Scott Co, Iowa - IAGenWeb Project


Henry Rohwer

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

The agricultural interests of this state were formerly well represented by Henry Rohwer, who gave many years of his life to the tilling of the soil. He is now living retired, however, in Davenport, having passed the seventy-fourth milestone on life's journey, so that he is well entitled to the rest that has been vouchafed him. A great majority of Davenport's German citizens came from Schleswig-Holstein, which province was also the birthplace of Henry Rohwer, whose natal day was June 4, 1835. His father was Jochim Rohwer. His mother died during his early childhood, which was spent in Germany. After attending the public schools he began learning the shoemaker's trade, and in 1857 came to the United States, for he had heard favorable reports concerning America and its opportunities and hoped to acquire a comfortable competence more rapidly in this country than he could expect to do on the other side of the Atlantic. Bidding adieu to home and friends, he sailed alone for the western world, landing at New York, after which he made his way to Davenport. He at first worked at his trade in this city, being engaged in shoemaking until 1862, when he crossed the plains to California with teams. it required three months to make the trip even at that day. He remained for two and a half years on the Pacific coast and then returned to the east by way of the Isthmus of Panama, eventually landing at New York city. From that point he continued across the country to Davenport, where he again engaged in shoemaking until 1882. He next turned his attention to farming in Iowa, investing in eighty acres, upon which he took up his abode. The work of tilling the soil then engaged his attention and he made his home thereon until 1906, carefully cultivation his crops and gathering large harvests. He then sold out and returned to Davenport, where he has since made his home.

In politics Mr. Rohwer has always been a stalwart republican and he served as township trustee for six years and also as school director in Crystal township.

Mr. Rohwer has been married twice. On the 17th of August, 1865, he wedded Miss Catherine Barofsky, who died in 1885. They were the parents of eight children. Julius, living in Ida Grove, Iowa, married Emma Vogt and they have seven children. Gustave, now located in Moline, married Emma Corth and has seven children. Theodore, whose home is in Schleswig, Crawford county, Iowa, is married and has seven children. Henry is married and is located in Seattle, Washington. Amanda is the wife of Fred Fick, of Ida county, Iowa, and has one son. The other children died in infancy with the exception of George, who passed away at the age of twenty-two years. For his second wife Mr. Rohwer chose Whipke Stelk, whom he wedded in April, 1887. She was the widow of John Stelk and by her former marriage had four children: Anna, the wife of R. A. Madison, of Ottumwa county, Iowa, by whom she has one child; Emma, the wife of Rudolph Meinert, of Davenport, by whom she has one child; John, at home; and Charles, who married Gusta Weis and lives in Virginia.

Mr. Rohwer belongs to the association known as the Old German Pioneers. Coming to the new world soon after attaining his majority, he readily adapted himself to changed conditions, made haste to master the language of the people and acquaint himself with American customs and habits. In all of his business life he has displayed the energy and perseverance characteristic of the German people and, improving the opportunities which to him seemed to point to success, he eventually reached a position among the men of affluence in Scott county and is now numbered among the substantial citizens of Davenport, where he makes his home, his leisure being devoted to those pursuits which afford him recreation and interest.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer


John F. Roth

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

John F. Roth is one of Scott county's native sons and has always been loyal to her interests and her welfare. He is a prominent farmer of Rockingham township, where he owns one hundred acres of rich and well cultivated land. His birth occurred in Buffalo township, September 14, 1862, his parents being Peter and Julia (Fischer) Roth, who were early settlers of this part of the state. The father came to Scott county when a boy of fourteen years and he and his wife lived here until called to their final rest, Mr. Roth passing away when about seventy-three years of age. In their family were seven children: Frank, of Muscatine county; Anna, the wife of Charles Winn, of Muscatine county; Mary, the widow of Mr. Comstock, of Cambridge, Illinois; John F., the subject of this sketch; Ferdinand, a resident of Rock Island; Edward, living in Buffalo township; and Minnie, who lives in Illinois.

John F. Roth who has been a life long resident of Scott county, acquired his education in the district schools and afterward learned the trade of a stationary engineer. Later he removed to Davenport, where he lived for several years, following that line of business. In 1897, however, he resolved to make a change and bought his present homestead, upon which he has made numerous improvements. Here he carries on general agricultural pursuits with good results. His fields bring forth rich harvests as the reward of his energy and labor and the place presents a neat and attractive appearance, which is the result of the earnest efforts and unfaltering diligence of the owner.

On the 21st of February, 1888, Mr. Roth was united in marriage to Miss Lucinda Garner, a daughter of Phillip and Susan Garner, who previously lived upon the farm now occupied by Mr. Roth. Her father was born in Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, May 15, 1829, and was there reared. On coming to Scott county in 1865 he settled in Lincoln township, where he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land. His time and energies were devoted to the further improvement of that place during the eight years in which he resided thereon. Later he removed to Rockingham township, where he bought an improved tract of land of two hundred acres, making his home there until his death, which occurred on the 11th of November, 1897. In early life he had learned and followed the carpenter's trade, but after coming to Scott county devoted his attention to general farming and was very careful in the management of his place and won substantial results as the reward of his industry. In Blair county, Pennsylvania, he married Miss Susan Acker, who was born in that county, April 5, 1832, and died on the 1st of August, 1895. In his political views Mr. Garner was an earnest republican but never held or desired public office, preferring to concentrate his energies upon his business affairs. Both he and his wife held membership in the Reformed church while in Pennsylvania and after coming to Scott county joined the Lutheran church. In their family were six children, of whom four are yet living: Annetta, the wife of John Jacobs, a resident of Rockingham township; Belle, who is the widow of R. S. Garner and lives in Rockingham township; Mrs. Roth; and Harry, who makes his home with his sister, Mrs. Roth. The two children of the family now deceased are Frank, who died at the age of twelve years, and Arilla, who passed away at the age of eight years. Mr. and Mrs. Roth have no children of their own but have reared an adopted daughter, May. Their home is a most hospitable one, ever open for the reception of their many friends. Both have long been residents of the county, for Mrs. Roth arrived here in her girlhood days and Mr. Roth has always resided within the borders of the county. In business he is reliable and is developing his place along lines of modern scientific farming and practicing the rotation of crops and other methods which have produced substantial results in the agricultural development of the county.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer


Edgar H. Ryan

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

Edgar H. Ryan, although he is now retired from manufacturing interests, with which he was long identified, is still financially concerned in many important business enterprises which have direct bearing upon the progress and commercial development of Davenport. His industry and keen perception have enabled him to make his way steadily to the foremost ranks of the city's distinguished and honored business men, in which connection he is justly entitled to definite mention in the annals of Iowa. He was born in Warren county, to definite mention in the annals of Iowa. He was born in Warren county, Indiana, January 13, 1851. His father, Edgar Ryan, Sr., was a native of Ohio, his birth having occurred near Columbus on the 10th of June, 1820. When a young man he went to Indiana, where he engaged in farming and stock-raising, in which undertaking he was quite successful. In the fall of 1855 he came to Davenport, where the following year he was joined by his wife and children, the family home being since maintained here. The father engaged in the wholesale grocery business in the old Burrows & Prettyman block on the river, under the firm name of Ryan & McCarn. During a flood, while working to remove his goods to a place of safety, he contracted a severe cold which resulted in his death in June, 1857. Although the period of his residence here was of comparatively short duration, during that time he gained the good will and respect of his neighbors and business associates and had every promise of a successful career. He was married in Ohio to Miss Celinda Osborn, a native of Columbus, Ohio, who died in January, 1895. She had been a resident of Davenport for many years and following her husband's death had carefully reared her family of five sons.

