dearmond.jpg (79741 bytes)James Madison DeArmond

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

No history of educational interests of Davenport would be complete without extended reference to the life work of James Madison DeArmond, who for many years was connected with the ward schools of the city as principal. He stood for all that is highest and best in educational work and his aims, his purposes and his labors inspired other teachers and pupils, so that the results of his achievements are yet seen in the lives of those with whom he came in contact, leaving the impress of his strong individuality and laudable ambition upon them. A native of Pennsylvania, Professor DeArmond was born in Blair county on the 7th of September, 1846. His grandfather's brother, Michael DeArmond, was a brave soldier of the Revolutionary war, doing active duty with Company B, Fifth Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers. He took part with his company in the battle of Long Island, August 27, 1776, and also in other important engagements. The father was James DeArmond, who for many years followed general farming in Pennsylvania, leaving that state about 1864. His identification with agricultural interests in Iowa continued until 1871, when he removed to Greenfield, Missouri, where he established his home. There his remaining days were passed, his death occuriring in 1885, when he had reached the very venerable age of ninety-five years. His widow survived him and for a long period made her home with Judge DeArmond of Butler, Missouri, W. W. DeArmond, an attorney of Chicago, and Dr. J. A. DeArmond, of Davenport, were brothers of our subject.

Professor James Madison DeArmond was reared upon the old homestead in the Keystone state, early becoming familiar with the duties and labors incident to the development of the fields. He received such education as the common schools afforded and remained on the home farm until his eighteenth year, and when he left home for the first time he attended college in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He had been a student in that institution for a year when his parents removed to Scott county, Iowa, and he accompanied them. He continued his education here and within a year was graduated from the high school of Davenport. Entering upon educational work, he was appointed principal of public school No. 6, and his success in that field of labor was most marked. He was afterward made principal of school No. 5 and creditably filled that position until served with distinction in that position, his administration being generally satisfactory to the public, for his efficiency, systematic labors and intelligently directed methods of conducting business made this a model office. On the expiration of his four years' term he retired and for a year thereafter was engaged in no business. He was then again placed on the roll of school superintendents as the head of school No. 3, which position he continued to fill until his death. He held to high ideals in his work, continuously seeking out new methods which would prove of practical value in the conduct and advancement of the schools. He had a great passion for history and made himself authority especially upon the history of his own country, while upon that of foreign lands he was scarcely less versed. In 1874 he became a member of the Iowa State Teachers Association, of which he served as secretary for a year. He was prominent among the organizers of the Iowa Reading circle and did much to advance its interests as long as his health permitted.

In 1869 Professor DeArmond was married to Miss Rachel Scott, a daughter of Colonel Thomas Scott, and they became the parents of four children, who are all now deceased. Professor DeArmond was for many years a member of Trinity Lodge, F. & A. M., and in his life exemplified the beneficent spirit of the craft, which is based upon mutual helpfulness and brotherly kindness. He was always a stanch democrat in his political faith and undoubledly would have been chosen for the office of mayor had he not been too modest to accept the honor. At all times he rejoiced in Davenport's advancement and cooperated in many movements for its progress. His labors were of a most effective character, for while he held ideals he utilized practical methods in achieving results. During the periods of vacation he did much newspaper work in connection with the Democrat. He attended the Presbyterian church and held membership with the Sons of the American Revolution. He always took great interest in young people and performed his professional services with a sense of conscientious obligation, realizing how important is the training of the young as a preparation for life's work. He knew that he was implanting in the minds of pupils seeds of knowledge and truth which in due time would bear fruit, and he was therefore most careful to give them that which in later life would be most helpful.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer

doe.jpg (60046 bytes)A.P. Doe

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

It has been urged, and with some reason, that the spirit of commercialism is rife in America to the exclusion of the humanitarian recognition of the obligations which the individual owes to his fellowmen. To this general rule there are, however, many notable exceptions and such a one is found in the life record of A. P. Doe, no less esteemed for his success and prominence than for his hearty and helpful cooperation in lines of public work that have constituted a beneficial factor in the city's development and for his earnest and efficient work for the Orphans Home. His life history had its beginning at Windham, Maine, March 31, 1837. His father, Charles Doe, was born in the same house and comes of a family of English origin, connected, however, with American interests since 1636, when the first representative of the fmaily came to the United States, arriving at Gloucester, Massachusetts. Through succeeding generations the family was represented in New England and A. P. Doe spent his youthful days in the Pine Tree state, there acquired his education and afterward learned the machinist's trade, becoming a skilled mechanic. Subsequently he removed to Meriden, Connecticut, where he was engaged in the manufacture of rifles during the period of the Civil war.

The opportunities of the west, however, attracted him and in 1866 he arrived in Davenport, where he became identified with the business interests of the city as a wholesale shoe merchant. For thirty-five years he continued in that line of trade, enjoying not only a successful patronage but also an unassailable reputation for business enterprise and commercial integrity. His careful management resulted in continual development of the business along substantial lines until the trade of the house was represented by a large figure annually. Mr. Doe continued in that field of activity until 1901, when he retired. In the meantime he had become closely associated with financial interests as one of the organizers of the Iowa National Bank, of which he served as vice president until 1901, when he was elected to the presidency and so continues. He was also one of the organizers of the Scott County Savings Bank and a member of its directorate for a quarter of a century. His business judgment has always been regarded as sound, his keen insight enabling him to correctly solve the intricate problems of commerce and finance.

In 1864 Mr. Doe was married to Miss Julia M. Bryant, a native of Windsor, Maine, and unto them was born a daughter, Alice M., now the wife of George B. Butterfield, a banker of Norfolk, Nebraska. The death of Mrs. Doe occurred in March, 1905, and was the occasion of deep regret to many friends, for her estimable qualities had endeared her to those with whom she was associated.

