1840. GENERAL HISTORY.
In February of this year, when the ice broke loose, it gorged in the islands below, and caused the back water to overflow Front street from Brady up to LeClaire street, running into Second street. The water on the floor of Burrows & Prettyman's store on Front street was about four inches deep. It only remained from 11 o'clock, a. m., until early next morning. The spring was early.
At the April election in the city, Jonathan Parker was elected mayor, John L. Davis. Wm. McCammon, N. Squires, James M. Bowling, W. S. Collins and Samuel Lyter were elrcted aldermen; James Thorington, district clerk; John Evans, treasurer; and L. J. Senter, marshal. The census , taken by the assessor this year, makes the population within the corporate limits to be 1,200 and 1,500 in the township. At the August election, H. Leonard was elected sheriff, Hiram Price, recorder; John Rowser, commissioners' clerk; A. C. Fulton, county commissioner; W. Barrows, surveyor; A. W. McGregor, prosecuting attorney; and J. Thorington, probate judge.
On the 5th of July the first case of cholera made its appearance in the city. Samuel Sloper and Thomas Dillon, two of the pioneer settlers, were stricken down and a general panic seized upon the inhabitants. The epidemic spread; emigrants landed from steamboats with cholera and ship fever and died in considerable numbers.
On the 20th of April of this year A. C. Fulton made a proposition to the city council to grade and fill Front street with adjoining streets and alleys from Rock Island to Ripley streets, for the sum of $4,200, payable in five years, but was refused the contract. On the 25th of May following, he made another proposition to fill and level every street and alley two feet above the level from the east side of Rock Island to Ripley, and as far back from the river as Fourth street, for the sum of $4,200, payable in yearly installments with interest, but was refused. Such were the prudence, caution and fear of indebtedness in the city fathers of that day. This same work has since cost the city more than ten times that amount, under the modern rule and the extravagant progress of the age.
The census was taken this year in June by Jabez A. Birchard, the assessor, and amounted to 4,873 in the county. The report of the county commissioners made the expenditures $2,514.23 and the receipts $5,808.16. D. C. Eldridge again received the appointment of postmaster. Land, at that time, good prairie, could be entered within nine miles of the city.
There were at this time in the city of Davenport twenty-two carpenters, nine stone masons, two stone cutters, five brick makers, six bricklayers, five plasterers, six printers, ten cabinet makers, five chair makers, seven wheelwrights, two coach makers, twelve blacksmiths, fifteen coopers, five saddlers and harness makers, one trunk maker, eight shoemakers, three tin and copper smiths, seven tailors, four engineers, three millers, two sawyers, eight draymen, nine teamsters, three butchers, one dyer and scourer, one gunsmith, one watchmaker, one turner, one baker, one upholsterer, one barber, nine ministers, four physicians, two lawyers, two weekly papers. The public buildings were two steam flouring mills, one steam sawmill, the Iowa college, the Medical college, five schoolhouses, three hotels, two billiard rooms, two coffeehouses, nineteen stores, one public hall, one exchange office, two pork houses, one livery stable and one plow factory.
The commercial business of 1849 may be understood by reference to the following exports of that year, which furnish data from which the increase of business may hereafter be determined:
While the imports for the same time amounted to:
This amount of business may seem meager, but when we consider the difficulties under which we labored at that time, having no railroad nor other communication with distant markets, except St. Louis by the Mississippi river, it was by no means small. We were upon the eve of a brighter destiny, a general prosperity. Our railroad to Chicago had come to be a settled fact, our state had gained noteriety abroad for her genial climate and her rich and valuable lands, and the year 1850 was ushered in with every prospect of better times. The river closed the 27th of November. Population of the county, 5,500. Twenty-two thousand acres of land were entered this year in the county.
1850.-the spring opened early, but was cold and backward. Grass did not start until nearly May. In March of this year Mr. Strong Burnell commenced his steam sawmill, situated on the corner of Front and Scott streets. This was another important improvement and a great acquisition to the business and prosperity of the city. As a mechanic and a man of genius in machinery, Mr. Burnell stands high. He came to Davenport in April, 1839, with a complete outfit of implements and stock for farming. His first summer was spent in breaking prairie, and after farming upon the prairies, he removed into the village, with the conviction that he was not destined for a farmer. He then commenced business in the line of his trade as a carpenter and in 1841 built the brick house that now stands on the southeast corner of Sixth and Brady streets. In 1842 he received the appointment as duputy county surveyor. In the summer of 1844 he built the Congregational church and the same autumn he returned to Massachusetts and remained nearly five years. In 1849 on his return to Davenport, at the earnest solicitation of the citizens of Davenport and with promises of assistance, he commenced his mill, making his own engine at Moline, and in the summer of 1850, with many hard struggles, he got his mill raised and enclosed, the machinery in and in October set it running. It was remodeled soon after and more machinery added, when it ran with much success, clearing the first three and a half years over $24,000. In 1854 the mill was enlarged, more machinery added and a new company formed - Burnell, Gillett & Co. They attached a shingle machine, sash, door and blind factory. It was propelled by two engines of 100 horsepower, employed about ninety hands and made about 50,000 feet of lumber per day. But large investments in the pine regions with borrowed capital, speculations in real estate and bad management of the concern, caused a failure in 1858, and the mill stood idle. Through all the trials and difficulties that Mr. Burnell has been called to pass, he has maintained unswerving principle and stands unimpeached in his moral and Christian character.
In May of this year Mr. LeClaire laid out his fourth addition to the city of Davenport. It extended from the east side of Rock Island street to the west side of Iowa steeet, south of Seventh street to Second. The first district school was opened this year by James Thorington, and the first regular bookstore by W. H. Holmes. The Der Demokrat, a German newspaper, was commenced by Theodore Guelich. M. C. Davis opened the old Pennsylvania House on Second street, below Main.
On the 18th of April the second fire in Davenport took place. The house of Mrs. Dillon was burned. The assessment in June by Jabez A. Birchard, Esq., showed a valuation of taxable property to be $75,000. Dr. James Hall was mayor of the city, with the same officers of the year before. The August election reuslted in the election of Wm. E. Leffingwell for the senate; Laurel Summers to the house; J. Thorington, clerk of district ocourt; A. W. McGregor, prosecuting attorney, and John W. Wiley, county commissioner. The supposed population of the city on the 1st of September was 2,000. One hundred new houses were erected in the city during this year and 22,041 acres of land entered in the county at the land office in Iowa City. The subject of bridging the Mississippi river at this point was also agitated this year. Scott county subscribed $75,000 to the stock in the Chicago and Rock Island railroad. Business men, merchants, mechanics, professional men and others began to settle here.
1851.-In February of this year, on petition of citizens of Davenport, the legislature granted a new city charger. There was much opposition to it at the charter election and it succeeded by a vote of only twenty-six majority. Charles Weston, Esq., was elected mayor at the same election; Leonard Wygant and Dr. Barrows, S. N. Squires, E. Cook and H. Price, aldermen. At the August election William Burris was elected county judge, and Harvey Leonard sheriff. The fore part of the season this year was very wet. An unusual amount of rain fell; crops were backward. Immigration continued to come in slowly, composed mostly of those who designed settlement. Much prairie was broken this year and considerable improvement made in the county. Immigration increased over all former times. In July over 300 landed at one time from the steamer Wyoming, all intending to settle in Scott county.
The cholera was very bad this year. About thirty of the citizens and many immigrants died. The LeClaire foundry was started this year in June, and another steam sawmill, called "Howard's Mill," in the lower part of the city. Davenport now had two steam sawmills and two steam flouring mills. Pork was worth from $2.50 to $3.00 a hundred. The new stone Catholic church was built this year, the LeClaire House enlarged, and Cook & Sargent's new brick exchange office was erected on the corner of Main and Second streets. A large number of private dwellings were built. Merchants and mechanics had sought homes here until houses were so scarce that many left the city for want of room.
The pork market opened this fall at high rates, $4 a hundred for good hogs. In October of this year East Davenport was laid out into lots and the present village commence. In November William Russell, of St. Louis, commenced purchasing property here, which gave the first raise in property that afrerward attained to such extravagant prices.
The city at this date contained about forty-five stores. Cook & Sargent's addition to the town of Davenpot was made this year. The river closed on the 16th of December. Population of the city, 3,000. Nine steam establishments were now in operation in the city. Over three hundred houses were built this season, and there were nine organized churches and six church buildings in the city at the close of the year. Coates & Davis' planing mill was built and Christie's mill at East Davenport was also erected this year and the first wholesale grocery was established by S. Hirschl. The Second Baptist church was organized.
1852.-On the 22d of February Mr. LeClaire laid out his fifth addition to the city of Davenport, containing one tier of blocks between Iowa and LeCalire street below Seventh to Second. The river opened this year on the 4th of March. The ice had broken up several times, gorged and stopped. Boats were in waiting to come up and down for some days, the river being clear of ice above and below. On the 3d of April snow fell to the depth six or eight inches, followed by sleet which weighed down the branches of the trees with ice until many limbs were borken. On the 5th of April, 1851, similar snow and sleet fell, followed by disagreeable cold weather.
On the 15th of April the first immigrants arrived and were followed by large numbers both by land and water.
On the 5th of May the corner stone of Trinity church was laid on the corner of Fifth and Rock Island streets, by Bishop Kemper. There was some cholera this year. The steam ferryboat was put in operation this year by John Wilson, so long and favorably known as the ferryman between the two cities. Population in the city at the close of the year, 3,000. J. M. Cannon's sawmill built. John F. Jordan, mayor; A. F. Mast, clerk; Samuel Parker, marshal; William VanTuyl, treasurer; aldermen, H. Leonard, Weigand, Squires, J. P. Cook, H. Price and Bechtel.
1853.-This year a county poorhouse was built by Judge Burris five miles from the city, on the road to Dubuque, the county having purchased eighty acres of land for that purpose. Pork on the first of January was worth from $5.50 to $6.00 a hundred.
The Mississippi and Missouri Railroad company was organized with a capital stock of $6,000,000, the corporation to continue fifty years from date. On the 1st of September, the ceremony of breaking ground on the road took place. It was a day full of interest to the people of Davenport. Many of the old citizens, who had for years been living on in hope and confidence, now began to feel all their most sanguine wishes gratified. The Rock Island and Chicago road was near completion and the first locomotive was soon expected to stand upon the banks of the Mississippi river, sending its shrill whistle across the mighty stream and longing for its westward flight across the prairies of Iowa. The occasion was one of universal rejoicing. A great and important object had been accomplished for our city, our county and our state. As Mr. LeClaire, who was selected to perform the ceremony of removing the first ground, came forward pulling off his coat and, taking the wheelbarrow and spade, he was greeted by a most tremendous and hearty cheer. The ceremony took place near the corner of Fifth and Rock Island streets. A large procession was formed of citizens, Odd Fellows and musicians. The dinner was served at the LeClaire House by Mr. Lowery and the occasion was one long to be remembered. A vote was taken in September in regard to the county taking stock in the road. There were but 309 votes cast, and out of these but two were against subscribing to the stock. Th amount taken by the city was $75,000, by the county $50,000, and $100,000 by individual subscription.
The LeCalire foundry was burned in August. An express and telegraph office was opened this year. The population in the city was 4,500. The sixth addition to the city of Davenport by Mr. LeClaire was made this autumn, extending from LeClaire street to Farnam, south of Seventh to the river.
The city officers elected this year were: John A. Boyd, mayor; R. K. Allen, clerk; D. Samuel Parker, marshal; J. Drake, treasurer. The aldermen were: A. Weigand, John Weeks, John P. Cook, Joseph Kingerlee, Hiram Price and William Gray. The progress of the city was rapid. The immigration continued with but little abatement and the city and county filled up with many enterprising citizens, and we began to assume the appearance of a real city in form and fact.
1854.-On the 22d of February of this year the long contemplated railroad from Chicago to Rock Island was completed and by it the Atlantic and Mississippi were united. As it might well be expected, it was a day of jubilee to the residents of the upper Mississippi. For years the more enterprising had looked forward to the time when we should be placed in connection by a railway with the east. For years had the settlers been dependent upon the river navigation for all their commercial wants and had been subject to long and tedious routes to the Atlantic seaboard. It was no wonder, then, that it was a day of general rejoicing. I can no better represent the occasion than by copying an article from the Chicago Press on that occasion:
"On Wednesday last, the 22d inst., that event looked forward to for years with so much interest by our citizens-the connection of the Mississippi with Lake Michigan by a continuous line of railroad-was consummated. The honor of arriving first at this goal belongs to the Chicago & Rock Island road-an honor by the way well worthy of the herculean efforts which have been made to achieve it. In February, 1851, the legislature chartered a company. In October of the same year, the contract for its construction and equipment was taken. In April, 1852, the first estimate for work upon it was paid and in February, 1854, three years from its charter and twenty-two months after ground had been broken upon it, the work is completed, and cars are running daily its entire length, 181 miles! This is certainly a proud monument to all who have been instrumental in pushing the work forward to completion, and especially so to those sagacious and energetic men who have had it in special charge, Messrs. Sheffield and Farnam."
During this winter there was but little snow and no rain. The weather was mild, the atmosphere pure and clear, roads good and business lively in our streets. The average temperature by the termometer was but eleven and a half degrees, while in 1851 it was twenty degrees; in 1852 it was fifteen and a half, and in 1853 it was twenty and two-thirds degrees. In 1851, the mercury fell below zero five times. In 1852 it fell four times; in 1853, it fell but once, and in 1854 it fell five times. In January, pork was $3.75 a hundred; flour, $5, and wheat, 65 cents for spring, and winter 75 cents. In February, flour advanced to $6 and $6.50.
The year 1854 was one of the most distinguished and busy years in the existence of Davenport. The foundations of her prosperity were laid this year. The immense immigration that had settled in the county for the two years previous now began to exhibit the fruits of their industry. The city had kept pace with the back country in her improvements, and added to her population 3,000, while the county contained about 15,000. The onward progress of both city and county for three years had been such that all looked for better times. The "great river" was to be spanned this year by a bridge! The increase of population created a great demand for dwelling houses, stores and workshops. Labor of all kinds was in demand. The railroad westward was to go on with increased exertions. Money began to be plenty. Immigration began to pour in at the opening of spring and the streets of Davenport seemed thronged with strangers. Material for building was scarce. There was but little or no seasoned lumber in the city. All lumber for building had to be ordered at the mills or shipped from other ports. Rents began to be scarce and high, and families who had been the occupants of spacious dwellings in other places were now crowded into small apartments until new ones could be built.
This year the LeClaire row was finished and also the block from Main to Brady streets. Witherwax & Orr's building was completed, the Second Baptist church erected, and the Ladies' college built by T. H. Codding, Esq. The Davenport Commercial, a newspaper, was started by N. H. Parker. The first extensive wholesale iron and hardware store was opened by T. Close & Co. Daily lines of stages began to run to Iowa City, Tipton and Cedar Rapids. Another foundry was started by Davis, Boyd & Co.; Renwick & Son built their sawmill. The Davenport Gaslight & Coke company was organized. Luse & Coles opened the first exclusive job and printing office in the city. Hildreth & Dallon's steam flouring mill at East Davenport was put in operation this year.
We had been placed in direct communication with the east by railroad and telegraph. On the 1st of September the corner stone was laid of the bridge, which aroused the jealousy of St. Louis that had heretofore enjoyed unmolested the commerce of the great west. And not only had the company to contend with St. Louis, that seemed to think that she had indisputable right to all the commerce of the upper Mississippi unmolested, but obstacles were thrown in the way by those who were in power by ordering the United States marshal to prevent all operations on the island, probably for fear that a bridge across the Mississippi at this point would interfere with the prospect of a "Southern Pacific Railroad." Congress had made appropriations for removing obstructions in the rapids of the Mississippi river at this place. The surveys of the channel had been made and the contracts let.
On the 20th of June Mr. LeClaire laid out his seventh addition to the city of Davenport, extending from Rock Island street to Farnam, north of Seventh and south of Ninth street. Hon. James Grant was mayor; B. B. Woodward, clerk; L. J. Senter, marshal; L. B. Collamer, treasurer. The aldermen were, H. Wilhelm, G. G. Arndt, Charles J. H. Eyser, E. A. Gerdtzen, B. Atkinson, D. P. McKown, H. H. Snith, E. Cook, Wm. Burris, and A. A. McLoskey. Four hundred houses were erected this year.
1855.-The year 1855 was but continuation and a carrying out of the plans in progres sof 1854. Emigration increased. Rents were high and houses scarce. Six hundred houses were erected. The imports on the 1st of February amounted to 830 hogsheads and 637 barrels of sugar; molasses, 1,842 barrels; 473 barrels of vinegar; 4,126 barrels of salt; 292 barrels of cement, 470 sacks of salt; 1,248 sacks of coffee; 1,175 sacks of dried fruit, and 1,000 barrels of apples. The exports amounted to 30,000 bushels of wheat, 40,700 bushels of barley, 60,000 bushels of corn, 29,000 bushels of potatoes, 21,000 bushels of onions, 30,150 barrels of flour, 800 barrels of pork and 300 barrels of lard. The population at this time in the city was 7,000; in the county, 15,000.
At this time Davenport ranked with any city in Iowa in a commercial point of view as well as for beauty of location. The facilities for shipping had greatly enhanced the value of produce. Farmers were encouraged and great efforts made in agriculture. A large sum of money was expended in the improvement of the rapids by the government and the building of the bridge across the Mississippi river. These were some of the principal causes that led to the sudden rise in real estate at this time and which caused large investments in the city and county. The immediate construction of the railroad west seemed certain and land was sought after along its route at extravagant prices. Although money was plenty it commanded high rates of interest for investments in lands and improvements in the city.
The east end of the LeClaire block was finished this year. Many beautiful residences were built upon the bluffs. Among them were Messrs. Price's, Dillon's and Dessaint's. The George L. Davenport block on the corner of Main and Second streets and several steam manufactories were erecred. The city limits were enlarged so as to include North Davenport. At the city election in April Enos Tichenor was elected mayor; B. B. Woodward, clerk; Samuel Parker, marshal; William VanTuyl, treasurer. Alderman; G. G. Arndt, G. C. R. Mitchell, E. A. Gerdtzen, Charles J. H. Eyser, D. P.McKown, Austin Corbin, E. Cook, H. Price, A. A. McLoskey, A. H. Owens, Joseph Lambrite, Samuel Saddoris. The population in March of this year was estimated at 8,000. Upon the passage of the prohibitory liquor law in April by a vote of the people of the county there were 1,977 votes polled. A temperance ticket was formed at the August election at which 1,851 votes were polled in the county. William L. Cook was elected county judge; Harvey Leonard, sheriff; James McCosh, recorder.
The total receipts into the treasury ending March 17, 1856, were $41,178.31 and total expenditures, $40, 586.50, leaving a balance in the treasury of $591.81. The county at this date owned as assets $59,400 worth of stock in the Rock Island & Chicago railroad and $75,000 in the Mississippi and Missouri railroad, while at the same time their liabilities were: For subscription to $125,000 worth of stock in the Mississippi and Missouri railroad and $4,431.65 interest money on the same.
The amount of taxable property in the county by assessment was $4,480,000.
1856.-Crops of all kninds were abundant this year and commanded a good price. The lumber trade had become very extensive. The sales in this city alone this year amounted to upwards of 17,420,000 feet, and nearly 7,000,000 of lath. Ten million feet of lumber were manufactured in the city. The balance came from Chicago or was rafted down the river. Twenty thousand, eight hundred hogs were packed and over 450,000 bushels of wheat were purchased in our market. On the 21st of April the first locomotive came across the bridge. LeClaires' eighth addition to the city of Davenport was laid out on the 26th of March of this year. It extended from Perry street to Farnam, all lying north of Ninth street to the line of "LeClaires's reserve."
At the city election in April, G. C. R. Mitchell was elected mayor; William Hall, clerk; Samuel Sylvester, treasurer, and John H. Taylor, marshal. The aldermen were James O'Brien, John Schutt, C. I. H. Eyser, A. Smallfield, Austin Corbin, James M. Bowling, Hiram Price, John Forrest, Wm. S. Kinsey, S. K. Barkley, Samuel Saddoris, Joseph Lambrite. At the August election N. J. Rusch was elected to the state senate, and Messrs. Rogers, Wing and Barner, representatives. J. W. Stewart was elected prosecuting attorney and J. D. Patton, clerk of district court. A vote was taken and carried for a convention to form a new state constitution and George W. Ells was elected delegate. The year ended in the full tide of commerce, speculation and excitement.
1857.-At the spring election, Gen. G. B. Sargent was elected mayor; H. W. Mitchell, marshal; John Johns, police magistrate; E. Peck, clerk; Samuel Sylvester, treasurer. The alderman elect were: J. M. Cannon, A. Jennings, H. Ramming, Theodore Guelich, J. M. Bowling, Austin Corbin, John Forrest, J. C. Washburn, James O'Brien, George Hubbell (vice A. LeClaire, resigned), Wm. Guy, I. H. Sears. There was also at the same election a vote taken for and against licensing the sale of spirituous liquors and 398 majority against it.
