Josef A. LeClaire Biography

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

 Surnames: LeClaire, Manval.  

            Josef A. LeClaire, since 1885 a representative of fire insurance in Davenport and also a prominent and active in political circles, was born in St. Charles county, Missouri, October 15, 1833. His father, Francis LeClaire was a native of St. Joseph, Michigan. His father was Francois LeClaire, a brother of Antoine LeClaire. When a young man he removed to St. Charles county, Missouri, and became one of the first pilots on the Mississippi river, running between St. Louis and Galena. At length, however, he abandoned the water and spent the latter part of his life on a farm. He was born in 1793 and lived to the age of seventy-five years, passing away in 1868. He married Eulalie Manval, a native of Portage des Sioux, where her girlhood days were passed. She was his second wife and by the first union was born a daughter and two sons.

            Josef A. LeClaire was the youngest child of the family. On the 21st of October, 1841, he came with his half brother, Henry, to Davenport to live with Antoine LeClaire and here attended school. He also looked after the business interests of Antoine LeClaire until the latter’s death in 1861. The following year Josef LeClaire went to the west, traveling extensively throughout that section of the country. Since 1885 he has been engaged in the insurance business in Davenport and has one of the leading and most successful agencies of the city, writing a large amount of insurance annually.  He has always taken an active interest in public affairs and has filled a number of offices, to which he has been called by the vote of his fellow townsmen. In the early ‘60s he served as alderman of the fifth ward and in 1871 he was elected marshal and collector for the city and served seven years as county recorder. He was also elected magistrate and filled that position for several terms and has figured prominently in official circles of the city, while his public service has brought him a wide acquaintance. Few men have more intimate knowledge of Davenport and her history through a period of sixty-eight years than Josef A. LeClaire, who arrived here in 1841 and through the intervening years has been an interested witness of all the great changes that have occurred.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann

John H. Sievers Biography

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

Surnames: Sievers, Francen, Frederick, Pawser, Barnhardt, Hochmuth. 

            One of the important agriculturists and stock men of Liberty township is John H. Sievers, who was born in Schleswig, Germany, January 29, 1853, his parents being Henry and Annie (Francen) Sievers. The father died in the land of his birth, but the mother came to America and here passed her last years, dying about eight years ago. Four children were born to them: John H., the subject of this sketch; Annie, the wife of Peter Frederick, of Holstein, Iowa; Hans; and Katie, the wife of Peter Pawser, of Manning, Iowa.

            John H. Sievers came to this country alone in 1873 after he had obtained his education in his native land and served the required term in the army. He made his way directly to Davenport and here for the first two weeks after his arrival worked as a laborer on the street. Then he found employment upon a farm and after two years’ experience, in which he gained a practical acquaintance with our language and customs, he rented forty acres of land and began to raise corn. Four years later he married and then leased sixty acres of his father-in-law in Liberty township, where he lived for another period of four years. Then he bought one hundred and sixty acres near New Liberty, upon which he toiled most assiduously for sixteen years, at the end of that time purchasing the four hundred and five acres upon which he now resides. Later he bought two hundred and eighty acres adjoining the home place, bringing his land holdings in Liberty township up to a total of eight hundred and forty-one acres. On this property there are three distinct sets of buildings, the character of those upon the home place being especially fine for he has remodeled the outbuildings and a few years ago erected a large stone house of fourteen rooms. One hundred and sixty acres of his land Mr. Sievers rents, but the balance is planted in grain or is used as pasture land for his stock, for he feeds annually large numbers of steers and hogs, which he ships to the more important markets. When the German Savings Bank was organized in New Liberty Mr. Sievers was one of its promoters and became a director, but now he only owns stock in the concern. Nevertheless, he is one of the most prosperous of the farmers in his locality and enjoys the high esteem of his fellowmen.

            In 1879 Mr. Sievers was united in marriage to Miss Anna Barnhardt, who was born in Clinton county, Iowa, November 28, 1858. Her parents, John and Mary Barnhardt, were both natives of Schleswig-Holstein, but they came to this country in the early ‘50s and passed the remainder of their lives here. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Sievers, namely: Willie, Charles, Hugo and Nellie. The eldest wedded Miss Frieda Hochmuth, of liberty township, but the others are at home.

