Lost but Not Forgotten: A Brief History of 1125 Pershing Avenue

The Quad Cities have a number of structures imbued with an aura of their time, the residence located at 1125 Pershing Avenue was one of those. The setting for this historic home was the late 19th century when the City of Davenport was showing the benefits of industrialization and western migration. The home was nestled in LeClaire’s 8th Addition to the city which is now a part of the Cork Hill Historical District. Constructed between 1888-1890 based on evidence from local city directories, county assessors office, research found in the Architectural/Historical Survey research compiled by Wehner, Nowysz, Pottschull, and Pfiffner of Iowa City. In the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center collections, we were unable to find an abstract of title for the property, thus we are unable to confirm the veracity of precise dates.

The residence was designed in overarching themes of Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles. In the Architectural/Historical Survey, it states,

“This well-preserved house is a good example of late-Victorian eclecticism, […] The typical irregular plan and roofscape, complete with corner tower, is embellished with shallow oriels, a full-height gabled pavilion with bowed facade, little roof dormers, and a porch supported by pairs of slender columns on high pedestals”

(Wehner).

The home was built for the Moritz family. It was on the corner of East 12th Street and Rock Island Ave. The precise location of the home was in the LeClaire’s 8th subdivision, block 095, parcel 008 and the W 30′ Lot 7 & all of 51-118-03. The residence was built with a wood frame, brick, and stone.

Moritz Family (1888-1899)

According to his obituary published in the Davenport Morning Star on February 5, 1891, Abraham Moritz was born near Frankford, Hessen, Germany on December 19, 1846. He arrived in the United States through New York when he was 18 years old.

He was first noted in Davenport city directories in 1868-1869 boarding near 4th Street. He worked at 14 West Second Street as a Clerk at the stores of L. Lowenstein. He and his brother Solomon Moritz became proprietors of A. Moritz & Bros Clothier store located at 121 West Second Street. The were known as a clothing and gents furnishing store.

In the 1888 City Directory, Abraham Moritz resided at 303 East 12th Street. Today, the 300 block of East 12th is on the north side of 1125 Pershing Avenue residence. He lived there until his death on February 4, 1891 according an obituary published in the Davenport Democrat and Leader on that date. His wife, Caroline (Hamburger) whom he married on April 11, 1869 in Davenport, Scott County, Iowa, and their five children (Edwin, Sidney, Harry, Jesse, and Manny) lived in the home after Abraham’s death. Abraham is buried in Mount Nebo Hebrew Cemetery. He has a brief history of his life and accomplishments written in Biographical History and Portrait Gallery of Scott County, Iowa in our collections.

According to Caroline’s obituary published in The Daily Times on December 16, 1901, she lived at “the old home on Twelfth and Rock Island Streets, rebuilding in a few years and erecting the elegant home which now stands there” (Moritz 2). According to Land Records-Grantor/Grantee Index, Caroline lived in the home until 1899 when she moved to be closer to two of her children in Denver, Colorado. In her obituary it states, Caroline was born in 1849 to Abraham Hamburger in Frankford, Germany. She died on December 13, 1901, and she is buried at Mount Nebo Hebrew Cemetery near Pine Hill Cemetery.

Biographical history and portrait gallery of Scott County, Iowa. Chicago and New York, American biographical publishing company, 1895, portrait insert between pages 248-249.

Shuler (Schuler) Family (1899-1906)

Charles Shuler purchased 1125 Rock Island Street in 1899. He is listed as living there from 1900-1906 in the Davenport city directories. According to his obituary published in The Davenport Democrat and Leader on May 28, 1948, he was born in Rock Island, Illinois on April 5, 1856 to David and Mary (Hauck) Schaechter. They moved to Rapids City, Illinois when he was an infant. On October 25, 1877, he married Jane Renton Gilchrist who born on June 10, 1859 in Wanlockhead, Scotland to Hugh M. and Mary (Weir) Gilchrist. They were the parents of six children: Hugh M., Dr. Anne Mary Rendleman, Jane Elspeth, Sophia Caroline, Charles Jr., and John.

Charles was known for his work in the coal industry until his retirement in 1926. In addition to that work, he was president of the Iowa National Bank of Davenport for 15 years.

They lived in the home until they moved to 1516 East River Drive according to the 1906-1907 city directories. Charles Shuler (Schuler) had Davenport architect Frederick G. Clausen design and built “Hillside” house located at 1 Prospect Drive.

Bendixen Family (1908-1918)

Peter Alfred Bendixen purchased the home in 1908. Dr. P. A. Bendixen was born in Davenport on October 8, 1881 to Peter and Catherine (Beenk) Bendixen. On October 8, 1907, Peter married Jane Elspeth Shuler at the Outin Club according to local newspapers. Miss Shuler was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Shuler who lived in the home before Mr. Bendixen.

P. A. Bendixen was a well known physician in the area and member of the community.

In 1919, the Davenport City Council voted and approved the name change of Rock Island Street to Pershing Avenue in honor of General John J. Pershing, the commander of American Expeditionary Forces during World War I.

“Take Pershing Along a Street Named for Him.” The Daily Times (Davenport, Iowa), December 23, 1919, page 8.

After the Bendixen family moved to 204 Prospect Terrace, George W. Duvall moved into 1125 Pershing Avenue. He lived there with his wife, Pearl, from 1919 until the 1940s. George Duvall was the vice-president of Modern Broom Machinery Company and Superintendent of the Lee Broom Company at the time when he moved in to the home according to the 1919 City Directory.

Around 1944, Edward E. and Helen K Nicholson purchased the home. They lived in the home until 1949. The home was then sold to John and Isabel Bloom in 1949. They converted it to six apartments. Many people called this building their home from 1949-2022.

The life of this over 100 year old home came to an end this past week due to a fire accident. One may read more about the event here from the Quad City Times: “Watch Now: Fire destroys apartment building on Pershing Avenue“.

(posted by Kathryn)

Bibliography

Moritz. The Daily Times (Davenport, Iowa) 1901, 2.

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