Nowhere in the United States were public educational foundations laid with more breadth and car than in Iowa.  From the days of the first message of Governor Lucas, the first of the territorial governors, careful provision was made for the instruction of Iowa youth and their training for good citizenship.  The foundations long preceded the superstructure.  In an article upon the topic, "Institutional Beginnings,"  in the Annals of Iowa, July, 1898, Prof,. Jesse Macy of the chair of history in Grinnell college, treats of this feature of Iowa educational history:

"As an instance of discrepancy between statutes and history the early school laws may be given.  If you ask an early settler in Iowa when this state introduced public schools, he will tell you that the public school system did not become thoroughly established till abut 1854 or 1855.  But were there not schools earlier than that?  Yes, but they were private schools; or they were partly private and partly public.   In each neighborhood, as soon as there were enough children of school age a meeting of the citizens was called, a place and plan for a schoolhouse determined upon, a day set for building and at the appointed time they all came out and built.  Then they hired a teacher and kept up the school as best they could.  From the earliest territorial statutes one would infer that schools where then established in Iowa free to all white persons between the ages of four and twenty-one.  Counties were organized into districts on petition of a majority in the proposed district.  School districts were elaborately officered with seven officials for each district, and there were minute provisions for the management of schools.  According to the statutes of Iowa, the territory and afterward the state was abundantly and thoroughly supplied with the privileges of free public schools for all white children.  The statutes are abundant and, as they are closely examined, one is convinced that they are not merely formal acts which had made their way into records and been forgotten.  They are real, living laws, prepared with great care, and revised and made more elaborate at each session of the legislature.  Yet, if you turn from those records and study the actual school system of the territory and the state, you will find that the free school was a plant of slow growth; that for years there were no free schools; and the great body of our citizens are under the impression that our public school system dates back only to about 1854.


"Professor T. S. Parvin, who was the first man appointed to the superintendency of public instruction in Iowa, states that those early law-makers knew quite well, at the time they framed their laws, that there were no public schools, and could not be in the greater part of the state but they expected to have the schools sometime, and they believed that the passing of good school laws would have the effect of encouraging immigration.  These statutes expressed a longing of the people for a time when there would be seven  persons living near enough together on these prairies fitted to hold school offices and manage a public school in their various neighborhoods.  In the meantime such statutes could be made immediately available for purposes of advertisement in the East, and thus assist in bringing about the state of society desired."

The earliest schools in Iowa were supported by the contributions and tuition of the pioneer settlers.  The first school taught within the present limits of Iowa was presided over by Berryman Jennings, who opened a school in October, 1830, at what is now known as Nashville, Lee county.  At this time Iowa was a portion of Michigan territory.  Mr. Jennings' school lasted through November and December and was held in a building which he describes:  "This schoolroom was like all other buildings in the new country, a log cabin built of round logs or poles notched close and mudded for comfort; logs cut out for doors and windows, also fireplaces.  The jamb back of the fireplace was of packed dry dirt, the chimney topped out with sticks and mud."

It was strange that the second school opened in the state, was within a few miles of the Jennings school.  It was taught by I. K. Robinson and dated from December 1, 1830, but two months after the pioneer pedagogue rang his bell at Nashville.


The honor of being the first lady teacher in Iowa is held by Mrs. Rebecca Palmer, who taught school near Fort Madison in the winter of 1834 and 1835.  The first school house proper, also a log building, was erected in December, 1833, at Burlington, by W. R. Ross, the postmaster of the county.  While Davenport has no place in these first paragraphs of the educational history of the state early provision was made for the instruction of the small citizens.  The earliest school in all this section was the one maintained by the officers at Fort Armstrong, of which mention is made by Caleb Atwater in his work dated 1829.

January, 1838, when Davenport was but two years old, the territorial legislature passed an act to incorporate the Davenport Manual Labor college.  "The object," the act says, "shall be the promotion of the general interests of education, and to qualify young men to engage in the several employments of society and to discharge honorably and usefully the various duties of life."  Of this institution of high-sounding title and wide range of subjects the historian of "Davenport Past and Present," says:  "This scheme was a fine one, but it never amounted to anything for two reasons - lack of students and want of money."  But the effort was commendable and is worthy of renewal at the present time.


The honor of teaching the first private school has been accorded to many different teachers by local historians and those who have written reminiscences.  Elsewhere in this work it goes to Rev. Michael Hummer, and on good authority, but there are those who should be competent to settle the matter who say otherwise.  In his address at the dedication of the Davenport Free Public Library, May 11, 1904, Judge John F. Dillon said:  "The earliest school was kept in a small log cabin near the river below Western avenue by the aged father of Alexander W. McGregor."  C. H. Eldridge, who was a schoolboy in Davenport in those days, gave an address before the historical section of the Davenport Academy of Sciences years ago, and his signed notes, still preserved, have these entries:  "Miss Marianna Hall, a niece of Dr. Hall, opened a school, the first one in town, in the summer of 1838, in a little, about twelve by fourteen log house, originally built for a blacksmith shop, without any floor but mother earth, two windows, with one slab door and a wooden latch.  This was maintained about one term; but few scholars, - I think Lafayette Franks, Sarah Franks, who afterward married Samuel Leonard, brother of our sheriff, Henry Colton, two daughters of Powers, up the river, a nephew of Walter Kelly, I forget his name, three children of Nelson Powers, who kept the hotel, Patrick Fox, and one of Judge Cook's sons.  This house was near where Davies & Sons' saw mill is now situated.  Some of Dr. Hall's younger sons attended."

To continue Mr. Eldridge's notes:  "The next school was opened by Rev. Michael Hummer, better known as Parson Hummer, in a frame building on the corner of the alley east side of Ripley street, between First and Second streets, in the fall of 1838 and ran through until the summer of 1839.  There were J. M. Parker of our city, Bailey Davenport, ex-mayor of Rock Island, Frank Bennett, editor of Clinton, Henry Colton, Miss Frances Peck, Clarence Whiting, now of California, Samuel K. Barkley, his sister, two Zeigler boys, and one of the McGregor boys.

"The next school in order was opened by Moses Parmele, whose several sons are well known citizens.  This school was opened up stairs in a front room of a two story house on Front street near Schricker & Mueller's mill, the family living down stairs and back.  This was in the summer of 1839, I think.  Here were Henry Colton and a younger brother, the Parmele boys, Sarah Franks, Frances Peck, a girl whose name was Fudge, her father being afterward killed by an explosion at Burrows' steam mill, Jack Dillon, since J. F. Dillon, his brother Timothy who was drowned, the Ziegler boys, Whiting's two boys, the Powers girls.


"About this time Father Pelamourgues opened a school in the old brick church which took off about a dozen of the children.  The next school, I think was by S. W. Cheever, a young man from the New England states.  He came west for his health.  here was a good school of at least thirty by this time.  He was one of the most efficient teachers in the city.  After Cheever came John Tice, now Professor Tice of St. Louis, without exaggeration the laziest man that ever struck Davenport.  These two schools were in the upper part of a frame building on the northeast corner of Perry and Front streets.  Next came J. Atkinson, a splendid scholar, who had a school in a frame building about where the Kerker grocery si now.  This was a very large school, having at least forty scholars.

"Next came Dr. Brown, in an old frame building on the west side of Main between Fourth and Fifth streets.  And after him came C. G. Blood, present police justice, in the same building.  These were fair schools, but the boys broke both up before the term ended.

"About this time a Miss Bergen opened a small school which after two or three years became a girls' school only, termed a young ladies' seminary.  Next in order was the academy with James Thorington as principal and W. T. Campbell as assistant.  This opened in a frame building yet standing on the northeast corner of Fourth and Harrison.  This was kept up for several years and here Jack Dillon graduated, for I believe he did not go to school afterward.  Among the scholars I can remember John VanPatten, of VanPatten & Marks, 'Pud,'  (M. M.,) Price, United States consul at Marseilles, Ed. Coombs, an editor in Boston, Phil Van Patten, a member of the Arkansas legislature, an ardent abolitionist, but a bitter secessionist during the war, Will Coates, now editor at Freeport, Ills.  The remainder of the schools can be found in the files of the old Gazette."


At a subsequent meeting of the same historical section of the Academy of Sciences a letter was read from Prof. J. H. Tice of St. Louis, author of Tice's Almanac and various meteorological papers, in which he said that he taught a private school for six months in Davenport from May to November, 1842.  He had from fifteen to thirty-two pupils, tuition, $3.00 per quarter, or $5.00 for two.  He moved to St. Louis and was afterwards for twelve years superintendent of the schools of that city.  This letter was in reply to an inquiry.

Of the later schools mentioned by Mr. Eldridge in his notes advertisements appear in the Sun and Gazette.  The school taught by Messrs. Thorington & Campbell had evening as well as day sessions.  The older citizens well remember the schools of Thorington and Pelamourgues on opposite sides of Fourth street near Main.  They also recall the chastisement administered by the French pioneer teacher to any boy he caught doing wrong at any time and anywhere.  All boys looked alike to him and Mr. Thorington's boys came in for a swift licking if Father Pelamourgues caught them in mischief on the street.


Rev. Michael Hummer was pastor of a congregation at Iowa City after leaving Davenport and thence went to Keokuk.  The incident of his bell immortalized in poetry by Judge Tuthill appears elsewhere.  The first verse of the poem is said to have been an improvisation of John P. Cook.  Mr Hummer lived in Lawrence, Kansas, during Quantrell's raid and escaped with his life by headlong flight.  He returned from hiding after the guerillas had gone and helped look after the wounded and bury the dead.  He was a resident of Kansas City in 1870.

Among other early private schools was that of Miss Eads, who advertised in the Sun as being late of St. Louis and opening a school for misses and children, also Miss Beard, in the school room formerly occupied by William Gahan, who conducted a school known as the "Davenport School."  John C. Holbrook was an early teacher.  A Mr. Ryder taught a school in the '40s on Brady street between Second and Third streets.  Another of these old schools was kept by a Mr. Sheldon on Front and Main streets.  Mr. Weir had a school on Main street, west side, north of Fourth.  The Misses Lyon and Munn conducted a school for young ladies at Perry and Fifth streets.  Mrs. Stephens' select school was on Main above Eighth street, Mrs. Crockett's in Young's block on Brady street.  Herman Hamburger, "bright young man, well versed in  the manners of polite society,"  taught a school for the "education of young gentlemen" on Brady and Fourth streets.

A notable teacher of early days was th Hon. C. C. Washburne, a native of Livermore, Maine, who came to Davenport in June, 1839, when but twenty-one years old, having come west by Erie canal and the lakes and crossed Illinois on a wagon.  In this little hamlet of 300 people this young man from the East organized what is said to have been the second school in Davenport.  It was conducted in the second story of Dillon and Forrest's boarding house, just west of Scott, and between Second street and the river.  Among his pupils were J. Monroe Parker, C. H. Eldridge, Ira Cook, and probably Judge Dillon.  There were but twelve or fifteen children in the village at this time.  The subsequent career of this pioneer school teacher belongs to national history.  He moved  to LaCrosse in the '40s, was elected governor of that state, and held the position four years.  In 1854 he went to congress, served until the war broke out, became colonel of the Second Wisconsin cavalry, and was promoted until he became a major general in command of the department of Memphis.  In 1865 he again went to congress and served until 1869, when he again became governor for two years.  In 1873 he retired from public service and built the largest flouring mills in the world at Minneapolis.  He also found time to inaugurate the Minneapolis and St. Louis railroad enterprise, erect an observatory in connection with the university at Madison, provide it with the largest telescope in the world, and present it to the state.  He died May 14, 1882.


Consul M. M. Price, son of Hiram Price, wrote not long ago a private letter to his friend of boyhood days, LeClaire Fulton, in which some lively reminiscence appears.  Here is a paragraph:  "Do you remember Harrison street when it was called Ditch street?  It was simply a ditch, twenty feet wide and ten feet deep, and when it rained the water poured down from the hills and through Leonard's hollow, becoming a mighty torrent and entirely cutting off intercourse, social, commercial, or religious, between the inhabitants above and below Ditch street.  And when the water subsided it was a lovely mudhole for the boys to push each other into.  Thorington's academy of art and science, himself guiltless of any collusion with Lindley Murray, was located on the 'Taller banks" of Harrison street, and it was very convenient to get mud balls.  It was there that many distinguished tramps, lawyers and judges graduated.  Among the most prominent were Jack and Jim Fisher, Henry and 'Goak' Webb, John Dillon, Jim Buford, 'Bony' Morton, 'Bill' Carr, 'Frog' Thorington, 'Billy' McFadden, 'Pud' Price and 'Center's Daddy.'  "

These private schools served well the needs of the people of Davenport until public schools were established.  There was an interim of unrecorded length in which schools were maintained in part by the public funds and in part by tuition.  Mr. Barrows gives the date of the first district school as 1850, and James Thorington as teacher.


In the latter '50s within the present limits of the Independent district of the city of Davenport, there were six schools, none of them occupying the sites on which their successors the present schools are located.  These were in independent districts, each having its own board of directors, each managing its own financial affairs, and providing for its own expenses independently of the others.  This condition continued until 1858, when a change in the school law of the state made consolidation and the support of the schools by general taxation possible.  May 5, 1858, pursuant to previous notice a public meeting was held at the courthouse at which these six districts of Davenport township Nos. 10, 2, 7, 17, 5 and 11, were formed into one district, each subdistrict having its representative board member and the officers of the combined district being chosen by the electors at large.  On this same day at this meeting, an election was held at which Dr. A. S. Maxwell was elected president; T. D. Egal, vice president; J. R. Johnson, secretary, and George H. French, treasurer.

In this consolidation district No. 10 became subdistrict No. 1, and was represented by J. M. Frizzell; district 2 continued the number as subdistrict No. 2, with Wm. T. Clark on the board; district No. 7 became district No. 3, Henry Lambach; No. 17 became No. 4, with T. H. Codding; No. 5 remained No. 5, with W. L. Cook, local member; No. 11 became No. 6, with S. G. Mitchell representative on the district board.


In 1859 the school law was amended providing for the election of three directors who in connection with the president, vice president, secretary and treasurer should constitute the school board.  At the first election A. S. Maxwell was elected president; E. Peck, vice president; Thomas J. Saunders, secretary; George H. French, treasurer; directors, J. M. Frizzell, one year, Robert Means, two years, and Ignatius Langer, three years.  The second director resigned and Judge Grant was elected to fill the vacancy.

The original location of School No. 1, now known as the Washington school, was Mound and Eddy streets, where a frame building accommodated the children of the village of East Davenport, until the erection of the brick structure on its present location, Fulton and Mississippi avenues, in 1865.  No. 2 school, now the Adams school originally occupied the lower floor of a two story frame house on Fourth and Perry.  This building was erected by a Mr. Prescott for a private school in 1843.  He went to the timber for his oak which was either hewed or sawed at the Duck Creek mill.   In 1853 and 1854 a stone school house was erected at the corner of Seventh and Perry streets.  It is still in good condition, although not at this time is use.  This building cost $8,000 and was considered in those days a triumph of architecture.  Wilkie in his "Davenport, Past and Present" published in 1858, speaks in high praise of its power to accommodate pupils and mentions the commodious living quarters for the principal situated in the basement.

The first house occupied by old School No. 3, now the Jefferson school, was a little frame building on the northeast corner of Fifth and Scott streets.  This was in 1853.  There were probably about thirty pupils.  here Webster's blue backed spelling book was used for first lessons in reading.  In 1855 the school was moved to Third street, south side, between Gaines and Brown streets.  From there another move in 1856-57 was made to Sixth and Warren streets, where a urgency for the use of this building that a room was fitted up for occupancy in the southeast corner before the remainder of the building was completed.

Hiram Price, school fund commissioner for Scott county, was the recipient of a petition in the spring of 1855, signed by the voters of North Davenport for the creation of a new school district.  District No. 17 resulted.  A lot was donated by James McIntosh situated between Seventeenth and Eighteenth streets and between Main and Harrison streets.  On this lot was built a one-story brick building of small dimensions, but adequate for the time.  Later an upper story was added and later still, a frame building was purchased by the board, moved to the lot and attached on the north side of the brick building, thus arranging for a three room school.  Here the school remained until a large brick building was erected in 1865 just north of the old school, on the location of No. 4, the Madison school, Main and Locust streets.

The predecessor of School No. 5, the Monroe school, was a little stone building at Second and Pine streets, built about 1855, where the school remained until the erection of the present sightly building in 1868.

The earliest school in district No. 11, afterwards No. 6, now Jackson school, was on the Doser farm, just west of the present Rock Island crossing of Locust street.  It was a one-room frame building of such dilapidation that the children were compelled to crowd into the corners for protection from the elements.  Here the school remained until 1858, when it was transferred to a new two-room frame building situated on a lot which the board had purchased on Union street, between Mitchell and Washington streets.  Later two rooms were added, and still later two additional rooms, making it a six room building.  In 1893 the old frame building gave place to a thoroughly modern brick schoolhouse of eight rooms, erected on the same lot.  In 1902 more room being imperatively needed, the school board purchased another lot adjoining the property on the west and erected a four room addition, making it a twelve room building.


In 1874 more children came to No. 1 than could be cared for and an addition was ordered to contain four school rooms and two recitation rooms, making it a ten room building.  The stone school building No. 2 also suffered enlargement in 1870 by an addition on the south side which doubled its size and made of it a ten room building.  Subdistrict No. 3 also grew in population and six rooms were added about 1870 on the north side of the older building.  Later the filling of Sixth street made the two lower rooms on the north unservicable.  The territory around No. 4 grew steadily in population.  In 1877-78 the first addition was made to the six room building.  A wing with two rooms, one above another was added, forming what is still the southeast corner of the house.  Nine years later the old building having become untenantable, a similar wing of two rooms was added to the newer structure on the southwest corner.  Only the upper room was used for a schoolroom for some years, as the lower one was occupied by the heating plant.  Later the boiler was lowered and the room made available for school purposes.  In the summer of 1898 the building was remodeled and emerged from teh transformation an eleven room building with two recitation rooms and a teacher's room.  The remodeling brought about a greatly improved arrangement of the building.

The first school added to the original six above noted was No. 7, a one story two room frame building situated in Black Hawk at the western end of Davenport.  The attendance was from thirty to forty pupils and all the grades were taught by one teacher.  When the scholars reached fifth grade, they were transferred t oNo. 5.  This building was continued in use until 1897, when the new No. 7, now the Van Buren school, was opened at Hancock and Lincoln avenues and the scholars were transferred to this school and the old building fell into disuse.

The new No. 7 is a handsome up-to-date modern school building of ten rooms and two recitation rooms, a teachers' room and principal's room, of which the people of western Davenport are vastly proud.


School No. 8, Harrison school, was erected in the fall of 1871 at Fourth and Ripley streets, an eight room brick building with principal's room and recitation room.  As necessity arose an addition of two rooms was made on teh south side, this making it a ten room building.

School No. 9, the Tyler school, is a handsome building located on the east side of Grand avenue between Locust and High streets, occupying a lot of exceptional size, purchased at a cost of $3,000.  The building was erected in 1892 to relieve schools Nos. 1, 2, and 4.  It was a well arranged eight room building and so remained until 1902, when it was enlarged by an addition of four rooms on the north side.  The exterior attractiveness of the building was not lessened by the addition.  The same is true of No. 6 and its addition made in the same year.

School No. 10, the Polk school, is a two story brick building with high stone basement, containing eight rooms, two recitation rooms, teachers' room and principal's office, located on the northwest corner of Eighth and Marquette streets.  It was built and occupied in the fall of 1878.  A part of the land purchased by the school board was sold and is now occupied by the adjoining row of handsome residences on the north and facing Marquette street.

School No. 11, the Taylor school, is a modern ten room pressed brick, stone trimmed building, situated on the corner of Fifteenth and Warren streets and built in 1897 to relieve schools 3, 4 and 6.

School No. 12, the Fillmore school, is located at Fourth and Warren streets.  It is a ten room brick building, admirably arranged in its interior with fine exterior appearance.  Its scholars came from Nos. 3, 5, 8 and 10.  It was built in 1898 and 1899.  It occupies the site of the old German Free school.  A portion of the lot was secured by condemnation proceedings.

School No. 13, the Pierce school, is a building of ten rooms, a handsome structure of Milwaukee brick with a red tile roof, well arranged for school purposes.  It is on Fulton avenue and Christie street.  The school was opened in October, 1900, the pupils being taken from No. 1, and the equilibrium being there restored by a delegation from No. 9.

School No. 14, the Buchanan school, is a twelve room brick building situated on the corner of Sixth and Oak streets.  It is the most capacious grade building in the city and cost $60,000.  There are many advantageous features in this building not possessed by the others used for grade schools.

School No. 15, the Lincoln school, occupies the building situated on the block bounded by Seventh, Eighth, Rock Island and Iowa streets, and occupied by the High school.  After the building was refitted for a grade school early in 1909, the scholars, teachers and principal transferred from No. 2, the Adams school, leaving it vacant.

The newest school, the Johnson, is now in process of construction in Northwestern Davenport near the crossing of Locust street by the Rock Island road.  It will be a twelve-room building and arranged to meet all modern requirements.  It is expected that it will equal or exceed in its appointments any other grade building in the city.

About seventeen years ago Davenport commenced erecting buildings of handsome exterior and excellent interior arrangement.  All the newer buildings since constructed have carried out the latest and best ideas in school architecture in construction, heating and sanitation.  They are buildings of which any city might be proud.  To bring the older buildings as near as possible on a par with the newer ones the school board entered upon a campaign of remodeling and in some instances almost rebuilding the older buildings of the city.  In the summers of 1899 and 1900, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8, were turned over to carpenter and plumber, painter and decorator from those hands they issued transformed in outer appearance and interior arrangement and finish, so that they were almost as attractive, convenient and inviting as the new buildings.


Shortly after the consolidation in may, 1858, of the district and the organization of the new school board, in July of that year, Mr. A. S. Kissell was appointed superintendent of the city schools.  At that time he held the office of county superintendent.  He filled the two positions for nearly one year and a half, relinquishing the county superintendency at the end of that time, but remaining city superintendent.  Previous to holding these public positions he taught in the old Number 3 on West Third street, going with his school to the new building at Sixth and Warren.  Some years since in an article on early Davenport schools The Democrat says:  "The honor of organizing the graded schools of Davenport belongs to A. S. Kissell, then a young teacher of good education, fine enthusiasm and tireless energy.  No recipient of the benefits of the Davenport schools should ever cease to venerate the memory of Mr. Kissell.  He had his limitations, as all men have, but he was a great worker, an inspiring teacher whose whole life and purpose and thought went out to the upbuilding of our schools in our infancy."

May 12, 1859, the board on the recommendation of Superintendent Kissell organized the public schools of the city upon the following plan:

First - a primary school in every subdivision of the district.

Second - two grammar schools, one to be located in School No. 2, and the other in School No. 3.

Third - an intermediate school to be suitably located for those pupils in the city who are qualified to enter.

It was further provided that all these schools should have such a course of study as the board might hereafter arrange.

In july of 1859 Mr. Kissell was made principal of the intermediate school, taking on these duties as well as those of the superintendency.  August 13 of that year a uniform course of study for all the schools below the intermediate school was devised and  adopted.  This course embraced what are known as the common branches and has been the substantial basis of the course of study in use up to the present time.  In 1859 provision was made for only two years of the course planned for the intermediate school, and the curriculum included Latin grammar and translations, elementary algebra, English grammar, government and constitution of the United States, physical geography, physiology, book-keeping, penmanship, spelling, drawing and rhetoric.

A very complete set of rules and regulations for the government of the schools, defining in detail the duties of the school officers, the superintendent, principals, teachers and pupils was drafted at this time.

The wisdom of this early school board and the genius of Supt. Kissell show in the fact that the general plan at that time adopted has continued with little change  to the present day.  Naturally the course of study has been amplified as conditions justified but in general the original plan has been maintained.


The personnel of the earliest teaching force of the graded schools of Davenport, giving the position each held with the munificent salary received, has been preserved in volume No. 1 of the Iowa Instructor, an educational journal published by the Iowa State Teachers' association in 1859, and bearing the imprint of the old Davenport firm, Luse, Lane & Co.  This was the year the schools were graded and the record appears in an article headed "Schools of Davenport."    The introduction and statistics follow:  "The public schools of this place had never assumed a definite shape before the inauguration of the new law.  Since then the schools throughout the city have been graded, and efficient teachers employed.  Numerous difficulties have been encountered, but they have all been overcome, and the schools are growing daily in popular favor.

"The following list of teachers, and salaries paid them, has been handed us by the superintendent:

A. S. Kissell, Prin. Int. Sch., and City Supt., salary per year $1200
Miss M. A. Scofield, 1st Assistant    400
Miss Anna Reed, 2d Assistant    250
L. H. Mitchell, Prin. Gram. Sch. No. 1 and Dist. Sch. No. 2    700
Miss M. W. Merrill, 1st Asst., Gram. Sch. No. 1 and Dist. Sch. No. 2    350
W. H. V. Raymond, Prin. Gram. Sch. No. 2 and Dist. Sch. No. 3    700
Miss P. W Sudlow, 1st Asst. Gram. Sch. No. 2 and Dist. Sch. No. 3    350
Miss M. S. Tripp, Prin, Dist. Sch. No. 1    350
Miss Julia Humphrey, Asst. Dist. Sch. No. 1    250
Miss H. T. Phillips, Asst. Sch. No. 2    250
Miss H. M. Lusk, Asst. Prin. Primary Dept. Dist. Sch. No. 2    350
Miss E. Kelley, Asst. School No. 2    250
Miss A. A. Howland, Asst. School No. 2    250
Miss E. Carriel, Asst. School No. 3    250
Mrs. M. E. Culbertson, Asst. School No. 3    250
Mrs. W. H. V. Raymond, Prin. Prim. Dept. School No. 3    350
Miss Sarah Christie, Asst. School No. 3    250
Miss Emma Metteer, Asst. School No. 3    250
Frank McClellen, Prin. Dist. School No. 4    500
Miss C. McCarn, Asst. Prim. Dept. Dist. School No. 4    300
Miss Jennie Jenkins, Asst. Dist. School No. 4    250
H. M. Hoon, Prin, Dist. School No. 5    350
Miss E. L. Cook, Asst. Dist. School No. 5    250
W. G. Fearing, Prin. Dist. School No. 6    300

"We may observe that at the organization of these schools the graded system was adopted, and that it had been employed during the past year with entire satisfaction.  No separate building has yet been erected for the Intermediate school.  The room at present occupied is attended with some inconveniences, but the attendance is good, and the recitations give evidence of thorough discipline.  Quite a number of pupils are in from different portions of the county, and some even from the adjoining county of Muscatine.  The schools as a whole will not suffer in comparison with any in the West."


The intermediate school, the precursor of the high school, established in 1859, was held in alternate years at school buildings Nos. 2 and 3, to accommodate the pupils as to distances.  In 1861 the name was changed to the Davenport City High school.  Such a name had been previously considered ill-advised, owing to public sentiment against the propriety of supporting a high school by public taxation.  This sentiment was not peculiarly local, for all over the country high schools were struggling for recognition.  The high school was held in the two grade buildings alternately until the leasing of the Baptist church building, corner of Sixth and Main streets, in 1863, which the congregation remodeled for high school use in accordance with the requirements of the board.  The next year the board purchased the property for $4,000, and made further modifications to fit the building for the purpose for which it was purchased.

When the transfer of the high school to Sixth and Main streets was made in 1863, Supt, A. S. Kissell was relieved of the principalship of the school and W. O. Hiskey appointed to that position.  In this location the school remained until the completion of what was then called the "new high school,"  a sightly structure crowning the bluff upon the block bounded by Seventh and Eighth, Rock Island and Iowa streets, in 1875.  This location was purchased by the school board in 1867.  The school grew from year to year until the building was too small to accomodate the numbers.

At the time when the necessity for providing more room for the high school was imperative the school board learned that the old Griswold college property could be purchased.  Negotiations were entered into with Bishop Morrison of the diocese of Iowa and a price agreed upon, - $53,000.  This was submitted to the voters at the regular school election in March, 1900, and also at a special election in May, and carried.  This site is an ideal one for the high school of this city.  The ground covers a block in the central part of Davenport; it is beautifully situated, centrally located and readily accessible.

Before the erection of the new building for the high school the school board made extensive examination of the best high school structures in the Mississippi valley.  After this examination the submission of plans was asked from architects and a large number were offered, none of whom seemed to be satisfactory to the board.  Finally an outline was devised embodying their ideas and submitted to architects who put it into form.  Of the plans submitted to the board those of Clausen & Burrows, local architects, were accepted.  They drew up specifications and the board advertised for bids for the erection of the edifice according to the accepted plans.

Numerous bids were received and the contract awarded to the H. B. Walker Construction Company of Danville, Illinois, who entered upon the work in the fall of 1904.  In the spring of 1905 the corner stone was laid, which was the occasion of a great outpouring of the inhabitants of the city and especially of the school children who were present en masse and took part in the exercises by singing several appropriate songs.  Speeches were made by several prominent citizens and Bishop Morrison of the diocese of Iowa took an active part.

The building was finished ready for use in January, 1907, and represented an outlay, including all furnishings and equipment, of $347,000.  The size of the building is 202 by 204 feet, three stories above a high basement.  The basement contains a manual training room, 39 by 120 feet; gymnasium, 39 by 122 feet, with adjoining locker rooms and bath rooms for boys at the east end of the gymnasium and similar rooms for girls at the western end; heating apparatus, bicycle rooms, fuel rooms, and several rooms which can be used as need may arise.

The first floor is reached by two main entrances, one from the east, and one from the west with an additional entrance from the north side for the auditorium which is a spacious opera house seating more than 1300, occupying the center of the building with light shafts interventing between the auditorium and the remainder of the building, which afford light for the auditorium and the man corridors, which are floored with terrazo mosaic and wainscoted with white enameled brick.  There is a study room, 40 by 120 feet, also fourteen recitation rooms, principal's office, rest rooms for the men and women teachers, hospital room and a society room.

The second story contains a library with separate reading rooms adjoining for boys and girls, a study room, 40 feet by 120 feet, fifteen recitation rooms, commercial room, typewriting room and the gallery of the auditorium.

The third floor contains the physical laboratory, consisting of two rooms and an instructor's room; chemical laboratory of two rooms and an instructor's room; lecture room with raised sears; geological laboratory; biological laboratory, two rooms and a lecture room; free-hand drawing room, 25 feet by 62 feet; mechanical drawing room, 25 feet by 52 feet; the domestic science room, 40 feet by 52 feet; lunch room 24 feet by 68 feet, with separate adjoining rest rooms for boys and girls.

Four stairways lead from the first to the third story, two of each for boys and girls.  Along the sides of the corridors on the first two floors are arranged commodious lockers, in number about 1,200.  The laboratories are most abundantly supplied with the most modern apparatus and other means of successful instruction.  The building is admirably lighted, the windows being of the best French plate glass.  The heating and ventilation are in accord with the latest advancement in building engineering.

The exterior of the building is beautiful in appearance, the walls constructed of Marquette rain-drop sandstone and pressed brick of harmonious color, and has a roof of red tile.  The corridors are floored with the mineral composite, terrazo mosaic, - all other floors are of hard maple.  The interior finish throughout the building is of quarter sawed oak.  The walls and ceilings are all beautifully frescoed.

Take it all in all, it is the handsomest, most convenient, most complete, best arranged high school in the middle west.  It is planned to accomodate 1,600 pupils.

The principals of the Davenport City High school from its founding have been as follows:

W. O. Hiskey, 1864-1866; M. G. Hamill, 1866-1868; J. B. Young, 1868-1878; H. P. Lewis, 1878-1883; F. E. Stratton, 1883-1892; H. H. Roberts, 1892-1898; W. D. Wells, 1898-1900; F. L. Smart, 1906-1907.

Geo. E. Marshalll, the present principal, began service in 1907.

At the founding of the high school there was but one course of study of four year's length, and that was very simple.  At the present time seven courses are offered of four years of forty weeks each, a variety sufficient to meet the wants of all students of high school age.

The Latin course is arranged for students who plan to enter college or who desire a general course of cultural value.  The German course is arranged practically for the same purpose as the Latin.  The science course is recommended to those who desire to enter a technical school or college, or for those who wish full work in science and mathematics.  The English course is provided for students who do not wish to study any foreign language.  The commercial course is planned for students intending to enter upon business pursuits without further educational training.  The manual training course gives students a practical and thorough knowledge of the care and use of tools, mechanical drawing and designing, and is in the line of preparation for admission to technical schools.  The domestic science course provides instruction in sewing, cooking, and drawing, dressmaking and designing and training in all the details of managing and conducting a home.


In 1863 the school board having experienced difficulty in securing teachers professionally trained to fill positions in the schools, and realizing the importance of securing such teachers, decided to establish a training school for teachers.  The services of Mrs. M. A. McGonegal as principal and Miss Mary V. Lee as assistant were secured.  This was the first school for training teachers established west of the Mississippi river, and from its founding to the present time has contributed strongly to successful instruction in the Davenport schools.  Its graduates have done splendid service in the schools of this and other Iowa cities and in the schools of other states, always reflecting credit on the Davenport Training school.

The school was first located in the building of School Number 2, where it remained until 1869.  At that time from the lower grades of School No. 2 about 100 children, with the training school for teachers, were moved to the first floor of the High school, corner Sixth and Main streets.  Here the training school remained until 1871, when new Number 8 having been opened it was transferred to that building.

When the new High school building on Seventh and Eighth, Rock Island and Iowa, was ready for occupancy, the Training school made its fourth move and climbed the hiss to this new structure of greater accommodations.  Here it stayed until 1892, when it was transferred to its present location in Tyler school.

The requirements for admission to the Training school are graduation from the High school or any other school of equal rank.  The course of instruction includes a review of the common branches, and in this connection instruction in the best methods of teaching them, psychology, history of education, theory and practice of teaching, with actual practice in the school room under critic teachers.  Graduation closes the course of one year.

The principals of the Training school have been:  Mrs. M. A. McGonegal, 1863-1870; Miss Kate S. French, 1870-1872; Miss P. W. Sudlow, 1872-1874; Miss Belle S. Thompson, 1874-1892.

Miss A. O. Osborne, now Mrs.  A. O. Sheriff, a graduate of the Oswego Normal school, left training school work in Saratoga, New York, to take charge of this school in 1892 and is still its principal.


Early in 1865 after much discussion the school board decided to introduce instruction in drawing into the schools.  Henry Lambach was appointed drawing teacher, but as he was otherwise engaged, Mrs. W. A. Bemis became the first drawing teacher of the public schools.  She served until 1870 and was succeeded by Mr. Lambach, who taught drawing until 1881.  From that date until 1892 there was no special teaching of drawing.  In 1892 Miss Mary E. Sisson, now Mrs. C. R. McCandless, came from Peoria and served from 1892-1894.  Miss Clara A. Wilson succeeded her in 1894 and carried on this department of school work until 1908, going to Cleveland and from there to Des Moines, where she is at the head of art instruction in that city.  The next supervisor was Miss Lillian Fliege, who came to Davenport in 1908 and is now in charge of the drawing in the High School and in the graded school.


Instruction began in German in 1867 and has continued to the present time.  The first instructor was J. G. Tuerik, a finely educated man, recently from souther battle fields where he fought for his adopted land.  He went from building to building giving instruction in German on stated days.  As time passed other instructors were added until finally there was a teacher of that language in each building.  Later, as exigency demanded, two teachers were employed in a building.  The study of German has been optional, but the aim of the board has been to furnish sufficient force to meet all requirements.  There are few cities in the United States where such ample opportunities have been provided for the study of German as in this city.  The instruction in German was without special supervision until within a few years, when A. O. Mueller was secured and was later succeeded by Henry H. Jebens, the present incumbent.


In 1869 the school board decided to furnish special instruction in writing and W. H. Pratt, a specialist in this line, was employed and continued in service until 1881.  Special instruction in writing was dropped and the subject taught by the room teacher until recently.  Mr. H. C. Walker of St. Louis was invited in the spring of 1908 to instruct the teachers in his method.  This instruction continued through the year 1908-1909.  In the spring of 1909 he was assisted by Miss Lydia Koenemann, who gave some lessons in the schools.  In the fall of 1909 Miss Edith Heden was made supervisor of writing and the Walker system is being developed in the school rooms.


The instruction in this branch was introduced in 1884 and G. R. Housel became the supervisor, retiring in 1888.  George E. Whitmore was the next teacher of singing, commencing service in 1890 and ending in 1893.  In this year George R. Housel returned and continued until 1895, when Ernst Otto succeeded  him and is the present instructor.


No systematic frill in physical culture was given the children of the schools until 1886.  At that date the board determined to employ a special instructor, and William Reuter, in charge of the turning school of the Davenport Turngemeinde was secured.  From that time until the present he has been in charge of gymnastics in the Davenport schools.


The practical in education found expression in the Davenport schools in 1888 when cooking was made an optional study for High school and Ninth grade girls.  Rooms were fitted up in the building at Sixth and Main streets and Miss Mary Gillette engaged as teacher, in which capacity she continued until 1893, when upon her voluntary resignation Miss Barbara S. Morgan was chosen to take her place.  She has continued in the position with the utmost satisfaction until the present time.  From the ginning interest in this line of instruction has been general and enthusiastic.  It was an addition to the course of study which the public heartily approved.


The next year after cooking was introduced, or in 1889, instruction in manual training was offered to the boys.  A room was fitted up in the second story of the building at Sixth and Main with the necessary equipment.  The course embraced woodworking, both bench and lathe, and mechanical drawing.  This line of work elicited as much interest and popular favor as did the cooking.  From the establishment of manual training until the present time eight different teachers have been employed.  At first instruction was given to students of the High school and those boys from the graded school who were fourteen years of age and over.  Later it was limited to boys of the Ninth grade and the High school.  the work broadened as teh yeas went by, and now the Seventh and Eighth grade boys have instruction to Manual training at centers in the grade buildings which it was necessary to establish through the inability to accommodate all the pupils in one room.  The utilization of these centers and the growth of teh work in the High school made necessary the employment of two additional teachers.  For some years there has been instruction in hand work from the primary grades upward.  In both Manual Training and Cooking Davenport was a pioneer for all this region.


Previous to 1888, in keeping with the then universal practice, a practice that prevails yet in almost all the schools in the country, pupils were promoted from grade to grade in the Davenport schools upon the standing made in frequent formal, written examinations.  No more progressive step was ever taken by the schools of this city than was taken when the following rule went into effect:  "Promotion shall depend wholly upon the pupil's fitness for the work of the next grade, as shown by proficiency in his present grade, and by his habitual diligence in study.  The teacher's estimate of each pupil's fitness or unfitness to pass shall, when approved by the Principal and the Superintendent, determine as to his promotion.

"There shall be no stated examinations for promotion, nor shall promotions by determined by any sets or series of examinations held during the year."

Commenting upon this topic in his annual report in 1889, Mr. Young says:

"The announcement of this rule to the pupils was instantly signalized by increased attention to study.  Forthwith they understood that their advancement was to depend upon their studiousness and fidelity to duty, rather than upon the per cents which they might obtain by a written examination.  The fear entertained by the teachers that the execution of the rule might entail upon them the censure of partiality and unjust judgment, was not realized to the extent anticipated.

"The plan has many advantages.  It relieve the closing days of the year of much drudgery.  It removed all occasion for undue anxiety, and nervous strain and excitement.  It places promotion upon a just basis, that of faithful work during the entire year.  If carried out in the right spirit, it will promote rational and intelligent instruction, and broad and sound scholarship; for it furnishes no motive to teach for mere examination ends."


The matter of nature study had received a  good deal of attention in the schools for several years previous to the employment of a special teacher.  Instruction had been not only given in their respective rooms according to a definite plan by the teachers, but scholars had gone in classes at regular intervals to the Academy of Sciences for instruction by the curator.  The school board came to estimate work in this line so highly that Curator J. H. Paarmann was employed 1905 to give lessons one-half of his time.  In this work he still serves schools.


In the fall of 1908 instruction in sewing was provided for the girls of the Seventh and Eighth grades, the classes to be held at the same time as those in manual training for the boys of those grades.  Miss Margaret Gleason was given charge.  In the fall of 1909 when the domestic science course was inaugurated in the High school and Miss Gleason's responsibilities increased she was given assistance in teaching sewing in the grades.


Those who have guided the destinies of the Davenport city public schools from the beginning were:  A. S. Kissell, 1858-1864; Dr. C. C. Perry, 1864-1865;  W. O. Hiskey, 1865-1867; W. A. Bernis, 1867-1869; W. E. Crosby, 1869-1874; Miss P. W. Sudlow, 1874-1878; J. B. Young, 1878-1907.  F. L. Smart, as present superintendent, assumed control of the schools in 1907.


A marked feature of the public schools from the beginning has been the high character and substantial qualities of the men who have been called upon to serve on the school board.  They have been selected from our foremost citizens and they have given freely of their time and energy to the public service.

The people of Davenport have been uniformly liberal in the financial support of the schools.  Every movement for the improvement of school buildings and broadening of the course of study entered upon by school authorities has met with their approval.  From the beginning the Davenport public schools have been of high rank, and have served as an inspiration and stimulus to the surrounding region in the line of educational effort.

Among the names of the superintendents of the city schools appears that of Miss P. W. Sudlow, the first lady to hold such a position in the state.  At the time of her appointment to the principalship of No. 3, the matter of equal salaries for men and women arose.  Miss Sudlow took the ground that women doing equal work with men should receive an equal salary.  The school board for a time demurred, but on Miss Sudlow's insistence acquiesced, thus setting a precedent which has had its influence not only in Davenport, but in the middle west.

The following have served as principals of the grammar schools of the city form 1858 to the present time:

Washington school - Samuel Noyes, Miss Marion S. Tripp, Miss Juliea E. Humphrey, George W. Tallman, D. L. Gorton, Roderick Rose, Rush Emery,J. P. Lyman, L. A. Rose, S. C. Higgins, J. R. Bowman, Miss P. W. Sudlow, H. E. Downer, W. E. Hocking.

Adams School - "Prof." Griffith, L. H. Mitchell, Miss Lizzie Gregg, F. M. Witter, W. A. Bemis, J. P. Lyman, H. Tourtellotte, M. T.  Brown, G. W. Haywood, H. P. Lewis, J. R. Bowman, J. N. Greer, J. W. McBride.

Jefferson school - Samuel H. Weller, L. H. Mitchell, Miss P. W. Sudlow, Mrs. M. B. Severance, W. C. Preston, J. M. DeArmond, Mrs. M. E. Melville, W. D. Wells, J. H. Browning, F. J. Walker.

Madison school - Frank McClellen, W. O. Hiskey, A. H. Brooks, W. L. Kenworthy, Mrs. T. F. M. Curry, J. J. Nael, R. P. Redfield.

Monroe school - L. M. Mitchell, H. M. Hoon, Miss Lizzie Gregg, Mrs. Rebecca Hackey, Mrs. M. E. Culbertson, J. A. Ryan, Simon Shoecraft, M. G. Hamill, H. Tourtellotte, Roderick Rose, J. M. DeArmond, W. J. Bartholf, C. E. Birchard.

Jackson school - T. H. Codding, W. G. Fearing, W. Geerdts, J. A. Ryan, Miss H. A. Connell, J. M. Williams, J. A. McClellan, L. A. Rosem H, M. DeArmond, H. T. Bushnell, J. R. Bowman, T. G. Milsted, J. W. McBride, E. J. Mittelbuscher.

Van Buren school - Miss Mary Wagnerk, Miss Mary Willrodt, Henry Lambach, Jr., Mrs. Cornelia James, Ed J. Mittelbuscher, Miss Louisa M. Tuerk, Miss Bertha Roddewig, J. A. Hornby, R. P. Redfield, A. I. Naumann.

Harrison school - Miss P. W. Sudlow, H. T. Bushnell, J. A. Hornby

Tyler school - Miss Belle S. Thompson, Miss A. O. Osborne, who became throught marriage Mrs. a. O. Sheriff

Polk school - Miss Mary Middleton, Miss M. A. Griswold, R. P. Redfield, J. A. Hornby, F. J. Walker, J. I. Lynch

Taylor school - C. L. Suksdorf, F. J. Walker

Fillmore school - Joseph Allen, A. A. Miller

Pierce school - T. J. Evens, T. J. Cowen

Buchanan school - Miss Grace Creswell

Lincoln school - J. W. McBride


Back from the street in St. Anthony's church yard near the alley in the "church square" given by the ever generous Antoine LeClaire for the first church location in Davenport, stands the first school building erected in Davenport.  This monument to the good old Abbe Pelamourgues has a wealth of local history clustering roundabout.  The structure was built in 1838 from brick manufactured here.    It was preceded by a few weeks only in construction by the brick residence on the site of the Masonic temple, the first brick building in the city.  In the early days of the community this plain brick structure was religious temple, city hall, seat of justice, school house, public forum, the gathering place for the populace whether their assembling was for church, school, court trial, public meeting or literary exercises.  Its bell became a municipal feature, sounding the alarm of fire, summoning to church or school and calling together the aldermen of the city for their sessions.  It still does service in the north vestry wing of the present church building.  It is the oldest bell in Davenport if not in the state of Iowa.

Since the founding of the school by Pere Pelamourgues it has been steadily maintained and still does it daily work in education.  This is a down-town parish and the children are fewer than in older days.  The teaching is done by a company of sisters under the direction of Father Flannery.

There are also other parish schools, one with a curriculum covering primary, intermediate and high school branches on the square where is located the cathedral of the Sacred Heart.  The attendance is large, the children coming from the great cathedral parish and also from St. Paul's parish where there is no school.  The sisters who conduct the school have their home in a comfortable new building adjacent to the school.

Another parish school is maintained at St. Joseph's church, instruction being given in the stone building formerly St. Kunigundi's church, the predecessor of the present St. Joseph's.  The fourth school is maintained in a beautiful school building, modern in all appointments as to class rooms and assembly hall, situated opposite St. Mary's church, and known as St. Mary's school.  The sisters who teach are members of the famous teaching order, the Sisters of the Holy Cross.  Through recent munificence of a wealthy parishioner, Pat Walsh, instruction is furnished to the children in attendance without tuition, the endowment covering the expense.  Monsignior Ryan has reason to be proud of his parish school.

The parish of the Holy Family in northwest Davenport has a building erected for school purposes and a school will be opened there in the immediate future.


The recent consolidation of the Keokuk Medical college with the Drake Medical college of Des Moines brought the history of the former institution to public notice, and one of the chapters has local interest, for here the institution sojourned one season during its wander years and in Davenport was graduated the first class in Iowa to receive diplomas in medicine.  This medical college was organized in 1844 at Charleston, Illinois, and called for College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Upper Mississippi Valley.  It later migrated from Charleston to Laporte, Indiana, and subsequently to Rock Island, where a course of lectures was given in 1848-49.  The following school year Davenport had the honor of entertaining the distinguished healers who formed the faculty.  here the school was known as the Davenport Medical Institute.  Prejudice against the school developed, and local suspicion reached such a degree that a number of citizens proceeded to the cemetery and exhumed the body of a domestic employed in the family of the president of the college, Dr. John F. Sanford, at the time of her death, expecting to find an empty coffin and proof that the mortal remains of Davenport citizens were furnishing material for dissection.  In June, 1850, before a large assembly of friendly citizens, six medical students were given their degrees and Davenport knew its Medical Institute no more, as plans had been laid before commencement day to remove to Keokuk.


The theory of certain psychologists that an analysis of the brain of every New England pioneer would disclose a Christian college will account for the founding of Iowa college in Davenport.  Among the early settlers in Iowa, were three Yale graduates, "Father" Asa Turner, Reuben Gaylord and Julius A. Reed.  The last named of the three spent his declining years in this city and will be remembered as the father of Mrs. S. F. Smith.

In 1843 came the Andover band, Harvey Adams, Edwin B. Turner, Daniel Lane, Erastus Ripley, James J. Hill, Benjamin A. Spaulding, Alden B. Robbins, Horace Hutchinson, Ephraim Adams, Ebenezer Alden and William Salter.  the Yale delegation had expressed their ambition in a letter dated 1838:  "We desire to go to the Black Hawk purchase to preach the gospel and to open a school at the outset which can soon be elevated to the rank of a college."  The same spirit inspired the young men of the Andover band, for this is the expression of their hopes in 1843;  "If each one of us can only plant one good permanent church, and all together build a college, what a work that will be."  To this list of strong young eastern pioneers must be added the name of two other kindred spirits, Oliver Emerson and John C. Holbrook, and those who founded and created Iowa College have been named.

A meeting was held in 1844, at Denmark, Iowa, and the financial history of the institution inaugurated by Rev. J. J. Hill throwing a large silver dollar on the table and saying:  "I give one dollar for the founding of a Christian college in Iowa.  Appoint your trustees to care for that dollar."  At this meeting it was voted to enter a township of land, the sale of which might serve as an endowment nest egg, and arrangements made for sending an agent to the east to solicit funds.  The ministers in attendance contributed the expenses of this trip and Rev. Asa Turner, Jr., was commissioned financial envoy extraordinary to the benevolence and wealth of New England.  He returned laden with advice and conditional promises.

In June, 1846, it was decided to locate in Davenport provided her citizens would contribute $1,500 toward the erection of a building, and furnish a site.  The money was raised and the ever generous Antoine LeClaire met all expectations by donating the site.  A charter was secured January 4, 1847, under the laws of the territory of Iowa, in which twelve trustees were named, three Presbyterians and nine Congregationalists.  In November, 1848, classes in the preparatory department were organized in the basement of the Presbyterian church on the north side of Third street between Main and Harrison streets, by Erastus Ripley, secured for the professorship of languages at an annual salary of $500.  Until there were college students to instruct, he took care of the "preps."  In the beginning the Presbyterians took a friendly interest in the new college, and there was an offer from the Des Moines presbytery to endow a chair, if it should be "always subject to the control of the presbytery."  These overtures resulted in nothing being done, and gradually the board of trustees was filled by Congregationalists.

With Davenport money the first college building in Iowa was erected.  Since the streets have been cut through the location is on Western avenue between Sixth and Seventh streets.  It was an unpretentious single story brick edifice twenty-five by forty-eight feet in extent with a cupola, and contained one large room, chapel and school room combined, with recitation rooms in the rear.  This structure remodeled and facing north is now the residence of Oswald Schmidt, No. 517 West Seventh street.  When the city ran streets through the none too expansive campus in 1854, the college sought a new location.  That was an important year in the college history for then graduated the first collegiate class which was organized in 1850.  The graduates numbered two, William Windsor and John H. Widsor, brothers, the former being at a late period pastor of the Edwards Congregational church.

Through the law of eminent domain which brought the city streets through their Western avenue home the college secured a splendid location of ten acres among the oak tress on the central bluff and commenced anew in the location now bounded by Eleventh and Twelfth streets, Brady and Harrison streets.  Here was constructed a stone college building at an expense of $22,000.  The structure was built of native limestone, three stories and a basement, and contained a large room for the preparatory and English departments, a laboratory, a library of 1,800 volumes, a cabinet of apparatus, literary society and recitation rooms, and on the third floor a dormitory of twelve rooms.  This edifice stood on the site of Davenport's present magnificent high school, and was razed when that building was commenced.

In 1859 the city opened Main street through the college grounds and in despair of peace and quiet in the growing city of Davenport the trustees sold the plant to the Episcopal diocese of Iowa and moved to Grinnell, where Iowa college was incorporated with a budding and promising Congregational school known as Grinnell university.  A college historian enumerates the material wealth which went therewith:  "That which was visible which was brought to Grinnell consisted of heterogeneous fragments of pioneer libraries, a $9,000 endowment, and the proceeds of the property sold in Davenport amounting to about $36,000."

So ended the life of Iowa college in Davenport, but local interest in this oldest college in the state has never waned.  At Grinnell, Iowa, college, now known by a vote of the trustees as Grinnell college to avoid constant confusion with other schools of similar name, has prospered.  The work done is thorough and of high grade.  Graduates of the college have "made good" the world around.  The atmosphere of Grinnell is ideal in fostering scholarship and the "Grinnell spirit" is a powerful influence in the intellectual life of Iowa and the west.


The removal of Iowa college to Grinnell, made it possible for the leading spirits in the Episcopal diocese of Iowa to carry out plans which had been made some years previous to establish an educational institution under the auspices of their church, which should serve not only this diocese, but the northwest, as well.  The bishop of the diocese of Iowa, Dr. Henry W. Lee gave to the founding and nurture of Griswold college his best thought and effort during the best years of his life.

Prominent clergy, laity and citizens of Davenport met in St. Luke's church in this city, December 7, 1859, by invitation of Bishop Lee to organize a corporation "to hold and control the recently purchased property situated in Davenport and known as Iowa college, with reference to the establishment of a literary and theological institution under the auspices of the Protestant Episcopal church."  At this meeting the name of Griswold was chosen in honor of Bishop Lee's dearest friend, Right Reverend Alexander Griswold, D. D., the second presiding bishop of the Episcopal church in the United States.

At the first meeting after the incorporation, F. Emerson Judd was chosen principal of the preparatory department, and shortly after Prof. D. S. Sheldon formerly a professor in Iowa college was secured for the Griswold faculty.  Here Prof. Sheldon spent many useful, self sacrificing, arduous years.  His residence on the southwest corner of Twelfth and Main streets now holds the rooms of the Board of Education of the public schools, the superintendent's and secretary's offices.

The financial obligation Bishop Lee incurred in the purchase of ground and buildings from Iowa college he discharged to the penny, almost altogether by funds secured from wealthy eastern friends.  It was in 1861 that the convention voted to open a theological department and to request the two Davenport rectors to give instruction therein.  The number of pupils this year was sixty-two and this department became self sustaining.  In 1864 all debts had been paid and the school was prospering and meeting expenses.  Rev. Horatio Powers was president of the collegiate department, and the board of trustees contained such influential Davenport citizens as Ebenezer Cook, John P. Cook, John E. Henry, and Rev. Alfred Louderback.

The next year 107 students were in attendance.  A beautiful and commodious chapel was erected on the west block, costing $4,000.  Lee hall was also erected and became the home of the bishop until his residence on the Brady street side of the cathedral close was ready for occupancy.

Endowments were being constantly secured from eastern friends of Bishop Lee.  David J. Ely gave $20,000, and other gifts followed.  The Crocker endowment reached $22,500, the Anthon fund, $11,500.  Catharine Lorillard Wolfe was munificent in her benefactions and in her honor the stone building was named Wolfe hall.

In 1867 Rev. S. R. J. Hoyt was chosen principal of the primary department and the trustees set aside a strip of land 100 feet wide in the east block for the building of the edifice first known as the bishop's church, then Grace cathedral and now Trinity cathedral.

In 1868 President Powers resigned and Prof.  Sheldon assumed control temporarily, to be succeeded by Prof. Edward Lounsberry.  The students numbered 108.  The library boasted 4,000 volumes.  That year the first class graduated from the theological department and were ordained deacons by Bishop Lee.

Four years later a fund of $100,000 had been collected for the cathedral and an additional $20,000 for a residence for the bishop which was erected on the southeast corner of the cathedral close.  In his annual address for 1873 Bishop Lee said, "The new and beautiful diocesan church is now nearly completed and will soon be consecrated to the worship and service of the Triune God.  the church was commenced six years ago, and its erection has involved more labor and expense than was originally anticipated, though it has been a slight burden on the diocese itself, less than $10,000 having been contributed in Iowa for this object."

In 1872 financial difficulties necessitated the temporary suspension of the collegiate department.  Bishop Lee died September 26, 1874, and for the next two years Griswold college had no episcopal head.  Then came Rev. William Stevens Perry, president of Hobart college, Geneva, New York, consecrated to the episcopate in September, 1876.

During the existence of this college begun in promise which ran its course and is now but a memory permanent property to the amount of $200,000 was secured, more than half coming from the east; the graduates from the collegiate department were counted by scores, pupils numbering into the thousands took advantage of the instruction in the preparatory department and the graduates of the theological department were at one time laboring in thirteen American dioceses and as missionaries in foreign lands.  The good accomplished by this institution fully repaid the toil and investment.  It is a matter of regret that its usefullness could not have been continued.  The scholastic spirit and devotion to educational ideals which characterized Iowa college and Griswold college have descended as a heritage of priceless value to the people's college, the new public high school which occupies the site of Wolfe hall.  For over half a century this spot has been set apart and consecrated to education, and has been preserved for future generations, for their culture and improvement.


It was about 1884 that the trustees of Griswold college planned a school for boys.  It was to be a military school of high grade and was to be for the boys of the Episcopal diocese a place of instruction and training for useful citizenship.  Plans were prepared by E. S. Hammatt, architect, and a contract let for a three story building of red sandstone and pressed brick.  The corner stone was laid in 1885 by the Masonic grand lodge of Iowa.

When the building was completed it was opened by exercises of formal dedication and reception.  The school which was successfully launched in September, 1886, was named Kemper hall, in honor of Jackson Kemper, the missionary bishop of this jurisdiction.  The school attracted many students and the neat cadet gray Kemper uniforms were a feature of younger Davenport social life.  The school continued with varying success and occasional changes under the direction of the board of trustees until 1893.  At the July meeting of the trustees of that year both Kemper and Wolfe halls were leased to Messrs. Hamilton and Von Binzer.  The financial condition of the school did not improve and in June, 1894, the building were leased to Prof. H. K. Coleman, who conducted the school for a year.  In December, 1895, Kemper hall closed as a diocesan school.  At the transfer of the Griswold property to the school district of Davenport the Kemper hall property representing an investment of not less than $65,000 went with the remainder and now is used as a private hotel, primarily for instructors in the schools and incidentally for others.


The American ambition to render cultured and accomplished the daughters of the home is nothing of recent birth.  Early in the history of this city it made possible the establishing for girls of educational institutions of greater or less pretensions.  There was the school of the Misses O'Hara, that of the Misses Lyons, and Mrs.  Lindley's school; the Davenport Female college, opened at Front and Brady streets in 1857 by Z. M. Smith, president, the Ladies college on Mt. Ida and the Davenport Female university.  To this latter school much space is given in the earliest Davenport directory, that of 1855.  And no wonder.  Its three departments already opened are noted, its sixteen professorships - contemplated - the eighteen varieties of diploma which were in reach of the industrious.  It was a promising school, for "the sciences and letters, the principal professions of the sex and several trades are embraced in the scheme."  The scheme was all right, but where is that university now?  In the words of Hans Breitmann, it has glimmered away into thee wigkeit.

The ladies college situated on Mt. Ida and founded by T. H. Codding and Mrs. M. A. Codding reached a greater fame.  The building was erected by the tireless A. C. Fulton, "wizard of East Davenport," in his territory east of Bridge avenue from brick burned on the spot.  The handsome structure, remodeled, is now the residence of A. J. Preston.  This institution gave the name of College avenue to the thorough fare immediately on the east.

In 1857 the Coddings relinquished the school to Mr. and Mrs. Tooke who were the "principal and adj. principal."  Miss Matie Tooke was the teacher of music.  A May, 1858, issue of the Davenport Weekly News contains a commencement program of this school which is entirely modern in arrangement and scope.  At this time the school was prosperous with three score of young women from Iowa and neighboring states receiving the best instruction.  In 1859 the demon of debt which had clouded the classic portals with its shadow entered into its own, and another Davenport school founded in the rainbow hues of hope went down in the darkness of disappointment.


W. V. Barr was the pioneer in the commercial field in Davenport.  He came from Cincinnati and opened Barr's Commercial college in 1855.  A year later Joseph C. Lopez, of Alabama, a civil engineer, became a partner.  January, 1857, Mr. Barr died and the school of twenty students passed under Mr. Lopez' control.  A month after Mr. Barr's death W. H. Pratt came to Davenport to open a business college, having experience in teaching writing and book-keeping.  He found the opportunity ready to join with Mr. Lopez and did so, buying a half interest.  The school was then incorporated as the Davenport Commercial college.  In 1859 Mr. Pratt became sole proprietor and incorporated with his school by purchase Davis & Tipton's Commercial college which had been founded a year and a half previously.  By 1864 the school had grown to an attendance of seventy-five pupils.  The teaching and business management was in the hands of Mr. Pratt and his daughter.  In 1865 Mr. Pratt entered into an arrangement with Worthington & Warner by which the school became one of a chain of colleges under one management.  In the fall of 1865 the fixtures and good will were sold to Bryant, Stratton & Merrill, and was conducted under the management of Mr. Merrill.

In 1867 the institution was purchased by Iles & Montague.  After the death of Mr. Iles, Mr. Curtis then of the Bryant & Stratton college at Burlington join Mr. Montague.  Soon after, this pioneer business college changed hands and finally closed its doors.


This institution was founded in 1882 by  Rt. Rev. John McMullen, D. D., first bishop of Davenport, and was incorporated October 6, 1885, under the laws of the state of Iowa, and is empowered to confer the usual academic honors.  This institution prepares for professional schools and fits for business life.  The college is located in the northern part of the city, on Locust street, between Scott street and Western avenue.  Although within the corporate limits the college is so far removed from the noise and bustle of business life that studies are uninterrupted.

The first three years of its life St. Ambrose was located in a portion of the cathedral school buildings at Twelfth and Iowa streets.  It has occupied its present site since 1885, when the main or central part of the present building was first completed.  The growth which the college has enjoyed from the beginning has necessitated the erection of three additions, the first costing $20,000, the second $30,000, the third, $60,000.  The entire building is four stories in height and has a frontage of 300 feet.  It contains class rooms, laboratories, an auditorium, gymnasium, dormitories, and has a library of 5,000 volumes, and a museum containing many geological and botanical specimens.  In short, the building is well supplied with everything necessary for thorough and successful study and instruction in the different courses of study which receive attention.

The building is situated in the midst of a beautiful ten-acre grove of majestic oaks.  The grounds are well laid out and afford ample opportunity for outdoor sports and athletics.

There are three courses of study, the academic, the collegiate and the commercial.  These attract students in goodly number and from a wide territory.  Literary societies, dramatic societies, with the college band and orchestra add to the enjoyment of the student body.

The presidents of St. Ambrose college have been as follows:  Very Rev. A. J. Schulte, V. F., 1882 to 1891; Very Rev. J. T. A. Flannagan, V. G., from 1891 to 1907; Very Rev. William P. Shannahan, from 1907 to the present time.


The first school for the higher instruction of girls to be opened in Davenport under the auspices of the Roman Catholic church, was St. Philomena's academy, dating back to 1845, and opened in connection with Father Pelamourgues' school at St. Anthony's church, corner of Fourth and Main streets, by the Sisters of Charity of the B. V. M.  The patrons of the school were in humble circumstances and through lack of financial support the school was discontinued in 1847.

In 1855 five sisters returned to Father Pelamourgues, among them Sister M. Agatha, the present superior at St. Anthony's school.  The same year Judge G. C. R. Mitchell offered the Rev. T. J. Donoghoe ten acres of land in Northwest Davenport as a site for a boarding academy.  The gift was accepted the following year and it was agreed to erect an academy upon the land and to call the school the Immaculate Conception academy.

Circumstances beyond his control prevented Father Donoghoe from erecting the building until two years had passed.  Then a two story brick building with a one story chapel wing was built and the sisters opened the school, July 15, 1859, on the present site of Mercy hospital.  When the location was utilized for hospital purposes, the academy building built upon and added to became the nucleus of the present handsome array of buildings of Mercy hospital.  The sister superior of the school, Sister Mary Margaret with thirteen sisters assisting, constituted the first faculty, of which three are still living.

After two years of hardship in this location the institution was moved into the city that it might be of more ready access to the day pupils.  The former residence of Mayor George B. Sargent, now the home of E. H. Ryan, on Brady street, near Eight, was rented and the school transferred thereto in 1861.  Here it remained until 1866, when the residence of R. B. Hill, Main and Eighth streets was purchased and the school brought to this new and handsome location.  Here it has remained and grown and prospered until the present time.

The earliest additional building was a frame structure, which provided music studios and an auditorium.  In 1884 the present main school building was erected.  In 1906 a new and handsome edifice joining the main building on the north replaced the old frame conservatory building, giving additional room for instruction in science and a modern gymnasium.  In 1909, jubilee year, the old R. B. Hill residence went into the hands of the builders and will emerge from the transformation a handsome addition to the architectural group of structures, being connected with the main building on the south.  The present sister superior is Sister Mary Editha.

The buildings are elegant and commodious and were designed with especial view to the health, comfort and pleasure of the pupils.  Though in the heart of the city the location of the Immaculate Conception academy is retired and beautiful.

The course of study very full and complete, is planned for twelve years, if the pupils begin in the primary department, and four years if they begin in the academic department.  There is the  full complement of the practical and cultural studies and especial attention is given to art and music.

While there is systematic religious instruction in the school, no undue influence is exercised over the religious opinions of non-Catholic pupils.

The school has a large patronage, not only from the city, but also from this and neighboring states.


It was in the summer of 1883 when Bishop William Stephens Perry of the diocese of Iowa met a number of representative citizens at the Board of Trade rooms on Second street to lay before them his plans for the founding of a school for young ladies.  Other meetings were held and in 1884 the matter had progressed to the selection of a location, the beautiful home of Mrs. John L. Davies, Cambria place, on the eminence known in early days as Plynlimmon heights, this being considered the ideal place for the school.  A committee of the Griswold college trustees, consisting of the bishop, J. J. Richardson, D. B. Nash and N. P. Richardson, was appointed and the property secured.  St. Katherine's hall began to have a distinct entity.

The purchase of this property anticipated the receipt of some $40,000 the bequest of Miss Sarah Burr of New York for the founding of a girls' school in the diocese of Iowa.  After Miss Burr's death the estate became involved in litigation and it was not until 1889 that the legacy became available by which time it had grown to $50,400.

From its foundation the progress of the diocesan school, St. Katharine's hall, has been steady and sure.  Every year has shown a gain in some respect.  The school was peculiarly fortunate in early years in having at his head a woman of rare ability, of exceptional educational preparation, personal influence and business sagacity.  Given large discretion by the trustees she was for years not only the principal teacher, but the executive head and guarded the material interests of this school with the same thoroughness that she planned the course of study.  September 24, 1884, St. Katherines' hall was formally opened.  June 19, 1888, the first commencement exercises were held.  March 29, 1888, the new telescope was installed and the Belle Richardson observatory added to the school plant.  The corner stone of the beautiful school chapel bearing the name St. Mary's was laid in October, 1902 and the following February, the chapel was dedicated.  At the same time the fine gymnasium building was completed and added to the group of edifices, which now bear the name of St. Katharine's.  In 1907, October 31, Mrs. Helen G. Renwick transferred to the school her handsome stone residence and five acres adjoining.  By this purchase the grounds of the school were greatly enlarged and given ample frontage on Tremont avenue.

Miss Rice resigned the principalship in 1899 and became Mrs. J. J. Richardson.  She was succeeded by Miss Mary Frances Buffington, B. A., Vassar, who resigned after three years of faithful and successful work.  In the spring of 1902, the trustees on the advice of Bishop Morrison transferred the management of the school to the Sisters of St. Mary, who were successfully conducting four other schools in different parts of the country.  They are now in charge and it is the intention that they shall so continue.

From the beginning the school has aimed at a high standard of scholarship.  The course of study is broad and prepares for the institutions of high grade.  The graduates are accredited to such schools for girls as Smith, Wellesley, Vassar and Bryn Mawr.  Much attention is given in the school to art and music.


The county of Scott has always had reason to be proud of her schools.  They have been well provided with suitable buildings, with the best teachers that good salaries could attract, and have been held for more months in the year than is the average in Iowa.  Scott county has been among those Iowa counties that pay the best salaries to teachers.

In Scott county there are seventy-seven subdistricts, thirteen school townships, nineteen rural independent districts and ten city, town and village independent districts.  The number of rooms in the rural schools is 101, the number of rooms in the graded schools 229.  The average number of months Scott county schools are kept open is nine and eight-tenths.

At the latest date when information could be secured the total enrollment was 11,038.  The number of schoolhouses in the county is 125, having a value of $1,039,868.    The value of school apparatus is $15,904; the number of volumes in the libraries 15,408.  In the school year of 1906-7, the money received  from all sources for the support of the Scott county schools totals $259,913.08, a goodly investment in good citizenship for the future.


J. B. Young was born in the town of Duane, Franklin county, New York, July 15, 1833.  Both of his parents were of Scotch-Irish descent.  The town was an unbroken wilderness, situated in the northern foothills of the Adirondack mountains.  It was a bleak and inhospitable land.  His father was among the first settlers.  Owing to the sparseness of population and the remoteness of dwellings from each other, no public schools were established or maintained for several years.  The only schooling the boy had until he was in his twenty-first year was a term of four months in a country school in another town, when he was in his seventh year.  All the intervening years were spent in hard work on the farm.  The last four winters of his stay at home he spent in buying hay, grain and other supplies and hauling them by team to iron works and lumber shanties in the mountains, forty to sixty miles distant.  In this traffic he was led to realize the need of more education than he then had in order to do business understandingly.  Consequently, in the fall of his twenty-first year, after having secured the consent of his parents, he bade goodby to the old home and obtained a place with a farmer twelve miles distant and near the village of Malone, to do chores for his board and attend the school in the district the following winter.  At the end of a four months' term he made agreement with another farmer near by to work for him on his farm for the ensuing eight months, at $12.50 a month, the purpose in mind being to do chores for his board the next winter and go to school, and then perhaps spend some time in study at the academy, which was situated in the village near by.  When half the time of his farm engagement had expired his employer, knowing his intentions for the next winter, proposed to him that he discontinue work for him, hire a room in the village for lodging and self-boarding, attend the fall term of the academy and thus teach school the next winter, instead of spending it in another term in the district school, and so save time.  Mr. Young hesitated as to his ability to teach on account of so limited knowledge, but finally accepted and acted upon the proposition.  At the close of the term he secured the position of teacher of a small school in an adjoining town for three months, at a salary of $13 a month and board round.  He had good success, notwithstanding his fears as to his insufficient education.

Returning to Malone after the close of the school, Mr. Young met Mr. Gorham, the principal of the academy, on the street, and asked him, in case he should decide to return to school, what he would advise him to study.  Mr. Gorham replied:  "Latin, algebra and natural philosophy."  Mr. Young asked why he should be advised to study Latin, inasmuch as he was not intending to go to college, and even if he did so intend,  he had no money with which to defray the expenses of a college course.  Mr. Gorham said pretty forcibly,  "You are going to college, and you do not need any money therefore.  You can work your way through, as I did, and as many others have done."  This was the turning point in Mr. Young's life.  Up to that time he had intended to go to school only long enough to acquire a fair knowledge of the common branches and then engage in business of some kind, he had not decided what.    In two years' time he was fitted for admission to college.  He immediately entered Middlebury college, Middlebury, Vermont, and was graduated therefrom in the full four years' classical course in 1861.  By teaching school winters and working on farms summer vacations he earned money enough to defray all expenses of his preparatory and college courses up to the last term of his junior year.  At this point his funds were exhausted and he must either raise some money or relinquish his college course.  He went to Malone, asked several wealthy men whom he knew well for the loan of the little money he needed, but nobody had any money to loan a young man who had so security to give, and especially if he were going to squander it in getting an education.  Finally through the insistence of a friend he called on William A. Wheeler, then president of the only bank in the town, though he hesitated to do so, for he felt he was not sell enough known to Mr. Wheeler to ask any such favor from him.  Mr. Wheeler kindly listened to his story, willingly loaned him the amount asked for on his individual note, and voluntarily offered further assistance in case of need.  Thus the way to the completion of his course was now clear.  This Mr. Wheeler was afterwards member of congress for several terms and later vice president under Hayes.

Immediately after graduation Mr. Young was chosen principal of Lawrenceville academy, St. Lawrence county, New York.  He occupied this position until 1864, when he was invited to the principalship of Fort Covington academy and the supervision of the Union schools of that village.  He remained in that work for four years.  In the fall of 1868 he came to Davenport, Iowa, having been elected principal of its high school.  This position he held for ten years.  In 1878 he was appointed superintendent of the city schools.  He served in this position until the summer of 1907, when he was obliged to resign on account of old age and failing health.  It was with no little sadness that he left the work he had been in so long and which he enjoyed and loved so well.  It had been his aim during all his time of service to keep himself and the schools abreast of the times in all the best means and methods known to the profession.  Thorough, substantial work in all that goes to develop power and build up character in the pupils was a ruling purpose.  During his superintendency the schools more than tripled in number of buildings, number of pupils and in teaching force.  The severance of his official relations with the school board, principals and teachers was very pleasant and gracious, marked by resolutions of esteem and respect, a great gratification to him at the end of his educational labors in the city.