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The combination of energy and easy access to river transportation attracted entrepreneurs and industrialists to the Quad Cities for development.

In 1848, John Deere moved his plough business to Moline.

Over time, a minor industry grew up in the area to meet the steamboats' needs.

Boat crews needed rest areas to stop before encountering the rapids, places to hire expert pilots such as Phillip Suiter, who was the first licensed pilot on the upper Mississippi River, to guide the boat through the rocky waters, or, when the water was low, places where goods could be removed and transported by wagon on land past the rapids.

The racial makeup of the area are 90.6% White (410,861), 3.7% Black or African American (27,757), 0.6% American Indian and Alaskan Native (1,255), 1.0% Asian (6,624), 0.0% Pacific Islander (156), and 2.0% from two or more races (11,929).

7.1% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race (37,070).

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At the time of European encounter, it was a home and principal trading place of the Sauk and Fox tribes of Native Americans.

But by this time, the name "Quad Cities" had become known well beyond the area, and "Quint Cities" never caught on, despite the efforts of WOC-TV (as KWQC-TV was then called) and others.

Beginning in the late 1970s, economic conditions caused major industrial restructuring, which disrupted the basis of the region's economy.

Moline-based John Deere cut its labor headcount by one half. They have achieved national attention for their accomplishments. The Quad Cities area is distinctive because the Mississippi River flows from east to west as it passes through the heart of the area; the Iowa cities of Davenport and Bettendorf are located due north of Rock Island and Moline, respectively.

Examples of revitalization and rebirth include: The Quad Cities are located at the confluence of the Rock and Mississippi rivers, approximately 140 miles (230 km) west of Chicago, and form the largest metropolitan area along the Mississippi River between Minneapolis–Saint Paul and the St. The Quad Cities area is one where the telephone companies cooperate with regional phone calls.

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