ELDRIDGE: Jennie tells family stories about life in Davenport, and some are repeated about her
The Eldridge-Bawden Families: The Ancestry and Descendants of Duncan Campbell Eldridge and Stephen Bawden, Scott County, Iowa; author-compiler Alice Richardson Sloan, C.G. (dec 2011), commissioned by John Duvall Bawden (dec 1992), Bettendorf, Iowa; Anundsen Pub Co., Decorah, Iowa , 1986, 290 pps, no copyright, no ISBN, in the personal library of this writer.
These come from the appendix of the above vinyl-bound family history.
A couple who are native to our town and how have the friendship and esteem of all who know them, were married last evening at the home of the bride's parents. Nettie B. CHENOWETH was the bride's companion at the altar and Mr. Ed IRWIN of Muscatine was the groom's best man. The bride is a young lady of charming graces and elegancies, and the young husband is greatly respected here in his native city and in his practice of law. The Journal (Muscatine newspaper) remarks that Mr. and Mrs. BAWDEN will take up their abode in the Spring residence, 3rd Street hill, which has been handsomely furnished for the reception of the bride. Muscatine society will extend a warm welcome to the estimable young couple. Mr. BAWDEN, during his two-year residence in this city, has won the high personal esteem of all with whom he has come in contact, and has proven himself a business man of fine abilities. The bride is one of Davenport's brightest and loveliest young ladies and will quickly win a place in the hearts of a whole host of friends in Muscatine.
Davenport Democrat 5 Mar 1885 Front page
The Jennie BAWDEN and [sister] Minnie SCHLEGEL families for years celebrated Christmas and the Fourth of July at each others home. Often the BAWDEN boys would throw bisquits at the SCHLEGEL girls. Between courses, [Minnie's dtr] Claire would lead us kids out doors and run around the house to make more room for the food to follow. At Christmas each family had large Christmas trees lighted with candles and we all sang [sic] O Tanabam.
Harry BAWDEN's Family History about the Minnie ELDRIDGE SCHLEGEL family.
I5t's difficult for most Davenporters to imagine Indians wandering through the yards of homes in the vicinity of Kirkwood Blvd and Farnam St.
However, Mrs. Jennie BAWDEN, 29 Edgehill Terrace, doesn't have a difficult time imagining such occurrences. She remembers them! Mrs. BAWDEN who celebrated her 90th birthday this week recalls many equally fascinating experiences in early Davenport.
Daughter of J.M. (Jake) ELDRIDGE, prominent Scott County real estate man for whom the community of Eldridge is named, Mrs. BAWDEN spent her early years inthe family home at Kirkwood and Farnam. One of her earliest recollections is seeing the Indians walk through her yard. A tree onthe property bore the markings of an Indian trail. They stopped to greet members of her family.
I had such black hair, they thought I was a papoose, and they always begged mymother to let them hold me, the sprightly little lady says.
Mother would usually offer them a pie, fresh from the oven, and they'd be on their way, she added.
Jennie married George Washington BAWDEN, then a recent graduate of the Iowa University Law School, in 1885. The couple lived in Muscatine for several years and their first son Albert was born there. Another memorable experience was pushing Albert in his baby buggy across the then 'new' bridge spanning the Mississippi River at Muscatine (Iowa).
The First Presbyterian Church was located in the 600 block on Brady St. in what is now part of the Davenport Public Museum. Construction of the present church in what wasw then considered suburban Davenport (Kirkwood and Iowa) is vivid in the memory of the 90-year-old woman.
When effects of the church were transported to the new building in a procession, the BAWDEN's 14-year-old son, Albert had the distinction of carrying the Bible, his mother reported. [ed note: I read where noted jazz cornetist Bix BEIDERBECKE had the same honor.]
Bicycling and canoeing were 2 popular sports for young married couples in Davenport such as the BAWDENs.
Another vivid recolletion for Mrs. BAWDEN is the advent of the 'horseless carriage' on Davenport streets. It seems one of the first automobile owners was Harry RYAN [George's nephew]. Mrs. BAWDEN recalls embarrassment the day Mr. RYAN was a caller in her home and they looked out the window in time to see her teenage sons, Ray and Harry, and chum, Dana WATERMAN taking a spin down the boulevard in the new limousine.