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ELDRIDGE: Jacob Mullen, mover-and-shaker son of Duncan and Rachel BROWN ELDRIDGE, had 3 wives and 9 children
There are many stories about Jacob who never let grass grow and saw many business and personal opportunites to better life in Davenport, Scott, Iowa. Jacob is this writer's legacy through his daughter, Jennie, who married George Washington BAWDEN.
JACOB MULLEN ELDRIDGE (Duncan Campbell and Rachel BROWN3, Josiah2, William1) was born 20 November 1824 in Haddonfield, Camden, New Jersey, the only surviving child of Duncan and Rachel BROWN ELDRIDGE (no BMD). There were 2 others born in Rochester, NY who died shortly after birth.
The History of Scott County, IA 1882 p. 827 is the most accurate account of Jacob because he was 58 yo, and it can be assumed the info was given by Jacob.
“His mother died when he was four years old and he went to live with his grandmother [Rebecca LIPPINCOTT ELDRIDGE who was widowed]. He became self-supporting at the age of 13 and followed teaming until he was 19, when he sold his team and traveled one winter, visiting Washington and called on President John TYLER. He engaged in the grain business in Camden, New York one year, then started for the West and landed at Rock Island, IL Dec 23, 1845, after a journey of 2 mos hard travel from Philadelphia. The next day he came to Davenport, Scott, IA, then a city of 500 inhabitants where his father had resided since 1838. He concluded to make this city his home, and entered land three mi. northeast of Davenport paying $1.25/A and sold it for $125 in 1872 realizing 10,000 per cent on the investment. On 12 Feb 1846, he returned to Philadelphia, settled up his business there and came back to Davenport on Nov 20 ”.
His land purchase was on Jersey Ridge Road, so named by him because it reminded him of his home in Haddonfield. He was one of the first land agents and continued to make land and railroad development his business for the rest of his life. He owned 1000s of acres in undeveloped land in Iowa, Nebraska, and the Dakota Territory, and an interest in a 3,000A farm near Eldridge, ND which was called “Davenport Farm”. [Dtr Kate and husband Circuit Judge Samuel LYTER GLASPELL].
On 2 July 1871, the plat of Eldridge Junction (now the town of Eldridge, Scott, IA) was filed in the Scott County Court House by Jacob M. ELDRIDGE. The town lay in Sheridan Township at the junction of the Maquoketa and Milwaukee/St. Paul RRs intersected. There was a large element of speculation on the city’s growth. Many predicted Rockingham Twnshp (sw Davenport along the river) and even Buffalo further down the river. There was much rivalry between LeClaire and Davenport as river posts so it was not strange that Jacob should choose a site north, with a bit of advanced information, which was being opened by the Davenport and St. Paul Railroad. He understood that the division point and roundhouses were to be located here. He purchased a farm, planned and built a village which he named Eldridge and hoped to make a fortune. Overnight the roundhouses were moved farther north, the bubble burst and the rapid growth of the town ceased. Davenport Democrat 31 May 1936.
He was prominent in attracting a number of railroads to cross the Mississippi River at Davenport as they headed west through Iowa. He was a member of the company that built the second railroad bridge across the Mississippi, and the Davenport Street Car lines were established largely through his efforts.
He was a Republican and was present at Iowa City, Johnson County, in 1856 when the party was organized. In 1872 he was a delegate to the liberal Republican convention at Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio, where Horace GREELEY was nominated for US president. Jacob was reputed to have put the words “Go West young Man’ into the mouth of Horace GREELEY.
Jacob was a leading member of the Christian Church which his father and the band of pioneers had instituted in Davenport. At his death he was the oldest member of the Sons of Temperance in Iowa, an organization he joined in 1847.
