Feathered Hats and Juliet Caps: the Glaudel – Petrik Wedding

Eugenie M. Claudel married Francis Aloysious Petrik in Sacred Heart Cathedral at 8 o’clock on June 30, 1914. According to their Scott County marriage record, Miss Glaudel was 27 years old, and Mr. Petrik was 29.

Petrik-GlaudelAccording to the wedding announcement, published in the Davenport Democrat on June 30, 1914, the attendants were Mr. and Mrs. Kerker—Mrs. Kerker was the bride’s cousin—and the ushers were Camille Lorraine, another cousin, and the groom’s brother, Fred Petrik.

The couple had their wedding photographs taken at the Hostetler Studios, and though these weren’t published in the newspaper, the article does offer a detailed description of the bride and the Matron of Honor that brings the image to further life:


“The bride was in a dress of white crepe de chine, made entraine , the deep tunic of Chantilly lace ending in a point over the train of white taffeta silk. The bodice was outlined with beaded chiffon and the long wedding veil of tulle was fashioned into a Juliet cap caught with clusters of flowers. The only ornament of the bride was a lavelierre of gold set with pearls and diamonds, the gift of the groom. She carried a bouquet in shower arrangement of white roses.”

As a lavelierre is a man’s cravat, we’re assuming that the writer of the article misspelled “lavalier“, which is a jeweled pendant that hangs from a chain or pin—if you look closely, you can see Mrs. Petrik’s necklace.

On first reading, there also seems to be an error—one hopes—in the description of the Matron of Honor’s outfit:


“Mrs. Kerker was in a gown of pale blue taffeta, the bodice of canary colored chiffon, the whole draped with white silk lace. Her hat was of white lace trimmed with a pale blue plume to match her gown and she carried a large bouquet of Shasta daisies and pink rose buds.”

Special Collections staff agrees, after searching some of our resources, that “canary” here doesn’t automatically mean yellow, as it would today, but instead canary blue, which was an expression in use at the time—and also goes much better with pale blue!

We also agree that Mrs. Kerker’s amazing plumed hat would have suited the bride much better than a Juliet cap, which to our modern sensibilities always tends to look like a shower cap with flowers stuck on, no matter who wore it.

To our relief, the article goes on to mention that the bride’s going away outfit, a “white serge suit with white lace bodice,” also included a “white panama hat trimmed in malline,” which sounds like a much better choice.

The couple went away for a month-long wedding trip, and later resided at 710 East Fifteenth Street, with the bride’s father, Peter Glaudel.

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The Mystery of the Orphans’ Monument

Copy of Oakdale Cemetery 038Standing like a sentinel over the headstones in the Orphans’ Section in Oakdale Memorial Gardens Cemetery is a large granite monument, surrounded by mystery.

Starting in November of 1865, Orphans from the Iowa Soldiers’ Orphans Home (later renamed the Annie Wittenmyer Home) were originally buried in Section 6* at Oakdale Cemetery.

In 1883, the Oakdale Cemetery board donated an area near Section 15 for a new resting place for the orphans.** On October 3, 1883, the Davenport Weekly Gazette reported that fifty-three orphans were being removed to their new burial section.

By February 1884, the Davenport Daily Gazette and the Davenport Weekly Gazette were reporting that the Board of Trustees at the Soldiers’ Orphans Home had decided a large monument was needed for the Orphans’ Section at Oakdale.

Fortunately, they had $600 from a bequest to be used as needed and the money was used to purchase the large monument that stands today near the orphans’ graves. The  monument was installed on May 1, 1884.

Inscribed on the face of the monument are the words “To The Memory of Iowa Soldiers Orphans. Erected A.D. 1884. Through the Benevolence of William D. Berryhill of Ringold [sic.]*** Co. Iowa. Their Fathers Fought For The Union.”

And who was William D. Berryhill of Ringgold County, Iowa?

The answer is simple. We don’t know.

Even the facts about Mr. Berryhill supplied in the newspaper accounts don’t match. The Davenport Daily Gazette article from February 13, 1884 indicates the $600 was a donation from a man from Ringgold County who had sold 40 acres of land to be used as the trustees would prefer.

But the Davenport Weekly Gazette on February 27, 1884 lists the monument being paid for by a gift received through the will of a deceased former resident of Ringgold County.

While the February 13th article sounds like the bequest of a living individual, the February 27th request clearly indicates it is part of a deceased individual’s will.

