A Look at Davenport in 1950

The 1950 Census is here! Release day went smoothly and the OCR/AR indexing works about as well as expected. The results of our searches are below! We searched for some Davenport Public Library staff, the Mayor in 1950, and some other individuals of interest.

Library Staff in the Census

We looked for the Davenport Public Library’s Director, the Assistant Director, the Head of Extension Services, and the Children’s Librarian and were able to find them quickly using the search feature.

Davenport Public Library Director Elizabeth Martin (age 61) lived with her mother Margaret (age 83) at 1921 Elm Street.

1950 Census of Population – Iowa, Scott County, Davenport, E.D. No. 101-102, Sheet No. 16

Assistant Director Ruth Kellogg (age 40) lived with her mother Emma (age 68) at 55 Glenwood Avenue. Miss Kellogg resigned in September to become the library director at the Elkhart Public Library in Indiana.

1950 Census of Population – Iowa, Scott County, Davenport, E.D. No. 101-110, page 16

Our Children’s Librarian, Vira Blankenburg (age 50), and her husband William (age 61) were at 2807 Grand Avenue. William owned the Blankenburg Service station at 2020 East 5th Street.

1950 Census of Population – Iowa, Scott County, Davenport, E.D. No. 101-78, Sheet No. 71

Extension Department head (now called Community Outreach) Betty M. Coughlin (age 29) and her sister Marjorie (age 26) lived with their parents Tom (age 58) and Monica (age 60). Tom Coughlin owned the Guaranteed Used Cars dealership at 414 Main Street and Marjorie was society editor for The Daily Times newspaper.

1950 Census of Population – Iowa, Scott County, Davenport, E.D. No. 101-110, Sheet No. 17

Mayor Kroppach

We found Davenport mayor Arthur R. Kroppach (age 54) living at 418 West Central Park Avenue with his wife Ann (age 51), daughter Suzanne (age 24), and son James (age 18). Suzanne was the assistant society editor for The Daily Times newspaper.

1950 Census of Population – Iowa, Scott County, Davenport, E.D. No. 101-58, Sheet No. 13

What was going on in Davenport at the time the 1950 Census was taken? Here’s a look at some of the headlines from 1950.

Year in Review: 1950 Census Style

St. Elizabeth’s Fire

41 women died when a fire broke out at St. Elizabeth’s mental ward of Mercy Hospital on January 7, 1950. Check out this blog post for more information.

St. Elizabeth’s Fire

Davenport Municipal Airport

A 36-inch clear-green rotating beacon of “true light” was installed in Mt. Joy on February 12, 1950, signaling the opening of the Davenport Municipal Airport to air traffic.

Davenport Mayor Arthur B. Kroppach at Mt. Joy Airport Groundbreaking

Korean War Casualties

6 Army service members from Scott County died in Korea in 1950.

  • Pvt. Charles L. Abbott, age 17, reported MIA on July 20, 1950.
  • Cpl. James E. Hicks, age 32, was killed in action on November 25, 1950
  • Pfc. Richard E. Hoffman, age 17, was killed in action on September 3, 1950
  • Pfc. Charles W. Kline, age 18, was killed in action on September 30, 1950
  • Sgt. Kenneth E. Stevenson, age 20, was killed in action on September 27, 1950
  • Pfc. Robert Wheeler, age 18, was killed in action on August 15, 1950

ALCOA

The Aluminum Co. of America plant outside of Bettendorf increased production to fill war orders for making airplane parts. It employed about 1,750 people in 1950.

Measuring the width of an aluminum ingot prior to it being rolled into an aluminum sheet at a mill of Aluminum Co. of American (ALCOA)

Did you find your family in the 1950 Census? Were you able to find them using the OCR/AI indexing, or did you have to browse through multiple EDs to find them? Any big surprises? Let us know in the comments!

(posted by Cristina)

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