A life-size bronze sculpture, Lincoln with Boy on Bridge, stands in downtown Davenport’s Bechtel Park near the Arsenal Bridge. Abraham Lincoln stands on a railroad track gazing forward; a seated boy looks up to him. Jeff Adams’ sculpture depicts a small moment between events that brought America closer to Civil War.

Eugene Walker Baker was born in Davenport on June 15, 1925. He attended Davenport High School, where he starred in basketball and track for the Blue Devils. In his senior year, he was an all-state basketball player. First team.

Following his graduation from West Point, Lieutenant Napoleon Buford surveyed the Rock Island and Des Moines rapids on the Mississippi River in the late 1820s. The rapids were a major obstacle for steamboats navigating the river above St. Louis. According to a U.S. Corps of Engineers report, “His maps, though general, were quite accurate, considering that he made his surveys in February, with a foot of ice and nine inches of snow covering the river.”

Corrine Smith, Matt Moyer, James Bowden art at the QC International Airport February 2023

The current art exhibit at the Quad Cities airport is one of the most enjoyable I have seen in the nearly 20 years Quad City Arts has curated such displays. If you've never paused to browse the gallery in your travels while flying, or paid the $1 for 30 minutes of short-term parking to take in what is a world-class, museum-level art-display space, you should do so on the next opportunity.

On November 25, 1872, Rock Island became the first city in Illinois to open a public library. The library was housed in Room 17 of the Post Office Building, located northwest of Second Avenue and 17th Street. The room was rented for $25 a month.

One of the people who shaped Davenport was a Hungarian nobleman. What were the odds? Count Nicholas Fejervary (Miklós Fejérváry) came to Davenport when he was 41 years old. He left his native Hungary to escape the imposed martial law that followed the failed revolutions that swept Europe in 1847 and 1848. Friends had been exiled, imprisoned, even executed. He chose to settle in Davenport because it reminded him of his home on the Danube.

While living in Rock Island, Benjamin Dann Walsh published more than 800 notes and scientific papers on insects. Recognized as America’s first important entomologist, he was also America’s first strong advocate for Charles Darwin’s theories on the origin of species and natural selection.

In 1921, the school at 1414 East Locust Street in Davenport was renamed Sudlow Intermediate School. It was renamed in honor of a teacher and administrator who broke multiple glass ceilings for women: Phebe Sudlow.

The Quad Cities are graced with vast rolling lawns that stretch for acres under magnificent, stately trees: our cemeteries. Here are some of the region’s finest statues and architecture, with a breadth of symbolism drawn from ancient Egypt, Classical Greece, Medieval and Victorian Europe. Family names on the cemetery’s monuments and mausoleum – such as Davenport, Bettendorf, Deere, Fejervary, Sudlow – are cornerstones of our communities. The name “Oberholtzer” isn’t as immediately familiar as these, but this environmentalist, writer, musician, photographer, and explorer’s impact is still felt today.

Painted on the east wall of the building at 2104 Fourth Avenue in Rock Island, the mural jolts us out of our familiar world – plunging us into an underwater world populated with beautiful, mysterious, mythical, and dangerous creatures.

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