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Boxcar City aka Holy City, Bettendorf, IA

Train boxcars were home to the Mexicans who came, some with sponsors, some without, who lived in boxcars on what would be floodplain in Bettendorf, Scott, IA. There was more than one family to a boxcar and they had numeric addresses. Here is some history.

Davenport Democrat & Leader 9 October 1939
Community Chest secures them from Rock Island Lines

The problem of housing 16 Mexican families, who are being evicted from the "Holy City" district near the Bettendorf plant [railroad car chassis and wheels], because the ground on which their shacks stood, has been sold to the Standard Oil Co by the Bettendorf Co.

The problem has been solved for another 18 mos. The company had agreed to permit the Mexicans to live rent-free for 18 mos. with the understanding that it must be vacated at the end of the period to make way for further industrial developments.

Boxcars have been secured from the Rock Island railroad through efforts of the Davenport Community Chest and the Catholic Charities, the latter a Chest agency, and they will be placed on a tract between the present 'Holy City' area and the Bettendorf foundry building which also fronts on the river.

The boxcars are scheduled to arrive here the latter part of this week. They should be ready for residences within 2 weeks. The Standard Oil Co. will then start wrecking the old "Holy City" shacks to make way for an oil storage terminal on the river front.

J. M. HUTCHINSON, president of Davenport Community Chest and Ben COMENITZ, a former president, made a trip to Chicago and interviewed Rock Island Lines officials to secure the boxcars. There were no boxcars available in this area, and officials were reluctant to bring any in from elsewhere, but finally agreed when the nature of the situation was explained.

The Community Chest will advance $1,500 to finance the purchase and this will be repaid by the Mexicans during the next 12 mos. The Bettendorf Co. has agreed to furnish employment for at least one member of each family and to aid in collections for the Catholic Charities through whom the loan will be made.

A fund of $550 was raised by the Mexican families for a down payment and was turned over to Catholic Charities some time ago. It is hoped that a permanent tract will be found in the next 18 mos. and that the boxcars may be moved there or the material in them used as the nucleus for low-cost homes.

An investigation disclosed that homes could be built by William J. VALE for the evicted families would be too expensive to fall within the budget available.

There are 2 families on relief and they will be cared for by the county. Their rent payments will be charged as rent. The county disclaimed any responsibility for the housing of families that were not on relief.

The Jose and Petra Saldivar family, 3 girls from Petra's previous marriage to Mr. Rodrigues in Zacatecas, MX; Marian, Juanita, and Francisa, and children: Magarito, Lazaro, Theodora, Catarino [renamed, no date, from school to Victor Joseph "Nino" who was the youngest]. They lived in boxcar 6 with another family.


Alexander SMART was born 4 December 1835 in Kinard Castle, Farnell Parish, Angus, Scotland to William and Jane Johnston(e)SMART. He was christened 27 December 1835 in Ireland. Living siblings listed in his father's obit (8 total) James Johnston, William, John Johnston and Alexander. William and Jane's 3 sons, Walter, Frances Kerr, and Charles, and dtr Agnes B. Donald not listed.

William was born 14 April 1800 in Brechin, Angus, Scotland. As a gardener/forester for the Carnegie estate, he thought there were better opportunities in the New World. In 1856 he sailed on the "Caroline", registered in Rockland, ME, from Liverpool to Boston and established a home in Andover, Essex, MA. He was a member of the Old Free Church of Scotland and was a man whose record for integrity and fidelity gained him uniform confidence and esteem. William died in Andover, 6 January 1878. No bio info for Jane, born 13 May 1798 in Scotland (no location) and died in Andover 1 September 1855. They are buried in Andover's South Church Cemetery.

Alexander was educated in Edinburgh, Scotland, and throughout his life has manifested many of the sterling traits of his race. He began learning the machinist trade while young and worked at this for 2 years. He worked for the North British Railroad for 2 years as engineer, in the same capacity between Edinburgh and Berwick.

In 1857, he came to the US at 21 years-of-age and settled in Boston as superintendent for Stone & Smart, where his brother (no name) was a junior partner. Alex managed their machine shop until 1859, when he made his way to Davenport, Scott, IA and engaged in farming in the vicinity of the city for about 2 years.

On 15 December 1859 in Chicago, Cook, IL, Alex married Miss Lucy A. Sanger, born in Danvers, Essex, MA, dtr of the late George W. SANGER of Watertown, Middlesex, MA (no mother listed). George was a native of MA and conducted an extensive and successful business as a contractor and builder. He died when Lucy was a child (no date) Lucy SANGER SMART died 26 August 1871 of typhoid and is buried in Davenport's Oakdale Cemetery. Interment date was 15 June 1872 as the body was moved from Dallas County, IA.

Alexander moved to Whiteside County, IL, two years later and again engaged in farming for 5 years. In 1866, he went to Malcolm, Poweshiek, IA and was an agent for the Mississippi and Missouri Railroad which sold its line to the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad Company. Mr. Smart built a grain elevator and engaged in business until 1868 in Malcolm when he moved to DeSoto, Dallas, IA, terminus for the CRI&P. The line was extended to Stuart, Adair, IA, and Alex took charge of the station and continued as agent until 1887. While in Stuart, Alexander served on the school board and was interested in progressive public measures tending to promote community welfare along business and intellectual lines.

Alexander married Emily H. ELDRIDGE PARKER 17 October 1872 in Davenport, Scott, IA. She was born (no date) in 1836 in Gloucester County, NJ, dtr of John M. (MULLEN?) and Mary Ann ADAMS ELDRIDGE. Emily had 2 dtrs in Davenport with husband Dr. Wallace William PARKER who died in a railroad accident on 8 August 1868 in Ames, Story, IA: Ida Helen born 1857 (no date), married Willard B. Conger, and Anna H. born 1860 who died of typhoid on 3 September 1869.

