Category Archives: Local History

A New (Old) Look at the Iowa Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home

For many of us, when the name Iowa Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home or Annie Wittenmyer Home is mentioned we think of the beautiful two-story red brick cottages that exist today on the site. These were not the original buildings that the … Continue reading

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A Very P.S.C. Christmas

Recently, as we were searching for an obituary in the Davenport Democrat  for December 17, 1922, we found an advertisement for the P.S.C Cafeteria at the “top of Brady Street Hill.” Naturally, we were curious. With a little further searching, … Continue reading

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Flowers in December: the wedding of Minnie Elliot and James Morgan Reimers

Our Hostetler Studio Photograph Collections, which we are in the process of adding to the Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Archive, include negatives from many local weddings. When we can match these images with the wedding announcements in our local … Continue reading

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The Mystery of James T. Reeves, Confederate Prisoner

Our November post on the Rock Island Prison Barracks will tell you that on December 3, 1863, the first Confederate prisoners arrived by train to the Rock Island Prison Barracks. Many of these soldiers were captured in Chattanooga, Tennessee during … Continue reading

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Davenporters of Note: Julie Jensen McDonald

“I’ve set a lot of things in Iowa, and this is home.  I know it, and I think you should always try to write about what you know . . . And also, there are a certain set of values … Continue reading

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Library Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday!

The Davenport Public Library and our Special Collections Center will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 28th and 29th for Thanksgiving. We WILL be open our usual hours on Saturday, November 30th Enjoy your holiday!

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Turkey Fun Turkey Pun!

It’s time to start thinking about writing those Turkey Notes again! Don’t know what Turkey Notes are? Our best explanation for this Davenport tradition of sharing questionable poetry can be found here. And our best staff efforts this year can … Continue reading

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Remembering the Rock Island Prisoner Barracks

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Rock Island Barracks. We remember this event in conjunction with Veterans’ Day. _____ “A Depot for Rebel Prisoners – The Government has concluded to make Rock Island a depot … Continue reading

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The Brilliant Nuptials of Elise Koehler and Theophilus Brown

On the 28th of November, 1913, Miss Elise Jane Koehler, daughter of Oscar and Mathilde Koehler, married Theophilus Brown at 7 o’clock in the evening at the Davenport Unitarian Church. The Koehler family was very well known in Davenport, and … Continue reading

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The West Side Railroad Ghost

Stories of ghostly lights on railroad tracks may be found all around the United States, and Davenport is no different. In January 1876, the Davenport Daily Gazette covered the adventures of our own ghostly railroad specter. It may have been … Continue reading

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