Mr. Doe is well known in Masonic circles, having joined the local lodge at Bethleham, Maine, in 1858, since which time he has been an exemplary representative of the fraternity. He has filled the chairs in the blue lodge and chapter at Davenport and has taken the degrees of the Knight Templar commandery and of the Mystic Shrine. While his business interests have been of considerable extent and importance, he has always found time and opportunity for cooperation in public measures, has done effective service for the city as a progressive member of the council, has several times served as a member of the school board and was president of the board of trustees of the Orphans Home for ten years. If one were to attempt to characterize the life of A. P. Doe outside of his business connection it might perhaps be best done in saying that he is a lover of children and the practical manifestation of this has been found in many specific instances, but none of grater magnitude than his work with the Orphans Home, which he was instrumental in establishing. He was a member of the legislature at the time the matter was brought up before the general assembly and from the inception of the home to the present he has been one of the most active factors in its upbuilding. At the beginning a single room constituted the home and at times light and heat were scarce, but through the unflagging energy of Mr. Doe and his associates the immense establishment known as the Orphans Home has been developed to what it now is. He is particularly interested in the manual training department, which is being developed along lines that point to perfection. His great love for the child and his recognition of its possibilities have permitted him to do service that is of inestimable value to the state, as well as to the city, in surrounding the young with such environment as shall develop honorable manhood and woman hood and thus reclaim them from lives of wrongdoing, into which want or idleness and lack of education might have driven them.

Mr. Doe was elected to the legislature, in which he served with the same spirit of loyalty that has ever characterized his performance of the duties devolving upon him. He does not court noteriety but manifests a justifiable pride in Davenport and its stability, feeling that no city can boast of more solid financial conditions and, although he disclaims special credit therefore, it is but just to say that this condition is due in no small measure to his efforts. Such in brief is the history of Mr. Doe. While he has made a success in business, there has come to him no greater satisfaction than that which has arrived out of the work that he has done for the Orphans Home.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer

Otto Denkmann

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

Otto Denkmann, who has spent practically his entire life in Scott county and was successfully identified with general agricultural pursuits throughout his active business career, is now living retired in Davenport. He was born in Prussia, Germany, on the 17th of August, 1847, a son of John and Marie Denkmann. In 1847 the mother set sail for the United States with her infant son and reached American shores after an ocean voyage of about nine weeks, landing at New Orleans three days before Christmas. In the Crescent City she joined her husband, who had previously emigrated to this country. They made their way up the Mississippi river to St. Louis, where they were compelled to tarry until spring on account of the ice in the river. After arriving in Davenport in the spring of 1848, John Denkmann purchased about one thousand acres of prairie land within nine miles of the city, erected a shanty and there spent the remainder of his life. His widow afterward took up her abode in Davenport and here passed away in her sixty-eight year. Unto this worthy couple were born eight children, namely: William, who is deceased; Erminie; Charles, who had also been called to his final rest; Anna, who is the widow of Dr. Brunner and resides in Fremont, Nebraska; Julius, living in Davenport township; Frederick, who makes his home in Walcott, Iowa; Otto, of this review; and Amelia, the wife of Carl Rocco, of Rock Island.

Otto Denkmann, whose name initiates this review, was scarcely a year old when brought to Scott county by his parents and he has since continued to reside within its borders. In pursuit of an education he attended school at Walcott and after putting aside his text-books turned his attention to farming, which branch of activity claimed his energies throughout his active business career. His farm in Blue Grass township remained his home until he disposed of the property about 1874 and took up his abode in Davenport. He is now living retired but still has important financial interests, being a stockholder in the farmers & Mechanics Bank of Davenport and also in the Rock Island Savings Bank. He also owns considerable city property.

On the 12th of October, 1869, Mr. Denkmann was united in marriage to Miss Helena Paul, whose birth occurred in Holstein, Germany, on the 17th of January, 1850, and who came to Scott county with her parents in 1866. Her father, Christopher Paul, was a prosperous agriculturist of Buffalo township and was likewise prominent in public affairs, serving as justice of the peace and also as assessor. He was the president of the German Insurance Company and was widely recognized as an influential and respected citizen of his community. His demise occurred in 1894, when he had attained the age of seventy-six years, while his wife was fify-four years old when called to her final rest. Their children were twelve in number, as follows: Margaret, who is deceased; Anna; Eggert; Mrs. Denkmann; Christ, who has likewise passed away; Elsie; Christina; Louisa; Johanna; Henry; Wilhelm; and Lewis. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Denkmann have been born seven children, the record of whom is as follows. Theresa, living in Illinois, married William Scranton and is now the mother of five children: Raymond, Earl, Etta, Loen and Lillian. Tillie is the widow of Robert Napset and has one daughter, Corinne. Hugo, who resided in Fullerton, Nebraska, wedded Miss Olive Parker and has two children, Dorothy and Perry. Charles, who makes his home in Davenport, married Miss Agnes Courtney. Alma is the wife of G. P. Stebolt, of California. Oscar, living in Davenport, married Miss Ella Bearns and has one son, C. O. Alfreda Denkmann is deceased.

In his political views Mr. Denkmann is a republican and on that ticket he was elected to the position of trustee in Davenport township. He is a member of the German Shooting Club and also belongs to the Old German Settlers Association. The period of his residence in this county now covers more than six decades and he has long been numbered among its successful, respected and representative citizens.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer

eckmann.jpg (74657 bytes)Timm Eckmann Bio

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

On the list of retired citizens of Davenport may be found the name of Timm Eckmann, whose extensive landed possessions in Scott county supply him with all the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. Born in Holstein, Germany, January 30, 1829, his parents were Claus and Abel (Johnson) Eckmann, who were farming people of Germany and spent their entire lives in the fatherland. The son was reared on the home farm and acquired his education in the public schools. He also served in the German army from 1848 until 1850 and two years later decided to try his fortune in the new world.