In 1887, Alexander was employed by the Southern Pacific Railroad.

On 15 May 1888, he came to Perry, Dallas, IA and was the agent for the CRIP until 1891, living in Guthrie Center, Guthrie, IA. He then went to Des Moines, Polk, IA and bought out the Blue Line Transfer Co. He carried on business until 1894 when he sold out and organized the Bazalt (basalt?) Hardwall Plaster Co., until 1899 when he again sold out and went to Guthrie Center. Emily ELDRIDGE PARKER SMART died in Guthrie Center on 24 July 1899. He took charge of the CRIP station. The Minneapolis and St. Louis RR purchased this line and Alexander was the agent until his retirement.

He died in Zenith, King, WA on 9 January 1935 where he was living in the Masonic home. He celebrated his 99th birthday there, where he arose at 4:30 each day. His long white beard and cheery smile were familiar to everyone. He joined the Masons in 1869 and was a Shriner since 1906. He was honored as being the oldest Shriner in the world in 1935 at 99 years old. No burial info as of Oct 2014.

ELDRIDGE: Jacob MULLEN merits an entry in The History of Davenport and Scott County, Iowa 1882

Jacob M. ELDRIDGE, arriving in Davenport in 1845, became an active and valuable factor in the business interests of the city and at the same time his opinions carried weight and his labors produced substantial results in financial circles. While he won success, his interests were never so self-centered that business excluded participation in projects and measures of progressive citizenship. On the contrary he was ever alert to the best interests of the community and his cooperation constituted a valuable force in inaugurating measures which were of public benefit. A native of New Jersey, Jacob M. ELDRIDGE was born at Haddonfield, New Jersey, November 20, 1824, a son of Duncan CAMPBELL and Rachel BROWN ELDRIDGE. Duncan was the first postmaster of Davenport.

Rachel died when Jacob was but four years of age and the boy then went to live with his widowed ELDRIDGE grandmother. His father, having remarried to Rebecca LIPPINCOTT of the publishing family, came west and had conducted a store in Davenport at the time of the death of the grandfather. Jacob M. ELDRIDGE, then a boy of thirteen years, was thrown upon his own resources and soon afterward commenced teaming.

Carefully saving his earnings, it was not long before he was able to purchase a team and in that field of activity he continued to labor for some time. Later he turned his attention to clerking and, actuated by the laudable ambition which was ever one of his strong characteristics, he soon made it possible to become the owner of a mercantile enterprise. This he conducted until 1845, when he came to Davenport, his attention having already been directed to this city by the fact that it was the place of his father's residence. He arrived in Rock Island [Illinois] on the 23d of December after a two months' journey from Philadelphia and spent Christmas eve in Davenport.

The next spring, however, he returned to the east to settle up his business affairs in that section of the country and in the succeeding fall again came back to this city. He had entered land from the government about three miles northeast of Davenport, for which he paid the usual price of a dollar and a quarter per acre.
The improvements which he placed upon it and the natural rise in value consequent upon the rapid settlement of this section of the country enabled him in 1874 to dispose of that farm for one hundred and twenty-five dollars per acre.

He was one of the first land agents of this city and followed that pursuit during much of his life. His keen judgment and sagacity enabled him to make judicious investments and profitable sales and at the same time he contributed to the substantial improvement of this section of the state by his careful manipulation of
realty interests.

At all times Mr. ELDRIDGE was mindful of his opportunity to promote public progress and was actuated by a public-spirited devotion to the general good that was manifest in many tangible ways. He was prominent in the movement that extended the Chicago & Rock Island [rail]road to the river and continued its construction across the state as the Mississippi & Missouri road. The second line afterward consolidated, forming the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific. Mr. ELDRIDGE was also a member of the company that secured the franchise for the
second railroad bridge and he put forth earnest effort wherever he believed it possible to secure the adoption of a project that promised material benefit to the city, county and state. The town of ELDRIDGE was laid out by him and the city of ELDRIDGE, North Dakota, was named in his honor, though he never lived in either.

It was through the influence of Mr. ELDRIDGE that Frank P. BLAIR became a resident of this city and a most important factor in its later upbuilding.

In the field of politics Mr. ELDRIDGE was equally well known and prominent. He was a delegate to the convention held in Iowa City in 1855, which led to the organization of the republican party in this state. In 1872 he was sent as a delegate from Iowa to the convention of liberal republicans that nominated Horace GREELEY for the presidency. He regarded it as the duty as well as the privilege of every American man to uphold by his ballot and his influence the principles in which he believed and, while he never sought nor desired office for himself, he stood staunchly in support of those issues which he regarded as vital to
good government.

He conceived and instituted the idea of placing a memorial tablet in the rotunda of the courthouse in honor of the Scott county pioneers?a tablet which will preserve for future generations the names of several hundred residents who came here prior to 1848. He was one of the oldest and most faithful members of the Christian church, to the support of which he contributed generously, while in its various activities he took helpful part. One of the most honored members of the Old Settlers' Association, he filled all of its offices, including that of president. He was also president of the Board of Trade at one time and instituted various projects which were accomplished through the medium of that association.

In 1848 Mr. Eldridge was married to Miss Mary Louisa WOODWARD, who passed away eighteen months later. In June, 1851, he married Miss Mary HIGH WILLIAMS, and on 28th of September, 1866, he wed Agnes SMITH, who survives him. She was a daughter of Robert Smith, a farmer by occupation, who retired in 1861 and established his home in Davenport, where he spent his remaining days, dying at the age of eighty-eight years. The six children of Mr. ELDRIDGE were all born of the second marriage, namely : George Wallace., Mrs. Reuben R. ELDRIDGE [Dr. Elizabeth], Mrs. Samuel LYTER GLASPELL [Kate], Mrs. Carl E. SCHLEGEL [Minnie], Mrs. George W. BAWDEN [Jennie - this blog author's g-grandmother], and Frank Wallace.

