Scott County IAGenWeb
What's in a Name??
From Elaine Rathmann
February 22, 1898
What's in a Name?
College Avenue.-A thoroughfare situated in the Ac. C. Fulton East Davenport addition to the city of Davenport ad running in a northerly and southerly direction from the old-time River road to LeClaire, (now Front street) originally to Fulton avenue, covering a distance of over 1,400 feet. The street was later extended from Fulton ave. to Locust street, making the avenue at present over nine blocks in length with a width of eighty feet. The avenue takes its name from the Mt. Ida Female College, which, in the year of its platting, was situated between Third and Fourth streets, now Third an Fourth avenues, and between Bridge avenue and the thoroughfare which is the subject of this article. The college is yet extant, being at present the property of A. J. Preston, who still resides there. The plat of the A. C. Fulton East Davenport addition was filed with Recorder Hiram Price, by A. C. Fulton as incorporator on April 25, 1855. The avenue is beautifully paved and is one of the picturesque thoroughfares in the city. Along the lower half of its length it is thronged with elegant residences among which might be specially mentioned the old Shields property, now the A. Burdick residence, Dr. J. R. Kulp's, Dr. Chas. M. Robertson's, J. E. Lindsay's, J. H. Whitaker's, Wells A. Bemis', John F. Dow's and A. J. Preston's residences,-all of them properly to be classed among the architectural embellishments of the city. The Avenue has a magnificent sweep, in its lower 500 feet towards the river which makes it one of the most desirable promenade streets in the city.
March 4, 1898
What's in a Name?
Davie street.-a thoroughfare situated on block west of Division street in West Davenport and running in a northerly and southerly direction. The street takes its name from John C. Davie, a notary public employed at the time of the platting of the Cook and Sargent's Second addition, in the bank owned and operated by the incorporators. The thoroughfare immediately west of Davie street is similarly called Howell street, after Henry S. Howell, an attaché of the pioneer banking house of the city.
May 19, 1909
Bloody Hollow's Historic Scrap
When Captain W. L. Clark of Buffalo was in the city Tuesday, he was asked if he could answer the question that was asked in the Monday Democrat, as to how "Bloody Hollow," the break in the hill running back behind Schuetzen park, got its name.* "That was some 75 years ago," said Captain Clark, "I was a boy of 13, and had lived here a couple of years, when in 1835 a man named Franks owned the claim near the McManus property, and two brothers named Buck, known as bullies and very quarrelsome, jumped a part of it, and built a little log cabin up the hollow a way with many threats of what they would do if molested. They often went to Captain Stich's saloon on Front street just below Scott, where they had many fights with any one with whom they could pick a quarrel. "One day they and Franks met at Stich's and the biggest of the Bucks picked a quarrel with Franks about the claim, and Franks, to the surprise of all gave him a good thrashing. "The next day Franks went up the hollow for his cow, passing near the Buck's cabin, and the two Bucks attacked him. Franks had in his hand a good sized hickory stick and used it with a will, breaking the arm of one of the Buck's and cutting a large gash in the other's head, knocking him down. The other one was cowed and they agreed then and there to settle the matter of the claim. "Dr. James Hall attended the Buck with the cut head and said that he bled like a stuck hog. Dr. Hall owned the adjoining claim to Franks'. The thrashing of the two cowed them and they soon went back to Galena, where they had come from. That is my recollection of the way Bloody Hollow got its name, though after the lapse of 75 years the dates may not be just correct."
*Bloody Hollow Rd. is now Waverly Rd.
Davenport Democrat and Leader
Tuesday, April 3, 1945
Names of Streets laid out in Davenport
More Than 100 Years Age Still Unchanged
By Paul Conway
Times and tastes may change but Davenport retains names of several streets selected by Antoine LeClaire and his associates when the original town was laid out in 1835 and when LeClaire platted what was referred to in the old days as a reserved adjoining the original town on the east. The original town was in the area extending from the river north to Seventh street and bounded by Harrison street on the east and Warren street on the west.
