There is one picture included with this Chapter, MOUNT IDA FEMALE COLLEGE.  To view the picture please go to the Scott county main page and click on Davenport Past and Present and go to the Picture Index for this book.


The State of Iowa possesses a liberal Educational system - having obtained from Congress a grant of five hundred thousand acres of land, whose proceeds are devoted entirely to the support of Common and Academic Schools.  While the State has taken such a high postition in the encouragement of Education, Davenport is nowise behind.  Schools are ample in number, and first in character; and this is equally applicable to both public and private institutions.  The buildings belonging to the public schools are almost without exception, costly and commodious structures, which combine at once elegance, consideration of health and convenience. 


SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 2. - There are in this District nine hundred and seventy-six children entitled to school privledges, and an average attendance of two hundred and fifty.

The District was organized 1853, and the same year a stone house was erected corner of Perry and Seventh streets, at a cost of eight thousand dollars.  It is two stories in height, with a basement residence for the Principal, and will comfortably accomodate five hundred scholars.

The school is graded - having Private, Intermediate, and Grammar School Departments.  There are included in the branches taught, besides that common, Higher Mathematics, Philosophy, Chemistry, Astronomy, Physiology, History, Drawing, Book Keeping, &c.

J.H. Bowers, Principal; Miss Sarah Bradley, Assistant in Grammar School; Miss Julia Humphrey, Intermediate Department; Misses Mary Slater and Elizabeth Bowers, Primary Department.

SCHOOL DISTRICT No. 17. - District organized, and brick school house sufficient for ninety scholars - erected in 1855 - on Sixteenth street, between Main and Harrison street.  There are now in the District three hundred and ninety-three school children.

This winter the school-house accomodations were found to be entirely insufficient, and three schools were, therefore opened as follows:

First School - (in brick school house,) average attendance, one hundred and twenty.  Frank M'Clellan, Teacher; Miss A.M. Lindsley, Assistant.

Second School - On Brady street, north of Locust.  Average attendance, forty-nine.  Peter Van Ornam, Teacher.

Third School - Corner of Rock Island and Locust street.  Average attendance, thirty.  Miss E.J. Kelly, Teacher.

SCHOOL DISTRICT No. 5. - This District returns three hundred and three school children, with ninety as the average attendance.

There is a fine two story stone school-house, forty by twenty-five feet, and capable of accomodating about one hundred and twenty scholars; corner of Second and Pine streets; it was erected in 1855, and enlarged in 1857 - cost about three thousand dollars.  The District was organized in 1850.  J.B. Coates, Teacher; Miss A.W. Reed, Assistant.

This District embraces the Third street West End settlement, and extends beyond the city limits.

SCHOOL DISTRICT No. 7. - Organized in 1850.  There are now twelve hundred school children, with an average attendance in the public school of three hundred and eighty.  In 1857, a large, and handsome brick school-house, 42 by 62 feet, and three stories, (with grounds for calisthenic exercises attached,) was erected at a cost of about sixteen thousand dollars; corner of Warren and Sixth streets.

The school is thoroughly graded, and in addition to common studies, embraces all the higher branches of a complete English education.

A.S. Kissell, Principal; Miss M.A. Scofield, Assistant in Grammar School; Miss M.M. Townley, Secondary Department; Miss Helen Lusk, Secondary Department; Miss M.M. Lyon, first Assistant in Primary Department; Miss Sarah E. Washburn, and Miss C.E. Williams, Primary Department.

SCHOOL DISTRICT No. 10. - Organized in 1854.  Children in District, two hundred and thirty-seven; average attendance, sixty-eight.

There is a respectable frame school-house, capable of accomodating eighty scholars, on Main street, west of Mound, (East Davenport.)

A.M. Geiger, Teacher; Miss Cornelia M'Carn, Assistant.




GERMAN AND ENGLISH SCHOOL. - Established in 1857, in the St. Kunigunda Catholic Church; has sixty scholars.  Henry Koehler, Teacher.

CATHOLIC SCHOOL. - Large two story frame school-house on Church Square, rear of St. Anthony's Church, erected in 1856; which was, however, only an addition to other school buildings near at hand.  This school was first opened in 1839, by Rev. J.A.M. Pelamourgues.  There are now about forty-seven scholars in attendance.