Edgar H. Ryan, the youngest of the family, was but five years of age when the mother and her children joined the husband and father in this city. Here he was educated in the public schools and at the age of twenty-one years became a recognized factor in the business circles of this city as proprietor of a hat, furnishing goods and fur store at Second and Main streets. There he remained until 1885, when he withdrew from that field of labor to engage in the grain business and for eleven years was a partner in the Bosch-Ryan Grain Company. He next turned his attention to manufacturing interests, engaging in the manufacture of Portland cement at Iola, Kansas, with the principal office of the company at Davenport. After a successful and active business career in this field he retired in January, 1906, but still has many financial interests and investments, including farm lands in Nebraska, Minnesota and Kansas, and large land holdings in Mexico, the supervision of which makes him a busy man. In 1888 he erected the Ryan building, now known as the South Putnam building. He has long been interested in Davenport real estate, becoming a member of the Davenport Real Estate Company, and has laid out many additions and done much to improve the city. He is also interested in banks and industrial concerns and his sound judgment constitutes a valuable feature in the prosperous control of these undertakings. Opportunities which others pass by heedlessly he recognizes and utilizes and his intelligent and well directed activity have brought him prominently to the front in relation to the business life of the city whereon Davenport's growth and development rest. He is now the secretary and treasurer of the Davenport Real Estate & Town Lot Company, which has laid out Park Lawn in its first, second and third additions, also the valuable tract north of Central Park and Cook's Home addition. For fifteen years he was the secretary and treasurer of the Davenport Safety Deposit Company.

In June, 1873, Mr. Ryan was married to Miss Ella Coleman, a daughter of Thomas Coleman, a prominent banker of La Fayette, Indiana, and they have one child, Julia, The family home is a fine residence on Brady street. Mr. Ryan has lived to witness remarkable changes in the city, which was a small town of comparatively little industrial or commercial importance at the time of his arrival here. His father's home was on Seventh and Brown streets and the business center was largely along the river. Taking his place in commercial circles when he attained his majority, Mr. Ryan's activities have since been of a nature that have contributed in substantial measure to the city's business and financial growth as well as his individual prosperity. Fraternally he is connected with the Masons, attaining the Knight Templar degree in the commandery, and he is also a member of the Mystic Shrine. Politics have little interest for him, for he has always preferred to concentrate his energies upon his business and by industry, close application and determination he has become one of the foremost citizens of Davenport.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer


O.C. Rogers

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

O. C. Rogers, engaged in the practice of medicine in Davenport since 1892, was born in Pennsylvania on the 11th of February, 1860. His father, William Rogers, was likewise a native of the Keystone state and a representative of the medical profession. He visited Scott county in the '50s, carefully looked over the situation and then returned to the east. The memory of the pleasing western country, however, remained with him and at length proved an irresistable attraction, so that in 1862 he returned with his family and took up his abode in this county. He continued to practice in Slopertown until the early '80s, when he removed to Pleasant Valley, where he remained for two years and then came to Davenport, passing away in this city in 1892. He married Sarah Conklin, also a native of Pennsylvania.

The country schools afforded Dr. Rogers his early educational privileges, while later he had the benefit of instruction in the Davenport high school. Desiring a professional career, he studied medicine in the office of Dr. H. L. Bawden, of Davenport, who directed his preliminary reading, while subsequently he attended the Iowa State University. He next entered the Creighton College at Omaha, from which he was graduated, and when seven years had been devoted to practice at Pleasant Valley, Iowa, he removed to Davenport in 1892 and has since been engaged in general practice in this city.

In 1889 Dr. Rogers was married to Miss Mary B. Finefield, a native of Iowa, and unto them have been born two children, Bertha and William. Having spent practically his entire life in this county, Dr. Rogers is well known and has made many friends during the years of his residence in Davenport.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer


D.N. Richardson

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

A picture of Mr. Richardson is included with this bio. To view his picture please return to the Main page and click on Pictures/Documents section of the site.

David N. Richardson was born in Orange, Vermont, March 19, 1832. He was reared on a farm and completed his education by two terms at an academy. He taught school when eighteen years of age and later entered a printing office in Illinois, where he learned the trade. In 1854 he came to Davenport, Iowa, where , in company with James T. Hildreth and George R. West, he purchased the democratic newspaper establishment and began the publication of the Daily Iowa State Democrat. Here for nearly forty years Mr. Richardson was engaged in conducting one of the foremost newspapers of Iowa. He was for many years a regent of the State University and was untiring in his efforts to make that the foremost educational institution in the state. He was also one of the original members of the state commission to plan and erect the Iowa Soldiers' Monument, serving until the work was completed. During the period of eighteen years, in which Mr. Richardson was a regent of the State University, he was one of its most intelligent and effective promoters. It was an often expressed desire of his to live to see our State University equal to any in America. That institution never had a more devoted friend or more useful officer.

Mr. Richardson was a graceful and accomplished writer and one of the ablest of Iowa editors. He became an extensive traveler in foreign countries and his letters descriptive of the lands and cities visited were of absorbing interest. His acquaintance with the public men of Iowa was very wide, and although he was a life-long democrat and an active and influential leader in his party for more than forty years, he won and retained the confidence and personal friendship fo his political opponents everywhere. He died on the 4th of July, 1898.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer


George Lueders

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

No history of Liberty township would be complete without mention of George Lueders, the present mayor of the town of New Liberty, who is well known in financial circles as the cashier of the German Savings Bank. He claims Germany as the place of his nativity, his birth occurring in Holstein on the 30th of January, 1861. A son of Michael and Lena (Brade) Lueders, the parents were both born in Holstein, Germany, the former on the 4th of March, 1828, and the latter on November 12, 1831. They came to the United States in 1875, making their way direct to Davenport, Iowa, where they resided until 1887, and then came to New Liberty. The father had been a musician, playing in a band in both the old country and after coming to Iowa, and was thus engaged until he entered the hotel and saloon business, with which he was connected for some time. Later he withdrew from active life and returned to Davenport, where he spent his remaining days in retirement. He passed away on the 11th of January, 1899, while his widow died November 3, 1909, having four children, namely: John, a resident of Madison, Wisconsin; Christ, whose death occurred in California about ten years ago; Lena, the wife of H. B. Arp, of West Liberty; and George, of this review.

George Lueders was a lad of fourteen years when he came with his parents to America, and his education, which had been begun in the schools of the fatherland, was completed in the common schools of Davenport. After laying aside his text-books he was engaged as a farm hand for a few years, and then for ten years assisted his father in his hotel and saloon business in New Liberty. At the expiration of that period he inaugurated a live stock, lumber and farm implement business at this place, becoming an extensive dealer in those commodities, in which connection he continued until he became identified with the banking business in 1905. In that year the German Savings Bank of New Liberty was organized, with W. Treimer, president, J. C. Bolte, vice-president, and Mt. Lueders as cashier and general manager, which office he has held since its inception. The bank was capitilized for ten thousand dollars, while its annual statement for 1909 shows deposits amounting to more than one hundred and sixty thousand dollars. Its safe, conservative policy recommends it to the judgment of the public, and has made it one of the sound and reliable moneyed institutions of the township. Its steady and rapid development has been due in no small measure to the efforts of Mr. Lueders, who in the capacity of cashier has proven a most capable official who, through his ability and fidelity to the interests of the house, has won the esteem and confidence of his fellow officers, and by his unfailing courtesy and promptness in the discharge of his duties has become popular with the patrons of the bank.

