Free Genealogy Webinars

I’ve been working from home this week and have had the opportunity to participate in some interesting and insightful FREE genealogy webinars. I will now share some of what I learned with all of you!

Telling the Stories of Our Lives: Talking with Family Members about Their History

On Tuesday, I attended a webinar presented by the Allen County Public Library’s Genealogy Center about their oral history project, Life Stories. Their website has everything you need to conduct a successful family history interview, from questions to ask from StoryCorps, advice on better listening and communicating techniques, and even suggestions for equipment and apps to use for recording your interview. The webinar was conducted via Zoom and it was my first experience with that platform.

Betty Jean’s Story: Forensic Genealogy, DNA, and Adoption

I spent April Fools’ Day listening to Betty Jean’s Story This Legacy Family Tree webinar about using DNA to find an adoptee’s birth family was presented by genetic genealogy expert, Mags Gaulden of Grandma’s Genes. A big takeaway from this webinar was learning about WikiTree, a collaborative website used for forensic genealogy. They have a Genealogist-to-Genealogist forum where anyone can ask questions. There are people called “Search Angels” who volunteer to help adoptees with their genealogy search.

Resources of the DAR: Beyond Revolutionary War Soldiers

Friday’s webinar was about the amazing online databases from the Daughters of the American Revolution, presented by D. Joshua Taylor from the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society. With the Genealogical Research System, you can search for DAR Patriots and as well as their descendants. They have an Ancestor Child Search for when you have someone who was too young to participate in the Revolutionary War, but suspect their father might be a patriot. You can order DAR applications and supplemental documentation, which can include information you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else, such as family bibles and information from gravestones that might now be illegible.

Take advantage of the many FREE live webinars available this month while we are all practicing social distancing and sheltering in place. A great place to find information on upcoming webinars is the GeneaWebinars calendar.

GeneaWebinars features a handy, dandy calendar with links to genealogy webinars, hangouts, meetings, podcasts, livestreams, and virtual workshops. A lot of them are free webinars presented by Legacy Family Tree, DearMyrtle, and many state and county genealogical societies. The calendar makes it easy to find online learning opportunities without having to spend time searching all over the World Wide Web. Each entry includes everything you need to know about the event and lets you copy the information to your personal calendar. Check out the GeneaWebinars calendar for upcoming FREE online learning opportunities.

(posted by Cristina)

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Crowdsourcing Transcription and Indexing Projects to Work on While Sheltering in Place

If you need a break from Netflix, reading, crafting, disinfecting, and sterilizing during the COVID-19 quarantine, there are many volunteer indexing and transcription opportunities available online.

Indexing and transcribing can be a rewarding pastime for genealogists and local historians. If you have a student at home who could use some practice reading cursive, you could work on some of these projects together! These diaries, letters, and historical documents are primary source materials that will help researchers for years to come and you can help make them accessible to everyone.

FamilySearch Indexing Projects

When I started researching my family history it wasn’t as easy as typing in a name and clicking on a leaf. FamilySearch had digitized the records I needed, but they had not been indexed yet. I had to browse through volumes of vital records for each municipality and read every page to find the records I was looking for. Over the years, volunteers have worked on indexing these records so that they can be searchable. If you want to help other genealogists find the records they need, try indexing on FamilySearch!

US, Puerto Rico—Civil Registration, 1885–2001 [Part A]

U.S. National Archives – Citizen Archivist

From their website: “You can contribute to the National Archives Catalog by tagging, transcribing, and adding comments to their records, making them more accessible and searchable.” They have “missions” and featured records covering different topics that you can choose from. I typed “Davenport Iowa” in the search bar and found this survey for an Air Force Academy in Davenport written by the Corps of Engineers in 1950. I chose this record because I had been reading about the Air Force Academy recently while doing research on an individual photographed in one of our Hostetler portraits.

