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The history of the first national ttank I 


3 1924 030 196 707 



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Cornell University 

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The History 


®i)e Jf irst i^ational ?lanfe 

in tilt tinittti States 

A History of the First National Bank 

of Davenport, Iowa, preceded by some 

account of banking under State Laws 

and early banking in Davenport 

Issued upon the occasion of the Fiftieth A nniversary 
of the Institution 




>)1^ FSZ 



In presenting this little volume to the public the aim 
has been to set forth in concise form the facts leading 
up to the establishment of the first bank which opened 
its doors for business under the National Bank Act of 
1863, together with a history of its progress for the half 
century of its existence, and to make plain the marked 
advance which has occurred during the past seventy 
years in lifting the banking institutions of the United 
States on to a higher plane of efficiency, stability and 

Naturally, more than ordinary interest attaches to 
the first of any species, and so a great many requests 
have been made that the history of the bank which first 
began business under the law of 1863 should be compiled. 
The National Banking system has grown to be such a 
powerful factor in handling the fiscal transactions of a 
great commercial nation; it has done so much to furnish 
the people with a safe and uniform ciorrency, and its wise 
and sound provisions have exerted such a wide influence 
in shaping legislation governing State banks in the differ- 
ent commott?srealths of the Union, that a desire naturally 
arises to know more of the bank which first set forth under 
that system to transact a banking business. 

It is a matter of some comment that the first National 
bank to begin operations under the Act of 1863 should 
be located in the Middle West, but this is attributable to 
the energy of the fotmders of the First National Bank of 


Davenport. The first group of banks chartered under 
the law had an even start in this regard, as their charters 
were signed on the same day — June 22, 1863 — and sent 
forth simultaneously from the Comptroller's office. 
Fourteen charters were signed by the Comptroller of the 
Currency before he affixed his signature to the one of the 
First National Bank of Davenport. But a charter is 
not a bank — it is simply the grant of privilege to open a 
bank. A bank is an institution for receiving and lending 
money, and it becomes such when it opens its doors and 
begins the transaction of such business. The First 
National Bank of Davenport became the first National 
bank in the United States on June 29, 1863, when its 
doors were opened to the public and it began to perform 
all the functions of a banking institution — the receipt of 
depo-sits, the selling of exchange and the making of loans. 
For two days it enjoyed the distinction of being the one 
National bank in all the domain of the United States. 
On July ist several others came into being, and thereafter 
the number increased rapidly. 

It is natural that the history of one National bank does 
not differ in its essential details very widely from all other 
banks of the same kind, but a study of the activities of 
such an institution discloses the evolution which has 
occurred in banking methods during the past half century. 
The record of this bank, which has always stood for the 
highest ideals and the best methods of rendering efficient 
service to the community, may be studied with profit. 

A comprehensive glance at the progress in banking and 
finance during the past half centtory brings into strong 
reUef two facts of paramount importance. Banking has 
been effectually separated from the fierce passion of parti- 
san politics, and the business has become firmly planted 


on the high plane of conservatism, integrity and uni- 
formity. With the establishment of these fundamentals, 
we may look forward to the future with confidence that 
legislation to meet changing conditions and handle 
properly and effectively the expanding business of a sturdy 
and progressive nation will be drawn on safe and soxmd 

For the general historical portion of this volume the 
author is indebted to numerous standard treatises and 
to the reports issued by the Government. Local his- 
tories and the files of the daily newspapers have been 
drawn upon for a considerable part of the biographical 
material and that portion of the story of the First National 
Bank which was lacking in the records of the institution. 
If this little voltime shall serve to give us a better under- 
standing of the progress of the past half century, and a 
keener appreciation of the advantages of the age in 
which we Uve, its publication will have been amply 
Davenport, Iowa, Jione 9, 19 13. 



Early Banking under State Laws o 

Early Banking in Davenport i6 

The National Bank Act 25 

History of the First National Bank, 1863-1882 . . 31 

History of the First National Bank, 1882-1902 . . 49 

History of the First National Bank, 1902- 19 13 . . 59 

The New Bank Building 72 


Biographies of Persons Formerly Connected 
with the Bank, but now Deceased 79 

Biographies of Persons Still Living, Who 
WERE Formerly Associated with the Bank. . 135 


Biographies of Persons now Actively Con- 
nected WITH THE Bank 146 


1. Present Officers of the First National Bank 159 

2. List of Officers from 1863 to 1913 160 

3. List of Directors from 1863 to 1913 162 

4. Table Showing Deposits, Loans and Discounts, 

and Total Resources from 1863 to 1913. . . . 164 

5. Statements of Condition at Different Periods 

from 1863 to 1913 166 


Austin Corbin Frontispiece 

The First President 


The Old Building 9 

"The Marble Bank" 

George H. French i6 

The Second President 
Ira M. Gifford 32 

The Third President 

Hiram Price 48 

The Fotirth President 

James Thompson 64 

The Fifth President 

The New Building 72 

Erected in 19 10 

Present Board of Directors 80-81 

Messrs. Lane, Cable, Richardson, Gilchrist and 

Present Board op Directors 80—81 

Messrs. Yaggy, Mueller, StefEen, Mason, Reimers 
and Richter 

Charles E. Putnam 96 

The Sixth President 

Tristam T. Dow 112 

The Seventh President 

Anthony Burdick 128 

The Eighth President 

Albert F. Dawson 144 

The Ninth President 




Early Banking under State Laws 

When the charter of the Second Bank of the United 
States expired in 1836, following the fierce and successful 
war made by President Andrew Jackson against a renewal 
of its right to exist, state banks again became supreme 
throughout the country. The Bank of the United States 
had in a considerable degree regulated the circulation of 
state banks by refusing to accept the notes of doubtful 
banks and requiring the redemption of others. Henceforth 
state banks were not to be hampered from this source. 
The Jackson administration, with the extinguishment 
of the United States Bank, adopted a policy of distrib- 
uting the surplus in the Treasury among the several 
states. The result was a rapid increase in the number 
of banks and a still more rapid increase in the issue of 
state bank notes. An era of speculation set in, which 
culminated in the disastrous panic of 1837. In May of 
that year specie payments were suspended, and the 
country w^as left mth only irredeemable state bank notes 
to carry on business. The severity of conditions will be 
better appreciated when it is remembered that specie 
payments were not resumed until February, 1839, and 
then resumption was but short lived. Suspension again 
occurred in November, 1839, and continued untU 1842. 