It was on the 24th of October, 1889, that Mr. Lueders was united in marriage to Miss Alvina Roehlk, a native of Scott county, born on the 24th of June, 1871. She is a daughter of Hans and Bertha (Giese) Roehlk, who were both born in Holstein, Germany, but now make their home in New Liberty. Fraternally Mr. Lueders is identified with the Knights of Pythias lodge at Bennett, and also holds membership in the camp of the Modern Woodmen of America at New Liberty, being an active and exemplary member of both organizations. Politically he exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the republican party, and has served as justice of the peace for the past five years. At the incorporation of the town of New Liberty, which occurred in 1909, his fellow townsmen manifested their regard for him in electing him mayor, in which office he is now the incumbent. In the discharge of his duties in that capacity he is proving a worthy official, justifying the trust reposed in him by his fellow citizens and fulfilling every obligation that devolves upon him with the same spirit of thoroughness and fidelity that characterizes his business career. A man of resourceful ability, constantly watchful of opportunities, he has seized legitimate advantages as they have arisen and has never hesitated to take a forward step when the way was open. Fortunate in possessing ability and character that inspired confidence, the simple weight of his character and ability has brought him into positions of trust and responsibility, and he ranks high among the well known and valued citizens of Liberty township.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer


John A. Littig

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

There is perhaps no other man in Davenport who has done as much toward the improvement of the streets and the building of good roads as has John A. Littig, who for the past seven years has given his time to construction work along this line. In the paternal line he comes of French descent and his great grandfather, Peter Littig served as an officer under Napoleon in the battle of Waterloo. His son John was the progenitor of the family in America. His family included Peter N. Littig, who became the father of our subject. The latter lived on a farm just outside the city limits in Davenport township, and is one of the oldest pioneer settlers of this section of Iowa. After residing on his farm for many years he removed to Davenport, where he now lives practically retired although he assists his son in the management of his business interests merely for pastime. He wedded Miss Erma Fidler, who died in 1902.

John A. Littig was born on the home farm in Davenport township, the date of his birth being June 8, 1872. At the usual age he was sent to the common schools and during the periods of vacation he rendered assistance to his father in the work of the fields. After completing his studies in the common schools he pursued a course in Griswold College, after which he engaged in teaching for three years. Subsequently he engaged in the creamery business for a time but eventually returned to the home farm and assisted his father in its management until seven years ago, when he came to Davenport and took up the work of contracting, being the first to institute the building of roads by contract in Scott county. He began on a small scale, doing all the work himself, even driving the team in grading. He has continued in this line of activity to the present time and has already gained a reputation for high-grade work. He has always been interested in good roads and while advancing his own personal interests, he is at the same time doing an important work for the community at large.

Mr. Littig was married on the 3d of October, 1900, to Miss Josephine Anderson, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Anderson, of Moline, Illinois. Three daughters and two sons grace the home of Mr. and Mrs. Littig, Marion V., Earl C., Cloyd E., Inez C. and Marie A. Fratenally Mr. Littig is affiliated with the Elks and he and his wife are communicants of the Episcopal church, in the work of which they take an active and helpful interest. The family home is a modern residence at No. 223 West Thirteenth street and it is noted for its generous and warm-hearted hospitality. In everything, Mr. Littig has been eminently practical and this has been manifest not only in his business undertakings but also in social and private life.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer


James Edwin Lindsay

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

Prominent for many years among the mill operators of the Mississippi river were James E. Lindsay and John B. Phelps, who as Lindsay & Phelps were for nearly forty years connected with the manufacture of lumber at Davenport.

James Edwin Lindsay, the subject of this sketch, was born at Schroon, Essex county, New York, April 12, 1826. His ancestors came from Scotland in 1731 and settled at Argyle, New York. His great-great-grandfather was Donald Lindsay, who was interested in the grant which was extended to Laughlin Campbell and was one of the hundred founders of that early Argyle community. His training between 1826 and 1847 terminated with one year's schooling in civil engineering at Norwich, Vermont. His father was a hotel keeper, farmer and lumber manufacturer combined. Young Lindsay worked at measuring and the hauling of logs at his father's mill, a water power affair propelled by the old style "flutter wheel." This sawmill was facetiously called the "Thunder Shower Mill" on account of its utter inability to operate unless a frequent rain would kindly fill the small creek dam from which it drew its water power. Young Lindsay was in a atmosphere that was apt to make him a lumberman and included among his neighbors Israel Johnson, the inventor of the much used "mulay" saw, and Philetas Sawyer, the long time prominent lumberman and for many years United States senator from Wisconsin. Logs in those days measured about two standards to the log, a standard, according to Dimock's rule, being measured on the basis of thirteen-foot log, nineteen inches at the top end. They were made up of perhaps twenty-five percent clear at fifty dollars a thousand; twenty-five percent second clear at forty dollars; twenty-five percent select at twenty dollars; and twenty-five percent common, worth fourteen dollars. Before his twenty-first birthday anniversary young Lindsay already had some experience in the logging business in partnership with his brother-in-law John Tompkins. The firm was named Lindsay & Tompkins and existed for four years.

In the fall of 1856, the year he was thirty years old,he came west, and with his savings and what had been entrusted to him, secured about seven thousand dollars worth of lands through land warrants in the Black River Falls (Wisconsin) country.

In March, 1861, Mr. Lindsay located permanently at Davenport, Iowa, and his Black river timber was logged and rafted to Davenport, where it was sawed into lumber by the thousand at the mills at that place. He had formed a partnership with E. Harris, of Queensberry, New York, the understanding being - as above referred to - that Mr. Lindsay was to come west and look about and take an interest in whatever looked most favorable. The absolute trust of his partner in Mr. lindsay's judgment seems to have colored his subsequent career. He had not only his own interests to further but also had absolutely in his keeping the interests of another. This tended to make him conservative, and he has always beena a conservative man. This conservatism, however, should not be misjudged, for he has ever had an agressive and enthusiastic confidence in the future values of timber lands.

Later in 1861 Mr. Lindsay secured a lease of the Renwick mill in Davenport. Shortly afterward John B. Phelps bought Mr. Harris' interest and the firm became Lindsay & Phelps, and it has so continued - barring its incorporation in 1890 - for nearly fifty years. In 1866 Lindsay & Phelps built a mill at Davenport. It started with a circular saw; a gang saw was added in 1867, at that time the only gang mill in this section of the country; and later, in 1880, a band mill was added and other necessary machinery for a more modern plant. The mill at Davenport continued in operation until the close of the season of 1904 - a period of thirty-nine years. The corporation of Lindsay & Phelps Company is still being maintained, the present officers being J. E. Lindsay, president; R. E. Lindsay, vice president; Fred Wyman, secretary and treasurer; and George F. Lindsay, assistant secretary and treasurer. John B. Phelps, Mr. Lindsay's long time partner, died in July, 1900.

Mr. Lindsay's confidence in pine timber was of the broader kind, and as early as 1882, with his close friend and associate, C. R. Ainsworth, of Moline, Illinois, he personally located the first holdings of the Lindsay Land & Lumber Company in Arkansas. Perhaps it may be due to Mr. Lindsay and Mr. Ainsworth that they be called the pioneer northern lumbermen in Arkansas, and surely they were among the earliest to purchase timber lands in that section. The company's first officers were J. E. Lindsay, president; C. R. Ainsworth, vice president; J. B. Phelps, secretary; William Renwick, treasurer. The late Hon. D. N. Richardson, a newspaper man and close associate in those early days of investment in the south, asked Mr. Lindsay in conversation one day, "Is there a chance for an outsider to put some money in your southern timber company, Mr. Lindsay?" "Not for you, a newspaper man," was the reply, "for it takes long patience and years of constant outgo of money to work out a proposition of this kind, and you how are accustomed to annual dividends would lack the 'sand' to stay with such a proposition." Without hesitancy Mr. Richardson replied, "We have the sand and only ask you to make the opportunity." Mr. Richardson went in and up to the time of his death that quality of sand first shown was ever apparent.

