Scott Co, Iowa - IAGenWeb Project


Harry E. Downer
Volume I
Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company 1910



Title Page
Forward by H. E. Downer-A picture of Mr. Downer is included
CHAPTER 1.  The story of the rocks.  From creation days-preparation of the earth for the abode of man by glaciation and inundation - The pre-glacial topography - The Mississippi of ages gone - The age of the great ice - Scott county's perfect drainage - A wealth of building stone - The carboniferous strata which have brought wealth - Geological section of Scott county.......................17
CHAPTER II.  The Earliest Dwellers.  The central attraction in the museum of the Davenport Academy of Sciences - The elusive autochthon - The mound builder's claims to interest - His textile skill - Cotton Mather hazards an opinion - Mound pottery of all kinds - Effigy pipes, especially the elephants - The Bureau of Ethnology and the Academy of Sciences - Prof. Seyffarth's conclusions.......31
CHAPTER III.  Indian Occupancy.  The Illini in Scott county in early days - Later the Sacs and Foxes possess the land - Davenport's predecessors, Oshkosh and Morgan - Morgan or Ma-que-pra-um - The great Sac town on Rock river - Music and dramatic art - Black Hawk's narration of Indian customs - The annual hunting trips - Honor as the Indian understood it - The Sioux took home their scalps......47
CHAPTER IV.  The White Man Comes.  Pierre Esprit Radisson, maker of paths, philosopher and probable explorer of Iowa - Marquette, Black-Gown, and Joliet the trader - Indian eloquence - Pewaria's location - Pike, the Intrepid, visits this locality - Captain Many's experience with the British band - It is easy to spell Wapsipinicon - The Harris family compelled to land.......61
CHAPTER V.  Wars and Treaties.  A battle of the Revolution fought in this vicinity - A polyglot command no loot and great disappointment - First flag in the Mississippi valley - The fight at Campbell's island - The battle of Credit island - Official reports - Treaties made in Davenport - Col. J. H. Sullivan writes in Indian chiefs - Black Hawk war ends Indian claims...................69
CHAPTER VI and CHAPTER VI (cont.)  The Barrows History.  A history written by a pioneer at the request of other pioneers - Received on its appearance with great commendation - His own estimate of the gravity of his commission - Some incidents which have been noted since the Barrows history was written - Biography of the historian - The history itself without omission, erasure or comment - A monumental work.........93
CHAPTER VII.  The Island of Rock Island.  The United States acquires the island by treaty - The expedition to establish a fort - A duel by the way - Fort Armstrong, an outpost in the wilderness - Efforts to secure an army and arsenal - General Rodman's plans - Items fabricated at the arsenal - Cost of the plant - General Crozier's estimate - Squatters' claims...................289
CHAPTER VIII.  Three Bridges to the Island.  A railroad on each side of the river made a bridge necessary - Charters on injunctions - Acts of congress and court interpretations - The Rock Island road in partnership with the government - The first bridge to be thrown across the Mississippi - River interests aroused - Abraham Lincoln in bridge litigation - Presidential visitors.............325
CHAPTER IX.  Iowa's Earliest Living Resident.  Capt. Warner L. Clark and his varied experiences - Acquainted with many men of prominence - Has remarkable memory - Pioneer customs - Capt. Clark's home town the first to be platted in Scott county - Description of the pioneer cabin - Indian neighbors - Incidents of Indian life - Why Buffalo fell behind in the race....................345
CHAPTER X.  Townships and Towns.  History of the townships from the close of the Barrows history - Their record in patriotism during the days of '61 - The prosperity that has come to the farmers of the county - Rural schools and churches - Township officials - The many small settlements that form social centers in the county - Bettendorf - The village of LeClaire..........361
CHAPTER XI.  Davenport's First Citizen.  Antoine LeClaire, prominently identified with the city, territory and state - The owner of a half-dozen sections of land given him by Indian friends - Generous to all - Marguerite LeClaire, his wife who shared his pleasure in making others happy - A tribute by Pere Pelamourgues - LeClaire and Davenport - Names inseparable..............395
CHAPTER XII.  Pioneer Life.  The log cabin was the palace of the pioneer - Chinked logs, covered with clapboards - Rifle and spinning wheel - Almost anything was a bedroom - Cooking was primitive for sharp appetites - Welcome for the wayfarer - Prairie fires and wolf hunts - Amusements for the frontier people were not lacking - What unremitting toil has accomplished...............407
CHAPTER XIII.  Territorial Days.  William B. Conway made first territorial secretary of Iowa - Comes to Davenport and meets Antoine LeClaire and George Davenport - He is governor of Iowa and Davenport is its capital city - A caustic letter to the state council - The indignant reply of the committee - Conway's untimely death and burial in this city - A valuable citizen.............419
CHAPTER XIV.  The Great River.  The glory and majesty of the father of waters - Description of the keelboat - An early trip from Cairo to Galena - A list of the early steam craft that breasted the currents of the upper river - Bringing down the logs - The ferries which have brought people into Scott county - The long-awaited Hennepin canal..............429
CHAPTER XV.  Life on the Frontier.  The reminiscences of the Pioneer, Judge John W. Spencer - Life among the Sacs and Foxes - When friendship changed to distrust and enmity - neighbor Black Hawk - Indian agriculture and hunting trips - The wars of 1831-33 - Stillman's defeat and the flag of truce - The merciless Sioux - A neighbor who drew the long bow......................447
