Scott Co, Iowa - IAGenWeb Project


J. C. Teufel, M. D. 

“From Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County” by Harry E. Downer—S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago 

Surnames: Teufel, Wiese, Barewald, Marolf 

                Although Dr. J. C. Teufel, of Buffalo, is one of the younger representatives of the medical fraternity, he has already built up a good patronage and is demonstrating his ability in the line which he has chosen as his life work. Born in Muscatine county, Iowa, October 21, 1880, he is a son of John and Otilda (Wiese) Teufel, both of whom are natives of Germany, the former born in Tuttlingen, Wurtemberg, December 27, 1840, and the latter in Arnsfeld, West Prussia, September 23, 1844. The father came as a young man to America, arriving in the new world in April, 1868, and shortly afterward he located in Muscatine county and engaged in the hotel business at Moscow. He was married December 17 1870, to Mrs. Otilda (Wiese) Barewald, who had come here in 1865 when a young girl. Mr. and Mrs. Teufel still reside in Muscatine county, the father now living retired.

                Dr. Teufel of this review has two brothers: William, of Blue Grass; and Herman, of Durant. He also has two half brothers; C. L. Barewald, a practicing physician of Davenport; and Albert Barewald, of Tipton, this state. The only sister, Regina, is the wife of George Marolf, of Moscow, Iowa.

                Dr. Teufel at the usual age entered the public schools of Muscatine county and completed his course by graduation from the Wilton high school with the class of 1900. In the meantime, after due consideration, we had decided upon the practice of medicine as a life work and to this end entered the Iowa State University College of Medicine, graduating from that institution of learning with the class of June, 1904. Immediately thereafter he went to Davenport, where for one year he acted as assistant county physician, and in June, 1905, came to Buffalo, where he has since been engaged in general practice. Of a studious nature, he is not content to sit idle but during his leisure moments peruses his books that he may learn more of the principles and methods of medical science. He has already built up a good practice, which, if the present is any criterion to go by, will increase materially as the years pass. He has served as both city and township health officer.

                Dr. Teufel was reared and baptized in the faith of the Lutheran church but attends the Methodist church at the present time. He is a Mason, belonging to Fraternal Lodge, No 221 at Davenport, and he likewise belongs to Ranner Lodge, No. 16, K. P. at Buffalo, the Modern Woodmen of America, Royal Neighbors, New York Mutual Life, Pennsylvania Mutual, Guaranty Mutual of Davenport, and was elected supreme medical director of Industrial Workers Benefit Association. In the line of his profession he holds membership with the American Medical Association, the Iowa State Medical Society and the Scott County Medical Society.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project


Rev. N. J. Peiffer Bio

“From Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County” by Harry E. Downer—S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago 

Surnames: Peiffer 

                Rev. N. J. Peiffer, priest in charge of St. Peter’s church at Buffalo, is numbered among the younger members of the clergy in Scott county, his birth having occurred on the 20th of June, 1881, at Keokuk, Iowa. As the name indicates, he is of German descent, his parents being Nicholas and Anna R. Peiffer, both natives of Prussia, where the former was born on the 25th of January of the same year. The father came to America in 1851, locating in Iowa, where he later purchased a farm and was engaged in agricultural pursuits for a number of years. It was in this state that he was united in marriage on the 17th of December 1859, and here his family was reared. The subject of this review has eight brothers, all living six of whom follow the occupation of farming, while the other two are engaged in the hardware business at Harper Iowa. He also has three sisters, one of whom, Mary Theresa, makes her home with him.

                Father Peiffer received his early education in St. Francis Seminary, near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and later, having decided upon the ministry as his chosen life work, completed his studies in St. Paul’s Seminary at St. Paul, Minnesota. He was graduated from that institution with the class of 1905 ad was ordained to the priesthood on the 10th of June of the same year. Returning to his native state, he held several temporary charges in Iowa, and then went to Davenport as the assistant of Monseigneur Nierman, with whom he remained until 1908. In July of that year he came to Buffalo as pastor of St. Peter’s church, being the first resident priest appointed to take charge of that parish. This church had been built by Monseigneur Nierman in the year 1878 and previous to the arrival of Father Peiffer services had been held by visiting priests and fathers. Although he has been at this place for only a short time, he has nevertheless church has been well organized in various departments. It was through his efforts that the new and handsome parsonage was built, the structure being completed on the 1st of August, 1909, and he has been a source of stimulation along also has charge of the parish at Keota, Keokuk county, Iowa, holding services there on the second and fourth Sunday of every month. He is a man of literary taste and scholarly habits, and his studies and labors are continually promoting his efficiency. He has become very popular in this community and is much beloved by his flock, who although he is still young in years, come to him with matters of temporal as well as spiritual guidance and find in him a helper and friend.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project


George T. Baker Bio 

“From Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County” by Harry E. Downer—S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago. 