At the time the town was laid out it was the custom to choose names of famous soldiers for the new streets and this was the case in Davenport. In fact, two of the city's parks, Lafayette and Washington, were designated as public squares when the original town, made up of 36 blocks, was platted, and the same two public parks bear the same names today.
Those planning the new town chose names for seven north and south streets. The eastern boundary street was designated as Ditch street, probably because of a ravine which it bordered, but in 1842 the name was changed to Harrison in honor of William Henry Harrison, here of Tippecanoe and a veteran of the wars of 1812 and 1832.
Ripley street was named for another soldier who fought in the same wars. General Winfield Scott's name was prominent in the minds of the little band of pioneers and it was fitting that Scott street should have been named for him. General Scott in 1832 negotiated the Black Hawk treaty in the region of what is now Farnam and LeClaire streets at about Fifth street. A cholera epidemic was raging in old Ft. Armstrong and for that reason the negotiations were carried on in Iowa territory rather than at the fort.
Gaines street was named for another general whose work made possible the Black Hawk purchase by which Indian tribes relinquished title to about six million acres of land on the west bank of the Mississippi river. Brown and Warren streets bear the name of army generals of that period.
Street 100 Feet WideThe only north and south street in the original town not bearing the name of a military personage is Western avenue. That was the principal street of the town and it marked the half way point between the western and eastern limits. Western avenue was 100 feet wide. It was designed to become a market place and the town planners saw that aim materialize within a few years.
In the 1850'2 and 60's Western avenue between Fourth and Fifth street was a busy place. A market house, which included a number of roofed stalls, was 40 feet wide and 150 feet long and products of gardens and farms were sold direct to consumers by the growers. One part of the market house sheltered equipment of the volunteer fire department and that section of the building was equipped with a tower and a fire bell. In 1873 the market house burned and the fire destroyed equipment of the fire department valued at $4,700. The following year a market was established at the northeast corner of what is now Fifth and Main streets, but it was used only a short time.
When Antoine LeClaire laid out an addition just east of the original town he chose Maine as the first street east of Harrison street. When or why the final E was dropped from the name is obscure.
The easternmost street in LeClaire's reserve was designated as Farnam street. Russell Farnam was LeClaire's partner in the Indian fur trade. LeClaire named one street for himself, Iowa in honor of what was to become a state and he recognized a sister community by calling what is now Pershing avenue Rock Island street. The name was changed to Pershing Avenue a short time after World War I. Perry street was named for Oliver Hazard Perry, U. S. navy here, who gained fame on Lake Erie fighting the British in the war of 1812, and Brady street was named after a general who served in the Revolutionary war. Rock Island and Ditch streets were the only avenues in the new town to be changed in name later.
As the town grew streets were given names other than those of military heroes. Several were named for presidents, others were designated by names of varieties of trees and that part of Davenport which was once the town of Rockingham has names of flowers for many of its streets. College avenue was so named because of Mt. Ida college and Bridge avenue was appropriately named since it led to the original wooden bridge spanning the Mississippi here. Spring street was so called because it was near a spring and Mound street came by that name because near it was a mound of peculiar shape later to be excavated in the interests of science.
East and west streets in the original town of Davenport named for Col. George Davenport were designated for the most part by names of Indian tribes. Front street, the street which lay closest to the river and Top street, marking the north limits of the town at Seventh street, were the only exceptions. Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth streets were named in the order listed, Sac, Fox, Ottawa, Chippewa and Pottawattamie, but the Indian names were dropped later and the streets were designated numerically in the order in which they extended from the river northward.
Speaking of roads...my mom-in-law said that Buttermilk Rd. (now Black Hawk Trail) got its name thusly: Back in the old days, farmers hauled their milk to market in wagons. In the spring after the rains, the road became a muddy morass of deep ruts. The farmers complained that by the time they got their milk to market it had turned to butter milk.----Elaine Rathmann
The Daily Times
December 28, 1898
What's in a Name?