Landing in New York city, Mr. Eckmann made his way direct to Davenport, reaching his destination on the 7th of July, 1852. His first employment was at farm labor near Davenport, but after a short time he returned to this city and found employment in a brickyard, which occupied his attention for a time. He then spent a short time on a steamboat which plied the Mississippi river. Anxious to become more firmly established in business, he opened a saloon which he conducted for two years, but at the end of that time, having purchased sixty acres of land in Clinton county, Iowa, he removed to that farm and spent two years in its improvement and cultivation. Farm life did not prove congenial to him, however, and disposing of his property to good advantage, he returned once more to Davenport and spent four years in the employ of P. B. Harvey in a warehouse. During all the years that he had been employed by others, he carefully saved his earnings, having ever before him the aim of some day engaging in business on his own account in Davenport. He eventually opened a grocery store on the corner of Third and Warren streets and for thirty years was identified with that business. He built up an excellent trade, always studying the demands of his patrons and following honorable methods in his dealings, so that success attended his labors. In the meantime he invested his profits in Scott county land and now owns three farms of one hundred and sixty acres each in Blue Grass township, and a farm of two hundred acres in Davenport township. Having spent thirty busy and active years in the grocery business, and having acquired a good competence for declining age, Mr. Eckmann felt justified in leading a more quiet life and now rests in ease in a comforable residence in Davenport, while the store which he established is now conducted by his son.

It was about five years after his arrival in the new world that Mr. Eckmann was married on the 6th of July, 1857, to Miss Weipka Keil, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Claus Keil, of Germany. Mrs. Eckmann was likewise born in the fatherland and emigrated to the new world in the year of her marriage. Two sons have been born in this union but the eldest, Charles, died when a little lad of seven years. The surviving son, George H., wedded Miss Louisa Lemcool and they have one daughter, Nettie.

Mr. Eckmann belongs to the German Pioneer Society of Scott county. A man of great natural ability, his success from the beginning of his residence in Scott county has been uniform and rapid. Possessing a quick, alert spirit, he eagerly availed himself of every opportunity and now in the evening of life he and his estimable wife are living contented and happy lives in a nice modern home and are surrounded by many warm and admiring friends.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer

egbert.jpg (58945 bytes)Henry Egbert

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

Henry Egbert, "a peer among men," with a wide acquaintance, and honored wherever he was known, left his impress for good upon the city which he made his home and which was stimulated in its growth and progress along many lines by his cooperation,his keen business insight and his unselfish devotion to all that contributes to the welfare of the individual and the community. A successful business man, his commercial and financial interests represented to him but the one phase of life. There was something higher and of more worth for him in life than the accumulation of wealth, and with the passing years he used every opportunity to aid his fellowmen, to alleviate human suffering, to ameliorate the hard conditions of life for the individual, and to heighten those joys and pleasures which are of real value to man. All these things contributed to give to Colonel Henry Egbert a hold on the affection of his fellowmen that was rare and notable, causing the news of his death to be received with a sense fo personal bereavement throughout the entire city.

A native of Delaware, Colonel Egbert was born in New Castle, December 22, 1826, a son of Christian and Elizabeth (Austin) Egbert. The father was a native of Amsterdam, Holland, and came alone to America at the age of fourteen years. From that time forward he was dependent entirely upon his own resources, and following the sea for years, finally became captain of sea-going craft.

Colonel Egbert, one of a family of three children, spent his early boyhood in his father's home, attending school until bereft by death of both parents. At fifteen years of age he went to Philadelphia and, though but a youth in years, soon engaged in the grocery business, which occupied his attention until he attained his majority. Continuing on his westward way, in 1847 he went to Hocking river, seven miles from Logan, Ohio, and there operated a sawmill. While residing in that locality, he was married on the 12th of May, 1850, to Miss Elizabeth G. Sudlow, a daughter of Richard and Hannah Sudlow and a native of New York. They began their domestic life near Logan, where they remained until 1856, when they came to Scott county, Iowa. It was still in some respects a frontier district, although the seeds of civilization had been planted many years before and were already bearing good fruit.

Colonel Egbert purchased a farm in Cleona township and gave his time and labors to the cultivation and improvement of the fields until August 14, 1861, when, aroused by the spirit of patriotism, he abandoned the plow and offered his services to the government. His military record is one of which any man might be proud and well serves to perpetuate the memory of Colonel Egbert in Iowa. He enlisted in Company C, Second Iowa Cavalry, August 14, 1861, as first sergeant and seven days later was elected captain of his company. At the battle of Farmington, Mississippi, he was severely wounded, a piece of shell striking him in the left leg. He was compelled to return home on sick furlough, but all the time he was anxious for recovery that he might again engage in active service for his country. Forty days from the date of his home-coming found him on his way back to the field and after rejoining his regiment he participated in all of its battles until May, 1863, when he was again compelled by wounds and illness to return to his home. He did not leave the service permanently, however, but in 1864 again went into the field as lieutenant colonel of the Forty-fourth Iowa Infantry and on the 1st of March was appointed provost marshal of the second district of Iowa. In that capacity he closed up the provost marshal business of the entire state and on January 1, 1866, received his honorable discharge from the service.

The war ended, Colonel Egbert quietly resumed the pursuits of civil life, again taking up the work of the farm to which he gave his attention until the fall of 1869, when his fellow citizens gave expression of their desire for his service in a public capacity by electing him treasurer of Scott county. He held that responsible position for four years and about the close of his term engaged in the printing, binding and blank book business as the senior member of the firm of Egbert, Fidlar & Chambers. In the fall of 1879 he was elected on the republican ticket as Scott county's representative to the Iowa legislature, and his sourse in the general assembly was characterized by the same loyalty and fidelity which had marked him in other offices, both civil and military. He was from its founding deeply interested in the Soldier's Orphans' Home at Davenport, and while a member of the legislature worked earnestly and successfully to secure such enactments as would insure the permanency and still greater usefulness of that institution. For several years he was the local member and president of its board of trustees.

In politics Colonel Egbert was always a stanch supporter of the republican party, thoroughly conversant with the issues of the day and ready at all times to support his position by intelligent argument. In addition to his other offices he served as postmaster of Davenport during the Harrison administration. In his later years he was prominently known as a representative of the banking interests of the city, becoming president of the Davenport National Bank and Union Savings Bank. The complex problems of banking were quickly and correctly solved by him and he remained at the head of these institutions to the time of his demise.