Resulting from Mr. Richardson's enthusiasm later came the Richardson Land & Timber Company, with D. N. Richardson as its first president. The present officers are J. J. Richardson, president; Fred Wyman, vice president; and M. N. Richardson, secretary and treasurer. The directors are J. E. Lindsay, Rebecca Renwick, J. J. Richardson, Fred Wyman and J. B. Richardson. This company made purchases in little River, Dalls, Sevier and Howard counties, Arkansas, and later extended its operations into Mississippi. At one time its holdings amounted to one hundred and fifty thousand acres in Arkansas. At this time it owns nearly fifty thousand acres in Mississippi.

In 1884 when Renwick, Shaw and Crossett went north to Cloquet, Minnesota, and organized the Cloquet Lumber Company with George S. Shaw as its manager, Mr. Lindsay and Mr. Phelps became members of that company, Mr. Lindsay now being a director.

The big trees of the Pacific coast next attracted Lindsay & Phelps' attention and, associated with Weyerhaeuser & Denkmann and the Richardson interests, they organized the Sound Timber Company on December 23, 1899. The officers are J. E. Lindsay, president; Fred C. Denkmann, vice president; George F. Lindsay, secretary and treasurer; and with F. Weyerhaeuser, Joe R. Lane and M. N. Richardson from its board of directors. This company owns something over fifty thousand acres of fir, cedar and spruce in Skagit, Snohomish, Whatcom and king counties, Washington, and Lane county, Oregon.

Interest was again directed to the south in 1901, and Mr. Lindsay, with Weyerhaeuser & Denkmann, the Laird, Norton Company, Dimock, Gould & Company, and the Richardson interests, formed the Southland Lumber Company on May 4 of that year, for the purchase of timber lands in Louisiana. Its officers are: F. E. Weyerhaeuser, president; F. C. Denkmann, vice president; George F. Lindsay, secretary and treasurer; Fred Wyman, assistant secretary and treasurer. The directors are F. Weyerhaeuser, E. P. Denkmann, H. A. Ainsworth, J. E. Lindsay, F. S. Bell, F. H. Thatcher, Fred C. Denkmann, Calvin Ainsworth, Joe R. Lane, M. N. Richardson and Fred Wyman. The present holdings are in southwestern Louisiana and approximate one hundred and thirty thousand acres of longleaf yellow pine.

The Southern Lumber Company of Arkansas was organized January 28, 1902, by Weyerhaeuser & Denkmann, Dimock, Gould & Company, the Richardson interests and J. E. Lindsay, purchasing the holdings of the Lindsay Land & Lumber Company, previously referred to, and has at the present time a sawmill in active operation at Warren, Arkansas, and seventy thousand acres of shortleaf yellow pine. The officers are F. E. Weyerhaeuser, president; E. P. Denkmann, vice president; George F. Lindsay, secretary; Fred Wyman, treasurer; N. H. Clapp, Jr., assistant secretary and treasurer and general manager. The directors are F. Weyerhaeuser, C. H. Ainsworth, J. E. Lindsay, F. E. Weyerhueuser, E. P. Denkmann, Calvin Ainsworth, Joe R. Lane, Fred Wyman and M. N. Richardson.

Mr. Lindsay is still active in business, keeping in touch with the affairs of the companies with which he is connected, and spending several hours daily at his office. Local enterprises have always received the strong support of Lindsay & Phelps, and Mr. Phelps was before his death, and Mr. Lindsay now is, identified with many local organizations.
Mr. Lindsay married in 1858 Mary Helen Phelps at Schroon River, Essex county, New York. Three children were born of this union; Ralph E. Lindsay; Mrs. Fred Wyman, who died in 1905; and George F. Lindsay. Mr. and Mrs. Lindsay have two grandchildren, Edith Helen Wyman and Edwin Blair Lindsay.

Mr. Lindsay has always manifested a deep interest in the religious and charitable institutions of the community. He is identified with the Baptist church, having been one of its most loyal supporters for many years. His interest in young men was evidenced by his liberal contribution to the Young Men's Christian Association.

The results of environment are very apparent in a man of Mr. Lindsay's character. Long years of association with kindly mother nature as exemplified in her vast forests have intensified in him those ingerent qualities which are characteristic of the grandest forest growth. Their physical qualities find their counterpart in his mentality - strength of purpose, uprightness of character and those other admirable traits which are typified by the giants of the forest and th stalwarts among men. He has a minute knowledge of lumber and logs which always he is glad to share generously with his friends and of which they partake with the utmost confidence in his judgment, notably in his home city, the center of a great lumber interest, where and in the adjoining cities of Rock Island and Moline between the members of the Lindsay & Phelps Lumber Company and all competitive lumber and logging interests in the three cities Mr. Lindsay's thorough knowledge and sterling character are well known and highly honored.

While of a modest and retiring disposition, one's first impression of Mr. Lindsay, unconsciously conveyed by him, is that of personal dignity; yet he is always approachable. He is never hasty in judgment and his decisions are always the result of intelligent deliberation. Perhaps the only voluntary exercise of his innate qualities that needs restraint is his ready generosity, his practical sympathy for misfortune. In the sense that makes the characteristic a strongly commendable one, he is one of the most conspicuous figures in the lumber industry of the middle west.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer


Cathrina Lage

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

Mrs. Cathrina Lage, who resides at No. 1445 West Third street, is the widow of Jochem Lage, who was one of the early German settlers of Scott county, and she also belonged to a family who came here among the pioneers. She was born in Holstein, Germany, August 1, 1843, a daughter of Claus and Anna Weise. Her father died when she was very young and her mother married again. In 1852 the family emigrated to America and, landing at New Orleans, ascended the Mississippi river to Davenport. Her stepfather remained for a time in Scott county and then removed to Clinton county, Iowa, where he bought a tract of farm land upon which he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives.

Mrs. Lage grew to womanhood in Iowa and became very conversant with agricultural methods, for when she came here in the early days there was much to be done and a large share of the work fell to the daughters of a family. On the 26th of June, 1864, she gave her hand in marriage to Jochem Lage. He was born in Holstein, Germany, October 24, 1838, and was about nine years of age when in 1847 his parents, Henry and Anna Lage sailed for America. Choosing the southern route, they landed at New Orleans, whence they took a boat up the Mississippi river to St. Louis, Missouri. They remained in that city a few months and then came to Davenport. In Cleona township, Scott county, Henry Lage, bought eighty acres of prairie land, on which he built a small house and made other improvements, living there until his death in 1858.

Jochem Lage continued to live with his parents, assisting his father in the farm work and later assuming some of the responsibilty in the operation of the homestead, until he married. Then he and his wife started housekeeping upon eighty acres of land adjoining the parental place, which had been given to him by his father. He resided there eight years and then he removed to Davenport, where he engaged in the real-estate business, to which he devoted his attention profitably for a number of years. He died January 24, 1892, having witnessed in the forty odd years he had been a resident of Scott county the great development of its agricultural possibilities and participated in the growth of Davenport from villagehood to a flourishing commercial center.