A US General Land Office Records search on Ancestry.com for Ringgold County, Iowa comes up empty for a William D. Berryhill owning land there.

A Census search on Ancestry.com finds a William D. Berryhill lived in Louisa and Johnson Counties in Iowa, but not Ringgold. This Berryhill was born in 1824 Pennsylvania, but did not die until March 1907 in Louisa Co. His obituary indicates he owned land throughout Iowa.

If the February 13th article is correct with a living donor it could be this William D. Berryhill, but if the February 27th story is true, it certainly would not be him.

Sadly, at this time, we have no confirmed information about who Mr. Berryhill was or why he would single out the Orphans Home for a bequest.

If you know the answer to this mystery, please let us know!

In the meantime, and in honor of Memorial Day,  we continue to remember those who fought for our country and their families who fought their own struggles on the home front, as memorialized in the final line on the Orphan’s Monument:

“Their Fathers Fought For the Union”


*We would like to thank Deb Williams at Oakdale Memorial Gardens for her help in providing information on the Orphans original section.

**Section 6 was located where the Hill Mausoleum is today. Not far from the Beiderbecke family lot.

***The county is correctly spelled “Ringgold”. As the newspapers of the time also spelled it “Ringgold”, we can only guess a mistake was made by the monument carver.

(post and picture by Amy D.)

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Kids Who Love Books: Children’s Book Week 2014

May 12-18, 2014 is Children’s Book Week!

Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country.   As children were among photographer J.B. Hostetler’s favorite subjects and books one of his favorite props, we thought we would commemorate it’s 95th anniversary, by posting some photographs of both of them together.

Bertha & Edward Schmidt, jr. Photograph taken by J. B. Hostetler ca. 1917.

Edward Schmidt, Jr. puzzles out a word for his mother, Bertha.  Photograph taken by J. B. Hostetler ca. 1917.

Charles Curtis Towle, son of Charles B. and Lucy Boney Towle. Photograph taken by J. B. Hostetler ca. 1910.

Charles Curtis Towle and his mother Lucy Boney Towle, laugh over a book (c. 1910).

Catherine Marshall, daughter of W. H. Marshall. Photograph taken by J. B. Hostetler ca. 1910.

A studious-looking Catherine Marshall, daughter of W. H. Marshall, had her photograph taken around 1910.

Elizabeth A. Crossett, daughter of Edward C. and Elizabeth Crossett. Photograph taken by J. B. Hostetler ca. 1910

Elizabeth A. Crossett shows her book to Mr. Hostetler, who took her photo around 1910, while her mother (we assume) looked fondly on.  Miss Crossett is the  daughter of Edward C. and Elizabeth Crossett.

This could be either Katherine or Alice, daughter of Burton F. Peek. Photo taken by J. B. Hostetler ca. 1910.

The little girl in this circa 1910 photograph could be either Katherine or Alice, daughter of Burton F. Peek, but her friend’s name is unknown.

Mrs. Theo Hartz with daughters Hildegarde and Emma. Photo taken by J. B. Hostetler ca. 1905.

Mrs. Theo Hartz with daughters Hildegarde and Emma, only one of whom is paying attention to the story (c. 1905),

Marie Kahl, daughter of Henry C. and Elizabeth Kahl. Photo taken by J. B. Hostetler ca. 1910.

Marie Kahl, daughter of Henry C. and Elizabeth Kahl, enjoys a good book, and the shade from her hair bow (c. 1910)

All of these photos, and others, may be found in the Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Archive.

Happy reading!

(posted by Cristina)

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What’s in a Map? : Post Office Department reports of site locations, 1837-1950

Our maps have proven to be popular resources with our patrons.

Whether you’re looking for visual information on your Davenport home, a glimpse of the city in 1857, your ancestral farm, the land that appears in your great-grandfather’s estate, the lot where your great-aunt is buried in Oakdale cemetery, or even current directions to the closest post office, we have maps that can help you.

Speaking of post offices and maps: did you know that before 1837, the United States Post Office didn’t have an official map maker on staff? Instead, it was dependent on the commercial or amateur maps, which didn’t always contain the information needed to efficiently deliver mail and goods or to determine whether additional post offices should be established.

This was a definite hindrance for a department that was expanding as rapidly as the population of our relatively new country was heading westward—it’s difficult to run a delivery service when you don’t know exactly where you’re going.

As you can imagine, Henry A. Burr, who was hired as the first Post Office Topographer in March of 1837, had quite the job cut out for him. So how did he prepare a comprehensive set of maps that would show locations and transportation routes and geographic obstacles without spending all his time on the road?

