Quad-Cities Basics
Health and Education
Things to do

List of Advertisers


Lawrence Door Company
Coal Valley IL

Leftovers Furniture & Collectables
1111 Jersey Ridge Road
Davenport IA

Maple Leaf
730 W Main
Geneseo IL

Mariman Auction Company
PO Box 327
Geneseo IL

McFarland Budelier Insurance
Mclaughlin Cadillac

Mclaughlin Volvo

Mel Foster Auction Service
1106 13th St.
Viola IL
(309) 596-2329 Cell: (309) 337-1572

Mercer County Hospital
409 NW 9 Ave
Aledo IL
(309) 582-5301

Milan Community Center
Route 67
Milan IL

Mills Chevrolet
1610 39th Ave
Moline IL

Miracle Ear
SouthPark Mall
Moline IL
736-2616 or 800-373-7104

MJH Engineering
127 E Main St PO Box 36
Aledo IL

Modern Woodmen Of America
1701 1st Ave.
Rock Island IL

Familiar names and faces from the Q-C

Dozens of well-known names are associated with the Quad-Cities. Here's a brief sampling:

Leon `Bix' Beiderbecke

Legendary jazz cornetist Leon Bismarck Beiderbecke played hard in the Roaring '20s and died young, at the age of 28 in 1931. Bix grew up in Davenport's Gold Coast neighborhood and learned jazz on the riverboats here. The Kirk Douglas movie "Young Man With a Horn" was based on his career. For 33 years the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival on Davenport's riverfront has commemorated the man and his music.

Ronald Reagan

Our 40th president was a native of Tampico, about 40 miles northeast of the Quad-Cities, and grew up in nearby Dixon, Ill. Before becoming a well-known movie actor and TV personality, he began his professional career as a radio announcer with Davenport's WOC in 1931, where he "re-created" baseball in play-by-play broadcasts based on telegraphed accounts of the games. He died June 5, 2004.

John Deere

John Deere developed his revolutionary self-scouring steel plow in Grand Detour, Ill., in 1837, but moved to Moline to take advantage of the water power of the Mississippi River. Today Deere & Co., headquartered in Moline, is an international leader in the farm-implement business, and John Deere caps are a cultural icon.

Dr. D.D. Palmer

At the end of the 19th century, Dr. David D. Palmer formulated the theories of health and science that spurred modern chiropractic medicine. He founded Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenport, the world's oldest chiropractic institution, 100 years ago.

Black Hawk

Along with John Deere, Black Hawk is probably the most famous Quad-Citian. War leader (but not chief) of the Sauk and Mesquakie (Fox) nations, he lived in the Indian village of Saukenuk in what is now Rock Island. Commissioned as a general, he fought on the British side in the War of 1812. After other tribal leaders signed away Indian lands in most of Illinois in 1830, Black Hawk repudiated the agreement and moved back across the Mississippi, triggering the Black Hawk War of 1832. He was defeated, and died of a respiratory illness in 1838 at age 71. He was the great-grandfather of sports legend Jim Thorpe.

Eric Olsen

In a burgeoning acting career, Eric, a 1995 graduate of Bettendorf High School, has had guest leads on the CBS drama "Turks" and the NBC series "ER," appeared in the series "Get Real," had a role in the HBO movie "Black Cat Run," voiced the title role in "Arthur's Quest," an animated film about the legend of King Arthur; and appeared in the movies "Dumb and Dumerer," "When Harry Met Lloyd," "Not Another Teen Movie," "Beerfest," and in the 2007 comedy "License to Wed.". Locally, Eric acted with Quad City Music Guild, Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse and Comedy Sportz.

John Hauberg

The historian and philanthropist was born in rural Rock Island County in 1869. As a young attorney for the Rock Island Law and Order League, he tried unsuccessfully to break the city's vice rings. He established the Hauberg Indian Museum in 1940 and organized and financed annual Indian powwows at Black Hawk Park. He was made an honorary chief of the Mesquakie Indians of Tama, Iowa, and given a Mesquakie name meaning "Standing Bear." He died in Rock Island in 1955; his home is now the Hauberg Civic Center.

