Excerpt from Home On The River (A History..Compiled and Edited) by Mary Shovar 

 "The streets were prettily decorated with pennants and flags, and the  town hall was gay with color. Pictures of many of the patriarchs of the  community were displayed in the hall, as were a number of interesting  relics. Among them was a paper flour sack which someone recently  unearthed, and which bore the stamp, "E.H. Bowman and Sons",  proprietors of the one flour mill Andalusia possessed. The sack bore the  date, 1867. On the wall hung a picture drawn with pencil by D.L. Finley  of Andalusia, showing Andalusia as he recalled it when the village was a  flourishing manufacturing and trading center. It was a real work of art  and gave a view of the river front with the mill and warehouses, and  passing log and lumber rafts and steamers, with the island and the Iowa  shore in the background.

"Ladies of the village furnished meals to' visitors in Wenks' Hall, where 250 people were fed at noon. 

"The people of Andalusia have done themselves proud in entertaining the visitors. Many of the guests wished to again occupy the houses which once had been their homes, either in the village or in the country nearby. And where it was possible, they were given the opportunity to do so. Homes everywhere were thrown open, and for the time being, the population of the village was almost doubled." 

Does this sound like a celebration present day Andalusians would like to attend? This was the Homecoming on August 21, 1916, and probably few people today, in the year 1983, will remember it. But many of them will have heard about it from their families, or another Homecoming held later on. There were speeches and reminiscenses, church services, school reunions, according to the story in the Rock Island Argus, August 26, 1916. Fortunately for historians, many of these speeches and reminiscenses were recorded in newspapers, and tell in detail, what it was like to live in Andalusia in the mid 1800's. 

More than 500 people attended the event. John T. Kenworthy, said to be the first white child born in  Andalusia, related many incidents to recall the busy days of Andalusia in the 1850's, 1860's and up to when it reached its peak of activity, the late 1880's. "Do you remember the wheat, the corn and the lumber of its commerce? And remember the warehouses filled to bursting with the produce of the prairie? The levees and the streets filled with people, and crowded with teams and wagons loaded with produce, and the steamboats loading and unloading at the wharves? I need only mention the flour, lumber, wood, coal, lime, and hay industries to have you again recall the wagon shops, painting, meats, hardware and other industries of this old town when it was in the qpex  of its prosperity and strength." 

How did it all begin? And what happened to all the commerce of this old river town, with the beautiful name of Andalusia? What evolved from the end of the Indian Wars, when the Sac and Fox tribes were pushed relentlessly out of the Illinois country, as the mass of settlers coming from the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and other points east, settled in these valleys and hills? 

This is an attempt to portray the events leading up to 1983 when this work was written. The material was compiled from "PAST AND PRESENT OF ROCK ISLAND COUNTY, 1877" and Volumes I and II of "HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ILLINOIS, AND HISTORY OF ROCK ISLAND COUNTY, 1914." 

From Andalusia westward was a favorite hunting and fishing area of the Sac and Fox Indians, before the westward expansion and the coming of the white man, while that of the eastern part of Andalusia seems to have been associated with the whisperings of the Great Spirit and futurity. Many of their dead were interred in that locality. With empire and civilization spreading westward, an inevitable change took place following the end of the Black Hawk War in 1832. Within a period of 30 years, preceeding the Civil War, the white man voluntarily became the neighbor of the Indian. Then began the final struggle for the supremacy and permanent ~olding of the land. "The Indians lost and vacated. The white man won and remained." The truth is not always something we like to remember, but this brief statement tells the whole story. 

That the land was beautiful along the river and bluffs in Andalusia township, is confirmed by many sources. "The course of the Mississippi is westerly, deflecting one mile south in the six miles that the river forms the north township boundary. Fancy Creek east and Coal Creek west and other small streams provide drainage. There are inexhaustible deposits of potters' clay, from which has been manufactured the best grades of pottery ware. The channel of the river, one mile wide, is separated by a chain of islands, the main channel flowing ~orth of the islands, which are within township limits. The islands are sometimes overflowed, although summer cottages and club houses are seldom endangered from high water. Near Andalusia, a group of white sulphur springs supply mineral waters of taste and healthful qualities unexcelled elsewhere. In the bluffs are never failing springs of pure water. The shaded islands, and cool secluded nooks, close to the water line, and in the bluffs are ideal camping places." 

Following the end of the Black Hawk War, Captain Benjamin W. Clark of Virginia, who had been captain of a company of Mounted Rangers under General Dodge, came to Andalusia from White Oak Springs, near Galena, with a flat boat. He acquired a section of land, and on it built a log house near the mouth of "West Creek." In 1833, he had the distinction of being the first householder in the western part of the county. His house was the only one between that of Joshua Vandruff, on Vandruff's Island, on the Rock River, below the Black Hawk Watch Tower, and that of Erastus Dannison, at the "Upper Yellow Banks" (New Boston). He established a ferry and it became the most important one on the river above St. Louis. The course of immigration westward was increasing rapidly. Also, it was a good crossing as the approaches were free from any marshy areas, and gradually ascending to the valley and shore. 

