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Black Hawk Statue Moving to Milan

a drawing of what the new bank location will look like, with Blackhawk restored.
Blackhawk Bank and Trust
a drawing of what the new bank location will look like, with Blackhawk restored.

A Rock Island landmark will be saved thanks to its personal connection with a local bank president. This week, the city council approved donating the Black Hawk statue on 11th Street, at the former site of Watchtower Plaza, to Blackhawk Bank and Trust.

Blackhawk President Jim Huiskamp says he's been thinking about how to preserve it for years.

"That statue has been a part of my life since I was five or six years old - I played baseball at Frances Willard and I'd drive by it down there on my bike. We lived on Watch Hill Road and we'd go down there to spend our paper route money."

The statue will be moved to Milan where the bank is planning to demolish a drive-through location, and rebuild it with solar power and interactive teller machines.

After asking the bank's architect to include the statue in these plans, Huiskamp then approached city officials.

"I simply said, here is the picture, here's what it would look like, and here's where it would be, what do you think ? I wanted them to know there was somebody out there that would take care of this thing for years and years to come."

He's getting bids now on moving the Black Hawk statue, and hopes to have it moved to Milan, and restored, by this summer.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois. While a graduate student in the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield (then known as Sangamon State University), he got his first taste of public radio, covering Illinois state government for WUIS. Here in the Quad Cities, Herb worked for WHBF Radio before coming to WVIK in 1987. Herb also produces the weekly public affairs feature Midwest Week – covering the news behind the news by interviewing reporters about the stories they cover.
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