Agnes Lane-being one of the smaller streets in our city, is situated two and one-half squares west of Marquette street in Northwest Davenport, or in more correct words, it is the fifth thoroughfare westward from Marquette. The lane is only one block long and is but slightly wider than an alley. It runs parallel to Marquette street from Prairie street to Locust, and in consequence is only one block long. When Harvey Sturdevant platted his original Map of Town Lots he caused that lane to be christened Agnes Lane, in honor of one of the members of his immediate family, over four decades ago. It has always borne that name, although not at all times open to traffic. Likewise is the lane one block west of the same christened "Maiden Lane" in honor of the same idol of the original platter of the addition to the city of Davenport. One of Mr. Sturdevant's sons is married to Coroner James McCortney's daughter-the oldest one-and now resides in Denver, Colorado.
January 7, 1898
What's in a Name?
Belle Avenue-A thoroughfare 60x*880 feet long, running in a northerly and southern direction on the extreme eastern limits of the city, in what is known as Witaker's first addition. Said street extends from the jersey Ridge road in a northwesterly direction from Walnut street, some 880 feet to Summit avenue, whence it ascends a hill to its northern terminus at Locust street. The plat of Whitaker's first addition was originally filed with the county recorder by J. H. Whitaker Dec. 6, 1873, and was replatted and resurveyed by Thomas Murray, the city engineer on October 19, 1877. This plat adjoins Robert Christie's (after whom an adjacent parallel street is named) second addition, and the Davison & True plat on the west. The street in question is named after one of the feminine members of the household of the incorporator. The name is very applicable since its site is distinctively beautiful and pretty ("belle" in French) overlooking the rapids of the river and the magnificent prospect of island and city and water from Moline to the government bridge.
March 1, 1898
What's in a Name?
Central Park Avenue-a thoroughfare situated on the north side of Central Park and running in an easterly and westerly direction from the Dubuque Road, or Dubuque street (Brady street extended) to the Harrison street extended or the Harrison street road. The street is about 1,100 feet in length and 40 feet in width. It was originally located in the Adam Noel Subdivision to the city of Davenport, being at that time known as sixth street and running in an easterly and westerly direction from the Dubuque to the Allen's Grove road (now Harrison street extended.) the plat of the Adam Noel subdivision was filed with county Recorder Hiram Price on April 30th, 1853, Adam Noel being the incorporator. On January 14th, 1864, all the property lying north of Fourth (now Lombard) street and south of Sixth street (now Central Park avenue) was vacated for public uses, and later became the leased property of the Scott County Fair and Exposition Company, and so remained until that company removed its fair grounds after an inactivity of some eight years to Northwest Davenport in 1890 when the property was converted into a park. The street takes its name from its location north of Central Park.
The Daily Times
November 22, 1900
New Street Names
Many Changes Ordered by the City Council
The Mid Month Session
The mid-month meeting of the city council of Davenport last evening was of considerable interest for the reason that an ordinance was adopted under suspension of the rules that will change the names of many of the streets of the city. Yesterday a man may have lived on East Front street and today, without having moved, been a resident on East Davenport street. This change was one of the many made by the ordinance presented by the ordinance committee last evening and adopted by the council. The reasons for the changes are that there are many duplicate street names in Davenport-or rather were-and these duplicate names were growing more confusing as the city increased in size. The reason for the change of the name of what was known as Front street beyond the tenderloin district to the name of East Davenport street is obvious. The people residing there were objecting to the name. They didn't want anything-not even a street name-in common with the district of mechanical pianos, hot tamale wagons and all night séances. Some of the other changes that were made by the ordinance adopted last evening were:
Oak street, on the west line of the city becomes Fairmount.
Water street in Reesy's subdivision becomes Bush street.
