BAWDEN: Harry ELDRIDGE, youngest of George Ray "Ray" and Jennie ELDRIDGE, Army Sgt., marries funeral home dtr, board chmn of BAWDEN Bros. Inc, lives active senior life to make others happy.
Harry was born 8 Sept 1894 in Muscatine, Muscatine, Iowa, youngest of 3 sons born to George Washington and Jennie ELDRIDGE BAWDEN. George was an attorney and was vice president of Iowa Mortgage Co. in Muscatine with Allen BROOMHALL. J.B. (John Baker) PHELPS, George's brother-in-law, was president,
The family moved back to Davenport, Scott, Iowa (parents natives) in 1895 so George could form a partnership with Julius LISCHER. Jennie's father, Jacob MULLEN ELDRIDGE, gave the couple 80 feet of land on Kirkwood Boulevard [511 Kirkwood], near her family to build a house.
Harry attended Davenport schools and the University of Iowa (Iowa City, Johnson Cnty) where he was a member of Signa Chi social fraternity. After one year in Iowa City, Harry returned to Davenport to join brothers Albert (AR) and George Ray "Ray" in the newsstand and picture postcard business in the I&I Interurban railway ticket office on Brady St.
Harry enlisted in the Army on 22 Nov 1917 at the Rock Island Arsenal. He served as Sergeant in the Special Training Ordnance Co., 2nd Regiment Training Camp, Hancock, Hancock, Georgia. Upon his return, he managed the commercial photography department of BAWDEN Bros. Inc, now at 121 E. 3rd St. (no longer exists - Kaiserslautern Square "K Square" city park named after Davenport's sister city in Germany, and restaurant Duck City replaced)
On 12 June 1926, Harry married Blanche KNOX at Short Hills Country Club in East Moline, Rock Island, Illinois. Blanche was born 18 May 1898 in Moline. Her adopted father was Luther Calvin KNOX and mother was Sarah Jane Reily (sp?) KNOX. Calvin's grandfather, Charles founded the KNOX Funeral Homes in Rock Island.
Blanche graduated from Moline High School and the National Kindergarten and Elementary College in Chicago, Cook, Illinois. She was a kindergarten teacher in the Moline schools.
The BAWDEN home at 105 Greenwood Avenue, Bettendorf, Scott, Iowa, was where Blanche was living when she died on 30 Aug 1972. Harry and Blanche had 1 child, Nancy Glee born 18 July 1927 in Davenport. "Nan" legally changed her name in high school to Nan - no Glee. (seperate blog) She died 13 Jan 1999 in Coral Breeze, Florida.
At his death, 25 Jul 1976 in Davenport, Harry was Chairman of the Board of BAWDEN Bros. Inc. He was the last of the founding brothers to die. Harry was a member of Davenport's First Presbyterian Church, The American Legion Post 26, and Rotary Club. He and Blanche are buried in the public mausoleum in Oakdale Cemetery.
He spent his last years at Ridgecrest Village in Davenport, where he brought happiness to others with his daily visit to those who were bedridden and by originating and organizing trips to local restaurants for those able to travel. He was a beloved man, always enthusiastic and cheerful, with a keen interest in the role his family played in the development of Scott County and the City of Davenport. Many references in this 1896 family gene study are attributed to his undated family history.
Family stories from Ridgecrest say Harry put Playboy magazines in the sunrooms.