At the August election Charles Weston was elected judge; James McCosh, treasurer and recorder; Harvey Leonard, sheriff; W. P. Campbell, surveyor; and William Effey, coroner. A vote was taken also and carried by 119 majority for a tax to be levied for building a courthouse and city hall, but the work has never been commenced. At the general election in October there were 3,121 votes cast. N. J. Rusch was elected to the state senate; John W. Thompson, B. F. Gue and Robert Scott to the house. G. C. R. Mitchell was an independent candidate for district judge and was elected. In our city affairs everything seemed prosperous. The opening of our railroad, the constructing of the bridge across the Mississippi, the public expenditures upon the rapids, all had a tendency to invite strangers to our city. Money was plenty; investments of all kinds were made; merchants and mechanics were all busy and the laboring man found ready employment at good wages. The public works upon our streets, the building of Metropolitan hall, by R. B. Hill, Esq., the erection of the banking house of Cook & Sargent, and the private residence of E. Cook, Esq., the engine house and numerous other private and public buildings scarcely inferior to any in the west, all combined to draw men and means to this city. Improvements beyond all former years were begun and carried to completion. From the 1st of August, 1856, to the close of this year, 1857, over 1,300 houses were erected within the corporate limits of this city.
Gen. Sargent, the mayor, in his inaugural recommended the most extensive if not the most extravagant improvements. Among which were the grading and filling a steamboat landing, the grading and filling of Brady street, the same between Harrison and Brady, the macadamizing of the levee, the construction of water works for the use of the city, fire engines and apparatus with engine house; stock taken in the "Davenport Gaslight & Coke company," the streets lighted with gas, a city hospital and a city prison, a city hall, and other improvements in the city. Elections were held, loans voted for and the bonds of the city issued and sold. Appropriations were made for many of these improvements.
At the close of 1857 two miles of street had been macadamized, four and a half miles of gas pipe had been laid and over 250 street lamps erected and thirteen miles of sidewalk laid. In this estimate none of the improvements made extended to East or North Davenport, except Brady street to Locust. All other improvements in these two places have been made since. The sidewalks now laid in the city extend over twenty miles. About 1,000 houses were erected.
From the treasurer's report rendered the 31st of March there appears a nominal balance in the treasury of $44,778.15. We here append the report in order to exhibit at this date the financial condition of the city.
CITY TREASURER'S REPORT.
Abstract of Receipts
ABSTRACT OF EXPENDITURES.
SCHEDULE OF PROPERTY BELONGING TO THE CITY OF DAVENPORT, MARCH 31, 1857.
The assessed property of the city at this time amounted to $5,225,091. Such had been the increase since 1851 when it amounted to only $100,000.00. The population had increased to 18,000; real estate had steadily risen to "New York prices," and all the elements of prosperity seemed sure and lasting. The year was one of uncommon energy and life. But few that desired business or labor could be found out of employment.
Some dissatisfaction arose among the residents and owners of property on Fifth street on account of the non-fulfillment of the contract on the part of the Mississippi and Missouri railroad to grade and pave the street for the right of way. This was agitated and the mayor recommended the city council to prosecute the railroad comapny without delay, and suit was ordered, when the company offered $50,000 in their bonds issued upon the third division of their road west for a release of their contract. To the astonishment of parties interested the proposition was accepted by the council and the railroad company was released. Since which time suit has been brought to invalidate the acts, not only of the council who granted the right of way to the company, but to the council of 1857 who released them from their contract. A late decision of the supreme court of Iowa in a case where the city of Dubuque brought suit against the proprietor of an adjacent lot for digging out into the street in order to make a coal or wood scuttle decided "that the fee in the public have a fee in the highway only for its use as a highway and that corporations have no such interest in the streets as will empower them to use or permit them to be used for any other purposes than a highway."
We copy from the annual report of the board of trade in this city the following statistics showing the progress of business, in the different branches of trade up to the close of the year:
"The footings in some of the principal branches of trade for the year ending December 31, 1857, show an aggregate in the same of $14,485,812.24. Of this amount
$8,539,744.28 has been banking and exchange;
2,628,602.57, sales of merchandise;
1,158,000.00, sales of grain and provisions;
853,000.00, sales of consignments and forwarding;
751,059.00, manufacturing, not estimated in sales;
450,029.00, freight and cartage;
555,406.39, lumber, doors, sash, etc.
The banking department shows an aggregate of $6,616,737.34 for exchange, and $1,923,006.94 for discounts.
The sales of merchandise, together with the stock on hand show as follows:
"Owing to the monetary difficulties which came upon us so suddenly in October there has been a falling off in all branches of trade. In no department have the figures been so affected as in banking. During sixty of the last ninety days exchange has not been procurable at any price or under any circumstances except in very small sums. Notwithstanding this our local business had suffered far less diminution than was at first apprehended.
"Careful inquiries have developed the fact beyond dispute that during the last few months we have had important accessions to our trade from various sections of the country hitherto tributary to other points. It is presuming very little to say that the acquaintances thus formed cannot but result mutually and advantageously. Whether the first introduction was the result of purely superior inducements in stock and prices which our merchants are ever ready to offer, or more directly the effect of the local currency that has been so exclusively the agent of our transactions, is not left for decision here, and indeed it is no matter, having gained so much of a point, it only remains to retain it.
"The high price of exchange has operated more manifestly upon the stocks of grocers, in the articles of coffee, sugar and molasses, and has maintained the price of these articles at quoations much above the ordinary margin between this and eastern and southern markets. The indications being favorable for a speedy equalization of funds, we may reasonably hope for an improvement in these articles and a corresponding increase of sales of the same. The estimates of grain and provisions exhibit as follows:
"Of the wheat received during the comprised period there were manufactured into flour, 879,000 barrels.
"The number of hogs packed at this point was 13,000. The estimated value of the same, after allowing for the wheat, etc., manufactured is $1,158,000.
"The commission and forwarding business with an aggregate of $353,000 shows an advance for freight and charges of $150,000.
"The following list of different branches of manufactures shows for
"There are few points in the west where the manufacture of flour is more largely engaged in.
"The value of this department alone approximates $1,000,000, while the brands of the different mills enjoy an enviable reputation in foreigh markets."
1858.-The Pioneer Settlers' association of Scott county was organized in January and its first festival held at the Burtis House on the 22d of February. It was decidedly the greatest occasion of the season. Some time during the month of December, 1857, a call was made through the city papers for all the old settlers of Scott county who had become residents prior to the 31st of December, 1840, to meet at LeClaire hall on the 23d of January, 1858. In answer to this call about sixty were present. The meeting was called to order by D. C. Eldridge, Esq., one of the first settlers of the county, and E. Cook, Esq., was elected chairman and John L. Coffin, secretary of the meeting. At this meeting an association was formed, a preamble and resolutions were passed and Antoine LeClaire elected the first president. At a second meeting on the 30th of January a constitution and by-laws for the society were presented, approved and adopted, and the Pioneer Settlers' association was duly organized. The constitution provides for an annual festival to be held on the 22d of February of each year, the first of which came off at the Burtis House on the 22d of that month. It was an occasion of deep interest to the old settlers who have braved the storms of many winters and for long years of poverty and exile watched with anxiety the slow but sure results of their trials and hardships. The honor of dedicationg the spacious building in which the festival was held was conferred upon the association, and the most magnificent entertainment was prepared by Dr. Burtis, the proprietor, that probably ever graced a table in the city of Davenport. The meeting was a happy one to all parties. The number present on the occasion including invited guests, composed of the press and clergy, was not far from 800. It was a gathering such as never had been seen before this side of the Mississippi river. The Hon. John P. Cook delivered the annual address. A gold headed cane, made from a native growth of hickory was presented to the president by the Hon. John F. Dillon, as insignia of his office, with the name of the society and its frist president engraved upon it.
It was a noble sight to look upon, as the vast assembly were gathered in the spacious dining hall where the greetings took place. None but those present can ever realize the scenes of that interview. There was no loud and boisterous mirth, but a still, subdued hum of voices that told the deep and silent thought.
The aged pioneer was there with his whitened locks and bowed head, and as the earnest gaze, the familiar nod, the grasping hand were passed from one to another the silent tear would trickle down the furrowed cheek unforbidden. The weary soldiers wept that night. It was manliness to weep. The battles had been fought, the victory won, and as the pioneer fathers and mothers met, after years of toil and separation, it was meet that their tears and their sympathies should mingle at one common altar, as they recounted the trials and hardships through which they had passed and called to remembrance the name of some loved one who in the "heat and burden of the day" had been laid away in earth's last resting place.
The rich repast was served, speeches were made, toasts drunk until a late hour when the gathering broke up. Long will the first meeting of the Pioneer Settlers' association be remembered. Friends met on this occasion that had not seen each other for twenty years. Many came from the adjoining counties and states who had been absent for years and could scarcely recognize the once little village of Davenport.
The second festival was held in 1859 at the Burtis House, and the reunion was pleasant and aggreeable, answering the most sanguine expectations of the association. A. LeClaire was still the president. The annual address was delivered by W. Barrows. The attendance was not so large as the year previous, but was a very happy meeting for the pioneers.
The year opened with the financial crisis close upon us. The east was but slowly recovering from a severe commercial panic and looked upon the west with suspicion. Eastern capitalists had invested largely here and some of them had purchased at unwarranted rates during the inflated prices of real estate. Merchants and manufacturers, who had been doing business on borrowed capital at high rates of interest, found themselves suddenly bankrupt. The farming portions of the county were brought to a sudden stand by the loss of their crops. Many of them had borrowed money to invest in lands at ruinous rates of interest and not having any products from their land, much distress ensued among that class.
At the April county election A. S. Kissell was elected county superintendent of schools. At the Octover election Ira M. Gifford was elected clerk of the district court. Thirty-four hundred and fifteen votes were polled in the county. In December an election was held to vote for or against a loan and a tax to build the Cedar Valley railroad, which was carried by a good majority, but an injunction was issued against issuing the bonds of the county. At the same election a loan and tax were voted for and carried to build a railroad from Davenport to LeClaire. Also a tax of one mill on the dollar for making and repairing bridges.
The city election resulted in the choice of Hon. Ebenezer Cook for mayor; John Bechtel, marshal; Lorenzo Schricker, treasurer; and Hallet Kilbourn, clerk. The aldermen were, J. M. Cannon, I. P. Coates, Theodore Guelich, Henry Ramming, Austin Corbin, James Mackintosh, Thomas H. Morley, John C. Washburn, George E. Hubbell, James O'Brien, Robert Christie, and I. H. Sears. This year was one of much financial distress. Money became very scarce and agricultural products failed. For the census returns of the year 1858, we clip the following from the Davenport Gazette, of June 9, 1859, as furnished by Mr. Gifford, clerk of the district court:
Census for Scott County.-We are indebted to Mr. Gifford for the census returns for the county for 1858 from which we learn that the total population was: Males, 13,507; females, 12,344; total, 25,861. Number entitled to vote, 5,108; of militia, 5,501; of foreigners not naturalized, 1,751; between the ages of 5 and 21 years, 7,859. Whole number of dwelling houses, 4,998; against 1,386, as reported by the census of 1856. Number of acres of improved land, 124,499, against 74,226 of 1856, and increse of over 50,000. This leaves 48,171 acres in our county unimproved.
"A new feature presented by this census report over that of 1856 is the number of acres, 46, devoted to sorghum, and the quantity of molasses manufactured, 3,005 gallons. The present year will see a vast increase in this article. Another new production introduced since the last census returns is that of Hungarian grass. Last season there were 461 acres sown in our country, producing 1,111 tons of hay. Last season there were 7,862 acres in meadow, against 3,628 in 1856, and 15,847 tons of hay produced, against 8,514 and 904 bushels of grass seed, against 372 in 1856. Acres in orchard, 970; fruit produced valued at $9,122.
"Number of acres of spring wheat, 47,278, against 23,661 in 1856. Yet in the former year, owing to the failure of the crops, only 336,166 bushels were harvested, whereas in 1856 the yield was 536,621 bushels, an average of nearly twenty-three bushels to the acre. This shows something of the productiveness of the soil of Scott county. Very little winter wheat was harvested in our county last year. Of oats, there were 10,780 acres sown, against 5,218 in 1856; yet last year there were only 73,843 bushels produced, while the yield in 1856 was 179,896 bushels, an average of almost thirty-five bushels to the acre. Of corn, there were 23,068 acres planted, against 15,703 in 1856, but, owing to the same cause, the yield last year was only 664,243 bushels, against 780,787 in 1856. Potatoes, 2,437 acres; yield, 101,417 bushels. In 1856 there were only 1,053 acres planted in potatoes, while the produce was 128,392 bushels, or an average of about 122 to the acre. Last year there were 5,568 hogs sold, valued at $36,397; and 1,807 head of cattle, valued at $45,367; 2,049 pounds of wool were produced, 247,096 pounds of butter and 14,072 pounds of cheese made.
"The census returns for 1858 show a rapid advance in Scott county and an increase in all the mediums for augmenting her productions. Pleasant Vally township shows the heaviest farm productions of any in the county. Last season her farmers put ninety-four acres in onions which, notwithstanding the failure of the corps, produced 13,814 bushels, an average of over 157 bushels to the acre, valued at $6,987. Davenport, according to the census, shows a population of 15,190, with 2,888 voters, 3,048 dwelling houses.
"The following is the population and the number of voters in each precinct of the county: Liberty, 540 citizens, 121 voters: Blue Grass, citizens 972, voters 185; Rockingham, citizens, 358, voters 79; LeClaire, citizens, 2,564, voters, 565; Cleona, citizens 204, voters 47; Buffalo, citizens 962, voters 172; Pleasant Valley, citizens, 727, voters, 164; Winfield, citizens, 1,667, voters, 272; Hickory Grove, citizens 909, voters 189; princeton, citizens 1,319, voters 301; Allen's Grove, citizens 449, voters 105."
1859.-At the city election this spring, Ebenezer Cook was reelected mayor; Lorin C. Burwell, clerk; John Bechtel, marshal; Lorenzo Schricker, treasurer; John Johns, police magistrate; James T. Lane, city attorney; Edwin Baker, street commissioner; R. A. O'Hea, city engineer; Robert M. Littler, chief engineer of the fire department; aldermen, T. H. Morley, H. B. Evans, James Mackintosh, H. Ramming, J. P. Ankerson, H. Andresen, T. J. Holmes, I. P. Coates, J. A. LeClaire, James O'Brien, C. A/ Haviland and Robert Christie.
The October election resulted in returning John W. Thompson to the state senate; W. H. F. Gurley, B. F. Gue, and James Quinn, representatives; Rufus Linderman, county judge; James Thorington, sheriff; James McCosh, treasurer and recorder; Thomas J. Saunders, superintendent of public instruction; Wm. P. Campbell, county surveyor; Dr. J. W. H. Baker, coroner, and H. S. Finley, drainage commissioner.
The times still continued hard with but little money in circulation. A partial failure in the crops this year did add much to the financial distress of the country. A large amount of grain was sown and much exertion made among farmers to raise a large crop, but the early drouth blasted the wheat and the crop was not more than half the usual quantity.
We can no better represent the wholesale trade of Davenport at the present time than by copying the following article from the Davenport Gazette of November 30:
"Perhaps few of the people of this vicinity are fully aware of the extent and value of the wholesale trade of this city. We, who have pretty good chances to be posted, cannot give the figures, but certain it is that load after load of dry goods, groceries and all articles usually kept in country stores are purchased and shipped from our merchants to their customers in the towns and villages of the interior of the state and into the counties of Illinois adjacent to Rock Island. This trade has silently but steadily increased and Davenport is being looked upon by every city and village in Iowa as the emporium of trade, and from her advantage of location, etc., bids fair to be to Iowa what Chicago is to Illinois, St. Louis to Missouri and Cincinnati to Ohio. The establishments of Joshua Burr, McCarn & Coates, Evans, Chew & Col. Burrows, Prettyman & Dalzell, Alvord & VanPatten, T. H. Morley & Co., T. H. McGhee, Haight & Sears, T.. J. Beckey, J. C. Washburn, Smith & Remington, Stevenson & Carnahan, Eldridge & Williams, Wm. Inslee & Co., C. T. Webb, George W. Ells & Co., Miner, Haskell & Co., in their respective kinds of trade, have from industrious efforts, fair dealings and the keeping of the well-assorted stocks secured such patronage from country dealers as to afford the most gratifying evidence of the permanent growth of our young city. On Saturday last, accompanied by an acquaintance who for a number of years has been engaged in the wholesale trade east and who has been on a business tour to the towns on the upper Mississippi, we visited a number of our leading concerns and were gratified to hear our eastern friend express the opinion that our city was certainly enjoying as large a share of business prosperity as any town he had visited on the river. The wholesale dry goods house of Miner, Haskell & Co., corner of Front and Perry streets, is a concern that would compare creditably with the majority of the jobing houses in the eastern cities. We were shown through the establishment, which occupies four large rooms, all of which were well stocked with every kind of dry goods suitable for this market. The stock on hand is estimated at $80,000, to which additions are made monthly from the importers and from extensive factories of the eastern states. Messrs. Miner & Brother, the original firm, commenced business in this city in March, 1857. Their first year's sales were $94,000, which was pretty fair for strangers. The second year, which was one of the hardest for wholesale trade ever known in the west, their sales amounted to $104,000. From the commencement of the third year to the present time, a period of scarcely nine months, they have reached $110,000. We have merely alluded to this firm as an illustration of what one wholesale business house can do, to show something of what is being done here in the way of wholesaling. When our facilities of intercourse with the interior are increased, the wholesale trade of Davenport will be augmented proportionally. But few men seem to be aware of the extent of this trade. We shall make this better known in future articles."
BRIDGE ACROSS THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER.
On the 17th day of January, 1853, an act was passed by the general assembly of the state of Illinois entitled, "An Act to Incorporate a Bridge Company by the Title Herein Named," of which Joseph H. Sheffield, Henry Farnam, J. A. Matteson and N. B. Judd were the sole incorporators. This company was incorporated for the purpose of constructing a railroad bridge across the Mississippi river, connecting the Chicago & Rock Island railroad at Rock Island, Illinois, with the Mississippi & Missouri railroad at Davenport, Iowa. Who was the author of the grand project of spanning this majestic river with such a noble work of art is unknown to the writer. The capital stock was $400,000, raised on 400 bonds of $1,000 each, the payment of which was guaranteed by the Chicago & Rock Island Railroad company and the Mississippi & Missouri Railroad company. The work of location and construction commenced in the spring of 1854, under Henry Farnam as chief engineer, and John B. Jarvis as consulting engineer. B. B. Brayton of Davenport, had charge of the work as resident engineer. The cornerstone of the first pier erected at said bridge was laid in the presence of a large number of citizens of Rock Island and Davenport, Hon. Joseph Knox, Ebenezer Cook, George E. Hubbell and others making appropriate remarks on the occasion. By the spring of 1856 the entire work was completed and attracted the attention of travelers, historians and scholars from every part of the country. It was deemed a great triumph of art, a noble achievement of enterprise, to connect the eastern and western banks of this old Father of Waters with a continuous railway over which the products of Iowa might roll onward to eastern markets without delay.
This bridge is 1,580 feet long and thirty feet high across the Mississippi to the island and 450 feet across the slough from the island to the Illinois shore. The entire cost of both bridges and the railroad connecting them across the island was about $400,000.
The number of boats that passed throught he draw during the year 1857 was 1,024, and the number of rafts during the same time was 594. On the 6th of May, 1856, a large and splendid steamboat called the Effie Afton, while attempting to pass the Rock Island draw of the bridge in a gale of wind was thrown against the draw-pier and rebounding, swung around the stone pier east of the draw and the smoke pipes coming in contact with the superstructure were thrown down, setting fire to the boat in several places. She stuck fast under the bridge and the flames from the boat ignited the framework of the bridge and burned off the end of the span which fell and with the burning hull of the boat floated three-quarters of a mile down the river. During the summer and fall of 1856 this burned span was constructed anew.
The accident of the Effie Afton was the signal for the bursting forth of the long suppressed wrath of the citizens of St. Louis who had from the commencement of the project placed every obstruction in the way of the erection of the bridge and deemed it as the beginning of a series of similar structures over the Mississippi river at various points, tending to divert from St. Louis the commerce which formerly followed this natural highway from St. Paul southward. At the instigation of the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce, the owners of the Effie Afton commenced a suit in Chicago against the bridge company for damages to recover the value of the lost boat, but the jury failing to agree the suit was abandoned. But the St Louis merchants fancied that they saw certain ruin to their previous monopoly of the river trade if the bridge remained, and the Chamber of Commerce of that city procured the services of Josiah W. Bissell, a quondam civil engineer of Rochester, New York, to undertake the task of procuring testimony sufficient to authorize the courts to declare the bridge a material obstruction to navigation, and therefore a nuisance which could be legally abolished. They found Bissell a ready instrument for the undertaking and raised from time to time $37,000 to aid him in hthis enterprise.