Spring street in Ead's subdivision becomes Hickory street.
William Tell street in Reesy's subdivision becomes Mary street.
Eastern avenue in Ead's subdivision becomes Concord street.
Scott street in Ead's subdivision becomes Indian Road.
The name of that part of the road extending north from Telegraph Road through Crane's subdivision and westerly to Schuetzen park becomes Sharon street.
The name of the road running through Glaspell's subdivision becomes Belmont street.
Rockingham street from Second street to the Rock Island right of way becomes Pine street.
Centennial street from the south line of Davenport and the Rockingham Road to the Mississippi river and Dewey street in Park Lawn second addition becomes Howell street.
Sycamore and Border streets become Division street.
Laurel street in Mitchell's fourth addition becomes Mitchell street.
Spruce street in Mitchell's third addition becomes Sturdevant street.
Hennepin street in Mitchell's third addition becomes Fillmore street.
Nineteenth street in Mitchell's fourth addition becomes Pleasant street.
DeSoto street in Mitchell's second and third additions becomes Taylor street.
Cat**** street in Mitchell's fourth addition, Twentieth street in Burrow's subdivision, and Maxwell street in Maxwell and Sadoris' subdivision of Armil's first addition becomes High street.
Gaston street in Mitchell's fourth addition, Twenty-first street in Burrow's subdivision becomes Lombard street.
Dubuque road northeast of Central Park to the city limits becomes Brady street.
Brady street in Grant's subdivision becomes Sheridan street.
Seventh street between Tremont and Cambria becomes Case street.
Mills street in Tichenor's second and third additions and Greene street in Greene's first addition and Hirschel's first addition becomes Myrtle street.
Clarence street in Churchill's addition and Walnut street in East Davenport proper becomes Fulton avenue.
Black Hawk street in Fulton's second addition becomes Chippewa street.
Henry street in Slaymaker's subdivision becomes Lombard street.
Jerome street in Lambrite's addition becomes Denison street.
O'Connor street in Slaymaker's subdivision and Dover street in Central Park addition become Frank street.
O'Conner street in Slaymaker's subdivision and Dover street in Central Park addition become Frank street.
Euclid avenue in Park Lawn addition becomes Davie street.
Glaspell street in Glaspell's addition becomes Oak street.
Ida avenue in Davis' subdivision and in Wiese' Grand Avenue addition becomes Carey street.
North Depot street in LeClaire's fifth and sixth addition becomes Federal street.
LePage street in LeClaire's ninth and 13th addition becomes Grand avenue.
Cleveland avenue in West Park addition and Chestnut
street in Parker's addition and hall's addition becomes Lincoln avenue.
The street extending from Telegraph road north along the east side of Hebbeln's addition becomes McManus street.
Naming New Streets
The ordinance adopted at the meeting last evening also contained the following as section two which explains many of the above changes without comment and provides for future streets:
"When any plat of any addition or subdivision is hereafter submitted to the city council for approval, the names of the streets in such additions or subdivisions shall correspond and be the same as the names of the streets of which they are extensions, or with which they are in line, before the same shall be approved by the city council." The ordinance also provides for the recording of the ordinance in the recorder's office in Scott county.
Sunday, January 11, 1970
THE STORY BEHIND ALL THOSE STREET NAMES
By Hortense Finch
Names of streets often reflect Davenport's history and development. The much traveled and soon-to-be widened Kimberly Road, for instance, was named after State Senator D. W. Kimberly who was really responsible for putting through the bill that authorized the construction of what was then considered a super-highway. This was accomplished in 1936.
"This is the best year I've had," he remarked at the time. "I got a grand-nephew named after me (son of Dr. and Mrs. Lester W. Kimberly, 1224 Coffelt Ave., Bettendorf) and a highway, too."
