Scott Co, Iowa USGenWeb Project

Henry Thode Biography 

From "Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County" by Harry E. Downer-S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago.

Surnames: Thode, Linke, Goss, Langfeldt, Garstang.

                Henry Thode, who worked his way upward from a humble beginning and gave proof in his life that success is the outcome of clear judgment, experience and indefatigable energy rather than the result of fortunate circumstances or propitious environment, was born in Neustadt, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, February 15, 1828. In his youthful days he learned the wagon maker's trade, which he followed in his native country until he came to America in 1852. Crossing the Atlantic on one of the old-time sailing vessels, he landed at New Orleans on the 3d of October and made his way northward to Iowa. At Rock Island he secured employment, there working at his trade for a year. On the expiration of that period he came to Davenport where he opened a wagon maker's shop and conducted business on his own account. For a time after his arrival he was in partnership with a Mr. Linke in the ownership and conduct of a blacksmith shop on Harrison street, continuing in the business for eight years. He afterward formed a partnership with his father-in-law, Mr. Goss, who was a wagon maker by trade and came to this country from Holstein, Germany, in 1851, at the age of fifty-five years. He entered the wholesale liquor business in 1866, in connection with Mr. Langfeldt, on West Second street, under the firm name of Langfeldt, Thode & Company. The partnership was dissolved in 1874 and Mr. Thode continued to carry on business in that line until his death.

               On the 28th of October, 1854, was celebrated the marriage of Henry Thode and Miss Augusta Goss. Her father died many years ago but his wife lived until about 1893, when she passed away at the venerable age of ninety-one years. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Thode were born eleven children, eight of whom yet live, named being now the wife of H. J. Garstang. The death of Mr. Thode occurred October 18, 1893, after a residence in Davenport of about forty years. He was also an honorary member of the Schuetzen Society. He was much interested in the German schools of Davenport and in his fellow countrymen, whom he assisted in many ways. His life stood to them as an example of patriotic American citizenship and of enterprise and energy in business affairs, for the success he achieved in life was attributable entirely to his own labors.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann

petersen2.jpg (55265 bytes)Adolph Petersen Biography

 From "Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County" by Harry E. Downer-S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago.

Surnames: Petersen, Rose, Jebens, Westphal.

               The simple narration of the incidents in the early life of Adolph Petersen and the struggles which disciplined him into usefulness in this community add to the weight of testimony that the stamp of leadership among men cannot be obscured by untoward circumstances nor obliterated by the marks of hardship. He is a native of Struxdorf-Anglen, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where he was born November 22, 1858. His father was principal teacher in the school of the village, and when he died circumstances caused the emigration to America of the widow and her five children in 1872. While in New York, on the very threshold of the new world of opportunity, the little family met with disaster, the loss of all their means by theft, and they reached Davenport with no resources whatever.

               Upon Adoph, the eldest of the four brothers, then twelve years old, devolved the responsibility of contributing as liberally as possible to the support of his widowed mother and the younger children. His first work was in a sash and door factory and from there he went on a farm, doing plowman's work before he was fourteen. Back into town he came and worked as a painter and as handy boy in grocery stores. His education was forwarded as circumstances permitted. For one and a half terms he attended the public night school conducted by Principal Roderick Rose, afterward mayor of Davenport. The next chapter of his life has its setting in a printing office, where he engaged as inky devil and nimble footed carrier in 1876. Here he seemed to feel that he had discovered his calling and life work and learned the printer's trade in its various branches, taking up as a consequence newspaper work, particularly on the German press.

               In July, 1884, he founded his own paper, the Iowa Reform. Soon after he was joined in partnership by his brother Gerhard and this business arrangement has continued to the present time. The Reform was at first a weekly paper but later was given semi-weekly publication, and as such has been published regularly with growing favor. In 1909 occurred the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first appearance of this sterling German paper, the Iowa Reform. A splendid silver jubilee illustrated edition was issued to mark the occasion and this edition, going into thousands of homes, was greatly complimented and appreciated.

               From its beginning until the present time Adolph Petersen has been manager of the newspaper enterprise. In the editorial and technical departments he has enjoyed the expert assistance of his brother Gerhard and also John Jebens, who has been associated with him for more than twenty years, August Westphal, and others.

               Adolph Petersen has borne an important part in planning new enterprises for the welfare of Davenport and in forwarding them to success. His activity for public measures has had a wider scope than that bounded by corporation lines. It has been natural that the German portion of the community should have the major portion of his labor and his solicitude, and for the German people, especially of this region of his adopted country, he has toiled indefatigably and intelligently.

               These efforts have been recognized in good measure. He is at this time president-first speaker-of the great Davenport Turngemeinde, also president of the German-American Press Association of the West, an organization covering the states of Iowa, Illinois, south Dakota and Nebraska, and in 1910 holding its annual convention in Omaha.

               Adolph Petersen, a loyal and patriotic American, has found nothing inconsistent in cherishing a deep love for the land of his birth and an abiding admiration for her spirit, her traditions and her language. In his editorial writings he has steadily advised parents of German birth or descent to teach the noble mother tongue to their children, that their heritage in all that is best in the land beyond the sea be not lost to them.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann

Edward Freund Biography

 From "Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County" by Harry E. Downer-S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago.

 Surnames: Freund, Banscher, Rogge, Clause.

               Prominent in farming and dairying circles is Edward Freund, who owns and operates a farm of one hundred and nine acres of land in Davenport township, and also has another tract of forty-two acres in the same township, and also has another tract of forty-two acres in the same township. He was born on a farm near his present home, September 9, 1875, the youngest in a family of eight children, whose parents were Peter and Maggie Freund, natives of Germany. The father was about twenty-five years of age when he came to the new world, and he arrived in Davenport with but twenty-five cents in his pocket. Immediate employment was a necessity and for a time he worked at anything that would yield him an honest living, while later he operated rented land for a time. Eventually he purchased eighty acres in Pleasant Valley township, on which he erected a house and made it his home until 1876. He then disposed of that property an invested his money in the farm which is now owned by the son. On this place stood a dilapidated house and barn, which in due time were replaced by more substantial buildings. He also placed the fields under a good state of cultivation and devoted his energies to farming throughout the remainder of his days. Prior to coming to the new world, however, he had worked at the shoemaker's trade and had also served his country as a soldier in the army. He was a communicant of the Catholic church in Davenport and died in that faith February 19, 1897, when seventy-two years of age, while his wife, surviving for only about two years, passed away May 1, 1899, when sixty-eight years old. Their sons and daughters are as follows: George and J. A., both of Scott county; Frances, the wife of Mathew Banscher, a resident of Carroll county, this state; Ignatius, of Scott county; Joseph, who has departed this life; Albert, of Pleasant Valley township; Katherine, the deceased wife of P. L. Rogge, also of Scott county; and Edward, whose name introduces this record.

               The last named was but a year old when his parents removed from the farm on which his birth occurred to the place which is now in his possession. At the usual age he entered the district schools, and during the periods of vacation his time was employed in the usual manner of farm lads. He has spent his entire life on his present farm and after the death of the father assisted the mother in the management and operation of the place. Soon after the death of the latter he wedded Miss Elizabeth Clause, of Scott county, their marriage being celebrated June 22, 1899. Two sons grace their union, Elden Edward and Herbert John.