Rev. J.A.M. Pelamourgues, Principal; J.D. Smith, and Mrs. Sullivan, Assistants in Male Department.

Eight Sisters conduct the Female Department.

GERMAN SCHOOL. - Brick school-house, corner of Warren and Fourth streets.  Established in 1853; sixty-two scholars.  John H. True, Teacher.

SELECT SCHOOLS. - L.C. Burwell, in Grigg's Hall block - thirty-two scholars.

Miss Byron, in For st's block - fifteen scholars.

Misses Lyon & Munn, corner Perry and Fifth streets - thirty-five scholars.

Misses Severance & Bennett, in Bailey's Hall.

Mrs. Stevens, on Main street, above Eighth - eighteen scholars.

W. Wier, on Main street, opposite Catholic church - twelve scholars.

Mrs. N. Crockett, Young's block, Brady street - twenty scholars.

GERMAN AND AMERICAN INSTITUTE - On Scott street, between Third and Fourth.  W. Riepe and Louise Riepe, teachers, - thirty scholars.  Ladies and Boys' Departments.

DAVENPORT COMMERCIAL COLLEGE - In Jacoby's new building, corner of Third and Perry streets.  The course embraces Double Entry Book-keeping, as applicable to every branch of Trade, viz: Wholesale, Retail, Forwarding and Commission, Banking, Steam Boating, Joint Stock and Compound Company Business, both individual and Partnership, and as comprehensive as at any similar Institution in the United States.

Commercial Calculations and Correspondence form a part of the course, together with a course of Lectures on Commercial Law, by an able lecturer.  There is in connection with the Institution, and under the immediate supervision of the Principals, a Ladies Department, in which Book-keeping and Penmanship will be thoroughly taught.  Every facility will be afforded to pupils to enable them to complete the course in the shortest possible time.  J.C. Lopez, Principal; W.H. Pratt, Assistant Principal.

MOUNT IDA FEMALE COLLEGE. - This Institution was organized in Davenport, and commenced its first Session on the 7th day of September, 1857, under the direction of  Rev. M. McKendree Tooke, A.M., and Lady, through whose instrumentality the "Mount Ida College Association" has recently been organized, and under whose auspices this College is placed.

The principal object of this Association is the promotion of the higher educational interests of the Young Ladies of the West.

The unfinished building, formerly designed as the "Ladies College," which was commenced and prosecuted with commendable energy for a time, by Mr. T.H. Codding, has recently been purchased, and is now being fitted up in the most approved style of Eastern Colleges.  The Boarding Hall, (now neatly finished.) and dormitories, are sufficiently commodious to accommodate one hundred Young Ladies as boarders.  The Session Rooms have just been furnished with the nicest styles of Boston furniture, diagonally arranged, and the three commodious parlors have been neatly prepared, grained, carpeted, and furnished with new and elegant pianos, &c., for the accommodation of the Musical and Ornamental Department.

The building itself, is a substantial brick edifice, four stories high, and when enlarged and completed, as now designed, with two wings, each fronting the river on Third street thirty-five feet, and extending northward, parallel with Bridge and College avenues, eighty feet, making in all a front one hundred and thirty feet by eighty, rear, and finished with appropriate embellishments, verandahs, observatory &c., with grounds beautifully laid out, and newly fenced - will cost, it is thought, inclusive of the beautiful plat of four acres of ground upon which it is situated, between seventy-five and one hundred thousand dollars, and will accommodate from three to five hundred students.

The College is situated on a delightful eminence in the eastern part of the city, surrounded by a beautiful grove, overlooking the main part of the city of  Davenport, with her sister cities of Rock Island and Moline in full view, and commands a most enchanting view of the celebrated "Father of Waters" for a distance of nearly sixteen miles, with its life-like steamers passing and repassing almost every hour.