Colonel Egbert was a prominent and popular member of Davenport lodge, No. 37, A. F. & A. M., manifesting in his life the beneficent spirit of this society. He belonged to the Loyal Legion and always gave it hearty support. He was a firm believer in Christianity, had strong religious convictions, and exemplified them fully in his daily life. In early manhood he became a member of the methodist Episcopal church and continued to render active and loyal service therein until the end. His first membership was in the Wharton Street church in Philadelphia. Thereafter it was in the First Methodist, later the Central Methodist church, of Davenport, Iowa. The church was very dear to him, and he gave to it liberally, both in time and means.

He was a lover of the quiet and freedom of life in the country and this led him in later years to again make his home there. He chose a sightly spot on the river bluffs above the city, within easy reach of its activities, and there built a home and surrounded it with those things which, with him, made best for life's true enjoyment, and here he spent the last five years of his busy life. Here he and his cherished wife and helpmeet lived to celbrate their golden wedding anniversary, May 12, 1900. The death of Henry Egbert occurred on the 23d of February, 1901.

"He was one of the finest men that ever lived in Davenport," was the opinion uniformly held throughout the city. Kindly and generous, the extent of his good works will never be known, but they have won for him a place in the hearts of his fellows that is more to be coveted than the honors of the statesman or the success of the captain of industry. He stood for all that is highest and best in citizenship, in business and in social life, and though he has passed away, his memory will be enshrined for years in the hearts of those who knew him.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer

Hans J. Ehlert

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

Ernest, persistent labor is the secret of the success which constitutes the crowning feature of the business record of Hans J. Ehlert, who for many years diligently engaged in gardening and in the nursery business. He was born near Dannewerk, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, April 4, 1839. His parents, Christian and Anna Ehlert, both died in Germany. They were farming people of that country and owned a fine tract of land there. Their son Hans still has a picture of the old home and also the church and churchyard in which his parents lie buried. He acquired his education in the schools of his native land, was reared to the occupation of farming and followed that pursuit during his residence in the fatherland. He owned two hundred acres of land there, which he sold on coming to America, the year 1881 witnessing his arrival in New York. He made his way direct to Davenport, where lived his uncle, Jens Peter Stebold. His first work here was for a Mr. Putnam, whom he served as gardener, and to that businss he continued to devote his energies for many years. He also served as sexton of the West Davenport cemetery for nearly seven years and made many improvements while there, employing the art of the landscape gardener to make it a beautifu silent city. In the spring of 1899 he erected his present fine residence, which he has since occupied.

Mr. Ehlert was married on the 2d of May, 1861, to Miss Christina Harmsen, a native of Germany, who was born May 24, 1836, and died January 23, 1889. Mr. and Mrs. Ehlert became the parents of nine children but the first two died in infancy. The others were: Anna, the wife of Hans Anderson, of Springfield, Missouri, and the mother of two children - Nelson and Christ; John, of Davenport, who married Leona Peterson and has two children - Flora and Irma; Christ, of Davenport, who wedded Laura Peters, who died, leaving two children - Ella and Minnie - after which he wedded Mary Jens; Marie, at home; Chrissie, the wife of William Murray, of Batesville, Arkansas, by whom she has one child - Gladys; Julius, at home; and Henry, who died at the age of nine years.

Mr. Ehlert is a prominent member of Davenport Lodge, No. 50, K. P., in which he has been honored with all of the offices. His diligent life, enterprising spirit and reliable business methods have constituted the chief features in a success which is as honorable as it is desirable. For many years he carried on gardening and the nursery business until his labors brought him a substantial success, permitting of his present retirement from business cares.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer

Hermann D. Ehlmann

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

Hermann D. Ehlmann, residing at No. 1803 Washington street in Davenport, is now living retired, enjoying the fruits of his former toil as an agriculturist. His birth occurred in Hanover, Germany, on the 7th of November, 1827, his parents being Gerhardt and Marguereta Ehlmann, both of whom passed away in the fatherland. After his education had been completed he worked as farm hand until the time of his emigration to the United States in 1851, landing at New Orleans after an ocean voyage of six weeks and two days. From the Crescent City he made his way to St. Louis, Missouri, where he was married and where he remained for four and a half years, being employed in a tobacco factory. On coming to Davenport, Iowa, in 1856, he first worked in a brickyard and in fact scorned no employment at which he could earn an honest living. Later in the same year he purchased forty acres of timber land in Montpelier township, Muscatine county, and erected a house thereon, residing on the place for nine years. On the expiration of that period he disposed of the property and for two years devoted his time and energies to the operation of a rented farm in Buffalo township, Scott county. He then purchased and located upon a farm of eighty acres in Fulton township, Muscatine county, and afterward bought two more tracts of similar size in the same township, where he carried on his agricultural interests energetically and successfully for about thirty-five years. Having won a handsome competence by reason of his unremitting industry and capable management, he then put aside the active work of the fields and took up his abode in Davenport, where he has since lived retired.

On the 25th of August, 1852, in St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. Ehlmann was united in marriage to Miss Anna Catherine Neyhaus, who was born in Hanover, Germany, on the 4th of February, 1825. Mr. and Mrs. Ehlmann became the parents of five children, the record of whom is as follows. The first born died in infancy. Henry, who is a resident of Oklahoma, first wedded Miss Caroline Harter, by whom he had three children: Anna, Herman and John. For his second wife he chose Miss Margaret Neve and their union has been blessed with two children. Helen and Emma. Margaret Emma Ehlmann gave her hand in marriage to Albert Kourthouse, of Oklahoma, and is now the mother of six children, namely: Theodore, Hugo, August, Lulu, Wanda and Clarence. Emilie, who is the wife of John Hartz, makes her home in Davenport. John D. Ehlmann has passed away. Mrs. Ehlmann, the wife of our subject, was called to her final rest on the 28th of October, 1893, and Mr. Ehlmann now makes his home with his daughter, Mrs. John Hertz.