Maj. Gen. John Buford

Before Gen. Meade's Union army arrived on the scene at Gettysburg during the Civil War, Brig. Gen. John Buford and two of his cavalry brigades captured the highlands and held off the initial Confederate assault. Born in Kentucky, Buford and his family moved to Rock Island shortly after his mother died in an 1834 cholera epidemic. His father, John, a prominent businessman, was elected to the state Senate in 1842. The Bufords were known as one of the "first families" of the state. After a brief stint at Knox Manual Labor College in Galesburg, Buford began a letter campaign that got him into West Point, from which he graduated in 1848. On Dec. 16, 1863, John Buford died of typhoid fever, receiving a commission as major general on his deathbed.

Col. George Davenport

Born in 1783 in England, George Davenport became a sailor at 17 and later enlisted in the U.S. Army, taking part in the War of 1812. In 1816 he helped establish Fort Armstrong on Rock (now Arsenal) Island. A year later he left the army and set up as an Indian trader, building a cabin on the island. In 1825 he and partner Russell Farnham built the first house in Stephenson, later known as Rock Island. When Rock Island County was organized, Davenport was among the first commissioners. He became postmaster of Rock Island, served as a colonel in the Black Hawk War, sold the land on which Rock Island was built, and started the first ferry between Stephenson and Davenport -- which Antoine LeClaire named for him -- in 1834. Col. Davenport was murdered by six "banditti" on July 4, 1845. His home on Arsenal Island is preserved as a museum.

Ken Berry

The bumbling Capt. Parmenter on television's "F-Troop" was none other than Ken Berry of Moline. He attended John Deere Junior High School and was a 1952 Moline High School graduate. His sergeant during a stint in the Army was none other than Leonard Nimoy, later of "Star Trek" fame. Mr. Berry, an actor and dancer, also starred on television's "Mayberry RFD" and "Mama's Family."

Eddie Albert

Born Edward Albert Heimberger on April 22, 1908, this Rock Island native became the star of the television series "Green Acres." Growing up in Rock Island and Minneapolis must have served him well in his role as urbanite-turned-farmer Oliver Douglas. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, he was a circus trapeze flier before making his movie debut in 1938. He was also the very first television performer, appearing in a private broadcast by RCA/NBC for its radio licensees in 1936. Mr. Albert died in May.

Joe Collier

In 1960, Rock Island native Joe Collier became an assistant coach with the Boston Patriots in the first season of the fledgling American Football League. He moved on to the Buffalo Bills and served as head coach in 1966-68, taking them to the AFL championship in his first year. Then Collier began a 20-year stint as defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos, creating its famous "Orange Crush" defenses. In 2002, Pro Football Weekly ranked him No. 5 all-time among defensive coordinators. Mr. Collier played on Rock Island High School's undefeated football team in 1949. His son, Joel, has been an assistant coach with the Miami Dolphins.

Gene Oliver

A native of Rock Island and former Alleman High School athlete, Gene Oliver had a .246 lifetime batting average in a 10-year carrer as a catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs. He retired in 1969 after the Cubs' unsuccessful run for the pennant. In his best year, he hit .270 with 21 home runs for Atlanta in 1965.

June Haver

June Stovenour was born June 10, 1926, in Rock Island, later taking the last name of her stepfather. She made her stage debut at age 6 in Cincinnati as a pianist. Back in Rock Island, she made radio appearances and sang with local bands before moving to Los Angeles with her mother. At 17, she signed a 20th Century-Fox movie contract. Groomed as "the next Betty Grable," she made about 15 movies, but abandoned Hollywood in 1953 to enter the Sisters of Charity convent in Kansas. Leaving the order, she married Fred MacMurray, later of "My Three Sons" fame, in 1955, adopted twin daughters, and never returned to acting. She died in July.

Judith Ford Nash

Judith Anne Ford of Belvidere, Ill., was crowned Miss America in 1969. A world-class trampolinist and gymnast, she used her scholarship to earn her B.S. in physical education from the University of Illinois. She served eight years on the President's Council on Physical Fitness under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Ms. Ford married Geneseo attorney Jim Nash and now teaches physical education at Southwest and Atkinson elementary schools.