This combines most charmingly for educational purposes, all the advantages both of country and city location, and in general healthfulness, purity of moral atmosphere, sublimity and beauty of scenery, is not excelled, it is thought, by that of any similar Institution of this nation.  The central postition also of this enterprise, will always render it easy of access from all points of compass - from North and South, by the palace-like Packets upon the Mississippi: and from east and west, by the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad, which crosses the Mississippi upon the magnificent Railroad Bridge near Fort Armstrong, in full view of the College edifice, and the Mississippi and Missouri Railroad passing on Westward through the interior of Iowa, intersected by various railroad branches.

Four Departments are established in this Institution, viz:

1.  A Model School for Misses.

2.  An Academic Department, preparatory to entering the Collegiate.

3.  A Collegiate Department, embracing substantially the Scientific and Classical course recently established for Female Colleges, by a Convention of Presidents of Colleges held at Cincinnati, Ohio.

4.  A Musical and Ornamental Department.

This college being incorporated with the highest collegiate powers, full and formal Diplomas conferring appropriate literary degrees, are awarded to those Young Ladies who sustain a satisfactory examination in the prescribed course of study, or such other branches as may by the Faculty and Curators be deemed equivalent.

FACULTY. - Rev. M. McKendree Tooke, A.M., President, Prof. of Intellectual and Moral Science, and Belles Lettres.

Rev. D.R. Carrier, A.M., Prof. of Ancient Languages and Mathematics.

Mrs. L.P. Tooke, M. P. L., Adj. Prin., Prof. of Modern Languages, and Ornamental Branches.

Mrs. D.R. Carrier, M.P.L., Teacher of Natural Science and higher English branches.

Miss Matie J. Tooke, Teacher of Vocal and Instrumental Music.

Mrs. Mary A. Soule, Assistant Teacher in Academic and Model School Department.

Miss Lucia A. Crandall, Assistant Teacher on Piano Forte and Guitar.

Rev. Justus Soule, Steward, and Financial Agent.

A large and intelligent Board of Council and Visitors, have been selected from this and adjacent cities.  The following gentlemen have been already chosen as Directors or Curators in the College Association:

Col. Adrian H. Davenport, of LeClaire; George McCullough, Esq., of Iowa City; Hon. Judge Cook, Willard Barrows, Esq., Prof. J. Dial, and Rev. M.M. Tooke, of Davenport.

Additional Directors are hereafter to be chosen in this Association.




While it is true that the improvement of our city, and the development of the county are important and desirable, yet they are not more important than the improvment of the minds and morals of our children.  And although the attention of many of our Western people has been largely centered upon trade and speculation, and the development of the physical resources of the country, yet the time has now come when our citizens are beginning to recognize their responsibility in reference to the proper education of their children.  Large and commodious buildings have been erected in this city, for the advancement of our public schools.  A college for young gentlemen has also been established in this city, by the Congregational Church, and efforts are now being made for the establishment of a first class Female College also in this place, to which we shall refer in the sequel.  That "woman is the ornament of the palace, and the sunshine of the cabin" in every country where she is properly educated, is a truth generally conceded.  And if it be true that society in all its forms, is to a large extent dependent upon and indebted to the influence of woman for its elevation and success, how appropriate in anticipating the interests of society in the future, that we now encourage the proper education of the Young Ladies of our country.  