At the polls Mr. Ehlmann casts his ballot in support of the men and measures of the democratic party. The cause of education has ever found in him a stalwart champion and while residing in Muscatine county he served as a school director of Fulton township for seven years. He is now in the eighty-third year of his age and receives the veneration and respect which should ever be accorded one who has traveled thus far on life's journey and whose career has at all times been upright and honorable. The period of his residence in this part of the state covers more than a half century, and he is well known and highly esteemed as a man who owes his present prosperity entirely to his own well directed labor and indefatigable energy.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer

A.W. Elmer, M.D.

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

Dr. A. W. Elmer, who since 1886 has engaged in the practice of medicine in Davenport, making a specialty of the treatment of the diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat, for which he is qualified by thorough study both at home and abroad, was born in Harrisville, Alcona county, Michigan February 11, 1858. His father, D. J. Elmer, a native of the state of New York, sailed on the Great Lakes and also on the high seas. When young he removed to Michigan and in 1868 came to Scott county, Iowa, establishing his home near Big Rock, where he secured a tract of land and engaged in farming for more than a quarter of a century. In 1894, however, he put aside the active work of the fields and removed to Onawa, Iowa, where he is now living retired at the age of eighty-four years. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Jane Sellick, is also still living.

Dr. Elmer began his education in the district schools of this county after the removal of the family to Iowa, when he was a lad of ten years. Later he entered Griswold College and was graduated in 1883 with a B. A. degree. Two years he devoted to the study of medicine in the Michigan State University at Ann Arbor, after which he entered the University of Pennsylvania and graduated in 1886 on the completion of the medical course. The same year he located for practice in Davenport, where he has since resided and in the intervening years has enjoyed a large and growing patronage which has come to him in recognition of the skill and ability that he has displayed in handling important cases. He manifests conscientious obligation in the discharge of his professional duties, and broad reading has kept him in touch with the advance of the medical fraternity as science has yielded up its secrets for the benefit of mankind. He has always made a specialty of the treatment of diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat and has come to be regarded in Davenport as authority upon those branches. He spent the year 1897 in study in Vienna, where he was under the instruction and attended the clinics of some of the most eminent specialists of the old world. In addition to a large private practice he is acting as oculist to the two leading hospitals of Davenport and also for the Rock Island Railroad.

In 1890 Dr. Elmer was married to Miss Kate Hart, a native of Adrian, Michigan, and unto them were born two children, William Hart and Katherine. They have gained many friends in the city where they have resided throughout the period of their married life. Dr. Elmer has little leisure for outside interests and yet is always courteous in manner and kindly in spirit. His attention is largely given to his professional duties, however, and to the end of furthering his knowledge and promoting his efficiency he holds membership in the County, State and American Medical Associations.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer

Captain Charles Falkner

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

Captain Charles Falkner, a retired river and police captain whose life history has had many unusual and some exciting chapters, constituting a story that is evidence of the old adage that "truth is stranger than fiction," was born in Prussia, Germany, October 18, 1844. His parents, William and Fredrica (Detman) Falkner, both died in Germany. In the fatherland Captain Falkner attended school to the age of fourteen years, then he entered upon the life of a sailor, his first trip being on a sailing vessel to London, England. He ran away from the ship there, however, and spent three days in London without food. Finally at the back door of a hotel he met a cook who could speak German and after giving Captain Falkner food took him to a sailors' boarding house, where he soon made arrangements to ship on board a vessel bound for Quebec, Canada. He ran away again and shipped under Captain Huston on the Mary Ann, which eventually landed at Boston, Massachusetts. There he reembarked on another vessel which bore him to San Francisco, California, in 1859. His voyages were not over, however, for he sailed through the Golden Gate for China and Japan, also visited Manila and afterward returned to New York. Later he sailed for the West Indies and then to Liverpool, England, and again returned to New York, whence he made his way to Mobile and Key West. Later he was at Philadelphia and afterward sailed for Pensacola, Florida. From that point the vessel proceeded down the coast a little distance and loaded with cotton. This was the ship Eureka under Captain Bellford. While on their return to New York the vessel was struck by lightning during a terrible storm and the cotton was set on fire. Five times the vessel was blown back while attempting to round Cape Hatteras, but they managed to hold the fire in check and finally succeeded in docking at pier No. 8, North river, New York, and the fire department extinguished the blaze, although nearly all of the cotton was burned. This was in 1863. Immediately afterward Captain Falkner enlisted in the United States navy at the Brooklyn navy yards and shipped on the sloop of war Brooklyn as an able seaman. The vessel belonged to Admiral Farragut's fleet and he served for twelve months on that ship and was at the battle of Mobile Bay and also in the engagements at Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines. The Brooklyn had four hundred and fifty men aboard but after they had anchored at Fort Morgan there were only one hundred and fifty of the number able for duty under Captain Irving, who was in command. After the battle Captain Falkner was promoted to quartermaster on board the gunboat Owasco, which was stationed near Galveston, Texas, doing blockade duty and looking for the Alabama. They saw that ship once and fired on her with an eleven-inch gun but after the smoke cleared away they could see nothing of her. Captain Falkner landed at New York, July 4, 1866, and on the afternoon of the 6th was honorably discharged.

On the 8th of September, 1865, Captain Falkner was married to Miss Christina Schroeder, who passed away two years later. For his second wife he chose Mrs. Louisa (Ricker) Shoel, the widow of Hans Shoel, who died in the army. It was with his first wife that he removed to Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, there working in a coal mine. Just before that, however, he made two trips to Brazil and thus gained knowledge of South American countries to add to the knowledge which he had obtained of other lands as he had sailed around the globe. From Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, he came to Davenport, Iowa, where he arrived March 14, 1866. He then became a pilot on the Mississippi river and after serving in that capacity on different boats later purchased the vessel Louisa in 1874. After running on the river for some time he returned to Davenport, sold the boat and obtained an appointment on the police force under Mayor Dow, serving as a patrolman for four years, as city detective two years and as night captain for fifteen years. Since then he has been foreman for different construction companies, street inspector of Davenport and private watchman for banks and other business houses. At the present time, however, he is living retired, enjoying a well earned rest. His experiences have been of a varied character as he has sailed the high seas in the interests of trade and commerce or in defense of his adopted country. In his young days he was injured while going from England to Odessa on the Balck sea and was in a hospital at Constantinople for about six weeks, but recovered in time to sail again to Germany on the same ship, the Rengende Jacob, which has been laid by during that time for repairs.