Mrs.Lage became the mother of nine children, as follows: Henry, who is married and lives in Richmond, Missouri; Laura, who makes her home with her mother; Emma, who is the widow of Amiel Fick and has three children, Laura and the twins, Harry and Hattie; Otto and Louisa, both at home; Clara, the wife of Joseph Nadler, of Moline, Illinois; Hugo, at home; and two who died in infancy. Having experienced many of the hardships of pioneer life in her youth, Mrs. Lage derives added pleasure from the comforts she now enjoys, and from the knowledge that her several children are well established in their respective positions in life. In politics Mr. Lage was a democrat.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer


Rudolph Lange

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

There are a few men who pass from this life that leave behind them among their friends a sense of such uniform sorrow as did Rudolph Lange when he was called to the home beyond. He had for many years been a resident of Davenport and his good qualities had endeared him to all with whom he came in contact. He was born in Kassel, Germany, March 7, 1832, and acquired his education in that country, where the period of his minority was spent. He was a young man of twenty-two years when in 1854 he bade adieu to the fatherland and sailed for the United States, landing at New York, where he remained for a brief period. He then started westward, going first to Pittsburg, where he continued for a time, and later proceeding ro Fort Madison, Iowa. Soon afterward he removed to the vicinity of Burlington and while there residing was united in marriage to Miss Caroline Schlapp, thus laying the foundation for a happy home life. While there residing he established and conducted a grocery store until the latter part of the '60s, when he removed to St. Louis, where he remained until 1870. In the latter year he came to Davenport and soon acquired the interests of Henry Knoepper and George H. Schlapp in the Arsenal Brewery in East Davenport. About 1872 the firm of Koehler & Lange was formed and the operation of this brewery was continued by the firm until they sold out in 1896 to the Davenport Malting Company. The business was carefully conducted along systematic lines and the enterprise, diligence and close application of Mr. Lange contributed in large measure to their success.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Lange were born three children: Emil, who is now living in Los Angeles, California; Adelia, the wife of Dr. H. Pape; and Ella, at home. Mr. Lange erected a fine residence on Fulton avenue, which is occupied by his widow and daughter, and he delighted to dispense its hospitality to his many friends. He was quiet and unostentatious in manner, but those who came within the circle of his friendship found him a genial, courteous and considerate gentleman, while in his own home he exemplified the spirit of an ideal husband and father. He held membership in Damon Lodge, No. 10, K. P., and also in the East Davenport Turner Society. He never courted favor and probably never weighed a single act of his life in the scale of public policy but he had high standing among the business men of the city, and at his death which occurred December 18, 1897, left no enemies. His political allegiance was given to the democracy and he was a public-spirited man in that he endorsed and supported all measures and movements for the general good.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer


James T. Lane

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

Among the older members of the Davenport bar who won well merited fame and distinction during the thirty-five years of his practice in the courts of Iowa was James T. Lane. While the practice of law was his real life work, his strong and forceful nature, broad minded and intelligent appreciation of the real values of life brought him prominently before the people in other connections and he became widely known in fraternal, political, social and church circles. He was born March 16, 1830, at Freeport, Pennsylvania. His father was proprietor of a general store and the son assisted him as clerk behind the counter and in other ways through the period of vacation and after school hours until seventeen years of age, the remainder of his time being given to the acquirement of an education. He was ambitious, however, to enjoy better educational privileges than had here been afforded him, and with an elder brother he entered the university at Lewisburg, at that time a Baptist institution of note. It required six days to make the journey from Freeport to Lewisburg by stage coach and canal, for such was the primitive method of travel at that time. Mr. Lane was a close and apt student, a lover of books, quick and able in debate even in his school days. He eagerly embraced the advantages which were offered him and acquired a knowledge that constituted an excellent foundation upon which to build the success of his later life. Following his graduation he returned home and, with the desire to make the legal profession his life work, spent two years in Butler, Pennsylvania, in reading law under the direction of General Purviance afterward attorney general for the state.

Admitted to the bar, Mr. Lane came to Davenport, February 23, 1854. He was a passenger on the first through train from Chicago to Rock Island, which was then the western terminus of the road. At once he opened an office and for thirty-five years continued in active practice here. In the spring of 1855, he returned to Butler, where he married Annie J. Reed, whom he brought as his bride to Davenport. They became the parents of a son and daughter. Joe R. Lane, the former, is a prominent member of the Davenport bar, while the latter was Mrs. Iles. With the added stimulus of having a home to provide for, he bent every energy toward building up a good practice and recognized that this must be done by making his professional labor of value to his clients. He was very careful and ernest in the preparation of cases, was always accurate in the application of a legal principle and in debate was strong, forceful and logical. In 1856 he was appointed city attorney, which position he filled for a year. Later other political honors were conferred upon him. On the 4th of September, 1861, he was nominated by the republicans of the county for representative to the state legislature and was elected. He served during 1867 and 1868 as county attorney and the following year became a member of the school board, his incumbency continuing through 1871. He also took a keen interest in education and was the champion of every measure which he believed beneficial to the interests of the schools. In 1873 the republican state convention nominated him as one of the eleven presidential electors and in the campaign that followed he took an active part, as he always did, for he was ever an active, loyal and stalwart supporter of the principles in which he believed. In the same year President Grant nominated him for the position of United States district attorney for Iowa, the duties of the position being at that time much more onerous and important than at the present. During his term of office he was called in to the federal courts all over the state and his reputation was heightened by the able service which he rendered and the comprehensive knowledge of law which he displayed. As United States district attorney he gained valuable experience and wide acquaintance that proved of inestimable benefit to him as he continued in the practice of his profession.

The law partnership of Davison & Lane was formed in April, 1873, and continued until November 1, 1889, when it was dissolved by the withdrawal of Mr. Lane on account of impaired health. He died March 19, 1890, in Denver, Colorado, and throughout Davenport there swept a feeling of intense regret and sorrow. He had practiced law in this city for more than a generation. He was a man of notable mental and physical strength and utilized his time and his talents not only for the promotion of his individual interests but for the benefit of the general public as well. He was recognized as one of the leading republicans in the state and his opinions always carried weight in the councils of his party. As an orator he displayed an eloquence that never failed to leave its impress upon his hearers, his speech frequently thrilling those who listened to him, his ability in this direction proving a potent force in his addresses to the jury. He was always kind and courteous to his professional brethren, considerate of a witness and deferential to the court, believing that the dignity of the law should ever be sustained.

For over thirty years Mr. Lane was connected with nearly all of the organizations which had for their object the improvement or betterment of Davenport. To mention these in detail would be to give a history of the state. Suffice it to say that all who are familiar with the annals of the state know how important and valuable a part he took in its upbuilding. He was a prominent and helpful member of the Baptist church and an enthusiastic, exemplary Mason, becoming one of the earliest members of Davenport Lodge, A. F. & A. M. When Fraternal Lodge was organized he became one of its charter members and was elected its first worshipful master. He was also a member of Davenport Chapter, No. 16, R. A. M., and a Sir Knight of St. Simon of Cyrene Commandery, K. T., of which he was past commander. He was also made deputy grand commander of the Iowa Commandery and acted as a delegate from this state to the triennial conclave at San Fransisco in 1883. All these varied interests brought him a large acquiantance and it is said that he knew personally every prominent man in Iowa. When death claimed him he was mourned as a great lawyer, as a distinguished political leader, as an exemplary brother of the Masonic fraternity and more than all as a good man. He manifested the qualities that have come to be known as those of a practical idealist, for, while he labored to secure the adoption of measures and projects which represented the highest standards, he knew how to use the means at hand for the accomplishment of this purpose. His integrity in no relation of life was ever called into question and the simple weight of his character and ability carried him into most important and prominent relations.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer


George W. Leamer

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

George W. Leamer, long connected with agricultural interests, is now living retired in Davenport but is still the owner of eighty acres of fine farm land in LeClaire township. His life of well directed energy and thrift has brought him a creditable measure of success, while his fidelity to upright principles has gained him the respect of his fellowmen.

