First Ferries

In looking over the records, we find that licenses for ferries were granted as follows: To George Davenport and Joshua Vandruff, for a ferry across Rock River, March, 1834; at the same date to George Davenport for a ferry across the Slough, and to Rinnah Wells for a ferry across Rock River. Jonah H. Case, Antoine LeClaire and W. F. Brashar were granted a license to run a ferry across the Mississippi to the Iowa shore in March, 1835. Nathaniel Belcher was granted a license to establish a ferry across the Mississippi at Port Byron in March, 1837. In October, 1837, a ferry feud had arisen. John Wilson, owner of the main ferry between Stephenson and the Iowa shore, made an application to the County Commissioners for an “order vacating Henry Powars’ ferry.” The order was granted in 1838 “for the in-sufficiency of his boats, the want of hands, and for ferrying beyond the limits.”

 

Early Settlements of Rock County 

 

Source: Historic Rock Island County, pub. Kramer & Company, Rock Island, Illinois, 1908