Surnames: Baker, Kenyon, Poole, Brandt, Williamson 

                Prompted by laudable ambition at the onset of his career George T. Baker has advanced steadily until he is now one of the most prominent men of Davenport and few men of this city are deserving of higher regard. He was born in 1820, came to Davenport in 1853 and the following year went to Iowa county. He was an architect and builder by profession, but as his health had failed he bought a large tract of land and engaged extensively in farming and stock raising. He was a successful man at the time of his death, which occurred in Iowa county, 1869, when he was less than fifty years of age. His wife, who was miss Freelove M. Kenyon in her maidenhood, was also a native of Connecticut and is still living at the advanced age of eighty-nine.     

                George T. Baker received his education at a private school and later attended the Iowa State University, whence he entered Cornell University. There he specialized in civil engineering and after completing a special course entered the employ of the Rock Island Railroad, with whom he remained for five years. From 1885 to 1888 he was engaged by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company to locate land and assist in the construction of the road from Kansas City to Chicago. The following year he was chief engineer of the Soo & Southwestern. Later he became chief engineer of high bridges at Muscatine, Clinton and Winona until 1892, when with others he organized the Edwards & Walsh Construction Company of Davenport, which has now passed out of existence. Since 1898 Mr. Baker has been vice president and general manager of the Tri City Construction Company, which is one of the most important and prosperous of the many similar firms engaged in business in this city, its success being in no small measure due to Mr. Baker’s ability, wide experience and business acumen. He is also president of the West Davenport Improvement Company and vice president of the Davenport Wagon Company, while he is interested in

the street car liens of Clinton, Iowa, in the lumber regions of the south and farm lands of Oklahoma.

                Although so many years have been devoted to interests akin to the profession of civil engineering Mr. Baker has not been loathe to engage in wider fields of activity, and with a large and commendable public spirit has identified himself closely with the public affairs of Davenport and Scott county. In recognition of his ability and sterling character the people of Scott county elected him their representative in  the Iowa state legislature from 1895 to 1897 and at the expiration of his term there he was chosen as mayor of Davenport. Two years of his administration, those of 1898 to 1900, were marked by a government of a character which may not soon be duplicated here or elsewhere. Many improvements were inaugurated and malpractices abandoned. In 1900 he was the delegate at large to the democratic convention at Kansas city, Missouri, and is now a member of the state board of education.

                When he was just embarking upon his career, which as been so singularly successful in 1879, Mr. Baker was united in marriage to Miss Clare J. Poole, a native of New York. Three daughters have been born to them: Ethel M., Georgia E. and Sue A. The eldest is the wife of L. H. Brandt and Sue A. is now Mrs. R. C. Williamson. Mr. Baker belongs to the college fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, to several Masonic bodies and to the Elks. One of the most progressive and public spirited of men by education and experience, he is fitted to do big things and through the years of his life has proved that few opportunities have escaped him which he did not make steppingstones to a larger future. As Davenport has profited most widely from his abilities she regards him proudly as one of her finest citizens.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project


Jesse R. Porter, M. D., Bio

Surnames:  PORTER

"From Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott county" by Harry E. Downer - S.
J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago

Davenport numbers among her well known and prominent physicians Dr. Jesse R.
Porter, who during his residence in this city, which extends over a period of
about thirteen years, has built up a large and lucrative practice which is
constantly growing in volume and importance.  The Porter family has long been
represented in America, having come to this country from the north of Ireland
in 1645, owing to the unsettled and troubled condition of that country at
that time.

His father, Dr. Joseph Porter, was born in Muskingum county, Ohio, and came
to Scott county in 1854, locating in Blue Grass township, where he continued
to practice his profession until the time of his demise.  He had acquired his
medical training in the State University of Ohio, at Columbus, and had come
west for the purpose of opening an office but because of ill health was
compelled to give up that plan, being engaged as a surveyor for several
years.  Later, however, he followed his profession in Blue Grass, where he
practicced for thirty-nine years, and according to length of time was the
oldest practitioner, with one exception in this county at the time of his
death.  He also took an active part in community affairs, being prominent and
influential in local republican ranks, serving in various public offices.  He
also represented his district in the state legislature during the period of
the Civil war and was at all times prominently identified with the interests
of the community in which he resided.  The mother of our subject was born on
a sailing vessel en route from Hamburg to New York, and, after a short time
spent in Pennsylvania, came with her parents to Scott county, about 1850,
where she gave her hand in marriage to Dr. Joseph Porter.  They became the
parents of seven sons and one daughter, three sons beside our subject being
now engaged in the practice of medicine in Iowa, namely:  Leroy V., of
Bondurant; and Clarence M. and Charles E., both practicing in Mento.