CHAPTER XVI.  Looking Backward.  J. M. D. Burrows, merchant, miller, packer, handler of produce, looks back over his busy life and tells some incidents - Davenport a hamlet of 15 houses - A remarkable career - Hummer and his bell - Rev. John O. Foster tells of boyhood days in Rockingham - The view from the Decker home - A relic of Credit island battle..........475
CHAPTER XVII.  The Medical Profession.  The pioneer physicians of Scott county - Their hardships and self reliance - Many of them practical men of great force of character - Reminiscences of Dr. E. S. Burrows - Scott County Medical Society - Minutes of the bygone meetings - The society has taken advanced ground while conservative in character - Dr. Preston writes...............495
CHAPTER XVIII.  The Scott County Bar.  The bench and bar of Scott county - Early lawyers, many of them men of great ability - The earlier courts - Supreme court sessions in Davenport - The district, circuit and county courts - Members of the bar of 25 years ago - The present bar - Diverting incidents of the legal record since courts were established - Judge Grant's toothpick.............517
CHAPTER XIX.  Administration of the County.  The conduct of the county's business affairs - The county commissioners' court and its work of organization - Road districts and voting places - County judges - Board of supervisors - Officials from earliest times to the present - A record for reference - Growth of the county in wealth and population..........547
CHAPTER XX.  Churches and Parishes.  Davenport the city of the diocese of Iowa and the diocese of Davenport - The handsome cathedrals and other sanctuaries of the city - Sketches of the bishops who have directed church work from Davenport - Sketches supplemental to those appearing in the Barnes history - Davenport a city of spires.................571
CHAPTER XXI.  The Civil War.  Dred Scott in Davenport - John Brown and Coppoc the refugee - The call for troops - Iowa's response - Local enthusiasm - Scott county soldiers in many regiments - proved themselves the bravest of the brave - Iowa drum beat heard in every portion of the south - The honored dead - Unappreciated eloquence -Littler's firemen - Some clothes...........619
CHAPTER XXII.  Patriotic Davenport.  Military headquarters - Camps where soldiers were trained - Minnesota Sioux - Many Confederate prisoners at Rock island prison - The routine of prison life - The soldiers' monument - Oration of General J. B. Leake - Iowa Soldiers' Orphans' Home - First exercises at Oakdale - Company B goes to fight Spain - The roll of honor - Company roster in days of Spanish-American war....................669
CHAPTER XXIII.  City of Davenport.  Always noted for striking beauty of situation - The mayors of the city from the beginning to the 1910 election - The police and fire departments - A splendid street car service - Water service of equal merit - The parks of the city - What the city owes and owns - A few dollars each way for each man, woman and child...........685
CHAPTER XXIV.  A Good Place to Live.  Every opportunity to grow in culture and usefulness in Davenport - Public buildings provided for all lines of interest - A fine line of helpful institutions - Places of instruction and amusement - Hotels, hospitals - Somewhere for everybody to stay - A great array of organizations for those who believe in banding together.............711
CHAPTER XXV.  The Commercial side.  Cheap fuel, transmissibility of electrical power and fine shipping facilities have made Davenport a great manufacturing center - The thrift of the people of Scott county have made it a great banking center - The growth of manufacturing interests and the widening of the field supplied - Country banks springing up, everywhere............753
CHAPTER XXVI.  At the Court House.  The handsome place of justice - Tablets whereon the Pioneer Settlers' Association have inscribed those coming to Scott county before 1846 - Full list of names - The county jail - The Scott County Agricultural Society - Description of the first fair - Baseball when the pitcher over stayed his time in the box and gentlemen caught fly balls........769
CHAPTER XXVII.  Public Libraries, Old and New.  In 1839 the citizens moved for a collection of books - Library progress from that date to this has been along a devious path of hardship and discouragement - Ladies managed the library for years - Mr. Watkins tells of years of devotion to the ideal of a public library - Andrew Carnegie, a life member, sends by Mrs. Maria Purdy Peck, president of the Davenport Historical Association, money for a new building.......783
CHAPTER XXVIII.  Some Old Houses.  Some remain and others have given way to better ones - The first frame house in Iowa - The first house in Davenport - Dr. John Emerson's brick residence - Many old residences of strong historic interest - Structures that incite reminiscence - A beautifully written sketch of the hospitable homes of other days.......801
CHAPTER XXIX.  The German Impress.  The influence of German immigrants upon the social, financial, patriotic, commercial and artistic life of the United States - From the general to the particular - What German-Americans have done for the prosperity, material and spiritual, of Davenport and Scott county - A trip cross-country and what it shows - German organizations.  By Adolph Petersen, Editor of "Iowa Reform.".......813
CHAPTER XXX.  A Forceful Influence.  The Germans of Davenport and the Chicago Convention of 1860 - The part those who opposed known nothingism played in the party preliminaries leading up to the republican nomination of Abraham Lincoln - The Davenport resolutions of March, 1860 - German strength recognized throughout the land - With Bates out of the race Abraham Lincoln the strongest Compromise candidate..............839

