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 city in the “Quad Cities”. As of the 2010 United States Census the population grew to 33,217. Bettendorf is one of the Quad Cities, along with neighboring Davenport and the Illinois cities of Moline, East Moline and Rock Island. The Quad Cities has a population of 379,690. In 2011, Bettendorf was named America’s 95th Best Town by CNNMoney.
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 platted 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.
Circa 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.