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.