He depended on the reports of postmasters.

From 1837 to about 1950, postmasters regularly filled out forms that supplied the information the Post Office topographers needed for their maps—which were eventually sold for public use as well—and also the information necessary to establish new post offices, including population, legal location, and the distance of the petitioning town or settlement from established routes.

The citizens of Donohue, Iowa, in Scott County, petitioned for a Post Office.

In 1872, the 400 (or so) citizens of (not quite a village, yet) Donohue in rural Scott County, Iowa, petitioned for a Post Office.

These reports themselves aren’t maps—though they might include rough sketches like the one below—but they do contain the same wealth of information in written form.

Donohue Post Office1Our Special Collection Center has a small collection of these reports on microfilm that includes Scott County and our nearest neighbors:

#153: Randolph – Saline (Rock Island County) Illinois

#174: Bueno Vista – Cerro Gordo (Cedar County) Iowa

#175: Cherokee—Crawford (Clinton County) Iowa

#183: Monroe—Palo Alto (Muscatine County) Iowa

#185: Sac-Story (Scott County) Iowa

In addition, our library also has several copies of Abandoned towns, villages and post offices of Iowa (Mott, 1973), which can help identify and provide information on place names that have disappeared from older maps.

These lesser-known resources may not be as popular as our maps, but in our opinion, they are certainly worth a look!



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National History Day: A Learning Experience for All!

NHD logoEvery year, our Special Collections Center is pleased to assist middle and high school students who are researching projects for National History Day.

These projects require primary resources and a thorough understanding of the annual theme as it relates to historical persons, places, and events—and it provides an opportunity to hone our own librarian skills as well!

While some topics are beyond our scope (our local history collections unfortunately, do not include primary resources for, say, Cleopatra), we can usually offer a few primary resources—including newspapers, photographs, or speeches—through our subscription databases or provide contact information for organizations or facilities whose collections have the necessary resources.

It’s always interesting to watch students learn research skills and respect for our collective history, as they work to create displays, skits, videos, and papers that will be judged good enough to advance to the regional, state, and even national competitions.

And it’s wonderful to see the students’ pride in their work!

We would like to congratulate North Scott High School, which was named National History Day School of the Year for Iowa and applaud the twenty-two North Scott students who participated in the state competition in Des Moines. We also send our best wishes to the fourteen students who will be going on to the National competition in June.


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The Flood of 1870: Bridging the gap between memories and measurements

Last year at this time, we were taking pictures and blogging about the Flood of 2013. This year, so far, finds us nicely dry and warming up after a cold, snowy winter.

But what attracted our attention this week when it was time to choose a subject for this post?

Yes, flooding.

But this time, we’re going back to the year 1870 to explore what flooding was like before flood walls and levee green space helped keep Davenport homes and businesses dry.

The flood of April 1870 was caused most likely by a quicker than normal melting of snow and ice farther up river. There’s no indication in the newspaper accounts of either ice jams or heavy rains being a problem. But by April 20,  both the Davenport Democrat and the Daily Gazette were reporting rising water of the Mississippi River —the only question would be how much damage would be done.

The Democrat reported that the rising water levels were nowhere near the levels of the great floods of 1828 and 1859, which were not measured by feet and inches, but by the memories of old time settlers.

The water continued to rise over the next few days. On the 21st, the ferry dock near the foot of Main Street was surrounded by water and houses on the river bank from Davenport to the East Village had water seeping into their cellars and creeping through their front doors.

By April 22nd, the water was filling all the homes along the Davenport levee.

Businesses were not spared either, as many mills and factories sat along the banks. The mills of Lindsey & Phelps, L.C. Dessaint, J.F. Barnard had water covering their ground floors. Boilers and machinery were destroyed. The Schricker & Mueller lumber yard was underwater, while the M. Donahue machinery shop was a total loss as water entered into sheds where equipment was stored.

The next day fared no better as the river had risen another six inches in 24 hours. A new flood gauge was installed on an Arsenal Bridge pier showing the water was 16 feet above normal river stage. It had reached Front Street (today’s River Drive) and covered the tracks for the horse-drawn trolley up to ten inches in some spots.

The trolley continued— the operator stating that nothing would change until water actually got into the cars.

By the 23rd, newspapers reported that flood waters were at least eight inches above the high water mark for the flood of 1859. This would have been based on memories from those who experienced it, as no official record of the early flood had been kept.

