About This Place
Rock Island is the county seat of Rock Island County, Illinois, United States. The population was 43.884 at the 2010 census. Located on the Mississippi River, it is one of the Quad Cities, along with neighboring Moline, East Moline, and the Iowa cities of Davenport and Bettendorf. The Quad Cities has a population of 379,690. The city is home to Rock Island Arsenal, the largest government-owned weapons manufacturing arsenal in the United States, which employs 6,000 people.
The original Rock Island, from which the city gets its name, is the largest island in the Mississippi River. It is now called Arsenal Island.
Prior to European contact, this area was settled for thousands of years by varying cultures of indigenous peoples. By the early nineteenth century, it was occupied chiefly by the Sauk Native Americans. Their major village of Saukenuk was located on the south side of Rock Island, along the Rock River. Fort Armstrong was built in 1816 on the island after the War of 1812.