By F. I. Herriott.

Professor of Economics, Political and Social Science, Drake University.

CHAPTER XXXI.  Davenport's Baptism.  Could Rock Island be Davenport? - Would Davenport have been Rock Island? - For whom was Davenport named? - There seems to be no doubt that Colonel George Davenport was so honored - A life which ranks with the heroes of romance in variety and thrilling incident - One of the founders of the city that bears his name - An Indian ceremony...........849
CHAPTER XXXII.  Climatological Conditions.  Being an article based upon weather bureau observations covering a period from 1871 to 1909 - The location of office and instruments - A climatological summary - Unusual weather phenomena - Warm and cold periods - Length of growing seasons - Unusual amounts of rainfall - Notable river stages - Remarkable flood stage.................877

By J. M. Sherier,

Local Forecaster, Weather Bureau.

CHAPTER XXXIII.  The Press.  The Archimedean lever that moves the world in this part of the world the present press which ably serves Davenport and Scott county - English and German, political and religious - Papers of bygone days which did not fill a wide felt want - The papers of long ago and their news service - The Tri-City Press Club........885

By Ralph W. Cram,

President of the Tri-City Press Club.

CHAPTER XXXIV.  The Railroads.  Strenuous efforts to build railroads in Scott county's early years - Agitation to the eastward and westward - The first railroad west of the great river - A. C. Fulton, a man ahead of his times - Hiram Price as promoter - The M. & M., C. & R. I., D. & St. L., C. R. I. & P., C. B. & Q., C. M. & St. P., also the I. & I. - Fifty years an engineer..........899
CHAPTER XXXV.  Education.  The foundation laid by early statesmen - A look ahead - the beginnings of schools in Iowa - Those who taught school in Davenport in the thirties - Many years of private schools - Arrival of the public school in the fifties - Latter day schools - Magnificent high school - the special branches - Schools of higher education - Biography of J. B. Young....919
CHAPTER XXXVI.  The Salad Course. In this chapter may be found almost everything aside from the item the reader is searching for - There are some things that will prove of interest to somebody - Other things that everybody knows - Some incidents are unusual and others just so-so - There seemed to be a necessity for this sort of chapter............963
CHAPTER XXXVII.  Chronology.  This is something of a record of the years in Scott county from 1832 to 1910 - Other things have happened but these appear notable, as the list is scanned for items that look worthy of type - It is a collection of short stories somewhat lacking in description but good what there is of them....979

Return to History Index Page