At the outset of this period many state banks were 
operating under loosely drawn statutes, with lax enforce- 
ment, and a majority of them were unhampered by legal 


restrictions of any kind. Some were doing business 
without any paid up capital. With the ravages of the 
panic and the distressful condition of business generally, 
state legislatures set to work, with the result of laws of 
wide diversity in the several states. Some of the Eastern 
and Southern states enacted banking laws based on con- 
servatism and sound principles. New England continued 
the Suffolk Bank system. Massachusetts provided for 
regular and special examination of banks, and Rhode 
Island placed restrictions upon circulation. 

New York tried the safety fund plan, under which the 
redemption of bank notes was sought to be insured by 
requiring all banks to contribute to a fimd for this pur- 
pose, but this system failed vmder the demoralized busi- 
ness conditions of the time. New York then adopted 
a "free banking" law, and was the first state to put an 
end to the policy of granting charters to banks by favor, 
which had been the prevailing custom up to this time. 
This new law required the deposit of state or government 
bonds to secure circulation, and required the banks to 
hold reserves in specie. Security for the circulation and 
inspection of the condition of the banks added greatly 
to the confidence in the notes of such banks, and in later 
years the notes of New York banks passed ciurent on 
their merit away from home. 

Some of the western states, eager for the rapid develop- 
ment of their communities, enacted laws which were 
not so carefully thought out, and under these laws a 
flood of miscellaneous bank notes were put in circulation, 
which later wrought great havoc. The Indiana State 
bank was the most notable exception to the rule. This 
bank, half of which was owned by the state and the other 
half by individuals, consisted of ten branches, and under 


the safeguards thrown arotind it, performed its function 
most successfully and redeemed its notes in specie on 
demand. Ohio followed the example of Indiana. But, 
all in all, there was a wide diversity of banking legislation 
in the different states. Some banks were specially char- 
tered by the legislature; others were established under a 
general state law. In some cases the state supplied the 
entire capital; in others the stock was held partly by 
the state and partly by individuals, although the great 
majority were owned by private capital. Laws which 
worked well in one state would fail utterly in others, 
owing to diverse conditions and laxity of enforcement. 

The newer States of the West, which were then in the 
pioneer stage of their history, were the greatest sufferers 
from ill-considered banking legislation. Here "wildcat," 
"red dog," "stump tail" and various other species of 
irredeemable bank notes constituted practically the entire 
circulating medium, and it was a rare exception that a 
bank note had more than a mere local credit. The 
West needed capital for its development, and financiers 
and schemers, some conscientious in their intentions 
and others not so scrupulous, proceeded to set the print- 
ing presses at work to turn out a tremendous volimie of 
fiat ciurency to meet the demand. Fraudulent practices 
prevailed to such an extent as to bring the business of 
banking into disrepute. In the constitution of Iowa it 
was provided that the exercise of "the privileges of 
banking or creating paper to circulate as money" was 
forbidden under the penalty of one year in the county 
jail and a fine of one thousand dollars for each offense. 

From time to time protests were raised, and efforts 
were put forth to remedy the evils of the situation. 
Indiana, notwithstanding the strength of her state bank, 


became notorious for incubating "banks" without capital 
or banking offices. The practice of starting such institu- 
tions became so flagrant that the Governor, in his message 
of 1853, used these words: "The speculator comes to 
Indianapolis with a bundle of bank-notes in one hand 
and the stock in the other; in twenty-four hours he is 
on his way to some distant point of the Union to circulate 
what he denominates a legal currency. He has nominally 
located his bank in some remote part of the State, and 
intends that his notes shall go into the hands of persons 
who will have no means of demanding redemption." 

The value of the bank-notes in circulation depended 
on the laws of more than thirty states, and the character 
of upwards of a thousand private corporations, many of 
them operating without supervision. Circulation was 
commonly in inverse ratio to solvency. In some cases 
as high as forty dollars in notes were put out for every 
dollar of specie the bank held. For example, the Illinois 
banks in i860 had a circulation of nearly nine million 
dollars, with specie on hand of only $223,812, or $40 to $1. 

The volume of circvilating notes fluctuated widely. 
In 1837 the total note-issues of the banks amounted to 
$149,000,000; six years later it had dropped to $59,000,- 
000. Whenever specie payments were suspended note 
issues increased, because the profit on circulation was 
large and the liability for its redemption was remote. 
In 1848 the bank notes outstanding had mounted to 
$129,000,000, having more than doubled in five years. 

Jay Cooke, one of the leading financiers of the times 
and a close student of conditions, said that in most cases 
a bank could issue circiilation far beyond the amount of 
its capital stock, and he had kno^wn instances in which 
banks had issued twenty-five times the amount of their 


capital, with no other security than the good faith of the 
institution. Confusion was the order of the day. Eastern 
exchange, when procurable at all, rated all the way from 
I to I s per cent premium. Notes were printed upon every 
variety of paper, and no two banks issued bills of similar 
appearance. Generally, bank notes current in one 
State were not current in other States. The banks were 
breaking constantly, and in many instances circulating 
notes became almost worthless. Fifty millions of dollars 
per year would not cover the loss to the people growing 
out of broken banks, counterfeits, altered notes, and 
cost of exchange between different points. 