On the 19th of August, 1858, James Ward, at the instance of Bissell, made his application to the United States District court at Burlington for an order of the court declaring the bridge a nuisance. Hall, Harrington & Hall, Starr, Phelps & Robinson and T. D. Lincoln acted as attorneys for the complainant and the Hon. N. B. Judd and J. T. Londley for the bridge company. An indefinite number of ex parte affidavits accompanied the application and were met by affidavits on the part of the defendant. The final hearing of the cause was postponed to Septerber, 1859. In the meantime Bissell was engaged creating public opinion on the river among pilots, captains and boat owners antagonistic to the birdge, and procuring depositions tending to show the bridge a material obstruction to navigation.
In the first part of June, 1859, some malicious persons attempted the destruction of the bridge by fire. A large quantity of lath, oakum, rosin, sulphur, tar, turpentine, saltpeter and oil were placed upon the bridge on the second span from the Iowa shore at about 12 o'clock in the night, and a few moments before it was ready for firing it was discovered by the watchman and a skiff with the incendiaries in it shoved off down the river and escaped in the darkness. No clue was obtained as to the criminals.
In September the case of James Ward versus the Mississippi and Missouri railroad was heard and finally submitted to the United States District court of Keokuk. In November, 1859, New Orleans voted to raise $50,000 to aid St. Louis in destroying the bridge as it was justly deemed a pioneer which if permitted to stand would ultimately cause others to be erected over this river and divert commerce toward the East. But though the struggle is fierce and waged with an enormous outlay of money, it will eventually terminate, as is believed, in favor of the bridge. This great structure is the link binding Iowa with the East, and when the different railroads projected in this state are completed and the Missouri river is reached, then the paramount value of this bridge will be ascertained.
This is a small village on the Mississippi river about a mile from Brady street. It was laid out by William H. Hildreth, Esq. and Dr. J. M. Witherwax in 1852 and 1853. The location is one of some beauty, being in a broad ravine having very gentle slopes even from the highest point of bluffs. It is on a bend of the river just below the Rock island reef or chain of rocks at the foot of the rapids which forms a beautiful eddy in the river where boats can land at all stages of water and is a safe harbor for rafts where they may lay up on windy weather or when seeking a market at Davenport or Rock Island. The village is located upon the site of an old Indian town or encampment.
This place until a few years since was called "Stubbs' eddy" having been the residence for many years of James R. Stubbs, Esq., an eccentric genius who built a cave in 1857 on the south side of the beautiful mound that stands at the mouth of this valley, a part of which still remains. Capt. Stubbs, as he was generally called, was educated at West Point, where he graduated with high honors. In 1822 he was stationed at Ft. Armstrong on Rock island where he remained for four years. During his stay upon this beautiful island at this early day away from the crowded city he formed an attachment for this wild and enchanting country that terminated only with his life. He was a brother-in-law to Judge McLean, and in 1826 he returned east and served under him in the postoffice department and from there went to Cincinnati, where he was clerk in the postoffice department for some years. But in 1833 he gratified his long pent-up desire to return to the West. On his return to Rock island, however, there seemed to have come over him a great change. He seemed to have lost all of that vivacity of life and spirit so natural to his character. Deep melancholy at times brooded over him. His bright and keen intellect seemed at once to give way. Various were the causes attributed to the state of mind. Some surmised that it was a matter of love, but none knew. The secret was buried in his own bosom. He sought relief like thousands in the inebriating bowl. His talents, were bright, his education liberal and his honesty beyond all question. He sought retirement from the world and selected the secluded spot in East Davenport, and dug his cave in "Stubbs' Mound" where from its mouth he could look out upon the beautiful Mississippi as its rippled current moved on in its endless journey to the sunny South. Here he lived a hermit's life for nearly eight years. His own companions were a pet pig and a cat, with sometimes a dog. This was his family and many a lecture did these mute listeners get from their eccentric master. All quarrels among these were settled by the captain in a judicial manner and the guilty one punished. In his morning and evening rambles upon the banks of the Mississippi his entire family would be seen with him, marching behind in military file with all proper decorum and often in his visits to the village he was accompanied by his pig and cat.
A. C. Fulton, Esq., tells this anecdote of his first visit to the cave in the summer of 1842. He had wandered up the banks of the river, looking at the country for the first time, and when he reached the eddy and crossing the little creek below the present site of Mr. Dallam's store, he hastened toward the top of the mound in order to obtain a more extensive view of the little plateau of ground to which he had arrived. In passing up the side of the mound he caught the sound of a human voice, but could not determine from whence it came, as he could see no one near him. The noise increased and seemed to be a very earnest dispute, mingled with not a few hard words, when suddenly Mr. Fulton discovered the place from which issued the sound. He was near the top of the chimney or hole from which the light, smoke and heat of Capt. Stubbs' residence escaped, and not dreaming that he was in the vicinity of a habitation he was somewhat startled, but cried out at the top of his voice, as he looked down the cavity, "Hello, what are you doing down there?" To which the answer came back in quick response, "What are you doing up there? Get off of my house, sir!" This was his first introduction to Capt. Stubbs, who in after years received many kind tokens of regard from the hand of Mr. Fulton. The only cause of the disturbancee in the captain's domicile was that the pet pig had, probably without malice or forethought, undertaken to assist his master in the culinary department and accidentally or for want of better training partially destroyed a pone of corn bread which the captain had been preparing for the first table. Capt Stubbs was a surveyor and ran out many of the first settlers' claims and often drew up deeds and contracts between parties at that early day. In 1846 he was induced to come forth from his hermitage and settle in Davenport where he was elected justice of the peace, which office he filled to the time of his death which occured in May, 1848.
East Davenport contains some 500 inhabitants, has a district school house with school and worship on the Sabbath by the Methodists and other congregations. There are two flouring mills, one belonging to David A. Burrows, the other to Graham & Kepner, with a first rate sawmill, built by Robert Christie. There are two stores, brickyards and stone quarries which in former times furnished ample business and labor for the inhabitants. It is now within the corporate limits of the city of Davenport.
North and west Davenport are terms applied to the suburbs of Davenport, and contain many fine residences.
The quarries from which the building rock in Davenport is taken are very extensive. The rock is a light gray limestone underlying rhe whole city of Davenport. Its first appearance on the surface is on Perry and at the foot of Farnam street. It crops out along the banks of the river as we ascend it, and at East Davenport forms perpendicular bluffs of some thirty feet in thickness above low water mark. These quarries are worked to good advantage. The rock dresses very well under the hammer.
There is an abundance of coal that makes its appearance about ten miles from Davenport in the southwesterly direction, about two miles from the Mississippi river, but it has never been dug extensively. Some half-dozen mines have been opened and more or less taken of the surface coal of very good quality, but it requires more extensive operations to bring forth a pure article which lies beneath the Rock river coal basins.
The first agricultural society ever formed in Scott county was in January, 1840. Alexander W. McGregor, Esq., was chosen president; G. C. R. Mitchell, Esq., vice president; John Forrest, Esq., secretary and A. LeClaire, Esq., treasurer. At this early day but little interest was felt by the patrons of the society and it was suffered to go down. But little if anything was done for agricultural interests in the coutny until 1853 when in August of that year two prominent farmers, H. M. Thompson, of Long Grove, and Eli S. Wing called a meeting and a new society was organized. H. M. Thompson being elected president, James Thorington, Esq., secretary and John R. Jackson, treasurer. The second year of the society (in 1854) the first fair was held in Davenport, having the same officers elected as in 1853.
In June, 1854, a company was organized called the "Fair Grounds Association of Scott County, Iowa." This company purchased eight acres of land lying near Duck creek, some two miles from the city at a cost of $200 per acre, enclosed about four acres with a tight board fence seven feet high and built sheds and workshops for the second annual exhibition, which took place the 24th and 25th of September, 1855. This exhibition was creditable to the society and Scott county, showing an increasing interest of the people in agricultural pursuits. The third exhibition was held the 12th and 13th of October, 1856. The number of entries at this fair was over 300 and the receipts of the society over $800. The fourth annual fair of the Scott County Agricultural society was held on the 29th and 30th of September, 1857. The exhibition of stock far exceeded that of any other year both in number and quality, and of garden vegetables the show was large and superior to any ever offered in Iowa. The fifth annual fair was held on the 15th, 16th, and 17th of September, 1858, and although a partial failure of the crops rendered the exhibition rather meager in some articles, yet the attendance was large and passed off well.
The fair of 1859, held in September, far exceeded all others in number and quality of the articles exhibited. The receipts were upward of $1,200. The officers for this year were, Hugh M. Thompson, president; Edwin Smith, vice president; John Lambert, treasurer; William Allen, secretary; George H. French, T. T. Gue, H. M. Washburn, Robert Christie, directors.
This county society was organized on the 26th of April, 1859, by adopting a constitution, the second article of which declares "that the object of this society shall be to promote and foster the cultivation of fruits, flowers and vegetables in our own county and a taste for ornamental and landscape gardening. It is also proposed to introduce and test new and choice varieties of fruits, flowers and vegetables and afterwards publicly report thereon." The officers are George H. French, president; George L. Nichols, vice president; Howard Darlington, treasurer; Dr. E. J. Fountain, corresponding secretary; Livy S. Viele, recording secretary. The society numbered forty-eight members. Two public exhibitions have been given the past season, the first in June for early fruits, flowers and vegetables, the last in September. Both of these exhibitions proved creditable alike to the society and the people of Scott county. An increasing interest was shown in these displays and from them we may judge that before two years shall have passed away the interest will be so great that no public hall in the city will be able to contain all who may desire attendance.
There is an agricultural store for implements used in gardening and farming at the "Iowa Agricultural depot," on Front street established in 1856, and where all kinds of seeds may be found. The depression in business for the last two years has seriously interfered with the design of the proprietor, L. S. Viele, Esq., but he hopes with increased facilities to build up a large and permanent trade in this particular branch. He keeps on hand for farmers all of the most improved implements of husbandry, reapers, threshers, farming mills, etc. This is the first store of the kind ever introduced into Davenport, and we can but hope that so important a branch of business may be encouraged and sustained.
The first permanent organization of a fire company in Davenport took place in 1856. At a meeting held on Saturday evening, July 26th, at the office of R. D. Congdon, corner of Second and Brady streets, R. M. Littler, was chairman and H. S. Slaymaker, secretary. A committee to prepare a constitution and by-laws for the organization and a committee to present a petition to the property holders of the city for their aid, was appointed. The committees reported at a meeting of the compnay held on Monday evening, July 28. The constitution was adopted and eighteen persons signed as membrs. The name adopted for the company was "Independent Fire Engine and Hose company." The officers elected to serve until January 1, 1857, were R. M. Littler, president; A. S. Alston, treasurer; H. S. Slaymaker, secretary; directors, James Morrow, C. G. Noble; investigating committee, I. Cummins, S. P. Kinsella, R. L. Hull, J. E. Sells, C. W. Cassedy. Correspondence was had with engine builders in the east, and the city council authorized the purchase of two first class engines from A. Hanneman & Co., of Boston. Messrs. A. & G. Woeber of this city built the hose carriage, "Red Rover," and tender, "Tiger." Messrs. Jewett & Sons of Hartford, Connecticut, furnished 1,500 feet of hose. These parties received in payment city bonds having twenty years to run at ten per cent interest.
In January, 1857, R. M. Littler was relected president; A. S. Alston, treasurer; and J. S. Slaymaker, secretary. The engines being expected, officers were elected for the different divisions as follows: "Pilot" engine, James Morrow, foreman, "Witch" engine, Daniel Moore, foreman; Hose division, William Hall, foreman. A part of the old frame warehouse on Second between Perry and Rock Island streets was leased for an engine house. The engines were shipped around "by sea" and arrived in the month of May on the steamer White Cloud. They were received at the landing by a committee of Independents and in a few hours they were unpacked and set up. The hose carriage and tender and hose being ready, Davenport could boast of a regular fire company numbering over 100 members. Previous to this time the company had attended several fires and handled buckets to great advantage.
The city council purchased a lot on Brady above Fifth street, where the present engine house, (city hall) stands from Col. J. W. Young, agent for Mr. Wray for $50 per front foot. Messrs. Fields & Sanders took the contract for the building at $4,500. The apparatus was removed to the new house in the fall of 1857. Pioneer Hook and Ladder Company Number 1 and Fire King Engine Company, Number 2, were organized during the winter, and early the ensuing year they were equipped with apparatus. The Pioneer's truck, ladders, etc., were paid for by funds raised by subscription. Henry Lafrance was their first foreman. The Fire Kings purchased their engine at Chicago, of Metamora Company, Number 2, and paid for it $1,225, and $250 for 250 feet of hose. This was also raised by subscription. Their engine arrived in March, 1858. George L. Davenport, Esq., kindly granted them permission to erect a house on his property on Commercial, between Brady and Perry streets. The company built the house. Marsh Noe was the first foreman of Number 2.
The city council passed an ordinance for the organization and government of the fire department, March 3, 1858. An election pursuant to the provisions of the ordinance was held at the engine house on Brady street, March 13, 1858, which resulted in the election of R. M. Littler, chief engineer, and Christian Mueller and E. A. Tilebine, assistants. In April, 1858, Rescue Engine company Number 3 was organized, and they were furnished with the engine Witch and the hose tender Tiger and 500 feet of hose. John W. Wahlig was elected foreman of Number 3. The city council rented from George D. Arndt the brick house on the corner of Second and Brown streets which was fitted up for Pioneer Hook and Ladder Company, Number 1 and Rescue Company, Number 3. To the efforts of Capt. Littler, who has displayed uncommon energy in organizing and keeping alive the interest in our fire department, great credit is due. No city in the west have a more efficient fire department. Since the first organization the members have always quickly and most cheerfully responded to every call, in heat and cold, summer or winter. They are ever ready, and with a promptness seldom equaled are on "the spot." Chief Engineer Littler and his assistants merit and enjoy the good will of the whole department. Although our fire department is organized on the "no pay" principle there is no lack of service and want of energy.
There was at least one company organized in Davenport and disbanded previous to the year 1857 when a number of the German citizens organized the "Davenport Rifles," on the 3d of February. They made their first parade in uniform on the 4th of July, 1857, commanded by Capt. A. Iten. At this time, this, the oldest company, is commanded by Capt. H. Haupt.
The "Davenport City Artillery" was organized the 9th of July, 1857 (the first preliminary meeting was held in the rooms of Mr. A. S. Alston one week previous.) The civil organization consisted of John Johns, Jr., president; F. B. Wilkie, vice president; C. C. Harris, secretary; D. W. VanEvra, treasurer. The military organization was, captain, C. N. Schuyler; first lieutenant, W. W. Gallear; second lieutenant, C. C. Harris; third lieutenant, John Johns; orderly sergeant, R. M. Littler. This company is composed of good material and makes a handsome appearance. The officers at present are: John Johns, captain; J. D. W. Brewster, first lieutenant; E. Y. Lane, second lieutenant.
The "Davenport Gurads" (Germans) were organized March, 1858, and made their first appearance in uniform July 4, 1858. They are generally old soldiers who compose this company. They are commanded by Captain D. H. Stuhr.
The Davenport Sarsfield Guards were organized at a meeting held at Bailey's hall, on Brady near Fourth street, March, 1858, and Edward Jennings elected captain. He resigned in a few months when the command was unanimously tendered by the company to Capt. R. M. Littler, and a new impetus given the organization. Although this young company was organized during the "money panic" they equipped themselves with a handsome uniform and made their first parade on the 17th of March, 1859.
There is no young city in the west that can equal Davenport in her display of military. The companies are all excellently uniformed and officered and should their services be ever needed by their country, they will not be found in the background. As an evidence of the promptitude, we mention this circumstance. During the troubles in Utah territory in 1857 the secretary of war authorized Col. J. B. Buckner of Illinois to raise a regiment of volunteers. Capt. Littler threw his colors to the breeze and in less than forty-eight hours was on his way to headquarters with a roll of more than 100 men who volunteered for the war. The captain hailed from Rock Island and was accepted in the regiment. His company went into camp back upon the bluff and after getting all ready and waiting several were denied the privilege by peace being declared. Some of the "boys" were so pleased with a soldier's life that the captain sent a number of them to St. Louis, where they were enlisted in the regular service. The commissioned officers of Company F, First Independent Regiment, Illinois Volunteers, were R. M. Littler, captain; F. B. Wilkie, first lieutenant; John Johns, Jr., second lieutenant.
We have spoken of some of the public buildings in our city. Of its church edifices we shall notice each in connection with their congregations. The public halls for the meeting of the masses are - Metropolitan, which is decidedly the largest and most brilliant of any, was built by R B. Hill, Esq. in 1857, who has also erected one of the most splendid private residences west of the Mississippi river; Odd Fellows' hall in Wupperman's block, is large, neat and finished with much taste; LeClaire hall was built at an earlier day, and does not attract that attention it once did, but is roomy and substantial; Griggs' hall and Mervin's hall are both large and pleasant rooms, and for the purposes designed are of the first order. The German theater, Lerchen's hall and some others of smaller dimensions make up an ample supply for public places of business and amusement. The engine house on Brady street, is a fine building of brick, two stories, with a good hall where the city council meet to transact their business. The same hall was used on the Sabbath by the Dutch Reformed church for worship.
Our county jail is worthy of note. It was built in 1856 under the superintendence of Hon. Wm. L. Cook, then country judge. It is hewn stone and built on the modern improved plan for prisons, and is one of the best buildings of the kind in the state of Iowa.
The courthouse is the same one built in 1841 and requires constant repairs to keep it in order. There are blocks of buildings of much beauty and architectural finish in the city. Among them may be noticed the Nickolls block, the Metropolitan, Cook & Sargent's banking house, Davenport's block, Wuppermann's block, Luse, Lane & Co.'s, Mervin's and others. Of private residences we might enumberate many that will vie with those of eastern cities both in nobleness of structure and elegance of finish.
The hotels of this city are numerous and of every grade. The oldest of any note is the LeClaire House built in 1839 by A. LeClaire, Esq. This time-honored public edifice is still open for the reception of guests and is kept by Col. Magill. At the time this hotel was built there was nothing to compare with it in the Mississippi valley. It was a place of summer resort for the people of St. Louis and other southern cities, who usually spent several weeks here in the heat of summer, finding much pleasure in hunting and fishing. It has a central position in the city.
The Scott House is one of the best public houses in the city and is conducted in most approved style. It is beautifully located on Front street, in full view of the city of Rock Island, the railroad bridge, old Fort Armstrong and has an extended view up and down the river. It is retired and pleasant as a boarding place for men of business and those having family. The accommodations are excellent and under the gentlemanly deportment of its worthy landlord none can fail to be well pleased with a home at the Scott House.
The Pennsylvania House is rather a new institution. A part of it was built in 1854; when in 1857 the great increase of business induced the proprietors to enlarge it by erecting another building of the same size by its side, raising it another story and putting on a new roof over the whole of galvanized iron. It is one of the most substantial buildings of the kind in the west. It is sixty-four feet by 130 feet on the ground, built of stone, five stories high. It contains 110 rooms, and in its basement has an artesian well 150 feet deep, eighty feet of which distance was bored through solid rock without a seam. This well cost $1,000. The entire cost of the Pennsylvania House was $64,000, including furniture. The proprietor and builder, who still occupies the house, is an old and tried veteran in the business. He enjoys a large share of public patronage. It is the depot for the farmers who bring in their grain to market, having ample accommodations for beast as well as man. From the observatory which crowns this spacious building, a most splendid view is had of the city of Davenport and its surroundings with the beautiful windings of the Mississippi among its many islands. The Worden House as enlarged is very respectable, and has its share of patronage.
There are many other hotels of the city worthy of note and entitled to all credit, but we speak of but one more, the last one erected. We mean the Burtis House. This noble structure exceeds in magnitude and splendor all others of our city or in the great valley of the Mississippi. No man is entitled to more credit, nor has any one man done more in expending his money for the benefit of the city, the county and the public generally than Dr. Burtis in erecting this magnificent hotel. Too much credit cannot be bestowed upon him when we consider that amid the financial pressure that came upon the country in 1857 just as he was commencing this enterprise, nothing daunted, with most commendable zeal and untiring energy, he pressed forward the work to a successful termination, and since its doors were first thrown open to the public, through all the severe pressure of the time Dr. Burtis has stood at his post in person and maintained the high and well earned credit of a house whose equal in all respects has not yet been found this side the city of New York. We desire to make honorable mention not only of this superstructure, but of its worthy and enterprising proprietor, and transmit to Davenport posterity the name of him who amid one of the greatest storms of financial distress that ever visited the west erected a model hotel that, even with the great progress of description we quote from Wilkie's "Davenport Past and Present."
"The Burtis House is a simple dining room surrounded on three sides by parlors, halls, bedrooms, closets, etc., rising to the height of five stories including basement. The whole structure is 118 feet on Fifth street, and 109 feet on Iowa street. The dining room is thirty-nine feet by eighty-one feet, supported by iron columns and magnificently frescoed.
"In the basement there is the engine room, containing an engine of thirty-five horsepower, which in connection with one of Worthington's pumps forces the water to a tank in the fifth story, from which in hot and cold jets it is distributed to every hall in the house. There are also upon this floor a laundry room veined by steam pipes, a restaurant, billiard room, smoking room, barber shop, bath room and three store rooms, together with a multiplicity of smaller rooms, closets, etc., unneccessary to mention.
