Princeton Iowa

Compiled by
Georgeann McClure  & Sue Rekkas

Dennis J. D.


Davenport Democrat
Nov. 16, 1936

Dennis, Head of Princeton Bank, dies of Illness 

       Job, Dodge Dennis, 88, president of the Farmers Savings bank at Princeton, Ia., and a resident of Scott county since 1856 died at his home in Princeton, at 5:40 p. m. Sunday, following an illness of two months duration.  He was a former member of the Princeton school board and on the town council.  As a young man he was employed on the Mississsippi river as a lumber raftsman. 
     “On Sept. 12, 1875, he was married to Miss Caroline Metzger in Le Claire.
     “He was known ass one of the largest river shippers in the area at that time.
       “Surviving are his wife, five daughters, Bertha A. of Davenport: Mrs. Charles R. Rink of Los Angeles, Calif. Mae Dennis, a missionary, stationed in Mainput, India, and Lettie Dennis of Des Moines. Three sons, Job Jr. Mr Pleasnat, Ia. And Walter and Paul of Princeton.”

Dennis Walter 

     Services for Walter E.Dennis, 77, Princeton, will be 3 p. m. Tuesday in the McGinnis chapel, Bettendorf. Burial will be in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Princeton.
       Mr. Dennis died Saturday in veteran’s Hospital, Iowa City, Iowa.
       Mr. Dennis, a riverboat pilot was chosen to bring the Draft Naval Reserve Subchaser from St. Louis, Mo. to Burlington, Iowa.
       He was born in Princeton.
       Mr. Dennis is survived by a sister, Mrs. Julia A. Horn, Seal Beach, Calif. And a brother Paul B. Princeton.

Drennan James   

Drennan Tom

Published in the Burlington Saturday Evening Post 
March 26, 1921- 1922


Oct 8, 1921 

     The boats were all made ready for service as soon as possible and the Galena to which I was assigned left Galena on April 1, 1857, that being the date on which the boats commenced to carry the U. S. Mail.
     Our Captain this year was Wm. H. Laughton; my partner was Tom Drennen; the clerk was named Cockran and Jim Hunt the first engineer.


Follmer  James         
Raft Pilot  

Hanks Frank

The Davenport Democrat & Leader
July 11, 1923
Pg 2 

Hold services For Resident of Princeton

Aged Mail Carrier and Former River Man, is Buried Today 

  Princeton, Ia, July 11-funeral services for Franks Hants, for 23 years a rural mail carrier here, will be held at Cordova this afternoon.  Mr. Hants died at his home at 3 o’clock Monday afternoon.  He was 61 years old.
Mr. Hants was born in Albany, Ill. May1, 1862.  At the age of 15 he secured employment on the river and on Nov. 18, 1896 he married Miss Annie G. Hull at Princeton.  For five years he was a railroad expressman, and later resumed river work as a clerk and pilot.  He was a charter member of the local Mystic Workers lodge and a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Deceased is survived by his wife, three brothers, Davis W. and John L. of Davenport, and Len A. of Tacoma, Washington, and by two sisters Mrs. Annie Metzger of Davenport, and Mrs. Hattie Smith of Quincy Ill.

Hanks S. S


Captain S. S. Hanks first cousin to Abraham Lincoln, Mississippi river pilot for forty years, and resident of Princeton for the greater part of his life, died at 4:50 this morning at the home of his son S. L. Hanks 1512 Grand Avenue Davenport by reason of infirmities of old age.  He was about 95 years of age. 

The father of Captain Hanks was a brother to Nancy Hanks, mother of Abraham Lincoln, who the captain had met on several occasions during the terms of his stay in the White House.  Captanks was born inHanks was born in Kentucky not far from where Lincoln was born and in his boyhood days lived in Creston County coming to Illinois when he was 12 years old.

His interest in steamboat traffic dates back to this seventeenth year when he took his first ride on a Mississippi steamer, thereafter being taken on as an apprentice pilot by Captain smith of “the Iron City ”.  Before he was 21 years he had earned his pilot license and except for years spent during the gold rush spent the remainder of his life on the Mississippi until his advanced age necessitated his retirement.
Capt. S.S. Hanks

  At one time he became a pilot of the Gypsy, a circus boat that took trips up and down the river.  One of his brothers S. B. Hanks was also well known as a river pilot.   He lived to be 91 years of age, dying four years ago.  Mrs. Hanks died six years ago.

  Surviving are four sons D. W. Hanks, S. L. Hanks of Davenport and Mrs. Wilbur Smith of Quincy Illinois .  Four grandchildren and two great grandchildren also survive.

