Historic Rock Island County, Illinois
The work undertaken by the publishers of Historic Rock Island County is manifestly a work in the interest of posterity and the historian of the future. Much that has permanent value in history-making for this section of the Mississippi Valley is here presented in concise form and is written within the memory of people who largely contributed to its social, political and industrial development. It needs no prophetic vision to forecast the future of this community as one of greater prosperity, greater achievement and greater potentiality, and the mighty river flowing past our door — destined, it is believed, to bear upon its bosom the commerce of the inland seas — is vocal with the message it carries to the southland on its way to join the waters of the Gulf. Amid scenes of quiet, beauty in prairie groves, on the undulating slopes of wooded hillsides, and within the shadow of busy and growing cities, "the rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep," but their work lives after them, and their years of toil and hardship, not un- mixed with the dangers of frontier life, are glorified in the annals of Historic Rock Island County. Carlyle tells us that the study of biography is the most universally pleasant and profitable of all studies. The present volume, therefore, is rich in biographical information brought down to date, and the publishers confidently believe that the history of men and women, no less than the record of successful business enterprises makes for value and perpetuity in a work of this kind. In this connection, also, they wish to express their gratitude to all who have in any way aided in its preparation. Historic Rock Island County, as its name implies, is an integral part of the story of a great state; and if, when the larger history of Illinois shall be written, the historian finds within these pages aught that adds lustre to the glory of the commonwealth, then indeed will the realization of the hope that prompted their publication be complete.
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The first people who inhabited the country, now Rock Island County, were redmen. What tribes first occupied this ground is not known, but in the first part of the seventeenth country, it was the hunting; grounds of the once powerful tribes known as the Ilini, or Illinois, who were a confederation of several tribes, the Taniaroas, Michigamies, Kaskaskias, Cahokias, and Peorias, and with whom were also classed the Mascoutins, sometimes called the Sixth Tribe. These tribes all were of the great Algonquin nation. Marquette in his journal speaks of meeting the mini in 107.3, when he stopped at the Des Moines River, and afterwards when, on his return, he came by way of the Illinois River from its mouth to Lake Michigan. The scene of the Illinois' main residence was, however, in the central and southern parts of the state.