               Mr. Freund devotes the greater portion of the farm to the cultivation of crops but he reserves some of the land for pasturage, as he keeps a number of cows for dairy purposes. He is enterprising in his work and displays sound judgment in the management of his business affairs. He is a communicant of the Catholic church. Having spent his entire life in Davenport township, he is one of its best known and most highly respected citizens.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann

Rudolph Schuett Biography

 From "Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County" by Harry E. Downer-S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago.

 Surnames: Schuett, Meier, Bein.

                Scott county numbers among its native sons Rudolph Schuett, a representative and progressive farmer, whose birth here occurred on the 5th of March, 1873, on the farm which is still his home. He is a son of Theodore and Anna (Meier) Schuett, who were both born in Schleswig-Holstein, the former on the 18th of January, 1848, and the latter on the 30th of December, 1850. Coming to America in 1867 in search of better business opportunities than were offered in Germany, the father made his way at once to Scott county, Iowa, where he purchased a farm upon which he continued to reside until 1906, when he retired from the active duties of business life and removed to Davenport, where he is now living retired in the enjoyment of well earned rest. He took an active part in community affairs, holding the office of trustee of Blue Grass township for some time and later serving as township clerk for a number of years.

               In the district schools near his home Rudolph Schuett acquired his education, and when not engaged with his text-books was busily at work in the fields, early becoming familiar with the tasks that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. Amid the wholesome scenes and environment of rural life he was reared to manhood, learning lessons concerning the value of industry, integrity and perseverance. With the exception of four years, during which time he was employed as a farm hand in Scott county, and the year 1899, when he was engaged in the creamery business in Boone county, his entire life has been spent on his present farm. In 1906, when his father retried from active business duties, he took charge of the homestead and has since directed his efforts toward its further development and cultivation. It is a very well improved property, consisting of eighty acres, and the soil, naturally rich and fertile, yields abundant golden harvests in response to the care and l!
abor bestowed upon it. Progressive and up-to-date in all of his methods, Mr. Schuett has made a close study of agriculture and has been most successful in this line of activity, so that he is now ranked among the prosperous and substantial farmers of the community. In connection with his general farming pursuits he makes a specialty of raising Poland China hogs, and this branch of his business is proving a profitable source of revenue.

               Mr. Schuett laid the foundation for a happy home life own in his marriage, on the 28th of November, 1906, to Miss Fannie Bein, a daughter of Henry Bein, of Scott county, who is now deceased. This union has been blessed by one child, Zella, who is the light and life of the household. Democratic in his political allegiance, Mr. Schuett is now serving as township clerk, which position he has filled for the past three years. Early trained to habits of industry, economy and integrity, the success which he today enjoys is well merited and comes as the reward of well directed efforts and intelligently applied labor. His life record is well known to the citizens of Blue Grass township, where he has spent practically his entire life, and the fact that many of his best friends are those who have known him from boyhood is an indication that his actions have ever been guided by the principles of honorable and upright manhood, and his salient characteristics have been such!
 as to inspire the confidence, respect and good will of his fellowmen.

 Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann          

holm.jpg (36840 bytes)Frank Holm Biography

 From "Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County" by Harry E. Downer-S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago.

 Surnames: Holm, Baurose, Plamback, Soechtig.

                Frank Holm, the recorder for Scott county, was born in Davenport, December 15, 1864, a descendant of sturdy German parents. His father, Theodore Holm, was born in Hamburg, Germany, but came to Davenport in 1856, where he pursued his trade as a decorator. He had gained a proficiency in this line of work in the land of his birth and was accounted one of the most artistic as well as successful men here. He was also a musician, and when the Civil war broke out, on the 1st of August, 1861, he volunteered and served in the regimental band of the Forty-fourth Illinois Infantry, until September, 1862, when he was discharged As the war was not yet over, he reenlisted, being assigned to one of the hospital corps for a time. It was as a citizen of Davenport, however, that he will be longest remembered, for he was ever actuated by a large measure of public spirit. He was one of the active members of the original hook and ladder company and in the late '50s was one of orga!
nizers of the Davenport German theater, so that in his death the city lost one of her valued and respected citizens. He married Miss Caroline Baurose, who was also of German nativity but came to Davenport with her parents in 1846 when she was only two years old. The family landed in New Orleans and ascended the Mississippi river to this city, where Louis Baurose, her father, found employment at his trade of a stone-mason. Like Mr. Holm he was one of the original volunteers of the fire department of Davenport. Unto Theodore Holm and his wife were born four children: Frank, the subject of this review; Mamie, now Mrs. Plamback, of Omaha; Ludovig, who died in infancy; and Louise, who is at home.

               Frank Holm, who has proved himself worthy of every responsibility assigned to him, attended the public schools of Davenport, and after he had completed the prescribed course of study began his commercial career. He was associated first with the Petersen Dry Goods Company, in the minor position of cash boy, but through diligence and application rapidly rose in their esteem until at the end of the six years he spent with them he held the position of salesman. He then entered the employ of the Wadsworth Wholesale Dry Goods Company, with whom he remained eleven years, at the end of that time returning to his former for the second time for about eight years, when, in 1906, he was elected on the democratic ticket to the office of county recorder. He had always been active in political matters from his young manhood, although he had not previously received any indication of the confidence his fellow voters placed in his judgment, his ability and his integrity.

               In 1896 Mr. Holm was united in marriage to Miss Emma Soechtig, a native of south Bend, Indiana, and unto them has been born one daughter, Thelma, whose birth occurred January 7, 1902. Mr. Holm belongs to several of the German and other organizations of a fraternal and social character in Davenport, among whose members he is very popular. Indeed his genial personality, and his willingness to exert himself in assisting others, united with his wide business experience, make him a most efficient official.
 Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann             


James A. Hanley Biography

 From "Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County" by Harry E. Downer-S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago.

 Surnames: Hanley, O'Shaunessy, Davisson.

                There has been no esoteric phase in the life record of James A. Hanley, who has always resided in Scott county, his history, therefore, being a familiar one to his fellow citizens, who instinctively accord him respect and honor for what he has accomplished. It is often under the stimulus of opposition and the pressure of adversity that the best and strongest in man is brought out and developed-a truth which finds exemplification in the life of Mr. Hanley, who, thrown upon his own resources at an early age, is today one of the successful and able members of the Davenport bar, capable of crossing swords in forensic combat with the most learned members of the profession.