Lancaster George  

The Davenport Democrat & Leader
Nov. 27, 1936

Pg. 11


Princeton Man Dies at age 86, in Buhl, Idaho  

  George Lancaster, 86, a resident of Princeton for the past 60 years and father of Harvey Lancaster of Davenport, died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Harvey Stichter, in Buhl Idaho, Thursday.  He had been visiting with his daughter for the past two months.

  He was born in Ohio , Dec. 24, 1849 and in 1874 he married Miss Julia Yohn in Princeton .  For 39 years he had worked as an engineer on the river barges and rafts.

  The body will arrive in Davenport Saturday morning and will be taken to the McGinnis funeral home, thence to Princeton cemetery where short burial services will be held at 1:30 Sunday.

  Surviving are two daughters, Mrs. Stichter of Buhl, Idaho ; Mrs. Louis Morey of Le Claire; his son, Harvey of Davenport, and a sister, Mrs. Mary Coble of Columbus , Neb.   His wife preceded him in death in 1934.  

Davenport & Leader
Nov. 30, 1936
Pg. 11


  Lancaster Funeral 

  The body of George Lancaster  was taken from the McGinnis funeral home at 1 p, m. Sunday to the cemetery at Princeton for services and burial.  Mrs. Harvey Stichter, daughter of Mr. Lancaster officiated.
Bearers were John Hire, John Suiter, Frank Norton, Elmer Carber, Charlie Shaw and Ed Pietscher.

Maines P. M.  

Davenport Democrat 
Feb 22, 1931

Boats of The Pioneer Days On Upper River
Sinking of Craft and Loss of Life Not Uncommon In Olden Days 

Capt. Walter Blair

  At this time the little Jennie Gilcrest, towing two light barges was doing her best to help but the situation.  
One evening she left Davenport after 8 o’clock with two barges partially loaded and several passengers.  When a 
short distance above the government bridge she had a break down on one engine, and before P. M. Maines her 
engineer had time to even disconnect it so he could even use one engine, he drifted down, her upper works caught 
the girder, and she turned over and sank with some loss of life. 
Martin Peter H.

Nov 22
The DailyTimes
Taps Sounded for Civil War Vet
P. H. Martin, Pioneer resident of Princeton, answers Final Summon
Princeton Ia. Nov. 22
     P. H. Martin, one of Princeton’s oldest and most respected citizens passed away at his home here at 4: 25 o’clock 
yesterday afternoon from complications.  Mr. Martin had been in failing health for the past two years.  He was 
born in Dayton, Ohio, Aug. 19, 1840 and was 77 years, 3 months and 2 days old at the time of his de4athj.  He came 
to Iowa and to Princeton in 1853 and with the exception of a few years spent in Nebraska, had since made this his 
home.  He was for many years an engineer on the river boats, but for the past 15 years had been retired from 
active service.  He was a civil war veteran, having served with the 20th Iowa regiment, and was a charter member 
of the Princeton Odd Fellow’s, No. 234,
  Mr. Martin was married in 1866 to Miss Emma Ulam, who survives him together with two children, Harry of Taylor 
Ridge, Ill., and Mrs. Lydia Chapman, had been with him for the last four months.  Funeral services will be held 
tomorrow afternoon at 2 o’clock at the home.  Rev. L F. Chamberlin, assisted by Rev M. Krotzer will officiate and 
burial will be in Oakridge cemetery, Princeton. 


Nannah Russ  

Pope Robert

Capt/ Agent

Biographical History and Portrait Gallery of Scott County .
1895: American Biographical Publishing Co

Robert Harper Pope  

The subject of this sketch was born in Broome County , New York , May 2, 1821.  His parents were Esquire S. and Sally (Angel) Pope, who were also natives of that state.  Robert received a common school education, and after the death of his father in 1842 he came to Scott County and settled in Pleasant Valley Township on a farm.  In 1851 he embarked in the mercantile business in Pleasant Valley , but only remained there about six months.  He then moved to Le Claire and opened another store, carrying on a successful business in that city for two years.  At the end of that time he moved to Princeton , where he erected a large stone and brink hotel, which was the pride of the village at that time, at a cost of five thousand dollars.  The first story, or ground floor, he used for his store, and the two upper stories for a hotel.  He continued in the mercantile business until 1862, when he became the owner of a most advantageous landing for boats, which was known as Pinnacle Point.  This was the only safe place for boats to land during low water in Princeton .  Mr. Pope established two warehouses there, and was appointed steamboat agent for all the lines running on the river.  The old original line was the Keokuk & St. Paul Packet Line, then the White Collar Line and then the Diamond Joe Line.  For more then forty years he acted as agent for various steamboat companies, though he was not actively engaged in the warehouse business until the year above mentioned.  In 1852 he was one of the trustees appointed to lay out the town of Princeton , and from that time to the present he has always taken an active interest in town affairs.