Mr. Leamer was born in Cambria county, Pennsylvania, February 14, 1830, and has, therefore, passed the eightieth milestone on life's journey. His parents, George and Mary (Seibers) Leamer, were both natives of Pennsylvania and of German descent. The father was a farmer by occupation and both he and his wife spent their entire lives in the Keystone state. Their son, George W. Leamer, pursued his education in the schools of his native county and through the periods of vacation worked with his father on the farm and continued to aid in the cultivation of the fields of the old homestead until he came to the middle west in 1856, settling in LeClaire township, Scott county. More than half a century, has since come and gone and he has witnessed many changes as this district has become thickly settled and all of the improvements and advantages of the older east have been introduced. He was influenced to choose this county as a place of residence from the fact that he had two older brothers living here, one of whom bought the farm for Mr. Leamer. After cultivating his land for a year Mr. Leamer returned to Pennsylvania and was married in 1857. Immediately afterward he started back with his bride, whom he had wedded on the 4th of June. She bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Jane Smiley and was a daughter of William and Jane Smiley, of Pennsylvania. Arriving in Scott county, they began their domestic life upon a farm which was a tract of eighty acres, only partially improved. Mr. Leamer continued to cultivate that farm until 1886 and in the interim purchased other land, for he prospered as the years went by and in the course of time acquired a comfortable competence that now enables him to enjoy a well earned rest. His life has been one of diligence and industry and his success has come as the merited reward for earnest, honest labor.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Leamer were born four children. William A., who lives upon the old homestead, married Anna Shellenberger and they have five children: Herbert, Lillian, Mildred, Cecil and Duane. Emma is the widow of George Reid. Jennie died at the age of one year. Bertha J. is the wife of L. W. McCowen of Davenport, by whom she has three children: Ethel, Russell and Eugene. Mr. and Mrs. Leamer celebrated their golden wedding in June, 1907.

Mr. Leamer has served as a school director and has always been a champion of the cause of public education. He has been a lifelong member of the Baptist church, in which he has served as deacon and has ever been loyal to its teachings. His life has been a busy, useful and honorable one and his sterling qualities have gained him the respect and good will of all who know him.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer


Frank J. Peto

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

The name of Frank J. Peto deserves place on the list of Davenport's honored dead because of the fact that he was a reliable and progressive business man, long connected with the wholesale and retail saddlery trade of this city. The growth and development of a community does not depend upon a single individual or even upon a few but upon the aggregate efforts of the many, and by his diligence, determination and intelligent effort Frank J. Peto not only won success for himself but also contributed his full share to the work of general advancement. He resided for many years at No. 424 West Eighth street. He was one of Davenport's native sons, his parents, Frank J. and Louisa (Dames) Peto, having been early citizens here. In fact the father was one of the first settlers of the town and aided in promoting its early progress. At the usual age Frank J. Peto was sent to the public schools and after putting aside his text-books joined his father in business and was associated with him up to the time of his death. They conducted a wholesale and retail saddlery enterprise and the excellence of their product insured them a ready sale on the market. Moreover, their business methods were such as would bear close investigation and scrutiny, the firm enjoying high reputation for reliability.

On the 18th of March, 1901, Mr. Peto was united in marriage to Miss Laura Wiese, a daughter of Fred and Christiana (Schnock) Wiese, who, as the name indicates, were of German lineage. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Peto was blessed with two children, Alice E. and Camilla. Mr. Peto was popular and prominent in local fraternal organizations, holding membership with the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of America and the I. C. M. A. He was a man of even temperament, of social disposition, of genial and kindly nature and at all times was considerate of the rights and privileges of others. These qualities won him high regard and in Davenport, the city of his residence, he had a circle of friends almost coextensive with the circle of his acquaintances.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer


Mathias Proudfoot

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

Mathias Proudfoot was for many years identified with the agricultural interests of Scott county but is now living retired, having in former years accumulated a good farming property of two hundred and forty acres, lying in Lincoln, Le Claire and Davenport townships. He is a native of Pennsylvania, born in Cambria county, May 24, 1834, and is second in order of birth in a family of seven children, whose parents were Richard J. and Rebecca Proudfoot. In 1861 the father removed with his family, numbering wife and several children, to Scott county and located a farm in Lincoln township, this tract now being owned by our subject. The father erected a good house and outbuildings on the place and in due time had his fields in a cultivable condition, each year harvesting good crops. The farm continued to be his home throughout his remaining years. Both parents lived to be eighty years old and were highly respected in the community. Three of their children died in infancy, while the others are: Richard, who has also departed this life; Mathias, of this review; Eliza, the wife of Thomas Douglass and a resident of Wyoming, Iowa; and Emeline, the wife of J. W. Baker.

Mathias Proudfoot was reared in the Keystone state and acquired his education in the public schools. In his early manhood he learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed for a time in the east. In 1861, when a young man of twenty-six years, he came with his parents to Scott county and became identified with farming. His father purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land, which constitutes a portion of his present acreage, and after this came into his possession he added one hundred and twenty acres more, so that he now owns altogether two hundred and forty acres, located in Lincoln, LeClaire and Davenport townships. For many years he gave his entrie time to the operation of this land and has become a very successful man. He recently put aside business cares and makes his home with his sister Mrs. Baker. However, he still owns his land, which he rents.

Mr. Proudfoot was married in May, 1884, to Miss Eliza Walker, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Walker, of Scott county. Her death occurred ten years later. Mr. Proudfoot votes with the republican party but is not active in public affairs. He has led a busy, energetic and useful life and his labors have been rewarded by a competency that enables him to withdraw from active business.

Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer


Washington Freeman Peck

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

Written by: CHARLES HICKLEN PRESTON

Those best acquainted with the early history of medicine in Iowa will agree that no one man has done more to advance the standing of the profession in the state than Dr. W. F. Peck. Setting a high mark for individual attainment, making his own name as a surgeon second to none in the west, he was at the same time far-seeing and active in the furtherance of measures for the collective advancement of his calling. He did the effective organizing work and largely influenced the legislation which gave the university its medical department; he was among the foremost in procuring the medical license law and board of medical examiners; his counsels live in the state board of health, State Medical Society and State Orphans'Home; and Iowa' efficient railroad surgical service, in which work this state was a pioneer, was organized by him.

Washington Freeman Peck was born in Galen, Wayne county, New York, January 22, 1841. His parents, William H. and Alida (Hawes) Peck, both natives of the Empire state, were, the former of English and Scotch, the latter of Dutch descent. His great-grandfather, Nathan Peck, was a soldier of the Revolutionary war and a descendant of Deacon William Peck, a London merchant who, with his wife and son Jeremiah, came to this country on the ship Hector in company with Governor Eaton, John Davenport and other stanch Puritans, arriving in Boston in the spring of 1637. The next year Deacon William and his associates founded the New Haven colony, and Jeremiah became the first teacher in the New Haven collegiate school.

Mr. Peck, though lacking the advantages of a general education, beyond that to be obtained in the common schools, was a tireless student in the school of life. By keenly observing and diligently applying the lessons there learned he accomplished results beyond those achieved by most college graduates, and the degree of A. M. later conferred on him was exceptionally well earned.