            Industry and frugality have been among the leading characteristics of Mr. Sievers and have been largely accountable for his success. He has spared no effort to make his farm the most productive of any in his locality nor to obtain the highest grade of stock possible. He is progressive as well as energetic, so that the Round Grove stock farm, which is the name he has bestowed upon his place, is one of the most modern and thoroughly up-to-date establishments of its kind in this section of the state.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann

J. F. Dow Biography

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

 Surnames: Dow, Gilman, Hancock, Sears, Stevens.

             The great agricultural resources of Iowa furnish splendid opportunities to those who concentrate their efforts and attention on the cultivation of crops or in handling the products which its fertile fields produce. The state ranks first among the great grain producing sections of the Union and prominent as a representative of the grain trade is J. F. Dow, of Davenport, now secretary and manager of the Davenport Elevator Company.

            He was born in Henry County, Illinois, October 17, 1856. His father, Josiah Dow, was a native of New Hampshire, born on the 16th of March, 1828. In his boyhood days he accompanied his parents to Illinois the family home being established in Bureau county. His father was Tristan C. Dow, who became one of the pioneer settlers of that region. In a few years he removed with his family to Henry county, Illinois, where he followed farming and also engaged in merchandising. His son, Josiah Dow, was identified with agricultural interests in Henry county, Illinois and came to Davenport, where he established a grain and milling business, in which he continued throughout the remainder of his life. He developed an enterprise of large and profitable proportions, conducing his interests as senior member of the firm of Dow, Gilman & Hancock. This was the predecessor of the Davenport Elevator Company, of which Josiah Dow eventually became president, remaining as its chief executive officer until his demise. His ability enabled him to readily solve intricate business problems and to turn threatened failures into success. This was due to his watchfulness of opportunity, his close application and his ready appreciation of a legitimate advantage in the business world. He sustained an unassailable reputation as one of the prominent and leading business men of his adopted city, where his death occurred March 9, 1908. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Stevens, was a native of New Hampshire. Their family numbered two children, the daughter being Elizabeth, who died at the age of five years.

            J. F. Dow was educated in the public schools of Davenport and then entered the grain business in connection with his father, since which time he has been associated with this department of commercial activity. In connection with three other gentlemen he organized the Davenport Elevator Company in July, 1895, and they now have twenty-seven elevators scattered throughout Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota. They deal in all kinds of grains and seeds and Mr. Dow is now serving as secretary and manager of the company. His broad experience and sound judgment have been one of the important factors in the success of the enterprise. He is, moreover, a director in the First National Bank and president of the Davenport Savings Bank and is well known in the financial circles of the city. He is also an active member of the Commercial Club.

            In march, 1878, Mr. Dow was married to Miss Nancy Sears, a daughter of I. H. Sears, president of the Scott County Bank. Their children are five in number, namely: Bert, who is associated with his father in business; John; Worrall; Elizabeth; and Nancy.

            Mr. Dow does not take an active part in politics, nor does he have ambition for office. He is a busy man, the interests of the grain trade making heavy demands upon his time and energies an yet he is not unmindful nor neglectful of the duties of citizenship and stands as a stalwart champion in support of many projects and movements which are promulgated for the city’s betterment.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann

Ludwig W. Schmidt Biography

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

Surnames: Schmidt, Moeller, Martzhahn, Kohrs, Wichmann. 