Another great btirden imposed upon the public at this 
time was the necessity for constant discrimination between 
the genuine bills and the enormous number of counterfeit 
bills then in circulation. Careftd inspection of all bills 
was necessarj'. Never before or since has the art of 
counterfeiting flourished in such a marked degree. Con- 
ditions were most favorable for it. Each bank issued 
biUs of at least six denominations. With nearly fifteen 
hundred banks in operation, and half as many more 
"retired banks" whose notes were still out, there were 
some ten thousand different kind of bank notes in circula- 
tion. "Cotmterfeit Detectors" were pubHshed as serials, 
and every weU-organized coimting room had a bank-note 
detector at hand. Stunner, in his History of Banking, 
describes the situation in these words: 

"The bank-notes were bits of paper recognizable as a 
species by shape, color, size and engraved work. Any 
piece of paper which had these came with the prestige 
of money; the only thing in the shape of money to which 
the people were accustomed. The person to whom one 
of them was offered, if unskilled in trade and banking, 


had little choice but to take it. A merchant tiimed 
to his 'Bank-note Detector.' He scrutinized the worn 
and dirty scrap for two or three minutes, regarding it 
as more probably 'good' if it was worn and dirty than if 
it was clean, because those features were proof of long 
and successful circulation. He tiuned it up to the light 
and looked through it, because it was the custom of the 
banks to file the notes on slender pins which made holes 
through them. If there were many such holes the note 
had been often in bank and its genioineness was ratified. 
A community forced to do business in that way had no 
money. It was deprived of the advantages of money." 

Under such handicap was the business of the country 
conducted, and yet development went forward at a rate 
which now seems little less than amazing, when all the 
circiimstances are taken into consideration. During the 
early 'sos railroad construction was pushed with remark- 
able energy, especially in the Central and Middle Western 
States, with the consequent flotation of large quantities 
of railroad securities — so great, in fact, as to prove one 
of the important causes of the panic of 1857, when the 
banks were again forced to suspend. 

President Buchanan in his message to Congress, speak- 
ing of the financial disaster of 1857, said that such revul- 
sions must occur when 1400 irresponsible institutions 
are permitted to usurp the power of providing currency, 
thus affecting the value of the property of every citizen. 
Referring to the existing systems he pointed out that only 
in one state, Louisiana, were banks required to keep 
adequate specie reserves; according to the standard of 
that state, the banks should have had one dollar in three 
against notes and deposits, whereas they had less than 
one in seven. He suggested that banks be deprived of 
the note-issuing power. 


In this semi-chaotic condition of the finances, the 
states of the West found themselves the greatest stifferers. 
A writer in the Chicago Tribime in i860 referred with 
respect to the great banks of the country — those in New 
York, Boston and Philadelphia — but regarded as a menace 
those Illinois banks "that did business without any capital 
and that never pretended to pay their debts save in 
Missouri or Virginia bonds at some imcertain rate." 
During that year the banks of Illinois expanded their 
currency by an amount of $1,400,000, and the statement 
of this expansion embraced the return of ninety-fotu- 
banks, more than half of which were merely banks of 
circulation without capital and doing no business at 
their nominal locations. 

This brief chronicle of the evils under which the entire 
country, but more especially the West, was suffering 
during the years preceding the Civil War, may perhaps 
be stronger than a more complete view of the situation 
would warrant, but the various statements made are 
undoubtedly well foimded. A considerable share of the 
blame for this deplorable condition may fairly be attrib- 
uted to the fierce poUtical passions of the day which 
prevailed in the consideration of every public question, 
banking and currency not excepted. The laws of the 
various states were not radically unsovind, but there was 
a woeful lack of uniformity, and widespread laxity in the 
enforcement of their salutary provisions. The wonder 
of it all is that the people were so patient and long staffering, 
and that they did not arise in their might and demand a 
banking system based on sound and conservative prin- 
ciples, -with banks tmder adequate supervision and 
examination, and a currency which would pass current 
in every part of the country. 



Early Banking in Davenport 

The conditions generally throughout the West, as 
reflected by the facts set forth in the preceding chapter, 
prevailed in Davenport, and an examination of the 
events which occurred here between the period of the 
early settlements and the beginning of the Civil War 
bring out in stronger relief the difficulties under which 
business was transacted in pioneer days under State bank 

The commercial operations of the people of Davenport 
were not sufficiently large to require the facilities of an 
organized establishment of credit tmtil the late 40's. 
The settlement, which consisted of seven cabins at the 
close of the year 1836, grew to a village of three hundred 
population in 1839, when a charter was obtained to 
organize the town of Davenport. Rockingham was 
then the county seat. Settlers continued to flow in and 
by the year 1847 Scott county had a population of 3,654, 
about one-third of whom were living in Davenport. In 
that year Cook & Sargent opened the first bank of deposit 
and exchange, in connection with a general land agency, 
in a small one-story wooden building on the southwest 
comer of Main and Second streets. This first bank 
had but a few thousand dollars of capital, but it was 
destined to play an important, not to say melancholy, 
part in the banking history of the community during the 
next twelve years. 




At this time very little gold and silver were in circula- 
tion, and eastern bank bills commanded a large premium 
over the notes of western banks. A considerable share 
of the circulation in this community consisted of the 
drafts of Clark & Brothers, a large private banking house 
in Philadelphia, with branches in New York and St. 
Louis. The Philadelphia house would draw drafts in 
small denominations on the St. Louis house, which 
would accept them, and as the credit of Clark & Brothers 
was good, these drafts were circulated freely here in pref- 
erence to the doubtful issues of Western banks. 

In 1852 the second bank was started by Macklot & 
Corbin, on the northwest comer of Second and Brady 
streets, with a capital of ten thousand dollars. It was a 
bank of discotint, deposit and exchange, and conducted 
a prosperous business for about ten years, when Mr. 
Corbin withdrew and Mr. Macklot wound up the affairs 
of the institution. 

