By the early 19th century, this once peaceful area became a site of violent confrontations between European-American settlers, arriving in greater numbers and encroaching on Native American land, and the Sauk and Fox tribes.
Snowfall averages 31.6 inches (80 cm) per season, but has ranged as low as 11.1 in (28 cm) in 1901–02 to 69.7 in (177 cm) in 1974–75; Indigenous peoples of varying cultures inhabited areas along the river over thousands of years, using it for transportation, water and fishing.
Charles Atkinson and others successfully lobbied the federal government to get the first transcontinental railroad to pass through Moline and to cross the Mississippi over Arsenal Island.
The railroad, which arrived in 1854, carried thousands of immigrants – at that time mostly Swedish, Belgian, and German, reflecting areas of economic problems in Europe – to Moline's borders.
Louis to the south, and are located approximately halfway between them.
The area is served by four interstate highways: Interstate 74 (which runs directly through Moline, bisecting it in roughly equal halves), Interstate 280 (which serves as a ring road around the Quad Cities), Interstate 80 (which crosses the Mississippi River a few miles to the northeast of Moline), and Interstate 88 (which begins on the eastern border of the Quad Cities and ends in Hillside, Illinois, near Chicago).