"On the first floor is found the rotunda, a marble floored, lofty and roomy arrangement, with trumpets, bells, etc., beautifully trescoed, together with three imposing staircases, leading respectively to the ladies', gents' and other rooms above. It communicates with external entrances and with the stairways above alluded to. Upon this floor are also the dining room, by far the most splendid specimen of arcitectural beauty in the west, reading room, ladies' parlors with folding doors, wash and private rooms, the latter projected in all particulars similar to those of the St. Nicholas hotel, New York city.
"Passing from the floor to the second by either of the beautifully constructed staircases, one is compelled to admire the work of Mr. Walker, one of the best stairway builders in the west. On the second floor are parlors with bedrooms attached, linen closets, suites of bedrooms and parlors attached for the use of several families. The servants' rooms are detached from other parts of the house, and like evey other room in the house are well warmed and ventilated. Each room is warmed by steam and cooking is done by the same means. Every room is lofty and from most of them magnificent views of bluff or river scenery are obtainable. The dining room, occupying as it does, the center of the house is lighted from front, rear and skylight. Its being located in the precise spot it is, makes it a vast improvement over everything else of the kind. The rotunda is in all respects a fine specimen of design and finish and successfully challenges comparison.
"There are 150 sleeping rooms in the house; basement, eighteen rooms; first floor, eighteen, exclusive of the rotunda, and the remainder of the rooms are distributed on the floors above. The house itself is on the railroad and but a few steps from the depot, thus saving to travelers the expense of omnibus bill.
"In regard to Dr. Burtis but little need be said-as former lessee of the LeClaire House and of the house in Lexington, Mo., he gained a reputation for management in the hotel business which no eulogy can heighten. There is but a small share of western travel for a few years back that has not been indebted to Dr. Burtis for those gentlemanly and hospitable attentions that tend so much to lessen the discomforts of travel and to ameliorate the hardships of absence from home.
"The furniture which is of the very best quality was furnished in New York. The whole house is lighted by gas and in every respect superior to any other in the United States."
No state has ever entered the union with more liberal encouragement for common and academic schools than Iowa. Congress gave to the state 500,000 acres of land, the interest of which is used for the support of common schools, besides every sixteenth section, and five per cent on sales of all the public lands with all fines collected for a breach of the penal laws of the state. In the city of Davenport there are seven public schoolhouses, many of which are costly and commodious buildings, and all supplied with able and efficient teachers.
The public schools of the city are all under a superintendent who has a general oversight of all the common schools, is principal of the intermediate school and has a general oversight of each district in the city. In no city west of the Mississippi river are the common schools in better condition than in Davenport. Much pains have been taken to elect men to regulate the school affairs who were intelligent and of high moral character. Although there are many deservedly popular select schools, yet the common schools have been conducted upon such a decidedly improved plan that many of the best families of the city have patronized them for a year or two past.
SCOTT COUNTY BIBLE SOCIETY.
We copy from Davenport Past and Present the following statement of this society:
"The Scott County Bible society, auxiliary to the American Bible society, was organized in the city of Davenport on the 13th day of September, A. D., 1842, at which time a constitution was formed and adopted, which continued without material alteration or amendment until the present time. The officers elected at the organization were - Rev. D. Worthington, president; Charles Leslie, secretary. And at the subsequent anniversary meetings the minutes of the society show the following election of officers:
"In 1843, Rev. Z. H. Goldsmith, president; Rev. D. Worthington, secretary; Wm. L. Cook, treasurer, who continued in office until 1847, when -
"Rev. Z. H. Goldsmith was elected president; Rev. Ephraim Adams, secretary, Wm. L. Cook, treasurer.
"In 1848, Rev. Ephraim Adams, president; Asa Prescott, secretary; Alfred Sanders, treasurer.
"In 1849, Rev. Ephraim Adams, president; Asa Prescott, secretary; Rufus Ricker, treasurer.
"In 1850, Rev. J. D. Mason, president; Rev. Asa Prescott, secretary, Rufus Ricker, Treasurer.
"In 1851, Rev. J. D. Mason, president; H. Price, treasurer; Rev. H. L. Bullen, secretary.
"In 1852, Rev. J. D. Mason, president; H. Price, treasurer; Rev. H. L. Bullen, secretary.
"In 1853, Rev. J. D. Mason, president; Prof. D. S. Sheldon, secretary; Jno. H. Morton, treasurer.
"In 1854, H. Price, president; Rev. J. D. Mason, secretary; Jas. M. Dalzell, treasurer.
"In 1855, H. Price, president; Rev. J. D. Mason, secretary; Jas. M. Dalzell, treasurer.
"In 1856, Strong Burnell, president; Rev. J. D. Mason, secretary; H. Price, treasurer.
"In 1857, H. Y. Slaymaker, president; Rev. J. D. Mason, secretary; H. Price, treasurer.
"In 1858, Rev. J. D. Mason, president.
"In 1859, W. Barrows, president.
"The treasurer's books show also that the aggregate receipts have been $1,101.49. The receipts for the first year were $9.37, and for the year 1859, $348, showing a steady increase in the collections of the society, equal, if not exceeding, the increase in wealth and population of the county.
"This money has been expended in the purchase of Bibles and Testaments in different languages which have been distributed among the inhabitants of this city and county without any distinction of sect or party.
"The names of persons contributing to the funds of the society are registered on the treasurer's book and thereby become members of the society."
There are four burying places for the dead in and near the city limits. The oldest and the one principally used up to 1856 was that located on the banks of the river about a mile below Brady street. This ground becoming too small, another was selected by A. C. Fulton in 1855, some two miles north of the city, called Pine Hill cemetery, which is located upon a high and beautiful prairie and tastefully laid out.
In 1856 a society was formed and incorporated by the name of Oakdale cemetery on the 14th of May of that year. The original incorporators were fifteen in number, out of which nine directors were chosen on the 22d of May, 1856. Its principal officers were: Wm. H. Hildreth, president; W. H. F. Gurley, secretary, and A. H. Barrow, treasurer. The charter of the corporation extends for twenty years. Forty acres of ground were purchased about two and a half miles from the city near Duck creek, and a scientific engineer, Capt. De la Roche, of Washington city, employed to lay off the grounds. The location is one of much beauty, well selected for the purposes desired, being high, rolling prairie, dotted over with native oaks, forming in its own native loveliness a spot beautiful for the last resting place of man. It overlooks the broad prairie covered over with highly cultivated farms, while the silver waters of Duck creek wind their serpentine course through its rich and lovely valley. Much credit is due to the board of directors for their taste in selecting the ground and their perseverance in carrying into effect an object of so great importance. It was laid out on a magnificent plan of circles, belts, angles and curves, bounded and intersected by avenues and walks of much grace and beauty. Over 3,000 lots were laid out Upon the crowning point of the highest ground a spot is reserved for a chapel which overlooks the whole cemetery. Much improvement has been made upon the grounds. The avenues and alleys have been graded. Many lots have been adorned with evergreens, monuments of marble have been erected and the whole enclosed with a board fence that amply protected it from injury. There is a sexton's house upon the premises and every care taken to improve and preserve a place so sacred. There have been over 100 interments and more than 150 lots sold, which are $30 each, the purchase money of which all goes to adorn and beautify the grounds.
The Catholic burying ground is located on Fifth street in Mitchell's addition and has some fine monuments.
We now enter upon the history of the churches of Davenport from their first beginning until the present time, which will close the history of Davenport township.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
The first church organization in Davenport was St. Anthony's Roman Catholic. As early as 1836 priests from the mission at Dubuque preached here occasionally in private houses. In the spring of 1838 the Rev. Samuel Mazzuchelli, an Italian by birth, visited Davenport and organized a church. During the summer Antoine LeClaire, Esq., erected a small brick church, twenty-five feet by forty feet, on Church square. This little edifice was the first building of the kind in Davenport. It was used for a long time for a church, schoolhouse, priest's residence, etc., until 1843, when an addition was put to it. This building was for some years the largest public edifice in the town and was used by all large assemblies to deliberate upon matters of public interest.
In 1839 the Rev. J. A. M. Pelamourgues took charge of the congregation and is yet pastor of that church. Rev. Pelamourgues was the only priest in Iowa south of Dubuque, and for many years he visited Burlington, Muscatine, Iowa City, Rockingham and Clinton county, preaching and establishing churches. The number of Catholic families in Scott county in 1839 was but fifteen. They were nearly all new settlers, and mostly poor, but honest and industrious. A few yet remain enjoying the rewards of their early privations and are among the best portions of our citizens.
On the 23d of May, 1839, St. Anthony's church was dedicated by the Right Rev. Bishop Loras, of Dubuque, assisted by the Rev. Mazzuchelli. In 1843 when the church was enlarged, the number of Catholic families was about fifty. "Money at that time was so scarce," says a member of that church, "that only $20 were collected in cash to build the addition." The number of Catholics increased very slowly until 1854. In 1849 the present stone church was commenced and only finished in 1854.
In 1852 the Rev. Pelamourgues visited France and during his absence the Rev. Plathe and Rev. McCabe took charge of the congregation and continued the church building. In 1855 a new stone church was built for the Germans in Mitchell's addition, Mr. Mitchell donating the land. The church was organized in 1855 and the Rev. Michael Flammany placed in charge. He was succeeded by the Rev. Baumgartner, who was removed from Davenport in 1848. The present pastor is the Rev. Niermann.
In 1856 the number of Catholics increased very fast. A third church was erected on LeClaire street on the bluffs by Mr. LeClaire, who also gave the square of ground upon which it stands. It is called St. Marguerite's church and is a noble edifice, an ornament to the city and an honor to the great liberality of Mr. LeClaire, who built it. The Rev. A. Trevis was appointed pastor and has continued until the present time to minister to the congregation. His assistant was the Rev. H. Cosgrove, who has recently removed to Walnut Grove, where he officiates, and also preaches at LeClaire and other places in Scott and Clinton counties.
In 1858 the number of Catholics in the city of Davenport alone amounted to about 7,000. There are five churches in Scott county and four clergymen of the Roman Catholic denomination. A school was opened in connection with the church by Rev. Pelamourgues in 1839 and has continued ever since. The first year the number of pupils was about forty; out of this number three only belonged to Catholic parents. In 1859 about 600 Catholic children were taught in the school attached to St. Anthony's church. Two new schools have been opened this fall (1859), one at St. Marguerite's and the other at the German church. They are well attended. An academy for young ladies was also opened this fall in a beautiful building erected in West Davenport on the ten-acre lot donated to the Sisters of Charity by the Hon. G. C. R. Mitchell and Geo. L. Davenport, Esq.
The temperance society that was established in 1841 is still in existence. It has been the means of doing much good.
The Catholic Institute has existed for several years and is now in a prosperous condition. The members meet once a week during the winter and thus far their lectures and debates have been well attended. They have a circulating library of several hundred volumes. The hall in which they meet has been enlarged this fall and is very commodious and pleasant.
The Catholic church of Davenport has undoubtedly, like others, had its days of darkness and trouble. A majority of the congregations are poor but, unlike all others, it has its LeClaire, its Mitchell and its Davenport. The land upon which all of the Catholic churches are located has been donated by these gentlemen, who are not only wealthy but liberal with their means. They have ever stood with open hands to answer the calls of the church.
Of the pastor, the Rev. Pelamourgues, whom we have known for more than twenty years, we can speak without fear of contradiction of his faithfulness over his charge. Long and steadily has he labored for their good. Not only has he devoted his time to the spiritual wants of his people, but for the last twenty years has he been the faithful teacher of the youth of his congregation. As a Christian and pastor, none has been more kind and faithful. He is an "old settler." He belongs to that pioneer band who first began to clear away the relics of barbarism in this valley and introduce the gospel of peace. His character among all men is above reproach and his amiable and friendly greeting is always received with pleasure by all who know him. In 1858 Father Pelamourgues received the high appointment of bishop of the northwest, a proper and complimentary appreciation on the part of the church of his private worth and public labors. But the good old man preferred to remain with his people at his old home here to enjoying even so high an honor, with its increase of emolument and influence, as was thus extended to him unsolicited. To secure his object, he even made a visit to Italy, and, laying his case before the Pope, was generously permitted to occupy undisturbed his old position in this community. Such an instance of declination of high position is rare and remarkable, and the incident forms a higher eulogy upon the good father than the choicest phrase of encomium we might use.
Like many other churches in the west, the First Presbyterian church in Davenport is without a full record of its early history. Among the immigrants of 1835, '36 and '37, not more than ten or twelve persons could be found who were of that denomination. These worshipped at first in common with others wherever there was preaching in other denominations until the 20th or 21st of April, 1838, when a little band of ten was gathered together in a small building that stood above the alley on Ripley street, between Front and Second, belonging to T. S. Hoge and since destroyed by fire. Here they worshipped for a year with such supply of ministerial aid as could be obtained. They were from various parts of the United States: Mrs. Ann Mitchell, mother of the Hon. G. C. R. Mitchell, from Alabana; Dr. A. C. Donaldson and wife, from Pennsylvania; Robert Christie and wife, from Ohio; Mrs. Jemima Barkley, from Pennsylvania; T. S. Hoge and wife, from Ohio. These composed the first congregation, two of whom heave since died, Mrs. Mitchell and Mrs. Christie. Dr. Donaldson removed to St. Louis and afterward to California, and T. S. Hoge to New York city. The remainder are still residents of Davenport.
The following year, J. M. D. Burrows and wife and one or two others were added to their number, and with these few a church was organized in a little frame schoolhouse yet standing near the corner of Fourth and Harrison street on the 5th of May, 1839. The pioneer clergymen who officiated upon this occasion were the Rev. Ithamar Pillsbury, of Andover, Ills.; Rev. M. Hummer, of Stephenson, Ills.; and Rev. Enoch Mead, of Rockingham, Iowa. Mr. Pillsbury preached the sermon upon the occasion from Mark, 16th chapter, 15th and 16th verses.
As some six years of the records of this church have been lost and much pains taken to fix dates and places, I would observe that through the kindness of Rev. Mr. Mead the facts have been arrived at by a recent correspondence with Mr. Pillsbury, now a resident of Macomb, Ills. He speaks of his journey to Davenport from Andover, where he then resided, as being still fresh in his mind. Mr. Hummer had requested his services upon the occasion which were to take place on the Sabbath and require him to leave home on Saturday. He had loaned his horse to a neighbor, and not being returned, he walked the distance, twenty-six miles, and returned on foot. Mr. Pillsbury says that when he came to Rock river slough it was overflowed and some eighty rods wide, and too deep to wade, when he applied to Mr. George Moore, who lived on the bluffs some two miles from the slough, but the nearest resident, who kindly sent his son with his team and set him across. This is but an incident among the many hardships of pioneer ministers in the west. The organization of the church took place and the communion was administered. It was a day of trial yet of hope. But faint gleams of light broke from the dark clouds that hung over the moral atmosphere of the far west at that day, and as the little band gathered around the table of the Lord for the first time in the new land, their thoughts went back to the days "when first they knew their Lord," and in humble communion with him agian they sang his praise and united once more in covenant bonds with him in the land of their adoption. For four years this church had no stated ministerial supply during which a few more were added, having preaching only occasionally from the clergymen above named and a few others who were traveling through the region of country beyond the Mississippi river. In 1842 J. M. D. Burrows and T. S. Hoge were chosen and ordained elders in the church, an office Mr. Burrows still holds and fills with much acceptance.
The first stated supply of preaching was in the spring of 1843 by the Rev. Samuel Cleland. He had charge of this and the church at Stephenson for about four years. During this period the infant church struggled on amid many discouragements. The emigration to the west druing these years was slow. But few were added to its numbers. It was the day of small things, but the little pilgrim band proved themselves somewhat like Gideon's host, "though faint yet pursuing." As an evidence of their zeal, faith and courage, they erected in these days of darkness their first house of worship, a small brick building where the present edifice stands. Even after the completion and occupancy of this primitive church, they were at times almost ready to sit down in sadness and give up their most cherished object. But again they took their "harps from willows down" and tuning them anew, they sang:
"Though in a foreign land
We are not far from home.
And nearer to our house above,
We every moment come.
When we in darkness walk,
Nor feel the heavenly flame,
Then is the time to trust our God,
And rest upon his name."
Charles C. Williams came to Iowa in August, 1844. He was from Newark, N. J., where he had spent many years of his earlier life actively engaged in every good work. He was an elder in the First Presbyterian church of that city and afterward in the Central church for many years. He was a man of most ardent piety, ever ready to lend his aid and influence in promoting the cause of the Redeemer's kingdom. His connection with the church of Davenport was at a time when it most needed spiritual aid and encouragement. It had passed through the first ordeal of formation and organization and was experiencing that loneliness and destitution which so often settles down on our western churches in their feeble commencement. At this time Mr. T. S. Hoge, an elder, and one of its members, was about to leave and settle in Galena; and some other valued members were seeking homes in other places, so that the infant church felt severely these losses. At this crisis Mr. Williams seemed providentially sent among them to cheer and strengthen by his influence and prayers this weak and struggling church. He and James M. Dalzell were ordained and set apart as elders in this church. His first work with the help of others was to establish a Sabbath school which has continued to this day with increasing interest and of which he was superintendent to the time of his death, which occurred in September, 1852.
Precious now is the remembrance of those days to some who have lived to the present time and precious indeed is the memory of those who have gone to their reward. In the midst of poverty and discouragement and when the little church had dwindled to a few members and thoughts of giving up were prevalent among some, Mrs. Mitchell, in full faith and confidence that God would bring them out of all tribulation, cheeringly said to Mr. Burrows, "You and I will stick to it at any rate while there is a shingle on the roof." Such were the pioneer fathers and mothers that helped to nurture and sustain this feeble chuch in its days of darkness and distress. There were additions to the church as new settlers came in, and the congregation increased in a measure, yet in 1846, owing to removals and deaths, there were still but seventeen members.
At this time the Rev. George S. Rea became their minister and occupied the pulpit about two years and a half. In the fall of this year (1846) the Sabbath school of the church was first organized, C. C. Williams, superintendent, which has been continued with growing interest to the present time. During the summer of 1849 the church being again without a minister, the Rev. Erastus Ripley, of the Congregational body and senior professor in Iowa college, preached for the church with much acceptance. In the summer of 1852 the present edifice was erected, having the first bell and steeple in the city.
On the 27th of September, 1849, for the first time, a formal call was made out by the church to the Rev. J. D. Mason to become their pastor. The call was duly presented before the presbytery of Iowa ans accepted. The pastoral duties commenced the first Sabbath in November, 1849. The church at that time consisted of about thirty members, and the town of about 1,200 inhabitants. During the ministry of Mr. Mason no special seasons of grace have been enjoyed, but a steady increase of the church, both by profession and by letter. In 1857 the list of membership reached 200, but owing to the financial distress of the west which has caused many to leave, its members are now reduced to150.
With what satisfaction and joy must the early members of this church look back upon their wanderings since their advent into this new and strange land. How well do they remember the days of their pilgrimage without the dispensation of the Word of Life, without a place to worship, and almost without a shepherd. Yet in all their journeys, they lost not sight of Him who "feeds His sheep and carries the tender lambs in His bosom." Though their spiritual food was not dealt out to them with an unsparing hand, yet they forgot not all His benefits and mercies to them and in their wanderings "they gathered here a little and there a little," precious crumbs that fed them by the way, and many are the hallowed recollections of trials and afflictions in thus planting the infant church in their new homes.
Immediately after the Rev. Mr. Mason entered upon his duties as pastor, the church consented to his spending one Sabbath in each month in the Berlin church at the head of the rapids (now LeClaire), which church had been organized some years previous. At the expiration of eighteen months this church and vicinity became a separate missionary charge under the ministerial charge of Rev. W. C. Mason. About two years after this the Rev. Hugh Hutchinson became the pastor, and under his ministry of about two years the Princeton church was organized. Mr. Hutchinson has since died. Being released from the LeClaire charge, the pastor of the Davenport church turned his attention in a missionary point of view to the establishment of a church in the Blue Grass settlement, and organized a Presbyterian church there in the house of John Robinson, now deceased. After nearly three years this church also became a separate charge, together with the church established at Walcott, under the ministerial care of Rev. John M. Jones. Again released from this part of his charge, Mr. Mason commenced stated meetings in the settlement known as the "Churchill Settlement." Mr. Churchill had donated a lot of five acres of ground for a Presbyterian church site. On the 16th of February, 1858, at the close of worship in the house of William Yocum, it was resolved to undertake the erection of a church edifice on the site donated. The following 6th of July the house was enclosed, temporarily seated, and a church organized consisting of twenty-eight members, under the name of the "Presbyterian Church of Summit." At this meeting the Rev. John Ekin, D. D., now pastor of the church at LeClaire, preached the sermon and the Rev. J. D. Mason, Rev. John M. Jones and Elder James Jack organized the church. On the 15th of February, 1859, just a year from the time they determined to build, a neat frame building, thirty-two feet by forty feet, was completed, paid for and dedicated to Almighty God. In this enterprise all were interested in the settlement, but Charles Kinkaid, Esq., ruling elder in the church at Davenport, rendered efficient and valuable service. The church now consists of forty-one members and is about to become a separate pastoral charge. This constitutes the sixth Presbyterian church in Scott county. In October of the present year (1859), the pastoral relation of the Rev. Mr. Mason was dissolved and the church is now without a pastor.*
*In the autumn of this year (1859) a call was made to the Rev. S. McC. Anderson, of Pennsylvania, which was accepted and he was installed in April of this year (1860).
THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH, OR DISCIPLES.
On the 25th of July, 1839, seventeen persons who had formerly held membership with the Christian church at other points, mostly at Cincinnati, met at the house of D. C. Eldridge and under the auspices of Elder James Rumbold organized the Christian or Disciples' church of Davenport. Of those persons twelve yet remain, three have removed to other points and two have died. As early as April of that year the few Disciples in the town commenced meeting at the houses of the brethren under the leadership of Owen Owens, of Cincinnati. Elder Rumbold arrived in Davenport on the 22d of July, 1839, and on the 25th organized the church.
A few words relative to Elder James Rumbold may not be amiss in this connection, as he stands intimately associated with the church here. Brought up in the Kirk of Scotland and uniting with the Scotch Baptists at Aberdeen in 1824, he removed to this country in 1836 and settled in Troy, N. Y., where with his wife and two others he organized a church on the Bible alone and commenced preaching to them. This was the nucleus of what is now a large and flourishing church. Elder Rumbold was subsequently instrumental in organizing other churches. In July, 1839, he removed to this city. In March, 1841, he assisted in the organization of a church in Long Grove, in this county, baptising seven on one day, three weeks thereafter. In March, 1842, he removed to Galena, where he organized a church and baptized five-preaching awhile for them and then returning to this city. During the time Elder Rumbold preached here he baptised about forty persons. On the 10th of July, 1840, he baptised Miss Elizabeth Carroll, who was the first person immersed in Scott county. The fact that a mechanic, a foreigner by birth, without education further than what he obtained by his own exertions should have been able to accomplish so much is evidence of the simplicity of Bible teachings and the facility with which they may be communicated to others.
In this connection we would pause to mention one of the noblest of God's handiwork, a pure, humble-minded Christian, who long since has been gathered to his fathers. Early in the history of the church here we find the name of James Glaspell associated with it as an elder, which capacity he continued to fill with great acceptance up to the year 1847, when he fell asleep in Jesus. As a sincere, pious believer, we have rarely indeed met with his equal. As a citizen, he stood high in the community and when he died his church did not alone mingle their tears with the bereaved family.
After the organization of the church in Davenport the brethren continued to meet on Lord's days at their own residences until November 3, 1839, when they rented Mr. Tapley's carpenter shop on Second between Main and brady streets at $4 per month. In 1844 a lot was purchased on Brady between Fourth and Fifth streets and a brick meeting house, considered large for that day, erected at an expense of $700 to $800. In 1855'6 the present house of worship, the "Christian Chapel," was erected on the site of the old one, the church in the meantime meeting at the courthouse. This chapel was erected at an expense of about $8,500, is forty feet by seventy-five feet with basement, built in modern style with the lastest appliances for heat, light and ventilation.
In 1842 the Christian church was incorportated by act of legislature under the style of the Church of Christ, meeting in Davenport. John Owens, Richard S. Craig and Charles Lesslie were appointed trustees under this act.
For five years Elder Rumbold was the only preacher the church in this city had. In 1844 Dr. H. P. Gatchell, of Cincinnati, was employed by the church as their pastor. He remained in that capacity one year, when he removed to Rock Island, but preached occasionally for the church until 1847. In 1848 Elder Charles Levan, of Philadelphia, was employed as pastor, which position he occupied for nearly two years. For two or three years after his removal from the city, although the church was without a pastor, yet the members continued to meet regularly on the Lord's day for breaking bread, exhortation and prayer. Elder Jas. E. Gaston succeeded Mr. Levan and in turn was followed by Elder Alexander Johnson, neither of whom remained long in the position. Nov. 19, 1854 Elder J. Hartzell was employed by the church as a preacher, which capacity he filled until February 7, 1858, when he was succeeded by Elder Eli Regal, of Ohio, who, on account of ill health, resigned his position on the 10th of October of the same year. Until August, 1859, the church was again without a preacher, the brethren meeting regularly on Lord's day for attending to the Lord's supper and exhortation and on Thursday evening for prayer. On the last named date Elder Samuel Lowe was chosen and entered upon his duties as pastor. In December last Elder A. Cahtterton, who claims seniority as a Christian preacher in Iowa, having removed the Evangelist to Davenport, became a resident of this city.
The revulsion of business in 1857 slightly affected the numerical strength of this church, but during the last year it has been regaining, and now numbers as large a membership as it has ever possessed, embracing 160 members. The members meet on every Lord's day for preaching and the administration of the Lord's supper; in the evening for preaching, and at 3 o'clock in the afternoon for exhortation and prayer; also on Thursday evening of each week. Attached to this church is a Sunday school embracing about fifty scholars.
Congregationalism in Scott county was introduced as early as 1836. The first sermon was preached at the house of Levi Chamberlin, Esq., in Pleasant Valley, in the summer of this year by Rev. Asa Turner, now of Denmark, who was traveling through this country on a missionary tour. Mr. Chamberlin, who was a man of piety and zeal, was one of the first settlers of that valley, and, feeling the spiritual wants of the people, he earnestly desired that a man be sent among them of ardent piety and one with a family that he might be a permanent resident, and one who could reconcile himself to the hardships of a new country.
The members of this denomination worshipped in common with the Presbyterians and Methodists until the 30th of July, 1839, when twelve persons congregated in a small building on Main street opposite the Catholic church (used afterward as a schoolhouse and then by the Episcopalians as a place of worship under the ministrations of Rev. Z. Goldsmith), entered into convenant bonds and organized a church, the Rev. Albert Hale, now pastor of a Presbyterian church in Springfield, Ills., and then agent of the Home Missionary society, presiding. Two deacons were elected, Messrs. John C. Holbrook and Strong Brunell.
During the month of June, 1840, Rev. Samuel Storrs Howe, now of Iowa City, then traveling through the west, spent several Sabbaths in the supply of this Congregational church, by invitation of Deacon Strong Brunell. And among other incidents of his sojourn at Davenport thus early in its history may be mentioned his call with Mr. Brunell on Antoine LeClaire, Esq., the chief proprietor of the town, and his solicitation of a lot for a church edifice which Mr. LeClaire cheerfully promised and ultimately donated to the Congregational society, the avails of which went toward their church enterprise.
During his stay, also, Mr. Howe preached a funeral sermon on the occasion of the drowning of a young man of the name of Gates, in a pleasure sailing excursion on the Mississippi river on the Sabbath. In regard to which death the preacher remarked that absent friends would doubtless have preferred that it should have occurred on any other day in the week, for they could not say with the old proverb, "The better the day, the better the deed."
The preaching was held in the unfinished upper story of what was afterwards known as "Ziek's grocery," a building on Front street, consumed by fire in 1858.
The Rev. I. P. Stuart of Stephenson, Ill., who was commissioned by the American Home Missionary society to preach at "Stephenson and vicinity" in August, 1839, supplied the pulpit at Davenport from July, 1840, to sometime in the early part of winter. A call was extended in 1841, to the Rev. Reuben Gaylord, now of Omaha, Neb., to become the pastor, but was declined. Rev. Oliver Emerson ministered to the church part of that year. Rev. Mr. Hitchcock was sent as a missionary to this place in the fall of 1841 and ministered here three years. Druing his ministry thirty-two members were received. The church was aided by the Home Missionary society until 1852.
The meetings for preaching and prayer were first held in a building on Ripley street used by the Presbyterians and since destroyed by fire. In 1840 the church met for a while in the second story of a building on the corner of Front and Brady streets, since destroyed by fire, and once known as "Ziek's grocery." A new place of worship was fitted up, however, on the corner of Ripley and Front streets, a building some twenty feet by thirty feet, and had been used by D. C. Eldridge and others as storehouse, postoffice, etc., and was known as "Brimstone Corner," afterward consumed by fire. The Rev. Mr. Hitchcock first began his ministry here and preached his first sermon in Davenport.
The 20th of June, 1840, the Rev. Mr. Emerson took charge of the congregation and preached for a short time when he removed to DeWitt. The next place of worship of this church was in the log cabin erected by the Harrison club on Third street, and when cold weather came on, they met again on Main street in the schoolhouse which was remvoed in 1843 to give room for better buildings. They next worshipped at a schoolroom on the east side of Harrison street above Fourth where Mr. Wheeler now resides. This building was one of the frames brought out from Cincinnati and occupied for some time by the Davenport institute. This was the last rented house of worship. Two lots having been procured on Fifth street, between main and Brady, the old part of the present edifice was erected in the summer of 1844 by Strong Brunell, Esq., being twenty-eight feet by thirty feet. The building was dedicated the 27th of Octover, 1844. Mr. Hitchcock preached the dedicatory sermon which was his last sermon here, having had a call to settle in Moline, which he accepted and where he still preaches. In the evening of that day the Rev. Ephraim Adams who had been preaaching to the congregation for some time occupied the pulpit and continued to do so till May, 1855, ten years and six months. He was called to the pastorship in December, 1846 and installed early in 1847. Mr. Adams was the first pastor. Long and faithfully did he labor, amid days of moral darkness in the church and in the whole northwest. He was one of that little band of pioneer ministers, eleven in number, graduates of Andover Theological seminary who in the fall of 1843, moved by a spirit of enterprise and the cause of home missions lying near their hearts turned their thoughts to the far west. Iowa was their first point of destination, and as Denmark, in Lee county was headquarters for Congregationalism in that day they all met there and most of them were ordained on the 5th of March, 1843. Mr. Adams preached at Mt. Pleasant in this state for a short time before entering upon his labors here, where for so many years he devoted himself to building up the Congregational church in this city.
He began his labors in the little schoolroom on Harrison street with a congregation ot twelve and after he entered the new house of worship for more than a year he had but about thirty-five hearers. But in toil and self-denial he labored on amid many discouragements. At the end of five years there were about eighteen members, but he looked forward full of hope and faith, believing that the little church was of God's own planting, and that in due time it would spring up, and bear much fruit. The whole number of members on the 31st of July, 1859, was 224; total from its organization, 423. In May, 1856, the pastoral relation between Mr. Adams and the church was dissolved and soon after the Rev. George F. Magoun was settled. The whole number admitted during his pastorship, to the present time is 190, three-fourths of the present membership. During the ministry of Mr. Hitchcock and Mr. Adams there was special interest from time to time, the greatest revival occurring in the winter of 1855 and 1856. There was a steady increase of the church both by letter and profession.
Mr. Adams is now settled over a church at Decorah in this state. During his ministry in this place he made many friends. His uniform kindness to all and persuasive manner as a minister, his daily walk among his fellowmen and his untarnished Christian character justly entitled him to, as he had, the love and respect of all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance.
Seven of the lay members of this church have become ministers of the gospel, including two of its early deacons, viz.: Rev. John C. Holbrook, of Dubuque; Rev. Asa Prescott, of Cordova; Rev. Wm. Windsor and Rev. John H. Windsor, of Mitchell county; Rev. Joseph Bloomer (deceased), of McGregor; Rev. Wales Coe, of Crawfordsville, and Rev. Darius E. Jones, of Columbus City. Fourteen members of the General Congregational association of Iowa have been connected with this church.
Rev. G. F. Magoun left the church in November, 1860. In August, 1861, a new orgnization was made under the name of the "Edwards Congregational church," of which Rev. William Windsor became the stated supply, with Home Missionary aid. The old church has only a nominal existence in connection with the property and edifice of the congregation, now much involved in debt.
PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
The organization of the Protestant Episcopal church in Iowa and the history of the "Trinity church parish" we copy entire from "Davenport, Past and Present," as we believe it to be correct in all its parts:
"The organization of the Protestant Episcopal church in the diocese of Iowa was effected at Muscatine in August, 1853; but the election of a bishop did not take place until the first of June, 1854. The convention sat in Davenport, in the basement room of the First Presbyterian church, Trinity not being ready for use. The Rt. Rev. Dr. Kemper, missionary bishop of the northwest presided. The balloting resulted in the election of the Rev. Henry W. Lee, D. D., then rector of St. Luke's church, Rochester, N. Y. The bishop-elect was consecrated at Roschester, in October of the same year, and soon entered upon his new duties. Having made his first visitation to the diocese he selected Davenport as his place of residence, it being in his judgment the most eligible and convenient point with reference to his duties. The diocese of Iowa includes the entire state and from thriteen parishes and eight clergymen in 1854 it has increased to thirty parishes and twenty-five clergymen in January, 1858. Bishop Lee at the present time has also the Episcopal charge of the territory of Nebraska, this being, however, but a temporary arrangement.
The first and regular services of the Protestant Episcopal church were commenced in Davenport on Thursday, the 14th day of October, 1841, by the Rev. Z. H. Goldsmith, who was appointed as a missionary by the domestic committee of the board of missions of the Protestant Episcopal church, his time being divided at intervals between Davenport and Rockingham, which latter place at the time promised to be of the most importance. A parish was regularly organized at Davenport, on Thursday, the 4th of November, 1841, by the name and title of "Trinity Church and parish;" and a vestry was elected, resulting in the following choice; Ira Cook, J. W. Parker, W. W. Dodge, Ebenezer Cook, H. S. Finley.
The regular meetings of the parish for public worship were held during a sucession of years, and until November, 1853 in the small frame building still standing on the west side of Main street between fourth and Fifth streets occupying the middle lot of that half block, when it was abandoned as no longer tenantable. Divine services were held during the same winter of 1853, and until April of 1854, in the store room at the northeast corner of Rock Island and Second streets, and from April until the completion and occupancy of the new edifice of Trinity church in August of 1854 in the house of the rector Rev. A. Louderback, known as the Emerson house, on Second between Rock Island and perry streets.
The incumency of the Rev. Z. H. Goldsmith continued until the spring of 1849 when in the following year he was displaced from the ministry and continued to reside here till his death which occurred in the summer of 1853. The resignation of Rev. Z. H. Goldsmith which occurred on April 1, 1849, was followed by the call and settlement of the Rev. Alfred Louderback as rector and missionary on the 5th of May following, making a vacancy of one year in the parish. When he assumed the charge of this parish and station at a salary of $200 per annum with a like sum from the domestic committee, he found the parish in debt some $700 or twice the amount of what the church lot and building were then considered worth with about nine communicants in all, and an immense and increasing prejudice against the church and with but little prospect of its permanent and successful estalishment. Patient, continued and persevering efforts, however, amid no ordinary discouragements have met with success. For, frequently after careful preparation for the duties of the pulpit there would not be over ten or fifteen persons present to join in the services and listen to the sermon; while at the same time the parish was without a surplice, a communion set, a melodeon, a Sunday school library or any of those external appliances and aids so necessary to give effect and interest to the public services because the poverty of the congregation would not admit of their procuring them. At the expiration of the second year these necessary aids were obtained, and also a complete set of plans from Mr. Frank Wills, of New York city, who generously furnished them at a trifling cost. A subscription was at the same time started with a view to building the present edifice of Trinity church, and on the 5th of May, 1852, just three years from the time the acting rector assumed charge, the corner stone was laid by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Kemper, D. D., then in episcopal charge of Iowa, as yet unorganized into a diocese. The walls rose to their proper height during that year and remained bare the following winter until the spring of 1853 when the roof was put on and the building plastered and floored and the windows roughly closed up, in which condition it stood until the spring of 1854 when it was determined to finsih it off. Contracts were made accordingly and its occupation entered upon by the congregation on Sunday, the 20th day of August of the same year, 1854. The original cost of the two lots, in 1851 and now owned by the parish, was $500. The organ, one of Erben's build, of New York city, and the generous gift of Gen. George B. Sargent, $700; in addition to which the parish holds about eight or nine acres of ground being a part of the pine Hill cemetery as a burial ground for their dead; being in all a property worth at the lowest estimate over $20,000, and in a perfectly safe condition. In conducting the parish to this gratifying state of outward temporal prosperity much credit and praise are due to the nutiring interest, generosity and zeal of Mr. Ebenezer Cook who has been the constant friend and liberal supporter of the parish throughout its entire history, without mentioning what is due to the efforts of the rector.
The whole number of communicants which have been connected with the parish at various times, is about 140. Number of baptisms - adults, twenty-two; infants, 119, making in all 141; confirmations, thirty-four; marriages, thirty-eight; burials, eighty-one; present number of communicants, about sixty-five; size of the church at present, about seventy-five feet long and thirty-five feet broad, in the clear, exclusive of chancel recess with a view to enlargement at a future day by the addition of transepts so as to make a cruciform building; at present capable of seating about 300 persons and when enlarged as plans call for, affording sittings for about 1,000 persons. Parochial library for the reading of the congregation, mostly imported English works, of near 400 volumes, the generous gift of Ebenezer Cook. Sunday school library of about 140 volumes; Sunday school scholars, about sixty; teachers, six; rector, superintendent.
The Parochial association meets the first and third Tuesday evenings in every month except during Lent at the houses of parishioners with a view to promoting acquaintance and sociality among the members of the congregation, and exciting a deeper interest in the welfare of the parish. Church chairs purchased from the avails of the association at a cost of about $175, being the contribution of one dime per month from members with one dime also as entrance fee.
ST. LUKE'S CHURCH.
In March, 1856, at the request of the Hon. John P. Cook, Gen. Sargent and thirty-three others, the Rev. Alfred Louderback, rector of Trinity church gave canonical consent to the organization of a second Episcopal society in the city of Davenport. At a meeting of the citizens favorable to the new enterprise held April 4, 1856, a second parish was organized under the name of St. Luke's parish. Bishop Henry W. Lee presided at this meeting and Charles Powers, Esq., was secretary. For nearly two years the services of this church were held in the small brick edifice on Brady, near the corner of Fourth street in the building formerly owned and occupied by the First Baptist church. During the first year of St. Luke's existence several clergymen officiated as temporary incumbents, among whom were Bishop Lee, Rev. George W. Watson and the Rev. Geo. C. Street. This enterprising society entered upon their work with much earnestness and determination. They fitted up their place of worship which though small was neat and convenient. The congregation increased and some were added to the church, when in March, 1857, the Rev. Horatio N. Powers became their permanent rector, took charge of the parish, and in the May following entered upon his duties and still ministers to this people.
The little church on Brady, becoming too small, they determined on building a new house of worship, and although but a little more than a year had expired since their organization, yet on the first of July, 1857, the corner stone of a new church was laid with appropriate ceremonies. Bishop Lee delivered the address on the occasion and on the 14th of March following it was opened for divine service. The prompt and energetic spirit with which this little church undertook the erection of this beautiful and stately edifice, the harmonious and Christian spirit in which they seem united in every good work is wothy of all note; and as the church edifice is a model one in our city, and in the west, we give a description of it here.
Its location is on Brady street, about half way up the bluff, being central in its position, and presents a very attractive appearance from the river. It is of gothic structure, built of brick, with a deep basement of limestone. The tower is fourteen feet square at the base, not including the buttresses which project two feet each. The extreme height to the top of the pinnacle is eighty-three feet from the base. The body of the church is eighry-five feet by forty-five feet, and thirty-one feet high in the clear. The exterior height is forty-four feet. The vestry south of the chancel is eleven feet by twelve feet.
In the basement is a large lecture room with four other small compartments. These rooms are fourteen feet, all finished, and some of them were occupied by Miss Lyons for a young ladies' school. The chancel is fourteen feet long by eighteen feet wide with a height of twenty-three feet; height of chancel arch, twenty feet. The organ gallery is large and convenient, the windows of stained glass, of two lancets each; the chancel window contains three lancers wirh appropriate devices. The chancel furniture is all made of black walnut, of neat workmanship.
The lectern and pulpit are without the chancel rails and are built in handsome style. The pews are the same finish. The chairs alone cost over $100, and were a present from Col. Young. The books, which cost over $50, were pesented by Mrs. Holmes and Mrs. Jaynes. The carpeting and ornaments of the church were furnished by the ladies of the congregation. The architect was J. C. Cochran. The entire cost of the building was about $20,000. Nearly seventy families are now included in the parish. The number of communicants as last reported to the convention was sixty, but since the last report several have been added. The congregation is continually increasing and is already quite large. There is a Sabbath school connected with the church in a flourishing condition. When we take into consideration that this church so recently organized amid the financial pressure of the country, commenced such a work and prosecuted it to so successful a termination, we can but admire their worthy efforts and wish them many spiritual as well as temporal blessings.
The present vestry consists of Hon. John P. Cook, Dr. Wm. Keith, H. S. Finley, Wm. VanTuyl, Charles Powers, George H. French, Thomas J. Holmes, James A. Buchanan, V. R. Rowe. Senior warden, Dr. Wm. Keith; junior warden, Wm. VanTuyl; treasurer, Wm. VanTuyl; J. A. Buchanan, secretary.
FIRST METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
Although this church was not organized in Davenport until June 1, 1842, yet its ever active and pioneer spirit had penetrated the valley of the upper Mississippi and the gospel trumpet began to echo along our bluffs as early as the spring of 1836. The Rev. Mr. Gavitt, from Ohio, traveling through the county, preached the first sermon in the house of D. C. Eldridge this spring; but the first attempt by the settlers to hold divine service was in a log cabin twelve feet square situated on the land now owned by Judge Weston back of Rockingham. The meeting was conducted by W. L. Cook, Esq., and held as a prayer meeting. There were eight persons present.