The death of Mr. ELDRIDGE occurred June 8, 1892, and brought a sense of personal bereavement to a large majority of Davenport citizens, for during the many years of his residence here he was honored and respected by all who knew him. The value of his public work cannot be overestimated and his record furnishes a splendid example for emulation in its public-spirited devotion to the general good. As the architect of his own fortunes he built wisely and well and did equally good work for the city, his name being on the roll of the representative men whose labors have constituted the chief elements in progress and improvement here.

1 comment(s), latest 8 years, 10 months ago

BAWDEN: Stephen Phelps is subject of entry in 1882 History of Davenport and Scott County, Iowa

The law has become so complex that it would be difficult for any individual to be equally at home in all departments of practice and, while a lawyer may continue in several fields, it is the tendency of the times to concentrate one's energies upon a special branch. This Stephen P. Bawden does in his attention to probate and title deed branches of law and yet he has won success in other fields and may be termed a general practitioner.

Mr. Bawden is one of Davenport's native sons and his parents were Stephen and Mary Ella (WOODWARD) BAWDEN, the former being of English parentage and the latter a native of Pennsylvania. Their removal to the west and settlement at Davenport made this city the scene of the youthful efforts and activities of S. P. BAWDEN as well as of his later years.

Having acquired his literary education in the public schools, he continued his studies in preparation for the bar and after his admission to practice in the courts of the state opened an office in Davenport, where he has since remained. His natural predilection tends him toward probate and similar departments of the law and for five years he devoted almost his entire time to those branches in the office of DAVISON & LANE. Inclination and opportunity were thus satisfied and his thoroughness and capability in this branch of the profession have won him deserved success. His two most dominant characteristics are determined persistence and thorough and honest exactness. In law and especially in real-estate law these traits are of prime importance and guarantee progress.

Mr. BAWDEN has met with good success because of these qualities and is one of the best known of the younger members of the bar in this field of practice. He enjoys the good fellowship of his brethren of the legal fraternity here and all recognize that his advancement has come as the merited and legitimate reward of his efforts and ability.

1 comment(s), latest 8 years, 10 months ago

PHELPS: James Francis, s/o Elihu and Margaret CRUIKSHANKS, m Lucinda TYRRELL and Jennett FINCH, farmer and lumberman

The history of Davenport and its leading citizens contains no name which awakens a feeling of more sincere respect and honest regard than that of James Francis PHELPS, who, in the years of his connection with the city, came to be recognized as an influential factor in business circles and also as one whose efforts in other directions were of far-reaching and beneficial import.

He was born October 6, 1821, at Schroon, Essex, New York. The public school system of that state afforded him his educational privileges and his experiences in youth were those of agricultural life, for he remained upon his father's farm until thirty years of age. Thinking to find broader opportunities in different business lines, he then removed to West Troy and engaged in the lumber business. From that time until his death he was identified with the lumber trade save for a brief period. He continued to make his home in the Empire state until 1876, when he removed to Middlebury, Vermont, settling on a farm with the hope that the experiences of outdoor life might prove beneficial to his health, which had become impaired. The year 1885 witnessed his arrival in Davenport, where he retained his residence until his demise. Since first embarking in the lumber business he retained his interest in the business and became a prominent representative of the lumber trade in this section of the country. He was a leading stockholder in the Lindsey & PHELPS Lumber Company and also in the Cloquet Lumber Company of Cloquet, Minnesota. In business affairs his judgment was sound, his sagacity keen and his enterprise unfailing, and in the years of an active career he won substantial success, his record being that of a man whose course in business affairs measured up at all times to the full standard of honorable, upright manhood.

At Schroon, New York, in 1848, Mr. PHELPS was united in marriage to Miss Lucinda TYRRELL, and unto them was born a son, A. T. PHELPS, who is now Cashier of the National Bank of Watervliet, New York. The wife and mother
died April 5, 1853, and on the 20th of December, 1854, Mr. PHELPS married Miss Jeanette FINCH. Oakdale Cemetery records it as Jennette.

Mr. PHELPS attended and supported the Methodist church. He was a man of high ideals, progressive in citizenship and ready at all times to give loyal support to those projects and movements which are intended for the betterment of the community. He traveled extensively, finding great pleasure in visiting points of scenic and historic interest, especially in his own country. His attachment for America was one of the deep-rooted interests of his life, his love of country being the expression of an unfaltering patriotism.

He continued his residence in Davenport until his death, which occurred April 3, 1906, and was the occasion of deep regret to many who knew and honored him. The physical and moral life were intensely vital in him and the ringing response which his character gave to every test made him a man honored and respected wherever known and most of all where best known. While he won for himself a substantial and creditable position in business circles, he also applied his knowledge and working powers to wider and more impersonal interests in which the general public was largely the beneficiary.

1 comment(s), latest 8 years, 9 months ago

WILLIAMS: Alexander Fraser, m. Frances Mary ROBINSON, has 4 children, mover and shaker in Davenport, Iowa

Alexander Fraser WILLIAMS, deceased, who stood as a splendid example of the enterprising, thrifty and loyal citizen and a faithful follower of the church, whose life did much to inspire and encourage others and whose memory is cherished in the hearts of all who knew him, was born in Westfield, New Jersey, on the 15th of June, 1826. His life record covered sixty-one years, his death occurring in Atlantic,Cass,Iowa, December 15, 1887.

His parents were Charles CLARK WILLIAMS and Eliza HIGH MILLER, who were married in Westfield, New Jersey, in 1818. They became the parents of seven daughters and three sons but only two are now living: William Belden, a resident of Nebraska; and Mrs. Margaret DOUGHERTY, of Iowa. Most of the ancestors of the family were farming people and all bear honorable records as honest, hard-working men and women, living in a quiet, humble way. The WILLIAMS branch of the family were Welsh. Nathaniel WILLIAMS, the grandfather of A. F. WILLIAMS, had three children : a son who died in early manhood; a daughter Ann, who became the wife of Willard BARROWS, one of Iowa's prominent pioneer residents; and Charles CLARK.