To a complete understanding of the early banking 
history of Davenport, it is necessary to understand the 
conditions under which the business of this frontier 
settlement was conducted. When the first bank was 
started in Davenport the firm of Burrows & Prettyman 
was conducting a large business in this community, 
with a large general store in Davenport and a flouring 
mill in Rockingham. In addition to these lines of industry 
they afterwards engaged in bujdng of pork and produce, 
with a cooper-shop in connection with the pork pacldng 

It should be remembered that in those days the only 
means of transportation by which their products could 
be moved from Davenport to the markets of the South 
and East was by boat down the Mississippi River. When 


navigation closed in the fall, nothing could be shipped 
until the ice went out in the spring. As a consequence, 
there was a period of from three to five months diuing 
each year when the firms engaged in handling the products 
of the Iowa farms were obliged to hold these products. 
These months comprised the season when the farmer 
marketed his wheat and hogs, and as the buyers could 
not turn them into money until spring, it required a 
large amount of credit to carry on the wiater operations. 

During the winter of 1853-54 the firm of Burrows & 
Prettyman did the largest business in their history, with 
a pack of nineteen thousand hogs. The receipts of 
wheat were also very heavy, with the result that nearly 
all the available credit in the community was required 
to keep the business going. Money was very tight and 
scarce, and after vainly trying to finance these operations 
the banks were unable to supply enough money, and 
Burrows & Prettyman began the issuance of checks pay- 
able the following spring. 

The next year business was very greatly depressed by 
the state of the currency. People had lost confidence 
in the State banks of Illinois and the free banks of Indiana. 
Fractional silver had almost disappeared, and many 
firms began issuing credit tickets in sums of less than one 
dollar. Meanwhile the banking house of Cook & Sargent 
had progressed until it was regarded as one of the strong- 
est in the Northwest. To the parent bank at Davenport, 
there had been added branches at Iowa City and Fort 
Des Moines, Iowa, and Florence, Nebraska. In May, 
1857, the bank moved into its handsome new building, 
erected on the site of the old one. The new structure 
was three stories high, built of lime-stone at a cost of 
$75,000, and at the time was said to be the most beautiful 
and ornate bank building west of New York City. 


The rapid development of the country round about 
Davenport and the consequent expansion of business 
made heavier demands for a medium of exchange, and 
Cook & Sargent began paying out their own issue of 
notes of the Bank of Florence, Nebraska. The experi- 
ment of paying their ninety-day notes for produce was 
so satisfactory to the firm of Burrows & Prettyman that 
they decided to go a step farther and issue $100,000 of 
their own notes. These notes were beautifully engraved 
on bank-note paper, and resembled the bank bills then 
in general circulation. These they began paying out 
for produce, and it was not long before they formed a 
considerable part of the local circulation. 

The population of Davenport continued to increase, 
and in 1854 it was estimated at five thousand. In 
January of the following year the banking house of Yarberg 
& Barrows was opened. Meanwhile there was marked 
activity and enthusiasm among the people on the question 
of railroad building. In 1853 the city had voted a 
subscription of $85,000 to the Mississippi & Missouri 
Railroad by the overwhelming vote of 242 to i ; and the 
voters of the county, with only ten dissenting votes, made 
a $50,000 subscription to the Chicago & Rock Island 
Railroad. September 9, 1856, marked the completion 
of the railroad bridge across the Mississippi River at 
this point, the first to span the Father of Waters, making 
Davenport the gateway through which poured a con- 
stantly increasing stream of immigrants to the fertile 
prairies of Iowa. 

When the panic of 1857 swept over the country, bring- 
ing ruin and disaster in its wake, it found the West illy 
prepared to withstand its ravages. Eastern exchange 
rose first to ten and then to fifteen per cent. The 


circulating medium declined in value, and further became 
more unstable in character. Southern baiiks were fail- 
ing on every side, and the Bank Note Reporter was at 
every man's elbow. Embarrassment and confusion in 
all lines of business inevitably followed. Naturally 
the better bank notes disappeared from circulation, and 
almost at once the circulating medium in Davenport 
was reduced to the local issues of Florence notes and 
Burrows & Prettymati scrip. 

So acute did the situation become that a meeting of 
the Board of Trade was called in October to consider the 
question of the local currency. Resolutions were passed 
at this meeting expressing confidence in the stability of 
the notes of the Bank of Florence. At the same time a 
committee was selected to consider and report on the 
advisability of the city issuing scrip, to be received for 
taxes and general circulation. The committee afterwards 
reported adversely. A month later a second meeting 
was held, amidst considerable excitement, to devise 
means of procuring exchange. Mr. Cook addressed 
the meeting by invitation, and the stonn was quieted 
by assurance that the situation would be reUeved as 
rapidly as possible. 

The volume of outstanding notes was great, and with 
ruin and bankruptcy, and depreciation of property and 
securities wrought by the panic, it was in fact almost 
impossible to retire them. The next few months saw 
little change in the situation; in January, 1858, Florence 
had depreciated ten per cent, and later it fell to even a 
greater discount. During the spring some of it was 
redeemed by the bank at discounts ranging from five to 
fifteen per cent, but the burden of a depreciated currency 
steadily grew heavier upon the business community. By 


the first of May, Burrows & Prettyman checks had 
sagged to 85, and soon after the bank of Macklot & 
Corbin refused to accept them at all. Times were hard 
in Davenport, and many men out of employment. In 
June two hundred laborers joined in an appeal to Mayor 
Ebenezer Cook for work, and mutterings of discontent 
were heard on many sides. 

The third day of August, 1858, was an anxious day in 
Davenport. Cook & Sargent suspended payment on 
Burrows & Prettyman checks, and when this became 
known, men gathered in groups on every comer to ask 
what was to be done. It was decided to hold a mass 
meeting at the Court House yard in the evening, and at 
the appointed hour more than three thousand people 
assembled. After considerable discussion a committee 
was chosen, consisting of M. R. Chew, P. H. Griggs, 
H. H. Smith, Thomas Scott and M. Dalzell, who reported 
a set of resolutions declaring that Florence notes and 
Burrows & Prettyman checks would be handled after 
August tenth only at their true value, and that fractional 
shinplasters would not be taken at all. These resolutions 
were adopted by an overwhelming majority. 