               Mr. Hanley was born in Le Claire, this county, on the 8th of March, 1863, and is the fifth son and sixth child of Dennis and Bridget (O'Shaunessy) Hanley, natives of Ireland, where they spent their youth and were married. They then determined to seek their fortune in the new world and on crossing the Atlantic established their home in Le Claire. The father was a laboring man, diligent and industrious, but his death occurred on Christmas day of 1869, when his son James was but six years of age. Two children had been added to the family after the birth of our subject, but the daughter died in infancy. The support of the family of seven sons and one daughter then devolved upon the mother, who was a noble-hearted, self-denying woman, her whole ambition being to rear her sons to be good men, well qualified for life's work. She considered no sacrifice on her part too great if it would promote the happiness or welfare of her children. She lived to see her ambition gr!
atified for all became successful and respected men. Four of her children, Thomas B., James A., William H. and Kate E. became school teachers. Later Thomas B. became a prominent attorney, settling in Tipton, Iowa, where he practices as a member of the firm of Wolf & Hanley. He has served as mayor of Tipton and is recognized as a leading lawyer of that place. Dennis Hanley, Jr., engaged in boat-building until his death in 1878. Daniel R. and Michael L. took up steamboating and became licensed engineers and successful business men. William H. turned his attention to the profession of law and has attained a gratifying position as a member of the bar of Dubuque, Iowa.

               The mother taught her children to be self-reliant, reliable and trustworthy, also frugal and industrious. She encouraged thrift and economy by taking care of the wages of her sons as they were able to start out in life and support themselves. James A. Hanley pursued his early education in the schools of Le Claire and when in his fourteenth year began earning his own livelihood, becoming cook on a raft boat on the river at what would seem ridiculously low wages at the present time. The working season lasted seven months each year and from his earnings he saved enough to enable him to attend the country schools three months each year. He won gradual advancement until he became clerk on one of the river boats and the utilization which he made of his opportunities for promoting his knowledge enabled him at the age of eighteen years to secure a teacher's certificate. He then engaged in teaching through the winter months in the district schools, while in the summer seasons he was upon the river until twenty-two years of age, when he left the river and matriculated in Ames Agricultural College, his scanty earning being supplemented by a sum of money which he borrowed from his mother. He left that institution at the end of a year on account of his limited financial resources, but was eager to obtain an education and prepare for a professional career, and in September, 1886, began a two years' law course in the State University of Iowa, which granted him his diploma on the 19th of June, 1888. This admitted him to practice in the state and federal courts. Up to this time his had been a very laborious life but his ambition had sustained him.

               On completing his law course Mr. Hanley returned to Le Claire, where he arrived with a single dollar in his pocket, while his indebtedness to his mother amounted to two hundred and fifty dollars. He immediately opened an office and began practice, applying himself most diligently to the legal work that was entrusted to him. Realizing the necessity for thorough preparation, which he never failed to give, he won recognition in the courts as an able, earnest lawyer, whose reasoning was sound and whose application of legal principles was correct. Feeling that his efforts were circumscribed by the narrow confines of the village, in April, 1891, he removed to Davenport, where he has since made steady progress in his chosen profession. One of the local papers said of him: "The habits inculcated by a good mother have given him a business, social and moral stamina which is the best possible foundation for his life work. Honest, trustworthy and ever with a deep respect !
for the law and an eye single to his clients' interests he has won the good opinions of his fellow members of the bar and of the public, and is frequently consulted by the former and unhesitatingly trusted by the latter." While Mr. Hanley still continues in general practice his attention is largely confined to civil business and mainly to office work.

               Mr. Hanley has also gained a notable place in political circles, not by reason of the fact that he has been active as an officer seeker but owning to his stalwart advocacy of principles in which he firmly believes. He has delivered many campaign addresses and is a popular speaker, whose arguments carry weight and whose statements are a clear exposition of the issues of the campaigns. In 1903 he was elected alderman at large for a term of two years and in 1892 was appointed the president of the commission on insanity of Scott county, in which position he still continues. He has never allowed office holding, however, to interfere with his practice. To this he gives his attention very largely but is also known in financial circles as a director of the Citizens Trust & Savings Bank.

               On the 14th of December, 1892, Mr. Hanley was married to Miss Ida B. Davisson, a native of Michigan, and they have two daughters, Bernace and Eloise. The family find their chief enjoyment in their home and their greatest happiness in the society of each other. Mr. Hanley belongs to the Commercial Club and is well known in fraternal circles as a Knight of Pythias and an Elk. He also belongs to the Modern Brotherhood of America. In manner he is genial, with a pleasant word and smile for everyone, and his social qualities have made him deservedly popular. He is never too busy to be cordial or too cordial to be busy and is, in fact, a man of well balanced character and interests, whose struggles and trials in earlier years have given him force and determination, enabling him to correctly judge of life's values.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann

best.jpg (33985 bytes)Louis P. Best Biography

From "Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County" by Harry E. Downer-S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago.

Surnames: Best, Brunjes, Ockershausen, Heck, Krause.

 The promotion which follows skilled labor and close application brought
Louis P. Best to a position where upon him devolved administrative direction
and executive control in connection with a number of the most important
industrial and financial enterprises of Davenport. His abilities, at all
times adequate to the demands made upon him to so direct interests with
which he was concerned as to win most substantial results, and at length by
reason of the success to which he attained he was enabled to put aside
business cares and is now practically retired. He is, however, still
financially interested in some enterprises in which he was formerly a
member, with active voice in management. He was born in Germany on the 7th
of April, 1848, and acquired his education largely in the schools of
Stuttgart and Berlin. Coming to the United States in 1869 as a young man of
twenty-one years, he landed at New York, where he spent five years, being
first employed as a chemist with the Brunjes & Ockershausen Sugar Refining
company, while subsequently he was identified with the importing business.
In 1874 he made his way to Davenport, being called to this city to take
charge of the works of the Glucose Manufacturing Company. He then bought an
interest in the business and, increasing his holdings therein, was for a
considerable period one of the chief stockholders. In an official capacity
he was active in its management and control, taking important part in
formulating the policy and plans whereby the business became one of the
leading enterprises of eastern Iowa. When he became connected therewith the
business was in its infancy but was reorganized in the fall of 1874, Mr.
Best acting as general manager from that time until his retirement, on the
1st of January, 1898. To his knowledge and skill as a chemist were added
excellent executive ability and keen discrimination. As his powers became
recognized Mr. Best's cooperation was sought along various other lines and
at one time he was president of the Davenport Machinery and Foundry Company,
of which he is still a director. He is also a member of the Bettendorf Axle
Company and served as its treasurer until obliged to resign that position on
account of ill health, after which he traveled in Europe for two years,
being greatly benefited by his sojourn abroad. While connected with the
glucose trade he built a new glucose factory at Granite City, Illinois,
which he afterward sold. He was formerly interested in the Hawkeye Electric
Company and was a director of the Citizens National Bank.
 While Mr. Best established his place as one of the foremost representatives
of business interests in Davenport, he did not fail to heed the call of
citizenship and, in fact, has taken active part in furthering many
progressive public projects. For six years he served on the school board and
for four years was its president, in which connection he was active in
holding to a high standard the system of public instruction in the city,
bringing to bear in the discharge of his duties the same businesslike
qualities which have characterized his conduct of individual interests.
 In 1871 Mr. Best was united in marriage to Miss Louise Heck, the wedding
being celebrated in London, England. Their only child, Rudolph, resides in
Fort Scott, Kansas. For his second wife Mr. Best chose Miss Krause and to
them have been born a son and daughter, Louis and Margaret. The family
residence is situated on Ripley street and the evidences of cultured and
refined taste, as well as of wealth, make it most attractive to the many
friends of the family. The wise use of time, talents and opportunity has
brought Mr. Best to his present enviable position with a name that has
remained untarnished through all the years of his connection with commercial

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann

Henry Goettsch Biography

From "Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County" by Harry E. Downer-S. J.Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago.

