Farnhamsburg was among the first settlements along the Illinois bank of the Mississippi River. Named after Russell Farnham, George Davenport’s partner in the fur trading business, the village was founded in 1831, centered around 30th Street and 4th Avenue in modern-day Rock Island. Farnhamsburg became the county seat after winning a contested election with Hampton (read more about it here). In 1835, Illinois bought land for a new county seat in a town they decided to call Stephenson. Farnhamsburg was absorbed into this new city, which then was renamed Rock Island in 1841.

© Dean Klinkenberg, 2009