Scott Co, Iowa USGenWeb Project

Nick Denklau Bio 

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

Surnames: Denklau, Diedrick, Klindt, Stoltenberg, Miller, Amhof 

                Nick Denklau, a prominent citizen of Eldridge, Iowa, now living retired, was born in Germany on the 10th of May, 1852, and is a son of Jacob Denklau, who was a brick mason by trade and spent his entire life in the fatherland. Our subject was reared and educated in the land of his birth and in 1871 came to the United States, landing at New York. His destination, however, was Scott county, Iowa, and he came at once for several years.

                In December, 1877, Mr. Denklau was in marriage to Mrs. Amelia (Diedrick) Klindt, a native of Germany and the widow of Peter Klindt, a native of Germany and the widow of Peter Klindt. She was the owner of a farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Lincoln township, this county, and upon this property they began their domestic life, continuing to reside there for twenty-five years, when Mr. Denklau retired from active farming and removed to Eldridge, where he now makes his home. Having prospered in his undertakings he was able to add forty acres to the home farm, making a tract of one hundred and sixty acres in Lincoln township, and in 1894 he purchased a farm of two hundred and thirty-five acres in Sheridan township, to the cultivation and improvement of which he devoted his energies until he retired from active life. Besides his farm land he also owns town property in Eldridge.

                Unto Mr. and Mrs. Denklau were born six children, namely: Gust, a farmer of Sheridan township, who married Amanda Stoltenberg; Emma, who is now the wife of Herman Miller, living on the old homestead in Lincoln township; Meta, the wife of Rudolph Amhof, of Lincoln township; and Tillie, Laura and Adolph, at home. By her former marriage Mrs. Denklau had three children: Louis; Minnie, now Mrs. Stoltenberg; and Wilhelm. All are residents of this county. The family is widely and favorably known and Mr. and Mrs. Denklau have  a host of warm friends.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project

Christian G. Dueser Bio 

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

Surnames: Dueser, Ficke, Lorenzen, Lane 

                Christian G. Dueser, deceased, was for some years a prominent merchant of Davenport. His early home, however, was on the other side of the Atlantic, for he was born in Germany and was there reared and attended school. He received an excellent education in his native land and also continued his studies after coming to this country. On reaching America he came direct to Iowa and established his home in Davenport, becoming identified with the business interests of the city as a merchant.

                In early manhood Mr. Dueser married Miss Matilda Ficke, a daughter of Senator C. A. Ficke, who was one of the leading lawyers and prominent citizens of Davenport. Two children were born of this union, namely: Dr. F. H. Dueser, who married Eliza Lorenzen; and Elizabeth, who is now the wife of F. J. Lane and has one child, Frederick S.

                In his social affiliations Mr. Dueser was an Odd Fellow. Starting out in life with no capital, his success was due entirely to his own unaided efforts and he may well be classed among the self-made men who did much for the promotion of Davenport’s interests.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project

C. Ray Kindt Bio 

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

Surnames: Kindt, Stoddard 

                One of Davenport’s younger business men is C. Ray Kindt, manager of the Princess theatre. He was born in Milwaukee, January 10, 1888, and is the son of Charles T. and Nellie (Stoddard) Kindt. His father is a very prominent theatre manager, who has charge of fifty-one houses in Iowa and Illinois. His principal Davenport interest is the management of the Burtis theatre. He came originally from Sandusky, Ohio, and he and his family  have made this city their home for nearly twenty years. The grandfather, Louis Kindt, was born in Germany of French parentage and came to America when about fourteen years of age.