Marjabelle Stewart

Mrs. Stewart, from Kewanee, is a leading national columnist on etiquette. She has directed etiquette books, articles, classes and seminars for all ages and social groups, including American corporations. In 1987 she was honored by Black Hawk College, East Campus, Kewanee, for her contributions to the college's library and instructional programs.

Don Nelson

Don Nelson, named one of the top 10 coaches in National Basketball Association history, is a graduate of Rock Island High School. He played basketball at Iowa and was drafted by the Chicago Zephyrs in 1962. He played 14 pro seasons, including 11 with the Boston Celtics, played on five NBA championship teams, and averaged 10.3 points a game. Since 1975 he has coached the Milwaukee Bucks, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks to 1,148 wins, the second-highest total in NBA history, and has been named NBA Coach of the Year three times. In 1986, Mr. Nelson, as the Bucks coach, donated his NBA playoff earnings to a Wisconsin farmer on the verge of foreclosure.

Bonnie Bartlett

In 1987, Ms. Bartlett, a former Moliner, won her second Emmy in as many years for her portrayal of Ellen Craig on TV's "St. Elsewhere." Her father, E.E. Bartlett, was a businessman and a founder of Quad-City Music Guild. Upon graduating from Moline High School, she went to Northwestern University, where she met her husband, William Daniels, who also went on to TV and movie stardom. The couple lived in New York for 20 years, working in theater and television, before moving to California.

Louis Bellson

World-famous jazz drummer Louis Bellson, born in Rock Falls, has played with many of the world's top jazz musicians. None other than Duke Ellington once called him the "world's greatest musician." While attending Moline High School, he won drummer Gene Krupa's nationwide talent search, which jump-started his long career. With his double-bass drumset, he played with Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Count Basie and Ellington in addition to his own bands. He was the husband of the late Pearl Bailey.

`Buffalo Bill' Cody

William F. Cody, born in LeClaire in 1846, was christened "Buffalo Bill" in Kansas in 1868 for his ability to supply Kansas Pacific Railroad workers with buffalo meat. He had a long career as a trapper, bullwhacker, miner, Pony Express rider, wagon master, stagecoach driver, soldier, and as a prairie scout for the 5th Cavalry, for which he won the Congressional Medal of Honor. In 1883 he created Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, which spread his exploits around the world for the next 30 years. A museum in LeClaire, Iowa, tells of his exploits.

Roger Craig

Roger Craig, former National Football League all-pro running back, helped lead the San Francisco 49ers to three Super Bowl titles. In 1985 he became the first player in NFL history to top 1,000 yards both running and receiving. An all-state athlete at Davenport Central High School, Mr. Craig once gained more than 350 yards in a high-school playoff game.

Susann McDonald

Susann McDonald, internationally renowned harpist, began playing with the Tri-City Symphony when she was a 13-year-old student at Rock Island High School. She is the first American harpist to receive the Premier Prix de Harpe from the Paris Conservatory. She has chaired harp departments at colleges across the country, including the Juilliard School of Music and California State University in Los Angeles. She currently heads the harp department at Indiana University.

Harry R. `Tim' Moore

Born in 1887 in Rock Island, this vaudeville and Broadway comedian was retired in 1950 when Hollywood beckoned for his most famous role: George "Kingfish" Stevens on the television version of "Amos `n' Andy," which made him one of TV's first black stars. As a youngster, Mr. Moore earned nickels and dimes dancing for the people standing in line at Douglas Park as his friends whistled "Turkey in the Straw." A vaudeville troupe who saw him dancing took him on tour at the age of 12. He starred in 1920s Broadway hits like "Shuffle Along" and "Blackbirds of 1928," and wrote W.C. Field's famous sketch "Not a Fit Night Out for Man Nor Beast." Sammy Davis Jr. said Mr. Moore could use "a facial expression or a gesture that told more than a hundred words in the mouth of another comedian." Mr. Moore also won 84 of 104 bouts as a prizefighter, Kid Klondike. He died of tuberculosis in 1958.