One week later a second meeting was called to consider 
"Florence shinplasters," and the German theatre was 
crowded to excess. L. S. Velie was made chairman, and 
he declared that the real question for the meeting to 
decide is whether it is expedient to take the local currency 
for what it will buy, or not take it at all; that business 
could no longer be done on the present basis. To voice 
the sentiment of the meeting a committee was chosen 
consisting of F. Roddewig, G. W. McCam, H. B. Evans, 
Nicholas Kuhnen and Austin Corbin, who reported 
resolutions declaring that "on and after August eleventh 


we pledge ourselves not to receive any more of the issues 
of the Bank of Florence, nor fractional shinplasters." 
These resolutions were adopted without a dissenting 
voice, and were signed by over two hundred men before 
the meeting dispersed. 

Excitement increased throughout the city on the fol- 
lowing day, when holders of Florence money found that 
it would not be received for purchases at the stores. 
That evening the feeling was vented at a meeting at the 
German theatre, where speeches were m.ade by prominent 
citizens urging complete and immediate repudiation of 
shinplasters of every kind. The meeting adjourned to 
the street, formed into a procession headed by a dnmi 
corps and marched down Second street to Cook & 
Sargent's bank, where they vented their indignation. A 
transparency was carried before the crowd, having on 
one side "DOWN WITH SHINPLAvSTERS, " and on 
the other, "WE WANT GOOD MONEY." From here 
the mob, increased by several hundred persons, marched 
in procession to the home of Ebenezer Cook, at Fourth 
and Rock Island streets, where stones were hurled through 
the windows, one lady being seriously injtu-ed thereby. 
After the demonstration, measures for the suppression 
of disorder were taken, and the military companies of 
the city were ordered to take position before Cook & 
Sargent's bank at seven o'clock the next morning. 

The following morning a crowd of several hundred 
men congregated near the bank, largely out of curiosity, 
but nothing unusual happened. During the morning 
another largely attended mass meeting was held in the 
court house square, at which Judge Grant presided. 
This meeting formulated a demand on Cook & Sargent 
that they immediately redeem the small amovmts of 


Florence now in the hands of the laboring classes, and 
that an early day be fixed for the complete retirement of 
Florence notes. This was the beginning of the end of 
this tense situation. The bank acceded to the first 
request, and placed funds in the hands of Judge Grant 
to see that it was properly applied. The next day an 
immense crowd assembled at Judge Grant's office, and 
he began the redemption of Florence notes in sums rang- 
ing from one to fifteen dollars. Two weeks later Cook 
& Sargent issued public notice inviting all holders of 
bills of the Bank of Florence to present them for redemp- 
tion. On September 6, the bank burned $200,000 of 
Florence currency in the fvimace of their bank building. 

During the years between 1850 and the beginning of 
the Civil War, the following banks, in addition to those 
previously mentioned, came into existence in Davenport: 
Talhnan, Powers & McLean; Chubb Brothers, Barrows 
& Co.; NickoUs, Campbell & Co.; McGregor, Lawes & 
Blakemore; and Hill, Allen & Co. The banking house 
of Chubb Brothers, Barrows & Co. closed its doors in 
September, 1858, on the failure of the parent bank, 
Chubb Brothers, of Washington, D. C. Cook & Sar- 
gent's bank suspended December 16, 1859, and their 
banking house after remaining closed for nearly a year, 
opened in Novem^ber, i860, to house the Merchants' 
branch of the State Bank of Iowa. Five years later this 
institution merged with the Davenport National Bank. 

The closing months of the year i860, with the prospect 
of civil war looming large in the pubUc eye, brought on 
another disastrous money panic, and values greatly 
declined. In the latter part of the following February 
the issues of forty banks were thrown out by Davenport 
banks as worthless. Matters were steadily going from 


bad to worse, and on April 25 a meeting of business men 
was held at Lahrmann's hall to seek relief from wildcat 
currency. A month later Macklot & Corbin's bank 
almost caused a local panic by refusing to accept any 
Illinois currency, and their action was sustained by the 
merchants of the city assembled in mass meeting. In 
August, Austin Corbin retired from the firm of Macklot 
& Corbin, and in March, 1863, he associated himself 
with George S. C. Dow, and opened banking business in 
the old marble bank, under the firm name of Corbin & 
Dow, continuing until the estabhshment of the First 
National Bank of Davenport a few months later. 

The disastrous experience which Davenport suffered 
during this period was perhaps not more severe than that 
of other cities of the cotmtry, and particularly in the 
West. The largest share of the blame for it all can fairly 
be attributed to the system under which the banks were 
obliged to operate, rather than on the individuals who 
conducted them. The banking laws of the times, while 
perhaps theoretically well designed, did not fit existing 
conditions, and besides they were loosely enforced. It 
is not surprising, therefore, that the great majority of 
these banks closed their doors, and the rest struggled 
along imtil banking was established upon a solid and 
substantial basis under national control. 


The National Bank Act 

The distressful condition of the currency at the out- 
break of the Civil War was not in itself sufficient to bring 
about the needed reform; it required in addition the 
necessity of providing additional means to finance a war 
of self-preservation. A combination of these two reasons 
led eventually to the passage of the act creating the 
National Banking system. 

To meet the enormous war expenditures inevitably 
impending was the problem which confronted the Secre- 
tary of the Treasury, Hon. Salmon P. Chase, when he 
took his seat in the cabinet of President Lincoln. The 
credit of the Government had been severely strained 
during the closing days of the Buchanan administration, 
but Secretary Chase met the condition of the finances 
with quick and resolute action. After securing authority 
to negotiate bonds and notes of various length of terms, 
his active brain turned to other methods of raising money 
to preserve the Union. The federal government was 
in pressing need of funds. The banks, which were 
wholly under State authority, had suspended specie 
payments, and a paper issue was indispensable. 

In his report to Congress in December, 1861, Secretary 
Chase proposed two means of relieving the Treasury. 
The issue of United States notes to replace State bank 
notes, which should be retired, was one suggestion; the 
creation of a National Banking system, was the other. 


