Rock Island has a long history of settlement by various indigenous peoples, including the Sauk Native Americans.  Their village, Saukenuk, rested on the south side of Rock Island, and was the birthplace of war chief, Black Hawk.  European industrial development increased in 1851 with the founding of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, known as the "Rock Island Line," and later with the development of first-class hotels.  Formerly named "Rock Island," the city's island became a manufacturing center for the military in the 1880's and became known as the "Rock Island Arsenal."  The city has also been the site of bridge building and conflicts between the bridge and steamboat industry.  In 1934, Lock and Dam No. 15 was completed and is the largest roller dam in the world.


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