|(from the Davenport Democrat and Leader. May 21, 1911)|
Friday, June 19, 2020
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Saturday, May 30, 2020
| Mrs. Frank W. Bahnsen (left) and Mrs. Edward C.|
Roberts competed in the Western Golf Association
tournament at the Rock Island Arsenal Golf Club.
(The Davenport Democrat and Leader. September
|(from The Des Moines Register. January 19, 1907)|
Friday, May 29, 2020
|Fay Templeton, Joe Weber, Lew Fields, and Lillian Russell.|
(Davenport Democrat and Leader. June 2, 1912)
|Top row, left to right: Barton, Poyneer, Miller, Coach Storey, Daily, and Johanssen.|
Bottom Row: W. Kelley, Kirk, E. J. Kelley (Captain), Maurey Kent, and Wilson.
(from The Des Moines Register. June 9, 1907)
Thursday, May 28, 2020
During the Civil War
years, imprisonment in the Rock Island Military Prison was almost like
receiving a death sentence; only the execution was more prolonged and painful. Things there were so bad, people began to call Rock
Island the “Andersonville of the North.”
Confederate prisoners working at Rock Island Military
Prison. (Public domain image sourced from
Getting to the true story of life at the prison is almost impossible. Northern papers, notably The New York Herald and the Chicago Tribune, tended to write glowing articles about life at the camp as compared to the wretched treatment Northern boys received in Southern prison camps.
What they overlooked was the death rate at Rock Island. The camp’s first year of operation was the worst. Depending on which report you rely on, nearly a thousand prisoners died during its first six months of operations, half that number from diseases such as smallpox, dysentery, and pneumonia.
In May 1864, the Muscatine Weekly Journal reported 6,586 prisoners were confined at the Rock Island prison. ”1132 have died, 668 have enlisted in the United States Naval Service, and 171 have been released by order of the President.”[i]
The Cedar Falls Gazette published a weekly tally of deaths at the camp. Forty-nine prisoners died in the first week of April 1864. “Since the 22nd of December (1863), there have been 969 deaths among the prisoners, 415 of which were from smallpox.”[ii]
|Only known contemporary illustration of the Bellevue |
War. (Colorized print from The Loyal West in the
Rebellion, by John W. Barber. Published in 1865)
Brown was one of the original settlers of Bellevue. He came to the area in 1836 or 1837 and purchased the hotel. In 1838 he ran for sheriff of Jackson County and lost to William W. Warren of Dubuque. In 1840 Brown ran for a seat in the Territorial Legislature and lost to Thomas Cox. That created bad feelings because Cox had accused him of illegal dealings during the campaign.
The band committing most of the robberies around Bellevue worked out of Elk Heart, Michigan. They focused on Iowa and the Rock River Valley in Illinois, though occasionally they ventured as far as Kentucky, Missouri, and the Cherokee Nation.
The way the band worked, they had spotters on location who passed on information about promising prospects. When the robbers hit, the spotters were careful to be with a neighbor who could vouch for their innocence. That way no blame could fall back on them.
Bellevue was a central point on their route.
|From left to right, upper row: Con Struthers, Whitaker, Routcliffe, Henry Schuhknecht. Middle row: Joe Kappel, Sammy Nichols,|
Bob Allen (captain), Charles Gessinger, Henry Kappel. Bottom Row: Jerry Harrington, Billy Rhines, Jack Fanning, Jack Lauier.
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
|John Hassman’s barbershop at 804 West Second Street in |
Davenport, Iowa. Edward Cochran fired the shots that killed
him through the wooden fence.
(The Davenport Democrat and Leader. November 30, 1911)
Cochran scurried off to the Miller Hotel, where he ate breakfast. Before leaving, he stopped in his room and grabbed his gun—a Savage Automatic that held ten shells—nine in the chamber and one in the barrel.
“When he kept on coming, I pulled out my revolver and shot at him four or five times.”
The Muscatine pearl button industry got its start almost by mistake in 1890. John F. Boepple, a German immigrant, cut his foot on a clam shell while swimming in the Mississippi River. Rather than cry about his bad luck, Boepple gathered a handful of shells and took them home, where he cut them into buttons. A local merchant bought them for ten cents, and a new industry got its start.
Twenty years later, Muscatine found itself home to at least forty-three pearl button factories and cutteries. By 1910, the industry dominated the local economy. Over one-half of the city’s 3,500 wage earners labored as button workers.[i] Muscatine buttons accounted for 15 percent of the nation's button supply, and salaries from the industry contributed over one and a half million dollars a year to the local economy. An expert consulted by the Des Moines Register said the average worker earned $12 per week.[ii] But unionists claimed most workers made half that amount.
Pauline Lang, a Muscatine button worker, explained to the San Francisco Labor Council, “the men were receiving but from $6 to $7 per week, many of them toiling in water to their knees. The women and children received as low as $3 a week for toiling in rooms where the dust was so thick that many of them contracted blood poison and consumption.”[iii]
It was a dangerous, dirty job, worked by men, women, and children as young as fourteen. A typical workweek could run anywhere between 54 to 72 hours.
|Walter J. Hill received a 25-year sentence |
for shooting and killing his one-time friend,
Herman Peetz (pictured above) , at his
(The Daily Times. November 25, 1918)
Hill rented his house to Peetz for next to nothing, and how did he repay him? With a bill for some petty work, he’d done in the back yard.
No. It wasn’t right. He would show Peetz.
Hill bought a .38 caliber revolver and 50 rounds of ammunition, then told his neighbor, H. E. Ashcraft, that he was going to "get" Peetz.
Less than a week later, Hill shot Herman Peetz dead in his back yard at 423 Pearl Street in Rockingham (now the west end of Davenport).
In retrospect, the reasons for the shooting seemed petty or inconsequential.
Hill leaned a ladder up against Peetz’s house and dragged a roll of tar paper up to the roof. Then he went home to get a hammer and nails. When he came back, he discovered Peetz had taken the ladder down and tossed it in the yard.
|Rene Barrier seated in John B. Moisants Number 17|
Monoplane. He flew the plane during an exposition at
Des Moines Hyperion Field in 1911.
(Des Moines Register. May 28, 1911)
Monday, May 25, 2020
Thursday, October 31, 2019
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch. August 23, 1903.
|The old haunted house sat in a ravine off Dry Creek in the West end of Fort Madison.|
(from The St. Louis Globe-Democrat. January 16, 1898.)
Sunday, September 29, 2019
Sunday, September 22, 2019
|Colonel Davenport being tortured by his captors. |
(From The Banditti of the Prairie by Edward Bonney. 1855)
Tuesday, November 6, 2018
|1922 reward poster for John Looney.|
(Public Domain image sourced from Wikimedia Commons,)
Monday, November 5, 2018
They were so closely pursued by the Sioux that they lost several of their horses, and most of their blankets, and returned nearly naked, and in a state of starvation. The Sauks suppose that the Sioux belong to the Sussitong or Sussitoah band and that the cattle which they found dead, are the same that crossed Des Moines, about six days since; several of the war party who saw them at the time they crossed the river, say, that the drove consisted of nearly one hundred head, and that it was in charge of five Americans and that they had along with them, ten horses and mules, and that they presumed they were bound to St. Peter’s. They further say, that they saw a horse and a mule that belonged to the drovers in the possession of the Sioux, on the morning of the action, and that it is their opinion that the drovers have been massacred by them.
Fort Armstrong - Sept. 9.
Sunday, November 4, 2018
|George Catlin as painted by William Fisk|
(public domain image taken from Wikimedia Commons.
In public domain because artist died over 100 years ago)
|Chief Black Hawk ( from The|
History of Clinton County, Iowa. 1879)
During a residence of several years in what is now the territory of loway, I had many opportunities of seeing and conversing with the noted warrior, and often look back with feelings of great pleasure to the many tokens of goodwill and friendship that he has frequently bestowed upon me. His lodge was always open to the stranger, and he was ever ready to share that with him which he might most want, either his furs and blankets for a couch or his corn and venison for a repast. He always spoke in terms of high regard of the whites, saying that in war he" fought like a brave man, but in peace, he wished to forget that his hand had ever been raised against them. His career as a warrior commenced at a very early age; when he was but fourteen years old, his father, Pawheese, led a war party against the Osages in which expedition he accompanied him; they succeeded in reaching the village of the Osages, which they attacked, and after a very severe encounter, they routed their enemies and burnt their town. In this battle, Black Hawk's father was killed, but he revenged his death by killing and scalping the Osage who had slain him. He was fond of recounting his early exploits, and often boasted of his being at the right hand of Tecumseh when the latter was killed at the battle of the Thames. His account of the death of this distinguished warrior was related to me by himself, during an evening that I spent in his lodge some winters ago. In the course of our talk, I asked him if he was with Tecumseh when he was killed.
He replied: “I was, and I will now tell you all about it. Tecumseh, Shaubinne and Caldwell, two Pottawattamie chiefs, and myself were seated on a log near our campfire, filling our pipes for a smoke, on the morning of the battle, when word came from the British general that he wished to speak to Tecumseh. He went immediately, and after staying some time rejoined us, taking his seat without saying a word, when Caldwell, who was one of his favorites, observed, my father, what are we to do? shall we fight the Americans? Yes. my son," replied Tecumseh. "We shall go into their very smoke, but you are now wanted by the general. Go, my son, I never expect to see you again."
Sec. 2. The Chief Engineer shall at all times when on duty wear a white frock or hunting coat, a white leather coat with the word “Chief Engineer” painted upon the front of the same, and shall provide himself with a white speaking trumpet, with the words “Chief Engineer” painted upon the same.
Thursday, November 1, 2018
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
What’s remarkable about the Black Hawk War is that it set the tone for future conflicts between the whites and the Indians in the opening of the American West. The land was set aside exclusively, by treaty, for the use of the Indians. As pioneers moved further westward, they encroached upon the Indian lands, building homes, fencing in their lands. When the Indians complained to authorities, their concerns went unanswered.