All Things SPRING

SPRING! The season officially arrived this week on Monday, March 20th, but the dreary days have Special Collections Staff dreaming of ALL THINGS SPRING.  Forgive us for getting carried away, but just look at all the reminders of this glorious season we have right here in our collections!!!

There is SPRING STREET which was roughly nine blocks long in 1890 according to the roster of residents listed in the Davenport city directory for that year.

1890 Davenport City Directory

The Richardson family (at 120 and 124 SPRING STREET) donated a bit of land to the city in January 1927 meant to develop into a playground over time. This was called INDIAN SPRINGS.

As long as we are thinking about water, there is usually a SPRING THAW which brings about those unfortunate SPRING FLOODS such as the big one in 1965.

2015-07: Davenport and the Flood of 1965. Accessible here:

If you recall that flood, you are no SPRING CHICKEN!

After the dark days of Winter, it is fun to gather with friends and neighbors again. The Ladies’ Royal Bowling league enjoyed a SPRING FROLIC in 1930. According to the Davenport Democrat, thirty ladies participated in the league on teams from Iowa Laundry, Scharff’s, Halligan’s Chocolates, Davenport Cleaners, Franc’s Furniture, and August Richter Furrier. B. Abbott had the highest average of 155.45 bowling 69 games!

2020-01: Photographic Images from Unknown Sources [OPEN]. Accessible here:

A SPRING PICNIC would also be fun on a sunny day. Perhaps an outing to LINWOOD SPRINGS, about seven miles west on Highway 61, would be enjoyable. You could visit the healthful Sulphur springs or camp along the Mississippi River. As early as 1877 it was a popular spot. Just hop on the steamboat and enjoy the ride!

We wouldn’t be doing our due diligence unless we explored the surname SPRING! In our archives, we find a passenger list indicating Ferdinand and Cecilia SPRING arrived in New York from Germany in 1854.

New York Passenger List from 1854.

The Ferdinand SPRING family settled in Davenport Township and started their family as you can see in the 1856 Iowa State Census. Ferdinand’s occupation was Butcher, and the 1866 Davenport city directory has Mr. Spring listed among a number of others in the community.

They continued to grow their family, adding at least two more children. This 1871 newspaper clipping marks an unfortunate turn of events for the young family. Their corner shop and residence were lost in a fire.

The Davenport Democrat (Davenport, IA), Dec. 20, 1871.

Ferdinand died in 1880 and Cecelia in 1882. Their son Edward F. survived life’s ups and downs and stayed in Davenport, making it his home as documented in the 1890 Davenport city directory. Edward’s 1952 obituary gives homage to his pioneering parents. [Their date of arrival is slightly off.]  

Nearly a century passed within these two generations of the SPRINGs. Were they as anxious as we were to have SPRING’s bright colors enliven the days? Did they rejoice with the sighting of flocks of birds returning or early bloomers emerging from Mother Earth? We can only imagine they were. Enjoy these signs of SPRING from some of our photograph collections!

Let’s all think SPRING! 

(posted by Karen)

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