In August of this year there was a society formed at Rockingham by John R. James, then connected with the Rock Island mission under the control of the Illinois conference. The Methodist conference was held this fall at Alton and the Rockingham sociery reported the wants of this region of counry, its prospects for a wide field of labor, when the conference formed a circuit extending from the mouth of the Iowa river to the mouth of the Wabesipinecon. Rockingham then being the largest town and the only one of any importane in the circuit, it was called the Rockingham circuit, embracing all the country west as far as settlements were made. This circuit was about 200 miles around and consisted of a few families along the river and among the groves. Chauncey Hovert was sent to this circuit as preacher. He had been a soldier in the Black Hawk war which had just closed and was well calculated to traverse a country whose streams were unbridged and inhabitants widely scattered. He could swim creeks and sleep by the side of a log when night might overtake him. The first winter he had three appointments; one at Rockingham, one at a little town near the mouth of the Iowa river, called Black Hawk, and one at the cabin of Mr. Spencer, in Pleasant Valley, the father of our fellow citizen, Roswell H. Spencer. The appointments multiplied the following year, but Rockingham was the center and probably contained more members than all the balance of the circuit.
In the year 1839 B. Weed was presiding elder for the Iowa district. About this time the elder thought that there were sufficient members and encouragement to commence a society in Davenport and have an organization of the Methodist church in that place. Accordingly he authorized Wm. L. Cook to change his connection with the society and form a class if he could find the requisite number of members. His search among protestants resulted in finding five members besides himself and wife who had been members of churches in former days. A time was appointed for a meeting to be held at the house of Timothy Dillon, situated on Third street near Washington square. At this first meeting were present as members, Wm. L. Cook and wife, Timothy Dillon and wife, Israel Hall, W. S. Ruby and Mary Ruby. Here this little band of Christians, longing for a closer union with Him in whom they trusted in deep devotion, poured forth many desires for spiritual food in this strange land; and in that little cabin, alone with God, they dedicated themselves to Him and His service, renewing their, covenant vows and forming the First Methodist Episcopal church in the then little village of Davenport. Such were the beginnings of the church that now worships on the corner of Fifth and Brady streets with nearly 400 members.
From this time meetings were continued every Sabbath, being generally conducted by Mr. Cook. The society increased until private rooms became too small, and in the fall of 1840 the church, then numbering about twenty members, thought best to erect a building. Though its members were few and poor, they purchased a lot on Perry between Fourth and Fifth, which was then considered out of town, and built the first brick chapel, which still stands on the same ground. This church was seated at first with slabs and split saplings, flat side up and lighted with a "chandelier," composed of a block of wood suspended by a rope from the ceiling in which were inserted some half dozen tallow candles, and warmed by a stove that looked as though it might have done good service before the flood. While thus seated, warmed and lighted, it came near passing out of the possession of the society by reason of an execution in the hands of the sheriff, issued upon a judgment for $15 for the purchase money of the lot. But those days of darkness passed away and the sun of prosperity, both spiritual and financial, dawned upon this church and continued to shine and bless the efforts of the little band, illustrating the truth of that saying, "We should not despise the day of small things."
A petition was sent into conference in 1840 for a preacher, and F. A. Chenowith was sent to the Davenport station, and in turn supplied the Rockingham pulpit. In 1853 the little brick church on Perry street becoming too small, a large, commodious house was erected on the corner of Fifth and Brady, which is now filled to overflowing, although a new church has been formed from this, Wesley chapel, built in 1856, but it is now closed. The new church on Brady was dedicated in July, 1854. It has an end gallery, class and lecture rooms below, a Sabbath school and a library; also a parsonage attached and sexton's house. The whole church property is clear of debt.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH.
The first Baptist church was organized at the house of John M. Eldridge on the 14th day of September, 1839, with nine members. Its first settled minister was Elder Fisher, and Richard Pierce its first deacon. This church has passed through many difficulties and trials. Its first place of public worship was in a room fitted up over Mr. Lesslie's store on the corner of Front and Brady streets.
In 1842 they erected a small brick on Brady next door to Fourth, now converted into a meat market, where they worshipped until 1855, when it was sold by the church. In October, 1852, about twelve years after its organization sixteen of its members requested letters of dismission and received them, and on the 7th day of the smae month organized a second church in Davenport.
In 1855 the First church built a very commodious brick house on the corner of Main and Sixth streets, where they now worship, having a roll of 180 members, with the Rev. G. M. Folwell for their pastor, who was settled in May, 1858, and ordained on the 23d of June in the same year.
SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH.
On the 6th of October, 1851, sixteen members of the First Baptist church in Davenport asked for and received letters of dismission for the purpose of organizing another church. They met on the same day and unanimously resolved to call a council to take into consideration other propriety of reorganizing themselves into a regular Baptist church. On the 7th of October the council met at the house of J. M. Witherwax, there being present the Rev. J. Teesdale, of the A. F. B. society; Rev. J. L. Denison, Rock Island; A. J. Johnson, of Burlington, Iowa; S. B. Johnson, Muscatine; Rev. Mr. Scots, Maquoketa; Rev. Dr. Carpenter, Blue Grass. After due deliberation and examination of all the circumstances, they proceeded to organize the sixteen members into the "Second Baptist Church of Davenport, Iowa." A constitution and by-laws were drafted by a committee appointed, consisting of Dr. Blood, Mr. Solomon and Levi Davis.
The first officers of the church elected were Dr. J. M. Witherwax, C. G. Blood and W. M. Crosson, trustees; Levi Davis, clerk, and J. Solomon, treasurer. Thus organized, this little church stood alone, amid every discouragement; poor, and without a pastor or a place of worship. The schoolroom of the Misses Jones was procured (now the residence of Dr. Witherwax) and the services of the Rev. Professor Briggs were secured until a regular pastor could be obrained.
On the 13th of June, 1842, the Rev. E. M. Miles was called and settled. The church steadily increased in numbers, both by profession and by admission by letter. In February, 1853, the first movement was made toward building a house of worship. Between $3,000 and $4,000 were at once subscribed, and the present edifice commenced. It is of stone, forty-six feet by eighty feet, with basement and spire, well proportioned, and a beautiful as well as a durable house. Their church debt has recently been reduced to about $5,000 and it is now in a prosperous condition. Its recent pastor, the Rev. Isaac Butterfield, succeeded Mr. Miles in June, 1858. The number of members since its organization, according to the chuch's records, has been 280; dismissals, ninety-seven; exclusions, eleven; and deaths, twelve. They were received - 132 by baptism, and 143 by letter. The present number of membes is 162. The Sabbath school attached to the church contains 200 scholars, with a good library.
Rev. Isaac Butterfield resigned his charge in November, 1863, having the satisfaction of leaving the church out of debt and prosperous.
FIRST ENGLISH EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH.
This church was established November 25, 1855. Jacob Steck was their first pastor, and, we believe, still continues to minister to the church.
There were twenty-five members at its organization. This society has had many difficulties to contend with. In 1856 a church edifice was commenced, but the financial difficulties delayed its completion, we believe, until the present season. It has a Sabbath school of seventy-five members and a library of 300 volumes.
SECOND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, N. S.
In the fall of 1856 a number of members of the Presbyterian church, who were new school then residing in Davenport, feeling that want of a church of their own denomination, erected for that purpose a house on Iowa street between Sixth and Seventh streets, built entirely at the expense of Mr. H. Y. Slaymaker, and as soon as it was completed, it was burned down, taking fire from a carpenter's shop, which was burnt adjoining it. On the 4th of May, 1857, a church was formed by Rev. W. H. Spencer, then pastor of the First Presbyterian church of Rock Island, Ills., with twenty-eight members, the way having been prepared by Rev. Samuel Storrs Howe, of Iowa City, and Ruling Elder H. Y. Slaymaker, one of the first officers of the church. For some time they occupied Griggs' hall on Perry street; from thence they removed to Metropolitan hall and subsequently to the house originally occupied by the First Baptist church on Brady.
The Rev. D. T. Packard, of Massachusetts, preached to them as a stated supply for about a year, since which time they have had service but a few times, and are now altogether suspended. There were a number of accessions during Mr. Packard's ministry, but owing to removals from the city the number is now reduced to fifteen members. After its organization and during the preaching of Mr. Packard, the congregation numbered 100 and a Sunday school had been commenced; but the financial difficulties of the west seemed to break into their arrangements, and the church has been abandoned for the present.
FIRST ASSOCIATE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.
We believe this church is now without a pastor, and its house of worship closed. Of its origin and progress, we need not speak, but copy its history from Wilkie's "Davenport Past and Present":
"This church is situated on the southeast corner of Scott and Eleventh streets on a lot donated by Mr. James McIntosh. It is a neat, plain frame building, thirty-five feet by forty-five feet, and calculated to seat between 300 and 400 persons. It was founded A. D. 1856. The congregation numbers about sixty members and is under the pastoral care of Rev. Samuel M. Hutchinson. They have a Sabbath school of thirty-one scholars and six teachers, with a library of 175 volumes.
"It may be observed that this church is in its infancy, and the only one of the kind in Davenport. It belongs to a large and influential branch of the Presbyterian family which originated in a union of Associate Presbyterians and Reformed Presbyterians who came from Scotland and Ireland as missionaries prior to the Revolution, and in the year 1782 they united together and retaining their primitive names in one, have since been known by the name of Associate Reformed Presbyterians. An effort has been made to unite this body with the Associate Presbyterians. If this proves successful, it may change the name of the church to United or Union Presbyterians."
THE REFORMED PROTESTANT DUTCH CHURCH.
The Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Davenport, not mentioned in Mr. Barrows' history above is here briefly sketched by the editor of the Annals. It was organized with eleven members, October 29, 1859, by a committee of the Classis of Illinois, consisting of Rev. E. P. Livingston and Rev. C. D. Eltinge, Rev. C. G. VanDerveer, the minister of the congregation, being present.
The first consistory of the church was composed of Elders L. S. Viele and Anthony VanWyck, with Deacon John R. Rogers.
A neat church edifice, seating 250 persons, was erected at a cost of $3,500 on Brady street, corner of Eleventh, and dedicated on the 16th of September, 1860, when Rev. C. G. VanDerveer was installed as pastor. The church in 1863 numbered forty members and the Sunday school ninety.
Rev. C. G. VanDerveer was educated at the Dutch Reformed Theological seminary in New Brunswick, N. J. He has constantly officiated in his charge at Davenport except during a short time as chaplain of the Eighth Iowa Volunteer infantry, which was captured at the battle of Shiloh or Pittsburg Landing. After which he resumed his charge at Davenport.
PLEASANT VALLEY TOWNSHIP.
1833.-No one who has passed through that portion of our county lying upon the river above Davenport called Pleasant Valley, terminating at the point of the bluff at the mouth of Spencer's creek, can for a moment forget its natural beauty. A short distance above East Davenport the bluffs recede from the river, leaving the bottom lands a mile wide, very little of which ever overflow. The gently sloping bluffs continue for several miles, sometimes approaching and then receding from the river, forming at times landscape views of unsurpassed beauty. And now that these lands are dotted over with tasteful and well cultivated farms and gardens from the river even to the top of the bluffs in places, it presents one of the most lovely rural scenes upon the upper Mississippi. This lovely valley received its very appropriate name from one of its earliest settlers, Mrs. J. A. Birchard, who now lives there to enjoy the fruits of her early toil and privations.
The first settlement of that valley was coeval with that of Buffalo township. In the fall of 1833, Roswell H. Spencer, Esq., built a log cabin upon the bank of the river a little below the present ferry landing from Hampton, on the opposite side of the river, to Valley City, a town laid out upon this side of the river. The same strata of limestone rock that underlies Rock island and its vicinity crops out along the entire length of this valley and in fact to the head of the rapids. There are some springs of pure, cold water gushing forth at the base of the bluffs, near Messrs. Spencer's and Birchard's on Duck creek, and on Crow creek, called in Indian, "Kaw-ka-kaw-sepo." The timber lands, called "Spencer's Woods," were of immense value to this part of Scott county in furnishing abundant material for the settlement of Pleasant Valley. Some of the best farms in Iowa are in this valley and upon the prairie back of it in the same township, owned by A. J. Hyde and brother, the Henleys, Donaldsons, Hawleys and others who retain their original possessions obtained among the first of Scott county.
1834.-Druing the winter of 1833 and 1834 J. B. Chamberlin, Esq., moved into the cabin built by Mr. Spencer, his being the first white family in the valley. In February or March they had a son born, who was the first white child born in the township. In the spring of 1834 Mr. Chamberlin built a cabin on the bank of the river, a little above the mouth of Crow creek, which is still standing, and is upon the farm now owned by G. B. and D. S. Hawley, Esqs. In addition to Messrs, Spencer and Chamberlin, the first settlers were Mr. Daniel Davison, Calvin Spencer and James Thompson.
1835.-In 1835 Davis & Haskel built a grist mill, the first ever built in the county, or in this part of the state. It was situated on Crow creek, just above where the present river road crosses that stream, and although of most rude, primitive kind, having two common boulders rough hewn, for stones, yet it was one of the most essential improvements of that age. Settlers came from a great distance for several years to this mill. It was a log building, and after serving the public faithfully for many years, it was allowed to tumble to decay. A saw mill, the first in the county, was also built in this valley in 1835 by Capt. Clark, of Buffalo. This was situated on Duck creek, near its mouth. These two mills, humble as they were, supplied the wants of the early settlers, not only of Pleasant Valley, but all the surrounding country for many miles. The immigrants into this township were Mr. M. J. Layman, James Haskel, Thomas Davis, B. F. Pike, D. C. Davison, G. M. Pinneo, H. H. Pinneo, and Avery Pinneo.
1836.-In the spring of 1836 this little settlement found themselves struggling and buffeting against the pressure and privations incident to a pioneer life, but with brave hearts and iron nerve they toiled on full of hope for the future. During the year they had an acquisition to their number of upwards of twenty families. This put new courage into their hearts, and the valley began to give way from her original beauty to that of the cultivated field and the benefits and blessings of a civilized life. Among the immigrants of this year was Mr. John Works, who was elected subsequently to the office of county commissioner, which office he filled till 1841. He was a plain, unassuming man of excellent judgment and sterling integrity. Also, among others, were Thomas Jones, Stephen Heley, Andrew J. Hyde, Alfred White, H. G. Stone, J. A. Birchard, Samuel and Wheeler Hedges, Anson Rowe, Lewis Blackman, William Trask, Franklin Rowe, Hiram Green, John Wilson, Royal Gilman, S. H. Gilman, John J. Clark, John Tuttle, Danile Wyman, and Geo. W. Thorn, most of whom are now living and counted among Scott county's earliest and best supporters.
Messrs. Haskel & Davis built a saw mill near the mouth of Crow creek on the Mississippi river, which was afterward purchased by Stephen Henley, who made important additions and improvements, and it is still in possession of his heirs. A postoffice was established, called "Pleasant Valley," J. A. Birchard, P. M., an appointment which he probably held longer than any similar officer in the state. In June, Simeon Chamberlin was born (son of J. B. Chamberlin), who now lives in LeClaire, and probably the oldest person living who was born in Pleasant Valley township. In the fall of 1836 Mr. Chamberlin's wife died and two of their children, one of which was the first child born in the valley.
1837.-The immigrants of this year were Lyman Smith, Ernest Gould, D. N. Pope, Capt. Isaac Hawley, Cyrus P. Hawley, William P. Eldridge, G. J. Hyde, Jerry Payne, Robert Scroggins, John Campbell and William Nichols. Messrs. Spencer and Work built the third sawmill in the county, this summer on Spencer's creek, a small stream that empties into the Mississippi near Valley City. This creek was called by the Indians Wau-pe-me-me-sepo (White pigeon creek). The Messrs. Hedges built the second grist mill and the saw mill of this county this summer on Crow creek, some four miles from its mouth, making the stones from common boulders found on the prairies. It is a remarkable fact that up to this date, although the settlement was begun and progressed rapidly up and down the river and back into the interior as far as the Cedar river where mill privileges were numerous, yet Scott county had more mills in operation than all the country for forty miles and many settlers came that distance to mill.
1838.-The immigrants of 1838 were G. W. Fenno, Thomas Hall, Isaac Hedges, John Emerson, Lucius Moss, Horace Bradley and A. B. Lathrop. These settled in various parts of the valley, many of whom still live. The progress of the settlement was slow but substantial.
1839.-Among the many who came in 1839 we notice the names of Johnson & Boyington who built a distillery, the first, we believe, ever introduced into Scott county. But like many others who have undertaken the manufacture of spirituous liquors, they failed in the enterprise and removed to other parts.
1849.-Like other places in the far west this settlement found many difficulties to encounter during the long and dreary years from 1840 to 1850. The increase of immigration was slow. No public works or expenditure of government money was expected at that day, and all depended alike upon the culture of the soil for sustenance. They built houses and opened farms; they instituted schools for the education of their children, and built churches in which to worship; so that in 1850 Pleasant Valley township as a rural district stood foremost among the settlements of Scott county. The early settlers were men of nerve and ability, and well knew that honest industry was sure of reward; and many now live to enjoy the fruits of their early labor.
One peculiarity, not only of the adaptation of the soil of Pleasant Valley, but of her people, is the raising of onions. In all Iowa, and probably nowhere west of the Mississippi river are there so many onions raised as in this township. Tens of thousands of bushels are annually shipped as the products of this valley. From 300 to 400 bushels to the acre is considered a common crop, while some have raised as many as 500 and even 600 bushels to the acre. The onions raised are of a most excellent quality and bring the highest prices in the southern market.
Among the prominent citizens of this township is Mr. J. A. Birchard, who represented this county in the legislature in 1838-39. He has at times assessed the county, and been a public superintendent of highways. His sound, sterling principles have ever received the confidence and respect of all who know him. He is said to be one of the best farmers of our county and takes much pains in raising stock and fruit. He retains the original lands occupied in his first settlement. Having erected new and substantial buildings he lives at his ease, enjoying that comfort which his industry and perseverance have secured.
Roswell H. Spencer, one of the first settlers of the valley, is a farmer but his attention has been turned more particularly to mills and milling. From an early day Mr. Spencer has furnished lumber for improvements in this portion of the county and done much toward advancing the interests of the settlement. In 1856 or 1857 he erected at a heavy cost a large steam flouring mill near his residence in Valley City which has done a very good business.
Capt. Isaac Hawley, another old settler, is with his sons, George B. and Daniel S. Hawley, one of the largest farmers in the valley. His early success in raising onions was his first step toward his future prosperity. His life has been lengthened out to a good old age and he lives blessed with all the comforts of life, respected by all who know him, happy in his declining years to look back upon the scenes through which he has passed and feel that his life has not been spent in vain.
Stephen Henley was another of the pioneers who settled in the valley at an early day, and did much toward the progress of agriculture besides manufacturing lumber to a considerable extent. He died about the year 1850 leaving a large estate to his children and an unblemished character.
Christopher Rowe settled in 1851 and although he has been for many years a non-resident of the valley, yet his early efforts in behalf of the infant settlement will long be remembered. His open and generous heart has often made glad the weak and discouraged while his aid and counsel inspired confidence in those who languished under the severe trials incident to a frontier life.
Andrew J. Hyde and brother were among the first who opened farms upon the prairie back from the river, and still retain the lands upon which they first settled, and rank among the best farmers of Scott county. Andrew J. Hyde was the member elected to the legislature in 1846 and served with much acceptance to his constituents.
1834.-At the teaty in 1832 with the Sac and Fox Indians at Davenport (see Chapter 1 of this history), they gave to Antoine LeClaire, Esq., a section of land at the head of the rapids (640 acres). They had at the same treaty presented Mrs. LeClaire with a similar amount of land where the city of Davenport now stands. The reason of this gift was none other, we believe, than out of friendship and respect for Mr. and Mrs. LeClaire. He had been with them from boyhood, either in the employ of the Fur Company or of the government as interpreter, and was very popular with them. The American Fur Company at an early day had a trading house on a small island some three miles below LeClaire called Davenport' island, afterward Smith's island and now Fulton's island. The Indians came across from Rock river, Meredosia swamp and from the Wabesipinecon river to this post to trade. The Indians ever loved to live along the thick timber lands of the "Pau-ke-she-tuck" (rapids) or swift water, where they found abundance of fish. There was much game, also. The forest was dense all through the country lying along the Mississippir river from Spencer's creek at the head of Pleasant valley to Princeton and was of large growth. A corresponding tract, also, of like character lay along the opposite side of the river.
The township of LeClaire in its general character is similar to other river townships; perhaps rather more uneven along a portion of its bluffs, but its prairie lands back are among the choicest in Iowa and well settled by enterprising and industrious farmers.
