News about the Quad Cities and surrounding region.

City of Galesburg

A feasibility study is underway to help the city of Galesburg decide whether it should expand Lake Storey. Phase one looked at the possible cost, and phase two, if the city council approves, would ask local residents for comments and suggestions.

The Hanging

Dec 30, 2020

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Circuses and other entertainments seldom live up to their billing, but the five thousand spectators who streamed into the City of Rock Island on October 29th, 1845, to enjoy its first public hanging were more than satisfied, despite jangled nerves created by traffic jams of wagons on every road into town.

The Steadfast Dog

Dec 29, 2020

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

If you passed through fourth grade any time before 1947, you, too, memorized Eugene Field's poem, "Little Boy Blue." That was where you learned about "the little toy dog" covered with dust, "but sturdy and staunch he stands" in the old armchair alongside the toy soldier red with rust, whose musket molds in his hands—faithful even in death.

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Safe in the Vatican, Pope Leo the Thirteenth was probably not aware in the spring of 1887 that a stack of lumber in front of the W. J. Young Lumber Company in Clinton, Iowa, was about to cause him some grief. That lumber was the first domino in a chain of bigotry that got out of hand.

The Cities - Pgm #1105

Dec 26, 2020


Dec 25, 2020

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

By 1850, fifteen years after their founding, the three small villages around Rock Island were on their way to becoming frontier Edens—if not spiritually in the Genesis sense, then certainly within the framework of the American Dream. For Davenport, Rock Island, and Moline, waterpower was plentiful to make goods, and the Mississippi was there to ship the goods via the Ohio to eastern markets. The supply of labor exactly matched the demand, due to the stream of families moving west toward the farmlands of Iowa and Minnesota. If there was work, some of the westward movers stayed; if there was none, they kept moving west.

Water Power

Dec 24, 2020

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Remember that Weekly Reader joke: "what does a fifteen-hundred-pound gorilla eat? Answer: "Anything it wants." Substitute a 2,500-mile river for the gorilla, and you'll have some idea of the awe in which we valley dwellers hold the Mississippi.

The Bug Man

Dec 23, 2020

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Of at least one Rock Islander, Benjamin Dann Walsh, it can truly be said that there was some good news and some bad news. The good news was that early on the morning of November 12, 1869, as he was collecting bugs along the Chicago and Rock Island railroad tracks near 34th Street in Rock Island, a Chicago bound train ran over his left leg.

Valley of Dreams

Dec 22, 2020

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Less than a hundred miles north of this island lies a cornfield made popular by the movie Field of Dreams. It's not alone. Travel a hundred miles in any direction up or down the Mississippi Valley, and you will find the remains of dreams—of Edens and Utopias—wherever you go. As if the Mississippi itself were a magnet drawing dreamers to its banks.

Edward Spencer

Dec 21, 2020

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Even today, Easterners view the Midwest as far better ground in which to plant corn than culture. They would almost certainly have held out little hope that Edward Spencer would make something of himself in this world. Edward was the first child born in Stephenson—the town that later became Rock Island.