Record Group 341: Records of Headquarters U.S. Air Force (Air Staff), 1934 – 2004
Series: Reports Regarding Proposed Air Force Academy Site Selection, 1950 – 1950
File Unit: Davenport, Iowa, 1950

Other documents that would be of interest to Quad City historians are the Architectural/Historical Survey sites for Davenport prepared by the City’s CPED Historic Preservation division in the late 1970s-early 1980s.

Record Group 79: Records of the National Park Service, 1785 – 2006
Series: National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks Program Records, 2013 – 2017
File Unit: National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks Program Records: Iowa

Smithsonian Digital Volunteers

If you’re up for a more challenging project, try the Smithsonian’s Freedmen’s Bureau Transcription Project. These papers include lists, letters, tables, notes, handwritten documents, and typed documents. The Smithsonian provides detailed instructions on how to transcribe tables and pages with footnotes or notes on the margins. You can volunteer to transcribe or review transcriptions done by other volunteers. The Smithsonian also has many other transcription projects available, including Sally Ride’s Space Shuttle training notes, and a variety of diaries, correspondence, and magazines.

These documents come from the Records of the Field Offices for the State of North Carolina, Series 4.4: Subordinate Field Offices: Charlotte (Freedmen’s Hospital)

University of Iowa Libraries – DIY History

The University of Iowa Libraries’ DIY History project asks volunteers to transcribe, translate, add tags, or add comments to digitized manuscripts from their collections. You can browse through their topics and select what you would like to transcribe: War Diary & Letters, Early Iowa Lives, University Life, Social Justice, Early Manuscripts, Keith-Albee Collection, Hevelin Fanzines, and Szathmary Culinary Manuscripts & Cookbooks. I typed in “Davenport” in the search bar and found some local items to transcribe.

For this example, I transcribed and translated a page from Ernest Rodriguez’ “Impressions” 1960s-1980s, from Ernest Rodriguez papers, Iowa Women’s Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Happy Transcribing!

(posted by Cristina)

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Poesy, Rhyme, and Verse: Celebrating World Poetry Day with Iowa Poetry

We want to share our love of poetry by showcasing some books of poetry from our collection that you can view at home either through HathiTrust Digital Library, “a not-for-profit collaborative of academic and research libraries preserving 17+ million digitized items” and the Internet Archive, “a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.”

Most of the books below illustrate poetry styles from the mid to late 19th and early 20th centuries. The poems cover a range of topics in either English or German. In addition to being examples of Midwest American literature, the bindings of the books are beautiful instances of publishers’ bindings. These bindings were “designed for and manufactured in quantity for a publisher.” Learn more about publishers’ bindings through this exhibit, Beauty for Commerce: Publishers’ Bindings, 1830-1910.

Richman, De Witt Clinton. The Talisman and Other Poems.Muscatine, Iowa: Demorest & Coe, 1867.
Access this book through HathiTrust.
Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Call Number: SC 811 RICHM D.C.
Meredith, Owen. Lucile. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1892.
Access this book through HathiTrust.
Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Call Number: SC CLOSED STACKS 821.89 LYTTON
Banks, Charles Eugene. Quiet Music. Chicago: F.J.Schulte & Company, 1892.
Access this book through HathiTrust.
Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Call Number: SC 811 Ban
“The Fallen Leaf” and “Under the Cypress” poems from Quiet Music by Charles Eugene Banks.
Riley, James Whitcomb. Riley Farm-Rhymes. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1901.
Access this book through HathiTrust.
Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Call Number: SC CLOSED STACKS 821.89 LYTTON
Muller von Davenport. Mullerlieder: Lieder und Gedichte. Davenport, Iowa: A.O. Müller, 1905.
Access this book through HathiTrust.
Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Call Number:
SC 831 Mul
“Oed ward die Welt, der Becher leer” or ”
The World became Empty, the Cup was Empty” and “Treue Liebe” or ” Faithful Love” poems from Mullerlieder : Lieder und Gedichte by Muller von Davenport.
Ficke, Arthur Davison. Twelve Japanese Painters. Chicago: Ralph Fletcher Seymour Co., 1913.
Access this book through HathiTrust.
Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Call Number:
SC 811 Fic
Page scan of sequence 16
Digitized page on HathiTrust of Twelve Japanese Painters by Arthur Davison Ficke.
“Figure of a Girl by Harunonbu” poem from Twelve Japanese Painters by Arthur Davison Ficke.