For a number of years Nathaniel WILLIAMS lived in Davenport with his daughter, Mrs. BARROWS, and there passed away in 1864, when more than eighty years of age. His mother was of American birth, a daughter of Charles CLARK, who served throughout the Revolutionary war. That he must have held rank as an officer is indicated by the fact that he wore a sword, the silver handle of which was afterward melted into six tablespoons, two of which were given to each of his three grandchildren ? Samuel CLARK, Charles CLARK WILLIAMS and Betsy SMITH. This was about eighty years ago and the spoons are still highly prized by the present generation.

In the maternal line A. F. WILLIAMS comes of English ancestry through his grandfather, Ezra MILLER, while his grandmother, Mrs. Mary (HIGH) MILLER, was of German descent, her father, John HIGH, having left Germany when a little boy.

Charles CLARK WILLIAMS, the father of Alexander FRASER WILLIAMS, was a man highly esteemed by all who knew him because of his upright life and fidelity to manly principles. An earnest Christian, he was for many years an elder in the Presbyterian church in Westfield and in Newark, New Jersey, and for several years was also one of the elders of the First Presbyterian church in Davenport, Iowa, where he died of cholera in 1852. All who knew him felt that he was a martyr to the unselfish care which he bestowed upon the laboring men who were victims of that terrible scourge. He had a most faithful and loving wife, who to her family was a devoted mother, her salient characteristics being such as endeared her to all who knew her. She made her home in Davenport and its vicinity for over thirty years and spent the last few years of her life in the home of her daughter in Nebraska, there passing away in 1878.

Alexander FRASER WILLIAMS spent his youthful days on his father's farm near Westfield, New Jersey, and was eleven years of age at the time of the removal of the family to Newark. There he spent several years attending the private schools and academy, and for one year was a student in a good school in Caldwell, New Jersey, so that he obtained a fair education. He was seventeen years of age when in 1843 the family removed to Davenport, Iowa, which was then regarded as the far west. He remained there for four years, assisting his father upon the farm, and also spent several months in making surveying tours through Iowa with his uncle, Willard BARROWS. He did not find agricultural pursuits congenial and, believing that he would obtain more pleasure and profit from commercial life, in 1847 he entered the dry-goods store of his uncle, Moses MILLER, at Racine, Wisconsin. After two years there passed his longing for the east, decided him to return to New York city, where he secured a situation in the wholesale hardware store of John C. TUCKER, in whose service he remained for three years, acquiring a good knowledge of the business during that period and thus becoming well equipped for the line of work to which he devoted the greater part of his' life. In 1852, receiving a more advantageous business offer, he entered the employ of ELY, BowXen [sp?] & McCONNELL, wholesale dry-goods merchants, conducting business on Broadway, New York. For six years he continued with that firm and during half the time had charge of the white goods department, making purchases for the same In the financial crash of 1858, following the widespread panic of the previous year, the New York firm failed and about the same time Mr. WILLIAMS received an offer to go into business in Davenport, where his widowed mother and family lived. This influenced him to return to the west.

On the 17th of February, 1858, Mr. WILLIAMS was united in marriage to Miss Frances Mary ROBINSON, of Chicago, and after spending some two months in the east, purchasing his stock of dry goods, thus combining pleasure with business, he returned with his bride to Davenport and in May, 1858, became the junior partner of the firm of ELDRIDGE & WILLIAMS, at No. 123 Brady street. During the succeeding three years the business increased rapidly, necessitating trips to New York and Boston, which Mr. WILLIAMS made three or four times each year in order to purchase goods in eastern markets. They were enjoying substantial success at the time of the outbreak of the Civil war. Within a few months nearly all business was paralyzed and failures were the order of the day. ELDRIDGE & WILLIAMS were among the unfortunate ones and were obliged to succumb to the pressure.

The financial outlook was dark and discouraging but Mr. WILLIAMS was of an optimistic nature and believed that the obstacles and difficulties could be overcome by persistent, determined and honorable effort. He desired to take part in the struggle in which his country was engaged, but his only brother, Belden WILLIAMS, and Frank C. ROBINSON, his wife's only brother, were among the first to enlist, serving faithfully through the long four years of the war. With those two at the front, Mr. WILLIAMS felt convinced that his duty must lie at home in the care of his widowed mother, his young wife and child. Accordingly, in the fall of 1861, he accepted a position with Sickles & Preston, a prominent hardware firm of Davenport, with whom he continued for about four years, two of which he spent upon the road as traveling representative of their wholesale house that had just been established in Chicago. At the end of that time he received an offer from the well known hardware firm of William BLAIR & Company, of Chicago, bringing him a large advance in salary. He traveled for that firm for four years, at the expiration of which time he was quite ready to settle down in the city of his choice ? Davenport ? where his family had continued to reside during the six years which he had spent upon the road, giving the best powers and strength of his young manhood to the honorable canceling of all of his indebtedness.