Jesse R. Porter, whose birth occurred in Blue Grass township on the 20th of
January, 1870, was reared under the parental roof and at the usual age was
sent as a pupil to the public schools, completing his preliminary education
by his graduation from high school.  He then pursued a collegiate course at
Drake University, after which he was engaged in teaching school for two
years.  With the money thus acquired he was able to take a course of study in
the medical department of Drake University, from which he was graduated with
the class of 1897, with the M. D. degree.  He at once located in Davenport
and has since continued here in the practice of his profession.  From the
start he has been most successful, becoming well known throughout the city as
a conscientious and efficient physician and surgeon, and the extensive
practice which has been awarded him in both gratifying and remunerative.  He
keeps in close touch with what is going on in the medical world through his
membership in the Iowa State and Scott County Medical Societies and has ever
remained a close student of the fundamental principles of medicine, anything
which tends to form the key to the mystery which we call life being of
special interest to him.  In addition to a most gratifying private practice
he is also acting as examiner for the Washington Life Insurance Company of
New York.

Although Dr. Porter has never taken an active part in the public affairs of
Davenport, nevertheless he is public-spirited in his citizenship and gives
stalwart support to the principles of the republican party.  Fraternally he
is identified with the Masonic body and is a most exemplary and valued member
of that organization.  Druing his residence in this city he has become well
known and honored because of his excellent attainment in the line of his
profession, and his fidelity to all principles of honorable and upright
manhood has gained him the respect, confidence and good will of all with whom
he has come in contact in both professional and private relations.

Bio transcribed for the Scott county, Iowa site.

Debbie Clough G-erischer


John and August Kress Bio 

“From Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County” by Harry E. Downer—S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago. 

Surnames: Kress, Weber, Kolway, 

                One of the spacious and well tilled farms of Buffalo township is that which is operated by the brothers, John and August Kress, both natives of Scott county. The former was born December 25, 1867, the latter August 15, 1857. The father, who was born in Hesse, Germany, in 1830, came to Buffalo in 1860 and there he began the mining of coal. For about two decades he continued in this business, although in the meantime he had purchased farming property, later giving his attention to its cultivation throughout the remainder of his active life. He met with well merited success so that in 1904, when his death occurred, he was possessed of two hundred and forty acres of some of the richest land of Germany, her birth having occurred in 1837. Of the children born to them three sons and two daughters still survive. Two are the subjects of this review; one daughter, Amelia, makes her home with them, another, Margaret, is the wife of William Kolway, of Buffalo township; and the other son is Severin Kress, a farmer of Buffalo township.

                John and August Kress were pupils in the district schools of Scott county in which they obtained a training in the fundamental branches of English education that prepared them for the practical responsibilities of life. They also worked upon the home farm from early boyhood days, learning well the secrets of tilling the soil, and the invaluable lessons of industry and frugality. When their father decided to lay aside the more onerous of his cares, he consigned the operation of the place to them, and upon his death it came into their possession. They have cultivated its fields with a success that places them among the more prosperous of the farmers of Buffalo township, while the record of their days spent in honest toil has gained for them the respect of the neighbors and friends.

                The home of the brothers is presided over by their sister, Amelia, who is a good housekeeper and a gracious hostess. They are members of the Catholic church, while since their young manhood they have given their support in political matters to the democratic party. The greater part of their lives having been spent upon the farm on which they now live, they are well and favorably known in this community.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project


J. A. Smith Bio 

“From Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County” by Harry E. Downer—S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago.

 Surnames: Smith, Bosweir, Bealer, Akerman, Brown, Morrie, Graham 

                J. A. Smith is a market gardener, owning twenty-eight acres of land in LeClaire township, which is devoted to the raising of vegetables, his specialty being onions. He is a native of Blair county, Pennsylvania, born December 27, 1847, of the marriage of George and Frances (Bosweir) Smith, in whose family were two sons and a daughter, the younger brother of our subject being Sidney C., a resident of Blair county, while the sister, Mary Jane, died in 1865. The father worked in the woolen mills of the east and died in early life leaving the children to be reared by the mother, who survived until 1899.

J. A. Smith lived at home to the age of nineteen years and during this period acquired his education in the district schools of Blair county. He also worked for a time at farm labor in the east but, believing that the west offered better opportunities to the ambitious young man, in the spring of 1866 he journeyed to Scott county and for two years worked by the month for different farmers of this section. He then rented land, which he operated on his own account and in 1900 purchased the place where he now lives. This tract comprises twenty-eight acres and is pleasantly located in LeClaire township on the banks of the Mississippi river. He has made many improvements on the place in the way of substantial outbuildings and a comfortable residence, and he gives his time to raising vegetables in the city market, where he finds a ready sale.

Mr. Smith was married March 2, 1869, the lady of his choice being Miss Katherine Ann Bealer, a daughter of Christopher and Susan (Akerman) Bealer, of Scott county. Five children have been born of this union. Lettie is the wife of J. L. Brown and the mother of three children: Paul R., Claud C. and Hazel D. Frank H., a resident of Le Claire, wedded Miss Mary Morrie, by whom he has four children: Mildred, Verna M., George and Erma. Calvin, the third member of the family, wedded Miss Mary Graham and lives in Le Claire township. They have five children: Bertha M., Ralph R., Earl A., Delma and Howard Taft. Bert G. and Flossie M., the other members of the Smith family, are at home.

