Moline is located on a slightly elevated
plateau in the valley of Wildcat Creek, named so by the indigenous
Native Americans because of the prominent number of wildcats (Bobcats)
that lived along the stream. In early 1879 as the Santa Fe Railway
extended westward from Independence, Missouri, towns sprung up
vigorously along the line. The Land and Town Company chartered the land
for the city on July 21, 1879 and laid out the town. The name Moline was
decided upon at the suggestion of Mr. J.F. Chapman, of the original town
company, who came from the area of Moline, Illinois, and because the
farmers in the area largely used the Moline plow.
Built in 1904 and still in use. The oldest suspension bridge in Kansas can be seen at 5th and Biddle Streets in Moline. The creek running under it has several waterfalls. There is even a cafe named after it on the east side of town. The Cherokee Trail passed over Wildcat Creek near the bridge.
Shaffer House Museum and Art Center
Moline is home to the historic Shaffer House Museum and Art Center. It is located at the corner of 2nd and Plum Streets, and is a three-story building which was originally a rooming house, it was later converted to a doctor's office and hospital run by Dr. C.E. Shaffer. The Shaffer Museum is operated by a group of local volunteer citizens and is open May through August from 9 A.M. to 12 P.M. on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Admission to the facility is free of charge. The Shaffer Museum features historical exhibits of an early 1900s kitchen and bedroom, a 1917 photographer's studio, 20th century medical equipment, many local antique farming tools, and mementos from the Ames Chevrolet dealership, which was located in Moline, KS and before closing due to fire was considered the oldest continuously operating family owned Chevrolet dealership in the United States. The museum also contains historically significant items from local schools including Moline High School which is no longer in operation. In addition, the museum features artifacts including articles and photographs of one of the United States' great World War II aviation heroes, General Leon Johnson, who spent most of his childhood in Moline.