Taylor Ridge is an unincorporated community in Rock Island County, Illinois, United States. Taylor Ridge is located at the junction of Illinois Route 94 and Illinois Route 192, 4 miles (6.4 km) north of Reynolds. Taylor Ridge has a post office with ZIP code 61284.
- Herb Crompton, MLB catcher, was born in Taylor Ridge in 1911
- Mona Martin, Iowa Legislator and Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame inductee, born in Taylor Ridge 1934
The Quad Cities is a region of cities (originally four, see History) in the U.S. states of Iowa and Illinois: Davenport and Bettendorf in southeastern Iowa, and Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline in northwestern Illinois. These cities are the center of the Quad Cities metropolitan area, which as of 2013 had a population estimate of 383,781 and a Combined Statistical Area (CSA) population of 474,937, making it the 90th-largest CSA in the nation.
Before European settlers came to inhabit the Quad Cities, the confluence of rivers had attracted many varying cultures of indigenous peoples, who used the waterways and riverbanks for their settlements for thousands of years. At the time of European encounter, it was a home and principal trading place of the Sauk and Fox tribes of Native Americans. Saukenuk was the principal village of the Sauk tribe and birthplace of its 19th-century war chief, Black Hawk. In 1832, Sauk chief Keokuk and General Winfield Scott signed a treaty in Davenport after the US defeated the Sauk and their allies in the Black Hawk War. The treaty resulted in the Native Americans ceding 6 million acres (24,000 km2) of land to the United States in exchange for a much smaller reservation elsewhere. Black Hawk State Historic Site in Rock Island preserves part of historic Saukenuk and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The history of urban settlements in the Quad Cities was stimulated by riverboat traffic. For 14 miles (23 km) between LeClaire, Iowa, and Rock Island, the Mississippi River flowed across a series of finger-like rock projections protruding from either bank. These rapids were difficult for steamboats to traverse. As demand for river-based transportation increased along the upper Mississippi, the navigability of the river throughout the “Rock Island Rapids” became a greater concern. Over time, a minor industry grew up in the area to meet the steamboats’ needs. Boat crews needed rest areas to stop before encountering the rapids, places to hire expert pilots such as Phillip Suiter, who was the first licensed pilot on the upper Mississippi River, to guide the boat through the rocky waters, or, when the water was low, places where goods could be removed and transported by wagon on land past the rapids. Today, the rocks are submerged six feet underwater by a lake formed by two locks and dams.
As the Industrial Revolution developed in the United States, many enterprising industrialists looked to the Mississippi River as a promising source of water power. The combination of energy and easy access to river transportation attracted entrepreneurs and industrialists to the Quad Cities for development. In 1848, John Deere moved his plough business to Moline. His business was incorporated as Deere & Company in 1868. Deere & Company is the largest employer today in the Quad Cities.
The first railroad bridge built across the Mississippi River connected Davenport and Rock Island in 1856. It was built by the Rock Island Railroad Company, and replaced the slow seasonal ferry service and winter ice bridges as the primary modes of transportation across the river. Steamboaters saw the nationwide railroads as a threat to their business. On May 6, 1856, just weeks after completion of the bridge, an angry steamboater crashed the Effie Afton into it. John Hurd, the owner of the Effie Afton, filed a lawsuit against the Rock Island Railroad Company. The Rock Island Railroad Company selected Abraham Lincoln as their trial lawyer and won after he took the case to the US Supreme Court. Phillip Suiter was one of his expert witnesses. It was a pivotal trial in Lincoln’s career.
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