 His fraternal relations connect him with the Court of Honor. Having come to Scott county during its early development, he has seen many changes as this district has assumed its present appearance of advanced civilization and feels that he made no mistake in coming here in early days to cast in his lot with the settlers of LeClaire township.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project


Henry T. Hahn Bio 

“From Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County” by Harry E. Downer—S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago. 

Surnames: Hahn, Stoltenberg, Kahler, Blunck, Lage, Sitan, Frye, Suksdorf, Seberine, Klindt 

                Holstein, Germany, has surrendered numerous of her sons and daughters to Scott county, Iowa, and among them were the parents of Henry T. Hahn, one of Hickory Grove township’s prominent agriculturists. They were Wulff and Margaretha (Stoltenberg) Hahn, the father born in Wiesch, Holstein, January 14, 1813, and the mother in Vebargen in the same duchy, July 31, 1820. While yet residents of the fatherland they were married and in 1847 they came to America, arriving in New Orleans and making the rest of the journey by water. They had one child at that time. The father took up farming and spent his active years in this vocation. Beside the home place in Davenport township he also possessed one hundred and sixty acres of land in Tama county, Iowa, together with some property in the state of Washington and in Hickory Grove township, Scott county, owning two hundred acres. He also owned milling stock in Davenport. After a useful and prosperous career, he and his wife removed to the city, where they were permitted to enjoy a well earned rest. After a devoted married life of many years it was indeed fitting that they should be united in death, the mother passing away August 3, 1894, and the father surviving only until the 14th of the same month.

                They were the parents of the following eight children: Ida Kruse, deceased; Katherine, the wife of Charles Kahler, of Davenport; Minnie, wife of T. F. Blunck, of Davenport; Henry T., the subject of this sketch; Emma, the widow of C. L. Suksdorf, of Davenport; Augusta, the wife of Paul Seberine, of Davenport; Johannes, who died at the age of ten years; and Julia, the wife of George Klindt, of Davenport. The father enjoyed the respect of his associates and among the trusts imposed upon him was that of township trustee.

The birth of Henry T. Hahn occurred July 17, 1853, while his parents were residing on their farm in Davenport township, and there he resided up to 1882, when he removed to Hickory Grove township, where he still makes his home. His farm, a well improved property of two hundred and forty acres, is located on section 36 and is devoted to general farming and stock raising. As additional property interests Mr. Hahn owns a farm of two hundred and seventy-one acres in Washington county, Iowa.

                On April 5, 1881, Mr. Hahn was united in marriage to Miss Emma E. Lage, also a native of Holstein, born in Schoenberg, November 6, 1858, her parents being C. H. and Dorothea (Sitan) Lage. Her father died in Germany, but her mother came to America in 1880, two years after her daughter had taken up her home in this country. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Hahn has been blessed by the birth of seven children as follows: Hertha, who died in infancy; Wilma; Grover; Zoe; Hilda, the wife of Wilbert Frye, living near Independence, Iowa; Bruno; and Vera.

                Mr. Hahn places his political confidence in the democratic party and in evidence of his good citizenship are the several public trusts which have been imposed upon him. He served twelve years as school director and nine years of that time as president of the school board; four years as township trustee, in which capacity he is at present serving; one term as justice of the peace; and he has also served on the grand and petit juries. As to his affiliations, he holds membership in the Maysville branch of the Modern Brotherhood of America, and the Walcott Lodge of Knights of Pythias. His desire to do all in his power to advance every cause contributing to the public welfare is generally recognized and admired.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project


Julius T. Haller, M. D. Bio 

“From Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County” by Harry E. Downer—S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago. 

Surnames: Haller, Rohlf 

Dr. Julius T. Haller, a native of Davenport, was born October 20, 1878. His father, William Haller, was of German birth and came to Davenport in the ‘50s, while his mother, who was Miss Anna Rohlf, before her marriage, was born in Scott county.

                Reared in the city of his birth, Dr. Julius T. Haller attended the public schools from which he passed to the high school, where his preparation for college was completed. After his graduation from the secondary school he was enrolled as a pupil of the University of Chicago, from which he received his H. S. degree in the spring of 1901. The following fall he entered the medical department of Johns Hopkins University of Baltimore, Maryland. The subsequent four years were spent in diligent study and finally in 1905 the degree of doctor of medicine was conferred upon him. That same year he came to Davenport, and engaged in active practice. In the years that have clasped, few as they have bee, Dr. Haller has proved that he is a young man of ability, of  ambition, and entitled to success. He has won the confidence of those who have come in contact with him and his patients have found him skillful, painstaking, and sympathetic. He belongs to the Scott County, the Iowa State, and the American Medical Associations, while he obtains his social relaxation in company with his brother Elks.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project


James Madison Bowling Bio 

“From Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County” by Harry E. Downer—S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago.