According to some realists, Sen. Kimberly was truly interested in having such a highway on what was then the very outskirts of the city, but he had another motive. Since he lived on Locust Street where traffic was heavy, he hoped the new road would relieve some of that congestion.
Of course, as was the fashion in most cities, many streets carry the names of such U. S. presidents as Adams, Garfield, Jackson, McKinley, Madison, Washington, Lincoln, and Hayes. However, some presidential names were also those of prominent citizens and it's hard to tell who was honored.
In LeClaire's original 38 block addition laid out in 1835, the town extended from the river north to Seventh Street. Main Street was the east boundary. About 1850, the present Western Avenue, a 100-foot-wide and principal thoroughfare, was a market place with stalls for produce. In the market house, the volunteer fire department headquartered. Ironically, the market house burned in 1873. Briefly, another market was set up on the corner of West Fifth and Main streets.
Davenport's own history is further revealed in the name of Bridge Avenue which connected with the original wooden bridge across the Mississippi. College Avenue honored Mount Ida school founded by visionary Easterners.
What is now the boulevard on Kirkwood was once the tracks for street cars. It is said that George Baker, engineer and mayor, suggested the beautification when the tracks were ripped up. Kirkwood had been known as "a roadway through the ravine." The 1909 records state: "Under the plan adopted by the city, a boulevard system has been laid out and is given the same attention as the parks. The portion completed is known as Kirkwood Boulevard. It will eventually connect McClellan Heights on the east with Fejervary Park on the west."
Schmidt Road, named after the owners of the area, near the present Credit Island, once ran through limestone quarries. Formerly, too, the street car tracks on this road led to what was then known as Suburban Island.
Rockingham aspired to becoming a metropolis. The founders felt that it was an excellent port directly opposite the mouth of the Rock River. Traffic on the river they were sure, would make the place grow. Because these early settlers were Easterners with English backgrounds, they probably used the river name "Rock" and added what would be typical in Britain.
Residents in West Davenport know about the pioneer settler of packet boat fame, Capt. Warner Lewis Clark who lived here in the 1850's. He was a close friend of Antoine LeClaire and of the Indians still in the territory.
Generals remembered in street names include General Winfield Scott, famous for negotiating the Black Hawk treaty of 1832 and hero of the Mexican American War. Brown and Warren were both Army generals. Oliver Hazard Perry, a Navy officer, distinguished himself in the War of 1812. Farragut is named after the admiral. Generals Harrison and Gaines are other examples. Probably, Col. George Davenport inspired the avenue's name.
During World War I, the "Government addition," was so named in west Davenport. It was built primarily for Arsenal employes who couldn't find housing.
Streets were called Birchwood, Pine, Cedar, Oak, Redwood, Linwood, Thornwood, Elmwood and Hazelwood to mention a few.
The Garden addition introduced such appropriate names as Pansy, Daisy, Magnolia and Sunflower.
Obviously, names of states were applied to streets as Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Nevada, Michigan, Ohio and Colorado.
Mayors of the city and other officials are in some cases immortalized in street names. After John H. Jebens (father of the present mayor) died in March, 1942, having served as mayor from 1938, what had been only a lane leading to a side track of the Rock Island railroad was named after him. James Davie served as mayor from 1865 to 1866 and Ernest Claussen, a lawyer, was in office in 1883 and from 1884-1889. Mitchell, who was mayor about 1839, had what is now called West Fifteenth Street, named after him.
Similarly, the last street in the west portion of the city then was called "John Fell Drive," for one-time alderman John Fell.
Other obvious sources for names include McClellan Boulevard named after the civil War general, George McClellan, who established his camp in that area of the city in 1861. Lorton Avenue is named after the family whose farm was located there. Glaspell, in the west end of the city, too was named after a distinguished family as was Thode Court. This source is almost endless.
Wars, of course, affect names. What was once Rock Island Street became Pershing Avenue when General John Pershing was at the height of his popularity.
