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By World War I, the towns of Davenport, Rock Island, and Moline had begun to style themselves as the "Tri-Cities", a cluster of three more-or-less equally sized river communities growing around the small bend of the Mississippi River where it flows west.But with the growth of Rock Island County, during the 1930s the term "Quad Cities" came into vogue, as East Moline was given "equal status".

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.

His business was incorporated as Deere & Company in 1868.

Deere & Company is the largest employer today in the Quad Cities.

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.

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.

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.

The treaty resulted in the Native Americans ceding six million acres (24,000 kmĀ²) of land to the United States in exchange for a much smaller reservation elsewhere.