DAVENPORT PAST AND PRESENT
MEDICAL TOPOGRAPHY OF DAVENPORT.
Ever since the influx of the white population commenced, Davenport has been noted for the healthiness of its location. Situatied in latitude 41 1/2' north it has a climate which partakes neither of the extreme severity of the higher regions, nor of the lassitude incident to more southern situations. At appropriate seasons of the year it is decidedly cold or warm, and is not subject to such intermediate weather as characterizes so much of the country near the seaboard, and which is so prolific in the elimination of disease in its various forms. The country on both sides of the Mississippi, at the commencement of the Upper Rapids and where the great Bridge spans the stream, is marked by high bluffs of gradual ascent. Below, these elevations recede from the river, and above they hug it more closely. On the Iowa side a large fan-like plateau is formed, varying from a few hundred yards to perhaps a mile in width, gradually rising to the base of the hills, none of it subject to inundation, and every foot of which is susceptible of the most complete drainage. Upon this the business portion of the city is situated. It is rarely, if ever, the case that stagnant pools are to be found anywhere upon this surface. Hence, miasmatic diseases are seldom encountered in their epidemic form. Added to this, on account of the city being situated on an east and west reach of the river which soon inclines to the southward after leaving the town, the prevailing winds come from a dry and healthy quarter, in fact, almost directly from the rolling prairie. Having reached the crest of the bluffs, the country northward gently undulates to a stream called Duck Creek, about one and a half or two miles from the river, and running parallel with it the length of the city bounds. This creek emplies into the Mississippi about five miles above the bridge, and possesses the peculiarity of seeking its estuary up the Rapids. That portion of the promontory (if it may be so called,) formed by the streams, and which is enclosed within the municipal limits, is being rapidly covered with handsome residences, more than one hundred feet above the water, and made accessible by means of streets. Some of the finest and healthiest spots which the lover of ease and retirement could desire, are to be found between LeClaire's residence and East Davenport, spread over the sloping hill-sides. In winter shielded from the blast of the north, and in summer accessible to the refreshing breezes of the west, with no marshes or superabundance of decaying vegetable matter to inspire dread, with a full view of th busy river and overlooking, withal, the Twin-Cities, this portion of Davenport has always seemed as though calculated to satisfy the most fastidious, and is destined to become the resort of many seeking a permanent, desirable, and beautiful home. Irregularities in living, unnecessary exposure, or any want of proper care as regards health, will, in the very best climate, produce disease. Hence, medical men are in demand the world over. But, the fact is asserted, that Davenport during the probation of a full generation, has proved its claim to being situated in one of the most salubrious atmospheres of which our country can boast. The mortality of the place is uncommonly small, and the type of disease in its development, undergoes such modification as is agreeable alike to patient and practitioner. And accomplished physician, of long standing, has been known to state, that he never knew of an origianl case of phthisis pulmonalis in the city, and that all persons affected in that way, by residing in this locality, have had their unpleasant symptoms mitigated and their lives prolonged. The population is composed of persons of regular habits, as a general rule; and this fact assist materially in giving to Davenport its wide-spread reputation for healthiness. In former times, when only a rural village on the Upper Mississippi, the place would be crowded throughout the summer months by families from St Louis, seeking relaxation and enjoyment. The advent of a dense population had deprived the spot of a certain charm for sportsmen, but has in nowise diminished the invigorating breezes which gave so much zest to their expeditions in fishing and fowling, and which, after all, contributed the most to the enjoyment of life.