He made a masterful presentation of the advantages to 
be derived from "the delivery to institutions of notes 
prepared for circulation under national direction and to 
be secured as to prompt convertibility into coin by the 
pledge of United States bonds." He pointed out that 
the advantages of this plan would be to secure to the 
people, uniformity in cvirrency, uniformity in security, 
effectual safeguard against depreciation, and protection 
from losses on discounts and exchanges; while in the 
operations of the Government the people would find the 
further advantage of a large demand for government 
securities; of increased facilities for obtaining the loans 
reqtured by the war, and in the increased seciurity to the 
Union, created by the distribution of its bonds to asso- 
ciations throughout the country as the basis of circulation. 

The imderlying principle of the National Bank Act 
was not new. Alexander Hamilton in preparing the 
charter for the first United States Bank suggested the 
wisdom of banking "upon the national debt as the best 
available capital." The New York State bank law con- 
tained several of the provisions which found their way 
into the National Bank Act. 

A bill embod3dng the recommendations of Secretary 
Chase was prepared by Representative E. G. Spaulding 
of New York, in December, 1861, and printed for the use 
of the Ways and Means Committee. In July, 1862, 
Mr. Hooper, of Massachusetts, introduced in the House 
a bill to provide for a "National currency seciured by a 
pledge of United States stocks." The bill was adversely 
reported by Hon. Thaddeus Stevens a month later. 
President Lincoln in his annual message to Congress in 
December of that year strongly urged the speedy enact- 
ment of the proposed law, in order to furnish a safe 


uniform currency, and to provide a market for govern- 
ment bonds. Meanwhile Secretary Chase continued to 
press the measure upon public attention, and on January 
26, 1863, Mr. Sherman presented to the Senate his bill 
for a National Currency Act. In the debate which 
followed the bill was strongly opposed, the state banking 
interests strongly antagonizing it. The measure passed 
the Senate February 12, 1863, by the close vote of 23 to 
21. When it came up in the House it met with \dgorous 
opposition, but when brought to a vote on February 20, 
it was passed, 78 to 64. President Lincoln approved the 
bill, February 25, 1863, and the National Currency Act, 
as it was then called, became the law of the land. 

Hugh McCulloch was appointed the First Comptroller 
of the Currency, to adminster the new law. In his first 
report he recommended several amendments to the law, 
to correct defects which had been disclosed. The revised 
bill became a law June 3, 1864. Since that time Con- 
gress has modified the law in some respects, extending 
and improving its provisions. 

There is considerable diversity of opinion among 
authorities as to the predominating motive which actuated 
Secretary Chase in pressing this legislation — whether 
the question of a uniform currency was the foremost 
consideration, or the establishing of a wider market for 
government bonds. It is certain that both beneficent 
results flowed from the enactment of the law. The 
people were provided with a safe currency, and a tmiform 
money, equally good in any part of the country. It 
resulted in a strengthening of the public credit, for by 
the end of 1864 the banks owned $176,500,000 govern- 
ment bonds, and had helped to place with the pubHc a 
very much larger amount. Besides, it strengthened the 


bond of union, and, above all, it secured the guaranty- 
that in the future there should be no banks capable of 
furnishing credit to revolting States. 

Under the provisions of the law, as amended in 1864, 
any number of persons not less than five might form a 
banking association. The minimum capital was fixed at 
$50,000 for places under 6,000 population, $100,000 for 
places not exceeding 50,000, and $200,000 for larger 
cities. One-half of the capital was required to be paid 
in cash before beginning business, the balance in ten per 
cent monthly installments. Shareholders were liable 
for debts of the bank to an amount equal to the par of 
their stock. Each bank was required to deposit with 
the Treasury, United States bonds to the amount of one- 
third of the capital stock, to be held to secure circulation, 
which might be issued to the extent of 90 per cent of the 
market value of the bonds, but not in excess of the bank's 
capital. The notes of the bank were made redeemable 
in lawful money, receivable for all public dues except 
customs and for all payments by the United States except 
interest on the public debt and redemption of national 
ctirrency. The volume of notes was limited to $300,000,- 
000. Banks were required to receive each other's notes 
at par and not to pay out notes of banks failing to redeem 
on demand. 

Seventeen reserve cities were designated by the law. 
The banks in these were required to hold a 25 per cent 
reserve on circulation and deposits, one-half of which 
might be to their credit with an approved reserve agent. 
All other banks were required to keep 15 per cent reserve 
on circulation and deposits, three-fifths of which might 
be to their credit with approved banks in any of the 
reserve cities. When reserves were impaired no new loans 


were to be made until the same was restored, and if not 
restored within thirty days after notice from the Comp- 
troller, a receiver might be appointed. In case of receiver- 
ship the bonds were to be sold by the Comptroller, and 
the bank's circulation retired with the proceeds. 

Banks were empowered to transact a general banking 
business. Loans in excess of lo per cent of the capital 
to any one person or concern were forbidden, bona fide 
discount or pvirchase of bills receivable excepted. Banks 
were forbidden to acquire real estate other than for their 
necessary use, tmless the same were taken for a pre-exist- 
ing debt. Before dividends were declared, lo per cent 
of the profits were required to be carried to a surplus 
fund until it should equal 20 per cent of the capital. A, 
tax of one-half per cent semi-annually was imposed upon 
circulation, and one-fourth per cent each on capital and 
deposits, in lieu of all other federal taxes. Charters 
extended for a period of twenty years from date of incor- 
poration. Periodical examinations, full and verified 
quarterly reports, and monthly reports of the principal 
items were required. The total debts of a bank, aside 
from its notes and deposits, were not to exceed its capital. 
Provision was made for the conversion of state banks 
into the national system. National banks might be 
designated by the Secretary of the Treasury as govern- 
ment depositories, such deposits to be secured by govern- 
ment bonds. Congress reserved the right at any time 
to amend or repeal the act. 