Changing names was a common practice. Harrison was originally Ditch Street, a swampy, narrow west boundary of the town. Where the Scott County courthouse stands was once Boulevard Square. The present Fillmore was called Hennepin; Taylor, DeSota (sic); Washington, Ainsworth; Tanney, Ninth; Marshall, Tenth; Division, Border; Sturdevant, Alma; Myrtle, Green; and Kirkwood, Northern Avenue. The foot of Ripley was known as Brimstone Corner. Again, the list of changed street names is almost endless.
In east Davenport, it's easy to verify that Fulton Avenue is named after A. C. Fulton, who acquired large portions of land in that vicinity. Christie Street is named after Robert Christie, who in 1842 served on the city council. He also owned a sawmill in East Davenport in the 1850's. William H. Hildreth, in 1852, laid out the "small village of East Davenport" once called "Stubbs Eddy" because of the spring running through there. That explains Spring Street, too.
Equally easy to explain are places named because of natural conditions as Forest Road, Edgehill Terrace, Oak Lane, Mound Street, Lookout, Clay Street and Pine Acre.
But there are many names that even careful researching of records can't verify. Take the name of "Farnam." Davenport's history tells of Russell Farnam who was LeClaire's partner in fur trading and Farnam was the name LeClaire himself used in his original plat. Yet, later in the 1850's a Henry Farnam comes into prominence as being one instrumental in having a continuous railroad line built belonging to the Chicago and Rock Island line. Furthermore, this Farnam was one of the incorporators for the company that built the first bridge across the Mississippi.
Even those who are authorities on Davenport real estate developments are puzzled by names of such familiar streets as Brady. Antoine LeClaire himself named this main thoroughfare after General Hugh Brady, famous in the continental Army and popular hero of pioneer days.
Indian names LeClaire himself gave to streets were changed. However, traces of Indian occupation here remain in Iroquois, Chippewa, and Cheyenne. But most Indian street names were dropped as Sac and Fox when east-west thorough-fares were numerically named. LeClaire used the Indian spelling Ioway, now Iowa.
Particularly puzzling is such a name as Rusholme for a starter. Those interested need only turn to pages 158-159 in the Davenport telephone directory to begin their own exploration.
City officials interrogated for information simply say, "Developers just pull names out of a hat!" certainly this might be true in new areas as Cresthill, Royal Oaks, Canterbury Lane, and Candlelight as examples. Or, streets could be named after member of a developer's family as Lillie, Myrtle, or Marlo. But what's the origin of Dover Court or Wilke's Avenue? The name is the game.
March 9, 1898
What's in a Name?
Denison avenue-a thoroughfare situated in the Central Park addition to the city of Davenport, being the fifth street north of Locust and running in an easterly and westerly direction from Brady street to Rock Island street over a distance of 584 feet. The avenue is 60 feet in width and takes its name from Henry T. Denison and Athalinda V. Denison, the incorporators of the plat of the Central Park addition to the city of Davenport. The said plat was filed with Recorder Ferd Aschermann on June 1st, 1881, the above named parties qualifying as incorporators.
The avenue in question lies in the middle distance of the plat, with Rusholme street on the south and Dover Court street on the north. Its location is in what is called North Davenport.
January 12, 1898
What's in a Name?
Border street-a thoroughfare on the extreme north western limits of the city, running from a point 150 feet south of South street in a northerly direction to Locust street, which latter street was at the time of platting in 1855 was only 20 feet in width and a half mile in length, or thereabouts. At present it is a 40 foot thoroughfare rejoicing in a length of six and a half blocks. It is the seventeenth street west of Brady, and is situated in Sturdevant's Map of Town Lots, the same division of the city having been platted out in 1855 by Agnes Burd Mitchell, guardian for Harvey F. Sturdevant and Christina Ruth Sturdevant, minors and heirs at-law of Harvey Sturdevant, deceased, at the time. Jonathan Parker, later one of the mayors of this city, made the survey. The plat of the town lots was filed with the county recorder on September 29, 1855. The street takes its name from its geographical location, being situated on the border of the Sturdevant map of town lots!
and remains applicable at the present day-that street being the northwestern limit or border of the city. Alongside the street on the west, for the greater part of its length, lies the grounds of the Davenport Fair and Exposition company, more commonly known as the Fair Grounds.