                It was during a brief residence of his parents in Milwaukee that the subject of the sketch was born, and while he was still an infant they came to Davenport where they have ever since resided. Mr. Kindt attended the common schools and in due time was enrolled among the students of the high school. He then entered the University of Chicago and took a course in electrical engineering. He subsequently returned to Davenport and his father assisted him in securing a foothold in the world of affairs, a thing he was well able to do for he is one of the principal theatre managers of the west. Mr. Klindt inaugurated the Princess theatre a few months ago and it is already taking its place among the successful amusement houses in the city, the greater part of his time and energy being devoted to its management. He belongs to the Greek letter society, Lambda Sigma Delta, which he joined when in college.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project

O. F. Matteson Bio 

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

Surnames: Matteson, Karman, Beyer, Heike, Mowbray 

O. F. Matteson needs no introduction to the citizens of Davenport and Scott county. As a man and official he is widely known and his record as deputy United States marshal is one which has gained for him wide commendation. A native son of Iowa, he was born in Marshall county, in the year 1871, his parents being Orlando and Mary (Karman) Matteson. The father was a farmer by occupation, following that pursuit until after the outbreak of the Civil war, when he put aside all business and personal considerations in order to protect the interests of the country on the field of battle. He became a member of Company E. Sixteenth Iowa Infantry, and saw four years’ service, during which time he was captured and incarcerated in Andersonville prison. The Matteson family came from the east in the vicinity of New York city. The ancestry of the Karman family is traced back to Bavaria, Germany, a representative of the name arriving in Scott county, Iowa in 1850.

Owing to the death of his parents, O. F. Matteson was educated in the Soldiers Orphans Home where he remained for about six years. He then went to Muscatine, Iowa, where he supplemented his previous education by thorough study in the public schools. Reading, experience and observation have also added to his knowledge and he has eagerly availed himself of every opportunity for advancement in educational lines. After leaving school he took a trip to the west where he was employed in various ways until he began learning the carpenter’s trade. He followed that pursuit up to the time of his retirement from the industrial field, his attention being now devoted to his official duties.

It was on the 21st of June, 1893, that Mr. Matteson was united in marriage to Miss Mary L. Beyer, a daughter of Gerhart and Louise (Heike) Beyer, who were of German and Holland lineage respectively. Mr. and Mrs. Matteson have become the parents of seven children: Orlando w., Evelyn, Alice A., Raymond H., Teddy T., George Christian and Hellena. Mr. Matteson and his family occupy an attractive home on Harrison street near Duck creek and he has in addition to his residence an acre of fine land.

Retired from business life, he is giving his attention to official duties, filling the office of deputy united States marshal for the southern district of Iowa with headquarters at Davenport. He was one of the prime movers in securing the establishment of the United States federal court at Davenport ad because of his work in that connection the endorsed him for the position of deputy United States marshal, believing him to be well qualified for the office. He is familiarly known among the federal employes through the east and west as “Pink”—a name suggested by the efficiency of the Pinkerton men and given to him in recognition of the fact that he is an untiring scout when on the trail of criminals, never giving up until he has placed his man behind the bars. He was one of those who at Council Bluffs took part in the prosecution of the famous Mowbray gang of notorious swindlers, fourteen of the fifteen being convicted and receiving penitentiary sentences, most of them being now in Leavenworth. Unfaltering in the performance of his duty, his name has become a menace to evil-doers, and brings a sense of security to all who hold themselves amenable to law.

 Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project

Jennie McCowen, A. M., M. D. Bio 

“From Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County” by Harry E. Downer—S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1910 Chicago. 

Surnames: McCowen, Janney, Pratt 

                No history of Scott county would be complete without the mention of the life work of Dr. Jennie McCowen, of Davenport, who is without doubt one of the foremost women of the state of Iowa and one of its most active and efficient physicians. A taste for medical pursuits has been conspicuous in her family for generations back. Dr. John McCowen, her father, was himself a well known practitioner in southern Ohio in earlier days. Her only immediate relatives now surviving are two sisters, Mrs. E. E. Janney, of Kansas, and Miss Mary McCowen, the latter for yours supervisor of the public schools for the deaf in Chicago, now head of the department for the training of teachers for the deaf of the Chicago Normal School.

