McLaughlin Buys Part of Old Farmall Factory

Oct 25, 2018

A Quad Cities manufacturer is creating new jobs as it consolidates operations in Rock Island.

Michelle O'Neill reports McLaughlin Body Company announced Wednesday that it's buying part of the former International Harvester Farmall plant.


McLaughlin Body Company says the deal includes 525,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space. And it'll invest $10 million dollars in renovations and improvements.

President of McLaughlin Body, Bob Anderson, talks about the ties the company had with the former Farmall factory.
Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

President, Bob Anderson, says currently, 175 people work for McLaughlin in the Quad Cities. It plans to hire another 50, including welders and metal fabricators. 

Central States Development Partners worked with McLaughlin to use federal, New Market Tax Credits. And the financial incentive package includes benefits from the City of Rock Island because it's located in a tax increment financing district.

An old photo from the carriage and surrey plant
Credit submitted / McLaughlin Body Company

In 1902, McLaughlin was founded as the Wright Carriage Company in Moline. Over the years it was also known as E. H. Wilson Manufacturing and Moline Manufacturing.

Now, McLaughlin makes cabs and other products for farm and construction equipment. John Deere, Caterpillar, and the military are just a few of its customers.

From the WVIK News Archives: 3/7/2005 by Herb Trix

Tonight, Rock Island aldermen will be asked to approve a long-term redevelopment plan for the former Farmall Plant, now known as the Quad City Industrial Center. 

Alan Carmen, Planning and Redevelopment Administrator for the city, says last week, the Planning Commission unanimously approved the concept. It's called the QCIC - Columbia Park Development Plan, and it calls for eventually replacing the factory with residential, recreational, and commercial projects. 

Later this year, the city may demolish the old power plant on land Navistar gave to Rock island nearly 20 years ago.

The plan also includes a ten year lease for McLaughlin Body, in the western section of the old plant. Carmen says the QCIC - Columbia Park plan also includes gradual inclusion of some adjoining properties, such as the rail yards now used by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Iowa Interstate railroads, and the completion of the Sylvan Slough Natural Area, behind the QCIC and next to Moline's water treatment plant.

(Story broadcast on 3/7/2005)