The system has fulfilled the anticipations of its earliest 
advocates, and the law has exercised a profound eflEect 
upon baiiking generally. It afforded to the banking 
interests throughout the country, without favor, the 
opportunity to establish their business on a sound and 


stable basis, under strict regulation and examination by 
the national government. It created a single standard 
of conduct, and to the bank patrons pledged the govern- 
ment's guarantee of good faith and honest dealing. The 
influence of its wise provisions has been felt not only by 
the National banks themselves, but it has shown itself 
in a marked degree in statutes governing state banks, 
which have been generally patterned after the national 

According to the report of the ofSce of the Comptroller 
of the Currency the capital of the 7,440 national banks in 
operation on April 4, 1913, was $1,052,265,581-; their 
surplus, $719,673,812; their undivided profits, $255,- 
387,230; — making their surplus and imdivided profits 
almost equal to their capital stock. The same report 
shows their total resources, $11,081,974,333; their total 
individual deposits, $5,968,787,045; their loans and dis- 
counts, $6,178,096,379. 



The First National Bank of Davenport, 1863-1882 

President Lincoln approved the National Bank Act, 
February 25, 1863, and on the next day an application 
for a charter for the First National Bank of Davenport 
reached the Treasury Department in Washington, having 
been forwarded from here on the 24th by Corbin & Dow, 
who obtained leave at that time to substitute a more 
general subscription list at the proper time. But several 
weeks elapsed before the new Comptroller of bhe Ciurency, 
who was designated by law to administer the act, had 
perfected the rules for the guidance and control of National 
banks. It was well along in the month of May before 
the articles of association, prepared in the Comptroller's 
office, were received in Davenport. On May 25th the 
subscription books for the new institution were opened, 
and in three days the capital stock of $100,000 had been 
subscribed. The original stockholders embraced prac- 
tically all of the most substantial business and financial 
men of the city, and the promptness and enthusiasm with 
which the stock was underwritten was a sure guarantee 
of the success of the new institution. 

Following is a list of the original shareholders : 

Alvord & Van Patten Claussen, H. R. 

Armstrong, James Cone, Palmer L. 

Beiderbecke & Miller Corbin, Austin 

Bowling, James M. Davies, John L. 

Brownlie, Alexander Davison, Abner 

Burtis, John J. Decker, William H. 


Dillon, John P. 
Dow, George S. C. 
Du'ncan, Edward C. 
Prahm, Mathias 
French & Davies 
Garrett, Hugh 
GifEord, Ira M. 
Goring, Henry 
Gould, Daniel 
Green, Adam 
Griggs, P. H. 
Haight, J. H. 
HaU, Philo E. 
Haller, Louis 
Harder, Carsten 
Harding, Peter B. 
Harrison, Isaac W. 
Haupt, Henry 
Heinz, Bonaventura 
HUls, Harvey 
Hubbell, Sydney A. 
lies, Thomas J. 
KeUey, Asa P. 
Klindt, Peter 
Koehler, Otto 
Krause, Robert 
Kuehl, D. H. 
Lischer, Henry 
Lorenzen, Jens 
Mack, Royal L. 
Mast, August P. 
Meisner, Johannes H. 
Miller, John P. 

Morrison, John D. 
Parker, Wallace W. 
Peek, John M. 
Peters, Bleik 
Peterson, L. W. 
Powers, Adeline H. 
Richardson, Jennette 
Riley, M. 

Rutenbeck, WUliam 
Scherer, Anton 
Schlegel, E. 
Schlegel, Gustave 
Schmidt, John 
Scott, Thomas 
Shaw, D. B. 
Shields, Joseph 
Skeel, Almet 
Smith, Edwin 
SteflEen, August 
Stevenson & Carnahan 
Thompson, James 
Tiffany, A. S. 
Tilebein, E. A. 
True, David S. 
Wahle, Lorenz 
Warnebold, August 
Washburn, Louisa 
Watson, Oramel H. 
Weiss, F. 
Whisler, C. S. 
Weeber, Margaret J. 
Young, Samuel C. 

The first official meeting of the stockholders was held 
on Saturday evening. May 30th, in the present bank 
btiilding, then operated as a private bank by the firm of 
Corbin & Dow. George H. French was called to preside 
over the meeting, and Oramel H. Watson was appointed 
secretary. The articles of association prepared by Hon. 
Hugh McCulloch, Comptroller of the Currency, were 
adopted. The principal provisions were that the name 
of the corporation should be "The First National Bank 
of Davenport" ; that the capital stock should be $100,000, 




which might be increased upon an afFirmative vote of 
two-thirds of the directors. Thirty per cent of the 
original subscriptions was to be paid for at once, and 
the remainder at such times as shoul,d thereafter be 
determined. The directors were fixed at nine, their 
qualifications to be the ownership of at least ten shares 
of stock. A committee consisting of Austin Corbin, 
Royal L. Mack and George S. C. Dow was appointed 
to receive the first installment on stock subscriptions, 
to purchase the reqtiired bonds, and to prepare the nec- 
essary by-laws for the institution. The members of the 
association were requested to pay the first installment 
on their stock subscription on or before Jime sth. The 
day set for the election of the first board of directors 
was June 6, 1863, the members then to be chosen to serve 
until the second Tuesday in January, 1864. The term 
for which the association was formed was limited to 
expire May 10, 1882. 

Pursuant to the action taken at the former meeting, 
the stockholders again assembled, on June 6, 1863, and 
it is recorded that eighty-five were present. Dr. Thomas 
J. lies was called to the chair, and Mr. Watson was 
again named as secretary. The following named gentle- 
men were thereupon elected as members of the first 
Board of Directors: Royal L. Mack, Austin Corbin, 
Thomas Scott, James Armstrong, George H. French, 
George S. C. Dow, J. E. Stevenson, John Schmidt, and 
F. H. Griggs. The minutes record that August Wame- 
bold, W. H. Decker, C. S. Whisler, August StefEen, David 
S. True, Edwin Smith, Asa P. Kelley and nimierous 
other well known business men were present, and some 
of them were within one vote of election as members 
of the board. 