By his second marriage Captain Falkner had three children: Charles, a resident of Canada, who married Louisa Binger and has three children - Carl, Frederick and Elizabeth; Louisa, the wife of Jacob Stoft, of Moline, Illinois, by whom she has one daughter, Mary Louisa, now the widow of Frank Williams; and Herman, of Davenport. By her former marriage the second Mrs. Falkner had two children: Emma, who is now living in San Francisco, California; and William, who is superintendent of the waterworks at Keokuk, Iowa. For his third wife Captain Falker chose Dora Buck, a daughter of John Buck and the widow of Emil Uthoff. They were married February 22, 1904. By her former marriage Mrs. Falkner had two daughters and a son; Adelia, the wife of William Ort, by whom she has three children - Rolland, Hetta and Chalma; Alma, who married August Jans; and William, living in Rock Island.

Captain Falkner is a member of several social and fraternal organizations. He is connected with the Masonic lodge, the Knights of Pythias, the Davenport Boat Club and the Truners and was a member of the old volunteer fire company. He now derives his income largely from town property, having in former years made judicious investment in real estate, so that he is now enabled to live retired, enjoying in well earned rest many of the comforts of life.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer

C.A. Ficke

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

C. A. Ficke, a self-made man whose life record constitutes a most creditable chapter in Davenport's history, is enrolled among the eminent representatives of the bar and in various other lines of business activity has given evidence of his quick recognition and utilization of opportunity. Such is the position which he holds in public regard that his opinions are always an influencing factor in the consideration of vital municipal question. A native of the duchy of Mecklenburg, Germany, he was born April 21, 1850, in Boitzenburg, his parents being Christopher H. and Elizabeth (Praesent) Ficke. The father was a merchant who in 1852 came to the United States with his family, after which he took up his abode on a farm in Scott county, Iowa.

C. A. Ficke, but two years of age when the family came to the new world, was reared amid rural surroundings and obtained his early education in the country schools. He found farm work too narrow for his taste and ambition, however, and at the age of twelve years he entered a store in Lowden, Cedar county, where he was employed for a year. Realizing the need of a more comprehensive education than he had already acquired, he entered the public schools of Davenport at the age of thirteen years and made his expenses by working outside of school hours. Thus he obtained a good English education and by clerking in a dry-goods store and carefully saving his earnings was enabled to pursue a commercial course in Bryant & Stratton Business College of this city. Thus fitted by education for important duties in life, he obtained a situation in the United States assessor's office, where he continued until 1869, when he entered the Davenport National Bank. There he was promoted through intermediate positions until he became discount clerk. It was his ambition,however, to become a member of the bar and out of business hours he spent his time in studying and reading law in the office of H. R. Claussen. Resigning his position in the bank in 1876, he entered the New York Law School at Albany, where he pursued the regular course and was graduated with the class of 1877.

Mr. Ficke afterward spent six months in travel in Europe and on returning to Davenport entered upon active practice. No dreary novitiate awaited him. He was successful from the first, seeming to possess a ready and natural discrimination as to legal problems. Moreover, he prepared his cases with great thoroughness and care, determining with accuracy the salient features and giving to each point bearing upon his case its due relative prominence. His practice has been of an extensive and important character and he is recognized as one to the leading representatives of the Davenport bar.

Always interested in public affairs, in which connection his opinions have been regarded as sound and progressive, Mr. Ficke has been honored with numerous offices. At one time he was affiliated with the republican party and was chairman of its county and congressional committees, but a change in his political opinions led him in 1880 to become a strong supporter of Grover Cleveland for the presidency. In 1886 he was elected county attorney for Scott county and in 1890, against his protest, was nominated and elected to the mayoralty. When convinced by the public that he was the choice of the people for the office, he bent his energies to the faithful performance of the duties that devolved upon him as the chief executive of the municipality and such was his service that in 1891 he was renominated by acclamation and elected by the largest majority ever received by any mayor of Davenport. At the close of his second term he declined a third nomination. His was a vigorous, businesslike administration, in which many improvements were secured for the city, including paving, sewer building and the execution of other public projects.

In addition to his law practice Mr. Ficke is largely interested in loaning money and devotes much of his time to his numerous real-estate interests. He has made the value of property. He regards real estate as the safest of all investments and the judicious use he has made of his opportunities in this direction has placed him among Davenport's most successful men.

On the 24th of March, 1882, Mr. Ficke was united in marriage to Miss Fannie Davison, a daughter of Abner Davison, a prominent attorney of this city. They have three children, one of whom is Arthur D., a rising young lawyer associated with his father in practice. Mr. Ficke is a man of simple habits, devoted to his family and loyal to his friends. He is a broad minded and well read - a cultured, genial gentleman who has traveled extensively and with whom association means expansion and elevation. He is keenly alive to all the vital interests of the times and has never counted as a source of happiness those things which minister merely to self without regard to the duties and obligations of citizenship.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer

John B. Fidlar

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

The consensus of public opinion accords to John B. Fidlar a prominent position in the ranks of Davenport's progressive, enterprising and successful business men. While perhaps best known as cashier of the First National bank, a position which he occupied for seventeen years, he was also associated with various other corporate interests and his colleagues and contemporaries came to know him as a man notable, prompt, energetic and honorable. He was born May 16, 1839, in Hebron, Licking county, Ohio, where he spent the first fifteen years of his life. In 1854 he accompanied his parents on their removal to Delaware, Ohio, were he remained for five years and in the meantime supplemented his public school education by a two years' course in the Ohio Wesleyan University. On the 7th of April, 1859, he came to Davenport with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel P. Fidlar, entering the business circles fo this city as a young man of twenty years. He was first employed as patrol guard on the old bidge here and afterward went to Burlington, where for a year or more he occupied the position of clerk in the old Barrett house, which was then the leading hotel in that section of the state.