  Mr. Pope was united in marriage to Miss Angeline H., daughter of Bishop and Hannah (Comstock) Stebbins, on February 25, 1852.  To them were born six children: Alvaretta married Henry Garber, Adelbert died August 27, 1856, Clarence, also deceased, Frank married Miss Fannie James, Fred is single and makes his home with his father, Winfield S. married Miss Ida Beckel.  Mrs. Pope died in March of 1885, and the following December Mr. Pope was United in marriage to Miss Mattie G., daughter of Moses N. and Jane R. (Nichols) Griswold, who were natives of New York.  They emigrated to Michigan in 1833, where they lived until 1859, when they moved to Hannibal , Missouri .  Mr. Griswold was a soldier in the late war, receiving injuries from which he died.  Mrs. Griswold is still living and makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. Pope.

   Mr. Pope has served as an alderman in the Princeton City Council; also as township trustee.  In political matters he affiliates with the Democratic party.  He is one of the old and highly respected citizens of Princeton .  He is a man of pleasing manners, his cordiality being one of his marked characteristics.  He is liberal and always willing to spend his time, influence and money to promote the interest of his town or the public in general.  


1870 Princeton City Federal Census transcribed by Paul Pruden  

Pope Robert 49 M W Boat Agent NY
Pope Angeline 41 F W Keeps House . . Ohio . .
Pope Alvetta 17 F W At Home . . Iowa .
Pope Frank H. 10 M W . . . Iowa
Pope Frede 6 M W . . . Iowa
Pope Scott 3 M W . . . Iowa  


1860 Princeton township Scott County Federal Census

Pope Robert H 37 M . Steam Boat Captain New York .
Pope Angeline 32 F . . . . Conneticut . .
Pope Alveretta 7 F . . . . Iowa .
Pope Frank 1 M . . . . Iowa



Rook Charles                             


Rook Charles
The Daily Times
May 11, 1938

 Charles Wesley Rook, 82, a retired rivermen, died at his home in Princeton at 1:30 p. m. Tuesday following an illness of nine months.

  Mr. Rook was born in Princeton and lived there during his entire life.  For many years he worked on various river steamers and was also actively engaged in logging and rafting activities on the Mississippi .  He was unmarried.

  Surviving are two brothers, Capt. John Rook, a former riverboat captain, and Frank W. Rook both of Princeton .

  The body was removed to the McGinnis funeral home and will be returned to the family home in Princeton where services will be held at 10:20 a. m. Friday.  Burial will be in Princeton cemetery.


Davenport Democrat and Leader
May 15, 1938

The Rook Funeral


  Funeral services for Charles W. Rook, who died Tuesday, were held in the family home in Princeton at 10:30 a. m. Friday with Rev. A. W. gable officiating.  Finley McGinnis sang.  Burial was in Princeton cemetery.

  Bearers were A. S. Allen, John Wilson, B. L. Morgan, William Brown, William Kevern and Thomas O’Toole.


Rook John


The Democrat and Leader, Davenport , Iowa
March 27, 1917

Capt. Rook, Colorful figure of Stagecoach and
Steamboat Days, Dies at the Age of 98

Capt. John Rook, 98, Princeton, a colorful figure in the stagecoach era, died at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Jess Lego, 2333 North Eighth street, Clinton, Iowa after a month’s illness.

Capt. Rook was born on the family homestead along the Wapsi, Sept, 13, 1848, and moved to Princeton with his parents in 1854.  He resided there the rest of his life.

At the age of 17 he drove a stagecoach carrying mail from Maquoketa to Osage, Ia.   He gave up the route after a few years and began his river career as a laborer on a lumber raft boat plying the Mississippi river from Davenport to Beef Slough, Minn.  He was made a mate on two rafts and later was promoted to a full fledged river captain.

Capt John Rook 

  He retired from the river service 40 years ago after having served as a pilot for 35 years Until recently he had operated a small dairy farm at his home in Princeton.

  He married Lena Ebert June 2, 1875, at Lyons , Ia. And the couple celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary preceding the death of Mrs. Rook on Nov. 20, 1942.