 Surnames: Bowling, Davenport, 

No history of Davenport would be complete without detailed and specific reference to James Madison Bowling, long connected with its business interests in mercantile lines. He came to the city when it was a small and unimportant town and took active part in shaping its commercial development and at the same time cooperated in many movements for its upbuilding along other lines. He was born in Virginia and was a son of Jeremiah Bowling, a representative of one of the first families of that state—first not only by reason of priority of residence but also owing to that prominence which arises from fidelity and helpfulness in citizenship.

James Madison Bowling continued his residence in the Old Dominion through the period of his boyhood and youth and during that time acquired his education in young manhood he came to Davenport to follow his early business training here. He first became connected with George L. Davenport and they were numbered among the pioneer merchants of the city, whose labors were an effective force in advancing the early commercial progress of Davenport. On his arrival here Mr. Bowling also took up government land in Blue Grass township, after which he returned to the Old Dominion and was there married. With his bride he then came again to Iowa and here they reared their family of nine children, namely: George Davenport; Margaret v.; Sarah C. ; Henry, who was killed in the Civil War; Cornelia M.; Jane Alberta, who has also departed this life; Laura E.; John C.; and Emery, who died in infancy.

As stated James Madison Bowling, following his removal to the middle west, became connected with George L. Davenport in a mercantile enterprise. The Bowlings were also connected with the Davenports through marriage ties, for Colonel Davenport wedded a sister of Jeremiah Bowling. With many events of early prominence that left their impress upon the history of the city, James Madison Bowling was connected. His intelligence and wise judgment made him a leader in matters of public thought and action and at all times he manifested an unselfish desire to promoted the progress of the community and thus aid in the upbuilding of the state. His upright life was in harmony with his professions as a member of the Presbyterian church. He was president of the Old Settlers Society and no citizen of the community was held in higher or more heartfelt esteem and regard than James M. Bowling.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project


George H. Blanchard Bio 

“From Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County” by Harry E. Downer—S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago. 

Surnames: Blanchard, Barker, Brown, Muckle 

There are found in the business world men who seem equal to every emergency and who are fitted to keep pace with the world’s progress. Such a man is George H. Blanchard, president of Blanchard Brothers, Incorporated, manufacturers of and dealers in advertising novelties. He was born in St. Louis, May 23, 1873 and is a son of John II, and Emma (Barker) Blanchard. The son at the usual age entered the public schools of his native city and was there reared to years of maturity. After putting aside his text-books he became connected with a lithographing company, wherein he learned the business in principle and detail. He then came to Davenport in 1900 and organized the Tri City Lithographing Company, which was the beginning of his business connection here. He was connected with that firm for about seven years but in the meantime had organized the firm of Blanchard Brothers, Incorporated, managing both interests for some time. However, about three years ago he severed his connection with the former and is now giving his entire time to the latter, acting as its efficient president. They are engaged in the manufacture of advertising novelties, such as pencils, pen holders and various other devices, which are sold throughout the entire country. Mr. Blanchard’s powers of management and executive control have led him to an important position in the business circles of Davenport. Studying the question of advertising from every possible standpoint, he has sought to give to the public a means of advertisement that is not only attractive but is of practical use as well. His brother, John H. Blanchard, who formerly traveled in the interests of the house, is likewise proving himself capable of handling the interests to which he is now bending his  energies, while he is also acting as secretary and treasurer of the firm. He located permanently in Davenport five years ago and the two sisters, E. Josephine and Della M., also make their home here.

                Mr. Blanchard was married on the 23d of May, 1908, to Miss Margaret Brown, a daughter of Mark and Luella (Muckle) Brown. They have an interesting little son, Robert O., who is the light and life of the household.

                Mr. Blanchard is prominent in Masonic circles, being a member of that order. Choosing a particular line in life, he has sought to advance along that line until he has found place among the substantial business men of davenport. He has a wide acquaintance here and those who see him in daily association find him a most pleasant and agreeable gentleman.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project


Frederick Dickinson Letts Bio 

“From Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County” by Harry E. Downer—S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago. 

Surnames: Letts, Gale, 

                It is a recognized fact that the lawyer is more prominent in public affairs than any other class of citizen. This is due to causes which are evident and need no explanation, for the qualities which fit one to appear before the bar in support of litigated interests also qualify the individual to discuss intelligently, logically and conclusively the questions of vital political importance. Frederick Dickinson Letts  is numbered among the members of the Davenport bar who, in addition to professional activity are taking a prominent part in promoting the public interests of the city. He was born in Ainsworth, Iowa, April 26, 1875, and is a son of David G. and Hannah (Gale) Letts. The father was also a native of this state. The grandfather, Nehemiah Madison Letts, one of Iowa’s pioneers, came from Ohio to this section of the country before the state was admitted to the Union and settled at and founded the town of Letts, which was so named in his honor. He was a farmer by occupation and was closely associated with the pioneer development of the community in which he made his home. His son, David G. Letts, became an extensive farmer and stockman but died in 1884, at the age of forty years. His widow, a native of Virginia, still survives. They were married in Muscatine, Iowa, in 1873, but afterward became residents of Ainsworth.

