Category Archives: Local History

Happy Thanksgiving! Another serving of Turkey Notes, please!

‘Tis the time of the year to warm our fingers, loosen our tongues and sharpen our minds to craft a delightful turkey note. Turkey notes are an annual tradition in the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center. Like many activities observed and … Continue reading

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The Story of John S. Sandstrom

It was November 2014, and I was investigating documents in one of our manuscript collections, #X-09, that was described as having documents pertaining to building the Poor House in 1883. Among the documents was a petition signed by 38 people … Continue reading

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Veterans Day: WWI soldiers photographed by J.B. Hostetler

In honor of Veterans Day, we wanted to share a sampling of portraits of men in uniform taken by J. B. Hostetler at his photography studio in Davenport in 1918. These images have been digitized and uploaded to our Upper … Continue reading

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A Trusted Friend: The murder of Rose Gendler

22-year-old Rose Gendler left her part-time job at M. L. Parker Co. in downtown Davenport a little after 9:00 p.m. on December 21, 1932. She had worked a full day in the toy department and still had to catch the … Continue reading

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Treats for Special Collections Librarians

Happy Halloweeen from the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center of the Davenport Public Library! A recent donation has filled our trick-or-treat bag with some items that are most certainly like candy to us local history librarians: little advertisements for Davenport businesses … Continue reading

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Halloween History in Newsprint

From the shrouded mists of history, the mysterious Samhain (pronounced “sow-wen”) is an ancient Celtic end-of-summer or beginning-of-winter festival where Halloween finds its origins. In the early newspapers of Davenport, readers read about this curious holiday intertwined with Hallowe’en on … Continue reading

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The Truth Will Out:  Annie Wittenmyer

In preparation for a recent program featuring Annie Wittenmyer and the orphanage she is forever linked to in Davenport, Iowa inconsistencies within reference works were found bringing up a number of questions. Turning to some basic documents used for family … Continue reading

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Mujeres Latinas: The García Sisters & Their Friends

This snapshot of 4 teenage girls was taken in the Cook’s Point neighborhood in Davenport around 1942. It is part of accession #2016-39 Cook’s Point and Fichtner Family Image Collection, 1913-1950. Photo identification is written in the back in blue … Continue reading

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The Davenport Conspiracy

Mid-September through mid-October marks Iowa Archaeology Month, the perfect occasion to tell the story of Davenport’s most notorious adventures in archaeology. In January of 1877, the Reverend Jacob Gass, a Swiss-born minister serving the First Lutheran Church and aspiring antiquarian, … Continue reading

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Found in a Library Book: A Davenport Mayor Connection

We find curious artifacts in books from time to time. A couple of weeks ago when we were featuring our collegiate yearbooks we found two pen drawings by an Art Kroppach. Davenporters should be familiar with Mr. Kroppach. He was … Continue reading

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