The old Buford Block at the northeast corner of Second Avenue and West Seventeenth Street, which has just been torn down to be replaced by a new reinforced concrete six-story modern business block, was erected in 1854. Sixty feet of this corner was purchased by Charles Buford from Charles K. Smith February 23, 1854; a little later he purchased the adjoining thirty feet east from Judge George W. Pleasants and Doctor John W. Bulkley. The old buildings on this corner were sold at auction March 11, 1854, Major Benjamin F. Barrett being the auctioneer. The excavation for the foundation immediately commenced. Wednesday July 19, 1854, the brick laying commenced by W. H. Sage, commonly known as “Doc” Sage. The exterior was finished that Fall, and the building completed early’ in 1855. Bailey and Boyle also commenced work on their three-story brick block, covering the ground between East and West Seventeenth Streets, and Illinois Street and the Alley north, and Ainsworth and Lynde a large brick warehouse on Front Street opposite the present site of Hotel Harms. Before Winter two more brick buildings were under construction.
Source: Historic Rock Island County, pub. Kramer & Company, Rock Island, Illinois, 1908