                In the public and preparatory schools of his native town and Fairfield, Iowa, F. Dickinson Letts pursued his education and was graduated from Parsons college, in the latter city, with the class of 1897. He afterward spent one year as a law student in Columbia University, of New York city, and completed his law course in the Iowa State University, from which he was graduated in 1899. Soon afterward he opened an office in Davenport and entered upon active practice, in which he has made rapid strides. He is thorough, patient and persevering and his understanding of legal principles is being continually augmented by his reading and research. He understands that the greatest work of the lawyer is done in his office, as he prepares his cases for the court, closely investigating every point of evidence and law applicable thereto.

                The name of F. D. Letts is well known in political circles and he is in demand as a campaign speaker of the republican party. His activities thus far have brought him no official reward and it is doubtful if he has any ambition in that direction, for he regards the practice of law as his first interest and is devoted thereto. Fraternally, however, he is well known and is an exemplary representative of the Masonic lodge, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Knights of Pythias. He, moreover, belongs to two college fraternities, the Beta Theta Phi and the Phi Delta Phi. He is also connected with the Business Men’s Association and the Commercial Club and is an agreeable and popular gentleman, esteemed by the representatives of the bar as well as by the general public.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project


Henry Becker Bio 

“From Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County” by Harry E. Downer—S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago. 

Surnames: Becker, 

Henry Becker was well known as a representative business man of Scott county. He had the ability to discern opportunities that others passed by heedlessly and his enterprise and laudable ambition prompted him to take advantage of these with the result that as the years passed he won substantial and gratifying success. A native of Prussia, he was born in Solingen about the year 1820 and his youthful days were passed in his native country, where he was an interested witness of that spirit of political uprise that manifested throughout Europe and had its culmination in Germany in the revolution of 1848.

                It was in that year that Mr. Becker came to America to enjoy the liberty offered in this land. For four years thereafter he was a resident of St. Louis and then came to Scott county, settling in Le Claire, where he remained until his death. In 1858 he returned to Germany and after a short visit at his old home and among the friends of his boyhood and youth he embarked on the steamer Austria for America. When ten days out this steamer took fire and burned to the water’s edge. Mr. Becker with over three hundred others jumped overboard. He lost all of his possessions save his money, which was fastened around him in a belt. When he came too the surface he caught hold of a window frame that would help him keep afloat. Later, with two other men, he took hold of a plank, eight feet long, a foot wide and an inch and a half thick. To this the men clung for three and a half hours, at the end of which time they were picked up by the French bark Maurice. On that vessel all of the rescued were taken to the island of Fayal, one of the group of Azores. After remaining there for nine days they were taken aboard the ship Valorous and brought to the United states. It was an experience which Mr. Becker never forgot.

                Following the establishment of his home in LeClaire he was here married, and at his death left a wife and four children. A few years before his demise he retired from active business and was succeeded by his two sons. He was pre-eminently a business man, loyal, energetic and determined. At the time of war he foresaw the rise in values and, taking advantage of the same, won wealth by dealing in whiskey and cotton goods. In all of his business undertakings he manifested the keenest discernment, a quality which is too often lacking and leads reliable and won substantial success, enabling him to leave his family in very comfortable financial circumstances. Following his demise Mrs. Becker retained her residence in LeClaire but the daughter, Miss Hilda Becker, has now made her home in Davenport for some time and has a wide circle of acquaintances here.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project


Emmett M. Sharon Bio

“From Vol.2 History of Davenport and Scott County” by Harry E. Downer—S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago. 

 Surnames: Sharon, Keon, Bishop, 

                The specific and distinctive office of biography is not to give voice to a man’s modest estimate of himself and his accomplishments but rather to leave the perpetual record establishing his character by the consensus of opinion on the part of his fellowmen. Throughout Davenport Emmett M. Sharon is spoken of in terms of admiration and respect. His life has been varied in its activity, honorable in its purpose and far-reaching and beneficial in its effects, and in the practice of his profession and in his relations with municipal projects he has left an impress upon the annals of the city. In no sense a man in public life, he has nevertheless exerted an immeasurable influence upon Davenport’s welfare and progress.

                A native son of New York, Emmett M. Sharon was born near Watertown in Jefferson county, a son of Thomas S. and Mary (Keon) Sharon, who were natives of New York and Ireland, respectively. After mastering the branches of learning taught in the public schools of Watertown, Emmett M. Sharon became a student in Hamilton College at Clinton, New York, and as an extra course pursued the study of law until the date of his graduation in 1875. He afterward continued his law reading under the direction of Judge Bishop, and in the year 1878 was admitted to the bar at Waterloo, Iowa. During the years of his professional practice he has been continuously connected with the Iowa bar. Opening his office in Black Hawk county, he there remained until 1887, during which time he made steady progress in his chosen vocation and also won popularity among his fellow citizens, who, recognizing his worth and devotion to the public good, called him to the office of mayor of Laporte City. His administration was businesslike and progressive and added to the already high reputation which he enjoyed.