In 1869 Mr. WILLIAMS formed a partnership in the wholesale heavy hardware trade with R. SIEG, under the firm style of SIEG & WILLIAMS. His comprehensive knowledge of the business naturally made him the buyer for the house and during the eighteen years in which he was connected with the business he contributed largely to the upbuilding of a profitable enterprise which is still continued under the name of the SIEG Iron Company. The firm of Sieg & Williams were extensive jobbers in heavy wagon stock and other manufacturers' hardware, and in addition to his mercantile interests Mr. WILLIAMS was a director of the Security Fire Insurance Company, a member of the Board of Trade and was connected with other business organizations. As the years went by he prospered in his undertakings, becoming recognized as one of the foremost merchants and leading business men of the city. His name stood as a synonym for commercial integrity, for he never made engagements that he did not fill nor incurred obligations that he did not meet. His methods were progressive and his course won for him the admiration and respect of his contemporaries and colleagues. Mr. and Mrs. Williams became the parents of four children, namely: Ella, who gave her hand in marriage to J. S. THOMPSON and now resides in Escondido, California; Anna, the wife of Dr. J. P. CRAWFORD, whose sketch appears on another page of this work; Frederick CROSBY, who passed away in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on the 21st of September, 1894, when twenty-four years of age; and Joseph ROBINSON, who died on the 19th of February, 1894, when a youth of eighteen years.

Mr. WILLIAMS passed away at Atlantic, Iowa, December 15, 1887, after a brief illness of ten days. He had for nearly thirty years been intimately associated with the growth and development of Davenport and was deeply interested in everything which promoted its prosperity. He felt a special interest in the Hennepin canal project and the building of the Davenport, Iowa & Dakota Railroad and was one of its directors. His cooperation could always be counted upon to further movements for the public good and he gave of his time and means, as it was possible, to aid in the work of general improvement. While in business in New York, he became a member of the Baptist church and for more than three decades was a consistent and active worker in the denomination.

He served for a number of years as senior trustee in the Calvary Baptist church of Davenport. While he became known as a prominent and representative business man, it was his Christian spirit that made him most honored, for he molded his entire life in conformity with the teachings of his Master, ministering to others as the occasion offered and giving freely of his means to the support of the church and charity. He was one of the teachers in the Sunday school, a worker in the Young Men's Christian Association and at the time of his death was taking a most active and helpful interest in the work of erecting a house of worship for the Baptist people, acting as chairman of the building committee.

It has been said: "Not the good that comes to us but the good that comes to the world through us is the measure of our success," and judged by this standard Alexander Fraser WILLIAMS was a most successful man.

1. Ella Ophelia b 5 Mar 1859, Davenport, m. John S. Thompson living in Escondido, CA 1928
2. Anna Williams b 26 Feb 1862 in Davenport m. 14 Oct 1885 Dr. Jennings Price Crawford, d 12 Oct 1928 in Los Angeles, CA
3. Frederick Crosby b 11 Sept 1870 in Davenport d of tb 21 Sept 1894 Colorado Spgs, El Paso, CO
4. Joseph Robinson b 19 Mar 1879 in Davenport d 11 Feb 1894 in Dav of brain tumor. "Rob" bur Oakdale with siblings.

2 comment(s), latest 8 years, 10 months ago

LINDSAY: James Edwin, logging king in Village of E. Davenport, m. Mary Helen PHELPS in Schroon River, Essex, NY

James Edwin LINDSAY DOD 1915 Oct 13 Davenport, Scott, IA, Chronic Myocarditis,
interred 1915 Oct 15, Sec 20, Lot 21, Inter # 8670

Prominent for many years among the mill operators of the Mississippi river were James E. LINDSAY and John B. PHELPS, who as LINDSAY & PHELPS were for nearly forty years connected with the manufacture of lumber at Davenport.

James Edwin LINDSAY, the subject of this sketch, was born at Schroon, Essex, New York, April 12, 1826. His ancestors came from Scotland in 1731 and settled at Argyle, New York. His great-great-grandfather was Donald LINDSAY, who was interested in the grant which was extended to Laughlin Campbell and was one of the hundred founders of that early Argyle community.

His training between 1826 and 1847 terminated with one year's schooling in civil engineering at Norwich, Vermont. His father was a hotel keeper, farmer and lumber manufacturer combined. Young LINDSAY worked at measuring and the hauling of logs at his father's mill, a water power affair propelled by the old-style "flutter wheel." This sawmill was facetiously called the "Thunder Shower Mill" on account of its utter inability to operate unless a frequent rain would kindly fill the small creek dam from which it drew its water power.

Young LINDSAY was in an atmosphere that was apt to make him a lumberman and included his neighbors Israel Johnson, the inventor of the much used "mulay" saw, and Philetas Sawyer, the long time prominent lumberman and for many years United States senator from Wisconsin.

Logs measured about two standards to the log, a standard, according to Dimmock's rule, being measured on the basis of thirteen-foot log, nineteen inches at the top end. They were made up of perhaps twenty-five per cent clear at fifty dollars a thousand; twenty-five per cent second clear at forty dollars; twenty-five per cent select at twenty dollars; and twenty-five per cent common, worth fourteen dollars. Before his twenty-first birthday, a young LINDSAY already had some experience in the logging business in partnership with his brother-in-law John Tompkins. The firm was named LINDSAY & TOMPKINS and existed for four years.

In the fall of 1856, the year he was thirty years old, he came west, and with his savings and what had been entrusted to him, secured about seven thousand dollars worth of lands through land warrants in the Black River Falls (Wisconsin) country.

In March, 1861, Mr. LINDSAY located permanently at Davenport, Iowa, and his Black River timber was logged and rafted to Davenport, where it was sawed into lumber by the thousand at the mills at that place. He had formed a partnership with E. HARRIS, of Queensberry, New York, the understanding being that Mr. LINDSAY was to come west and look about and take an interest in whatever looked most favorable. The absolute trust of his partner in Mr. Lindsay's judgment seems to have colored his subsequent career. He had not only his own interests to further but also had absolutely in his keeping the interests of another. This tended to make him conservative, and he has always been a conservative man. This conservatism, however, should not be misjudged, for he has ever had an aggressive and enthusiastic confidence in the future values of timber lands.