                Dr. McCowen’s inclination towards medicine showed itself at a very early age. Suddenly thrown upon her own resources at the age of sixteen, she began to teach in order to earn the money to finish her education. She taught and studied alternately, taking a course at the Ohio Normal School and excelling as a teacher, though never losing sight of her intention to become a physician. Twelve years thus elapsed and in 1872 she withdrew from school work and began her professional studies at the State University of Iowa, having become a resident of this state in 1864. She graduated with honors in 1876, taking a prize for her thesis. Immediately upon graduation, she accepted a position on the medical staff of the State Hospital for the Insane at Mt. Pleasant, and for three years did good service for the unfortunate girls and women who came under her care. Her interest was thus directed to nervous and mental diseases, and in the same field of labor she has since directed her energies with results that have placed her prominently in the front rank of the profession in Iowa.

                In 1880 Dr. McCowen located in Davenport, and was made secretary of the Scott County Medical Society, was reelected in 1881 and again in 1882. In 1883 she was elected president of the society, in 1884 was reelected: became a member of the State Medical Society, of the Iowa and Illinois District, and of the American Medical Association. In 1884 she was one of a committee from the State Medical Society to memorialize the legislature in behalf of better provision for the insane, and in 1886 was one of the medical examiners of the University, chosen by the State Medical Society.

                In 1885 Dr. McCowen was elected to membership in the New York Medico-Legal Society, which with a membership of over four hundred of the most eminent lawyers, physicians and scientists, had at that time admitted but two women, both physicians. She was made vice president in 1888, was made one of the vice presidents of the International Congress of Medical jurisprudence which met in New York in 1889, and was reelected at the session in Chicago in connection with the World’s Fair, and again at the time of the fair in St. Louis. In 1906 she was elected one of the delegates to represent the Medico-Legal Society in the International Medical congress in Lisbon, Portugal, and on request prepared a paper on “The Effect of Rest and Recreation on Mental health,” which was read in the section on hygiene.

                Dr. McCowen was for many years connected with the Davenport Academy of Sciences in an official capacity, as secretary, as librarian, elected president in 1889, reelected in 1890, and for a number of years thereafter was a member of the board of trustees and later of the publication committee. She also held membership in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in the National Science club, and in 1889 was made a fellow of the Society of Science, Letters and Arts, London. At the World’s Congress on Geology held in Chicago during the specimens from the Davenport Academy of Sciences, and at the meeting of the National Science Club the next day she spoke on “The Relation of the Academy of Science to the Community.” It was during her presidency of the Davenport Academy of Sciences that its work in connection with the public schools was begun by Curator Pratt.

                Dr. McCowen’s best efforts have always been given to the betterment of humanity. In 1882 she was commissioned by the governor to represent the state in the National Conference of Charities and Corrections, which she did from year to year thereafter. For ten years she served as secretary for the state in the National Conference of Charities and Corrections, was one of the executive committee which organized a State Conference of Charities and Corrections in Iowa, and has been from its organization an active member. In 1908 she was elected president and was reelected in 1909. She was for many years one of the directors of the National Children’s Home Society and one of the editors of its magazine.

                Dr. McCowen has devoted much of her time to the study of preventive work in social science, and for years quietly demonstrated its value in various organizations with which she was connected, notably the Lend-A-Hand Club of working girls, in which, in return for benefits received, each girl pledges herself to lend a hand to some other girl or woman less fortunately circumstanced than herself. This club, now in its twenty-third year, occupies a three-story building in the business district of the city and maintains various helpful agencies for women, on a financial budget of about fourteen thousand dollars a year.

                Dr. McCowen was one of the organizers of the Order of The King’s Daughters of Iowa, Circle Number One in Davenport being the first in the state. She was the first county secretary from 1892 to 1894, resigning because the practice of  her profession made it impossible for her to give the work the time and attention which its success demanded. She was for several years a member of the state executive board and in 1907 was elected a member of the central council of the International Order with headquarters in New York. She was the founder of the Mary Lowe Dickenson Chapter of King’s Daughters for “work among invalids,” an organization capable of widespread and effective activity along preventive lines. She was for years chairman of the social purity and later of the health and heredity committee in the State King’s Daughters work, lecturing throughout the state on subjects relating to social purity, health and heredity. Her services along these lines have been invaluable, her efforts for the good of the order unremitting.

