

Downtown Davenport Association
102 S. Harrison St.
Davenport, IA 52801

Donald J. McNeil, D.D.S.
1030 41st Street
Moline, IL 61265

War took its toll at home and abroad

Click here for larger view.
Photo courtesy the Rock Island County Historical Society.
Quad-Citians took to the streets when peace was declared on Nov. 11, 1918. Without a plan or a call, this celebration erupted at Rock Island's 2nd Avenue and 17th Street.
The Quad-Cities had a huge stake in World War I.

For the large ethnic communities from Germany and Belgium, this country's entry in the struggle in 1917 put into question the loyalty of native-born Americans.

Anti-German groups rallied against Davenport's old-guard families. The Davenport Public Library removed collections of German magazines and newspapers. The German-language newspaper, Der Demokrat, ceased publication.

At the Rock Island Arsenal, the need for war goods pushed production to an all-time high. Employment peaked at nearly 15,000, compared to a pre-war work force of 2,000.

Quad-Citians received their draft notices to join an American force more than 3.7 million strong. Each prospective doughboy was given a number, and the daily draft lottery numbers were printed in local newspapers.

Lowell Johnson of Moline was an eager 17-year-old ready for war.

He was too late, however; the war ended before he completed basic training at Fort Sheridan.

``I was disappointed,'' said Mr. Johnson, a member of American Legion Post 246. ``At 17 I was at the age that I wanted to get into it.''

He wasn't alone. Nearly everyone at the Western Military Academy in Alton, Ill., where Mr. Johnson attended high school, joined the Army, he said.

Despite the war's end, Mr. Johnson did make it overseas. His company toured Great Britain, France and Italy. He saw bombed buildings, but had very little contact with the war's civilian survivors.

``There was very little to do,'' he said. ``The war was completely over when we arrived. I'm not sure why they sent us.''

Click here for larger view.
Photo courtesy the Rock Island County Historical Society.
People from all walks of life added to the war effort. Here, the Hauberg family of Rock Island plants a World War I Victory Garden -- with the help of the chauffeur.
The victory did not come without local casualties.

Marion Crandell gave up her job as a French teacher at St. Katherine's School in Davenport to become a Red Cross nurse. She became the first American woman killed in service. She died in heavy bombing near St. Menehould.

As lethal as it was at the front, many more soldiers fell victim to a deadly flu epidemic that spread across the world during the war.

Quad-Citians endured shortages and rationing to boost the war effort. They also bought war bonds to finance the huge expense.

When the news of the Armistice came on Nov. 11, 1918, local residents took to the streets to celebrate. The draft ended, restrictions were lifted. The Arsenal declared a holiday.

The celebrations were not without mishap, however. An Arsenal worker was injured when he fell of the back of a truck. Another man was injured when he was thrown from a crowded streetcar.

Copyright 1999, Moline Dispatch Publishing Co.