We have no hesitation in affirming, that a thorough education is the richest patrimony that parents can possibly confer upon their daughters. And what we mean by a thorough education is not merely to enable them to read, write, and cipher a little, as we thought quite sufficient for our grandmothers in olden times, not a little smattering in a few of the more fashionable accomplishments merely, nor is it to become mere "book worms," and look down with polite horror upon the appropriate duties of the "true woman" in domestic life, but a solid, thorough, and useful educatin of body, mind, and heart, such as will fit them for the sober realities and high responsibilities of life.  Such an education will be to them emphatically a fortune in person, which they can never lose, but which will raise them to positions of honor, influence, and usefulness in the midst of the most elevated state of society.  Let me whisper in every parent's ear, and suggest to him that "it will pay," thus to educate his daughter.  Suppose you look at this subject a moment in the light sumply of pecuniary gain - of mere dollars and cents - (the only sense through which many are capable of seeing with cleanness in this age of speculation and investment)  Suppose that daughter of thine should be thrown out upon her own resources for a livelihood.  Under such circumstances, with ordinary capacity of mind, and health of body, she could earn say one hundred dollars a year at ordinary service without an education.  But with a thorough education, as an accomplished Instructor, she can earn from three to five hundred dollars a year.  Subtracting the one hundred say from four hundred, we have an annual income to be credited to education of three hundred dollars.  Now suppose it costs to educate that daughter, in tuition books, and extra expenses, exclusive of board, (for these she must have whether she attends school or not,) say four hundred dollars.  We have then an annual income upon the capital actually invested in her education of seventy-five per cent - a much better interest you see than is realized on most bank or railroad stock in these days!  Besides, this is a permanent and imperishable investment.  Ordinary investments in the mere perishable may "take to themselves wings and fly away," but this we believe will not only be permanent and available here in this life, but to some good extent when this mortal shall put on immortality.  But may we not come to fathers and brothers on this subject with a nobler motive for the education of their daughters and sisters, than the assurance that it "will pay" in dollars and cents?  Can you in the pride and manliness of your hearts, look upon those beloved family jewels, sparkling even in their uncultivated beauty, and deny them this heaven-sent boon?  Nay! would you not rather use your influence to polish those "gems of immortality," and fit them not only to shine as lights in the world below, but as radiant and still brightning stars in the coronet of Angels and of God, in brighter worlds on high!

Pause a moment, and gaze upon the nature of mind itself.  See those powers of thought - of genius - those towering susceptibilities and lofty aspirations of soul longing for activity, yearning for appropriate exercise and development - and will you lend your influence to cripple their energies? or will you allow them to become stultified or dwarfed by inactivity or neglect in youth?  How many painful regrets have been scattered along the pathway of thousands, in after years, because of such early neglects!  Suppose you give that blooming daughter a farm, or thousands in bank stock, instead of an education, she will feel and lament her deficiencies and inferiority as long as she lives, and regret in vain that a large portion of that dowery had not been expended in her education, which would have been worth more to her than ten thousand times the same amount of earthly treasures.

Looking away from the benefits which the subjects of female education themselves shall realize, to the influence which female refinement would exert upon the young men of our country, in stimulating them to greater mental activity and laudable emulation, we find a prominent reason for its promotion.  Besides it would obviate the necessity of our educated sons of promise becoming associated with companions of no mental culture, whose tastes and peculiarities much almost necessarily produce disparity and alienation of feeling between them, destructive of domestic peace and happiness, and promotive of drunkenness and dissipation.  Already is it intimated that because of a want of opportunity for mental culture on the part of the young ladies of the West the young men, in a similar ratio, are relaxing their mental energies, and but few are aspiring to graduation in any of our colleges.  Be this as it may, the masses of our citizens in this rich and fertile country are destined to be wealthy, and ere long these noble bluffs and beautiful prairies will be dotted over with lovely mansions and palatial dwellings, and to become the regulators, the ornaments, the "sunshine," the "joy," of these mansions and places, the daughters of the West should be enlightened and refined.  Indeed, all the circumstances of this beautiful West, and of the age in which we live, require the constant elevation of the female mind.  Our new States are now demanding thousands of teachers for our primary schools.  And as in the older States, the larger proportion of the education of our youth has been most honorably conducted by females, so also must the daughters of the West be trained for this great work if we would ever properly educate the masses.

The progressive character of the age in which we live requires a more thorough education of the female mind among us.  The education of the past will not answer for the future, and those who would keep up with the world's progress, and help to mould its character, and hasten and consumate its brightness, by the ushering in of that auspicious period, long echoed by ancient Prophets, when "Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of our times, and strength of salvation," must encourage the educators of the race.

The signs of the times are beckoning onward the determined, the energetic, the noble spirited daughters of the West to higher attainments.  The wealth of the country is rapidly increasing, educational institutions are being multiplied among us - expenses are diminished - parents are waking up to the importance of female education, and will do anything in their power to encourage and aid a beloved daughter longing for improvement, and struggling for an education.  Mount Ida Female College, recently organized in this place, an account of which we have just given, is destined at no distant day, we trust, to become not only the Queen of the "Queen City," but the Queen of the West itself, and constitute an efficient instrumentality in the accomplishment of this great and glorious work.  And it is hoped that all our citizens, friendly to the cause of female education in the West, will in some substantial manner bid her "God speed" in this labor of love.