After the outbreak of the Civil war Mr. Fidlar, constrained by the spirit of patriotism, offered his services to the government, enlisting on the 14th of August, 1862, as a member of Company D, Twenty-fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. For gallant military service he was advanced through successive grades of promotion until he became captain of his company. His war record was one of unflinching bravery and on one occasion he was wounded by a musket ball in his arm, which troubled him to the day of his death. Iowa never sent a more loyal, valiant soldier into the field. He performed an act of gallantry before Vicksburg which alone would entitle him to the military honors which were conferred upon him in his promotion ot the captaincy. When the Union troops had been disorganized by a fierce fire in front of them and some flanking movements of the enemy and were falling back in a retreat that promised to become a rout he hurled his company against the retreating masses in a fierce bayonet charge, stopped them, held them firm a few minutes and maintained the position so taken until there was time to reform the columns and get into action again, thus saving the day. This incident was characteristic of his record as a soldier and also of the qualities which he displayed in the business world, for he attacked every business problem with vigor and with keen insight recognized the advantages and possibilities of the situation.

After the war Mr. Fidlar located in Burlington and for a time acted as cashier for the American Express Company, while later he was upon the road as express messenger between Burlington and Council Bluffs. On the 4th of Januray, 1871, he returned to Davenport, where he accepted the position of discount clerk in the First National Bank, filling the position acceptably and faithfully for seven, years, when he was promoted to cashier. He remained in that position for seventeen years and then tendered his resignation. His life record was an untarnished one and there was never a thought of anything but straightforward business in all of his connection with the bank. Early in his identification with the institution he made it his purpose to thoroughly master every department of banking and for a long period he was regarded as one of the foremost representatives of financial interests in the city.

As the years passed Mr. Fidlar extended his efforts into other fields, for he was a man of resourceful business ability, capable of controlling varied interests and at all times proving his worth in his sound opinions relative to commercial and financial affairs. After he retired from the bank he was identified with the insurance interests and was treasurer of the Davenport Safety Deposit Company, of the Register Life and Annuity Company, of the Merchants and Mechanics Building, Loan and Savings Association and a director in all three.

On the 16th of September, 1868, Mr. Fidlar was married in Burlington to Miss Lovenia Harper, a daughter of William Harper of that place. Unto this marriage was born a son, William Harper Fidlar, who married Bessie Sloan Altman, and died in 1900, leaving a son, John Brainard, who makes his home in Davenport. Mr. Fidlar was a member of Trinity Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and of the various Masonic bodies in this city, being an exemplary representative of the craft. In politics he was a stalwart republican from the time when age conferred upon him the right of franchise, believing firmly in the principles of the party which stood by the Union during the dark days of the Civil war and has always been the party of reform and progress. He belonged to the Grand Army of the Republic and the Loyal Legion. In matters of citizenship he was public-spirited in an eminent degree. His labors were prompted not only by civic pride but by that stronger element of citizenship - the constant, steady determination to bring about the very best conditions of city life for all the people. When the country was engaged in the Civil war he feared not to face the enemy on the field of battle. In the days of peace his influence was as quiet, steady, moving force, accomplishing results. He was honored wherever known and most of all where best known.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer

francis.jpg (114952 bytes)Charles Francis

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

Charles Francis, who in the practice of his profession, that of civil engineering, has traveled extensively, thus gaining a comprehensive knowledge of the country and at the same time giving proof of his ability in his chosen field of labor, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, August 10, 1842. His father, James B. Francis, was a native of Oxford, England, born on the 15th of May, 1815. He came to the United States in 1833 when a youth of eighteen years and after studying hydraulic engineering followed that profession with headquarters in Lowell, Massachusetts, for fifty-five years. He was a man of keen intellect and brilliant attainments, who became very eminent in his profession. Without prestige or influence to aid him at the outset of his career, as the result of his earnest study and notable ability, he came to rank with the foremost representatives of engineering in New England, his opinions upon professional subjects largely being accepted as authority. His superior skill also won him that financial success which is the legitimate goal of all business endeavor. He died in 1892, his wife surviving him until 1904. In her maidenhood she was Miss S. W. Brownell, a native of Waltham, Massachusetts, born in 1817.

Reared in his native city Charles Francis pursued his studies until he had completed a course in the Lowell high school, after which he entered Harvard in 1860 and was graduated with the class of 1864. In the meantime, however, he served his country as a soldier of the Union Army, enlisting in 1861 in the Forty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. He was assigned to Company F, with which he continued for one year, when he was honorably discharged. After leaving college he entered the Lowell Machine Shop and learned the trade, for he had decided to follow his father's profession and determined to qualify therefor by actual practice as well as by theory. He afterward had the invaluable advantage of several years' experience and business training with his father. His first public work of importance was assisting in the construction of a dam in the Connecticut river at Turners Falls, and later was engaged on the building of the Provincetown dike. He afterward went to Chicago, where he remained until the time of the great fire of 1871, when he removed to California and did much work on the Pacific coast, principally in the construction of mining ditches and other work relative to the development of mining interests. He remained there for nine years, after which he went to Mexico and was connected with the Mexican Central Railroad from 1879 until 1883. He then returned to Lowell and was again associated with his father until 1889.

In that year Mr. Francis came to Davenport under government appointment as engineer in charge of the dam at the Rock Island Arsenal. On the completion of that work he decided to make Davenport his home and has never had occasion to regret his determination to remain here. He has done much work of importance in this city along professional lines and has also taken an active and helpful part in many contracts have been awarded him, and for eight or nine years he has been working on the development of the water power in this city. He was for seven years a member of the state board of health and from 1891 until 1892 was commissioner of public works. His professional and public services have alike been of an important character and have constituted elements in the city's advancement and improvement.