                As a representative woman Dr. McCowen’s standing was recognized in different directions during the World’s Fair in Chicago. She attended the Congress on Woman’s Progress and spoke in the Memorial Art Building on “Progress in Child-Saving Work;” in the Congress of Social and Moral Reform on “The Prevention of Impurity among Children.” She was one of the executive committee of the International Congress of Medical Jurisprudence, and spoke on the “Postal Rights of the Insane.” Among the distinguished women who spoke at the congress in the Woman’s Building, her name appeared on the October program, subject “The Child Problem of Today.” Not the least of her services to women was, however, her work on the jury of awards in the medical, sanitary and philanthropic exhibits on which she was appointed by the board of lady managers, she being one of the fifty-seven women appointed on the jury of awards. Her appointment owed nothing to politics or “influence” and was entirely unexpected to herself, but her thorough and conscientious work won the approval of her fellow jurors and exhibitors, even among the foreigners of the other sex, who at first bitterly opposed women on the juries, and the board of lady managers were completely justified in the wisdom of their choice.

                She was invited by the Ministerial Association of Davenport to read to them a paper which she had prepared and read before the Moral Education Society in Cedar Rapids, and the Association, feeling that their people should have the benefit of the information contained in this paper, invited her to fill their pulpits at one of their Sunday services, a special committee making arrangements as to churches and time. This was followed by requests from various clubs and organizations in the city and over the state, until she had given the gist of this paper on social purity and heredity fifty-seven times to as many different audiences.

                As a member of the Association for the Advancement of Women, its Iowa director and afterwards vice president, she was largely instrumental in paving the way for the Woman’s Congress which gave such impetus to all kinds of literary and philanthropic activity among the women of Iowa and finally led to the organization of what is now known as the Federation of Women’s Clubs. She has given hearty and intelligent support to all efforts in her own city and state, as well as elsewhere, to improve the conditions of life and make them bear less heavily upon the over burdened.

                Another prominent characteristic of Dr. McCowen’s nature—her love of literature and literary pursuits—was inherited from her mother, who was a woman of high intellectual attainments. Her thoroughly altruistic spirit inclined her to study and write mainly upon themes that, though they do not command a popular audience, are in the direction of being helpful to humanity, yet so quietly and unostentatiously did she pursue this line of her work for many years that few know of the extent or value of her literary productions. In a biographical sketch of Dr. McCowen, appearing in the “Physicians and Surgeons of America,” she was credited at that time with having written on over forty different subjects, partly contributions on medical topics, published in various medical journals, others in the domain of science proper, others ethical and sociological, in periodicals and newspapers. For several years she sustained a column on “Preventive Medicine” in the Sunday  morning issue of the Davenport Gazette, a weekly column on “Hygiene” in the Woman’s Tribune published in Chicago, and a column entitled “Woman’s Work” in the Davenport Times. From 1885 to 1890 she was the associate editor of the Iowa State Medical Reporter, from 1895 to 1908 was associate editor in charge of the department of state medicine in the Woman’s Medical Journal published in Cleveland, Ohio.  

                It is, however, in her chosen profession that Dr. McCowen has done her best work and won her chief laurels, her brethren in the profession according her the most hearty and cordial recognition. She has been an active member of local and state medical societies, was elected vice president of the State Medical Society, the only woman to be so honored in this state, was one of the founders of the State Society of Medical Women, was president in 1893 and again in 1894, ad has been chairman of its council since its organization. She was one of the directors of the Iowa Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis, member of the national Association of Tuberculosis, was member of the International Congress which met in New York in 1889, in Chicago in 1893, in St. Louis in 1904 and in Washington and was invited by that body to read a paper before the section on mental and nervous diseases. As a member of the American Medical Association she was appointed by the central committee of the public health education movements in the state outside of the medical profession. She is on the staff of the local hospitals in Davenport, and chairman of the training school committee at St. Luke’s Hospital.

