In the early 1800’s there were fourteen Indian villages scattered along the Rock River between Rock Island and Dixon. The main village was called Prophet’s Town. The prophet was Wa-Bo-Kie-Shiek, an advisor to the great Sauk chief, Black Hawk. In 1829, an effort began to move the Indians onto land west of the Mississippi River. Black Hawk, not wanting to give up the 800 acres of cultivation in the Rock River Valley, led the Indians in several conflicts with white settlers known as Black Hawks Wars. Black Hawk died in Iowa in 1838 while Wa-bo-kie-shiek died in 1841.
The Black Hawk War was considered a brief conflict fought in 1832 between the United States and the Native Americans led by Black Hawk and Sauk leader. The war erupted soon after Black Hawk and a group of Sauks, Meskwakis, and Kickapoos known as the “British Band” crossed the Mississippi River into the U.S. state of Illinois in April 1832.
U.S. Troops were commanded by General Henry Atkinson who spent much of his time trying to track down the British Band. One account of the Black Hawk War involved Captain Abraham Lincoln and his company of men who it is said burned the village of the Prophet as they followed the Indians into Wisconsin, however no Indians were inhabiting the town at the time. The Black Hawk War is now often remembered as the conflict that gave young Abraham Lincoln his brief military service.
The quiet village was involved in the final removal of the Indians from the region. White settlers came down and drove the Indians out. In 1835, however, there were still three to four hundred Indians living near the mouth of Coon Creek which is now part of Prophetstown State Park.