  Surviving are two sons, John N. and Charles F. Rook, Princeton: two daughters, Mrs. Logo of Clinton and Mrs. Frank Rook, Davenport ; five grandchildren and five great grandchildren.  A son and a daughter preceded him in death.

  Funeral services will be held in the McGinnis funeral home at 2 p.m. Saturday, with the Rev. R. Bruce West officiating.  Burial will be in Oakridge cemetery, Princeton .                                                                                         Sue Rekkas

The Daily Times
March 27, 1947
Pg. 2
Capt. John Rook, Mississippi River Pilot for Many years, dies at 98;
Funeral services are Set Saturday.

“Lacking any new excitement which Capt. Rook was constantly seeking., he abandoned the stage coach run and like other adventure-loving young men of his time, he left Iowa to seek gold in the west.  Upon reaching Texas he decided the country was too rough for him and he returned to Iowa and to the stage coach run.”

Capt. John Rook
Rook Funeral
The Daily Times
March 29, 1947

The funeral of Capt. John Rook, 98, was held at 2 p. m. today at McGinnis funeral home, the Rev. R. Bruce West officiating, R. M. Barclay was at the organ.

  Pallbearers were Capt. John F. Suiter, Henry W. Boll, Allen Elliott, Zack Suiter, James Hirl and Homer Brunner.  Burial was in Oakridge cemetery Princeton .   (Sue Rekkas researcher)


Shaw Daniel


Times Democrat
Jan 30, 1967
Pg. 15

Ex-Riverboat Captain’s Rites Are Planned  

  Daniel Webster Shaw Sr. 71, Le Claire, a Mississippi riverboat captain for 38 years, died late Saturday night at Osteopathic Hospital , davenport, after an extended illness.

  Services will be 1 p. m. Tuesday in McGinnis chapel Bettendorf , with burial in Glendale Cemetery , Le Claire.  Visitation will be at the chapel after 3 p. m. today.

  After his retirement from riverboating in 1952, Capt. Shaw was employed as an inspector for Pioneer Central Division, the Bendix Corp. until 1960.

  He was born in Princeton , Iowa , Dec. 11, 1895.  he was a World War 1 veteran and a member of the Buffalo Bill Post, American legion, Le Claire.

  His second marriage was to Laura Lake of Muscatine, in 1956.

  Besides his wife, Capt. Shaw is survived by daughters, Mrs. Jack (Jean) Lyons, Le Claire; Mrs. Harry (Wilma) Causey; Muscatine , and Mrs. Larry (Betty) Farren, Santa Monica , Calif. And a son, Daniel W. Jr. Sands Clara, Calif; 10 grandchildren; one great grandchild; sisters, Mrs. Ray (Pearl) Carlock, Moline; Mrs. Andrew (Ada) Wieland, Rock Island, and Mrs. Ray (Anna) Wilson Spokane, Wash; and brothers, Benjamin, of Princeton, and Arthur, of Wheatland.  

Shaw Henry A. (Dell)  

The Democrat & Leader
April 7, 1947
Pg. 9

   Henry Adelbert Shaw, 90, a life resident of Princeton and at one time a river captain on the Mississippi , died in St. Luke’s hospital at 6:15 a. m. Sunday after a week’s illness.  

  Funeral services will be held in the McGinnis funeral home at 3:45 p. m. Wednesday with the Rev. Fred E. Motskus officiating.  Burial will be in Oakridge Cemetery , Princeton .

  The son of William and Elizabeth Shaw, he was born May 29, 1866; received his education in the schools of Princeton, and was married to Julia M. Nay, Nov. 23, 1880, in Rock Island .  She died Jan. 15, 1941.

  Surviving are five sons, Howard, Charles a.m. and Benjamin H., all of Princeton, Art W., Eldridge and Daniel W., Le Claire; three daughters, Mrs. Anna Wilson, Spokane, Wash., Mrs. Ada Wieland, Rock Island and Mrs. Pearl Carlock, Moline; two sisters, Mrs. Mabel Slichter, McCausland and Mrs. Maggie Chandler, Mr. Pleasant; 23 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.  


The Daily Times
April 7, 1947
Pg. 6


H. Adelbert Shaw, 90, veteran Mississippi River Pilot, Is Dead  

  Henry Adelbert “Dell” Shaw, 90, veteran Mississippi river captain, and pilot, and lifelong resident of Princeton , died at 6:15 a. m.  Sunday in St. Lukes hospital after a week’s illness.