                Personally, Dr. McCowen is one of the most modest and unassuming of women, genial and generous, tactful and witty. Endowed with deep human affections and swift sympathies, her influence is always helpful and broadening to those who are privileged to enjoy her friendship, and her sterling qualities make her life an inspiration to those whose lives she touches.

             Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project

Ferdinand Haak Bio 

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

Surnames: Haak, Oldendorf, Kohrdt, Meyer, Gruenewald, Hetzl 

                If the prosperity of the city be measured by the enterprise of some of its more important manufacturing concerns Davenport owes no little of its reputation as being the home of successful business men to Ferdinand Haak, who is president of  one of the largest cigar factories west of the Mississippi. The enviable position he holds has been entirely the work of his own hands and brain, being a patent example of industry, economy and wise foresight. He was born in 1845 at Elmshorn, about four miles from Hamburg, Germany, a son of Carsten and Lesette (Oldendorf) Haak. The father brought his family to America in 1857 and selected Scott county, Iowa, as a place of residence. He bought considerable land here and farmed with profit until his death, which occurred in 1888.

                Ferdinand Haak was about twelve years of age when his family came to the United States. He had attended the schools of his native land and after he came to Scott county was enrolled as a pupil in the public schools of Davenport. For a number of years he worked upon the home farm and then decided to start in life for himself as a cigarmaker. He served an apprenticeship for about four years, in that time becoming a most efficient workman, and then secured a position as foreman in a factory, but although he enjoyed the confidence of his employers he was not satisfied for he was ambitious to make a name for himself. Accordingly, in 1870, he opened a factory of his own, and although he began business in a small way, through concentration of his powers, business acumen and determination to succeed he has built it up so that now it is one of the largest in the west. He has won from it a most gratifying income.

                In 1867 Mr. Haak was united in marriage to Miss Caroline Kohrdt, and of their union have been born seven children: Minnie, now the wife of Charles Meyer, Pauline, who became the wife of Gene Gruenewald, and has one child; John, who is in business with his father, and is married and has three children, John, Ferdinand and Minna; Richard, who is also in business with his father, and has two daughters, Irma and Elsie; Edna and Elsie, who are living at home; and Theekla, who is the wife of Frank Hetzl, of Sioux City, Iowa. Mr. Haak belong to the Turners and is one of the directors of the Iowa National Bank. Shortly after his arrival in this county he enlisted in Company B, Eighth Iowa Infantry, but saw only one year’s service on the field of battle. It, however, was sufficient to attach him closely to the government, so that he is an interested spectator of all national interests. His home is at 824 West Vine street, where he and his wife extend a gracious hospitality to all guests.

         Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project

Claus J. B. Hansen Bio 

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

Surnames: Hansen, Schwackle, Holland 

                The strong characteristics of the German race, industry, frugality and perseverance, are conspicuous in the life history of Claus J. B. Hansen, a farmer of Winfield township. He was born in Detmarchen, Germany, August 3, 1864, and is a son of Peter and Margaretta Hansen. The father was a laborer in the old country, but after Claus Hansen had come to America, he and another of is sons came here and for many years he was actively engaged in farming in Scott county, Iowa.

                Claus J. B. Hansen attended the public schools of Germany in his boyhood, thereby obtaining a fair education in his native tongue, and when he put aside his text-books he worked by the month as a farm hand. Stories of the opportunities that awaited the ambitious and industrious young man in America had reached him, however, and by 1881 he could o longer resist the call of the new world, so he joined a party of friends and embarked upon the voyage to the United States. He landed at New York, April 6, 1881, and coming direct to Scott county, Iowa, reached Davenport April 9.