The horse-drawn street cars continued to operate through eighteen inches of water in spots. All of the businesses along Front Street closed due to flooding. A positive note was reported by the Daily Gazette that the river had only risen four more inches in 24 hours.

Both good and bad news came from the Gazette on April 25, 1870. The trolley was running, though through about two feet of water, and the river level seemed to be stable and no longer rising.   The bad news was a reported break in the levee on the Rock Island side. The lower portion of the city of Rock Island had flooded with damage to homes and businesses.

By April 28th, the water had begun to recede, leaving extensive damage on both sides of the river. Measured at 17.0 feet, the April flood of 1870 would remain in the top ten of local floods until 1920, when it was bumped off the list by one-tenth of a foot.

Though long forgotten, the Flood of 1870 and the resulting newspaper accounts did bridge the gap between past floods only measured by landmarks and memories and a new system of gauges and record keeping that began officially in 1874.

One last note: the Daily Gazette reported on April 28th that George L. Davenport had been taken, by boat, on April 26th to inspect his old family home on the Rock Island Arsenal. He found markings made on a building by his father, Colonel George Davenport, to mark the high water line of the great flood of 1828.

It turns out that the flood of 1828 beat the flood of 1870 by fourteen inches.

(posted by Amy D.)


Sources used:

(The Daily Gazette, April 22, 1870)

(Daily Gazette, April 23, 1870)

(Daily Gazette, April 25, 1870)

(Davenport Democrat, April 22, 1870)

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National Library Week: 1961 and Now

The motto for National Library week 1961 was “For a Better-Read, Better-Informed America”. That year, the Davenport Public Library was featured on a half hour TV show, Spectrum, on WHBF.

Both the Davenport Morning Democrat and The Daily Times ran editorials. A full-page 2 color ad appeared on page 11D of the Sunday Times-Democrat for  April 16, 1961:

In a typical month some 10 to 15 thousand men, women and children use the library facilities.

417,000 books, pamphlets, magazines, films and phonograph records were borrowed during the fiscal year which ended

Davenport Public Library - Carnegie building [early 1960's]

Davenport Public Library – Carnegie building [early 1960’s]

March 31st. This is an increase of 30% over the preceding year.2250 8mm films were borrowed in the last 6 months.1700 16mm films were loaned to groups and seen by audiences totaling 45,000.6000 phonograph records were borrowed including foreign language records for home study.

About 2500 young children came to the library story hours, film and children’s theatre programs on Saturday mornings.

20,000 questions of all kinds were asked and answered by the librarians in the reference department.

This year, the Motto for National Library Week is “Lives change @ your library”

Let’s take a look at what else has changed in our library in fifty-three years:

An average of 39,714 people used the library facilities in each of the last 6 months. That includes the Main library and our branches on Fairmount Street and Eastern Avenue.

757,917 total materials checked out in Fiscal Year 2013 (July-June).

210,133 video recordings (DVDs) were borrowed in FY13.

Stone Building, opened October 6, 1968.

Stone Building, opened October 6, 1968.

82,376 audio recordings (music CDs and audiobooks) were borrowed in FY13.

10,020 eBooks, 5,912 eAudiobooks, and 4,394 zines were checked out by our electronically savvy patrons in FY13.

13,482 children, 2,202 teens and 1,411 adults attended Library programs, including storytimes 5 days a week, book discussion groups and other special programs in FY13.

121,205 reference transactions were recorded by reference, information and Special Collections staff in FY 13.

82,509 public computer sessions in FY13.

And, while we’re counting, we also have two more branches!

Fairmount Library, opened 2006

Fairmount Street Library, opened 2006

Eastern Avenue Library, opened 2010

Eastern Avenue Library, opened 2010

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The wedding of Helen Kohn and David Gottlieb

Helen Josephine Kohn of Davenport married David Sticker Gottlieb of Tiffin, Ohio, on April 7, 1913, at the Outing Club in Davenport.

According to the next day’s Davenport Democrat, the wedding was lovely.

The Outing Club Ballroom was decorated with roses, streamers and ribbons, and the couple was united in the Wicker Parlor underneath a traditional huppah by Rabbi A.L. Weinstein of Temple Emmanuel, to music from the Criterion Orchestra.

Helen Josephine Kohn

“The bride was dressed in a wedding gown of white chameuse, made entraine and draped in white chantilly lace.  Her veil, which had been worn by her mother at her wedding, was fashioned into a Juliet cap, caught with orange blossoms, while her only ornament was a diamond la valliere, the gift of the groom.  The bridal bouquet was in nuptial arrangement of lillies of the valley with true love-knots and bows.”

