Bettendorf, Iowa

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Bettendorf is a city in Scott County, Iowa, United States. Bettendorf is the fifteenth largest city in the U.S. state of Iowa and the fourth largest in the "Quad Cities". A 2009 estimate shows the population has grown to 33,098 by 2009.[1] Bettendorf is one of the Quad Cities, along with neighboring Davenport and the Illinois cities of Moline, East Moline and Rock Island.



Bettendorf lies in the original Wisconsin Territory, which the United States bought from the Sac and Fox Indians after defeating them in the Black Hawk War. The territory was ceded in the Black Hawk Purchase of 1832. The first European-American settlers established a village which they called Lillienthal, after an early tavern and dance hall. The village of Gilbert developed alongside Lillienthal in 1858, honoring Elias Gilbert, who plotted the original site. At that time, the residents were predominantly German immigrants and worked as farmers, skilled laborers, and small business owners. The two villages eventually combined to become the town of Gilbert.

Around 1900, the town gave William and Joseph Bettendorf 70 acres (280,000 m2) of riverfront land on the condition that they move their iron wagon business from Davenport to Gilbert. In 1903, the town of 440 citizens petitioned for incorporation, requesting to change the town's name to honor the brothers whose factory was a major economic influence in the early development of the city.

In the late 1940s, Aluminum Company of America (A.L.C.O.A.) chose Riverdale, a site adjacent to Bettendorf, for construction of the world's largest aluminum mill. The huge mill, and the attendant spin-off developments from it, created thousands of jobs and greatly increased growth in Bettendorf's population. Such growth has continued to the present day.

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