Surnames: Goettsch, Peterson, Feldham, Martin

 Among the native sons of Scott county who are seeking their fortunes in the
tilling of the soil is Henry Goettsch, whose birth occurred in Davenport on
the 8th of March, 1858. His parents are Jochim and Bertha Goettsch, both
natives of Germany, where the former was born on the 19th of October, 1838.
He came to the United States when about eight years of age with his parents,
who landed at New Orleans and made their way direct to Scott county, within
the borders of which their remaining days were passed. The father was for
many years engaged in the occupation of farming and today owns a valuable
property of one hundred and sixty acres in Cleona township, although he is
now living retired and resides in davenport with his wife. He is the father
of four children, of whom our subject is the eldest, the others being:
Theodore, a resident of Durant; Laura, the wife of Frank Peterson; and
Clara, who lives with her parents.
 Henry Goettsch was brought to Cleona township when but two years of age and
acquired his education in the district schools of that township, being
reared to manhood upon his father's farm. Amid the wholesome scenes and
environment of rural life he early acquired habits of industry, perseverance
and integrity-habits which formed an excellent foundation stone upon which
to build his business career-and in the work of the home fields gained
thorough and practical experience in farming which proved of much benefit to
him when he entered the business world on his own account. Agricultural
pursuits have ever claimed his attention and that he has been successful in
this line of activity is indicated by his present high standing in
agricultural circles, where he is recognized as a substantial, progressive
and representative business man. He is the owner of the farm upon which he
now makes his home, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres of valuable
land which adjoins the county line and constitutes the northwest quarter of
section 19. He also owns another quarter section in Farmington township,
Cedar county, about one mile from his home place, which is operated by a
tenant and returns good annual rental. On the home farm he carries on
general farming and is systematic and methodical in his methods, while
everything about the place indicates that he is in close touch with the
modern spirit of progress which is manifest in agricultural lines.
 Mr. Goettsch laid the foundation for a happy home life of his own in his
marriage, on the 19th of February, 1886, to Miss Caroline Feldham, who was
born near Racine, Wisconsin, on the 25th of February, 1864, and with her
parents came to Iowa in 1865. She is a daughter of Martin and Caroline
(Martin) Feldham, both natives of Germany, the former having passed away in
1900 when eighty-one years of age, while the latter survives and makes her
home in Durant. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Goettsch have been born nine children:
Ella, Caroline, Albert, Emil, Lulu, Rosa, Bertha, Vera and Viola. With the
exception of the eldest, who is now the wife of Charles Schneckloth, of
Durant, all are yet unmarried and make their home under the parental roof,
the family circle remaining unbroken by the hand of death.
 Mr. Goettsch exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and
measures of the democratic party but has never sought nor desired public
office for himself. He is well known throughout the community where his
entire life has been spent and has gained the unqualified respect,
confidence and good will of all with whom he has been associated, for his
life has ever been actuated by high and honorable principles and in his
relations with his fellowmen he displays substantial qualities and a kindly
and just spirit.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann

Charles M. Robertson Biography

 From "Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County" by Harry E. Downer-S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago.

Surnames: Robertson, Murray, McKenzie, Cameron, Price, Baker, Brownlee

               Charles M. Robertson, who carries on general farming in Sheridan township, where he is the owner of eighty acres of fine farm land lying on section 1, about two miles northeast of Eldridge, is numbered among Iowa's native sons, his birth having occurred at Long Grove, November 1, 1872. His parents were William D. and Margaret O. (Murray) Robertson, who were among the earliest settlers of this county. They were both natives of Scotland, the father born January 12, 1844. He was brought to the United States in June, 1853, by his parents, William and Marion (McKenzie) Robertson, and his two sisters were also of the party. William Robertson was a tailor by trade and followed that business in Scotland, but after coming to the United States gave his attention to general agricultural pursuits. It was in the year 1849 that he severed the connections that bound him to Great Britain and sailed for New Orleans, whence he made his way up the river to Scott county. He took up his abode in Winfield township, near Long Grove, where he purchased eighty acres of prairie land. It was wild and unimproved, not a furrow having been turned or a stick of timber cut thereon. He at once began to cultivate the land but lived with relatives until the family came in 1853. They, too, landed at New Orleans and at once proceeded to Long Grove. Later William Robertson built a house and both he and his wife resided on the old homestead until called to their final rest, his death occurring August 9, 1889, when he was eighty-three years of age, while his wife passed away in 1889, at the age of seventy-nine years, her birth having occurred in 1810. As time passed on Mr. Robertson added to his original holdings but later sold much of his land. He twice entered land from the government and at the time of his death had about one hundred and eighty acres. In his business affairs he was practical and was recognized throughout the community as a man of unfaltering industry and perseverance. He served as a school director in Winfield township and also as road supervisor and was faithful to every trust reposed in him. While in Scotland he held membership in the Presbyterian church but in this country attended the Christian church at Long Grove. His family numbered three children: Marion S., living in Scott county; William D.; and Jane C., the widow of James Cameron, who was city plumbing inspector of Davenport.

               The second of the family William D. Robertson, was the father of Charles M. Robertson and was but nine years of age when he became a resident of Scott county. He had previously attended school in his native country and he continued his education at Long Grove. Reared to the occupation of farming, he made it his life work and remained with his parents up to the time of his marriage in 1870, when he removed to a farm of eighty acres in Winfield township. There he lived until his retirement from active business life in 1906. His three remaining years were spent in the enjoyment of well earned rest and on the 7th of May, 1909, his death occurred. He had ever been a stalwart champion of education and served as a school director. In fact, he always stood for progress and improvement along many lines and his influence could ever be counted upon to favor the best interests of the community. His wife came to the United States about 1850 with her parents, Charles and Barbara Murray, who also cast in their lot with the pioneer residents of Scott county. Mrs. Robertson survived her husband for only a few months, passing away July 12, 1909. There were three children in the family, but William W., the second in order of birth, died in September, 1902, at the age of twenty-seven years. The youngest, John K., is still living on the old homestead.

               Charles M. Robertson, the eldest of the family, has always made his home in Scott county and attended school at Long Grove, dividing his time between the duties of the schoolroom, the pleasures of the playground and the work of the home fields. When he put aside his text-books he concentrated his energies upon the farm work and continued with his father until his marriage, which was celebrated on the 19th of February, 1902, the lady of his choice being Miss Daisy May Price, a daughter of Nathaniel and Catherine (Baker) Price. Her father was born in England, February 6, 1841, and came to the United States when a young man, settling in Scott county. He was a gardener and followed that pursuit in Davenport township. His wife, who was born in England, August 12, 1847, died November 12, 1903. She had come to Scott county with her parents in her girlhood days. By her marriage she became the mother of three children: Sarah, deceased; Mrs. Robertson; and Edward Nathaniel, at home.

