Henry McNeal

Henry McNeal, courtesy of Rock Island County Historical Society

Canadian Henry McNeal and Kentuckian Joel Thomspon arrived in the winter of 1827-1828. They settled on land next to the Mississippi River in an area that was technically off-limits at that time, which technically made them squatters. McNeal built a cabin where the Village of Hampton’s Soldier’s Memorial now stands. McNeal farmed and sold wood to steamboats, traveling as far as St. Louis to entice steamboats to stop at his place, which became known, naturally, as McNeal’s Landing. McNeal and Thompson made their claims legal in 1836, purchasing 152 acres; they immediately began selling portions of it. Thompson sold his claim to McNeal a few months later. In 1838, the claim, which included McNeal’s Landing, was platted into 36 blocks and named Hampton.

© Dean Klinkenberg, 2009