Documentary History of American Water-works

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North Central States
Illinois Moline

Moline, Illinois

Moline was incorporated as a city in 1872.

The city granted a 30-year water works franchise to the Moline Water Power Company in 1874, but the project was not pursued for unknown reasons.

The city then built a small water works system in 1877 by installing a pump that used steam from boilers at the Dimock, Gould & Co. saw mill.  Water was distributed to hydrants for fire protection and made available to private customers.

A more complete city-owned water works was planned in 1883, but the city did not have the financial resources itself and contracted with the Moline Water-Works Company, which had been incorporated in November 1883 by Samuel, Thomas and John Davis.  This system began service on January 1, 1884.

The city of Moline bought the water system from the Davis brothers on July 1, 1886.

Water is provided by the city of Moline.

1873 "Water Works Wanted," The Moline Review (June 20, 1873, Page 3.

1874 "Moline Water Works," The Daily Argus, January 7, 1874, Page 4.
On Saturday evening last, the long-disputed question of supplying our sister city of Moline with a system of water works was agreed upon by a meeting of the city council of that place.  A franchise was granted to the Moline Water Power Company, consisting of Charles H. Deere, John M. Gould, Charles Atkinston, their associates and assigns.  By its terms they have the exclusive privilege for thirty year, and an equal right thereafter with all others, of supplying the city of Moline with water.  The franchise compels the water power company, before the first day of July, 1875, to lay 5,000 feet of main pipe, the same distance the succeeding year, and an equal distance the third year.

1878 "Water Works," The Moline Review, January 4, 1878, Page 4.
Haveen laid down in this city the past season, the pipes running from J.S. Keator & Son's Mill to Main street, thence to Lynde and Rodman avenue, and down to Deere & Co.'s shops, up the two latter streets to Illinois steet, then down to Division street, as far west as Deere, Mansur & Co.'s shops, and east to Moline Wagon Company.  Thomas Yates has donw the job in an excellent and through manner, taking the contract at $5,500.  Hydrants have been placed at frequent intervals along the line, the mains have been tapped for private parties, and Dimock, Gould & Co. furnish the steam pressure, which can be added to by the immense force pumps of Deere & Co., Moline Plow Company, and the Union Malleable Iron Works, in case of fire.

1878 "The Water Works," The Moline Review, April 12, 1878, Page 6.

1881 "The Proposed Water Works," The Moline Review-Dispatch, July 29, 1881, Page 8.
M. A. Gould's Plan and Estimates.

1882 Moline, Engineering News, 9:123 (April 15, 1882)

1882 Moline from "The Water-Supply of Certain Cities and Towns of the United States," by Walter G. Elliot, C. E., Ph. D.

1883 "Licensed to Corporate," Daily Illinois State Journal, November 26, 1883, Page 7.
Articles of incorporation filed November 24. 
Moline Water Works Company; capital stock $25,000; incorporators, Samuel S. Davis, Thomas B. Davis and John B. Davis.

1884 "The Water Works," The Moline Review-Dispatch, January 1, 1844, Page 5.
The little engine at the new water works is doing nobly; supply the city with without without the lease trouble in the world.

1884 "The Large Pump Started," The Moline Review-Dispatch, February 29, 1884, Page 10.

1886 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Moline, Rock Island County, Illinois. January 1886

1886 "Water Works Plant," The Moline Review-Dispatch, June 17, 1886, Page 4.
Being turned over to the city by Davis & Co. July 1st.

1886 "The Water Works Test," The Moline Review-Dispatch, June 28, 1886, Page 4.