               Following their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Robertson removed to their present farm on section 1, Sheridan township, purchasing the property from R. K. Brownlee. He has since made some improvements upon it and is busily engaged in tilling the soil, which responds generously to the care and cultivation which he bestows upon it. He thus annually harvests good crops and is meeting with continued success in his chosen work.

               Mr. Robertson is a member of the Woodmen of the World of Long Grove and has held office in that order and also in the Odd Fellows lodge of Long Grove. His friends find him cordial and courteous and he enjoys the high esteem of those who know him. The attractiveness of Scott county as a place of residence is indicated in the fact that many of her native sons remain within her borders. Mr. Robertson has ever felt that he could find no better opportunities in other parts of the country than in the rich farming section of Iowa, and, devoting his attention to general agricultural pursuits, he is now winning a substantial reward for his labors.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann

Charles S. Simpson Biography

 From "Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County" by Harry E. Downer-S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago.

Surnames: Simpson, Martin, Ross, Hayner, Shepperd, Gross, Schweine, Smith, Gamble, Park, Headley, Bammer, Hose, Schutter, Wilson, Shirk, Michael, Gault.

               Charles S. Simpson, while maintaining his residence in Davenport, is well known as the president of the Le Claire Savings Bank at Le Claire, Iowa. He was born in Miami county, Ohio, near the city of Troy, January 1, 1856, and comes of a family of Scotch ancestry founded in America by his great-grand father, who, leaving the land of hills and heather, sailed for the new world and became one of the early settlers of Miami county, Ohio. He entered land near Troy and C. S. Simpson still owns eighty acres of the original tract and has the old parchment deed signed by James Monroe, then president of the United States. Benjamin Simpson, the grandfather, and David W. Simpson, the father of our subject, were both born on the old homestead in Ohio and in the same locality occurred the birth of Fannie Martin, who became the wife of David W. Simpson. She died in 1899, at the age of sixty-five years, and is still survived by her husband, who yet makes his home in Troy, Ohi!
o, where he was born May 17, 1831. They were the parents of six children: Olidia, now the wife of Frank Ross, of Dayton, Ohio; Charles S.; Laura, the wife of William Hayner, of Detroit; Samuel, of Dayton; Amanda; and Ida, the wife of R. T. Shepperd, of Hamilton, Ohio.

               Charles S. Simpson acquired his education in the public schools of Troy and when he put aside his text-books engaged in the nursery business, which his father and his grandfather had previously followed. Later he devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits and in 1894 came to Scott county, Iowa, where he has since made his home.

               It was on the 20th of November of that year that Mr. Simpson was married to Miss Amelia Gross, a daughter of Joseph and Margaret (Schweine) Gross, of Le Claire. Her father was born January 26, 1824 at Alsace on the Rhine, at that time a province of France. Coming to America in 1851, he located in Le Claire, Iowa, and the following year married Miss Margaret Schweine, by whom he had seven children, but only two of the number are now living: Mrs. Nelson M. Smith, of Le Claire; and Charles S. Simpson, of Davenport. Mr. Gross was a cabinetmaker by trade and for over twenty years was engaged in the furniture and undertaking business in Le Claire, selling out two years prior to his death, which occurred March 16, 1888. He had made his home in Le Claire for thirty-seven years and was honored and respected by all who knew him. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Simpson have been born two children but Charles A. died in early life. The living son is Albert G., who was born October 8, 1898. Mr. Simpson is a native of Le Claire.

               Mr. Simpson was one of the organizers of the Le Claire Savings Bank, which was established in 1901 with about thirty stockholders, the capital stock of ten thousand dollars being all taken by people of that locality. C. S. Simpson was elected president, with Dr. Gamble as vice president and J. E. Park as cashier. On the board of directors, in addition to the officers, were W. P. Headley, N. M. Smith, S.E. Bammer, R. Hose, F. F. Schutter and John Wilson. The present officers are: C. S. Simpson, president; T. C. Michael, cashier; and H. T. Gault, assistant cashier.

               Mr. Simpson is a member of the Odd Fellows society of Troy, Ohio, and has attained the thirty-second degree in the York Rite. He served as alderman of Le Claire for eleven years during the fifteen years of his residence there, being elected on the republican ticket. He has always been an earnest republican with firm faith in the principles of the party and in all matters of citizenship he takes a progressive stand, believing that the best interests of good government are conserved thereby. In his life he exemplifies the spirit of opportunities, knowing that he must be ever alert and enterprising in this age where competition is great. He is seeking success along carefully defined lines of labor and has made the Le Claire Bank one of the safe and substantial financial institutions of the county.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann

postel.jpg (97605 bytes)Gustav H. Postel

From "Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County" by Harry E. Downer-S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago.

Surnames: Postel, Bruhn, Brandt, Radlef, Van Dorn. 

               Farming has constituted the life work of Gustav H. Postel, who is now the owner of a good tract of two hundred acres in Winfield township. He brought to his work the sterling qualities of the German race-industry and economy-when as a youth of sixteen he started out in this country to earn his livelihood, and it is to those qualities that he largely owes the success that has attended his undertakings. He was born in Holstein, Germany, June 20, 1853, a son of Franz and Minnie Postel, also natives of the fatherland, where the father was engaged in farming. He came to the United States with a part of his family in 1869, and the lst years of his life were spent in Scott county.

               Gustav H. Postel came to America a few months before his father, and on landing in New York came direct to Scott county, Iowa, where a brother was living. He was able and eager to work and after his arrival lost no time in securing employment, working for two years as a farm hand. Then he rented land in Cleona township, which he operated for twelve years, at the end of which time his circumstances justified his investing in real estate. Accordingly he purchased from John Bruhn what was known as the old August Brandt farm and it has remained his home to the present. In the intervening years, however, he has made many improvements which have greatly changed the appearance of the place, for he has cleared away considerable timber, has tiled his fields, put up buildings for the shelter of grain and stock and done other things to make it a model farm of the twentieth century. Nor did he neglect the soil, but through careful and systematic cultivation he has brought!
 it to a high state of productiveness. In consequence he annually gathers and markets rich harvests, which bring him large returns for his labor.

               At Davenport, on the 27th of February, 1877, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Postel and Miss Mary Barker, a daughter of John and Sophia Barker, a daughter of John and Sophia Barker, and they have become the parents of four children, namely: Alvina, now the wife of William Radlef, of Eldridge; Clara, the wife of Chris Van Dorn, of Eldridge; Theresa, at home; and Gustav, also at home. Mrs. Postel was born in Buffalo, New York, and her parents were among the early settlers of Walcott, Iowa.

               Mr. Postel deserves great credit for what he has accomplished, for he came to this country a poor boy with nothing to aid him in the battle of life in a new country, where even the language was strange to him, save the power and willingness to work. The large farm which is now his, therefore, shows the youth of today what may be accomplished by pluck, industry and perseverance.

 Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann

steffen.jpg (68031 bytes)Henry Steffen Biography

From "Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County" by Harry E. Downer-S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago.