Jacob first married Mary Louise WOODWARD on 1 June 1848 in Davenport, dtr of Joseph SMITH and Mary FORMAN WOODWARD. She was born 31 Aug 1822 in Burlington, Burlington, NJ. She died after 18 mo in December 1849 in Davenport and is buried in Davenport’s Oakdale Memorial Gardens on the Woodward-Morgan lot. Mary Louise(a) WOODWARD is the sister of Benjamin BECKWITH WOODWARD, father of Stephen Douglas BAWDEN’s wife, Mary Ella WOODWARD.
He married Mary HIGH WILLIAMS on 25 June 1851 in Davenport, dtr of Charles CLARK and Eliza MILLER WILLIAMS born in Newark, Essex, NJ. The WILLIAMS came to Davenport in 1844 and were among the early members of the Presbyterian Church.
Jacob and Mary’s Jersey Ridge fruit farm was where all 9 children were born. Distance to Davenport and poor enterprise [filed for bankrupcy] necessitated the move into the city in a house at 1530 Farnam. The children could get to school easily, Jacob could run his real estate and insurance business office on Brady St. The family lived here until after Jacob’s death. Mary suffered ill health for many years. According to dtr Jennie, her mother became an invalid because of “nervous prostration”. Mary died 10 June 1885 and is buried in Oakdale Memorial Gardens.
Jacob married third on 28 September 1886 in Davenport, Miss Agnes SMITH, dtr of Robert and Margaret (maiden?) SMITH. Agnes was born 4 Feb 1840 in Perth. Quebec, Canada. The SMITHs came to Scott County in 1854 settling on a farm near Long Grove. In 1864 they moved to Davenport where they were members of the Christian Church.
Jacob died of “exhaustion” 8 Jun 1902 in his Farnam St. home. Agnes died 26 Jan 1937 in her sister’s home 1614 LeClaire St. They are buried in Oakdale.
All born in Davenport, Scott, IA: 6 of 9 have seperate pages**.
1. Elizabeth b 3 Apr 1852**
2. Charles b. 1854, d 26 Apr 1854, buried Oakdale
3. Katherine “Kate” b. 9 Mar 1855**
4. Frank W. b 29 July 1858**
5. William V. b14 Feb 1860, d 19 Mar 1866 of typhoid
6. Minnie b 20 July 1862**
7. Jennie b 15 Jul 1865. This is my heritage**
8. George Wallace b 16 Jan 1868**
9. Emily M. b 23 Jan 1870, d. 23 Oct 1876 of diphtheria buried Oakdale
ELDRIDGE: Bowman Henry and Margaret DRUMGOOLE's 5 children: Emily, Elizabeth, Bowman Joseph, Nathaniel and Naomi
They were all born in Davenport, Scott, Iowa
1. Emily M. born 23 Jan 1870, died 23 Oct 1876 of diptheria. Buried on John Eldridge lot in Oakdale
2. Elizabeth H. born 22 Aug 1875, died 28 Sept 1877 of diptheria. buried with Emily
3. Bowman Joseph born 14 Feb 1879
4. Nathaniel H. born 20 Oct 1882. The family black sheep. He was occasionally on the other side of the law. On 9 Feb 1900, he was arrested for stealing a set of harness from August STEFFEN's Livery Stable and tried to sell it to a 2nd hand store. On 19 May 1904, Nathaniel and Mrs. Medial RODDUE RUSSELL (no BMD) were married in Davenport by Justice of the Peace L.E. RODDEWIG, however the marriage lasted less than a year. "DELLIA complained he got drunk and "beat her into insensibility" on the streets of Davenport on 9 Apr 1905. The Davenport Public Library's RICHARDSON SLOAN Collections room has some newspaper articles on microfilm about Nathaniel beating his wife and appearing before a judge. He lived with his family until his mother's death in 1912 and then left Davenport. Family members remember Nathaniel as a horse trainer who drifted in and out of town. He died of cancer in the Peoria Illinois State Hospital at Bartonsville, Monroe, Illinois on 5 Nov 1958 and is buried in the Hospital Cemetery.