Later in 1861 Mr. LINDSAY secured a lease of the RENWICK mill in Davenport. Shortly afterward John B. PHELPS bought Mr. Harris' interest and the firm became LINDSAY & PHELPS, and it has so continued ? barring its incorporation in 1890, for nearly fifty years. In 1866 LINDSAY & PHELPS built a mill at Davenport. It started with a circular saw; a gang saw was added in 1867, at that time the only gang mill in this section of the country; and in 1880, a band mill was added and other necessary machinery for a more modern plant.

The mill at Davenport continued in operation until the close of the season of 1919? a period of thirty-nine years. The corporation of LINDSAY & PHELPS Company is still being maintained, the present officers being J. E. LINDSAY, president; R. E. LINDSAY, vice president; Fred Wyman, secretary and treasurer; and George F. LINDSAY, assistant secretary and treasurer.

John Baker PHELPS, Mr. Lindsay's long time partner, died in July, 1900.

Mr. Lindsay's confidence in pine timber was of the broader kind, and as early as 1882, with his close friend and associate, C. R. Ainsworth, of Moline, Illinois, he personally located the first holdings of the LINDSAY Land & Lumber Company in Arkansas. Perhaps it may be due to Mr. LINDSAY and Mr. Ainsworth that they be called the pioneer northern lumbermen in Arkansas, and surely they were among the earliest to purchase timber lands in that section. The company's first officers were J. E. LINDSAY, president; C. R. Ainsworth, vice president; J. B. PHELPS, secretary; William Renwick, treasurer. The late Hon. D. N. Richardson, a newspaper man and close associate in those early days of investment in the south, asked Mr. LINDSAY in conversation one day,

"Is there a chance for an outsider to put some money in your southern timber company, Mr. LINDSAY?"
"Not for you, a newspaper man," was the reply, "for it takes long patience and years of constant outgo of money to work out a proposition of this kind, and you who are accustomed to annual dividends would lack the 'sand' to stay with such a proposition." Without hesitancy Mr. Richardson replied, "We have the sand and only ask you to make the opportunity."

Mr. RICHARDSON went in, and up to the time of his death, that quality of sand first shown was ever apparent.

Resulting from Mr. RICHARDSON's enthusiasm later came the RICHARDSON Land & Timber Company, with D. N. RICHARDSON as its first president. The present officers are J. J. RICHARDSON, president; Fred WYMANH, vice president; and M. N. Richardson, secretary and treasurer. The directors are J. E. LINDSAY, Rebecca RENWICK, J. J. RICHARDSON, Fred WYMAN and J. B, RICHARDSON. This company made purchases in Little River, Dallas, Sevier and Howard counties, Arkansas, and later extended its operations into Mississippi. At one time its holdings amounted to one hundred and fifty thousand acres in Arkansas. At this time it owns nearly fifty thousand acres in Mississippi.

In 1884 when RENWICK, SHAW and CROSSETT went north to Cloquet, Minnesota, and organized the Cloquet Lumber Company with George S. Shaw as its manager, Mr. LINDSAY and Mr. PHELPS became members of that company, Mr. LINDSAY now being a director.

The big trees of the Pacific coast next attracted LINDSAY & Phelps' attention and, associated with Weyerhaeuser & Denkmann and the Richardson interests, they organized the Sound Timber Company on December 23, 1899. The officers are J. E. LINDSAY, president; Fred C. DENKMANN, vice president; George F. LINDSAY, secretary and treasurer; and with F. WEYERHAUSER, Joe R. LANE and M. N. RICHARDSON form its board of directors. This company owns something over fifty thousand acres of fir, cedar and spruce in Skagit, Snohomish, Whatcom and King counties, Washington, and Lane county, Oregon.

Interest was again directed to the south in 1901, and Mr. LINDSAY, with Weyerhaeuser & Denkmann, the Laird, Norton Company, Dimmock, Gould & Company, and the Richardson interests, formed the Southland Lumber Company
on May 4 of that year, for the purchase of timber lands in Louisiana. Its officers are: F. E. WEYERHAUSER, president; F. C. DENKMANN, vice president; George F. LINDSAY, secretary and treasurer; Fred Wyman, assistant secretary and treasurer. The directors are F. WEYERHAUSER, E. P. DENKMANN, H. A. AINSWORTH, J. E. LINDSAY, F. S. BELL, F. H. THATCHER, Fred C. DENKMANN, Calvin AINSWORTH, Joe R. LANE, M. N. RICHARDSON and Fred WYMAN. The present holdings are in southwestern Louisiana and approximate one hundred and thirty thousand acres of longleaf yellow pine.

The Southern Lumber Company of Arkansas was organized January 28,1902, by WEYERHAUSER & DENKMANN, DIMMOCK, GOULD & Company, the RICHARDSON interests and J. E. LINDSAY, purchasing the holdings of the LINDSAY Land & Lumber Company, previously referred to, and has at the present time a sawmill in active operation at Warren, Arkansas, and seventy thousand acres of short-leaf yellow pine. The officers are F. E. WEYERHAUSER, president; E. P. DENKMANN, vice president; George F. LINDSAY, secretary; Fred WYMAN, treasurer; N. H. CLAPP, Jr., assistant secretary and treasurer and general manager. The directors are F. WEYERHAUSER, C. H. AINSWORTH, J. E. LINDSAY, F. E. WEYERHAUSER, E. P. DENKMANN, Calvin AINSWORTH, Joe R. LANE, Fred WYMAN and M. N. RICHARDSON.

Mr. LINDSAY is still active in business, keeping in touch with the affairs of the companies with which he is connected, and spending several hours daily at his office. Local enterprises have always received the strong support of LINDSAY & PHELPS, and Mr. PHELPS was before his death, and Mr. LINDSAY now is, identified with many local organizations.

Mr. LINDSAY married in 1858 Mary Helen PHELPS at Schroon River, Essex County, New York. Three children were born of this union; Ralph E. LINDSAY; Mrs. Fred WYMAN, who died in 1905; and George F. LINDSAY. Mr. and Mrs. LINDSAY have two grandchildren, Edith Helen WYMAN and Edwin Blair LINDSAY.