                Mr. Sharon’s identification with the Davenport bar dates from 1887, in which year he opened an office in this city, and his conduct of litigated interests soon attracted wide attention, evidencing his knowledge of law, his close examination of witnesses and is thorough understanding of the facts in relation to the case. Wit, humor, elocution and indisputable logic have all constituted elements in his presentation of his cases before the courts and, while he has ever been loyal to his clients’ interests, he has never forgotten for a moment that he owes a still higher allegiance to the majesty of the law. Called by popular suffrage to the office of city attorney, he served in that capacity for seven years and was also for several years on the law committee of the State Bar Association.

                With the interests of Davenport in the many phases of municipal life Mr. Sharon has been connected, standing as a stalwart champion of all measures and projects which have for their object the advancement and welfare of the city. To this end he has cooperated with the Business Men’s Association, in which he holds membership. He has served as a director of the Commercial Club and of the Home Building Association and is interested in numerous business ventures and in real-estate investments. Since 1906 he has been a member of the library board. His judgment is sound, his enterprise unfaltering and therefore his business activities have been crowned with success.

                The year which chronicled Mr. Sharon’s admission to the bar was also the year of his marriage, the lady of his choice being Miss Ida Bishop, the daughter of his former law preceptor. Their home is justly celebrated for a warm-hearted and cordial hospitality. His social nature finds further expression in his membership with the Knights of Columbus and the Woodmen. In the various relations which have constituted the salient features of his life he has measured up to the full standard of manhood and, recognizing his own capacities and powers, has so directed his labors that others have benefited  thereby, while he himself has received therefrom substantial benefit.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project


John Bragonier Bio 

“From Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County” by Harry E. Downer—S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago. 

Surnames: Bragonier, Thomas, Zimmerman, Houck, Fletcher, 

                Princeton numbers among her population many men who, through cultivating the rich soil of Scott county, have met with a success that now enables them to spend the evening of their lives in honorable retirement, and it is to this class that John Bragonier belongs. He was born in Fulton county, Pennsylvania, February 12, 1847, a son of Jacob and Matilda (Thomas) Bragonier, who were likewise natives of the Keystone state, born in Franklin county, the former on the 13th  of November, 1821, and the latter on the 4th of December, 1826. Following their marriage they established their home in the east and there four children were born to them. The date of their arrival in Scott county was November 12, 1854. Here the father purchased one hundred and sixty acres of raw land in Princeton township, paying for the same six dollars per acre. On the place stood a small house, one and a half stories high, but the dwelling had not been finished sufficiently for the family to live in comfort. The father finished two rooms and here took up his abode. He at once began to cultivate the land and in due course of time the fields yielded abundant harvests, so that he was able from time to time to add to his original holdings until he became the owner of seven hundred and thirty-five acres. He made his home on his first farm for eighteen years and during this time six more children were added to the household. On the expiration of that period he went to live in another part of the township and there made his home till the time of his death which occurred on the 24th of November, 1898, when he was seventy-seven years of age. He had survived his wife, who had been called to her rest about four years previously, her demise occurring July 20, 1894, when she had reached the age of sixty-eight. They were numbered among the county’s most worthy and respected pioneer settlers and were consistent and faithful members of the Lutheran church. The father also took a deep interest in all public movements that tended to improve this district and acted as road supervisor and as school director for many years. The record of the family is as follows: John, of this review; Abraham J., who was born March 29, 1849 and lives in Omaha, Nebraska,; Henry C., who was born September 5, 1850, and makes his home in Tacoma, Washington; Martha V., who was born October 5, 1852, and lives in Tama, Iowa; Amy A., who was born March 24, 1855, and died in 1869; David J., who was born July 9, 1857, and lives in California; George M., born June 29, 1860, who departed this life in 1866; Mary, whose birth occurred on the 25th of March, 1864, and has also passed away; Clark E., who was born May 19, 1869, and lives in Tama; and Howard O., who was born June 16, 1871, and lives in Clinton, this state.

                John Bragonier, the eldest of the ten children, began his education in the schools of Pennsylvania but, being a lad of little more than seven years when the family removed to Scott county, his education was mostly acquired in the district schools of this section. As soon as he was old enough to work in the fields he was assigned various tasks incident to farm life and as his age and strength permitted he assumed larger responsibilities, assisting in the work of the home farm until he was twenty-eight years of age. He then engaged in farming on his own account on a tract of rented land, but in 1881 purchased his farm of one hundred and eighty acres in Princeton township and thereon took up his abode. Although the farm was fairly well improved, Mr. Bragonier made more modern and substantial improvements until it is now one of the valuable properties of eastern Iowa. He was identified with the cultivation of that place for many years but in 1904 put aside business cares and removed to Princeton, where he has since lived retired. He still retains possession of his farm, however, and its rental supplies him with a good annual income.

