Category Archives: Local History

The St. Elizabeth’s Tragedy: Part II of II

Please click here to read Part I. During the cold dark morning hours of January 7, 1950, St. Elizabeth’s, part of the Mercy Hospital Complex, had caught fire, placing 63 patients and 2 staff members in danger.* Before fire fighters and … Continue reading

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The St. Elizabeth’s Tragedy: Part I of II

In the early morning hours of January 7, 1950, as frigid winter temperatures were made harsher by a strong wind, Mercy Hospital night orderly Murray Francis noted an eerie light glowing outside. Shortly after 2:00 a.m., he activated an alarm. … Continue reading

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Reviewing the Year in Review: a helpful short(ish)cut

Any historian or genealogist knows how useful newspapers can be.  These primary resources are a treasure trove of information, from announcements of births, marriages, deaths, and scandals, to reports of elections, entertainments, and probated wills. Newspapers can provide information on … Continue reading

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Holiday Hotel Menus – 1895 Dining

This past Thanksgiving we explored new and interesting recipes to prepare for a holiday meal. We still wonder if anyone created some of the dishes we suggested. If not, there is still time to shop for ingredients to surprise your … Continue reading

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Now Online! The Index to Scott County, Iowa Cemetery Records!

The Main Street location of the Davenport Public Library will be closed until December 26th for renovations.  That means our Special Collections Center will also be closed. You will still be able to access all the genealogical and local history … Continue reading

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The Beginning of Mercy

On December 7, 1869 the first patient entered the new Mercy Hospital situated on the outskirts of Davenport. Started by the Order of the Sisters of Mercy , the hospital and its grounds would play a pivotal role in the … Continue reading

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Turkey Notes of Note!

It’s time to take out our stash of colored paper and puns and write those Turkey Notes! Luckily, the weather is conspiring to keep us all indoors this week, so you should have plenty of time to lovingly craft a special … Continue reading

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Four “Helpful” Thanksgiving Menus – 1900 Style

Are you in the midst of planning your Thanksgiving feast this year? Are you thinking of adding some new dishes to the same-old, same-old holiday fare? It appears that the urge to freshen up one’s Thanksgiving menu is nothing new—cooks were … Continue reading

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Famous Beards of Davenport

In case you need some inspiration for No-Shave November, here are some fantastic historic beards from our Hostetler Studio Photograph Collection. The Dumbledore look: The circus ringleader/movie villain look: The beard-scarf, for the predicted cold temperatures:   The Abe Lincoln muttonchops … Continue reading

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The Much Photographed Wedding of Anna Streckfus and Edward Manthey

Anna Streckfus married Edward Thomas Manthey on November 12, 1913. The bride was the daughter of Captain John Streckfus, owner of the extremely successful Streckfus Steamboat line, and the groom was from a wealthy and influential New Orleans family. According … Continue reading

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