Youthful talent is presented in the Morning Star, a fine arts anthology.

Morning Star: North Scott Senior High School Fine Arts Anthology. Eldridge, Iowa: North Scott Senior High School, 1989.
Access this book through the Internet Archive. Access other editions of this title here.
Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Call Number: SC 808.8 NORTH

Unlike the other books featured here, Lyrical Iowa is available in our collection to view and is available for purchase through the Iowa Poetry Association. While it is unable to view them at this moment, gain inspiration from the works above and write your own poetry to submit to Lyrical Iowa.

Lyrical Iowa. Des Moines, Iowa: Duffy Printing Press, 2019.
Learn more about this poetry publication here.
Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Call Number:
SC 811.08 LYRIC IOW 2019

Happy reading and writing!

(posted by Kathryn)

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Counting Scott County Women in 19th-century US Census Records

Family historians of the future urge you to fill out your 2020 Census questionnaire!

The US Census is one of genealogists’ most useful tools for determining family relationships, movements, economic status, and other characteristics over time. As we are also celebrating Women’s History Month, this week’s blog focuses on the changing representations of Scott County, Iowa women in the early decennial census records.

The 1840 Census was the first federal-level count people living in what was then the Iowa Territory. It gave the number of women and girls (free white, free colored, and slave)* in a household by age category, but it only named those women who were heads of households. Sarah Lindey, for example, is named, and because she was the only female between 40 and 49 in her 8-person Scott County household, we may deduce that of 4 persons “employed in agriculture” she was a farmer’s widow who oversaw the work of 3 teenage sons. Similarly, Elizabeth Moore was likely the one female aged 40-49 and the single person employed in agriculture in an 11-person household with many young children. Of the persons in a household identified as “deaf and dumb, blind, or insane,” in the 1840 Census, it is impossible to know whether they were male or female.

Information about Scott County women is much easier to find in the 1850 US Census. Each free person was named and identified by age and sex, so we can learn where a woman was born, if she was married within the year, if she owned property (and if so, its value), and if she could read and write. Mary Ann Doyle owned $1,000 worth of real estate in the 4th enumeration district of Scott County; she was born in Massachusetts and 2 of her 3 young sons, all born in Iowa, were attending school. A woman could now be identified as “deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper, or convict.” Joanna Shaw (age 30 and born in Ireland) was the only one of the 6 convicts in the Scott County Jail noted as “insane” at the time the 1850 census was taken.

The 1850 census also allows us to determine the relationships between women in a household. The 54-year-old Margaret Walker living with Benjamin (born in New York) and Mary DuBois and their 4 young children (born in Iowa) was almost certainly Mary’s mother, as both were born in Scotland.

The 1860 and 1870 US Census questionnaires were virtually the same as the one for 1850 except that a “Profession, Occupation, or Trade” was listed for women as well as men over 15 years of age. Common occupations other than “keeping house,” (only occasionally noted as such) for the women in the city of Davenport included servant, washerwoman, millner (hat maker) and dressmaker. Famed education pioneer Phebe Sudlow is one of the few women with a professional occupation: She was a school “mistress” in 1860 and a school teacher in 1870.

The 1870 US Census also allows researchers to learn if a woman’s parents were “of foreign birth,” but only in the 1880 Census (otherwise similar to 1850-1870) can we learn a woman’s foreign-born mother and father’s country of origin. Hardware merchant Robert Sickel employed Sophia Hogencamp, 22, as a servant in his home Brady St. While she was born in Iowa, but both her parents came from Prussia (Germany).

We recommend Sharon DeBartolo Carmack’s Genealogists’ Guide to Discovering Your Female Ancestor, 1998, available here in the RSSC of the Davenport Public Library (SC 929.1 CARMA) for further information on how to track down women in these early US Census records and in other sources.