Surnames: Steffen, Lamp, Herbst.

 Henry Steffen was born in Scott county, July 14, 1867, and has paid the county the highest compliment within his power by always remaining within its borders. He is the son of Claus and Silke (Lamp) Steffen, who came to this country in 1866 and were soon afterward married here. The father came into possession of a tract of one hundred and twenty-two acres on section 31, Allens Grove township. The young couple prospered through their industry and good management and three sons, of whom Henry Steffen is the eldest, were born to inherit America's freedom and opportunity. When the subject of this sketch was only about twelve years of age he was unfortunate enough to lose his father and he began at once to share the burdens which had fallen with unusual weight upon the shoulders of the mother. Together they continued the improvement of the farm, which is today a valuable and highly developed piece of property. In 1904 the mother ended a courageous and useful life at the age of sixty-five years. The other sons are William, living in Chicago, and Gustaf, who is at present located in South Dakota.

               Henry Steffen makes his residence upon the family homestead, where he engages in general farming and has the good fortune to prove himself adapted to his calling. In 1902 he laid the foundation of a happy domestic life by his marriage to Miss Alfreda Herbst, like her husband a native of Scott county, born March 4, 1879, and also like him of German parentage, her father being Frederick Herbst, a blacksmith whose native land was Germany. They have three children: Viola, and twins named Herbert and Harry.

               The bone and sinew of any civilization is found in its agricultural element and Henry Steffen is a representative of this element, being thrifty, progressive and active in his furtherance of the general good of the community, to which he is particularly attached by reason of a life-long residence.

  Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann

Peter Soenke Biography

From "Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County" by Harry E. Downer-S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago.

Surnames: Soenke, Rohwer, Schlicting, Illian, Schuett, Gollinghorst, Haller, Puck.

                Peter Soenke, now deceased, was numbered among those representative American citizens who claim Germany as the place of their nativity but who in America find opportunity for advancement and progress along business lines. Born in Schleswig-Holstein on the 19th of February, 1834, he was a son of Hans and Christina Soenke, both natives of that province, the former born on the 10th of August, 1803, and the latter on the 14th of August, 1802. In 1853 the family came to America, landing at New Orleans, from which place they made their way northward to Iowa, locating in Scott county. The father carried on agricultural pursuits in Blue Grass township in the capacity of renter for a number of years, after which he purchased a farm upon which he continued to reside until his demise, which occurred on the 5th of August, 1884.

               Peter Soenke acquired his education in the schools of his native country and remained a resident of the fatherland until the removal of the family to the United States, when he was about nineteen years of age. After his arrival in Scott county he assisted his father in his agricultural pursuits until 1859, when he went to California and spent nearly six years prospecting for gold. In the meantime he located a claim which he later sold, and after returning to Scott county in 1865 purchased a farm in Blue Grass township which had previously been owned by his father and which is now in the possession of Peter F. Soenke. There he continued to carry on general farming for a number of years, and in this line of activity became very successful, at the time of his death owning a valuable farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Scott county and a tract of similar size in Muscatine county, all under a high state of cultivation. He was one of the organizers of the Mutual !
Fire Insurance Company of German Householders and at the time of his demise was one of the trustees of that company.

               On the 17th of December, 1867, Mr. Soenke was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Rohwer, a daughter of Jurgen Rohwer, a native of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, and unto this union were born nine children, namely: Hans William, who married Clara Schlichting and is a prosperous agriculturist of Blue Grass township, where he owns two farms and is also a stockholder in the Blue Grass Savings Bank; Peter F. Soenke, born on the 29th of March, 1873, who married Emma F. Illian, a daughter of William F. Illian, of Scott county, and who is now the owner of the original Soenke farm, where he makes his home, being also a stockholder in the Blue Grass Savings Bank, a part owner of a creamery in Clay county, Iowa, and a member of the Knights of Pythias lodge at Walcott; George F., who married Olga Schuett, a daughter of Theodore Schuett, of Scott county, and owns a farm of one hundred and sixty acres just south of Walcott; Carl H., who married Agnes Gollinghorst and is engaged in agricultural pursuits in Muscatine county; Ernest E., who married Hertha Haller and resides in Davenport; Fred H., who makes his home with his mother on what is known as Locust street road near Davenport; Anna C., the wife of Louis Puck, of Davenport township; Emma C., who wedded Albert Illian, of Blue Grass; and one who died in infancy.

               In his fraternal relations Mr. Soenke was member of Scott Lodge, No. 37, I. O. O. F., of Davenport, while politically his views were in accord with the principles of the democratic party. He was at one time township trustee of Blue Grass township and for several years served as school director, the cause of education finding in him a warm champion. He passed to his final rest on the 10th of February, 1892, and with his death Blue Grass township lost one of its representative and valued citizens who had ever been thoroughly identified with its interests and who, during the period of his residence within its borders, had gained an extensive circle of warm friends who entertained for him the highest regard and esteem because of his many excellent traits of character.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann

Peter Feddersen Biography

 From "Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County" by Harry E. Downer-S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago.

 Surnames: Feddersen, Hendricksen, Thea, Von Doehren, Fuhlendorf.

                Peter Feddersen, who owns one hundred and twenty acres of rich farm land in Davenport township and a handsome town residence on Vine street, Davenport, in which he is now living in retirement, is one of the older German settlers of Scott county. He was born in the province of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, December 5, 1828, a son of Peter and Katherina (Hendricksen) Feddersen. The former was engaged in agricultural pursuits in the old country and, like his wife, spent his entire life there.

               Peter Feddersen was reared and educated in the land of his birth and assisted his father in the operation of the farm until he entered the German army. He took part in the Holstein war with Denmark from 1848 to 1850 and later served three years in the Danish army, returning to agricultural pursuits at the expiration of that period. In 1857, on one of the first steamers, he and three friends came to America. About sixteen days were consumed in crossing the ocean, and they landed at New York, whence they came directly to Davenport, the trip across the country requiring a month in those days. He and his friend, Peter Hendricksen, remained in the city but the other two went west.

               For two summers Mr. Feddersen worked as a farm hand and then I conjunction with another bought one hundred and sixty acres of prairie land in Liberty township. The two men put up a frame house and operated the place for two years, the wife of Mr. Feddersen's partner keeping house for them. Then the land was divided and after Mr. Feddersen's marriage he built a house upon the eighty acres which was his share, in which he and his wife lived for nine years subsequent. During that time, as he found opportunity, he purchased one hundred and sixty acres more. In his endeavor to get ahead he overworked, so that he was compelled on account of health to give up farming. Accordingly he sold his property in Liberty township and removed to the city. He bought first a residence on Eight and Warren streets, in which he lived for five years, when he sold it and bought Washington Garden, where he lived until 1885 and then removed to his present property on Vine street. In 1885 he erected the fine large residence he has since occupied.