He was graduated from Bellevue Hospital Medical College in the spring of 1863, with the highest honors of his class, being the first student to matriculate in this the first medical college in the land to successfully combine clinical with didactic teaching. During his three years at medical college he secured, together with lectures from the foremost professional celebrities of the day, three months' service each in the hospitals on Blackwell's and Randall's islands and eighteen months of invaluable experience in the wards of Bellevue. Also, just before graduating, he availed himself of a trip as ship surgeon to Havana and back, and at the close of his Bellevue service entered Lincoln General Hospital, Washington, D. C., as a contract surgeon. Here he did good work and made valuable acquaintances until, weakened by an attack of pneumonia, he was compelled to resign from the very arduous duties of the place in May, 1864. While treating a neglected gunshot wound during his service in Washington he had the misfortune to infect his right index finger, resulting in permanent anchylosis. A'less courageous man might have been disheartened; but he was thankful to escape without the threatened loss of his hand, and the crippled finger learned to do excellent work.

Returning to the parental home at Clyde in his native county, he allowed himself only a few weeks for recuperation, then set his face to the west and arrived at Rock Island, June 9, 1864, in his twenty-fourth year and ready to work. This place he had chosen as his prospective field of labor, but after inspecting both towns he was better pleased with Davenport across the river. Here he fitted up an office on Third street near Brady, making a sleeping room of his "sanctum" and taking board at the old "Burtis." By July 2d, as his journal records, he had taken part in a consultation; had joined the "Hawkeye Club;" was about to affiliate with the local Masons, having taken the Master's degree as a student; and, was able to write: "My office business up to date has paid my expenses." Thus promptly did he become identified with the community his name was to honor.

Though barely out of his teens when he began hospital work and study in the great city his jounal of that period plainly reveals the traits which marked his character through life. Fully realizing that right success means persistent hard work, together with habits conservative of bodily health and strength, he chose "Success" as his motto and, yielding to no indulgence, losing no opportunity and sparing no effort, he bent all his energies to attain it. Working early and late in the wards and at study, that he might find time for clinics and such lectures as he selected to attend; never avoiding but rather courting work; planning, even scheming, for additional tasks; eager for the additional knowledge and training they would afford; perfecting his hand on every occasion in minor surgical manipulations; always ready to assist in, or himself to conduct an operation; losing no opportunity to make post mortem examinations and carefully to note their impressive lessons, he reaped much fuller returns from his student years than if, mostly retiring, or allowing himself to be pushed aside, he had done only the work needed to obtain his diploma.

Keenly alive to the stirring news and events of the day, both on the field and in the halls of congress, Dr. Peck's deepest interest was still in medical affairs and medical men. Self-assured but unassuming, he made good use of his almost daily association with the foremost lecturers and surgeons of the land. Such men as J. R. Wood, the Motts and the Flints; Hamilton, Sayre, Parker and Smith; professor Silliman, of Yale, and Drs. Gross and Pancoast, of Philadelphia, took an especial interest in the bright, energetic youth, and he suffered no needless reticence to deprive him of the full advantage of his association with them. He did not neglect social duties, however, exchanged frequent letters with mother, sister and brother; visited relatives and friends in the city; heard a sermon when he could; enjoyed a play now and then, and indulged rarely in a friendly game of whist.

His student days over and a successful career as a surgeon opening up brightly before him in the west, Dr. Peck returned to his native state at the end of his first year of practice and was united in marriage, September 18, 1865, to Miss Maria Purdy, of Butler, Wayne county, New York, who became his ever efficient helper thereafter to the close of his life, and who, with one daughter, Mrs. Henry Vollmer, of Davenport, survives him. Another daughter and an only son died in early youth.

In 1866 Dr. Peck was made secretary of the Scott County Medical Society, became its president a few years later, and in 1876 was elected to the presidency of the State Medical Society, thus rapidly advancing to the front rank of his profession. He became an active member of the American Medical Association, served as its vice president and was honored with the chairmanship of its surgical section, being also chosen a member of the American Surgical Association, an organization whose membership is limited to one hundred.

The story of Dr. Peck's surgical and educational work was well and concisely told in an article prepared for the "Bigraphical History and Portrait Gallery of Scott County, Iowa," 1895, by the late Dr. W. D. Middleton, his first student, his life-long friend and and associate, and his worthy successor as dean of the medical faculty of the State University of Iowa. Dr. Middleton writes:

"To the educational work of the profession Dr. Peck at once addressed himself with the ardor of an enthusiast, and to him the state of Iowa is indebted for the medical department of its state University an institution which reflects credit on its founder and upon the great state by which it is fostered and supported. In 1868 he conceived the idea of building up a medical college in Iowa which would afford facilities for the first-class education of young men desiring to enter the medical profession, and in order that the institution might be established upon a permanent basis, he determined to make it a department of the State University at Iowa City. He first laid his plans before Judge John F. Dillon, now of New York, then a distinguished citizen of Davenport, and sucured his hearty cooperation. Then, in June of 1869, a comparatively unknown young man, he presented himself before the trustees of the university and proposed the creation of a medical department. He came before the board unheralded but full of the subject with which he had to deal, enthusiastic in his expectations and eloquent in his appeals for liberal treatment of his profession by the officials of what should be a university in fact as well as in name. Surprising as it may seem he carried the board with him, and the preliminary steps were taken toward the establishment of the medical school. in those days, however, the university was poor, and from the day it was founded the medical department was in financial straits. An organization was not effected, or at least perfected, until 1870, and this was accomplished in the face of difficulties of the most discouraging and perplexing kind. When the organization was finally completed Dr. Peck was made professor of surgery, and became dean of the faculty and the executive head of the department of medicine. Then came the struggle to secure the needed assistance from the state Legislature, to overcome hostility engendered by professional rivalry, and to carry on at the same time a work which would compel recognition and approval of the project. At another city in the state a medical college had been established at an earlier date, calling itself a department of the State University and with an ambition to be recognized as such. The charter of the university, however, precluded such recognition of an institution not located at Iowa City, and the plan proposed by Dr. Peck was the only feasible proposition for connecting a medical course with the university course. Nevertheless new antagonisms and sectional jealousies were aroused to such an extent that at times the advancement of the project seemed almost hopeless. Year after year the struggle continued, and the indomitable will power, the high courage and ceaseless effort of Dr. Peck contributed more than anything else to final success. Supported by a loyal and competent faculty he made the medical department an institution which commanded the respect and admiration of all those who were interested in the general upbuilding of the university, and by and by the opposition to it ceased, appropriations for its maintenance were freely made, and its founders realized the full fruition of their hopes."

In this connection the Hon. John P. Irish, then one of the University board of trustees, now naval officer of customs at the port of San Francisco, who was an active co-worker in the project of the new school, and without whose efficient aid it would probably have failed, writes:

"The real founder of the medical department of the State University of Iowa was Dr. Peck. The suggestion of the foundation came from myself, * * * I made of its (the University's) interests a specialty in the legislature and secured for it the first appropriation that it ever received from the state treasurey."

In working for this appropriation Mr. Irish had in view, as he says, the establishing of both a legal and a medical department of the university, rightly reasoning that through them he would enlist for it the sympathy and support of most of the influential men of the state.

