Cordova Township, Illinois
The town of Cordova lies in the extreme northeast end of the county. It is a fractional township, lying well up on the bluffs, and commands one of the finest views on the Mississippi River. The earliest settler was Herdman East, who built a log cabin in 1836 on the present site of the village of Cordova. Other settlers coming that year and in 1838 were J. S. Phillips and John Marshall from New Jersey; Guy W. and Amazi Rathburn, Nelson and Chauncey M. Tripp from New York; William Kelley, Dudy Buck, Peter Beardsley, A. G. Adams, Wm. Armstrong, Jeremiah Rice, Robert and Wm. Jenks, Dr. Thos. Baker, Benoni Haskins, A. Whiting, all having families. Nathaniel Belcher and Miss Jenks, and Joseph Mills and Miss Jenks were among the first married. The township is quite rough and broken, though some fine farms. The principal industry is the manufacture of lime.
Village Of Cordova This village, situated principally in the township of Cordova, with a very small portion in the township of Port Byron, lies well up on the bluff and commands one of the finest views on the Mississippi River, which stretches away in both directions until lost by its windings; the bluffs at this point are rather abrupt. The earliest settler of this place was Herdman East, who built a log cabin in 1836; John Marshall and family, Dr. Thomas Baker, Amazi R. Rathburn, Theodore and John Butcher coming the same year. William and George Marshall, Jonathan and K. S. Cool, and Joseph R. Sexton came in 1838. The town was laid out in 1837 by John Marshall and Dr. Thomas Baker, and the first frame houses were built the following year by these gentlemen. Lime kilns were early established, and for some years this was a busy point. The first school was taught by Dr. Baker in his own house, where he instructed in a primitive way his own children, together with those of his neighbors. The first school house was built in 1863, and conducted under the common school laws of the state. Since February 16, 1865, a board of education, composed of six members, control school affairs. The especial pride to which the residents direct attention is their fine graded school which numbers upward of 300 scholars, under the super-vision of an efficient principal and corps of teachers. The school also has a well equipped circulating library. The principal product of the locality is corn, of which large shipments are made. The first post office was established in 1839, John Marshall being its first postmaster, who also kept the first hotel. In 1853 the first grist mill was erected by Brigham and Marshall. A petition for village organization was filed March 16, 1867. An election was held and went against organization. In 1877 the subject was again submitted to the voters and affirmed in favor of village organization, and on the 23d day of April, 1877, the village was duly organized. Cordova is situated on the Mississippi River, and Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway.
Source: Historic Rock Island County, pub. Kramer & Company, Rock Island, Illinois, 1908