Casefile Clues

10 August 2013

Sidewalks in Rock Island

One never knows what type of information one will encounter in a newspaper. This image comes from an 1897 issue of the Rock Island Argus and was discovered while I was presenting a webinar on using the digital newspapers in the Chronicling America collection at the Library of Congress website.
Rock Island Argus., October 06, 1897, Page 2, Image 2
List of lot owners who are having sidewalks built on their property is not something a person typically encounters. The individuals of interest were the Mortiers, both of whom had lots in George L. Davenport's addition to the City of Rock Island. Armed with the description of the location, land deeds and other information could be located. The Mortier men are listed as working for the Rock Island Lumber Company who is listed as owning a lot in Stickney's Addition. The lumber company may not have been as close to the Mortiers' apparent residences as the newspaper listing may seem to imply. A map would answer that question

The item was located in the digital images of newspapers available on the Library of Congress'  Chronicling America collection. The images are fully searchable although readers are advised of the typical warnings regarding occasional difficulties in OCR in using databases of this type.

Ordering information for the webinar can be found here.