5. Naomi, born 11 Oct 1884 in Davenport.
ELDRIDGE: Bowman Henry marries Margaret K. DRUMGOOLE: restauranteur, baker, constable, turnkey, custodian,
Bowman Henry ELDRIDGE was born 30 Sept 1845 in Davenport, son of John and Mary Ann ADAMS ELDRIDGE (also Duncan Campbell ELDRIDGE's nephew).
He married 9 Feb 1869 Margaret Drumgoole who was also very civic-minded. They were married in St. Anthony's Church in Davenport by the Very Rev. J.A.M. PELEMORGUES. Margaret was born 18 Feb 1851 in New York (no location), dtr of Patrick and Mary FERGUSON DRUMGOOLE. She came to Davenport with her parents in 1856 and attended St. Anthony's Parochial School founded by Fr. PELEMORGUES, was the first school in Davenport and was attended by Catholic and Protestant children.
In 1867, Bowman joined his brothers Theodore and Joseph in the bakery business at 3rd and Perry Streets where the Blackhawk Hotel now stands. For 20 years he was connected with his brothers, but in 1885, Bowman started his own restaurant at 309 Brady Street. At age 50, he left the restaurant business and began work for Scott County, serving as constable and as the first "turnkey" at the county jail. In later years he worked for August E. STEFFEN Co. as a custodian.
One of the early "intelligence offices" as employment agencies were first called, was started in Davenport in 1892 due to Margaret DRUMGOOLE ELDRIDGE's efforts. She worked until her death helping others find employment. She was a prominent member of St. Anthony's Relief Society. Both Bowman and Margaret were members of the Scott County Pioneer Old Settlers Assoc. for which Bowman served as president. Membership in this genealogy social support group is limited to those who arrived in Scott County before 1840 and successors. It meets only once a year. The ELDRIDGE home is at 614 Main St, now HALLIGAN McCABE DEVRIES Funeral Home (see website).
Margaret died 25 Jan 1912 in their home at 424 W. 5th St. (old street number) of diabetes. Bowman died 31 July 1924 in Davenport and is buried with Margaret and her brother James DRUMGOOLE, in Davenport's Mt. Calvary Cemetery. They had 5 children.
They were all born in Davenport, Scott, Iowa.
1. Harry W. (middle name unk), born 5 May 1859, attended public schools and Davenport's Griswold College, for men only. He married Nancy A. WHEELOCK on 19 Sept 1888 in Rock Island, Rock Island, Illinois. She was born 20 Sept 1866 in Moline, Rock Island, Illinois, dtr of Alonzo and Mary (maiden?) WHEELOCK. Harry worked briefly with his father, Joseph H., in the livery company, but most of his life was spent as a foreman or manager of various livery business in Davenport, and as a teamster for American Express. The last 14 years before his death, he worked as a salesman and/or attendant for the Pennslvania Oil Company in Davenport.
Harry was a member of the Moose and Woodman of the World. He died of sclerosis 23 July 1934. Nancy died at the University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City, Johnson, Iowa of broncho pneumonia. on 21 Oct 1943. Both are buried in Davenport's Oakdale Cemetery. They had no children
2. Anna FOOTE born ca 1865 (no date) and married Enoch Arthur Wood on 16 April 1890 in Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Davenport. Enoch was the son of Jeremiah and Lydia SMITH WOOD and he was born (no date) in Rock Island, Illinois. Enoch worked as a clerk in Tacoma, Washington at their marriage.
Anna and Enoch were living in New Orleans in 1925 when her younger brother Willard died. In 1933, Anna returned to Davenport as a widow (no death date for ENOCH) and lived with brother Harry until his death in 1934. It is not known when she died, and according to her niece, she and Enoch had no children.
3. Willard B. (middle name unk) was born 20 Dec 1877, worked with his father as a hostler (groom and care for horses). After his father's death, he continued to work as a teamster for various Davenport companies.
On 1 Apr 1901, Willard and Anna HEPNER were married by a Justice of the Peace in Davenport. She was born ca 1876 in Davenport (no date), dtr of Henry and Louise SCHROEDER HEPNER. No marriage disposition known.