Febuary 5th, 1858, a number of ladies met at the residence of Charles E. Putnam, Esq., and organized the "Ladies' Education Society, of Davenport, Iowa."  Art. 1, of their Constitution reads as follows:  "This association shall be called 'The Ladies' Education Society,' the object of which shall be to assist promising and suitable young ladies in obtaining an Education."  Mrs. R. Christie, President; Mrs. S. Burwell, Vice President; Mrs. Dr. Shelton, Secretary; Mrs. Chas. E. Putnam, Treasuress.  There is also a Board of thirteen Directresses.


The first movements toward the establishment of a College in Iowa, according to what is known as the "New England plan" - the plan of Harvard, Yale, Brown, Bowdoin, Dartmouth, Amherst, &c., &c., - were made in the years 1841-'4.  In the Spring of 1844, a called meeting was held at Denmark, Lee county.  Those who attended it were principally Congregational and Presbyterian ministers, and christians of those denominations, with some others.  The first plan was to secure a township of land, and College colony.  A gentleman in Kesauqua offered a tract in Buchanan county, with a water power on the Wapsipinecon River for the purpose.  A committee (Rev. J. A. Reed, of Fairfield, Seth Richards, Esq., of Bentonsport, and Jonas Houghton, Esq., of Farmington,) were appointed to examine locations.  This committee called a meeting in April, 1844, to report.  Thirteen persons were present, who then formed the "Iowa College Association."  The committee made a favorable report, an agent was appointed to collect funds in the East, with which to enter the land, and certain regulations were adopted.  At the East, however, the agent was discouraged, and prevented from collecting funds, and this part of the plan was given up in accordance with the suggestions of a meeting of friends of Western Education, held in the city of Boston, May 28 and 29, 1844.  It was decided first to get a location, when the institution itself could commence operations, and then attempt to secure an endowment.  After several meetings, it was concluded (1846) to locate at Davenport; "provided the citizens would raise $1500 for buildings, and furnish certain specified grounds for a site."  At a meeting held Jan. 20, 1847, it was voted, notwithstanding the conditions were not fully complied with, to commence operations at Davenport, with the understanding that the subscriptions should be increased as much as possible.  The members of the Association had pledged themselves to "raise $100 each" in the State, and "through private friends in the East."  Some of them made great efforts and sacrifices to do this.  Christian ladies, living in different parts of the State, did nobly in the work.  With these funds, and those secured in the town, the first building was erected, (near Western Avenue, between Sixth and Seventh streets - now the residence of S. S. Gillet, Esq.)  It was a small one story brick edifice, with a plain cupola.  About this time twelve trustees were elected by the Association, two of them residents of Davenport.  The trustees were incorporated under the Statute, June 4, 1847.  The threatened deficiency in the funds was provided for at a meeting of the original "College Association," and "trustees" held conjointly that day, by a resolution binding those present to pay the same within one year from date, "porvided the amount does not exceed $600," (not an inconsiderable sum at that stage of the history of the Territory.)  The Institution was opened November, 1848, with one teacher, Rev. Prof. Ripley.  The first college Class was formed in 1850.  Since that time instruction has been sustained, though much interrupted in 1844-'5, by the abandonment of the old site, on account of the contemplated cutting of streets through it.

Seven young men have graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, the first class of two in the year 1854.  The Institution generally has about a hundred students - of whom ten are in the College proper.  During the last year young ladies have been admitted to the advanced classes.  About twenty have been in attendance.

Candidates for admission to the Freshman Class must be fourteen years of age, present adequate testimonials of good moral character, and sustain a satisfactory examination in English Grammar, Geography, Arithmetic, Algebra, (through Simple Equations,) Latin Grammar, Caesar's Commentaries, Cicero's Select Orations, Virgil, Greek Grammar, and the Anabasis - or their equivalents.

The stated times for the examination of candidates are - the day before the close of the Summer Term, and the day before the commencement of the Fall Term.

Candidates for admission to advanced standing, in addition to the above, must sustain an examination in those studies to which the class they propose to enter has attended; and if from another College, a certificate of their good standing in the same must be presented to the Faculty.

The studies pursued in the College proper are those required in the first Institutions of the East.  An elevated grade of scholarship is aimed at, rather than the securing of the attendance of large numbers.  the instructors are all liberally educated men, of first rate competency and experience in their profession.

The new site - of ten acres - between Brady and Harrison streets, above Tenth - was purchased in March, 1854 - and the Boarding House erected thereon that year.  The present College edifice was erected in 1855, at a cost of $22,000.  W. L. Carroll, architect.  It crowns the highest point of land in the city limits, and commands an extensive view of the river, the neighboring region of Illinois, and the country for miles back of Davenport.  Travelers pronounced the prospect from the observatory unsurpassed.  The building itself is one of the finest structures in the State.

It is built of limestone; three stories high, with a basement; and contains a large room for the use of the Preparatory and English Departments, which, for the present, will also be used for a Chapel; a Laboratory; rooms for Library, Cabinet, Apparatus, Literary Societies, and Recitations; and in the third story, twelve rooms for Students.

With these enlarged facilities for Educational purposes at their command, the Trustees of the College are confident in the expectation that they can fully meet the wants of our rapidly increasing population, and furnish, on our own soil, at a reasonable expense, the means of a thorough and complete Education.

The Library of the College contains upwards of 1800 volumes, and is open to all the Departments.

The Chrestomathian Society has also a Library of its own, of some 500 volumes; for most of which they are indebted to recent donations from their friends.

The Apparatus is sufficient to illustrate the principles of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry and Astronomy.

Collections have been made in Mineralogy, Zoology, and Botany.

Commencement is held on Wednesday, the last day of the third term.  (In 1858, on Wednesday, July 14.)  There are three College terms in the year, two of thirteen, and one of fourteen weeks.

The goverment of the College is intended to secure the best moral influence.  Besides the daily religious exercises for all, the students from abroad are expected to attend some place of religious worship on the Sabbath, designated by their parents or guardians.

The Institution is not under the control of any religious denomination, but of its own board of trustees.  They are as follows:

Rev. Asa Turner, Denmark; Rev. John C. Holbrook, Dubuque; Rev. Julius A. Reed, Davenport; Rev. Harvey Adams, Farmington; Rev. Alden B. Robbins, Muscatine; Rev. Ephram Adams, Dacorah; Rev. William Salter, Burlington; Rev. O. Emerson, Dewitt; H. Q. Jennison, Esq., Muscatine; James McManus, Esq., Davenport; Charles Atkinson, Esq., Moline; Rev. J. B. Grinnell, Grinnell; Rev. J. Guernsey, Dubuque; F. H. Stone, Esq., Muscatine; Joseph Lambrite, Esq., Davenport; Jacob Butler, Esq., Muscatine; Gen. Geo. B. Sargent, Davenport; Rev. Geo. F. Magoun, Davenport.

The officers of the Board are - Rev. A. B. Robbins, President; Rev. Geo. F. Magoun, Clerk; Joseph Lambrite, Esq., Treasurer; Rev. Julius A. Reed, Financial Agent; Prof. H. L. Bullen, Librarian.

FACULTY.-Rev. Erastus Ripley, Carter Professor of Ancient Languages; Rev. H. L. Bullen, Professor Mathematics and Natural Philosophy; D. S. Sheldon, M. A., Professor of Chemistry and Natural Science; Rev. D. Lane, M. A., Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy.

The partial endowment of the College has been obtained from charitable persons in this and other States.  Peley W. Carter, Esq., of Waterbury, Connecticut, gave, in 1853, $5,000 towards the Classical Professorship.  One other professorship is partially endowed.  A benevolent gentleman in the State contemplates the endowment of Chairs of Practical Science.  Within the last year, Hon. Geo. B. Sargent has established a medal fund, from which one gold and two silver medals are awarded - for scholarship - in the manner designated by the donor - each commencement.

The prospects of the Institution have been much impaired of late by the proposed extension of one of the streets of the city through the centre of its beautiful grounds.  If carried out, this plan will oblige a second removal to some site not liable to encroachment.