The first settlement of LeClaire was not upon that portion given to Mr. LeClaire by the Indians, but was made by Eleazer Parkhurst, Esq., we believe, from the state of Massachusetts. He purchased the claim just above the north line of the reserve, of George W. Harlan who built the cabin thereon. This cabin stood on or near the place of the present residence of Waldo Parkhurst in the present limits of the city of LeClaire and was the first actually settled claim in the township. We believe this cabin was built in February, 1834. His brother, the late Sterling Parkhurst, Esq., was the second settler, but the same season Nathan and Martin W. Smith settled below the town where the old mill now stands. Ira F. Smith came in the autumn of that year and now lives on the old place of Martin W. Smith. All of these early pioneers are now dead except Ira F. Smith.
But there seem to have been others even at an earlier day anxious to secure so desirable a site for a town. The importance of the location had attracted the attention of some who at an early day were passing up and down the Mississippi river and were not blind to the coming future. I here insert a document dated the next year after the treaty and after Mr. LeClaire came into possession of the land in which a contract is made for the town site of LeClaire proper:
Whereas, it is agreed by and between Antoine LeClaire of the one part and George Davenport, Enoch C. March and John Reynolds of the other part, witnesseth, that the said LeCalire agrees to convey by deed in fee simple to the said Davenport, March and Reynolds, forty acres each, to be taken out of a section of land at the head of the rapids which was granted to said LeClaire by the late treaty with the Sac and Fox Indians. Said land is situated on the Mississippi river on the west side thereof, said LeClaire reserving forty acres himself of said section making in all one-quarter section.
Said quarter section is to be located so as to be the suitable for the purpose of laying out a town thereon. And all the parties to this contract agree further to lay out a town on said quarter section of land and to be equal partners and proprietors thereof.
Said quarter section of land is to be located and surveyed as soon as practicable and the same surveyed also as soon as practicable into lots.
Said Davenport, March and Reynolds in consideration of said land agree to pay him (LeClaire) $80, each one.
27th March, 1833 Test, K. McKenzey.
Signed, and sealed:
Enoch C. March,
1835.-At a subsequent date the interest of Enoch C. March, Esq., consisting of one-fourth of the town site was purchased by our fellow townsman, Capt. James May who still retains a large protion of it. Mr. Eleazer Parkhurst opened the first farm upon the prairies back of the town. The town of LeClaire was laid out into lots in the spring or summer of 1837 by the town company, surveyed by Wm. R. Shoemaker, assisted by Henry S. Howell, both United States deputy surveyors. About the same time Mr. Parkhurst having disposed of a part of his claim to Col. T. C. Eads, they jointly laid out the town of Parkhurst.
1836.-During the summer of 1836 Mr. Parkhurst applied to the postoffice department for a postoffice at that place. He immediately received a favorable answer, with the appointment of postmaster and the office was named Parkhurst, after the name of the petitioner.
During the years 1835 and 1836 emigrants came in and made settlements. Among these was Mr. William Rowe, Josiah Scott, John M. and Griswold VanDuzer, Eli Smith, Dr. Zachariah Grant, William Cousal, Philip Suiter, Noble McKinstry, Rockwell McKinstry, John Lewis and others. A son of M. E. Parkhurst, the Rev. Wm. J. Parkhurst, still resides in this township and is the oldest inhabitant now resident in the place. The two towns, LeClaire and Parkhurst, were for many years rivals in point of progress and exhibited many of those traits so common among the embryo cities of the west. Soon after Parkhurst was laid out, its name was changed with that of its postoffice to Berlin and finally to LeClaire.
1837.-Col. T. C. Eads made the first important improvement in Parkhurst in the summer of 1837 by the erection of a large frame dwelling, thirty feet by forty feet, two stories high, and it was one of the wonders of the age. Our fellow citizen, Nathaniel Squires, was the builder and it stands a worthy monument of the genius, enterprise and ambition of those early pioneers.
1838.-In the spring of 1838 Ralph Letton, Esq., of Cincinnati purchased a portion of Col. Eads' interest in the town and a disagreement among the owners retarded the settlement and improvement of the place for several years. No decided improvement in either of the towns took place however until 1841. But the progress of settlement by farmers upon the edge of the prairie was considerable, and many farms were opened along the river up to the Wabesipinecon bottoms.
1839 and 1840 were, however, dark days in the west, alike to all and every new enterprise or even a new comer was hailed as an acquisition to the infant colony. Lemuel Parkhurst, Esq., now a resident of LeClaire, first opened a store in 1839 in the little stone building in Parkhurst now owned by Mr. W. Gardner. In 1840 the old stone building yet standing on the bank of the river at the foot of Walnut street was erected by Eleazer Parkhurst. The same year he and his nephew Waldo Parkhurst who settled there in 1837 and is still a merchant in LeClaire opened in the stone store a large stock of good of all kinds and continued in the same until 1849 when the firm was dissolved.
1841.-In 1841 Charles Ames, William Allen, A. K. Philleo and Martin W. Smith made improvements and settled in the town of LeClaire. Mr. Ames was from Port Byron, on the opposite side of the river and brought with him a stock of goods. He built the house now owned and occupied by his widow, it being the first house built in the city of LeClaire or on the reserve. Here he opened the first stock of goods ever offered for sale in that place. Mr. Ames died in 1846. Mr. Philleo built the house occupied as a bakery now by Mr. Scheck. These were the dark days of LeClaire. Many an old settler will call to mind the few little tenements scattered along the banks of the river through both of the villages and well remember the stately oaks that grew along the streets where now the beautiful mansions and the merchants' blocks rear their massive piles. From this date to 1847 but little progress was made at either town in the way of improvements. Steamboats generally laid up there in low water and windy weather on account of the difficulty of crossing the rapids at such times, and often in extreme low water lighters or flat boats were used to convey freight over as at the present day employing many men. It is the residence of the rapids pilots for boats and rafts. The settlement of the prairie back from the town continued slowly and occasionally a new edifice would appear in LeClaire or Parkhurst.
In February, 1837, Messrs. A. H. Davenport and Samuel Lyter of Rockingham opened a store of dry goods and groceries. Mr. Lyter soon gave place in the firm to Robert Christie, Esq., and Winchester Sherman; and in the autumn of 1848 this firm erected the first sawmill in LeClaire, and the following year a flouring mill was added. In the summer of 1851 this mill was burned down and in four months after the firm of Davenport & Rogers who then owned it, erected the Rapids mill upon the same ground.
1848.-The comparative size of the two villages at this date may be seen by an article which we quote from the LeClaire Republic of March 23, 1859, from the pen of E. Russell, Esq., then editor of that paper:
"In 1848," says Mr. Russell, "when we first visited the locality LeClaire and Parkhurst were separated by a 'gulf' which though easily passed kept each town entirely separate from the other. A beautiful and dense grove of oaks extended from Reynolds street up to Holland street, and no cabins or fences marred the scene. LeClaire then contained nine frame dwelling houses, two brick ditto, one brick store, one frame ditto, occupied, and one or two unoccupied, one brick building used as a pork house, one blacksmith shop, the Baptist church, occupied but not finished, and the old Methodist church in course of erection. Parkhurst boasted of eight frame dwelling houses, one brick ditto, two log ditto, one stone ditto, two stone store houses, one frame barn and one log ditto."
It was not until 1849 or 1850 that either of the towns began to assume the appearance of a village, but from that time both increased in population and buildings as well as in extension of the limits of their towns. In 1851 Messrs. Davenport & Rogers purchased of Mr. LeClaire the remaining strip of land lying between the two towns of LeClaire and Parkhurst and laid it out into building lots. This gave a new impetus to business of all kinds. Mills and manufactories were erected. Mechanics of all kinds settled in the place, and many large brick stores were erected, so that in 1855 on petition of the inhabitants of both towns the legislature by act incorporated the city of LeClaire, including within its limits the town of Parkhurst.
At this date there were within the limits of this city no less than eleven dry goods stores, two clothing stores, one watchmaker, one saddler, two boat and provision stores, one bakery, five blacksmith shops, three wagon shops, one tin shop and stoves, one hardware store, one boot and shoe store, five churches, two copper shops, two tailor shops, two shoemakers, two livery stables, five hotels, one banking house, one printing office, two steam flouring mills, one steam sawmill, three lawyers, six physicians, two cabinet shops, candy shops and oyster saloons in any quantity, house and ship caprenters, stone masons and brick layers, a boat yard where steamers are repaired and keel boats made and repaired, and a ferry across the Mississippi river.
There are many interesting anecdotes connected with the early history of this township, llike many others in the country. All the pioneer laws of a new country were enforced here, and that same rigid regard for the rights of all was duly noticed. Some very rough specimens of humanity were of course among the early settlers, and many a kind heart covered up by a very rough exterior. It was deemed in those days a very dangerous thing for one man to "jump" another's "claim." The man who had the temerity to attempt such a thing was looked upon as likely to do worse deeds when opportunity presented. A rather laughable farce of this kind took place in September, 1837. At a meeting of the inhabitants of the settlement matters had been talked over as to the peace and good order of things, and the meeting about to adjourn, when a young man, a stranger, rather casually remonstrated, against any one holding more than one "claim," and not that, unless he lived on it He was from Hennepin, Ills., and most evidently had not traveled "the country all over," assuming rather more airs than seemed necessary for the occasion. His remarks were heard by one Simeon Cragin, a discharged soldier, and one of those unceremonious, backwoods, frontier, half civilized humans that lurk around the border settlements, who immediately presented himself before him and thus addressed him: "My name, sir, is Simeon Cragin, sir, all the way from Bangor, and you must leave these diggins, with but few remarks." The increasing rage of "Simeon" became alarming to the young Sucker and he found the shortest road possible to the state of Illinois, and we presume has never since visited Iowa with a view at least of "jumping claims."
There are also many striking reminiscences of the Indians in their sojourn both before and after the whites took possession of the country that might be interesting, and may be added hereafter. There are those now living in LeClaire who remember with what satisfaction the Indians often returned to thier forest home at the head of the rapids. In 1837 over 1,000 were encamped where the city now stands.
But while the people of LeClaire were thus busily engaged in building up a city, they did not forget in its earlier days when their sun of prosperity looked dark and uncertainty brooded over their undertakings, to turn their attention to schools and churches. Of the first little gatherings for prayer or of the first sermon in some small cabin where the littlle pioneer band first met we know nothing, but the first building erected for that purpose was the brick Baptist church in the summer of 1847. It was enclosed that autumn, and a small room in the basement finished off so that it could be occupied by the district school during the six days and on the Sabbath for divine service. This room, measuring about sixteen feet by twenty feet, continued to be the headquarters of the grammar school and the ballot box for some five years. Upon election days the school was let out to accommodate the officials in the weightier matters of the law. In 1849, the church being still weak in numbers and poor, entered into an agreement with the Congregational church to make the building answer for both congregations. The main edifice was to be finished, the original owners were to lath it, and the Congregationalists were to plaster it, and for so doing the latter were to have the use of it free on alternate Sabbaths for four years. In consequence, however, of delay on the part of the Baptist brethern in performing their contract, the church was not plastered till the pring of 1850, and the slips or pews were not put in until autumn. During this summer (1850) the audiences of the respective churches had to sit on seats constructed by laying rough joists on equally rough blocks-seats of the most rude and primitive kind. But it appears that the immigration into the flourishing village of LeClaire that summer was so great houses could not be found to contain them and a family occupied one end of the church as a residence-having a calico curtain separating kitchen, dining room and parlor from the sancturary.
The Rev. W. Rutledge was pastor of the Baptist and Rev. H. W. Cobb the stated supply of the Congregational church which occupied the edifice until the completion and dedication of their neat little church on the 22d of December, 1853.
The old Methodist church was built in the autumn of 1848, and was used in its unfinished state during the following winter, being used also, one end of it, as a carpenter's shop, the bench and tools crowded into one corner on the Sabbath. This building is yet standing and is rented for a district school. The first resident Methodist minister in LeClaire was the Rev. Joel B. Taylor. He was the first to occupy the parsonage, erected the same autumn as the church. A new Methodist church edifice was commenced in 1856, and completed and dedicated in August, 1857.
The old Presbyterian church was built, we believe, in 1850, at a cost of $500. In 1855 it was sold to the school district and converted into a schoolhouse. In the summer of that year Mr. T. H. Longbottom entered into a contract to erect a new church, which he completed the following season at a total cost of $4,180. The dedication services were held on the 15th of September, 1856. This building was destroyed by fire on the 2d of June, 1859, supposed to be the work of an incendiary.
The Congregational church was organized in 1849. Rev. H. W. Cobb was stated supply from June 1850, to December 1851, and the Rev. L. R. White from that date to June 1, 1854. The church edifice was erected in 1853, at a cost of $1,060, labor and material being at that time very cheap.
There are Catholic, United Presbyterian and Disciples' churches in the city, the statistics of which I am not able to give.
The "Bratton House" was commenced in the summer of 1854, finished the following season, and opened by H. E. and D. B. Brown in October, 1855.
A boat yard called the Marine Railway was commenced in March, 1856, and the first boat was hauled out the 18th of September of the same year.
1835.-The first permanent claimants to land in this township were Giles M. and Haswell H. Pinneo, who made their claims in the autumn of 1835 and moved on to them as permanent settlers in the spring of 1836. George W. Harlan had made some claims on speculation even before this, but made no real settlement. Giles M. Pinneo settled where he now lives and Haswell H. took his claim where a part of the city of Princeton now stands. Many of the old settlers will remember his neat hewed log cabin and the comforts it often afforded to those who came beneath its roof. He died many years since much respected by all who knew him.
In the spring of 1836 Thomas Hubbard, Sen., who had been living on the opposite side of the river from the time of the Black Hawk war, moved over and settled on what is now a part of the city of Princeton. Mr. Hubbard was from Kentucky, had served in the Black Hawk war, and seemed to have had much of the old Kentucky hatred for Indians. While settled upon the Illinois side of the river he had frequent attacks from them, which were repelled in true pioneer spirit. The Indians were in the habit of stealing from him such few articles of "animal civilization" as he was able to get around him, such as fowls, hogs and cattle. He had procured some bees from the forest, which at that time were plenty, when one day on his return to his cabin he found they had been robbed by the Indians. He was soon upon their trail with his rifle, and came up with them as they were leaving the shore in their canoes. He fired upon them when the fire was returned from the canoes, Hubbard taking to a tree for shelter. Several shots were fired and one Indian was killed. Many other skirmishes were often related by the old man of his exploits with the redskins. In his old age he became superstitious and somewhat shattered in mind. He returned, I believe, to Kentucky and died there some years since.
Some time in the year 1837, Daniel Hire settled about four miles from the Mississippi river upon the Wabespinecon bottom near where he now lives. Benjamin F. Pike came up from Rockingham in the spring of 1838 and brought with him a small stock of goods, which was the first store of any kind ever opened in the township. The same year Jesse R. James and Samuel Sturdivant settled near Lost Grove, and that winter John B. Doty, Esq., settled about two miles from the Mississippi, where he now lives. The first frame house built in the township was by Daniel Hire in 1837.
In the spring of 1838 Benjamin Doolittle established the first public ferry across the Wabesipinecon on the road from Davenport to Camanche. Jonas Barber built a mill this year propelled by steam, which was the first of any kind built in the township. There was a distillery also built the same year by Jacob Rose. The immigrants of this year were Abijah Goodrich and family, Avery D. Pinneo, Gideon Averill, Wm. Palmer, Franklin Rowe, Sterling Parkhurst and Matthias L. Pinneo.
From the year 1840 settlement was slow in the township for ten years, but has gradually filled up, so that at present there are about 260 voters. The first deaths in the township were Mrs. Mary Sweet and Mrs. Lucy Goodrich. The first children born were Henry Hire, Thomas Doty and Albert Pinneo.
In the first settlement of Princeton township, like other places at that day, the pioneer families underwent many privations. Supplies of every kind except wild meat had to be obtained from Fort Armstrong on Rock island. These were taken up by water over the rapids in Indian canoes. It was but little they were able to purchase and all that was expected in those days were the bare necessaries of life. A story is told of Mr. Pinneo making a journey to Davenport after it became settled and a store had been established with a lot of beans in order to exchange them for goods to make clothing for his family. It was bitter cold weather and on the way he had an attack of the ague. He exchanged his beans with much difficulty at twenty-five cents per bushel, heaping measure, and took thin five cent calico at the rate of twenty-five to thirty-seven and a half cents per yard. These were the beginnings of some of those who settled in this township. But brighter days have dawned on many of the old settlers who are now enjoying the fruits of early toil.
Princeton City was laid off (a part of it) in 1852 and recorded. Other portions were laid off, but never recorded. Additions have been made since.
The first postoffice was established in 1841 and Haswell H. Pinneo appointed postmaster. The first store was opened in 1840 by B. F. Pike, as before stated. The next one was opened by a company known as "Lawyer Hammond & Co." In 1848 Col. W. F. Breckinridege, from Pennsylvania, opened a store in the city, calling the place at that time "Pinnacle Point." There is a Presbyterian and a Methodist church organized in the city.
The city of Princeton was incorporated, January, 1857, and in the month of March following the first charter election was held. Samuel Porter was elected the first mayor and resigned in May. At a special election held soon after William Shew was elected mayor to fill the vacancy. At this time, the city contained about 250 inhabitants, one store, kept by Walker & Armstrong, two public houses and fifteen dwellings, one smith shop, one steam saw mill, by John Forsyth, one church and forty-six dwellings.
In the month of March, 1858, William H. Thompson was elected mayor. This year the population was about 500. The improvements were greater in the youthful city of Princeton than at any other point on the Mississippi river for the nymber of inhabitants. This year there was built one steam saw mill by Isaac Sherman, from Cleveland, Ohio, at a cost of $8,000, capable of cutting 30,000 feet of lumber per day, two steam grist mills (first class) one by McKinstry & Hubbard at a cost of $12,000, one by Herbert & Fishback at a cost of $9,000 but before it was completed the firm failed. D. D. McCoy built a large house and opened a fancy dry goods store. This season there were sixty-two dwellings built, among which was the dwelling of Dr. G. S. Bell, which cost about $5,000.
In March, 1859, Thomas Galt, M. D., was elected mayor. This year the population had reached 1,000, but owing to the hard times there was not so much improvement as the year previous. Walker & Patterson built a steam planing mill with all the improved machinery for making sash, doors and blinds, which was a great benefit to the place and surrounding country, besides being remunerative to its enterprising projectors. F. G. Welch this year built a fancy store three stories high, but Mr. Welch did not live to enjoy his enterprising undertaking. Mr. R. Bennett also built a large store and opened a good stock of dry goods and groceries and with the assistance of Abl. Kurney started a tin shop. This year there was another church built and thirty-two dwellings. Dr. Galt built a residence for himself which is the finest building in the place. It is of brick, thirty-six feet by forty feet, two stories and a half high and finished in the latest style, an honor to the enterprising doctor of which he is eminently deserving. At this time there were fifteen carpenters, six blacksmiths, four shoemakers, two tailors, one tinker, two steam saw mills, two steam grist mills, one steam planing mill, two carriage shops, four blacksmith shops, two public schools, two private schools, one lawyer.
Princeton now bids fair to outrival some of her more successful neighbors. By the 4th of July, 1860, there will be a direct communication with Chicago by railroad. The iron for the Sterling & Rock Island road is contracted for and a portion of it will be delivered by rail this winter. The balance will be delivered as soon as the ice leaves the river, as it comes by the way of New Orleans. The road when finished will be thirty-six miles nearer Chicago than by the Chicago & Rock Island road; fifty-six miles nearer Chicago from this place than by way of Davenport. There has also been $27,500 of stock taken and secured by the citizens of Princeton by bond and mortgage of the Sterling & Rock Island road. There is a great opening for manufacturers by water power. There is a chance of securing a water power of seventeen and one-half feet fall with the outlay of $30,000. By tapping the Wabesipinecon river about four miles above this place the water can be brought into this city at any desired point with the above amount of fall - the survey has been made by scientific engineers and the result as stated is therefore unquestionable.
The changes that have taken place in this township since its first settlement have been as great as any other portion of Scott county. It has much very fine agricultural lands with abundance of timber and rock, and contians some of the best farms in the county. We prophesy that at no very distant day the city of Princeton will be one of the most flurishing towns upon the Mississippi river. It has the material in and around it and its enterprising inhabitants will allow no opportunity to pass unimproved that will tend to advance the interests of their thriving and beautiful city.
WINFIELD OR LONG GROVE TOWNSHIP.
This grove of timber of considerable extent lies between Walnut or Pease's grove and Allen's grove. It is about twelve miles from Davenport and five miles from the Wabesipinecon river. There are some of the best farms around this grove of any in the county or the state. The face of the country is gently rolling, the soil of the richest quality and the beautifully cultivated fields sloping away from the grove on every side present one of the most interesting agricultural scenes in the western country.
The settlement was begun in the autumn of 1837 by John C. and William, Quinn, Joseph and James Quinn, George Daly, Alphonso Warren, and Aaron Norris with their families from Ohio. The Quinns first settled on the banks of the Wabesipinecon river, established a ferry, and subsequently laid out a town called Point Pleasant. The following year, 1838, Charles Elder and family from Pensylvania, Elihu Alvord from New York, H. H. Pease from Indiana, Alexander and James Brownlie from Scotland, with families settled in the grove, and the little band of hardy pioneers began their life in earnest upon the new and fertile soil of Iowa.