Mr. LINDSAY has always manifested a deep interests in the religious and charitable institutions of the community. He is identified with the Baptist church, having been one of its most loyal supporters for many years. His interest in young men was evidenced by his liberal contribution to the Young Men's Christian Association.

The results of environment are very apparent in a man of Mr. LINDSAY's character. Long years of association with kindly mother nature as exemplified in her vast forests have intensified in him those inherent qualities which are characteristic of the grandest forest growth. Their physical qualities find their counterpart in his mentality ? strength of purpose, uprightness of character and those other admirable traits which are typified by the giants of the forest and the stalwarts among men. He has a minute knowledge of lumber and logs which always he is glad to share generously with his friends and of which they partake with the utmost confidence in his judgment, notably in his home city, the center of a great lumber interest, where and in the adjoining cities of Rock Island and Moline between the members of the LINDSAY & PHELPS Lumber Company and all competitive lumber and logging interests in the three cities Mr. Lindsay's thorough knowledge and sterling character are well known and highly honored.

While of a modest and retiring disposition, one's first impression of Mr. LINDSAY, unconsciously conveyed by him, is that of personal dignity; yet he is always approachable. He is never hasty in judgment and his decisions are always the result of intelligent deliberation. Perhaps the only voluntary exercise of his innate qualities that needs restraint is his ready generosity, his practical sympathy for misfortune. In the sense that makes the characteristic a strongly commendable one, he is one of the most conspicuous figures in the lumber industry of the middle west.

1 comment(s), latest 8 years, 10 months ago

ELY: Stephen Lee/Lea, son of Solomon Leander and Mary Elizabeth "Lizzie" BAWDEN, savant, Ph.D in philosophy, spends high school summer in Des Moines Round House

Excerpts following from a letter written by Stephen Lee ELY?s friend Richard W. BALLARD of Denver, Colorado - Memorial Day 1985. Richard?s father owned BALLARD Drug and Dental, on 2nd St. in Davenport where many of the BAWDENs shopped.

?He was by all current standards a true savant, but a very well-balanced one; he sight-read Latin (even Cicero) to the extent the teacher was certain he had a ?pony? hidden over-leaf. There was none. In spite of his mastery of just about everything with a once-over-light, he didn?t appear to be bored, or even arrogant, as some of these unfortunates are likely to be.?

[In his letter, Mr. BALLARD refers to ?Stiffen Lea?. This was a nickname - Lee Ely?s father?s middle name was Leander, a name which had become humorous to school boys by 1900, and the name ?Stiffen? referred to an occasional overindulgence of alcohol during his high school days.]

Lea ELY was a strike-breaker or scab, of which I?m one. Summer of 1922, the Maintenance of Way Union went out nationally. They were shop and round house, and gandy dancers (section hands) but the Brotherhoods didn?t support them. Even so, their work on locomotives and cars and right-of-way was beginning to be felt by June, and we?d just graduated from DHS - pretty cocky, us! (Central High School, Davenport, Iowa).

A classmate wrote that unbelievable wages were being paid, and come on to join him. We took the night day-coach for Des Moines; even then strikers were riding the trains, looking for strike-breakers. When identified as such, they were treated roughly, even before they were employed as such. Lea and I, both using our Boy Scout packs, said we were on our way to a Boy Scout Camp, and we were allowed to go on. We got a room at the ?Y? opposite the Brown Hotel that night, and went to 15th & Walnut, early next morning with our Boy Scout packs. We were hired as fire-builders.

I?d spent some time at Rowland WILLIAMS father?s farm in Cordova [Illinois], where he made a living repairing Stanley Steamers, and I had a fair idea of steam engines, their care and feeding, after a few summers of doing the grunt work. Lea had absolutely not the foggiest of what it was about but he was quick to take at anything. Lea elected to work the night trick, and I the day shift, as night wasn?t very busy, and he could pick up what the job was easiest that way.

Please understand a steam locomotive is the contrariest, hardest to lubricate, expensive to maintain AND inefficient invention of modern man. That?s why they only last a hundred years - 1840 to 1940, when the railroads discovered the Diesel. The locos Des Moines Union owned never got on the main line, but were Yard Goats, so their fires had to be pulled at the end of each shift, the grates turned over, and new fires started. That was our job; hitching up a blower to the smoke box, throwing kindling (old ties) up on the deck to see if there was water in the boiler, set the brakes, toss in oily rags, and when there was a good fire, load her up with coal.

It took about 3 hours to get one ready for the job with enough steam to get out of the yard, So we had several ?tallow pots? at once under our car. We worked different shifts for another purpose; to guard the other guy?s belongings. There were about 45 stiffs like us doing the work of 175 union men; we didn?t do it well, but there were no breakdowns in service. Maybe some engines didn?t steam as well as they might. Unions truly do great jobs!

The food started out good, but as the strike degenerated, so did the food. About the middle of August, we got stewed raisins that were half flies, so we quit, wired our money home, and started walking; we couldn?t figure why there was no eastbound traffic. It was opening day of the State Fair! We walked as far as Altoona (about 25 miles) with no water, no food, so we slept in a school house, and each ate an apple from the teacher?s desk that night. Both Lea and I never forgave ourselves for that, but it was a life-saver. Next morning, we caught a ride clear to Davenport. Two weeks later, Lea went to Wisconsin, I went to Iowa (University of), but we were the best of friends. Last time I saw him was summer of 1926 (we?d graduated); he was sitting in a car, smoking a cigarette, a bit drunk, and explained the Fourth Dimension!

