The Moline Business Men’s Association
In response to a petition circulated by Messrs. C. F. Dewend and C. Iver Josephson, a meeting was held in the City Hall on September 13, 1898, which was attended by about one hundred of Moline’s most prominent business, professional and manufacturing men for the purpose of organizing the above association. Temporary officers and committees were appointed on membership, finance, bylaws and incorporation, a preamble was drawn up, the import of which was that the association was organized to subserve and advance all material and legitimate interests of Moline, East Moline and vicinity, and our welfare generally. The membership at present is about one hundred. The association meets the second Tuesday of each month, the board of directors the Tuesday previous, the annual meetings are held the second Tuesday in October. The monthly meetings were held in various places, first in the City Hall, then in McKinnie Hall, Moline Club Hall, Elks Club, and Assembly Room of the Peoples Savings Bank and Trust Company. The board of directors hold their meetings in the secretary’s office. The association is a member of the Upper Mississippi River Improvement Association, as well as a member of the National Board of Trade. It has always been represented by a large delegation at the annual meetings of both these organizations wherever held. It has shown what can be accomplished by a united effort, by holding the Street Fair of 1899, which attracted more people to the city than any other event held heretofore, also celebrating the same year, the Fourth of July, with a public demonstration the like of which was never known in this part of the country. It installed artisan water mains to the public fountain on Market Square, it. placed other fountains in the city, it installed electric street decorations as well as flag decorations for all festive or conventional occasions. The association financially assists for the expense of all State conventions held in the city, and is instrumental in getting these various conventions to come here. I t is continually looking after the introduction of new industrial institutions to settle here, and has been instrumental in obtaining various new factories. Through its persistent efforts Moline received an appropriation from the General Government of 8386,000 for a steamboat lock and harbor. The lock has been completed and was accepted by the National Government engineers on the 7th instant of this month (January, 1907), the deepening of the channel harbor and constructing a landing, and the beautifying of River Side Park with trees, shrubbery, drives and walks, will all be completed this year, giving Moline a beautiful park, in the center of the city, on our river front. During the last year it has undertaken and accomplished the building of a modern theatre at a cost of $75,000, of which sum the association paid $10,000, raised through a seat sale and donations. The theatre was built entirely upon plans and under the surveillance of the association. There is no more modern building of its kind, and of its size, outside of Chicago. The unity of thought and action on the part of the members and the directors, with the financial assistance generously bestowed by our manufacturers and business men, has made it possible, and will in the future make it possible, to carry on the great work for which we are striving, namely, a Greater Moline.
Source: Historic Rock Island County, pub. Kramer & Company, Rock Island, Illinois, 1908