"Something over fifty thousand dollars" was voted and the law department, under Chancellor Hammond, was started in 1868. Later "the first concrete action" was taken toward the establishing of a medical department when Dr. Peck, Mr. Irish and Professor Gustavus Hinrichs met in Mr. Irish's office to discuss the project. The outlook was not an encouraging one. There was no money in sight, a faculty had to be secured who would serve without pay, and the determined opposition of the Keokuk Medical School had to be met. It proved a strong opposition, both in the legislature and throughout the state, and "the early years (of the department) were passed in storm and tempest." But Dr. Peck was a fighter, and he was ably seconded. From the legislature of 1870 Mr. Irish secured a second appropriation of sixty-three thousand dollars, and by the most strenuous effort prevented the passage of a proviso that none of it should be used for the medical department. The victory was won; but, as Mr. Irish declares: "There would have been no medical school but for Dr. Peck. It was founded in his professional zeal, his enormous capacity for work, his command of the art of persuasion, his sleepless vigilance, his right intutions and his spirit of scrifice."

To quote further from Dr. Middleton's article:

"Soon after he came to Davenport Dr. Peck was made local surgeon of the Rock Island Railroad Company. At that time the company had no organized medical department, nor is it probable that any such department was connected with a western railroad, if indeed any of the railway corporations of the country had progressed to that extent. The work which came to Dr. Peck, however, as local railway surgeon was well done; so well that it commended him to the great and constantly growing corporation, and in 1875 he was designated to act as surgeon-in-chief of the company and to him was assigned the task of organizing its medical and surgical department. To this task he addressed himself with an energy and tenacity of purpose which precluded the possibility of failure, evincing an executive ability of as high character as his professional attainments, and the result was the organization of a medical department of the Rock Island Railway Company, which is today pronounced by competent judges the best and most efficient organization of its kind in the United States. As chief of this department Dr. Peck had on his surgical staff during the later years of his life, nearly one hundred surgeons located at different points on the lines of the railway company, and his personal attention was given to a vast amount of surgical work. His labors in this field gained for him wide distinction, and when he summed up the results of his experience and observation in a paper read before the American Medical Association, while acting as chairman of the surgical section of the association, his paper was published in all the leading medical journals of America and also in the pricipal medical journals of Europe, translated in numerous foreign languages.

"With the extension of his practice, with surgery as his specialty, the character, of the operations successfully performed by Dr. Peck attracted attention and made him famous not only among his professional brethren but among the people at large. As early as 1882 he had successfully performed the operation for the relief of appendicitis. * * * * * It is not known that Dr. Peck (whose modesty was a distinguishing characteristic) ever made any claim of originality of method in this operation, but the statement of other eminent physicians is to the effect that the operation was the first of the kind performed in the United States. * * * * In 1886 he went abroad to find that his fame had preceded him, and that physicians, scientists and public officials in the old world were by no means unfamiliar with his name and achievements. At this time he spent six months in study and travel on the continent, and in England, Scotland and Ireland; and in 1890 he again went abroad as a delegate to the International Medical Congress held in Berlin, and to the British Medical Association, which met at Birmingham."

Of Mercy Hospital, Davenport, and Mercy Hospital, Iowa City, Dr. Peck was the honored founder and trusted adviser. Having secured for both the efficient management of the Sisters of Mercy, he served till his death at the head of their medical boards. Of the former institution which, almost equally with the university medical department, stands as a monument to his professional philanthropic zeal, the story is an interesting one. Almost at once on coming to Davenport he was impressed by the need of some better provision for the sick and the injured, especially among the friendless poor, and he enlisted the aid of prominent citizens - among them John L. Davies and C. S. Watkins, members of the county board of supervisors, in a movement to secure the establishment of a city hospital. They were successful to the extent that the board authorized the purchase of a building located at Eighth and Brown streets to be used for the purpose; but this action was later rescinded. Dr. Peck then sought to induce Father Borlando, head of a Catholic institution at Georgetown, D. C., to establish a Sisters hospital here. Borlando came, but, after due consideration, decided against the project. Soon after, however, the Sisters of Mercy from De Witt proposed to open an asylum here for the insane paupers, then kept in the poor house. Dr. Peck saw his opportunity and offered his gratuitous services, with those of an associate medical board, for the conducting of a general hospital, thus securing for the city an institution which has now no superior of its kind in the west. At his suggestion it was located on the ground purchased in 1867 by Father Pelamourgues, of blessed memory, for the Sisters of The Immaculate Conception.

Mr. Watkins, who was one of Dr. Peck's earliest patrons and friends, in Davenport, and who contributes in substance, the above account of the origin of Mercy Hospital, gives also an interesting picture of the man as he knew him. His general conversation and all his energies, writes Mr. Watkins, were in the line of his profession. He took, or seemed to take, little interest in politics, business or religion. Without egotism he loved appreciation, but was most concerned to win self-approval. Easy to be imposed on in money matters and giving little thought to personal profit, "I have never in all my experience," says Mr. Watkins, "met with any one so completely and practically a friend of humanity as Dr. Peck." He would pick up deformed children on the streets, advise their parents as to what might be done for them, and care for the little unfortunates, often regardless of recompense of expense. The sick and suffering poor, if worthy, always found in him a friend; he would give them his best services freely and seek to lighten their afflictions even when overburdened with troubles of his own. Although by contact with the world he developed a husk, as it were, which was not always so easily opened, he remained, to all who knew him in those earlier days, "the genial, kind-hearted and truly affectionate Dr. Peck."

In 1888, over-taxed by the demands of his large practice and his extensive charitable and educational work, his health began to fail, and by the summer of 1891 he was obliged to retire from active life. Made professor emeritus of surgery on his resignation from the medical department he had founded, it was hoped he might be long spared to give it his counsel; but, his health continuing to fail, he died at his home in Davenport, December 12, 1891.

The writer of this sketch spent some months in Dr. Peck's office when first starting in practice in Davenport, assisting him in caring for the first sufferers of the cholera epidemic of 1873 and enjoyed his friendship thereafter to the close of his life. Having known him thus intimately I do not find the warm words in his praise above quoted to be in any way too strong - he deserved them all. He had his enemies, it is true, and they found in him a good fighter. Determined and courageous but always fair, having engaged in a just cause he spared no one who stood in his way to "success." Though giving little time or thought to general business matters he yet knew how to bind to him loyal friends who cared for his interests as their own. His power to attract and interest young men especially was phenomenal, and under his inspiring leadership many adopted and followed up the laborious paths which conduct to honor and success in the medical profession. Though always ready with his best services and sympathy for the afflicted he held it right to charge roundly for good work, where there was abilitly to pay, and he generally made sure of his fees in advance, especially from those belonging to the profligate or dead-beat class. With little use for new remedies as a rule, giving comparatively little medicine of any kind, indeed, prescribing only when the indications were plain, and then, for the most part; single drugs, he inspired a confidence and cheer in his patients which were better than medicine, and which made his very presence in the sickroom curative. He was sometimes accused by those less careful and less courageous than himself, of cutting ruthlessly for the sake of cutting. No one, I think, could have been less deserving of this accusation. His first care was always to consider well both the need for and the probable outcome of an operation. These decided in its favor he went ahead fearlessly and did his best. But he would often decided against operations which others less considerate and less skilled in diagnosis were quite ready to undertake. Born to, and loving his profession, he strongly opposed any lowering of its ethical standards, and gave the hand of fellowship only to those he esteemed worthy. Too busy to be a great reader (save from the page of living pathology ever open before him), even the medical books and journals - the best of which he kept always about him - would often accumulate unread on his table. Genial socially, loved and respected by all classes, there was yet a certain reserve, amounting almost to hauteur, about him which prevented his becoming the hail-fellow well-met so common in the medical profession. Of medium height and build, his decided step and voice, sharp but kindly blue eye, and commanding presence proclaimed him the leader in any assembly he attended, and he was seldom absent from and important council of his fellows. His short fifty years were crowded full of achievement. May Iowa be blessed with many more such workers.


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