(posted by Katie)


*Very few free colored persons and no slaves are listed in the 1840 US Census for Scott County.

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In Memoriam: Dick Stahl

Most Quad Citizens have heard the name Dick Stahl in many different contexts as an educator, a poet, or an avid supporter of the Quad Cities. Dick Stahl will have a special place in

Richard “Dick” Hugo Stahl was born to Donald Howard and Elta Loretta Stahl on June 12, 1939, in Davenport, Iowa. He attended Davenport Schools culminating in graduating from Davenport High School in 1957 where he participated in football.

Graduation picture of Dick Stahl in the Davenport High School yearbook.
Blackhawk. Davenport: Davenport High School, 1957.

He continued his education at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1963. In 1964, Dick switched gears the next couple of years because he was drafted into service with the U.S. Army in Baumholder, Germany. When he returned home, he married Helen Moretz on June 29, 1968, in Princeton, Illinois. He continued his education at the University of Iowa earning a Master of Arts degree in English in 1970. Dick completed his formal education with attaining an Education Specialist degree in Administration in 1981 from Western Illinois University.

He returned to teach at Central High School, formerly named Davenport High School, for 34 1/2 years in the English Department. He left a lasting impression on this Davenport school. In 2013, he was inducted into the Davenport Central Hall of Fame.

Inscription of Richard Stahl to a student after his first semester as a teacher at Central High School. Blackhawk. Davenport: Davenport High School, 1967.
Blackhawk. Davenport: Davenport High School, 1968.
Blackhawk. Davenport: Davenport High School, 1975.
Blackhawk. Davenport: Davenport High School, 1981.
Blackhawk. Davenport: Davenport High School, 2000.
Blackhawk. Davenport: Davenport High School, 2001.

In addition to his career, Dick wrote poetry which he started when he was at Augustana College. He wrote four books of poetry on a range of topics from the Mississippi River, the Davenport Sky Bridge, Henry Farnam and the first railroad bridge, and many other topics. He served as the first Quad-City Poet Laureate from September 2001 to September 2003. Over the years, he publically performed his poetry and taught the community to write their own.

April 2019, Dick performed some snippets of his poems during the Quad City Symphony Orchestra’s Masterworks VI: Quad Cities Past & Present performance.

From “The Mississippi River, My Compass”

By Richard Stahl

Long as I can see, taste or feel its presence,

I never get lost in the Quad Cities. My internal compass reacts

to the fierce magnetism

of this fabled silver streak, this Mississippi River.

One glance at the sun-stippled water flowing west

with its dashing waves, forward rolls,

and million points of light serves me direction,

distance and a call

like an oracle.

I look down

and I’m up with the current

that makes this part of the river

a natural watermark

for travelers.

I tap my refreshing Mississippi Highball

like a tonic, each drop

a generous libation from the gods –

pure and clean, fresh

and miraculous in effervescence.

That’s the tone poem playing

in my psyche right now, a short composition

on river music

and lore,

transformative and transcendent.

(QCSO Program Notes 2018-19, Masterworks VI)

Below we feature three of his books of poetry:

For more information about Dick Stahl, please read Alma Gaul’s article “‘His love for the Quad-Cities was inspiring’: Quad-Cities poet laureate Dick Stahl dies at 80.”


Bancks, Jacob. “Quad City Symphony Orchestra Program Notes Masterworks VI: Quad Cities Past and Present.”Quad City Symphony Orchestra., 2018-2019.

Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. 1940 U.S. census, Scott County, Iowa, population schedule, Davenport, p. 9-B, dwelling 3325, family 213, Stahl, Richard; NARA microfilm publication T627, roll m-t0627-01202.

(posted by Kathryn)

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Mayflower Families – John Howland

2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony. Commemorative publications, programs, and tours are planned in the US, the UK, and the Netherlands by various organizations, including the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and Plymouth 400, Inc.

In preparation for the festivities, we will be blogging about our resources for a different Mayflower family each month. This month we’ll explore the descendants of John Howland!

John Howland was born in Fenstanton Huntingdonshire England to Henry and Margaret Howland. An exact date of birth has not been established. He was believed to be over 80 years old when he wrote his will dated 29 May 1672.

John married Elizabeth Tilley prior to 25 March 1624 in Plymouth. They were married before the 1623 Division of Land but after the marriage of Governor Bradford on August 14, 1623.

The first generation of John Howland descendants:

  • Desire, born ca. 1624 in Plymouth, married John Gorham ca. 1644
  • John, born 24 April 1627 in Plymouth, married Mary Lee on 25 October 1651
  • Hope, born 30 Aug 1629 in Plymouth, married John Chipman ca. 1647
  • Elizabeth, born in Plymouth, married John Dickinson on 10 July 1651
  • Lydia, born in Plymouth, married John Brown ca. 1654
  • Hannah, born in Plymouth, married Jonathan Bosworth on 06 July 1661
  • Joseph, born ca. 1640, married Elizabeth Southwood on 07 Dec 1664
  • Jabez, born ca. 1644 in Plymouth, married Bethia Thacher ca. 1669
  • Ruth, born ca. 1646 in Plymouth, married Thomas Cushman on 17 Nov 1664
  • Isaac, born ca. 1649 in Plymouth, married Elizabeth Vaughn ca. 1676

Want to learn more about John Howland’s descendants? Stop by the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center and browse through volume 23 of Mayflower Families Through Five Generations (SC 929.2 May)

(posted by Cristina)

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Davenport NAACP Branch Officers, 1936

The Davenport chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People held an election of officers on January 3, 1936. Mr. N. Taggart of 1026 Bridge Avenue was elected president, Mr. J. Roberts of 1122 Ripley Street was vice president, Mr. V. Gooding of 1209 Harrison Street was secretary, and Mr. E. Harris of 1609 Judson Street was treasurer.

In the mid-1930s, the NAACP campaigned for the Costigan-Wagner anti-lynching bill. They wrote letters to the newspaper and to the U.S. congressmen for Iowa, held membership drives and sold buttons to raise money for legal counsel. They had programs at Bethel A.M.E. Church and Third Baptist Church.

Who were these local Civil Rights leaders? What other organizations did they belong to? What happened after they left office?

Newton Taggart was born on June 11, 1894, in Abbeville, South Carolina. He came to Davenport in 1915 and opened a tailor shop called Quality Cleaners on 224 W 4th Street. He was a member of Mt. Zion Third Baptist Church. Mr. Taggart died while serving as president of the Davenport branch of the NAACP on July 17, 1937, and is buried at Oakdale Cemetery.

Joshua Roberts was born August 21, 1898, in Davenport to Alexander and Sarah Olivia (Jones) Roberts. He married Odessa Thompson on August 6, 1923, at Bethel A.M.E. Church. The couple had 6 children: Earl (born in 1924), Joshua, (born in 1926), Flora (born in 1928), Bernard (born in 1931), William (born in 1939), and Howard (born in 1944). They lived at 1123 Ripley Street. Mr. Roberts worked as a janitor of the 3rd-floor council chambers at City Hall from April 23, 1934, until 1969. He was a member of the Hiram Lodge 19 AF & AM. Joshua Howard Roberts died May 19, 1975, and is buried at Oakdale Cemetery.

Vincent Gooding was born July 13, 1913, in Clarence Missouri to Sherman and Pearl (White) Gooding. The family moved to Davenport in 1916. Vincent married Hazel Luella Doolin on March 1, 1936, in Davenport. The couple had 2 children: Frances Lucille (born in 1939) and Virgil Allen (born in 1940). Mr. Gooding started working at the Rock Island Arsenal when WWII broke out and retired in 1982 after 38 years. Vincent Gooding died November 8, 2007, at the Clarissa C. Cook Hospice in Bettendorf and is buried at Pine Hill Cemetery.

Ernest Harris was born March 23, 1894, in New Orleans, Louisiana to Henry and Lucy (Rossette) Harris. He married Louise Lawes in New Orleans on June 21, 1920. The couple had 4 children: Ernest (born in 1921), Clyde (born in 1922), Lois (born in 1924), and Enid (born in 1926). He was commander of Marshall Brown American Legion Post. Ernest Hume Harris died December 25, 1980, at St. Luke’s Hospital and is buried at the Rock Island National Cemetery.

(posted by Cristina)


  • NAACP Records – Davenport Branch, 1915-1939 (photocopies from the Library of Congress collection)
  • “Colored Group to Present Program at Church Friday.” The Daily Times, February 11, 1937: 6
  • “Newton Taggart, Tailor, Leader of Negroes, Dies” Davenport Democrat and Leader, July 18, 1937: 8
  • “Personality Profile: A Janitor Who Is Better Known Than Some Officials.” Democrat-Times, January 26, 1958: 3D
  • “Joshua Roberts; City Hall Figure.” Quad-City Times May 20, 1975: 4
  • “Obituaries: Ernest Harris.” Quad-City Times, December 29, 1980: 5
  • “Reflecting on nearly nine decades in Davenport.” Quad-City Times, July 11, 2003: A4
  • “Obituaries: Vincent Gooding.” Quad-City Times, November 11, 2007: C5
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Scott County Valentines

As we continue to catalog negatives in the Free-Hostetler collection, we were tickled to discover that the young man in this image was born on February 14, 1897 and given the first name of “Valentine!”

Valentine was born in Lincoln Township to Gustav and Bertha Eckermann. After serving in the First World War, he worked on the family farm, as he would continue to do for the rest of his life. He married Mildred Wiese of Walcott on March 14, 1923; the couple had two children, Myrtle and Clifford. Valentine and Mildred celebrated their love for each other by hosting a dance in March 1948, on the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary.

Valentine passed away a just a few years later. This photograph appeared with his obituary in the Daily Times for February 4, 1952.

Although she lived nearly 40 years longer than her husband, Mildred Eckermann never remarried.

Valentine Eckermann had only one contemporary with the same first name: Valentine Buchmeier (1905-1998, a barbershop owner in West Davenport, not born on February 14th), but in the previous century it was a fairly common name among German (and one French) immigrants to Scott County.

Valentine Scheiner to Catherine Bolt on April 16, 1849 is the earliest local marriage we can find of someone with that first name. They were married in St. Anthony’s Church by pioneer pastor Rev. Pelamourges and the union endured: the Scheiner’s celebrated their Golden Anniversay in 1899; Catherine died in 1910 and Valentine in 1914. Both were buried in St. Marguerite’s.

1857 is the earliest marriage date of someone with the last name “Valentine” in the area: George W. Valentine to Mary Ann Snow. George, a bricklayer and contractor, lived for many years with his family at 108 W. 18th Street in Davenport. His two sons, Lee H. and George S., carried on the heart-shaped name.

The surname “Valentine” also belonged to a well-known member of the African American community in Davenport. Jennie Valentine, born a slave, was freed from a plantation in North Carolina by northern soldiers and brought to Iowa at the conclusion of the Civil War, according to her obituary in the Daily Times for September 30, 1912. She lived in Davenport for 45 years, working as a domestic and attending Bethel A.M.E. Church. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of “Pretzel Alley” in 1904 (Democrat and Leader, 15 May) she was elected Police Matron. Jennie’s daughter Sylvia Jones (later Barnes) carried her father’s name, so “Valentine” did not continue on to the next generation. Sylvia also lived in Davenport for a time, and her daughter, Jennie’s granddaughter Florence Jones Dudley Murray Howard, spent nearly her whole life in the city. It was in Florence’s home that Jennie Valentine died; she is buried in Oakdale Cemetery.

Any “Valentine’s” in your Scott County family history? Search our Local Database to find out!

Happy Valentine’s Day from the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center of the Davenport Public Library!

(Posted by Katie)

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#ColorOurCollections Week Featured Artist: Mary Costello

This week marks another #ColorOurCollections Week. We are pleased to offer the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center’s Coloring Book Volume 3: From the Mayflower to the Lock & Dam. This volume celebrates the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony. In addition to this nautical voyage, we are also featuring riverine coloring pages depicting local Mississippi imagery.

Our last coloring page is a sketch of the Cresent Railroad Bridge by Mary Charlotte Aubry Costello. Mary Costello is a local author, artist, and former Davenport art teacher.  She was born to John C. and Helen B. (Ashley) Aubry. She attended St. Mary’s High School in Moline and holds degrees Marycrest College in Davenport and the University of Iowa. Her father was employed for 40 years by Rock Island Lines, Silvis Shops as a boilermaker. In October 1951, Mary married Kenneth Costello at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Moline. They had six children: Barbara, Judith, Patrick, Thomas, Roger, and John.

Over a decade, Mary researched for her book, Climbing the Mississippi River Bridge by Bridge, in two volumes, by traveling the length of the mighty river (beginning in New Orleans and moving north to Itasca, Minnesota) where she took photos, made sketches, and conducted interviews. These books were conceived from her work as an art teacher at McKinley School in Davenport, where she taught a unit on bridges. Volume 1 was published in 1995, and volume 2, which was devoted to the bridges in Minnesota, in 2002. Additionally, she has exhibited her artwork, much of it river-life related, across the Quad Cities area.

In 2008, the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center received Mary’s collection of research materials and sketches of the bridges spanning the Mississippi River. These papers are related to research done for volume 1, which begins with the bridges in Louisiana and ends with the Winneshiek Slough Bridge near the Iowa/Minnesota border. There is some material related to her second volume, specifically the headwaters area in Itasca State Park in Minnesota and the swing bridge in Inver Grove, Minnesota. There are additional folders relating to riverboat tourism, gambling, and the Big River Rendezvous.

Each bridge has its own folder (or multiple folders) and the contents within the folders contain Mary’s preliminary sketches, snapshots that she took, as well as notes on the history of the bridges. The following images are scans of Mary Costello’s collection.

Crescent Railroad Bridge

Master Sgt. Stanley Talbot Memorial Bridge (Centennial Bridge)

Sylvan Slough Bridge

Books in the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center by Mary Costello:

Climbing the Mississippi River bridge by bridge by Costello, Mary Charlotte Aubry.

Mississippi River dreams : coming of age in the 1850s by Mary Charlotte Aubry Costello.

posted by Kathryn

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Mayflower Families – George Soule

2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony. Commemorative publications, programs, and tours are planned in the US, the UK, and the Netherlands by various organizations, including the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and Plymouth 400, Inc.

In preparation for the festivities, we will be blogging about our resources for a different Mayflower family each month. First up is the descendants of George Soule!

George Soule was born in England in the 1590s. An exact date and place of birth has not been established. He was a signer of the Mayflower Compact on November 11, 1620, suggesting he was older than 20, and was a servant to Edward Winslow, suggesting he was younger than 25.

George was married to Mary Bucket/Beckett between 1624-1626. She arrived in Plymouth before July 31, 1623 aboard the Anne, and their first child was born by 1627.

The first generation of George Soule descendants:

  • Zachariah, born ca. 1627 in Plymouth
  • John, born ca. 1632 in Plymouth
  • Nathaniel, born ca. 1637 in Plymouth
  • George, born ca. 1639 in Plymouth
  • Susanna, born ca. 1642 in Plymouth
  • Mary, born ca. 1644 in Plymouth
  • Elizabeth, born ca. 1645 in Plymouth
  • Patience, born ca. 1648 in Duxbury
  • Benjamin, born ca. 1651 in Duxbury

Want to learn more about George Soule’s descendants? Stop by the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center and browse through volume 3 of Mayflower Families Through Five Generations and/or the 4 volumes of Mayflower Families in Progress: George Soule of the Mayflower and his Descendants in the Fifth and Sixth Generations (SC 929.2 May)

posted by Cristina

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