About 1905, Willard married Mary Anna COOLBAUGH of Burlington, Des Moines, Iowa.
In the 1910 Iowa Federal Census, Willard and Mary Anna were enumerated in Davenport along with Alice, age 13, whose relationship to Willard is given as stepdaughter. (Alice might have been Mary Anna's dtr by a previous marriage).
According to Alice, she was discovered in 1897 as an infant under the seat of a railroad car with a laudaman-filled nipple in her mouth. Alice married David HARTER of Davenport (no BMD), and moved with her mother to Waterloo, Iowa after the death of her father.
In 1927 there appeared a notice in the Davenport Democrat seeking the whereabouts of the baby left under the seat of the train in 1897. The article instructed Alice to contact Mayor RODDEWIG of Davenport who directed her to a Mr. BEEKMAN in Petersburg, Menard, Illinois. According to Alice ELDRIDGE HARTER, she visited Mr. BEEKMAN and corresponded with him for many years, however, the relationship was not made known to her. She is presently married to Leonard HAMILTON and is living in Davenport (1986). I don't have access to SSDI now that Ancestry owns it.
Willard died 31 Oct 1925 at age 47 of a stroke and is buried in davenport's Oakdale Cemetery. Willard and Mary attended Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.
The Davenport City Directories list Mary ELDRIDGE as working in the Ozark Cafe as a cook in 1928. After that, her name is no longer found in other Scott County records.
Joseph H. (middle name?) ELDRIDGE was the son of John M. and Mary Ann ADAMS ELDRIDGE, born in 1834 (no date) in Gloucester County, New Jersey. He moved to Davenport with his family as a 5-year-old and attended public schools.
He married "Nellie" on 11 Feb 1858 in Davenport. She was born 2 Feb 1839 and came with her family to Davenport, Scott, Iowa in 1854. (no bio info) The couple farmed on Jersey Ridge Road in Davenport, near his father. They had 3 children.
In 1867, Joseph and his brothers, Theodore and Bowman, formed a "bakery, confectionery, restaurant, ice cream soda and oyster saloon". on the corner of 3rd and Perry Streets (razed for the Blackhawk Hotel). The brothers successfully operated the business until teir father died in 1892. The partnership dissolved and Joseph began the Joe Eldridge and Son Livery Co. on E. 3rd St. which he operated until his death. The automobile made its first appearance in 1892. The family home was at 120 W. 6th St. in Davenport.
Joseph died 26 Sept 1907, Ellen died 9 May 1920, both were members of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and are buried in Oakdale Cemetery in Davenport.
ELDRIDGE: Micajah LIPPINCOTT ELDRIDGE, the youngest of Duncan CAMPBELL and Rebecca LIPPINCOTT ELDRIDGE
Micajah was born 22 Aug 1845 in Davenport, Scott, Iowa. He was educated in Davenport schools and began his career at age 18 in the Davenport Post Office where his brother Charles H. ELDRIDGE was Post Master, and his father Duncan, who had been Davenport's second Post Master, now served as Clerk.
In April 1864, Charles H. ELDRIDGE resigned as Post Master and began a real estate and insurance busines with Micajah, advertised in the 1873 Davenport City Directory:
"ELDRIDGE & BROS. (C.H.E. & M.L.E.) Land, real estate, insurance and collection agents; money, real estate and exchange brokers; notaries public; Abstracts of Titles made at short notice; office 38 Brady."
Micajah began a weekly newspaper, in addition to his business with Charles, in 1874 devoted to the interest of working men, the "Times". He sold the newspaper after unsuccessfully publishing it for 2 years.
About 1880, Charles retired. Micajah joined his half-brother, Jacob Mullen ELDRIDGE [this writer's lineage], in the real estate, insurance and loan business.
On 17 Oct 1865, Pastor James CHALLEN of the Christian Church, married Micajah to Magdelena (enia) L. BERRY, in Davenport. "Maggie" was born 11 Sept 1844 in Harrisburg, Dauphin, Pennsylvania. The 1850 census for Harrisburg lists "Maggie" BERRY living with her widowed mother, Sarah. (no father named). In 1860 she was living with her grandmother, Sarah LINGLE in Rock Island, Rock Island, Illinois.
Micajah and Maggie were divorced in 1893. Maggie resumed the use of her maiden name, BERRY. She died on her birthday, 11 Sept 1908 in Davenport and is buried on the ELDRIDGE lot in Oakdale Cemetery. They had 8 chidren all in Davenport.
Micajah married Hanna FOWLER EARLE on 26 Sept 1901 in Davenport's Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. Hannah was born 3 Apr 1839 in Whitesboro, Oneida, New York to Raphael and Hannah BEJORD FOWLER and came to Davenport with her family in 1857. She married George B. EARLE, a grain dealer, in 1858 (no date) in Davenport.
Micajah and Hanna lived in her home, called "Chattaqua Point", along the river on 8th St. in BEttendorf, Scott, Iowa. Hanna EARLE ELDRIDGE died in her home 28 Mar 1912, and was buried in Oakdale with her first husband and daughter, Mrs. Stella M. BRADDON.
Micajah died 17 Aug 1925 in Davenort. His body was cremated (ashes where?) and a cenotaph (boulder) was placed in his memory in Oakdale.
Duncan CHALLEN b 21 May 1868 (seperate page)
Sadie Rebecca b 1870 (no date), she died of diptheria on 26 Mar 1891 and is buried in Oakdale
James L. (Lippincott?) b 24 May 1872 and died 5 Aug 1872 at 2 mo. of thrush and is buried in Oakdale.
Anna B (Berry?) born Jan 1873 (no date). She was mentioned in her father's obit as Dr. Annie E. BURNS, wife of Dr. William BURNS, of Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut.
Wallace born 12 Jun 1874 and died at age 1 mo. of cholera 17 Jul 1874
William B (Berry?) born 1877 (no date). He was mentioned in his father's obit as Dr. W. B. ELDRIDGE of Olean, Cattaraugus, New York. His wife was Mary K. (maiden?) ELDRIDGE. (no bio info)
Mary, called "Mae" born 1879 (no date), married Robert E. MOORE, 30 Sept 1903 in Battle Creek, Calhoun, Michigan. Mae was a nurse at the Battle Creek Sanitarium, her husband was a clerk there. She was mentioned in her father's obit as Mrs. Mae MOORE FILES, wife of Jrank Judson FILES of Madison, Somerset, Maine. They were married 12 Jul 1924 in Madison.
S. Benjamin (S ?) b March 1881 (no date). He was mentioned in his father's obit as S.B. ELDRIDGE of Houston, Harris, Texas. His wife's name was Loretta P. ELDRIDGE (no maiden).
MARY TERRILL BAWDEN; born 9 May 1851 in Norristown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Stephen and Mary TERRILL BAWDEN.
She moved to Rockingham Township (Davenport) with her parents when she was 9 yo. She attended Davenport schools. She married John Lowery ILES on 7 February 1871 in Davenport, Scott County, IA. In the 1880 federal census, they share their home with 18 yo servant Sophia RUNGE, born in Holstein, Germany of Holstein, German parents. John was born 15 September 1848 in Midway, KY to Thomas Jefferson and Maria Louisa NUCKOLS ILES.
Dr. Thomas Jefferson ILES moved to Davenport to be near his sons during the Civil War. He decided being a doctor would put him near the action and was assigned to the Rock Island Arsenal. He was born 17 March 1811 in Jessamine, KY. and died 27 November 1889 in Davenport. He is buried in Oakdale with Maria.
The 1880 census says 32 yo John is a painter. John was treasurer and manager until 1908 of Riverside Milling Co. at 804 E. Front St (now River Drive – a Wonder Bread factory closed for bankruptcy in 2005). Then he became president of Valley Place Investment Co. He lived in the family home at 614 E. 13th St. (still exists) until 1917 when he moved to Magnolia Springs, Baldwin County, Alabama, where he died 17 December 1939.
Mary cared for her mother after her father’s death. Mary 43 yo died on 6 February 1894. She and John are buried in Oakdale Memorial Gardens. They were members of the Methodist Church. John and Mary TERRILL ILES had 3 children all in Davenport:
a. Mary Louise ILES b 25 November 1871 (Mamie in 1880 census.)(seperate blog)
b. Alice GANSERT ILES b. 28 March 1876, died 21 February 1881 of diptheria. Buried in Oakdale in the Gansert plot
c. John Thomas ILES b. 9 June 1882. He worked as a clerk for his father at the Riverside Milling Company until 1906 when he listed his occupation as a student. In 1918, John was living with sister Mary ILES GANSERT in Rock Island, Rock Island County, IL again listing his occupation as student. He married 1907ish Edna Ophelia MANGUN born 24 March 1882 in Memphis Junction, Kentucky. She died 1 February 1949 of diabetes and hypertensive myocarditis. They lived at 2728 S. 4th in Louisville. (her father David MANGUN and mother Rufina nln)
John died 25 February 1951 in the Old Mason's Home in Veachland, Shelby, Kentucky fo cirrhosis of the liver and enlarged heart. Death records said he moved there 9 mos before from Louisville. Occupation listed as mechanic. In his WWI draft record, it lists his father, John Lowery/Lowry ILES, as next of kin, not Edna, probably because his father was a widower and could use any pension/survivor benefits.
Emily H. (this could have been a transcriber error for M, or it could have been a previous maternal name) was the daughter of John M. and Mary Ann ADAMS ELDRIDGE, born 1836 (no date) in Gloucester County, New Jersey.
On 7 Nov 1855 in Davenport, Scott, Iowa, she became the 2nd wife of Dr. Wallace William PARKER who was born at Onondaga County, New York in Jan 1818. He was trained as a printer, but not finding that trade to his liking, went to medical school and became an allopathic doctor. He married and practiced medicine for 14 years in Ohio, before he moved to Davenport after the death of his first wife, (no name).
Dr. PARKER owned a hardware store which burned to the ground in 1857 at the time of his marriage to Emily. In 1860, he began a combined medical practice and drug store which he was forced to close because of epileptic seizures. He retired to the country, 3 miles from the city limits on Jersey Ridge Road, but remained active in Davenport business affairs, serving as vicepresident of the Davenport Savings Bank, and a director of the National Insurance Company.
They had: Ida PARKER b 1857 (no date) in Davenport...nothing further is known; Anna H. PARKER born 1860 (no date) in Davenport. She died of typhoid on 2 Sept 1869 and is buried in Oakdale.
On 8 Aug 1868, at age 49, Dr. PARKER was killed in a railroad accident at Ames, Iowa. The accident was possibly the result of an epileptic seizure which caused him to fall under the wheels of a moving train.
He is buried in Davenport's Oakdale Cemetery on his father-in-law's lot. Buried beside him is John Earl PARKER, a son by his first marriage who was born in Ohio in 1853 and died 3 Aug 1869 in Geneseo, Henry, Illinois of typhoid.
Emily ELDRIDGE PARKER married Alexander SMART 17 Oct 1872 in Davenport and shortly thereafter left the area. I have not tracked her down.
Lewis H. (unknown mn) was born in 1842 (no date) in Davenport, Scott, Iowa, (my reference says) probably the son of Duncan and Rebecca LIPPINCOTT ELDRIDGE.
In the 1850 Iowa federal census for Scott County, city of Davenport, Lewis ELDRIDGE, age 8, is listed as living in the home of Asa PRESCOTT. Asa was a teacher from New Hampshire who began one of the early schools in Davenport. It is possible Lewis boarded with the PRESCOTT family while he was attending their school.
In the Daily Davenport Democrat newspaper, 27 Aug 1867 announced the marriage of Lewis H. ELDRIDGE of Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee to Miss Mary L. BLACK of Davenport. Apparently the couple returned to Tennessee after their marriage, since they are not found in Davenport city directories.
Duncan ELDRIDGE does not mention Lewis in his will and Sarah ELDRIDGE ASHER, Lewis' sister, named her only child Lewis. The only family member to do that, perhaps ndicating a close brother-sister relationship.
There are many stories about Duncan CAMPBELL ELDRIDGE. This is a brief history about this enterprising mover-and-shaker.
DUNCAN CAMPBELL ELDRIDGE: son of Josiah and Sarah MIDDLETON ELDRIDGE was born 3 Aug 1801 in Woodbury, Gloucester, New Jersey. He was probably named in honor of Duncan CAMPBELL who fought in the Revolutionary War and was a doctor in Woodbury at the time of the Eldridge birth. Duncan’s parents were devout Quakers and saw that son Duncan had a good education and was taught a useful trade. Duncan worked as a brick layer and plasterer in Haddonfield and Philadelphia until 1824.
Duncan and first wife, Rachel BROWN, were married 8 January 1823 in Haddonfield, Camden County, New Jersey where they lived until the birth of Jacob in 1824. Then they moved to Rochester, Monroe County, New York, where 2 more children were born, both dying in infancy.
14 December 1824 Duncan ELDRIDGE of Haddonfield, Gloucester Co., Bricklayer and Cooper, and Rachel his wife, for $80, to Wallace LIPPINCOTT Junior of the Township of Waterford, Gloucester Co., Gentleman Farmer, land in the Township of Gloucester, 7 acres, 3 [roods], and 20 pershes of Cedar Swamp, to Duncan ELDRIDGE 6 March 1824.
Wit: Thos REDMAN (s) Duncan ELDRIDGE
G. W. COLLINGS Her
Rachel X ELDRIDGE
Recorded 7 March 1827 Mark
Rachel BROWN ELDRIDGE died in 1827. I have nothing more on her – birth, death, parentage. Duncan returned to Haddonfield where he left 4 yo Jacob in the care of Duncan‘s mother, Sarah, and moved to Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio to work at his trade.
On 4 November 1829, in Cincinnati, Duncan married Rebecca LIPPINCOTT, a childhood friend from Haddonfield, born 23 January 1807, daughter of Micajah and Sarah Jane ROBERTS LIPPINCOTT, probably in Haddonfield, New Jersey.
The Blackhawk War concluded on 21 September 1832 with the signing of a treaty near the Village of East Davenport, giving title of 6,000,000 (million) acres of Indian land west of the Mississippi River to the United States. English immigrant and Indian agent / trader, Colonel George DAVENPOT [colonel = honorary], and Antoine LECLAIRE, who was a French-Canadian fur trader and son of a Pottowottomie Indian Chief’s granddaughter, were at the signing. LECLAIRE was interpreter and suttler for the United States government.
After the treaty was concluded, Keokuk, Sac Indian chief, donated the section of land where the treaty was signed to LECLAIRE’s wife, Marguerite, with the understanding that the LeClaires would build their home on the site. In 1835, Antoine LECLAIRE, George DAVENPORT, and 6 other men surveyed and laid out the town of Davenport on the land presented to Mrs. LeClaire. The house still stands as a private residence.
Duncan met Antoine LECLAIRE and George DAVENPORT while they were buying supplies in Cincinnati. After hearing them describe the beauty and rich soil, Duncan was persuaded to move to Scott County, IA. The ELDRIDGE family packed their belongings, along with enough wood to erect a shanty. Duncan’s son, Jacob, who was the only child from Duncan’s wife Rachel BROWN, was left with Eldridge grandparents in New Jersey. Rebecca LIPPINCOTT ELDRIDGE, Duncan CAMPBELL ELDRIDGE and their first child, Charles Henry ELDRIDGE, born 26 Jul 1830, in Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio, boarded a raft which Duncan built for a trip down the Ohio River in lieu of taking a slower more dangerous route on land. He built a shanty on the raft and placed a cook stove, a 4-poster bed, clothing, food and supplies.
It was late Fall by the time they got to the convergence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. During the trip down the Mississippi, they communicated with a steamer captain, possibly the “Dubuque”, asking to be towed because the current had slowed. After some period, the captain decided that the ELDRIDGE raft was slowing the steamer, and the captain abandoned the raft to its own. The shallow, rocky river froze as they approached the Scott County borders. They were ice-jammed close to the Illinois side – then called Stephenson, now Rock Island. They yelled for help. A period of a day or so later, a group of men managed to get out far enough to get a rope and pull the Eldridges to shore. The winters were snowy and blustery cold. Duncan and Rebecca’s shanty was made of logs with mud packed between them. The mud eroded with the weather, so they took the Cincinnati newspapers and pasted them all over the walls to keep the cold out. When townspeople heard, they came in groups, some standing on tuffets, to read the news on the walls.
They arrived on 5 Oct 1835 at the foot of Brady Street where Duncan erected a shanty from the materials he’d used on his raft, near the only other house in the area, a small wooden house owned by Antoine LECLAIRE who was sent by the government to be a suttler to the Indians in 1815.
In Spring, Duncan returned to Cincinnati to purchase merchandise to begin a general store in a 2-story wood frame building which he constructed on the northwest corner of Ripley and Front Street (River Drive). One might wonder where Duncan would find customers to buy merchandise in a wilderness town boasting a population of just 12 families. Stephenson, with a population of 500, and others who had settled for many miles up and down river, came to the area to trade. Before 1840, Iowa settlers were dependent on imported products: lumber, pork, flour, and even corn. The Davenport river bank at the foot of the Rock Island Rapids was a steamboat landing for westward pioneers, and receiving and shipping merchandise and agricultural products.
From Davenport’s early days, Duncan was a leader in community affairs. He began his business career as a merchant, selling dry goods, books, drugs, and groceries. He practiced his trade as bricklayer and plasterer, helping to build over 34 houses and buildings including the first post office and the LeClaire House hotel. They lived in Davenport’s first brick house built in 1838 by Duncan on the northeast corner of 3rd and Main Streets. He began a carriage and blacksmith ship, he built and managed the White Hall Temperance House hotel. He introduced to Davenport the first “flouring” mill, a small coffee mill grinder run by horse power.
He was a Whig, elected one of the first township trustees, an unsuccessful candidate for sheriff and was the fire warden for the city, officiating in Davenport’s first fire – his Eldridge store burned to the ground.
When Antoine LECLAIRE resigned as postmaster in 1838, Duncan was appointed in his place and kept until he resigned in 1852. Until his death in 1882, he was connected with Hartwell and Bemis, a fire and life insurance company (1880 census).
On 29 May 1831, Rebecca and Duncan became members of the Christian Church after baptism by immersion in the Ohio River in Cincinnati. There were no organized churches when Eldridges arrived in Davenport, so they opened their home to all traveling Protestant preachers who would conduct services for the young community. Reverend James RUMBOLD came to Davenport in 1838 and organized the Christian or Disciples Church in the Eldridge home. Duncan and Rebecca were members for the rest of their lives.
They had Charles Henry, Sarah E., Lewis H. and Micajah Lippincott (seperate pages)
Duncan was a member of the Odd Fellows for 54 years and was the oldest member west of the Alleghany Mts. at his death. He died at their home, 214 W. 5th St., on 3 Oct 1882, of a stroke. Rebecca, his wife of over 50 years, died 5 Oct 1889. She was the last living settler who came to Davenport in 1835. Duncan, Rebecca, and 4 of their 5 children: Jacob Mullen, Charles Henry, Sara E., and Micajah Lippincott are buried in Davenport’s Oakdale Memorial Gardens.