            Prominent among Scott county’s esteemed and substantial citizens is Ludwig W. Schmidt. He holds the splendid farm upon which he is now living in especial affection, for it was here that he was born, May 26, 1857. As his name indicates, Mr. Schmidt is of German origin, his father being Carl F. Schmidt, of Schleswig-Holstein, born April 30, 1828. His grandfather, Fritz Schmidt, was a German school teacher, who in the year 1848 came to America with his five sons of whom Carl was next to eldest. With the idea of engaging in farming they settled in Blue Grass township on land which they purchased from the government, and proceeded to enjoy success in the land of their adoption. This property is still in the possession of the family, Richard Schmidt at the present time residing upon it. When twenty-six years of age Carl Schmidt left the paternal abode and took possession of a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, upon which his son Ludwig was born and which he afterward possessed. In 1855 he married Miss Sophie Moeller and Ludwig is the eldest of the five children born to them. His brothers are Benjamin L. and Franz L. Schmidt, and his sisters Mrs. August F. Martzhahn and Mrs. John Kohrs, all four of whom reside in Davenport. The father died in 1886, but his wife survives him and makes her home with one of her daughters in Davenport.

            When Ludwig Schmidt was about nine years of age his father removed from his farm to the vicinity of Davenport, where in the public schools he with the other children received their education. Upon leaving school he entered upon a life of usefulness by assisting his father, who at that time was conducting a vineyard. After his marriage he took possession of his father’s homestead and is still living amid the associations of he early boyhood.

            When twenty-three years of age Mr. Schmidt was united in marriage to Miss Emma Martzhahn, a daughter of Fritz Martzhahn, of Scott county. Their union has been blessed by the birth of eight children: Fritz C., aged twenty-seven, still at home, Louis, aged twenty-five; Bruno L. and Ella, twins, twenty-three years of age; Sophie, the wife of George Wichmann, of Davenport; Alfreda, aged sixteen; Benno F., aged fourteen; and Minnie, aged twelve.

            Mr. Schmidt is a public-spirited citizen who enjoys the confidence of his fellowmen. He has done efficient public service, having been president of the school board and is now treasurer of the school board of Blue Grass township. Besides his agricultural interests he is a director of the Davenport Slaughtering & Rendering Company; a stockholder in the Blue Grass Savings Bank and the Home Saving Bank of Davenport, and is connected with his brothers’ business, the Schmidt Brothers Ice Shipping Company, of Davenport. 

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann

Colonel Thomas Scott Bio

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

Surnames: Scott, Ryan, McCann, Hewitt, Armond, Winfield, Smith

Colonel Thomas Scott, one of the most honorable and genial business men and popular residents of Davenport, passed away May 26, 1905. He was born in Lawrence county, Ohio, June 3, 1823, and, removing to Indiana, was there married in 1845. He continued his residence in that state until 1857, when he came to Davenport, where he entered the wholesale grocery business as a member of the firm of Ryan, Scott & McCann. Later he engaged in the live stock and commission business and in 1880 removed to Chicago to become a commission merchant in that line at the Union Stock Yards. For seventeen years he successfully conducted business in that city, after which he returned to Davenport in 1897 and lived retired here until called to his final rest. His success was due to his capable management and indefatigable energy. He was one of the twelve organizers of the First National Bank of this city, which was also the first national bank established in the United States. For years he served as one of the directors of the Davenport Savings Bank and his name was ever an honored one in financial circles and on commercial paper.

Prominent in public affairs, he represented the first ward as alderman for several terms and while a member of the city council exercised his official prerogatives in support of many measures and movements for the public good. His political allegiance was given to the republican party, which at one time honored him with the nomination for mayor. He stood as a splendid type of American manhood and citizenship, loyal at all times to his honest convictions and to the best interests of the community at large.

In the family of Colonel and Mrs. Scott were the following children: Mrs. Selinda Hewitt, Mrs. Rachel De Armond, Thomas Winfield, Warren W., Mrs. Cora S. Smith and Charles L.

 Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer

schneckloththos.jpg (76762 bytes)Edward R. Schneckloth Biography

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

  Surnames: Schneckloth, Fink, Horst, Evers, Benadom, Arp, Hill, Stoltenberg.

             Edward R. Schneckloth is numbered among the younger farmers of Scott county who have won success by well directed effort and energy. He is now living on a fine farm of one hundred and twenty acres owned by his mother on section 5, Lincoln township, and pleasantly and conveniently situated about three and a half miles east of Eldridge.