Davenport Daily Times
January 7th, 1898
The Eclecticism of Our Compiler. Modified by a Complementary Article-Other "First Things" in the City Noticed, Because of the Interest Excited by These Articles.
Again does The Times desire to furbish data to the antiquarian, and therefore submits the following table in order to supply omissions which eventuated rather through eclectism than through any fault of the writer. Those of our readers who have already begun to preserve these columns will bear in mind that these paragraphs are strictly complementary, and not at all essential to the correctness of our chronology. The following is an extension of the obiter dicta:
First amendment to the charter of the city of Davenport-1850.
First collegiate class formed in Iowa college-1850. Population of Davenport this year, 1,848.
First sash, door and blind factory and saw mill opened in the city by Burnett, Gillett & Co., corner of Scott and Front streets. (The old Christ Mueller plant.) Capital $125,000. Employed 90 hands. Annual Manufacture amounts to $160,000. 1850.
First record of the number of acres entered in Scott county-Twenty-two thousand and forty-one acres in total. Plenty of prairie land for $1.25. 1850.
First popular subscription to boom the city, the county and their future, 1850. On Monday, April 5th, 1850, the citizens of the county subscribed $25,000 to assist the Rock Island & LaSalle railroad.
First postoffice established in Allen's Grove township, August, 1850. Geo. Frederick postmaster.
First president of the C. R. I. & P. railroad-the Judge James Grant was chosen April, 1851.
First flouring mill erected in East Davenport by Robert Christie, in 1851.
Banner year in Davenport in the building line, 1851. Over 345 houses built within the limits of the city, or what can practically be computed as one house for every working day of the year.
First German Lutheran church erected in the city, May 22, 1851.
First heavy rain storm or cloudburst in the history of the city, May 21, 1851. An immense amount of property destroyed. Loss about $8,000.
First postoffice in Hickory Grove township established at Amity P. O. Philip Baker, P. M., July, 1851.
First public hall in the city, "LeClaire's Hall," completed Sept. 1, 1853.
First issue of the Gazette as a tri-weekly newspaper, Aug. 1, 1853.
First record of the river being open at Christmas-On Dec. 21, 1853, the steamer Jenny Lind arrived from LeClaire and left the next day, the 22nd, for Galena, Ill., (north) with a heavy load of merchandise.
First popular vote upon the question of a bonus to be given a railroad company-On Thursday, July 7, 1853, a vote was taken for or against the city of Davenport subscribing $85,000 to aid the M. & M. Railway Co., which resulted in 242 for, and 1 against the proposition. Previously a vote had been taken for or against the county subscribing $50,000 for the present C. R. I & P. R. R. The result was 298 votes for and 10 against.
First bishop in Davenport, as also in Iowa, elected. Rt. Rev. Henry W. Lee, D. D., the party selected, June 1854.
First gas plant and company in the city organized, also Coke company, 1854.
First exclusive book and job printing office in the city established. Luse & Coles, proprietors, 1854.
First reception given to Col. Wm. Davenport in this city-which, by the way, is named after him-June 10th, 1854.
First Scott county fair, held under the auspices of the Scott county Agricultural Society, Oct. 4th, 1854. $400 given in premiums.
First visit of Chief executive of the nation to the city, ex president Millard Fillmore comes to Davenport, June 5th, 1854.
First public sale of lots in the city since it's corporation. On June 24, 1854, lots were sold on the bluffs in the west end of the city, totally unimproved, which brought from $150 to $290 per lot.
Transcribed by: Laura H. Rathmann