                Although he could not speak English Mr. Hansen lost no time in securing employment, but the day after his arrival, at 3 p. m., he started to work as a farm hand near Donahue. He was employed at that kind of labor for six years, at the end of which time he joined his father and brother Fred, who had come to the county and had rented land on the banks of the Wapsipinicon. They remained at that location for five years and then removed to a farm near Eldridge, which they also rented and on which they lived for four years. Another change was then made to a place near Donahue, where Claus Hansen lived for two years, or until he was married, when he engaged in farming for himself. For one year he lived on  a rented farm near Donahue and then for two years lived on another place in the same locality, after which , as the result of his well directed economy, he bought the land on which he now lives from Bartley Schwackle. It is a tract of eighty-four and twenty-seven hundredth acres, which Mr. Hansen has greatly improved, tilling the fields, erecting new buildings and in other ways making it thoroughly modern and in keeping with the progressive spirit of the times. He carries on general farming, in which he has met with success, for he brings to his work intense energy intelligently directed.

      Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project

William S. Collins Bio 

“From Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County” by Harry E. Downing—S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago. 

Surnames: Collins, Wright, Jackson, Fields, Dillion, Bird, Graham 

                William Sheridan Collins came to Scott county, Iowa, from New York in August, 1838. He was born February 15, 1806, at Litchfield, Connecticut, a son of David and Jerusha (Wright) Collins. David Collins became a merchant of New York and at one time a member of congress. In 1826 William S. Collins went from Connecticut to Albany, New York, where he learned and followed the carpenter’s trade. He was married there in 1831 to Miss Orphia Jackson and unto them were born two children, Miles A. and Orphia L. The latter became the wife of Newton J. Field and had one son Newton Miles Field, who was killed in a railway accident.

                Orphia Jackson, the first wife of William S. Collins died in 1836 and Mr. Collins was influenced to come to Iowa by the fact that his brother Lucius Collins was a farmer of this state, living near the Summit.

                Orphia Jackson, the first wife of William S. Collins died in 1836 and Mr. Collins was influenced to come to Iowa by the fact that his brother Lucius Collins was a farmer of this state, living near the Summit. William S. Collins was a contractor and carpenter in Davenport and erected a large number of business blocks, including the former McManus building at Second and Main streets, the Perry and McIntosh blocks, the old Baptist church at Sixth and Main, and the brick residence at Fifth and Rock Island streets. A number of the structures which show forth his handiwork are still standing. He became recognized as one of the leading contractors and builders of this part of the state and did much in promoting the substantial improvements of this district. In 1842 he married Eliza Dillion, and they had three children, of whom two died in infancy, while the other, Chester Worthington Collins is a banker of Brooklyn, New York. The mother, who was born in the Empire state in 1823, passed away in 1846. For his third wife Mr. Collins chose Mrs. Eleanor Bird, who was born in New York city in 1815 and was the widow of William Bird. There were two children of this marriage namely: Sarah Ella, now the widow of Watson Graham, who died in Davenport; and McManus W., of Denver, Colorado. The third wife of William S. Collins has also passed away.

                William S. Collins was one of the charter members of the Edwards Congregational church and took an active part in the organization of the first Sunday school. His political allegiance was given to the whig party until its dissolution, when he joined the ranks of the new republican party. He served as alderman of Davenport from the third ward from 1846 to 1849, and from the fifth ward in 1859. He also was trustee of the poor. He was a very earnest and zealous worker in the organization known as the Sons of Temperance for twenty years, and from 1848 until his death on August 9, 1887, he was an exemplary representative of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project

Miles A. Collins Bio 

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

Surnames: Collins, Wilson, Reed, George, Garrison, Rowes 

                One of Scott county’s pioneer farmers was Miles Augustus Collins, who lead an industrious life in the live stock business. Mr. Collins was born in Albany, New York, September 1, 1832. When but four years old his father, David Collins, upon a farm at Blanford, Massachusetts, and was there reared, early becoming familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. Following his grandfather’s death he took charge of the home farm at Blanford, Massachusetts, there remaining until 1854, when he sought a home in the middle west and came to Scott county, Iowa, where he worked at the carpenter’s trade with his father for a year. He then engaged in farming. He also established one of the first cheese factories in Scott county. His life was a busy and useful one. At different times he owned several farms in Scott county and was quite successful in his dealings in real estate. In 1860 he purchased the farm just north of town upon which he spent his remaining days, is death there occurring June 5, 1908. He was diligent and enterprising, making good use of his opportunities, and as time passed on he won a creditable measure of prosperity.

