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.
Youthful talent is presented in the Morning Star, a fine arts anthology.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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!
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:
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.
We are saddened to hear of the passing of long-time Davenport Public Library employee Pat Till. Ms. Till died Friday, January 10, 2020 at Genesis Medical Center in Davenport.
Patricia Emily Till was born July 22, 1949 in Davenport to Charles C. and Jane (Griffin) Miller. She married Pvt. Richard Thomas Till in 1966. Their son, Richard, was born later that year. Patricia went back to school and graduated from Davenport Central Central High School in 1968.
Pat began working at the Davenport Public Library on August 16, 1973. She spent most of her 41 years working as a clerk in the Children’s Department with Miss Rochelle Murray. She retired from the Customer Service department in September 2014. After retiring she would often stop by and visit with her best friend and fellow retired library employee Sandy.
Pat loved working with kids, and we often hear people say they have fond childhood memories of her. She always greeted them with a smile. The staff and patrons of the Davenport Public Library will miss her dearly.
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