Moline is located approximately 165 miles (266 km) west of Chicago and approximately 164 miles (264 km) northwest of Springfield, Illinois.
Moline and its neighboring communities within the Quad Cities form the largest urban area along the Mississippi River between Minneapolis to the north and St.
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.
Over the next seven years, a number of factories sprouted up along the shoreline.
Moline is one of the Quad Cities, along with neighboring East Moline and Rock Island in Illinois and the cities of Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa.
The Quad Cities have an estimated population of 381,342.
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.
In 1832 Chief Black Hawk declared war on the United States, initiating the Black Hawk War.