            It was upon this farm that his birth occurred April 7, 1882, his parents being Thomas and Silkie (Fink) Schneckloth, both of whom were natives of Germany. The father, who was born in that country December 2, 1842, came to the United States at the age of nine years with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Schneckloth. They landed at New Orleans and thence made their way up the river to Davenport. Soon afterward they went to Moline, Illinois, where they remained for two months, after which Mr. Schneckloth purchased eighty acres of partially improved land in Scott county and took up his abode thereon. For a long period he continued to engage in tilling the soil and became recognized as one of the representative farmers of the community, but about 1891 retired from active life and removed to Davenport, where both he and his wife passed away.

            Thomas Schneckloth began his education in the schools of Holstein, Germany, and continued his studies after he came to this county with his parents. In the summer months he worked in the fields and throughout his life carried on general farming. He remained upon the old homestead until his death, which occurred June 9, 1901. In the meantime he had added to the boundaries of the original farm by the purchase of an adjoining tract of land of forty acres. He made all of the improvements upon the place, added substantial buildings for the shelter of grain and stock, fenced his fields, brought his land under a high harvesting of crops. He carried on general farming and was also a stockholder in the Farmers Creamery company of Eldridge. His study of the political issues and questions of the day led him to give earnest support to the republican party and his interest in the cause of education prompted his efficient service as school director for many years.

            His wife was born in Holstein, Germany, march 29, 1845. She pursued her education in the fatherland and also in America, coming to the United States when eight years of age with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Fink. They landed at Galveston, Texas, and after a few days went to New Orleans and thence proceeded up the river to Scott county, taking three weeks to make the trip, and then, settling on a tract of land adjoining the Schneckloth place. There Mr. Fink purchased eighty acres, but after farming for twenty years in Scott county he sold his property here and went west, where he purchased one hundred and sixty acres and later two hundred and sixty acres, living there until he was eighty-two years of age. Both he and his wife died in Tama county, Iowa. Their daughter Mrs. Thomas Schneckloth is still living, her home being now in Davenport. By her marriage she became the mother of thirteen children: Theresa, the wife of John Horst, of Lincoln township; Anna, the deceased wife of Christ Evers, of Garwin, Iowa; Henry, who is living in Chicago, Illinois; Gustave and Herman, both deceased; Minnie, the wife of Dr. J. W. Benadom, of Denver, Colorado; Laura, the wife of Adolph P. Arp, of Lincoln township; Adolph, who is living in Davenport, Iowa; Edward, of this review; Adelheit who is living with her mother in Davenport; Arthur, who resides in Eldridge, Iowa; Julius, deceased; an done who died in infancy.

            Throughout his entire life Edward R. Schneckloth has resided upon the farm which is yet his home. He attended district school No. 7 and after acquiring a good practical English education, began devoting his entire time and attention to the work of the fields and in 1907 took charge of the farm. He carries on general agricultural pursuits and the place, with its one hundred and twenty acres of rich land, responds readily to the care and cultivation which he bestows upon it.

            Mr. Schneckloth was married on the 19th of December, 1906, to Miss Laura Hill, who was born in Butler township, this county, and is a daughter of Ernest and Emma (Stoltenberg) Hill, who were early settlers of this county and, like many of the county’s worthy citizens, the father was of German birth. He was born in Holstein, April 20, 1847, and remained in his native land until twenty years of age, when the favorable reports which he heard concerning the new world and its opportunities constituted for him an irresistible attraction, and he crossed the Atlantic, making his way to Scott county, Iowa, where he continued to engage in farming for some time. His wife was born in this county and they are now living in Clinton county, Iowa, being numbered among the representative farming people of that community. They own three hundred acres of land in Orange township.

            The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Schneckloth has been blessed with one child, Lloyd Ernest Thomas, who was born march 8, 1908. Mr. and Mrs. Schneckloth are well known in their community and the hospitality of its best homes is freely accorded them. His stanchest friends are those who have been acquainted with him form his boyhood days, a fact which indicates that his life has been well and honorably spent.

        Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann