THE HISTORY OF THE CITY OF DAVENPORT
"From History of Scott County, Iowa 1882 Chicago: Interstate Publishing Co."
Fifty years ago, at the close of the Black Hawk war, Gen. Scott, assisted by some of his principal officers, in consequence of cholera upon the island, met with representatives of the Sac and Fox tribes of Indians, upon the site of the present city of Davenport, for the purpose of making a treaty with them. By that treaty a section of land was reserved, and by the Indians given to Antoine Le Claire. That reserve now comprises a portion of Davenport.
The location of the city is a beautiful one, and the early travelers up and down the Mississippi often stopped to admire it. Long before the country was settled it attracted public attention, and the scenery in and around what now constitutes the city is thus described by a traveler: "At the foot of the Upper Rapids is one of the most picturesque scenes that we recollect to have beheld. On the western side, a series of slopes are seen rising one above another for a considerable distance, until the background is terminated by a chain of beautifully rounded hills, over the whole of which trees are thinly scattered. On the other side of the river is a broad flat plain of rich alluvion, several miles in length, and more that a mile in breadth, and terminated by a range of wooded hills. On this prarie is a small village of the Sac and Fox Indians, composed of rude lodges, scattered carelessly about. In the front of the landscape, and presenting its most prominent feature, is Rock Island, the western shore of which is washed by the main current of the Mississippi, while the eastern side is separated from the main land by a narrow channel, which is fordable at low water. The southern point of the island is elevated about 40 feet above the ordinary level of the river, and is supported by a perpendicular parapet of rock. Here stands Fort Armstrong, a strong and very neat work, garrisoned by two companies of United States troops; and here will be one of the most desirable sites for a town on the Upper Mississippi. Rock River, which enters the Mississippi a few miles below the island, is a rapid stream, which may be easily rendered navigable, and which affords abundant water-power for the propulsion of any kind of machinery. The whole of this region is fruitful, healthful, and agreeable to the eye."
George B. Sargent, in a little work entitled "Notes on Iowa," published in 1848, in copying the foregoing adds: "It is interesting to mark the changes that have taken place since the above description was written. On the western side, with the beautifully rounded hills in the background, now stands Davenport. On the other side, which was then occupied by the Sac and Fox village, is now the flourishing town of Rock Island, in Illinois. Fort Armstrong is abandoned and in ruins. All along the banks of the river are seen the marks of civilization and improvement. But though the scenery has lost some of its wildness, it retains its original characteristic, and has gained many pleasant features. The towns of Rock Island and Davenport, the old fort with its deserted block-houses, the Mississippi, winding gracefully above and below, Rock River branching off through the woods, the forest-covered island, the high wooded bluffs, and the rich, green praries of Illinois, form a picture, which, for beauty, variety and extent, can hardly be surpassed.
The healthfulness and beauty of the situation, together with the facilities for hunting and fishing in its neighborhood, have made the place the fashionable resort during the summer months of large numbers of people from St. Louis and other Southern cities. It has hitherto been more noted on this account than as a place of trade; but the business of the town is now rapidly on the increase. There are several flourishing stores, and two large flouring mills have been erected in the past year, one which is already in operation. Most of the houses are substantially built of brick. The hotel and court-house are large and handsome buildings."
Newhall, in 1841, thus writes in regard to Davenport: "This town was laid out in 1835-'6, on a reserve belonging to Antoine Le Claire, Esq. It is the seat of justice for Scott County, and is situated nearly opposite to the lower end of Rock Island, on a handsome elevation, with a beautiful range of sloping hills in its rear. It is about 350 miles above St. Louis, by water, 80 miles above Burlington, and 95 below Dubuque. The town of Stephenson, on the opposite shore, with the glittering dome of its court-house, on the mouth of the Rock River a few miles below, the picturesque and antiquated fortifications of Rock Island, with its beautiful villa,* the charming residence of Le Claire, the magnificent hotel overlooking the white cottages of Davenport, and the adjacent village of Rockingham-all form a combination of picturesque beauty seldom if ever surpassed. I have approached this point from all its bearings, and whether viewed from river or bluff, it is like a beauteous picture varied in all its lights and shades. I well remember the first and lasting impression it produced upon my feelings; it was on a bright, sunny morning in August, in the year 1836; the sun was fast dispelling the glittering dews, and every drooping flower was lifting its smiling crest; on the Iowa shore might be seen occasionally a gaily painted warrior of the Sacs and Foxes riding along the heights, his painted form partially exposed to view as his scarlet blanket waved to the breeze, his light feathers and gaudy trappings being admirable contrast with the verdure-clad hills; then did I feel the utter incompetency to describe so beautiful a scene; then could I have invoked the pencil of the painter, or the pen of the poet.
"The distant reader may be skeptical concerning this high-wrought description. At this I marvel not. The author is aware of the difficulty of conveying entirely correct ideas of a region to those who have never traveled beyond the threshold of home; especially in delineating this (in common parlance)land of the 'sqatters;' as if, forsooth, the land of song, of Arcadian groves, and shady bowers, must needs be in sunny Italy, or classic Greece.
"I will, however, add the corroborating testimony of one or two graphic writers, to convince the reader that nature here has been lavish of her beauties as well as her bounties." 'The country around Rock Island is, in our opinion, the most charming that the eye ever beheld. Rock Island is, of itself, one of the greatest natural beauties on the Mississippi. The "old fort," not to speak of its military association, is, in truth, an object on which he eye delights to dwell. The flourishing town of Stephenson, upon the Illinois shore, adds greatly to the attractions of the scene; and Davenport, with its extended plains, its sloping lawns, and wooded bluffs, completes one of the most perfect pictures that ever delighted the eyes of man. The interior of the territory is rich, beautiful, and productive from end to end. Enterprising and industrious farmers may flock in from all quarters, and find a rich reward for moderate toil. The interior is healthy, and every section of land admits of easy cultivation."
"A correspondent of the New York Star, a gentleman of much taste, writing from Rock Island, says:
"'There are some bright spots in this rude world which exceed our most sanguine expectations, and this is one of them.
"'In beauty of the surrounding scenery, both on the Upper Mississippi and the Crystal Rock, I have found imaged all the charms I had pictured in my youthful imagination while reading a description of the happy valley in Rasselas, but which I never expected to see in the world of reality. The Father of Waters is a giant even here, 350 miles above St. Louis; it is estimated to be over a mile and a quarter wide, and is 100 miles below Dubuque, and about 500 miles below the head of navigation, at the Falls of St. Anthony."'
The claim upon which the city of Davenport was first laid out was made in 1833, and was contended for by a Dr. Spencer and Mr. McCloud. The matter was finally settled by Antoine LeClaire buying them both out, giving them for the quarter section $150. In 1835 Mr. Le Claire sold his "reserve" to a company which was formed for the purpose of purchasing and laying out a town site. The company thus formed was composed of Major William Gordon, Antoine Le Claire, George Davenport, Major Thomas Smith, Alexander McGregor, Levi S. Colton, Philip Hambaugh, and Captain James May. In the spring of 1836 the site was surveyed and laid out by Maj. Gordon, United States Surveyor, and one of the stockholders. The spot selected included the area bounded on the east by Harrison street, on the north by Seventh, west by Warren, and south by the river. It included 36 blocks, and six half-blocks, the latter being the portions lying adjacent to Warren, on the west.
The cost of the entire site was $2,000, or $250 per share, - a price which now would purchase but a very indifferent building lot in the least valued part of it. In May the lors were offered at auction. A steamboat came up from St. Louis laden with passengers to attend the sale, and remained at the levee during its continuance, in order to afford the conveniences of lodging, edibles, and the not less essential item of drinkables. The sale continued two days, but owing to the fact that the titles were simply such as were included in a squatter's claim, and purchasers fearful that such were not particularly good, only some 50 or 60 lots were sold, and these mostly to St. Louis speculators. The lots brought from $300 to $600 each, a smaller sum than the proprietors calculated upon. The remaining portion of the site was then divided among the proprietors.*
*Davenport, Past and Present
The immigration this year was but small, only some half-dozen families coming in.
The first hotel or tavern was put up this year, and opened by Edward Powers, and is still standing on the corner of Front street and Ripley. It was put up by Messrs. Davenport and LeClaire, and was called "Davenport Hotel,"--in honor of the "city." The first saloon was also started this year by an old sea captain, John Litch. It was a log house, and stood on Front street. It was long a favorite resort for the politician and those who felt the necessity of using a "little wine for the stomach's sake and their often infirmities." The captain did not always live up to the letter of the law, and the matter of license was probably contrary to his convictions of right, as he was on more than one occasion taken in hand by the Board of County Commissioners.
In October, 1836, James McIntosh opened a small stock of goods in a log house, built by A. LeClaire, on the corner of Ripley and Third streets. In December following, D. C. Eldridge also opened a large stock of goods, and claims to be the first to keep a general assortment, with the intention of making it a business.
In the fall of 1836 a son was born unto Levi S. Colton, the first birth in the new village. The first female child born was a daughter of D. C. Eldridge, in the spring of 1837.
The town of Davenport was incorporated by the Legislature in the winter of 1838-'9, and the first election for township officers was held April 1, 1839. Rodolphus Bennett was elected Mayor; Frazer Wilson, Recorder; and Dr. A. C. Donaldson, D. C. Eldridge, John Forrest, Thomas Dillon and John Litch, Trustees. The town council held its first meeting April 20. James M. Bowling was appointed Treasurer; William Nichols, Street Commissioner; and W. H. Patton, Marshal.
In 1843 a new charter was granted the town, which was used without amendment until 1850, when it was amended, and in 1851 repealed by the passage and adoption of a new city charter. This charter has been amended from time to time to suit the convenience of the inhabitants, or to grant or take from it some privilege. From 1839 to 1881 the following named have served in the offices and for the time mentioned:
LIST OF OFFICERS FROM THE DATE OF THE FIRST CHARTER TO THE PRESENT TIME.
1839 - Mayor, Rodolphus Bennett; Recorder, Frazier Wilson; Treasurer, James M. Bowling; Marshal, George Colt.
1840 - Mayor, John H. Thorington; Recorder, Frazier Wilson; Treasurer, James M. Bowling; Marshal, William B. Watts.
1841 - Mayor, Jonathan W. Parker; Recorder, John Pope; Treasurer, James M. Bowling; Marshal, William B. Watts.
1842 - Mayor, Harvey Leonard; Recorder, J.W. Parker; Treasurer, James M. Bowling; Marshal, Gilbert B. McKown.
1843 - (New charter granted.)- Mayor, James Thorington; Clerk, Jonathan W. Parker; Treasurer, John D. Evans; Marshall, Jared N. Snow.
1844 - Mayor, James Thorington; Clerk, Levi Davis; Treasurer, John D. Evans; Marshall, Jared N. Snow.
1845 - Mayor, James Thorington; Clerk, John Pope; Treasurer, John D. Evans; Marshal, Samuel Lyter.
1846 - Mayor, James Thorington; Clerk, John Pope; Treasurer, John D. Evans; Marshal, Samuel Lyter.
1847 - Mayor, James M. Bowling; Clerk, James Thorington; Treasurer, ________; Marshal, John D. Evans.
1848 - Mayor, James M. Bowling; Clerk, James Thorington; Treasurer, John D. Evans; Marshall, Samuel Parker.
1849 - Mayor, Jonathan Parker; Clerk, James Thorington; Treasurer, John D. Evans; Marshal, Lockwood J. Center.
1850 - (Charter amended) - Mayor, James IIall; Clerk, James Thorington; Treasurer, John D. Evans, Marshal, L.J. Center.
1851 - (New Charter) - Mayor, Charles Weston; Clerk, A.F. Mast; Marshal, Patrick Courtney; Treasurer, L.B. Collamer; Aldermen, First Ward, Adam Weigand, Harvey Leonard; Second Ward, Egbt. S. Barrows, Nathaniel Squires; Third Ward, Ebenezer Cook, Hiram Price.
1852 - Mayor, John Jordan; Clerk, A.F. Mast; Marshal, Samuel Parker; Treasurer, William VanTuyl; Aldermen, First Ward, Harvey Leonard, Adam Weigand; Second Ward, Nathaniel Squires, John P. Cook; Third Ward, Hiram Price, John Bechtel.
1853 - Mayor, John A. Boyd; Clerk, Richard K. Allen; Marshal, Samuel Parker; Treasurer, Jessamine Drake; Aldermen; First Ward, Adam Weigand, John Weeks; Second Ward, John P. Cook, Joseph Kingerlee; Third Ward, Hiram Price, William Gray.
1854 - Mayor, James Grant; Clerk, B.B. Woodward; Marshal, L.J. Center; Treasurer, L.B. Collamer; Aldermen; First Ward, H. Wilhelm, G.G. Arndt; Second Ward, Chas. J.H. Eyser, E.A. Gerdtzen; Third Ward, B. Atkinson, D.P. McKown; Fourth Ward, Henry H. Smith, Ebenezer Cook; Fifth Ward, William Burris, A.A. McLoskey.
1855 - Mayor, Enos Tichenor; Clerk, B.B. Woodward; Marshal, Samuel Parker; Treasurer, William Van Tuyl; Aldermen, First Ward, G.G. Arndt, Gilbert C.R. Mitchell; Second Ward, E.A. Gerdtzen, Charles J.H. Eyser; Third Ward, D.P. McKown, Austin Corbin; Fourth Ward, Ebenezer Cook, Hiram Price; Fifth Ward, Anthony A. McLosky, Alfred H. Owens; Sixth Ward, Joseph Lambrite, Samuel Sadoris.
1856 - Mayor, G.C.R. Mitchell; Clerk, Wm. Hall; Treasurer, Samuel Sylvester; Marshal, John H. Taylor; Aldermen, First Ward, James O'Brien, John Schuett; Second Ward, C.J.H. Eyser, Aug. Smallfield; Third Ward, James M. Bowling, Austin Corbin; Fourth Ward, Hiram Price, John Forrest; Fifth Ward, W.S. Kinsey, S.R. Barkley; Sixth Ward, Samuel Sadoris, Joseph Lambrite.
1857 - Mayor, Geo. B. Sargent; Marshal, H.W. Mitchell; Clerk, E. Peck; Treasurer, Samuel Sylvester; Aldermen, First Ward, J.M. Cannon, Edward Jennings; Second Ward, H. Ramming, Theo. Guelich; Third Ward, J.M. Bowling, Austin Corbin; Fourth Ward, John Forrest, J.C. Washburne; Fifth Ward, James O'Brien, Geo. E. Hubbell, vice A. Le Claire, resigned; Sixth Ward, Wm. Guy, Isaac H. Sears.
1858 - Mayor, Ebenezer Cook; Marshal, John Bechtel; Treasurer, Lorenzo Schricker; Clerk, Hallet Kilbourn; Aldermen, First Ward, John M. Cannon, L.P. Coates; Second Ward, Theo. Guelich, Henry Ramming; Third Ward, Austin Corbin, James Mackintosh; Fourth Ward, Thomas H. Morley, John C. Washburne; Fifth Ward, Geo. E. Hubbell, James O'Brien; Sixth Ward, Robt. Christie, Isaac H. Sears.
1859 - Mayor, Ebenezer Cook (part term), Hiram Price (part term); Clerk, L.C. Burwell; Treasurer, L. Schricker; Marshal, John Bechtel; Police Magistrate, John Johns, Jr.; Aldermen, J.H. Holmes, G.P. Anderson, First Ward; H. Ramming, H.H. Anderson, Second Ward; J.P. Coates, J. McIntosh, and S. Saddores, Third Ward; H.B. Evans, T.H. Morley, Fourth Ward; J.A. Le Claire, J.O'Brien, Fifth Ward; C.A. Haviland, Robert Christie, Sixth Ward.
1860 - Mayor, James B. Cladwell, Clerk, H. Mittelbuscher; Treasurer, W.A. Remington; Marshal, O.S. McNeil; Police Magistrate, John Johns; Aldermen, H. Weinert, H.S. Finley, First Ward; T. Guelich, B. Peters, Second Ward; C.S. Ells, H. Ramming, Third Ward; Thomas Morley, H.B. Evans, Fourth Ward; J.O'Brien, J.A. Le Claire, Fifth Ward; J. Coulthart, C.A. Haviland, Sixth Ward.
1861 - Mayor, George H. French; Clerk, H. Mittelbuscher; Treasurer, W.A. Remington; Marshal, O.S. McNeil; Police Magistrate, John Johns; Aldermen, John Schmidt, H. Weinert, Ch. Kauffman (part of term), First Ward; T. Guelich, B. Peters, Second Ward; Marsh Noe, H. Ramming (part term), Wm. Glasman (part term), Third Ward; P.J. Gillett, G.L. Davenport, Fourth Ward; J.A. LeClaire, J.C. Parker, Fifth Ward; Wm. Renwick. J. Coulthart, Sixth Ward.
1862 - Mayor, George H. French; Clerk, Thos. Dermandy (part term), H. Mittelbuscher (part term); Treasurer, John H. Morton; Marshal, H. Leonard; Police Magistrate, D.H. Wheeler; Aldermen, S.G. Mitchell, John Schmidt (part term), Edward Jennings, (balance term), First Ward; Francis Ochs, Wm. Glasman, Second Ward; Henry Lambach (part term), John Wunderlich (balance term), Marsh Noe, Third Ward; G.W. McCarn, Geo. L. Davenport, Fourth Ward; Victor Hunt, J.A. Le Claire (part term), W. Kelly (balance term), Fifth Ward; James Cunningham, Wm. Renwick, Sixth Ward.
1863 - Mayor, John E. Henry; Clerk, H. Mittelbuscher; Treasurer, John H. Morton; Marshal, F.W. Means; Police Magistrate, D.H. Wheeler; Aldermen, Samuel Hirschl, S.G. Mitchell, First Ward; Ernst Claussen, Francis Ochs (part term), H.H. Andressen, (balance term), Second Ward; Marsh Noe, J. Wunderlich, Third Ward; George Davenport, George W. McCarn, Fourth Ward; Victor Hunt, W.G. Jones, Fifth Ward; J. Coulthart, James Cunningham, Sixth Ward.
1864 - Mayor, Robert Lowry; Clerk, Charles Kauffman; Treasurer, W.A. Remington; Marshal, Wm. Pool; Police Magistrate, H. D. Wheeler; Aldermen, G.M. Mathes, Samuel Hirschl, First Ward; H.H. Andressen, J. Claussen ( part term), E. Tegeler (part term), Second Ward; Henry A. Runge, Marsh Noe, Third Ward; John Hornly, George L. Davenport, Fourth Ward; M.E. Davis, W.G. Jones, Fifth Ward; M.K. Parks, J. Coulthart, Sixth Ward.
1865 - Mayor, John L. Davies; Clerk, C. Kauffman (part term), A.C. Billon (balance term); Treasurer, W.A. Remington; Marshal, Wm. Pool; Police Magistrate, C.G. Blood; Aldermen, C. H. Lage, G.M. Mathes, First Ward; H.H. Andressen, Carl. Tegeler, Second Ward; H.H. Runge, T.W. McClelland (part term), Marsh Noe, Third Ward; F.W. Crampton, John Hornly (part term), John S. Seymour (balance term), Fourth Ward; W.G. Jones, M.C. Davis, Fifth Ward; J. Coulthart, H. Shiley, Sixth Ward.
1866 - Mayor, John L. Davis; Clerk, D.B. Nash; Treasurer, W.A. Remington; Marshal, Wm. Pool; Police Magistrate, C.G. Blood; Aldermen, C.H. Lage, G.M. Mathes, First Ward; H.H. Andressen, N. Kuhnen, Second Ward; A Warnebold, Marsh Noe, Third Ward; John S. Seymour, O.S. McNeil, Fourth Ward; M.C. Davis, W.G. Jones, Fifth Ward; J. Coulthart, J.M. Frizzell, Sixth Ward.
1867 - Mayor, M. Donohue; Clerk, John Lillis; Treasurer, Otto Klug; Marshal, J.W. Moore, W.T. Dittoe; Aldermen, G.M. Mathes, A.J. Littig, First Ward; H.H. Andressen, E. Claussen, Second Ward; N. Kuhen, P.B. Harding, Third Ward; J.S. Seymour, O.S. McNeil, Fourth Ward; M.E. Davis, Thos. Dermody, Fifth Ward; F. Cunningham, J.M. Frizzell, Sixth Ward.
1868 - Mayor, M. Donohue; Clerk, John Lillis; Treasurer, Otto Klug; Marshal, J. Kauffman; Police Magistrate, W.T. Dittoe; Aldermen, G.M. Mathes, A.F. Littig, First Ward; E. Claussen, Christ Krnse, Second Ward; P.B. Harding, H.A. Runge, Third Ward; O.S. McNeil, S.P. Bryant, Fourth Ward; Thomas Dermody, J.C. Conklin, Fifth Ward; J. Cunningham, J.M. Frizzell, Sixth Ward.
1869 - Mayor, James Renwick; Clerk, J.G. Tuerk; Treasurer, W.A. Remington; Marshal, J. Kauffman; Police Magistrate, Bleik Peters; Aldermen, G.M. Mathes, John Tude, First Ward; Christ Kruse, H.F. Laverenz, Second Ward; H.A. Runge, Henry Hoch, Third Ward; S.P. Bryant, L.T. Eads, Fourth Ward; R. Gavin, T.W. McClelland, Fifth Ward; J.M. Frizzell, G.S. Shaw, Sixth Ward.
1870 - Mayor, J.M. Lyter; Clerk, J.G. Tuerk; Treasurer, W.A. Remington; Marshal, J. Kauffman; Police Magistrate, Bleik Peters; Aldermen, John Tude, Ed. J. Jennings, First Ward; H.F. Laverenz, J.F. Miller, Second Ward; Henry Hoch, J.K. McCosh, Third Ward; L.T. Eads, J.N. Crawford, Fourth Ward; John Lillis, J.M. Dalzell, Fifth Ward; G.S. Shaw, Wallington Scott, Sixth Ward.
1871 - Mayor, John C. Bills; Clerk, J.G. Tuerk; Treasurer, Ch. Tuerring; Marshal, J.A. Le Claire; Police Magistrate, Bleik Peters; Aldermen, Ed. J. Jennings, A. Woeber, First Ward; J.F. Miller, H.F. Laverenz, Second Ward; F.K. McCosh, Louis Feid, Third Ward; J.N. Crawford, E.E. Cook, Fourth Ward; J.M. Dalzell, E.B. Baldwin, Fifth Ward; W. Scott, G.S. Shaw, Sixth Ward.
1872 - Mayor, A.H. Bennett; Clerk, J.G. Tuerk; Treasurer, Charles Tuerring; Marshal, J.A. Le Claire; Police Magistrate, Bleik Peters; Aldermen, A. Woeber, Henry Abel, First Ward; H.F. Laverenz, H. Lischer, Second Ward; Louis Feid, H.A. Purge, Third Ward; C.H. Frost, C.C. Cock, Fourth Ward; E.B. Baldwin, T.T. Dow, Fifth Ward; G.S. Shaw, W. Scott, Sixth Ward.
1873 - Mayor, J.H. Murphy; Clerk, J.G. Tuerk; Treasurer, Charles Tuerring; Marshal, J.A. Le Claire; Police Magistrate, John Kauffman; Aldermen, Ed. J. Jennings, H. Abel, First Ward; H. Lischer, Otto Klug, Second Ward; H.A. Runge, C.H. Ficke, Third Ward; C.C. Cock, T.W. McClelland, Fourth Ward; T.T. Dow, Wm. Braithwaite, E. Grace resigned, Fifth Ward; L.H. Sears, G.S. Shaw, Sixth Ward.
1874 - Mayor, J.W. Stewart; Clerk, J.G. Tuerk; Treasurer, Charles Tuerring; Marshal, J.A. Le Claire; Police Magistrate, John Kauffman; Aldermen, Ed. J. Jennings, C. Foster, First Ward; Otto Klug, H. Lischer, Second Ward; C.H. Ficke, Chas. Priester, Third Ward; T.W. McClelland resigned, J.E. Stevenson, W.F. Skinner, Fourth Ward; Wm. Braithwaite, T.T. Dow, Fifth Ward; G.S. Shaw, I.H. Sears, Sixth Ward.
1875 - Mayor, Roderick Rose; Clerk, J.G. Tuerk; Treasurer, Chas. Tuerring; Marshal, Ed. J. Jennings; Policee Magistrate, John Kauffman; Aldermen, O. Foster, Thos. Scott, First Ward; Otto Klug, H. Lischer, Second Ward; Chas. Priester, C.H. Ficke, Third Ward; W.J. Skinner, J.E. Stevenson, Fourth Ward; T.T. Dow, J.L. Hebert, Fifth Ward; L.H. Sears, D. Stanchfield, Sixth Ward.
1876 - Mayor, Roderick Rose; Clerk, J.G. Tuerk; Treasurer, C. Tuerring; Marshal, Ed. J. Jennings; Police Magistrate, John Kauffman; Aldermen, C. Foster, Thos. Scott, First Ward; Otto Klug, H.F. Laverenz, Second Ward; C.F. Knappe, C.H. Fiske, Third Ward; W.J. Skinner, J.E. Stevenson, Fourth Ward; Jos. Hebert, T.T. Dow, Fifth Ward; D.N. Richardson, Daniel Stanchfield, Sixth Ward.
1877 - Mayor, T.T. Dun [Correction submitted by Les Niemi 1/31/2002: "Mayor should read as T.T. Dow"]; Clerk, J.G. Tuerk; Treasurer, Rudolph Priester; Marshal, Ed. J. Jennings; Police Magistrate, C.G. Blood; Aldermen, C. Foster, Thos. Scott, First Ward; Otto Klug, H.F. Laverenz, Second Ward; C.F. Knappe, Martin Kunkel, Third Ward; W.J. Skinner, W.L. Marks, Fourth Ward; A. Burdick, W.G. Jones, Fifth Ward; I.H. Sears, D.N. Richardson, Sixth Ward.
1878 - Mayor, John W. Thompson; Clerk, J.G. Tuerk; Treasurer, Rudolph Priester; Marshal, Lonis Feid; Police Magistrate, C.G. Blood; Aldermen, C. Foster, Thos.Scott, First Ward; Otto Klug, John Spetzer, Second Ward; Martin Kunkel, Leo Schumacher, Third Ward; M.L. Marks, O.S. McNeil, Fourth Ward; M.V. Gannon, A. Burdick, Fifth Ward; John Whitaker, L.H. Sears, Sixth Ward.
1879 - Mayor, Jerrie Murphy; Clerk, John Mc Stein; Treasurer, R. Priester; Marshal, Theo. Martins; Police Magistrate, John Kauffman; Aldermen, C.Foster, Henry Lamp, First Ward; Otto Klug, John Spitzen, Second Ward; Martin Kunkel, Leo Schumacher, Third Ward; O.S. McNeil, A.P. Doe, Fourth Ward; M.V. Gannon, James Dooley, Fifth Ward; J. Babcock, John Whitaker, Sixth Ward.
1880 - Mayor, Roderick Rose; Clerk, John McStein; Treasurer, R. Priester; Marshal, Theo. Martins; Police Magistrate, John Kauffman; Aldermen, Wm. O. Schmidt, Henry Lamp, First Ward; Otto Klug, Fritz Vulstedt, Second Ward; Martin Kunkel, Wm. Claussen, Third Ward; A.W. Cantwell, A.P. Doe, Fourth Ward; James Dooley, F.H. Hancock, Fifth Ward; John Whitaker, E.J. Babcock, Sixth Ward.
1881 - Mayor, John E. Henry; Clerk, John McStein; Treasurer, R. Priester; Marshal, Theo. Martins; Police Magistrate, Bernard Finger; Aldermen, Wm. O. Schmidt, N. Kramback, First Ward; Fritz Volstedt, F.G. Claussen, Second Ward; Wm. Claussen, Henry Karwarth, Third Ward; A.W. Cantwell, John Hoyt, Fourth Ward; F.H. Hancock, G.R. Marvin, Fifth Ward; John Whitaker, W.F. Fidlar, Sixth Ward.
The first postoffice established in this neighborhood was on the island, Col. Davenport being the first postmaster. This was in 1824. Previous to this, during the occupancy of the island by Government troops, the mails came in at very irregular intervals, by military manipulation, once a year or oftener, as supplies or reinforcements were sent in. When Col. Davenport was appointed the nearest office was at the little town of Atlas, on the Illinois River, about three miles from its mouth. It was between this point and the island, about 300 miles distant, that the mail- carriers, either on foot or horseback, made trips once a month. A few years later the nearest postoffice was at Clarksville, Mo., 245 miles away; then the service got up as far as Hannibal, 208 miles, and a little later to Quincy, 183 miles. Between the island and Quincy the mail service was performed by Rev. Peter Williams, a Methodist minister. A local writer says of him: "Meager as to education, but chuck full of zeal, he faithfully served Uncle Sam and his Divine Master at the same time, delivering his mail and his rousing old backwoods Methodist sermons at the same time. Despite the well-known text upon the subject, he did serve two masters, and did it well. Parson Peter's loftiest efforts were reserved for the sinful men of sanguinary war who peopled Fort Armstrong. At that point, of a Sunday, in his plain, ungrammatical style, did the venerable old man thunder forth the gospel with most earnest vehemence. He was a Methodist, with the bark on, and he took no pains to conceal it. He was the pioneer Methodist of these parts, probably the first preacher of any denomination among the white men in this vicinity."
The route from Quincy to the island was suspended in 1829 or 1830, and the island mail came in by way of Chicago and Galena, by horseback from the latter place until about 1835, when it commenced coming by vehicle by way of Dixon, and it kept coming by that route until the advent of the steam horse. In 1838 there were several mail routes into this vicinity, bringing mail about half the days of the week.
Col. Davenport was in possession of the office several years before he was properly sworn in. Judge Irwin, of the U.S. Supreme Court, by chance visited the island and administered the long-neglected oath of office. Mr. Davenport was postmaster on the island until Nov. 25, 1834, when his charge was turned over to Miles Conway, at Farnamsburg, now Rock Island.
Davenport was the first point in Scott County endowed with postal honors, Antoine LeClaire receiving a commission as the first postmaster, April 19, 1836. He received his mail from the Stephenson (now Rock Island) office, and brought the the letters there from his coat-tail pocket. It is said the first quarter's commission netted Mr. LeClaire an actual income of 75 cents!
In December, 1836, D.C. Eldridge opened a store in a little log house down on the corner of Front and Ripley streets, and Mr. Le Claire made him his deputy, and gave him charge of the office. The duties of this office were not yet burdensome, though provisions were made for bringing the mail over in a mail bag. Mr. Eldridge closed out his store in a year or two, and in the summer of 1838 built a little one-story brick house on the corner of Third and Brady streets, for his future residence, and just east of it, upon the same lot, erected the little brick office for a postoffice. It was not much of a building, and would but poorly accommodate the business of to-day. But it was a neat little affair, and really a great improvement in its day. There was plenty of room for the neat little array of boxes, and for two or three city magnates to sit and talk awhile with the agreeable and chatty postmaster. It was the first expressly built postoffice building in Davenport, and the last. From a well-written article by D.N. Richardson, the following extract is taken: "Mr. Eldridge ended his service as deputy in February, 1838, and was now commander-in-chief of the department, receiving his commission through the influence of Gen. George W. Jones, of Dubuque, then delegate in Congress for Wisconsin Territory. Mr. Eldridge had formed the acquaintance of the General in 1835, while moving into this country, and afterward met him at Burlington, in 1837, while the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature was there in session, before which body he was a candidate for further Congressional honors. Mr. Eldridge was a Whig and the General a Democrat, but politics didn't amount to much on the border in those days, and if it did it didn't make any difference in this case. The General took a liking to Mr. Eldridge and got him the position, which he held, with but a single recess, for more than a dozen years. "The postoffice remained in the little brick office for nearly two years, but in 1840 was removed to the White Hall tavern, but then newly erected upon the site now occupied by the Democrat building, Mr. Eldridge being its host. The postoffice was kept in the bar-room of the White Hall for little more than a year, when Mr. Eldridge retired from hotel-keeping and established a handsome and spacious reading-room in the basement of Le Claire house. The postoffice was removed into the reading-room and there remained until 1843, when a little frame bakery down on Main street was fitted up for its occupancy, and the reading-room abandoned to other less literary uses. "Here Mr. Eldridge kept his office until the inauguration of James K. Polk as President, in March, 1845, soon after which the office was handed over to John Forest, the village justice. In the same building did Squire Forest hold his court and handle the mail during the entire Polk administration. He informs us that he was unfortunate in his official career, in that about the time he entered upon his duty, the rate of postage was reduced from 25, 18 3/4 and 12 1/2 cents per letter to 10 and 5 cents, which interference on the part of the Government in favor of letter-writing masses for a while very seriously curtailed his percentage, which was no higher under the new arrangement than under the old. This trouble was but temporary, however, for under the reduced postage system the mail bags became much more weighty after awhile, and the receipts got to be quite satisfactory before his office term had expired. He remained postmaster until the summer of 1849, when Gen. Taylor, having assumed the Presidential chair, executed a commission to the former incumbent, and D.C. Eldridge again became postmaster. Upon taking hold of the office that gentleman removed it to Second street, into a new brick store building. He had bought out two drug stores just before, on of Dr. John F., now Judge Dillon, and another of Alfred Sanders, editor of the Gazette, and consolidated the pills and pestles in the aforesaid new two-story brick. So the drugs and mail matter were both dealt out over the same counter.
This new postoffice location made trouble. It was away out in the country, the bulk of the city being between Main and Ripley streets. The people wanted very much to know what the mischief he was carting the postoffice away up to Princeton for? They wanted their mail, and they didn't want to hunt all over the prairies for it, either! Petitions were circulated, numerously signed, and forwarded to Washington, where the grievances of the people were taken under advisement. The Department called on Mr. Eldridge for an example of his sudden movement toward the lead mines. The worthy official responded by saying that he had sought to serve the intersects of the Department by removing the office from a rickety old frame to a substantial brick, and the entire distance between the old postoffice and the new was but about 500 feet by actual tape-line measure, and he believed it to be his duty to keep it there. So the Government thought, and so the dificulty ended.
"The office remained there. In November, 1852, was Gen. Frank Pierce chosen President. Mr. Eldridge wanted to spend the winter in Cincinnati, and concluded to give up the office, knowing that a change would probably be made in the spring, so he forwarded his resignation in favor of William Van Tuyl, a well known Democrat, then as now a resident of Davenport. Mr. Van Tuyl was duly appointed postmaster, and continued in the office in the same place until the following spring, when the Pierce administration came into power.
"The record is now brought down to the spring of 1853, at which time Davenport had a population of about 3,000, and was on the eve of rapid increase. The Pierce administration had assumed the reins of government. While the people of Davenport had no reason to find fault with the manner in which Postmaster Van Tuyl had conducted the affairs of his office, the Democrats did object to the manner of his appointment. There were other aspirants to the position in the field, among whom were A.F. Mast, T.D. Eagal, editor of the Democratic Banner, Richard Shields and Gilbert Mc Kown, who with their backers vigorously disputed the right of Mr. Eldridge, the former incumbent and a Whig, to dictate as to which of the probably hungry and certainly expectant Democracy should enjoy the spoils of the glorious Democratic victory.
"The general disquiet culminated in an appeal to Gen. George W. Jones, still a member of Congress from this State, who, not wishing to take the postal bull by the horns, directed, as there were several candidates in the field, the choice of the Democracy be indicated by ballot. So they met at the court-house one quiet spring morning and voted - as usual. After a ballot or two Mr. Eagal withdrew his name in favor of Mr. Mast, who was the fortunate candidate. His name was sent forward and in due time his commission arrived. Mr. Van Tuyl, being of the opinion that his position would be sustained, did not go to the caucus, and so lost his office.
" Mr. Mast assumed control of the office and held it for eight years. Its location remained on Second street, near Brady, about three months, during which time he put up a new postoffice building on the corner of the alley on Brady, below Second street, which room becoming too small was deserted in 1855 for more commodious quarters further up Brady street.
"When Mr. Mast entered the office, Davenport was just becoming a point of importance. The Chicago & Rock Island Railroad was approaching completion; seven four-horse mail coaches of Frink & Walker's line left this place daily for various Western points. The Western mail arrived by way of Muscatine, at mid-night, and about the office on the arrival and departure of the mails there was that noise and bustle, rattling of coach wheels, prancing of horses, cracking of whips, and slinging of mail bags that will never be seen again. In those days, and until 1861, the postoffice boxes, now the property of the Department, belonged to the postmaster, together with all their proceeds. This income, together with the usual percentage of 40 per cent on mail matter, amounted to about $800 the first year; increased to $3,300 in 1856 and 1857, and then under pressure of the panic subsided to $2,000 a year, in the later part of his official term. With the exception of a few months at the beginning, Richard Smotham was with him the entire term; and during the flush times spoken of, three clerks were employed. The opening of the mails on Sunday mornings in those times afforded a rare sight, the 'general delivery' patrons being numerous and anxious. Taking place in line as they arrived, the 'rear sergeant' generally found himself well nigh out of sight at the postoffice. At that time the Davenport postoffice was only one of three postoffices in the United States that had a surplus over expenses. The room, which was originally about 50 feet deep, was extended some 30 feet farther back by tearing away the partition and taking in what was then the city marshal's office.
"In the spring of 1861, President Lincoln having been inaugurated, Charles H. Eldridge, having distanced all competitors, who were neither few nor far between, was commissioned to take the office. The city had grown during Mr. Mast's term to a place of 15,000 when Mr. Eldridge went into the office. The war broke out about that time and postal matters became very important. The business of the office swelled rapidly again. Mr. Eldridge remained in charge until April 1, 1864, when his resignation was accepted, and Edward Russell, head clerk in the office, was appointed in his stead. Again the office was found to be too small, and was removed to its present location, in the fall of 1864.
"President Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, and Andrew Johnson reigned in his stead, and many were the official heads that tumbled into the gutter in those days. On the first of December in that year, Gen. Add. H. Sanders, the eighth postmaster of Davenport, presented A.J.'s commission and took Mr. Russell's place. Mr. Russell had really been removed on the 5th of October preceeding, but by reason of a sturdy fight carried on by Mr. Price, then in Congress, the 'taking off' was delayed until December.
"Mr. Russell retired in good order to the editorial room of the Gazette, of which paper he had been for some time editor-in-chief, and among quills, ink, paste-pot and scissors, bided his time until he should be able to ring the official neck of his official enemy. Gen. Grant was elected President in 1868, and in May, 1869, the coveted hour came; the gutter swapped heads, and Mr. Russell assumed control and holds until the present time.
"Davenport has been a postal point 38 [now 45] years, and has had eight different postmasters: Antoine Le Claire, D.C. Eldridge, John Forest, William Van Tuyl, A.F. Mast, C.H. Eldridge, Edward Russell and Add. H. Sanders. The aspirants have been numerous; verily their bones whiten in the political burying grounds. Of the successful ones, but one has passed from earth, or Davenport. Great changes have taken place since Antoine Le Claire and his successor, D.C. Eldridge, brought the Davenport mails over from Stephenson in their hats or coat-tail pockets. Then the first quarter's salary amounted to less than a dollar; probably less than 50 letters were handled. Now they come in daily by the thousand. The position is a lucrative one. Then for several years the postmaster was wont to deliver letters to his patrons as he met them on the street; now he sends forth squads of men in uniform to scatter the heavy mails throughout the city. But recently the crowd assembled at mail openings, and the people who called at the postoffice during each day numbered in the thousands. Now under the free delivery system it has dwindled down to a mere shadow of its former self. Time was when the principal number of letters were mailed at 25 cents, prepayment optional. Now you may write four pages and send it for three cents, or order $10,000 worth of goods on a postal card. But a few years ago sending money by mail was extra hazardous; now by systems of registration and postal orders, you may transmit all you are worth in a short time and with perfect safety. Mail coming is no longer anxiously looked for; it is coming all the time, morning, noon and night. Mr. Eldridge tells us that time was when it was a great financial question how to take out a 25-cent letter. Money was painfully scarce, and often he delivered them on credit, taking pay in farm and garden produce, day's work, and barter generally."
The first religious service held in Davenport was in the spring of 1837, at the house of D.D. Eldridge, by Rev. Mr. Gavitt, a Methodist Episcopal minister. Some time during the same year an Episcopalian minister delivered a discourse, and shortly after, religious services began to be held now and then at the house of A. Le Claire, in which a priest from Galena officiated. There are now in the city the following denominations, with the number of organizations as given.
The First Presbyterian Church of Davenport, like many other churches in the West, is without a full record of its early history. Among the immigrants of 1835, '36 and '37, not more that 10 or 12 persons could be found who were of that denomination. These worshiped at first in common with other denominations, until the 20th or 21st of April, 1838, when a little band of 10 was gathered together in a small building that stood above the alley on Ripley street, between Front and Second, belonging to T.S. Hoge, and since destroyed by fire. Here they worshiped a year with such supply of ministerial aid as could be obtained. They were from various parts of the United States. Mrs. Ann Mitchell was from Alabama; Dr. A.C. Donaldson and wife from Pennsylvania; Robert Cristie and wife from Ohio; Mrs. Jemima Barkley from Pennsylvania, and T.S. Hoge and wife from Ohio and these composed the first congregation.
The following year J.M. Burrows and wife, and one or two others, were added to their number, and with these few a church was organized in a little frame school-house, standing near the corner of Fourth and Harrison streets, on the 5th of May, 1839. The pioneer clergymen who officiated upon this occasion were the Rev. Ithamar Pillsbury, of Macomb, Ill., now deceased; Rev. M. Hummer, of Stephenson, Ill.; Rev. Enoch Mead, of Rockingham, Iowa. Mr. Pillsbury preached the sermon upon the occasion, from Mark xvi:15,16.
Some six years of the records of this church have been lost, so that many of the facts and dates were arrived at by Mr. Mead corresponding with Mr. Pillsbury; who spoke of his journey to Davenport from Andover, where he then resided, in the following way:
Mr. Hummer had requested his services upon the occasion, which were to take place on the following Sunday, and required him to leave home on Saturday. He had loaned his horse to a neighbor, and it had not been returned, and he walked the whole distance, 26 miles, and returned on foot. Mr. Pillsbury says that when he came to Rock River slough it was overflowed, and some 80 rods wide, and too deep to wade, when he applied to Mr. George Moore, who lived on the bluffs, some two miles from the slough, but the nearest resident, who kindly sent his son and team and set him across. This was but incident among the many hardships of pioneer ministers in the West.
The organization of the church took place, and the communion was administered. For four years this church had no stated ministerial supply, during which time a few more were added, the church having preaching only occasionally from the clergymen above mentioned, and a few others who were traveling through the regions of the country beyond the Mississippi River. In 1842 J.M.D. Burrows and T.S. Hoge were chosen and ordained elders of the church.
The first stated supply of preaching was in the spring of 1843, by Rev. Samuel Cleland. He had charge of this and the church at Stephenson, Ill., for about four years. During this period the infant church struggled on amid many discouragements. The emigration to the West during these years was slow. But few were added to its numbers. But as an evidence of their zeal, faith and courage, they erected in these dark days their first house of worship, a small brick building. Even after the conpletion and occupancy of this church, they were at timmes almost ready to sit down in sadness and give up their most cherished object.
Charles C. Williams came to Iowa in August, 1844. He was from Newark, N.J. He was an elder of the First Presbyterian Church of that city, and afterward in the Central Church for many years. He was a man of most ardent piety, ever ready to lend his aid and influence in promoting the cause of his Redeemer's kingdom. His connection with the church of Davenport when it most needed spiritual aid and encouragement seemed providential. At this time Mr. Hoge, one of the elders, moved to Galena. So Mr. Williams and James M. Dalzell were ordained and set apart as elders in this church. His first work, with the help of others, was to establish a Sunday-school, which continued to date, and of which he was superintendent to the time of his death, which occured in September, 1852.
There were additions to the church as new settlers moved in, and the congregation increased in a measure; yet in 1846, owing to removals and death, there were still but 17 members.
At this time the Rev. George S. Rea became their minister, and occupied the pulpit about two years and a half. In the fall of this year (1846) the Sabbath school of the church was first organized. During the summer of 1849, the church being again without a minister, the Rev. Erastus Ripley, of the Congregational body, and a senior professor in Iowa College, preached for the church with much acceptance.
On the 27th of September, 1849, for the first time, a formal call was made out by the church to the Rev. J.D. Mason to become their pastor. The call was duly presented before the Presbytery of Iowa, and accepted. His service commenced the first Sunday in November. The church at this time consisted of about 30 members. In 1857 the list of membership reached 200, but owing to removals in 1860, only amounted to 150.
In October of 1859 the pastoral relation of Rev. Mason was dissolved, and in the autumn of this year a call was made to the Rev. S. McAnderson, of Pennsylvania, which was accepted, and he was installed in April, 1860. Rev. Clute is the present pastor, and the church is in good condition, spiritually and financially.
College Avenue Presbyterian Church.- In May, 1855, A.C. Fulton donated to the trustees of the First Presbyterian Church, a city lot on College and Fulton avenues, in Davenport, for church purposes. The size of the grounds was increased by purchase, and a substantial church edifice erected, and opened for service in January, 1875, and was incorporated March 6, 1876, by the following incorporators:
Rev. J.D. Mason, P.S. Morton, A.M. Miner, Thomas Havens, J.H. Knostman, Jas. H. Weise, G.F. Knostman, J.W. Vooddry, Miss E. Andreas: and the following persons were appointed elders: Thomas Havens, Wm. Walker, P.S. Morton, J.H. Knostman.
Rev. J.D. Mason was the first pastor, and officiated until April, 1876, and was succeeded by Rev. W.S. Messmer, who was pastor until October, 1877, when Rev. J.W. Coleman was called, and was pastor until January, 1880, at which time the present pastor, Rev. Rob't Edger was installed.
Christian Church, or Disciples.- On the 25th day of July, 1839, 17 persons who had formerly held membership with the Christian Church at other points, mostly at Cincinnati, met at the house of D.C. Eldridge, and under the auspices of Elder James Rumbold organized the Christian or Disciples Church, of Davenport.
As early as April of that year, the few disciples commenced meeting at the houses of the bretheren, under the leadership of Owen Owens, of Cincinnati. Elder Rumbold arrived in Davenport on the 22nd of July, 1839, and on the 25th organized the church.
A few words relative to Elder James Rumbold may not be amiss in this connection, as he stands intimately associated with the church here. Brought up in the Kirk of Scotland and uniting with the Scotch Baptist, at Aberdeen, in 1824, he removed to this country in 1836, and settled in Troy, New York, where, with his wife and two others, he organized a church on the Bible alone and commenced preaching to them. This was the nucleus of what is now a large and flourishing church. In July, 1839, he removed to the city of Davenport. In March, 1841, he assisted in the organization of a church at Long Grove, in Scott County, baptizing seven in one day, three weeks thereafter. In March, 1842, he removed to Galena, where he organized a church and baptized five; preaching awhile for them and then returning to Davenport. During the time Elder Rumbold preached here, he baptized about 40 persons. On the 10th day of July, 1840, he baptized Miss Elizabeth Carroll, who was the first person immersed in Scott County. The fact that a mechanic, a foreigner by birth, without education, further than what he obtained by his own exertions, should have been able to accomplish so much, is evidence of the simplicity of Bible teachings and the facility with which they may be communicated to others.
In this connection we would pause to mention one of the noblest of God's handiwork, a pure, humble-minded Christian, who long since has been gathered to his Fathers. Early in the history of the church in Davenport, we find the name of James Glaspell associated with it as an elder, which capacity he continued to fill with great acceptance up to the year 1847, when he fell asleep in Jesus. As a sincere, pious, believer, you will rarely indeed meet with his equal. As a citizen he stood high in the community, and when he died his church did not alone mingle in their tears with the bereaved family.
After the organization of the church in Davenport the bretheren continued to meet on Lord's days at their residences until Nov. 3, 1839, when they rented Mr. Tapley's carpenter shop, on Second between Main and Brady streets, at four dollars per month. In 1844 a lot was purchased on Brady, between Fourth and Fifth streets, and a brick meeting-house, considered large for the day, erected at an expense of from $700 to $800. In 1855-'56 the present house of worship, the "Christian Chapel," was erected on the site of the old one, the church in the mean time meeting at the court house. This chapel was erected at an expense of about $8,500; is 40x75 feet, with basement.
In 1842 the Christian Church was incorporated by act of Legislature under the style of the Church of Christ, meeting in Davenport. John Owens, Richard S. Craig and Charles Lesslie were appointed Trustees under the act.
For five years Elder Rumbold was the only preacher the Davenport church had. In 1844 Dr. II.P. Gatchell, of Cincinnati, was employed by the church as their pastor. He remained in that capacity one year, when he removed to Rock Island, but preached for this church until 1847. In 1848 Elder Charles Levan, of Philadelphia, was employed as pastor, which position he occupied for nearly two years. For two or three years after his removal from the city, although the church was without a pastor, yet the members continued to meet regularly on Lord's day for breaking of bread, exhortation and prayer. Elder James E. Gaston succeeded Mr. Levan, and in turn was followed by Elder Alexander Johnson, neither of which remained long in the position. Nov. 19, 1854, Elder J. Hartzell was employed by the church as a preacher, which capacity he filled until Feb. 7, 1858, when he was succeeded by elder Eli Regal, of Ohio, who on account of ill health resigned his position on the 10th of October of the same year. Until August, 1859, the church was again without a preacher, the brethren in the meantime meeting regularly on Lord's day for attending to the Lord's Supper and on Thursday night for prayer-meeting. In August, 1859, Elder Samuel Lowe was chosen and entered upon his duties as pastor. May 5, 1861, Elder James Challen came and remained as pastor nearly eight years. Succeeding him J. B. Johnson came and remained about three months. In April, 1871, H. H. Black came and remained about three years. J. Carroll Stark came in May, 1874, and remained 11 months. In the latter part of the summer of 1875 John Encell came as pastor and remained two years. After which William M. Row came in May, 1878, and remained two years. D. R. Dungan came in July, 1880, and is the present pastor. Present membership of the church is 180.
First Methodist Episcopal. - As already stated, Rev. Mr. Gavitt, from ohio, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, preached the first discourse in Davenprt, but it was not until 1839 that an attempt was here made to organize a class. In that year Rev. B. Mead was the presiding elder for the Iowa District. Believing there were sufficient members living in the vicinity, he authorized William L. Cook to form a class. His search among Protestants resulted in finding five members besides himself and wife, who had been members of churches in other places. A time was appointed for a meeting to be held at the house of Timothy Dillon, situated on Third street, near Washington Square. At this first meeting were present, as members, William L. Cook and wife, Timothy Dillon and wife, Israel Hall, W. S. Ruby and Mary Ruby. Here this little band of Christians, longing for a closer union with Him in whom they trusted, in deep devotion poured forth many desires for spiritual food in this strange land, and, in that little cabin, alone with God, they dedicated themselves to him and his service, renewing their covenant vows, and forming the First Methodist Episcopal Church in the then Village of Davenport. From this time meetings were continued every Sabbath, being generally conducted by Mr. Cook. The society increased until private rooms became too small, and in the fall of 1840, the church then numbering about 20 members, it was thought best to erect a building. Though its members were few and poor, they pruchased a lot on Perry street, between Fourth and Fifth, which was then considered out of town, and built the first brick chapel. This church was seated at first with slabs and split saplings, flat side up, and lighted with a "chandelier" composed of a block of wood suspended by a rope from the ceiling, in which were inserted some half-dozen tallow candles, and warmed by a stove which looked as though it might have done good service before the flood.
A petition was sent into conference in 1840 for a preacher, and F. O. Chenowith was sent to the Davenport station. The church gradually increased in numbers until the little church on Perry street became too small, and in 1853 a large and commodious house of worship was erected on the corner of Fifth and Brady streets. This second church was used until 1872, when it was thought best to change the location, and a new and handsome edifice was erected on Brady street, between Ninth and Tenth, at a cost of $20,000. The church has been ministered unto by some able divines, and is now in a flourishing condition, with about 500 members. Other churches have sprung from this, and the denomination is now represented by five churches in the city - , the First, the Fourteenth Street, German, Cook Chapel, and African. Among those who have labored for the congregation at Davenport were Revs. D. Worthington, Joseph T. Lewis, William Simpson, A. Collins, J. B. Taylor, John Kelley, Langdon Taylor, A. J. Kynett, S. Haines, Mr. Linderman, R. W. Keller, Mr. Bowen, R. L. Collier, J. G. Demmitt, P. Brown, H. Baylies, A. B. Kendig, J. R. Fuller Mr. Anderson, E. Miller, Mr. M. McCleary, Mr. Marwell, J. H. Rhea and Mr. Brush.
Fourteenth Street M. E. Church, Davenport, Iowa, was organized in February, 1867. The trustees appointed at the organization were J. G. G. Cavendish, A. Morton, W. Hender, J. T. Martin, S. L. Mitchell, J. M. Frizzell, L. Perkins. The membership numbered about 50. The first pastor was the Rev. A. B. Kendig. Succeeding pastors in the following named order: Reverends Enery Miller, W. Frank Paxton, L. F. Copeland, R. W. Keeler, Wm. Fawcett, E. Skinner, Frank Brush, H. S. Church, and S. W. Heald. The present Board of Trustees is : W. Hender, Wm. Armill, N. K. Fluke, P. Earhart, A. L. Duncan, E. Sherman and I. T. Martin; the present membership is about 200. The value of the church property at the organization was our $10,000; the present value about $12,000, which includes a good and commodious parsonage. A Sunday-school was organized in the Tabernacle (a rough board building on a corner of the church lot) in March, 1867, with about 40 scholars and J. G. G. Cavendish as superintendent, and Walter Hender, secretary. The gentlemen continued in their respective offices about seven years, when A. L. Duncan succeeded in the superintendency for one or two years. Walter Hender then held that office for five years, when he resigned and A. L. Duncan was again elected, and held the office until he removed from the city. Prof. J. W. Ruggle was elected and now holds the office. The school now numbers about 230, consisting of primary and normal with all the usual intermediate departments. The library contains about 700 volumes.
Episcopal Churches. - Philo W. Sprague, pastor of the Trinity Episcopal Church, was born in Charleston, S. C., Feb. 26, 1852. He is the son of James W. and Henritta Sprague, nee Woodruff. His parents moved North just before the war and settled in Schenectady, N. Y., where Philo attended school until he was 15 years of age. He then entered Union College and graduated in the full classical course, when but 19 yeas of age, at the expiration of which time he entered the Theological Seminary, of New York, where he remained three years, and graduated in 1874. Upon graduating he took charge of Calvary Church, Byonia, N. J., where he remained four years. In 1878 he received the appointment of Professor of Ancient Languages in Griswold College, and canon in chrage of Trinity Church, corner Seventh and Brady streets, Davenport, and at once assumed the duties of the respective positions. Rev. Philo W. Sprague and Harriet A. Woods were united, in marriage Dec. 11, 1879. Miss Woods was a daughter of Joseph W. Woods, a merchant of Boston. One child has blessed this union - Caroline W., born March 22, 1881.
The First Baptist Church. - The first religious services were held in the house of John M. Eldridge, on Brady street, where the gallery of Hastings, White & Fisher now stands. The first preacher was Rev. Israel Fisher, who went from here to Oregon, where he died about 15 years ago. The first organization, called the First Baptish Church, of Davenport, Iowa, was organized by him and was composed of the following members, nine in number: J. M. Eldridge, Mrs. Mary A. Eldridge, John Swartout, Chas. Swartout, Richard Pierce and wife, David Wilson and wife. Richard Pierce and Daniel Wilson were appointed deacons. The new church fitted up a room on Front street, over a store, as a place of worship, where they continued until they built a brick church at the corner of Fourth and Brady, on alot given by Mr. Antoine Le Claire to the church. Here the church continued until the house became too small for their use when they removed to the corner of Sixth and Main and built the building now occupied as the High School Building (old). The present church organization was composed of members who withdrew from the first church and organized the Second Regular Baptist Church of Christ in Davenport, Iowa. The first church continued its organization with Rev. Mr. Folwell now of Connecticut, as pastor, until about 1861, when many of the church uniting with the present organization, the united church took the name of "Calvary Baptist Church," as the church is now known.
The Second Regular Baptist Church of Christ, in Davenport, organized Oct. 7, 1851. Those comprising the constituent members of the church were Dea. C. G. Blood, Dr. J. M. Witherwax, Esther Blood, May J. Solomon, Levi Davis, Rev. B. F. Braybrook, Lucy A. Braybrook, Deacon John Solomon, Johnson Brown, Emeline B. Witherwax, Mary Solomon, Sarah Brown, W. M. Crosson. Of this number Levi Davis is the sole surviving member. The first officers of the church were Dr. J. M. Witherwax, C. G. Blood, W. M. Crosson, Trustee; Levi Davis, Clerk; J. Solomon, Treasurer. The first pastor of the church was Rev. E. M. Miles, who settled with the church June, 13, 1852, and resigned Feb. 26, 1857. Mr. Miles has now almost retired from the ministry and is living on a farm near Camanche, Iowa. After a vacancy of two months Rev. Isaac Butterfield became pastor April 26, 1857, and continued to Oct. 27, 1863, a period of six years and six months. Mr. Butterfield continues still to serve as a pastor at Jackson, Mich. After a vacancy of four and a half months, Rev. D. S. Watson became pastor, settling with the church March 13, 1864, and continuing in this relation to Sept. 22, 1867 - three years and three months. Mr. Watson subsequently removed to California, where he died. After a vacancy of one year Rev. T. W. Powell became pastor Sept. 27, 1868, and resigned on account of failing health Oct. 1, 1870. In December, 1875, Mr. Powell was recalled to the pastorate of the church and continued pastor until Jan. 19, 1879. He is at present settled in Milwaukee, Wis. After Mr. Powell's first pastorate a vacancy of three and a half months followed. Rev. N. S. Burton, D. D., became pastor Jan. 15, 1871, and continued until November, 1875. He is a present pastor of the Baptist church in Akron, O. After the close of Mr. Powell's second pastorate the church was pastorless until October, 1879, when the present pastor, Rev. W. H. Stifler was called from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The present house of worship was erected in 1852 and cost about $25,000. It is situated on the corner of Fourth and Perry streets. The church is in a prosperous and flourishing condition and has 373 members. It sustains two Sabbath schools, the home school and the North Davenport mission chapel. The following named comprise the officers of the church: Pastor, Rev. W. H. Stiffer, D. D; Deacons, Levi Davis, D. T. Young, A. J. Montague, Norman Jordan, William Thompson, A. L. Mossman; Trustees, E. S. Ballard, E. S. Crossett, A. F. Williams; Clerk, H. C. Wales; Treasurer, M. D. Snyder; Sabbath-school Superintendent, W. Raraback.