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Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Davenport, Scott County, Iowa.

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Davenport was founded on May 14, 1836 by Antoine Le Claire and was named for his friend George Davenport, a former English sailor who served in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812, served as a supplier Fort Armstrong, worked as a fur trader with the American Fur Company, and was appointed a quartermaster with the rank of colonel during the Black Hawk War.

The land was originally owned by the Sauk people, Meskwaki (Fox), and Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) Native American tribes. France laid claim to this territory as part of its New France and Illinois Country in the 18th century. After losing to Great Britain in the Seven Years' War, France ceded its territory east of the Mississippi River to the victor, but retained lands to the west.

In 1803 France sold its holdings in North America west of the Mississippi River to the United States under the Louisiana Purchase. Lieutenant Zebulon Pike was the first United States representative to officially visit the Upper Mississippi River area. On August 27, 1805, Pike camped on the present-day site of Davenport.

In 1832, a group of Sauk, Meskwaki, and Kickapoo people were defeated by the United States in the Black Hawk War. The United States government concluded the Black Hawk Purchase, sometimes called the Forty-Mile Strip or Scott's Purchase, by which the US acquired lands in what is now eastern Iowa. The purchase was made for $640,000 on September 21, 1832 and contained an area of some 6 million acres (24,000 km2), at a price equivalent to 11 cents/acre (26 $/km²). Although named after the defeated chief Black Hawk, he was being held prisoner by the US. Sauk chief Keokuk, who had remained neutral in the war, signed off on the purchase. It was made on the site of present-day Davenport. Army General Winfield Scott and Governor of Illinois, John Reynolds, acted on behalf of the United States, with Antoine Le Claire, a mixed-race (Métis) man, serving as translator. He later was credited with founding Davenport.

Chief Keokuk gave a generous portion of land to Antoine Le Claire's wife, Marguerite, the granddaughter of a Sauk chief. Le Claire built their home on the exact spot where the agreement was signed, as stipulated by Keokuk, or he would have forfeited the land. Le Claire finished the 'Treaty House' in the spring of 1833. He founded Davenport on May 14, 1836, naming it for his friend Colonel George Davenport, who was stationed at Fort Armstrong during the war. The city was incorporated on January 25, 1839. The area was successively governed by the legislatures of the Michigan Territory, the Wisconsin Territory, Iowa Territory and finally Iowa.

The Rock Island Railroad built the first railroad bridge across the Mississippi River in 1856. It connected Davenport to Rock Island, Illinois. This railway connection resulted in significant improvements to transportation and commerce with Chicago. The addition of new railroad lines to Muscatine and Iowa City, and the acquisition of other lines by the Rock Island Railroad, resulted in Davenport becoming a commercial railroad hub.

Steamboat companies rightly saw nationwide railroads as a threat to their business. On May 6, 1856, just weeks after the bridge was completed, a steamboat captain deliberately crashed the Effie Afton into the bridge. The owner of the Effie Afton, John Hurd, filed a lawsuit against the Rock Island Railroad Company. Abraham Lincoln was the lead defense lawyer for the railroad company. The decision of the United States Supreme Court upheld the right to bridge navigable streams.

Prior to the start of the Civil War, Governor Samuel J. Kirkwood declared Davenport to be Iowa's first military headquarters; five military camps were set up in the city to aid the Union.

Davenport had an economic boom during and after World War II, driven by wartime industry and peacetime demand. As Davenport grew, it absorbed smaller surrounding communities, annexing Rockingham, Nahant, Probstei, East Davenport, Oakdale, Cawiezeel, Blackhawk, Mt. Joy, Green Tree, and others. Oscar Mayer, Ralston Purina, and other companies built plants in west Davenport. The Interstate highway network reached Davenport in 1956, improving transportation in the area. By 1959, more than 1,000 homes a year were being constructed.

By the late 1970s, the good times were over for both downtown and local businesses and industries. Railroad restructuring in the mid-20th century had caused a loss of jobs in the industry. The farm crisis of the 1980s negatively affected Davenport and the rest of the Quad Cities, where a total of 35,000 workers lost their jobs throughout the entire Quad Cities area. Restructuring of heavy industry also continued: the Caterpillar plant on the city's north side closed, causing another wave of job loss.

Neighborhoods

  • West Third Street
  • Hamburg
  • Cork Hill
  • East 14th Street
  • College Square
  • Bridge Avenue
  • McClellan Heights
  • Prospect Park
  • The Village of East Davenport
  • Columbia Avenue
  • Oak Lane
  • Vander Veer Park
  • Riverview Terrace

Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Iowa

Links

Wikipedia

Bucktown

Bix Beiderbeck Memorial Jazz Festival



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