In 1869 Mr. Francis was united in marriage to Miss S. C. Crosby, a native of Lowell, Massachusetts, and unto them has been born a daughter, Fanny C. Mr. Francis is a member of the Masonic fraternity, in which he has attained high rank, being connected with the Knights Templar and the Nobles of the Mysitic Shrine. He is also a member of the Contemporary Club. The consensus of public opinion regarding Mr. Francis is of most favorable character. Davenport feels that she gained a valuable addition to her citizens when he determined to make his home here. His public-spirited devotion to the city has been manifest in many tangible and practical ways and his work has been of far-reaching and beneficial effect. In his profession, stimulated by the example of his father, he has long since passed beyond the ranks of the many and stands among the successful few.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer

James Francis Phelps

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

The history of Davenport and its leading citizens contains no name which awakens a feeling of more sincere respect and honest regard than that of James Francis Phelps, who, in the years of his connection with the city, came to be recognized as an influential factor in business circles and also as one whose efforts in other directions were of far-reaching and beneficial import. He was born Oct. 6, 1821, at Schroon, New York. The public school system of that state afforded him his educational privileges and his experiences in youth were those of agricultural life, for he remained upon his father's farm until thirty years of age. Thinking to find broader opportunities in different business lines, he then removed to West Troy and engaged in the lumber business. From that time until his death he was identified with the lumber trade save for a brief period. He continued to make his home in the Empire state until 1876, when he removed to Middlebury, Vermont, settling on a farm with the hope that the experiences of outdoor life might prove beneficial to his health, when had become impaired. The year 1885 witnessed his arrival in Davenport, where he retained his residence until his demise. Since first embarking in the lumber business he retained his interest in the business and became a prominent representative of the lumber trade in this section of the country. He was a leading stockholder in the Lindsey & Phelps Lumber Company and also in the Cloquet Lumber Company of Cloquet, Minnesota. In business affairs his judgment was sound, his sagacity keen and his enterprise unfailing, and in the years of an active career he won substantial success, his record being that of a man whose course in business affairs meansured up at all time to the full standard of honorable, upright manhood.

At Schroon, New York, in 1848, Mr. Phelps was united in marriage to Miss Lucia Tyrrell, and unto them was born a son, A. T. Phelphs, who is now cashier of the National bank of Watervliet, New York. The wife and mother died April 5, 1853, and on the 20th of December, 1854, Mr. Phelps married Miss Jeanette Finch.

Mr. Phelps attended and supported the Methodist church. He was a man of high ideals, progressive in citizenship and ready at all times to give loyal support to thoses projects and movements which are intended for the betterment of the community. He traveled extensively, finding great pleasure in visiting points of scenic and historic interest, especially in his own country. His attachment for America was one of the deep-rooted interests of his life, his love of country being the expression of an unfaltering patriotism. He continued his residence in Davenport until his death, which occurred April 3, 1906, and was the occasion of deep regret to many who knew and honored him. The physical and moral life were intensely vital in him and the ringing response which his character gave to every test made him a man honored and respected wherever known and most of all where best known. While he won for himself a substantial and creditable position in business circles, he also applied his knowledge and working powers to wider and more impersonal interests in which the general public was largely the beneficiary.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer

William H. Gehrmann

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

William H. Gehrmann, starting in business life in America at a salary of eight dollars per month, is today the vice president and general manager of the Kohrs Packing Company of Davenport, in which connection he is active in the control of one of the leading enterprises of the city. His business affairs have been so carefully managed that success has placed him in a prominent position among Davenport's representative men. He was born in Uetersen, Germany, March 15, 1858, and is a son of Dietrich and Anna (Dieckman) Gehrmann, also natives of Germany. The father was a manufacturer of chicory, a root treated and used as a substitute for coffee. He was quite a prominent citizen of his native country, in which both he and his wife spent their entire lives.

William H. Gehrmann was educated in the private schools of his native town and afterward learned bookkeeping, which he followed for two years. In 1875, when a youth of seventeen years, he sailed for America, making the voyage alone as a passenger on the steamship Schiller. This was the last complete trip which she made, as she was lost at sea on her return trip, being wrecked on the Needles off the English coast. Mr. Gehrmann landed at New York city and soon afterward started for the middle west, going to St. Louis, Missouri, where he secured a place in a grocery store at a salary of eight dollars per month. He afterward was employed in a wholesale grocery house of that city, with which he was connected until 1879, when he went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and entered the training school of the Truners Academy for the training of teachers of gymnastics. Following his graduation in 1880 he returned to St. Louis and accepted a position as teacher in the gymnasium of the Toensfeldt Institute and St. Louis Turn Verein. There he continued until the spring of 1887, when he went to Walkerville, Montana, and with the capital he had saved from his earnings engagd in the butchering business on his own account. In this undertaking he prospered but in 1895 he sought a broader field of labor in Anaconda, Montana, where he organized the Montana Meat Company in connection with Marcus Daly and Conrad Kohrs. In 1898, however, he sold out his interest to his partners and came to Davenport, where he assumed the management of the interests of the Kohrs Packing Company, which had been established in 1874 by Henry Kohrs. He is now the vice president and general manager of what is today one of the extensive business concerns of the city, employing about one hundred people. The output of the market is known throughout Iowa, Illinois and Missouri and all points in the south. They do their own killing, dressing and packing and the establishment is under government inspection. Everything is conducted with the strictest regard to sanitation and the excellence of the products insures a continuance of a liberal and growing patronage.

On the 7th of September, 1887, Mr. Gehrmann was united in marriage to Miss Helen Kohrs, a daughter of Henry Kohrs, and they have two sons, William C. and Harry John. Fraternally Mr. Gehrmann is connected with the Elks and the Masons and is prominent as a club man in this city. He has taken and active interest in all public affairs as one of the leading representatives of trade interests in Davenport. He also figures in financial circles as a director of the Iowa National Bank. He is prominent among the German-American citizens here as the president of the Davenport Turner Society and is interested in the educational progeress of the city, doing effective work in behalf of the public schools as a member of the board of education since 1901. His record has been characterized by continuous progress along every line to which he has directed his activity and most of all he is known as a representative and prominent business man who accomplishes what he undertakes by reason of well formulated plans and close and unremitting application.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer