Business & Commercial

Hickey Brothers Store Number Five

Third Avenue & 18th Street  There’s an old saying, “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.”   In the case of the Hickey Brothers Cigar Stores, it took only a single generation to found the business, manage its glorious expansion, and be devastated by its final bankruptcy. Two young Hickey brothers, William, 17, and John, 12, sold … [ Continued

People’s National Bank Building (Renaissance Building)

1729-31 2nd Avenue  This postcard dates from about 1906, and shows the four-story People’s National Bank, located on the northwest corner of 2nd Avenue at 18th Street.  Its publisher has carefully removed the surrounding buildings from the picture and has depicted the building as white.  Ladies in long skirts and fancy hats chat on the … [ Continued

Hodgson’s Funeral Home (DeSilva House)

608 20th Street  The postcard identifies this large familiar home as the Hodgson Funeral Home.  That name tells us the card was published after 1941, when the Hodgson Mortuary moved from 17th Street to 608 20th Street and changed its name to Hodgson Funeral Home.  Hodgson owners Alwin F. Lindoerfer and Walter Hesemen had announced … [ Continued

Elks State Convention Parade -1913

 Second Avenue,  East from 15th Street There was celebrating in Rock Island on June 3-5, 1913, when hundreds of Elks from across Illinois came to their 10th Annual State Convention.  Local Lodge 980, five-hundred strong, with a waiting list of potential members, hosted the state delegates at their lodge at 111 18th Street (now home … [ Continued

Market Square – Farmers Congress

17th Street at Second Avenue  News coverage of the weeklong gathering of the 24th annual Farmers National Congress began on Saturday, October 6, 1906, when the Argus reported that downtown Rock Island was taking on a festival appearance in anticipation of thousands of visitors. The story was accompanied by a plea for citizens to make … [ Continued

Hollywood Supper Club

1825 Second Avenue The Hollywood Supper Club, under the ownership of Woodrow “Woody” Cather, was a landmark in downtown Rock Island for thirty years from the 1930s to the 1960s.  Mr. Cather’s pride shows – he published at least two postcards featuring his night spot.   The first, from Shannon Hall’s collection, dates from the early … [ Continued

Modern Woodmen of America Headquarters (County Office Building)

1504 3rd Avenue  The intersection of 15th Street and Third Avenue was a hubbub of building activity in the late 1890s.  Within a two month period in early 1897, a $112,000, 60-room Rock Island County courthouse and a new Memorial Christian Church opposite it were dedicated. Almost exactly a year later, a ceremony was held … [ Continued

Royal Neighbors Supreme Officee

230 16th Street For much of modern history, women’s organizations functioned as a subsidiary to a men’s organization.  And indeed this is the way the Royal Neighbors of America (RNA) began in Council Bluffs, Iowa, when the wives of Modern Woodmen of America (MWA) were invited to meet for a social in 1888.  Soon, the … [ Continued