1 comment(s), latest 8 years, 11 months ago

ILES: Mary Louise, m. Wm. GANSERT owner of GANSERT Candy Company - one of largest in Midwest (US)

Mary Louise ILES was the g-dtr of Stephen and Mary TERRILL BAWDEN, and dtr of John and Mary TERRILL BAWDEN ILES born 25 Nov 1871 in Davenport, Scott, Iowa.

She married William Louis/Lewis GANSERT, 13 May 1895 in Davenport's Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.

William was born 31 July 1865 in Rock Island, Rock Island, Illinois, son of John G. or Gustav John and Susan M. (maiden unk) GANSERT.

Until shortly after 1900, Mary and William lived in their home with her father, John ILES on E. 13th St. in Davenport; after that, the GANSERT family moved to their own home in Rock Island, Illinois.

In 1891 Wm founded the GANSERT Candy Company in Rock Island which, according to Mr. GANSERT's obit, developed into one of the largest candy factories in the Midwest (United States).

Wm died 22 Apr 1919 of Oster sarcoma in the family home at 807 22nd St in Rock Island, and is buried on the ILES-GANSERT lot in Davenport's Oakdale Cemetery.

He and his family were members of Trinity Episcopal Church in Rock Island. Mary lived in the family home on 22nd St, with her oldest child William ILES GANSERT until 1923 when she moved to Davenport.

In 1925, Mary moved to San Francisco. She died 26 May 1964 in Napa, Napa, California. (California Death Index)

They had 2 children born in Davenport:
1. William Iles Gansert born 13 Jul 1896
2. George B. Gansert born 25 Sept 1897; died 25 Apr 1898 in Davenport.

The home on 22nd St. in Rock Island is now part of the Broadway Historic Association. It was built by Paul Hamilton, a bookkeeper who worked in the downtown firm of Mitchell and Lynde. Information from the association says Mr. Gansert's wholesale firm advertised an odd combination of 'candies, tobacco, oysters and celery' at it's 18th St. store. In the 1940s, the home was converted into a duplex, though owners in recent years have reversed those changes and it is now a private family home. [Association newspaper article]

1 comment(s), latest 8 years, 11 months ago

BAWDEN: George Washington, 7th child of Stephen and Mary TERRILL m. Jennie ELDRIDGE, has 3 "BAWDEN Brothers", alderman, mayor candidate, active in local corporations

George was born 9 May 1859 in Norristown, Montgomery, Pennsylvania, where his father emigrated to run his mining manufacturing business, Sawanee Mining. The family moved to Rockingham Township, Scott, Iowa in Sept. 1860, where Stephen's first land purchase is dated 1 Sept. 1860.

He attended Davenport public schools and graduated from the University of Iowa Law School in 1880 (Iowa City, Johnson, Iowa]. After the death of his father in 1881, George and his mother, Jennie ELDRIDGE BAWDEN moved to Davenport to live with George's sibling, widowed Mary BAWDEN ILES at 614 E. 13th St. (still stands).

George joined the law firm of Judge GRANT. Later he joined C. A. FICKE for 2 years.

On 14 Mar 1885, George married 19-year-old Jennie in her family home at 1530 Farnam. Jennie was born 15 July 1865 on the outskirts of Davenport on a Jersey Ridge Rd. fruit farm where all 9 children were born. She was the dtr of Jacob MULLEN and Mary HIGH WILLIAMS ELDRIDGE, early settlers of Davenport.

For the next 12 years, the BAWDENs made there home in Muscatine, Muscatine, Iowa where George practiced law with Allen BROOMHALL. In 1886 he became vice president of the Iowa Mortgage Co., of which uncle J.B. PHELPS was president.

In 1895 George returned to Davenport to form a partnership with Julius LISCHER. Nephew Stephen PHELPS BAWDEN joined the firm after 1895 graduation from University of Iowa Law School. In 1901 Fred W. NEAL joined the firm which dissolved in 1902 at LISCHER's death. George next formed the firm of BAWDEN and THUENEN. Henry THUENEN became junior partner.

Also in 1895, Jennie's father gave George and Jennie 80 ft. of land on Kirkwood Boulevard to build a 511 Kirkwood Blvd.

George was an active member of the Republican Party and was prominent in Davenport politics. He was elected to 2 terms as 5th ward alderman (he declined a 3rd term, as well as the nomination for mayoral candidate). He was vice president and counsel for the Iowa and Illinois Railroad at the time of the building of the interurban line between Davenport and Clinton, Iowa. In 1902, GEorge became a stockholder and president of the Times Corporation which published the Daily Times newspaper under teh direction of E. P. (Phil) ADLER
George was Chancellor Commander of the Knights of Pythias and a member of the Davenport Turner Society.

He suffered from diabetes. In the Spring of 1905, he went to Excelsior Springs, Lafayette, Missouri to regain health where he died 23 March 1905 (see obit blog) at age 46. AFter George's death, Jennie and their 3 sons, Albert Ralph (A.R.), George Ray (Ray) and Harry ELDRIDGE lived in this home until 1911. They later lived at 1203 E. Second Avenue (9th St.) with Jennie's nephew's wife, Edna BAWDEN, (Stephen Douglas). Jennie lived there until 1928.

Jennie died 1 April 1959 in the DAvenport home of her daughter-in-law, AR's wife, Margaret Theresa HART BAWDEN ("Tess} at 29 Edgehill Terrace. Jennie was a member of the First Presbyterian Church at Kirkwood and Iowa [mother Mary was the first of this family to join]. Jennie and the boys rented pew #32 for 25 cents over and above the weekly tithing. She servied 2 terms as president of the Ladie's Society. Both she and George are buried in Davenport's Oakdale Cemetery with her parents.

Their 3 sons, all born in Muscatine, Muscatine, Iowa (seperate blogs for each)
1. Albert Ralph "A.R." born 6 Aug 1886
2. George Ray "Ray" born 27 Nov 1890
3. Harry ELDRIDGE born 8 Sept 1894