1888 Three cities: Davenport, Rock Island, and Moline, by Benjamin Franklin Tillinghast
Page 59:  The Water-Works. 
Moline has its complete system of water-works, ample for fire protection, household, and general purposes. The works were built in 1883 by Davis & Co., who operated them as a private enterprise till July 1, 1886, when they were bought by the city. They are located at the foot of Seventeenth street, and represent a judicious outlay of $100,000.00. There are eleven miles of mains and distributing pipes, and 138 lire-hydrants, covering every point within the city limits. The pumping-station is 60 by 45 feet, of brick. Three Deane engines are used one of 1,500,000 gallons capacity, and two each of 500,000 gallons pumping capacity every twenty-four hours. There is an inlet pipe furnishing the water which is over half a mile in length, and extends from the cistern, which is also a settling-basin, out into the channel of the Mississippi river, where the water is uncontaminated. A recent test has proved that ten good fire streams can be thrown a distance of 200 feet. In case of need, the engines of three of the largest factories in the city can be utilized to supplement the water-works, thus assuring fire protection. During 1887 the works pumped over 220,000,000 gallons of water. Fred Alsterlund is chief engineer.

1888 "Moline," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.

1890 "Moline," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.

1891 "Moline," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.

1892 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Moline, Rock Island County, Illinois. January 1892

1897 "Moline," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 4.

1898 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Moline, Rock Island County, Illinois. August 1898

1906 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Moline, Rock Island County, Illinois. July 1906

1908 Historic Rock Island County: History of the Settlement of Rock Island County from the Earliest Known Period to the Present Time
Pages 153-154:  Moline Water-Works Department.
The City of Moline has an unusually good water works system (the supply coming from the Mississippi River), consisting of a pumping station and filtering plant, and thirty-five miles of street water mains, with three hundred and twenty-five city fire hydrants, fifty private hydrants, and two hundred and. forty-five valves. The number of gallons of water filtered during the year ending April 1, 1908, amounted to 988,419,230 gallons, or 2,700,598 gallons per day. The total number of gallons of water pumped to the City of Moline for the said year was 949,711,378 gallons, being a daily consumption of 2,594,-839 gallons, being a daily increase over the previous year of 151,792 gallons. They have 3,250 service taps, making an average of 831 gallons of water per day. to each tap, or a per capita consumption of one hundred gallons for the entire City of Moline. The consumption of fuel for the past year was 7,114,000 pounds of coal, being 19,437 pounds for each day. By computation, filtering 1,904 gallons of water for each pound of coal consume]. Cost, of coal for past year $5,838.59, or $15.95 for each twenty-four hours. Coagulates used the past year in the filtering plant, 412,870 pounds of lime, being 3.13 grains for each gallon; 106,780 pounds of iron, or .81 grains per gallon; 19,875 pounds of alum, or 2.146 grains per gallon. 923,326,790 gallons of water were filtered with lime and iron at a cost of $1.17 per million gallons of water; the cost of iron being seventy-five cents per million gallons. Water filtered by alum at a cost of $3.05 per million gallons. Cost of filtering water for the past year has been $5,881.20, or $5.95 per million gallons. The total cost of pumping and filtering the water used during the past year, including all expenses at the water works and filtering plant, and water main expenses, has been $22,787.16, or equal to $22.04 per million gallons.

1912 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Moline, Rock Island County, Illinois.

1914 Historical encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Rock Island County, Volume I.
Page 681:  In 1874 the city installed water mains and the power was furnished by Dimock, Gould & Company.

1914 Historical encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Rock Island County, Volume II.
Page 1094:  DAVIS, Thomas Bodley and Samuel Sharpe
In 1883 they took a contract for laying the water-mains in the city of Moline, and, as the city did not have the means to build the waterworks, Davis Brothers organized the Moline Water Works Company, built the plant
complete, and supplied the city with water from January 1, 1884, to July, 1886, when the city purchased and began operating the plant.

1919 "Typhoid Fever at Moline, Illinois (with Discussion)," by M. C. Sjoblom, Journal of the American Water Works Association 6(2):230-237 (June, 1919) | Also here |

1919 "The Operation of the Moline Filtration Plant," by A. E. Anderson, Journal of the American Water Works Association 6(2):238-242 (June, 1919) | also here |

1920 Laws and Ordinances Governing the City of Moline in the State of Illinois
Pages 391-400:  Water Works including rates

1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Moline, Rock Island County, Illinois. Map of congested district

1957 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Moline, Rock Island County, Illinois. Volume 1 | Volume 2 |


2017 Morris A. Pierce