                It was on the 15th of June, 1870, that Mr. Collins was united marriage to Mrs. Amy George Wilson, the widow of George Wilson and Nancy (Reed) George. William George was native of, and formerly lived in Columbiana county, Ohio, whence he removed with his family in 1853 to Scott county and settled near Big Rock, Iowa.

                Mr. and Mrs. Collins became the parents of six children: Mina Rusha, who is now a teacher of English in the high school at St. Louis, Missouri; Vera Elva, who is the wife of Fred A. Garrison, field secretary of the Young Men’s Christian Association for Arkansas and Oklahoma; Eleanor Harriet, at home; Miles William; Amy George, the wife of William C. Rowse, a professor of engineering in the State University at Madison, Wisconsin; and Ruth Elizabeth, who is a pupil in the Grinnell Iowa College. All of the children are graduates of that college, and Miles is a graduate of the University of Chicago law department, having received the degree of Doctor of Laws. Mina was also a student of the University of Chicago, where she pursued post-graduate work in English.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project

Detlef Petersen Bio 

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

Surnames: Petersen, Harman, Koch, Johnson 

                Detlef Petersen, the owner of a well improved and valuable farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Sheridan township, is numbered among the worthy pioneer settlers of Scott county, having made his home within its borders for more than a half century. His birth occurred in Holstein, Germany, on the 19th of September, 1834, his parents being Henry and Margaret Petersen. The father passed away in that country but the mother later took up her abode in the United States and spent her remaining days in this country.

                Detlef Petersen spent the first twenty-three years of his life in the land of his nativity and in 1857 crossed the Atlantic to the United States, wishing to test the truth of the many favorable reports which he had heard concerning the advantages of the new world. After landing in New York he made favorable reports which he had heard concerning the advantages of the new world. After landing in New York he made his way direct to Davenport, Scott county, Iowa, having friends here. He first worked in this county a farm laborer but later rented land and about 1870 had accumulated sufficient capital to enable him to purchase a farm of his own, coming into possession of eighty acres of his present home place in Sheridan township. He has erected all of the buildings and made all of the improvements which are now seen upon the property and likewise planted the trees, of which he has many fine specimens. The one tree which was on the property when he first located thereon is still standing. Wishing to extend the boundaries of his farm, he bought an adjoining tract of eighty acres, so that his holdings now embrace one hundred and sixty acres of rich and arable land. His labors as an agriculturist are capably conducted and the fields annually yield golden harvests in return for the care which he bestows upon them.

                Mr. Petersen has been twice married. In 1862 he wedded Miss Louise Harman, who passed away twenty years later. Their children were five in number, namely: Henry and William, both of whom are at home; Elizabeth, the wife of Carl Koch, of Eldridge, Iowa; and Laura and Emma, who are also at home. On the 27th of June, 1886, Mr. Petersen was again married, his second union being with Miss Hannah Johnson, by whom he has one child, Walborg, at home.

                At the polls Mr. Petersen casts his ballot in support of the men and measures of the democratic party and has capably served his fellow townsmen as a school director and also of road supervisor. He has never had occasion to regret his determination to come to America, for in this country he has found the opportunities which he sought and through their utilization has worked his way upward, his life indicating what may be accomplished by determination and well directed energy. He has now passed the seventy-fifth milestone on life’s journey and receives the respect and veneration which should always be accorded one who has traveled thus far on this earthly pilgrimage and whose career has ever been upright and honorable.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project


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