Business & Commercial

Views of Rock Island, Illinois

 This postcard was an inexpensive production.  The publisher simply compiled miniature black-and-white versions of other Rock Island postcards.  One can assume this was a bargain for the purchaser as well, who received ten different pictures for the price of a single postcard.  The selection indicates which buildings and structures were considered interesting, important or salable … [ Continued

Reynolds Engineering

5th Avenue at 38th Street This Real Photo postcard from about 1926 shows the home of Reynolds Engineering and Manufacturers.  Thanks to Richard Iverson for sharing this rare postcard. Some of the material in this article comes from a 1967 interview with long-time president of Reynolds Engineering Company, Mr. Harold Brown, found in the Rock … [ Continued

Harper House Hotel

2nd Avenue & 19th Street It opened to wide acclaim with an elaborate banquet in February 1871.  And according to an 1877 County Directory,  “One of the oldest residents of Davenport, a citizen whose interests are in that city, said ‘The Harper House is a better advertisement for Rock Island than three times the money … [ Continued

Parade & Stable on Third Avenue

Third Avenue West from 17th Street In 1908, Rock Island was home to the annual statewide conclave of the Knights Templar, a Masonic organization that claims roots in the Crusades.  The Knights began arriving on Monday, October 12.  The following morning at 11, an estimated 1200 to 1500 Knights marched through downtown and nearby residential … [ Continued

Teddy’s Day

Second Avenue East from 17th Street  This unused postcard from Shannon Hall’s collection shows a parade along Second Avenue, apparently celebrating a visit to Rock Island by President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt.  Someone has even penciled in a 1909 date at the top.  All we had to do was find the occasion.  Mr. Roosevelt visited Rock … [ Continued

State Bank Building

Second Avenue & 17th Street Second Avenue and 17th Street north of Market Square has been home to a bank since the earliest days of Rock Island. The story owes much to “The First One Hundred Twenty-Seven Years,” a 1981 book by Lewis B. Wilson, who provides an excellent history of banking at this location.  … [ Continued

Rock Island Plow Company

Vicinity Second Avenue & 6th Street  This story begins about 1855.  For over a century, it was a roller coaster ride, climbing upward in good times with good-paying jobs, then hurtling down to hard times and unemployment.  But it was always exciting and newsworthy. This postcard from Richard Iverson’s collection shows the Rock Island Plow … [ Continued

Modern Woodmen Publications Building

318 16th Street  This postcard shows the Publication Building of Modern Woodmen of America (MWA) that, for 75 years, was located at 318 16th Street right, behind the current Rock Island Police Station. MWA moved to Rock Island from upriver in Fulton in 1897 and shortly thereafter constructed their first building here, a Home Office … [ Continued