  Mr. Shaw was born in Princeton May 29, 1856, and married Julie Ney in Rock Island , Nov 23, 1880.  She died Jan 15, 1941,

  Survivors are five sons, Howard, Charles A., and Benjamin H. all of Princeton, Art W., Eldridge, and Daniel W. Shaw, Le Claire, three daughters, Mrs. Anna Wilson, Spokane, Wash., Mrs. Ada Wieland, Rock Island, and Mrs. Pearl Carlock, Moline, two sisters, Mrs. Mabel Stichter, McCausland, and Mrs. Maggie Chandler, Mr. Pleasant; 23 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

  The body was removed to McGinnis funeral home, where services will be held at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, the Rev. Fred E. Motzkuks, pastor of Princeton Lutheran Church, officiating.  Burial will be in Oakridge Cemetery , Princeton .  

The Daily Times
April 10,1947
Pg. 2

“Pallbearers, all grandsons of the descendent; were Marvin, Harold D., Arthur and Ben Shaw, Jr., Bob Phillips and Edward Harmon.  

Shaw  William       
Boat Watchman  .         .         

Taylor John 

City of Princeton, Scott, IA 1860 Federal Census 
Taylor John 27 M . Engineer . 100 New York

Glenwood Cemetery, Le Claire, Iowa

  John Taylor
1836 - 1917



Thompson Stephen       


Walker John  

Princeton Census 1870  

Walker John      49    Ferryman     


Davenport Democrat and Leader
Oct. 13, 1933


John L. Walker, Once Princeton Resident, Dead
Dies at Home Here Thursday Following Five Weeks’ Illness  

   John Lincoln Walker, 66, of 2123 Bridge Ave. , died at his home at 4:20 a. m. Thursday following an illness of five weeks’ duration, the result of a heart attack.

  Born Oct. 14, 1867, in Princeton , he was educated in schools there.  He was married on May 25, 1897, to Miss Emma Woomert in Princeton .  He served for many years as an engineer on raft, packet, and excursion boats between St. Lois and St. Paul .  His father, John W. Walker, owned the ferry boat which operated between Princeton and Cordova.

  In 1913 Mr. Walker became an engineer for the Crescent macaroni company, which position he has held since that time.

  His wife preceded him in death ten years.  Surviving are two sons, Earl of Davenport, and John 11 at home; three daughters, Mrs. L. L. Potts, Miss Hettie Walker, and Miss Lola Walker, all of Davenport; three sisters, Mrs. Quisenberry of Le Claire, and Mrs. Catherine Henry of Maplewood, Mo; and two grandchildren.

  The body was taken to the Hill and Fredricks funeral home, and will be removed to St. John’s Methodist church at 1 o’clock Sunday afternoon.  Funeral services will be held there at 2:30 o’clock Sunday.  Internment will be made in Oakdale cemetery.  

Sue Rekkas

Walker William R.

The Daily Times 
Jan. 29, 1924
Pg. 6

William R, Walker, former steamboat engineer on boats plying the Mississippi river between the tri-cities and Clinton, and more recently interested in the Sanitex Cleaning & Drying Co. of East Moline, died at his home, 413 Fifty Third street, Moline, about noon yesterday.  His death terminated a long illness.

  Mr. Walker lived in Princeton, Ia., until 1907, when he moved to Davenport and after living here 13 years, moved to Moline.  He was born September 28, 1859, in Princeton and received his education in the schools there and on September 5, 1988 married Kate H. Neumann.

  For a long time he was employed by the Streckfus Steamboat Co. as an engineer and made many trips between Davenport and Clinton in passenger and freight work.  After moving to Moline, he entered the cleaning and dying business with his son, Carl Walker, and held an interest in this company at the time of his death.

  Those who survive are his wife: three children, Harold L of Davenport, and Carl L. of East Moline and Mrs. J. A. Kinnander of East Moline.  One son was killed in France during the World War. Surviving also are one grandchild; a brother, John L. of Davenport: four sisters, Mrs. Malvina Kirby of Le Claire; Mrs. Kate Henry of Le Claire Mrs. Jodie Williams of Council Bluffs and Mrs. J. H. Qutsenbery of Portland Ore.

  Mr. Walker was a member of Cedar Camp No. 27, Modern Woodmen of America; East Moline lodge, No. 969, A. F. & A. M., and Zal Grotto of Moline,.

  The body will be moved to Hill & Fredericks chapel in Davenport today.  Funeral services will be held there Thursday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock and burial will be in Oakdale cemetery.  The A. F. & A. M. lodge of East Moline will have charge of services at the chapel and Rev. C. K. Gillum, pastor of the First Christian church, Davenport; will officiate at the grave.

Sue Rekkas


                                              Photo McClure



May the waters that took you away, bring you back to me.