                It was on the 18 of March, 1873, that Mr. Bragonier was married to Miss Hyantha Amelia Zimmerman, a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Houck) Zimmerman. Mrs. Bragonier was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, and both her father and mother passed away there. She is the seventh in order of birth in a family of thirteen children, the others being Katherine, William H., Martha J., Marcile C., Sarah M., Mary E., Georgia, John M., Jeremiah D., Amy E., Carrie E., and Joseph S. Mrs. Bragonier has become the mother of six children, Mildred, Harry, Ethel F., and Ruth, while the third, Earl, has passed away. The next in order of birth died in infancy. Cornelia is the wife of J. A. Fletcher, a resident of Princeton township, and they have three children: Harry A., Earl J., and Mervine. Harry, the fourth member of the family, died when a youth of seventeen years. Lettie M. and DeWitt are still under the parental roof.

                The family are members of the Presbyterian church at Princeton, and are prominent in social circles. Personally Mr. Bragonier is quiet and unassuming in manner, refusing political preferment and avoiding publicity. In former years he led a busy and active life, finding little time for outside interests, and yet he was not unmindful of the duties of citizenship. His greatest pleasure now is in the companionship of his wife and children and he can look back over a life well spent and feel that his rest is well deserved, for it has come not through the timely aid of others but as the result of his own labors and the careful management of his business affairs.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project


William Koberg Bio 

“From Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County” by Harry E. Downer—S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago. 

Surnames:  Koberg, Moeller, Meyer, Wunder, Ruggenkamp, Weis, 

                A well improved farm of one hundred and fifty-three acres, most of which lies on section 15, Hickory Grove township, stands as a monument to the thrift, economy and industry of William Koberg. He was born in Germany, his natal place being Schleswig, and the date July 19, 1852. His parents, Wilhelm and Anna (Moeller) Koberg, have spent their entire lives in the land of their nativity, as has also the eldest son, Frederick, who still makes his home in Schleswig. The second son, Detlef, is deceased, while Claus is a resident of Davenport.

                William Koberg, the other member and the youngest of the family, was reared in Germany and was there educated in the common schools. His brother Claus had emigrated to the new world after reaching mature years and through him our subject heard favorable reports concerning the opportunities here offered and at the age of nineteen he was induced to join his brother in America. Accordingly, in 1871, he set sail for New York, whence he made his way direct to Davenport, arriving in the latter city on the 3d of July of that year. The following day he joined his brother Claus in Allens Grove township, he having lived in this section for three years. On the 5th of July William Koberg found employment at binding barley and from that date he has been busily engaged to the present time. He worked as a farm hand for two years, all the time his ambition leading him to something higher and more remunerative. He then purchased a threshing outfit, which he operated during the harvesting season for nine years. In the meantime he also engaged in farming on his own account, having purchased his present place of one hundred and fifty-three acres, all of which is under cultivation except thirty-three acres, which is covered with timber and lies on sections 16 and 9, while the remainder is on section 15, Hickory Grove township. When Mr. Koberg bought this property the only improvements were a small shanty and a barn. He has since erected a substantial country dwelling and a large barn, while sheds and granaries afford shelter for grain and stock. For nine years he also operated a creamery known as The Country Creamery. He did a big business, amounting to from twenty-six thousand to thirty thousand dollars per year. One month he handled cream to the amount of twenty-four thousand and fifty dollars, besides the cream which was furnished by his own cows, for he kept a number on his farm. After giving his attention to this business for nine years he abandoned the same and has since devoted his entire time to general farming. He possesses good business ability and is meeting with success in his work.

                Mr. Koberg was married on the 4th of March, 1876, to Miss Adelia Meyer, who was born in Davenport township. January 14, 1856, and has always made her home in Scott county. She is a daughter of Hans and Cecelia (Stoltenberg) Meyer, of whom extended mention is made in connection with the sketch of Edward Meyer, a brother of Mrs. Koberg, on another page of this work. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Koberg have been born seven children, as follows: Alvina, who became the wife of William Wunder and died leaving one child, Alvina, who lives with her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Koberg; Cecelia, the wife of  William Ruggenkamp, a resident of Davenport township; Herman, a resident of Davenport; Laura, the wife of Rudolph Weis of Sheridan township; Carrie, at home; and Hertha and Harvey, also still at home.

                Mr. Koberg is a most public-spirited citizen and has been called by his fellow citizens to fill various offices, having served as road supervisor, township trustee and school director for many terms. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party. He is a member of the Maysville Shooting Society. Practical and progressive, he has not always confined himself to the limits of farming but has used various means to gain a start in life and in this way has acquired a property that supplies him with a good living for himself and family and enables him to lay something by for his declining years.

Transcribed by Elaine Rathmann for the Scott Co, IA USGenWeb Project


Return to History Index Page