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John Hurd, the owner of the Effie Afton, filed a lawsuit against the Rock Island Railroad Company. After the civil war, the region began to gain a common identity.
Factories which closed included International Harvester in Rock Island and Case IH in Bettendorf. Since the 1990s, the Quad Cities governments, businesses, non-profits and residents have worked hard to redevelop the region.
The urban core consists of five principal cities: Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, and Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline in Illinois.
These cities are the center of the Quad Cities Metropolitan Area, which as of 2013 had a population estimate of 383,781 and a CSA (Combined Statistical Area) population of 474,937, making it the 90th largest CSA in the nation.
Saukenuk was the principal village of the Sauk tribe and birthplace of its 19th-century war chief, Black Hawk.
In 1832, Sauk chief Keokuk and General Winfield Scott signed a treaty in Davenport after the US defeated the Sauk and their allies in the Black Hawk War.
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The history of urban settlements in the Quad Cities was stimulated by riverboat traffic.