The second cabin was built by Hackley Sams at the mineral springs. Then John Vanatta built on his land east of the village. Jonathan Mosher had a farm east of the Vanatta land, and James Robison also settled on land near the south west township line. These farms were the first in cultivation below the Rock River. 

The early settlers had few luxuries except venison, wild turkey, quails, prairie hens, ducks and other game. They fished in the streams and river and picked crab apples, wild plums, and berries, and gathered honey. They had to go great distances to get milling done, by ox teams over unimproved roads. It took from one to three weeks to complete the trips, as very often, other parties were waiting there to get their grinding done.    . 

In 1841, Jonathan Buffum built a log grist mill, 16 by 20 feet, on Fancy Creek. It stood about 40 rods north of Andalusia Road, leading east from the village. This was the first mill built in this neighborhood. It contained a bolt for the manufacture of flour, and the run of stone previously used by Joseph Dunlap, in Edgington. The mills were constructed in a very primitive manner, and its capacity for grinding was about 50 bushels of corn or wheat or buckwheat per day. No toll was taken; the patrons of the mill hitched their horses to the mill to do the grinding. In the winter, people brought grists to this mill from the Iowa side of the river, when they could then cross on the ice. 

With the building of towns on opposite shores, Andalusia and Buffalo, Iowa, the name Clark's Ferry became obsolete. However, there was continuous ferry traffic since 1833. Capt. Clark piloted a flat boat with long sweeps and pike poles. Later boats were propelled by horse power, by steam and gasoline. Capt. Clark moved to Buffalo in 1836, after selling his Illinois claim to Col. Stevenson, S.W. Hamilton, and Sam Whiteside. They platted a city called "Rockport".  It was wholly a city on paper and represented a tract of land having about a mile and 
a half of river front, and a mile in width. It was a great speculation, in which many senators .and others from Washington, D.C. were involved, including Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, Gen. George C. Jones and others. No enterprises served to attract population, however, and valuations declined. The lots remained unimproved, and owners allowed their lots to be sold for taxes. 

In about 1843, Napoleon B. Buford, Sr. of Rock Island bought the site of Rockport at a tax sale. He built a warehouse and established a store, although he didn't reside here. In 1845, Mrs. Katherine Buford rechristened the village Andalusia, and it became the principal marketing place for the surrounding country. 

The river and steamboats began to play an increasing role in the lives of Andalusians. A daily steam packet, THE ROCKFORD, ran between Andalusia, Rock Island and Davenport, operated by S.M. Boney, Capt. S.R. Buffum and John Buffum in 1864. River traffic increased rapidly after the end of the Civil War when navigation of the lower Mississippi developed. This led to the rapid growth of Andalusia as a shipping center. Later in 1875, Capt. Samuel Mitchell of Davenport plied the river with THE LONE STAR. Capt. Wm. Jones of Andalusia, who was the owner of THE LOUISA performed the same service. Capt. J.C. Bromley owned and operated a steam ferry called THE TULULU. Other river steamboats that are mentioned throughout the growth of Andalusia were: WM. J. YOUNG, KATE KEEN, KEOKUK, WINONA, COLUMBIA, GEORGE W. WATERS, and the HELEN BLAIR. 

"In 1859, Andalusia township was set off from Edgington Township, and organized on April 5th, of that year, by electing the following officers: John Buffum, supervisor; James Ferguson, town clerk; B.F. Eby, collector; Samuel Kenworthy, assessor; Isaac Richards, Jonathan Mosher, and A.H. Mosher, commissioners of highways; James W. Ballard and James Roberts, Justices of the Peace; James Hill, constable; and Lorenzo Parmenter, overseer of the poor. Andalusia township is a fractional township, the principal part of which lies in the river bluffs, which abounds in coal, building stone and potters' clay." 

In about 1865, a syndicate of residents formed the "Town Company" which donated several building lots to churches on completion of congregational organizations. The personnel of the company were: S.M. Boney, Rinnah Wells, John Buffum, Arthur Roberts, Maria Kenworthy, S.E. Roberts, Willaim Freeman, David Conner, Henry Thompson, J.C. Bethuram, and David Finley. After adjusting claims of titles in dispute, the company cut off seven tiers of blocks east and west from the survey of 1835 (the Rockport plan); platted the central valley portion into fifty blocks, with seven east and west streets and seven streets running north and south. The streets running east and west were: Water, Main, Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and Jackson. Those running north and south were: Aspen, Apple, Perry, Magnolia, Walnut, Park, and Maple. 

In 1877, the village, located on the north west quarter of section 27, grew to be a place of about 500 inhabitants and contained 87 dwelling houses, 4 stores, a post office with a daily mail, a milliner's shop, 
a drug store, a doctor's office, a shoe shop, a tailor's shop, a harness shop, a meat market, a grist and planing mill, a school house, 3 churches, a cheese factory, a pottery, 2 lumber offices, 4 warehouses, 2 carpenter's shops, 2 lumber yards, 2 wagon shops, 3 blacksmith's shops, 2 hotels, 
and 82 other buildings; in all 208. 

A bluff annex contained a thirty three acre farm, several five and ten acre lots, and the cemetery grounds.