               On the 9th of November, 1859, Mr. Feddersen was united in marriage to Miss Katherine Dora Thea, a daughter of John Thea, who lived and died in Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Feddersen have had three children. Kate made her home with her father and died November 9, 1909. Peter, president of the Davenport Malting & Grain Company, married Miss Elizabeth Von Doehren, and they have two sons, Richard and Edgar. Mary became the wife of P. B. Fuhlendorf and lives in Davenport with her father. Mrs. Feddersen died March 8, 1898, at the age of sixty-six years. She came to Davenport when twenty-six years old and the subsequent forty years were passed in Scott county.

               Mr. Feddersen is a member of the Old German Settlers Society and a stock holder in the German Savings Bank, the Iowa National Bank and in the Davenport Malting & Grain Company. A man of laudable ambition, he is now one of the substantial citizens of the city and county. He spared no effort to accomplish his desires even to the detriment of his own health.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann

parkhurst.jpg (110758 bytes)Milton R Parkhurst

"From Vol 2 History of Davenport and Scott County" by Harry E. Downer - S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago.

Milton R. Parkhurst, in former years a merchant of Davenport, belongs to that class of prominent, enterprising and far-sighted business men to whom the commercial upbuilding of the city is rightly attributed. Throughout his entire life he has been identified with manufacturing and mercantile interests in this county.

He was born at Le Claire, Iowa, a son of Waldo and Liddie Emeline (Russell) Parkhurst, who were among the early settlers of that place. The father was born at Milford, Massachusetts, September 28, 1812, attended the school there but at an early age was compelled to put aside his text-books because of his father's death, whereby there devolved upon him the necessity of aiding in support of the family. He went to New York city when very young and there secured a situation as clerk in a dry-goods store, which constituted his business training. In 1838 he came to the middle west, making his way to the territory of Iowa, and after looking over the field to some extent settled at Le Claire, where he opened a general store. He there conducted a successful mercantile enterprise for over forty years and in early days he did quite a business in killing hogs and shopping the pork down the Mississippi river by steamer to St. Louis. He was, moreover, one of the leading men of the town, active and efficient in promoting the various interests which were of vital significance to the community. He held a number of offices, serving as justice of the peace for several years, acting as postmaster during the '50s and serving as a member and trustee of the school board for a number of years. He belonged to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and to the Presbyterian church of Le Claire and this sought to promote the fraternal and Christian spirit of the community. In 1881 he retired from active business life and removed to Davenport, where he made his home with his two children until his death, on the 21st of March, 1881. His wife was born at Sodus Point, New York, in 1820. Her father, Nehemiah Russell, came west about 1840 and settled on a farm in Clinton county, Iowa, just across the line from Scott county. Ther parents of Milton R. Parkhurst were married in Clinton county in 1841. Mrs. Parkhurst had been one of the early school teachers of Scott county, having taught first in Pleasant Valley township and later at Le Claire. She was a lady of strong intellectual development and of many attractive characteristics. She died December 14, 1890, and is still survived by her two children, Milton R. and Mary E., both of whom are now residents of Davenport.

Milton R. Parkhurst attended school at Le Claire and later continued his studies in Cornell College at Mount Vernon, Iowa. He then returned to Le Claire and taught school for a number of years. Later he was employed as bookkeeper by a Le Claire firm but, embracing every opportunity for advancement in business lines, he subsequently became a stockholder and secretary of the Le Claire Milling & Manufacturing Company. He was also engaged in the river business for a number of years and then, seeking the broader field of labor offered by the city, he came to Davenport in 1874. In East Davenport he established a retail grocery business, which he conducted successfully for about thirty hears, after which he was in the same line of business on Brady street for two years and then sold out. The passing years had chronicled his success, which increasing as time passed on, had made him one of the men of affluence of the business interests. His judgment is sound, his insight keen, and the success which has attended his efforts has been the logical result of intelligently directed thrift and enterprise.

Mr. Parkhurst aside from commercial connections has been prominent in the community. He was four times elected alderman from the sixth ward on the republican ticket and supported many reforms and progressive measures while a member of the council. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, in which he was taken the degrees of the lodge, chapter, commandery and Mystic Shrine. He is also a member of the Congregational church, in which he has held a number of offices, including that of deacon, trustee and member of the board.

His sister, Mary E. Parkhurst, also a native of Le Claire, attended school there and afterward engaged successfully in teaching for a number of years at school No. 1 in Le Claire township, at Princeton and in the town of Le Claire. She came to Davenport in 1880 and was of great assistance to her brother in his business. She also had charge of the Blue Grass, Downey, Lone Tree and Zion Baptist churches as pastor and was also assistant pastor of the Temple Baptist church of Seattle, Washington, from October, 1908, until April, 1909. Rev. George Robert Cairns being pastor. At present she is assistant pastor of the Calvary Baptish church of Davenport, Iowa. She is also an interesting writer both in prose and poetry and has contributed many articles to the local papers regarding church work and eastern travels, and was also the author of the sketch of Le Claire, which was recently published in the Davenport Democrat for the Half Century Democrat.

Transcribed by Deborah Clough Gerischer

Zebulon Henry Wicks

"From Vol 2 History of Davenport and Scott county" by Harry E. Downer - S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago

Zebulon Henry Wicks, whose identification with the Davenport Woolen Mills as traveling representative brought him a wide acquaintance, was highly esteemed wherever known for the possession of those sterling traits of character which constitute the chief forces in honorable manhood. He was born in Bristol, England, September 22, 1828. His father, Dr. Zebulon Wicks, gave his attention to the practice of medicine and after the arrival of his son and namesake in this country, he crossed the Atlantic and established his home at Morristown, Ohio. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Letitia Lashley, was also a native of England.

Reared in a home surrounded by culture and affluence, Zebulon H. Wicks was afforded liberal educational advantages, supplementing his early instruction by study at St. Mellow, France. He took a very active part in politics in his native land and assisted in putting Charles Reed in parliament. He was preeminently a man of affairs and one who wielded a wide influence. His interest in America led him to come to the new world on a visit in 1873, and he was so pleased with the country that he decided to remain and established his home in Davenport. He immediately became connected with the Davenport Woolen Mills, first as bookkeeper and later as traveling salesman. In that connection he did valuable service for the enterprise throughout his remaining days. He was not only a business man of keen discernment and undaunted enterprise, but possessed genial, friendly qualities which made him very popular with the many patrons whom he secured.

At St. Catherine's, Hampshire, England, in 1853, Mr. Wicks was married to Miss Theresa Burden, a daughter of Robert and Nancy (Hartnell) Burden, of Hampshire. Her father was a landowner and also a Methodist preacher, proclaiming the gospel in a small chapel, of which he was the owner. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Wicks were ten children, of whom five are now living: Mrs. Theresa L. Godwin; Alfred H., a resident of Detroit; Sidney H., who is living in St. Paul, Minnesota; Archibald, a resident of Murphysboro, Illinois; and Clarence H., who is employed on Government Island here.

Mr. Wicks' study of the political issues, situation and conditions of the county led him to give stalwart allegiance to the republican party. He was active and devoted member of the Baptist church, a public-spirited citizen, and a patron of various benevolent institutions which Davenport maintains. Fraternally he was connected with the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Royal Arch Masons. A man of broad and liberal culture, he placed correct valuation upon life and its opportunities. His career was marked by continuous progress and characterized by the esteem which was uniformly tendered him to the time of his death, which occurred February 17, 1896.