The paper went on to note that the ring bearer, a very young Philip David Adler,* carried the rings in a white tulip.

Afterwards, the orchestra played at the informal reception as the wedding party and fifty-five of their immediate relatives had a wedding supper in the Outing Club’s dining hall.

After a week-long wedding trip, the newly married couple set up household in Ohio, where the groom ran a manufacturing plant.


*Philip D. Adler would later become a journalist and a European news correspondent, before stepping into his father’s shoes as the president of the Iowa-based Lee Enterprises newspaper syndicate, which would eventually purchase the newspaper in which this marriage announcement was published.  We’re almost certain that has nothing to do with the remembered ignominy of the tulip.



“Bride at Pretty Wedding at Outing Club.” Davenport Democrat, 8April1913, p.8.

Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Archive

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First, Do No Harm – then come see the State of Scott!

The Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center is pleased to offer two programs on Saturday, April 5th:

First Do No Harm: Caring for your Family Documents  will be held at the Main Library (321 Main Street) from 9:30 – 11:30.

Learn how to carefully preserve your documents without breaking the bank at this event celebrating preservation month!   You will be provided with the supplies to preserve on-site a document no larger than 11×17 to take home.

Discover what not to do, how to store your documents and more about caring for paper and photographs.

Registration is required, so please contact the library at 563-326-7902.

 We will also be holding a film screening of The State of Scott: A View of Davenport in 1948 at our Eastern Avenue branch from 2 – 4pm.

The Free and Independent State of Scott celebrations were a series of parades, shows,  fireworks, beauty contests, and other activities that showcased the resiliency—and creativity—of our local post-World War II community.

Original raw footage, of these events was put together by the Davenport Public Library and the Open Cities Film Society into a short feature, which includes memories from local newspaperman Bill Wundram.

No registration is required for this event.

We hope to see you here!

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Davenporters of Note: Alvino Peña

Alvino H. Peña was born May 14, 1939, in Silvis, Illinois.  He died on March 20, 2014, in Davenport, Iowa.

In between those dates, he lived a lot of life and helped a lot of kids.

The father of ten children, Mr. Peña, who had grown up with very little himself, was concerned with the large number of inner-city youth he saw in the Quad-Cities who had no direction, no resources, and no future.

Besides working at International Harvester, Mr. Peña was also in the Army National Guard, where he’d learned how to box.  In 1968, he put his worries about his community’s children and his love of the sport together, and opened the Davenport Boxing Club at 609 West 4th Street.    Working two jobs to support the club, which was free to all, he taught boxing to kids who needed discipline, focus, and a place to belong.

The Club earned its official non-profit tax-exempt status in the mid-eighties, but it had already started to produce results.  Hundreds of teenagers had already responded to Mr. Peña’s combination of tough expectations and warm-hearted support—and thousands more would.

Many of them became pretty good boxers, too.

The popular Annual Boxing Show, hosted by the Club, showcased the young athletes over the years, and several also won boxing titles on the local, state, national, and even international levels.  Some of the Club’s regulars, like Michael Nunn and Antwun Echols, have gone professional.

Mr. Peña wasn’t just coaching at the Club, either—he worked with several U.S. amateur teams and many boxers who went on to become household names:  Oscar De La Hoya and Evander Holyfield among them.

He was recognized many times as the state and regional Golden Gloves coach of the year, and in 1999, was inducted into the Golden Gloves Hall of Fame for coaching.  According to newspaper interviews, he didn’t want to travel out of state to pick up the award, because that would mean closing the gym.

In 2003, Mr. Peña was inducted into the Quad-City Sports Hall of Fame, but though he didn’t have to travel far to pick up that award, he still didn’t want to bother.  He wasn’t doing it for the fame, and he sure wasn’t doing it for the money.

He was in it for the kids.




Alvino H. Peña, Sr.Quad-City Times, 23March2014

Cox, Monte. “Q-C kids’ self-respect . . . for less than $6,000.” Quad-City Times, 20Feb1995, p.6

DeVrieze, Craig. “’Coaches are heroes’: Feurbach: Frese, Peña are good role models to follow.” Quad-City Times, 8May2003, B1.

Doxie, Don. “Like it or not, Peña will get his due: Hall of Fame awaits Q-C legend.” Quad-City Times, 3May1998, p.1.

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