Nowhere in all the west do I remember of having witnessed such a beginning as was exhibited in this little colony. There seemed to be more of the faith of the Puritan fathers among the emigrants than any that I had ever witnessed. All seemed to feel an entire dependence upon one another and on the ruling hand of Providence. One common interest seemed to cement them all and a spirit of brotherly love prevailed throughout the settlement. In the spring of 1839 several other families arrived and the want of Christian fellowship and teachings was so apparent that Alexander and James Brownlie commenced a Sabbath school in their own log cabin which has been kept up to the present time. All attended, parents and children. The New Testament was the only book taught except the spelling book and the plain interpretation and meaning of the lessons read was impressed upon the minds of all. Many now live who can testify to the blessed influences and early impressions gathered at this primitive Sabbarh school. A part of the Sabbath was devoted to regular preaching. Christian worship was maintained by James Brownlie assisted by his brother Alexander, John Quinn and others. From these feeble efforts the germ planted in faith has sprung up a Christian church at Long Grove that has been mintained with growing interest to the present day; and every Sabbath as its consecrated hours roll around finds the people of this rich, thriving moral and Christian neighborhood sitting under the teachings of those who at an early day spake to them of Christ the Saviour.
There is in this township between the high ridge of land upon which Long Grove is situated and the Wabesipinecon river a strip of land some two miles wide of sandy soil and although not as rich and fertile as other prairie, yet it has been settled up within a few years by an Irish colony mostly from Canada, of the Roman Catholic faith. They have a small church erected and service performed at stated seasons by a priest from Davenport. There are but few farms along the immediate banks of the Wabesipinecon, it being subject to annual overflow and generally skirted with timber.
In a letter from Alexander Brownlie, Esq., who had kindly furnished me with many interesting facts connected with the early history of the settlement at Long Grove, he says: "In 1838 flour was worth at the Grove $11 per barrel, corn meal, $1 per bushel, and pork 15 cents per pound; seed wheat, $1 and potatoes, 50 cents; that it required four bushels of wheat to get a pound of tea. A good cat was worth a pound of tea. To show the value of a cat in those days," says Mr. Brownlie, "I traveled from Long Grove to the residence of a Mr. Ridgway some distance above Davenport (about fourteen miles) to obtain a cat which was given me by special favor; Mrs. Ridgeway having first folded the precious animal to her bosom, shed tears at parting, and kissed the little domestic comfort before she could part with such an important treasure."
Mills were scarce in Iowa at that day and many families lived on hominy and cornneal ground in the coffee mill. The nearest mill was at Pleasant Valley and another at the mouth of Pine creek, Muscatine county.
In 1840 George Daily built a small grist mill on the little creek north of Walnut grove. It was the product of his own labor, except stones, which were cut out of a prairie boulder and finished up for running by Alexander Brownlie, who was a stone mason. Mr Daily, who was an honest, hardworking man, ground for many years all the grain for the neighborhood, and made very good flour, although it took him some time do do it upon his rude and primitive mill. He was called "the honest miller." The old mill has gone to decay and the builder removed to other parts.
Elihu Alvord, Esq., was from the state of New York. He is still living with his children near Davenport and although the oldest pioneer in the county, now eighty-three years of age, he enjoys uncommonly good health, is full of life and vivacity and is happy in his old age to behold the change from the days of his first settlement to the present times.
It was about the last of August, 1838, that Alexander and James Brownlie built their cabins of logs and boards in the east end of the grove in a cluster of large trees that sheltered them from the bleak prairie winds. They afterward sawed lumber by hand with a whip saw, rolling the logs upon platform and one standing beneath. In this way they not only supplied themselves with lumber but furnished much for their neighbors. Lumber then was worth some $40 in Davenport and now as good as that produced by the Brownlies, and what now could be had for $10 per thousand. We can well remember the solid comfort one found in their first cabin. It was the only place for a long time between Davenport and Point Pleasant on the Wabesipinecon that the traveler could find feed for his horse or food for himself, and he never was turned away cold or hungry, nor had he ever any reason to complain of high charges or want of attention. The traveler was ever welcome and although no designs or pretensions were made to keep a public house, yet none knew better or were more willing to add to the comforts of all than Mrs. Brownlie. The first stage road and for some time the only road to DeWitt from Davenport passed through this grove. The Messrs. Quinn at a later day opened farms on the prairie west of the Grove, where most of them still reside. James Quinn was elected the present year (1859) to the house of representatives on the republican ticket, and is a man competent and well worthy to fill the honorable station to which he has been elected.
The Brownlies still hold their original possessions with their lands under the best of cultivation. The old log cabins have given place to beautiful dwellings surrounded by choice fruit trees and gardens and the Messrs. Brownlie are considered among the neatest, most judicious and prosperous farmers in Scott county. Hugh M. Thompson also settled in this grove at a later day, and is said to be not only a good farmer but scientific in his operations and pays great attention to improvements in agruiculture and the breeding of good stock. There are many others in and around this grove, both of the new and old settlers, well deserving of notice, and who have done much toward the progress of agriculture in that settlement. In the early days of this colony there seemed to have been planted as a basis good sound moral and religious principles, and they have been maintained to the present time.
In those days men were expected to be honest and were honest. "No one thought then of locking doors," says Mr. Brownlie. The postoffice was at Point Pleasant and John Quinn, postmaster. He was often from home and the office left open for all to wait on themselves. The whole neighborhood would take their letters to mail, and leaving them would get their mail matter, leaving the postage on the letter box or accounting afterward for the same, none desiring to cheat the postmaster. Everybody was poor alike and needed friends and was always friendly. There was none of that grasping, selfish disposition exhibited in many of the early settlements of our country and consequently but little quarreling about claims or anything else. There was room for all and the Long Grove settlement was a pattern of excellence in its early struggle, and nobly did it succeed. It stands today among the most enterprising moral and religious communities in our county or in our state.
A span of horses and wagon in those days were hired at $5 per day. The Brownlies owned the first wagon and the first fanning mill in or about the settlement which was used in common by the whole community for many years. "In the autumn of 1838," says Mr. Brownlie, "when the first snow fell, our oxen strayed away and early the next morning I started on their track following them across the uninhabited priarie toward the Mississippi river, and came up with them in Pleasant Valley about dark, without any money with me or acquaintance in that neighborhood. I applied for shelter and food of a true pioneer who has often fed the hungry and made glad the heart of the distressed emigrant by his cheerful and lively disposition and above all his free and generous heart." It was the rude shanty of Capt. Isaac Hawley, then just settled and who still lives to enjoy the heartfelt gratitude of many of the pioneers of Scott county who have so often shared his generous and kindly greeting. The captain not only gave him the hospitalities of the night but supplied him unsolicited with money he might need on his return. How sweet are the remembrances of such acts of kindness as we look back upon the scenes of our early life in the west!
The Long Grove settlement has now become large and populous. The little log church erected in the days of weakness and poverty still stands upon the beautiful rise of ground on the east side of the grove, and is used for a school house while just beside it stands their new and elegant church building erected the present season. Long may they enjoy the rewards of their early toil, they so richly deserve.
BLUE GRASS TOWNSHIP.
Blue Grass, or "Blue Grass Point," as it was first called by the white settlers, received its name from a point of timber land that extended into the prairie near the Muscatine county line. It was a great camping place of the Indians in their travels from the trading post on Rock island to their hunting grounds upon the Cedar, Iowa and Des Moines rivers. It is a noted fact that wherever the Indian has been in the habit of camping, blue grass was sure to follow, hence the name of "Blue Grass," was early given to this point from the abundance of that kind of grass found there.
This township or precinct consists of but one regular township of land (township 78, north, range 2, east) six miles square, but the town or village of Blue Grass is situated directly on the southern boundary of the township and the settlement of this place belongs as much to Buffalo township as to Blue Grass, when strictly bounded by township lines; but we speak of the early and present settlement without regard to lines. The village is located in the southwest corner of the township in the State road leading from Davenport to Muscatine, it being ten miles from the former and eighteen miles from the latter place, and about four miles from the Mississippi river. The township is nearly all prairie, but its southern boundary running along its entire length near the timber of Buffalo township, has been supplied with ample material for farming and building purposes.
The settlement first began at this point, we believe, in 1836, by a Mr. Sprague, Mr. Sry and perhaps one or two more; but in 1837 James E. Burnside, James Wilkinson, Samuel and Francis Little and one or two more, made claims upon the prairie. In 1838 Asa Foster, George and Charles Metteer, Alexander and Horace Dunlap made claims and some improvements. In 1839 Mr. Berringer owned the claims now in the possession of Robert Humphrey. The same year Franklin Easley opened the farm now owned by William McGarvey. Mr. Henry Schutt made a farm east of Picayune grove, formerly called Grant's grove, a small cluster of beautiful oaks now on the Telegraph road where Judge Grant in 1839 opened a model farm and raised some of the finest blooded stock in the state.
Among others who settled in and around Blue Grass before 1841 were Peter and Robert Wilson, A. W. Campbell, Robert Burnsides, Rufus Catlin, John P. Cooper, John D. Richey, John and Joseph P. Robison, David Gabbert, Daniel Berryman, Morris Baker and sons, George C. Havill, of whom many are still residents there, and among the most enterprising of the inhabitants. These were the pioneers, who made the first beginning in and around this beautiful section of country. With what satisfaction and pleasure, must these early settlers now look upon this township of land where the wolf and the deer were the only objects that could be seen a few years ago, all covered over with cultivated farms and dotted with farm houses, many of which are large and beautiful! The progress of the settlement, like others in the county, was slow and discouraging from 1840 until about 1851 or 1852.
In the summer of 1853 when the M. & M. railroad line was located, the land in this township became valuable, and was sought after with a perfect mania. It was but a year or two before it was almost one solid row of farms from Blue Grass to Walcott, which is located on the railroad in the northwest corner of the township, and is the first station out from Davenport on that road. It is a village of small dimensions, has a church, a hotel, store, etc., and good farms and farming country around it. Among the many beautiful farms that one passes in going from Walcott to Blue Grass is that of E. Steinhilber. This farm contains a section of land (640 acres,) all under good cultivation with public and private roads running through it. Orchards and gardens planted with tenant houses scattered through it, while near the center is the proprietor's large edifice built of brick and tastefully adorned. From the observatory of this building one of the richest scenes is presented that the eye can rest upon. In every direction the cultivated fields lie spread out before the observer, and in summer while the waving grain is ripening for the harvest, nothing can exceed the beauty of the scene.
In addition to the abundance of timber with which this settlemetn is supplied, there is an immense coal deposit that crops out in many places near Blue Grass. Although the existence of coal was early known, it was never dug to any extent until the settlement of the vast prairie north and northwest of Blue Grass. The average thickness of the vein is thirty inches, where it is worked in the ravines and hillsides. The principal mines now opened are those of James E. Brunsides, one mile from the village, Joseph Mounts and George C. Havill. In digging that of Mr. Burnsides. no labor is required by sinking shafts, but simply removing the earth from the top of the bed to the depth of some four feet in a ravine when the deposit is exposed, and about 300 bushels per day taken out. This bank was opened in 1855 or '56. Mr. Mounts' coal bank is but a short distance from that of Mr. Burnsides, and the coal is obtained by drifting into a side hill. This bank was opened in 1853 and 1854, and is worked on a smaller scale. About ninety bushels per day are dug. That of Mr. Havill was opened the same year as the latter, and is worked in like manner, yielding 150 bushels per day.
But coal may be found in almost any portion of Buffalo township, and at extreme low water has been found cropping out from the bed of the Mississippi, below the town of Buffalo. It is from this latter fact that some have been led to suppose there is a second coal deposit on or near the level of the river, and which underlies the whole, and must be far more extensive and of much better quality than the article now used from the unland mines. A company is about being formed, we understand, at Blue Grass, for the purpose of testing this principle by boring or sinking a shaft in the vicinity of Blue Grass until it shall reach the level of the bottom of the Mississippi river which will require some 150 feet.
The substratum of the upland prairies is composed of a great variety of earthy materials, including marls, beds of coarse sand and gravel, hard pan or pudding stones, overlaid with a kind of a yellow clay, and which underlies the present surface soil. This formation indicates the existence of extensive fresh water lakes, with currents, anterior to the drift or boulder era. In excavations for wells in the vicinity of Blue Grass a rich black mould of vegetable composition has been found twenty feet below the surface. The buried remains of the now extinct tribes of the gigantic mastodon and northern elephant are proofs of the existence of this earlier surface soil which was covered with a rank vegetation affording ample sustenance to immense herds of animals now extinct. The remains of one of these animals was found and partially exhumed in 1845 near Blue Grass, as will be seen from the following notice which we clip from the Davenpot Gazette of September of that year:
"Wonderful Discovery - A Mastodon in Iowa! - The remains of a huge animal have been found in this county about three miles from the Mississippi and about 150 feet above the level of the river on the farm of Mr. John Perin. The remains were discovered during last month by Joseph Morehead, Esq. They were embedded in a formation of argillaceous clay strongly impregnated with iron and about twelve feet below the surface of the earth. But a small portion of the remains have been exhumed; the remainder in the situation first discovered are left for the examination of some skillful anatomist as the position in which found will tend to the discovery of the size and species of the monster animal. Of the portions unearthed we will give a short description from the data that have been furnished us, regretting that we have not the facilities for transcribing diagrams of them.
"The teeth or tusks of the animal when first discovered appeared to be in good preservation, but in removing them they were found to have little tenacity. They are formed of laminated rings from one-eight to one-quarter of an inch in thickness, incased in an enamel of one-half an inch in depth. The exact length of these tusks cannot be accurately determined as previous to their removal the base of one and the extremity of the other had been broken off, but Messrs. Morehead and Sargent the gentlemen who exhumed them fully concur in the opinion founded upon the observations of the impressions made in the clay and other data that they could not have been less than eleven feet in length. They are eight inches in diameter at base and very much curved toward the point. Persons who saw them before they were mutilated say that they were about fourteen feet in length. A transverse section of these tusks exhibits the curvilinear radiations seen in the ivory of the elephant.
"One of the molars in good preservation was discovered in the same level with the tusks. It is composed of vertical strats of bone and enamel, alternating, is twelve inches wide at the base, four inches thick and nine inches deep. Another molar in an imperfect condition was obtained; from the size of the portions found this tooth was presumed to be eighteen inches in length.
"Further investigation disclosed a mass of bone five feet in thickness which appears to have been connected with the alveolar process from whence proceeded one of the tusks. The surface presented to the eye - for as we before observed the remains have been left in the position discovered with the exception of the tusks and molars which are in the possession ot two of our citizens - as it rests in a clay pit is a vertical section. A great portion of this mass had been destroyed by people more curious than wise before precautionary means had been taken to insure its safety.
"When first disclosed, the base of one of the tusks was on a level with this mass of bone but separated to the distance of three and a half feet. In this bone is a clearly defined orifice supposed to have been the whole of the ear. Proceeding out of this mass of bone and radiating irregularly from near the same spot are four bones resembling the ribs of an ox, but are of a substance much more dense. The length of these bones has not been determined, as they are still embedded in the clay. Attached to this mass by a cartilage - which owing to the presence of sulphuret of iron has been converted into a substance resembling bone - is a bone two feet in length, ten inches in width at the widest part, and four inches thick in the middle. Connected with this are several smaller bones that have the appearance of having at one time assisted in the formation of the ear. When discovered, the base of one tusk rested upon the middle of the other.
"It is the intention of those having charge of these remains to retain them in their present position until such time as competent scientific assistance for their entire exhumation can be obtained."
The original proprietors of the town of Blue Grass were John Perin, James W. Reynolds and James E. Burnsides who made the first survey of lots in June, 1853, Samuel Perin, surveyor, and made a public sale of them on the 10th of July of that year, Samuel Parker, auctioneer. The ground upon which the town was laid out had been occupied by six family residences, one of which had a small store in it in the summer of 1852. A small stock of goods has been kept there by different parties to the present time.
In 1855 James E. Burnsides erected a building for a hotel, but sold to Mr. Skiles, who made additions and opened a store which he still continues with success. A postoffice is kept by Mr. Skiles.
In 1855 through the exertions of the people of Blue Grass, who subscribed liberally, a steam flouring mill was erected by Messrs. Brace & Donahue, thirty feet by forty feet, four stories high, and capable of manufacturing 120 barrels of flour per day.
The village of Blue Grass now contains thirty-one familes, has one store, two blacksmiths, one carpenter, one shoemaker, one drug store, two church buildings, one Methodist and one Presbyterian. There is a Baptist church organized who worship in the Presbyterian church at present but contemplate erecting a house next summer. There are the usual number of school districts in the township and well supplied with school houses.
There is much to induce settlers to locate at Blue Grass, a rich surrounding country, well cultivated by enterprising farmers and schools and churches well conducted, with the beauty and healthfulness of a location, are sufficient inducements for any to settle down for life. The village needs more mechanics. A tin shop, saddle and harness and other shops of similar utility would do well. The morals of the community are good. No grog shops are allowed in this town and the Sabbath is reverenced and observed in a suitable manner.
There are some neighborhoods in this township that should claim more special notice, but we shall speak of only one more. The settlement of Little's Grove was first made in 1837 by William Lingo now of St. Louis who sold his claim to Francis and Samuel Little. The former died in 1854. Samuel Little, Esq., still resides in the grove and, we believe, is the only old settler still living in or around the grove. He has made himself not only comfortable with this world's goods but is independent. Surrounded by a large family he rests from his toils and now enjoys the rewards of hard labor amid many privations - one of the best and wealthiest farmers in Scott county.
ALLENS GROVE TOWNSHIP.
This township has the Wabesipinecon river on the north for its boundary, being skirted by timber, and also has a large grove of timber cut up into small tracts, and owned by the settlers in the vicinity. The grove was first settled in 1836 by a Mr. Allen who erected a cabin and laid claims to the lands now owned by George Lathrop. The grove derived its name from this man who removed at an early day into the "New Purchase." In 1843 while exploring the rivers of Iowa I found Mr. Allen with his family on the frontiers with a newly erected cabin close on to the line of the "Neutral Ground" of the Winnebago Indians. He was then talking of removing west as soon as the Indians sold their lands. The original or Indian name of this grove is Ka-te-sau-ne Mo-no-ok-que, (Otter Creek grove) deriving its name from Allens creek, which runs along the north side of the grove and called Ka-te-sau-ne Sepo (Otter creek).
In 1837, '38 and '39 the grove became settled by quite a number of emigrants, among whom were Dennis R. Fuller, John Dunn, John E. Thompson, Mr. Hindes, Halburt and Gee. These opened farms generally upon the prairie at the edge of the grove. The timber in this grove was formerly of the best quality, and the prairie around it beautiful and rolling. The farms in the vicinity are of the first order, well cultivated and productive. Some of its early settlers still live upon the lands they first claimed and are among the first citizens of Scott county.
Allens Grove is surrounded by well cultivated farms, except on the north, and nowhere has greater attention been paid to agricultural pursuits, to educating their children by common schools and social intercourse with one another, than by the inhabitants of this township. But few sections of country in Iowa or any other state present such a display of agricultural enterprise as the farms in the vicinity of this grove. Many of its first settlers have died, leaving to their children substantial homes.
There are many reminiscences connected with the settlement of this township that would be of much interest, but the author has been much disappointed in gathering them, and its history must, for the present, remain unwritten.
This grove was first settled in 1836. Geo. L. Davenport and some others had taken claims there as early as 1835, but we believe no actual settlement was begun until the following year. Among those who first made improvements in and around the grove were Alfred Carter, Vincent Carter, John Porter, Mr. Wyscowber, John and Christopher Schuck. This grove of timber at an early day was beautiful, furnishing fuel and timber for settlers, and has been the means of opening a large amount of prairie in its vicinity.
There is an organized church at this grove of the Baptist persuasion; good schools and a very pleasant, intelligent and worthy community. It is one of the best farming neighborhoods in the county.
This place lies on the State road leading from Davenport to Iowa City, and properly belongs to Davenport township, but we speak of it here as a place, early settled by Samuel Sloper, who planted a grove of locust as early as 1839. This whole prairie is now settled; has a Congregational church organized, a fine district school and a community of enterprising farmers.
This is the northwest township in the county, and although somewhat rolling, and even broken in some parts, yet it is very well settled and contains many good farms. Its first settlements were commenced in 1837 by the Messrs. Goddards, Laugherties, Hellers, and Woods, most of whom still live in the township. It contains some fine groves of timber and beautiful creeks.
There are two villages or towns begun in the township, Spring Rock is laid out on lands formerly owned by George Goddard, and contains some private residences, a hotel, store, flouring and grist mill. Rock creek (As-sin-ne Sepo, in Indian) passes through this township, upon which there are many beautiful farms. The town of Dixon is situated in Little Walnut grove, upon Walnut creek, containing some half-dozen dwelling houses, a store, a hotel, saw mill and mechanic shops.
Round Grove is another point of importance in this township and consists of a settlement of farmers. Mr. Kizer who settled there at an early day has built a large hotel for the accommodation of the traveling public. This enterprising farmer has done much to draw a settlement around him, and has set a good example for the emigrant to a new country.