Transcribed by Deborah Clough Gerischer

abbott.jpg (39517 bytes)Robert M Abbott

"From Vol 2 History of Davenport and Scott County" by Harry E. Downer - S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago

Among the older citizens of Davenport who have retired from the active pursuits of business must be numbered Robert M. Abbott, who was for many years prominent as a grain and produce merchant. He is a descendant of one of the earliest families to settle in America. The first of his name to cross the ocean were George and Hannah (Chandler) Abbott, who settled in this country in 1640. They were natives of Yorkshire and Puritans in their religious faith and upon reaching Massachusetts located in Andover, where their house was a garrison during the early Indian troubles. Indeed, George Abbott became one of the important members of the little colony in those days and a monument was erected in his memory as its recorded in the annals of Andover. His son William married Elizabeth Geary, from whom was descended Philip Abbott, who was born April 3, 1699. He married Abigail Bickford and died in 1748, having been a participant in the struggles of the colonists. His son John enjoyed the distiction of having erected the first dwelling house in Wilkes Barre, Luzerne county Pennsylvania. It was erected in 1769 and was standing until 1812. There he was killed during the Indian troubles. He wedded Alice Fuller and of their union was born Stephen Abbott, the grandfather of our subject. He served in the war of the revolution and after its close returned to the estate his father had procured, where he followed the vocation of a farmer. He married Abigail Searls, July 14, 1799, and of their union was born John Abbott, the father of our subject. His birth occurred at the opening of the nineteenth century. Like his father he was a farmer and as he gained a success in his life's work he became a financier and man prominent in his locality. He married Hannah Courtright in early manhood and died November 23, 1860.

Robert M. Abbott, having as his heritage the record of ancestors who had become prominent in Wiles Barre, was born in that city, June 17, 1837. He received his early education in the place of his birth, which remained his home for several years after the death of his father. He engaged in agriculture, in which he attained proficiency, and about 1865 came to Iowa, locating in Davenport. Here he became connected with the grain business but after two years embarked in the hardware business, in which he remained for some time with Mr. Collamer. He then returned to the grain and produce business, to which he gave his attention until advancing years and a large competence suggested to him the feasibility of retiring from active life. During the years in which he was engaged in mercantile pursuits he evinced a keen appreciation of the value of grain and the operations upon the stock market, but, while he was never at a loss to profit by opportunity for bettering himself, the record of his dealings was never marred by any act which he might desire to keep hidden. His home is now at 1026 Brady street, where guests are made welcome and hospitably entertained.

On the 29th of December, 1864, Mr. Abbott was united in marriage to Miss Caroline Courtright. Like her husband she is a descendant of colonial ancestors. In the annals of Harlem the first member of the family bore the name of Sebastian Van Kortryck. He had come to this country from West Flanders, Holland, his people having gone there from Belgium in the seventeenth century. He was a man of wealth and social position and his descendants became prominent in the New Amsterdam colony. His son was known as Jan Bastian Van Kortryck, who in the course of years was the father of Hendrick Jans Van Kortryck. His son Cornelius wedded Christiana Rosencrans, and of their union was born Benjamin Courtright, the great-grandfather of Mrs. Abbott. He married Catherine Cuddebeck, and of their union was born John Courtright. He married Alice Abbott, nee Fuller, and became the father of Cornelius Courtright, the father of Mrs. Abbott. He in turn married Harriet Bailey, among whose children was Caroline Courtright, who on December 29, 1864, married Mr. Abbott and became the mother of three children. John Howard, was long known as one of the best young men in Davenport, where he was engaged in different pursuits. Recently, however, he has taken up his residence in Kansas City, where he is now engaged in the real estate business. Carrie Helene makes her home with her parents. She belongs to the Colonial Dames and takes an active part in the affairs of the society, while Mrs. Abbott belongs to the daughters of the American Revolution and also to the Colonial Dames. Robert Bruce is now in St. Paul, where for the past ten years he has been connected with a large department store.

Mr. Abbott has always been prominent in the public affairs of Davenport and many of the improvements of the city are the result of his suggestion or active work. In consequence he enjoys a large reputation besides the satisfaction of knowing that his sons profit by his example and are well advanced along the road to useful and successful lives.

Transcribed by Deborah Clough Gerischer

Emanuel Phillip Adler

"From Vol 2 History of Davenport and Scott County" by Harry E. Downer - S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago

Emanuel Phillip Adler, as president of the Lee Newspaper Syndicate, represents that spirit of organization and coordination of forces that constitutes one of the most forceful and vital elements in the business life of the times. It is but another expression of the truth of the old adage that "in union there is strength," for with combined interests the expenditure of time, labor and material is reduced to a minimum in the accomplishment of maximum results. Bending his efforts to administrative direction and executive control as head of the Lee Newspaper Syndicate, Mr. Adler has justified his adoption of the printing business as a life work, for in this field he had advanced from a humble position to one of leadership. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, September 30 1872, and was taken to Ottumwa, Iowa, by his parents, P. E. and Bertha Adler, in 1874. His youthful days were therefore passed in this state, and in Ottumwa he pursued his education in the common schools to the age of fourteen years, when he began learning the printer's trade. He afterward secured a position in a Chicago newspaper office as "sub" when seventeen years of age, and later, returning to Ottumwa he secured a position as printer on the Ottumwas Courier. In 1894 he was given a trial as "cub" reporter on the Courier and proving his worth was promoted from time to time serving successively in the position of editor, managing editor and business manager. In 1900 A. W. Lee, publisher of the Courier, purchased the Davenport Times and established the Lee Newspaper Syndicate, and in January, 1901, Mr. Adler was sent to Davenport as publishier of the Times. The policy which he inaugurated in its management made it one of the profitable journals of the state and the evidence of business ability which he thus displayed led to his election to the presidency of the syndicate upon the death of Mr. Lee in 1907. Five daily papers constitute this syndicate: the Davenport Times; the Ottumwa Courier; the Muscatine Journal; the LaCross Tribune; and the Hannibal Courier-Post.

Mr. Adler's activities extend to political circles, wherein his labors have largely advanced the interests of the republican party in Iowa. He was made state central committeeman from the second district, was chosen secretary of the committee and given charge of the press bureau in the Taft campaign. To practical politics he brings the results of business experience and that wise direction of forces which have been salient elements in the general movement toward placing the republican party in Iowa beyond the pale of possible diminution of power.

On the 5th of February, 1902, occurred the marriage of Mr. Adler to Miss Lena Rothschild, a daughter of the late David R. Rothschild, president of the Rothschild Grain Company. Their only son, Phillip David Adler, is now a lad of six years. Mr. Adler's social nature finds expression in his membership in the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Arsenal Golf Club, the Outing and Rock Island Clubs - associations which also indicate the nature of his recreation. Moreover, he is prominent in the Davenport Commercial Club, serving as its vice president and as a member of its board of directors. He is active in all projects looking to the development of the city along many lines of general improvement and has done much in promoting desired results.

Transcribed by Deborah Clough Gerischer

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