Davenporters of Note: Popcorn Pete

Pete Duex made a career out of popcorn. Back in the early 1900s, Duex was a familiar sight on Davenport streets as he moved through the downtown area selling popcorn from a horse and wagon.

Time moved on and he made the transition to a Model “T”, which had a white portable lunch wagon mounted on the rear, where he sold sandwiches, hot tamales – he was also called “Hot Tamale Pete”–and, of course, popcorn. He would often park his stand near the Davenport Municipal Stadium or on the levee.

Eventually he established a lunchroom in the 1000 block of West Fourth Street, just east of the Coliseum Ballroom and later at 916 West 3rd Street. After he sold the restaurant, he established his popcorn business in a former service station at West Third and Myrtle Street. People would drive from all parts of the Quad-City area to buy popcorn from “Popcorn Pete”. He never lost the knack of making it “the tastiest in town”.

His death was reported on the front page of the Morning Democrat  on Thursday, February 25, 1960, as befitted the end of one of Davenport’s most popular businessmen.

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