John Looney

John Looney, Rock Island's version of Al Capone, made his living as a racketeer in the early 1900s. He used outrageous stories in the newspaper he owned, the Rock Island News, to blackmail his opponents. Rumor had it that his mansion on the bluff overlooking Black Hawk Road came complete with escape stairs and bulletproof walls, but nothing noteworthy was found there after his death, although a tunnel led to a stone barn where he held cockfights. Paul Newman played him (renamed "John Rooney") in the fictionalized 2003 movie "The Road to Perdition," based on a graphic novel written by Max Collins of Muscatine.

Suzy Bogguss

Country singer Suzy Bogguss, who started out singing in her church choir in Aledo at age 5, won country music's Horizon Award in 1992. After earning a metalsmithing degree from Illinois State University in 1980, she began her professional career performing in Quad-Cities and Peoria nightspots. Then she took to the road for five years, booking herself from Boston to California as she rose to prominence in the entertainment industry.

Denise Nickerson

Denise Nickerson portrayed the self-important gum-chewing champion turned blueberry, Violet Beauregarde, in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" when she was 13 years old. She moved to Davenport in 1996.

John and Isabel Bloom

When his work came to the attention of Grant Wood, John Bloom was invited to study with the great Regionalist painter in the summer of 1932. There he met Isabel Scherer, a young artist from Davenport who would become his bride six years later. After his retirement in 1979, John Bloom devoted more time to woodcarving; Isabel Bloom's concrete garden sculptures gained nationwide popularity. Isabel Bloom died May 1, 2001; John Bloom died May 21, 2002.

Diane Johnson

Author of many well-known novels, stories and biographies, Diane Johnson was born in 1934 in Moline. She attended the University of Utah and UCLA, where she obtained a master's degree and doctorate in English. Her novels "Le Divorce," "Le Mariage" and "L'Affaire" made her a three-time National Book Award finalist for fiction. The author spends much of her time traveling between San Francisco and Paris, where she continues her career in writing, essays, and book reviews for many publications.

Todd Hamilton

Oquawka native Todd Hamilton secured his spot in golfing history by winning the 2004 British Open at Royal Troon in Scotland, outlasting South African superstar Ernie Els in a four-hole playoff. Mr. Hamilton had spent most of his professional golf career playing overseas before winning the Honda Classic earlier this year for his first PGA Tour victory. Mr. Hamilton learned the game as a kid, playing on a coffee-can course constructed by his parents in their Henderson County, Ill., back yard.

John Baker

John F. Baker, formerly of Moline, received the Medal of Honor -- the nation's highest military honor, awarded by Congress for risk of life in combat beyond the call of duty -- while serving in Vietnam. Mr. Baker attended Moline High School from 1962 to 1966 but left a few months short of graduation to enlist. Mr. Baker was credited for saving the lives of at least five other soldiers and leading his unit into battle under enemy fire.

Max Hodge

Screenwriter Max Hodge is a Matherville native and former East Moline resident. His claim to fame includes writing scripts for such famous television shows as "Perry Mason," "The Waltons," "Little House on the Prairie," "Police Woman," "Quincy," "Mission Impossible," "Dragnet," "Chips," and "Marcus Welby." Mr. Hodge had attended East Moline schools through the eighth grade before his father was transferred to Michigan.

William `Spike' O'Dell

William O'Dell became better known as "Spike at the Mike," a well-known radio personality who left the Quad-Cities in 1987, to gain fame on the airwaves of WGN in Chicago. Mr. O'Dell grew up in East Moline. His parents were big fans of musician Spike Jones, from whom Mr. O'Dell's nickname eventually evolved. Mr. O'Dell attended East Moline's McKinley elementary, Glenview Junior and United Township High schools. He honed his radio skills at local stations WEMO, WQUA, KSTT and KIIK, before landing his WGN position.

John Getz

A Moline native, Mr. Getz has appeared in films such as "Killer Bees," "The Fly," "Born on the Fourth of July, "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead," "Men At Work," and in many television series, including "CSI," "JAG," "The West Wing," "Murder She Wrote," "Murphy Brown," and "Three's Company."

Jann Carl

A 1978 Moline High School graduate, Ms. Carl joined "Entertainment Tonight" in 1981, and later became a weekend and substitute anchor of the program.

back to top

Visit other SNG news sites: · · ·
Be sure to visit our other local sites: · · ·
Copyright Moline Dispatch Publishing Company, LLC, All Rights Reserved