DAVENPORT PAST AND PRESENT
GEO. L. DAVENPORT, ESQ.
GEORGE L. DAVENPORT was born on Rock Island, in the fall of 1817, and is the eldest son of Col. Geo. Davenport, and was the first white child born in this section of the country. For eight or nine years he had few playmates, but the Indian boys; he, therefore, learned to talk their language about as soon as he did the English. In 1827, he was sent to Cincinnati, and went to school one year, and then returned to the Island, and was placed in the store of the American Fur Company, where he remained until this trading post was given up, upon the removal of the Indians, in 1837, to the DesMoines River. He was, at any early age, adopted into the Fox tribe, and was called after the nation, "Mosquake," and was always a great favorite with them. He made, frequently, trips into the Indian country, with goods for the different trading posts, and attended all the Indian payments on the DesMoines River. In 1832, he made the first "claim" West of the Mississippi, and in the Fall of 1837, he accompanied the Sac and Fox delegation of Chiefs to Washington City, and also visited other large cities. On his return, he lived upon his claim, in order to secure a pre-emption. In 1838, he was in the store of Davenport & LeClaire. In 1839 he married, and commenced business for himself, and continued to attend to business very closely for sixteen years. In 1850, he, in connection with Mr. LeClaire, built the first Foundry and Machine shops in this city. They built the first steam engine, and made the first castings in this city. He continued in this business five years, when he sold out, and retired from business.
Mr. Davenport has done much toward the improvement of the city - has built a fine block, is liberal in his encouragement of enterprise, and in diffusing judiciously his ample fortune. To him, as well as Mr. LeClaire, are confided the reminiscences of pioneer life in this country, and but few lovers of the deeds and things connected with the past, have ever visited this country without being indebted to him for many courtesies, and valuable information. He is still in the prime of life, "straight as an arrow," and has before him many years of usefulness and enjoyment.