On the same day the directors held their meeting, 
with Thomas Scott as chairman and F. II. Griggs as 
secretary, and chose the following officers: President, 
Austin Corbin; vice president. Royal L. Mack; cashier, 
Ira M. Gifford ; assistant cashier and teller, Hugo Schmidt ; 
attorney, James Armstrong; bookkeeper, August Virgien. 
The new institution was now organized for business, 
but some unexpected delays occurred. It was not until 
June 2 2d that Hon. Hugh McCulloch, Comptroller of 
the Currency, finally acted upon the appUcations before 
him. On that date he empowered several banks to 
begin business, the First National Bank of Davenport 
being one of the first to receive his approval and given 
charter No. 15. Immediately upon the arrival of this 
charter in Davenport the board of directors voted that 
the activities of the bank be inaugurated on June 29th, 
1863, and public notice of this appeared in the local papers 
of the 26th. 

Monday, June 29th, 1863, the First National Bank of 
Davenport was opened for business, thereby earning the 
distinction of the first National Bank in operation in 
the United States. For two days it enjoyed the unique 
honor of being the one institution in the whole country 
operating imder the National Bank Act, a well-deserved 
tribute to the enterprise of its foimders. On July ist 
a number of National banks in various cities of the 
coimtry began business, and thereafter their number 
steadily increased. 

In its opening annotmcement it invited the patronage 
of the community in the transaction of a general banking 
and exchange business, and offered to supply sight drafts 
available in the principal cities of the world. In addition 
it was designated a special agent of the Government 


for the sale of United States 5-20 bonds, which were 
being sold to meet the ever-increasing expense of the 
Civil War. The bank was prepared to deliver these 
bonds to subscribers at its counter. 

One of the priceless treasures still in possession of the 
bank is the set of ledger and journal containing the 
fiscal transactions of the institution for the period begin- 
ning with the opening day. It is interesting to note 
from the journal that the first check drawn on the bank 
was written by Henry Hass for $12.60, which was cashed 
June 29, 1863. The deposits for this same day amounted 
to $80,506.93, and they are recorded in this ancient 
volume in writing which resembles engraved script. 
The deposits received by the bank on its opening day, 
Jxme 29, 1863, are recorded as follows: 

Jesse Waller $ 359-00 

Profit and Loss 33-77 

Corbin & Dow 41.235 - 79 

Kissam & Taylor 867.23 

John L. Davies 2,000.00 

Alvord & Van Patten • 840.62 

C. H. Kent, Agent 127 • 78 

French & Davies 691 . 65 

John F. Miller 500.00 

Philo E. Hall 159-26 

Stevenson & Carnahan 1,444.41 

Jacob Strasser i53 • 75 

Davidson & True 4>522 .00 

H. Darlington 271 .41 

T. A. Stoanaker 750- 00 

Teichmann & Co 598.00 

R. Krause 34825 

C. H. Whisler 138.00 

Edwin Smith 1,374-32 

H. R. & E. Claussen 480.00 

Mack Bros i,835-55 

August Steflfen 6,716.36 

Samuel C. Young 950. 00 

W. H. Carter 216.05 

Transportation account 45-43 

H. Darlington 480.00 


J. J. Burtis 3,000 . oo 

Henry Hass 560. 85 

Sam E. Brown 960 . 35 

George H. French, Treasurer ■. 8,849 ■ 10 

Total 180,506.93 

From the day of its inauguration the bank met with 
growing public favor, and during the first three months 
of its existence steadily gained in strength. The first 
call from the Comptroller for a statement of its condition 
was made at the close of business September 30, 1863. 
This first quarterly report, an official copy of which is 
still among the treasured possessions of the bank, is an 
interesting docimient. An examination of the items 
included in it throws an interesting side-light on the 
history of the times. In full, it is as follows : 


Loans and discounts $ 56,548 . 10 

Due from banks and bankers 45,800.97 

Specie 8,809 ■ 20 

Checks on U. S. Depositary 22,350.48 

Other cash items 761 . 88 

Legal Tender notes of the U. S 40,379 . 00 

Postal Currency 913-95 

Bills of Solvent Banks 520.00 

Bonds to secure circulation 40,000 . 00 

U. S. 5-20 Bonds 26,350 . 00 

Expense account 1,162.66 


Capital paid up $ 40,000 . 00 

Profit and Loss account 2,578 . 06 

Due to Bankers 9,275 . 26 

Due Depositors on demand 191,742.92 


The success of the bank from the standpoint of earnings 
was a gratifying surprise to its stockholders, who had 


not expected any dividends during the first year, after 
paying the expenses of organization. But on October 

29, just four months from the day the bank opened for 
business, it declared a dividend of five per cent, first 
having paid all expenses of organization and the current 
expense to date. 

The second quarterly statement, issued December 

30, 1863, after the bank had been in operation six months, 
showed the institution to be in a prosperous condition, 
and that it had a strong hold upon the pubHc favor. 
It follows: 


Loans and discounts $ 69,100. 55 

United States bonds 108,560 . 00 

Furniture and fixtures 415.34 

Cash resources: 

Due from banks $ 55,247.82 

Legal tender notes. . . 123,687.00 

Cash on hand 30,798.46 




Capital stock paid in $ 55,210.00 

Undivided profits 3,525.06 

Due United States Treasurer 35,oo5-33 

Deposits 294,250.62 


This second quarterly statement indicated that the 
bank was in a highly prosperous condition. Its deposits 
had increased more than $93,000 during the past three 
months; and if we add to this the United States deposits, 
the increase in the deposit account amounts to $128,000. 
Fifteen thousand dollars of capital stock was paid in 
during the quarter, and while but two months had elapsed 


since its first dividend was declared, the bank showed 
profits sufficient to pay another dividend of five per cent. 
The Democrat and News commenting on the figures of 
this statement said that "the experiment of establishing 
a National bank here has been a great success. It meets 
with favor among the masses, and before it has completed 
its first year will probably outrank every banking concern 
in the state." This prediction was destined to be ful- 
filled dtiring the ensuing three months. 

The first regular annual election of directors was held 
on January 12, 1864, at which the following gentlemen 
were chosen for the ensuing year: Austin Corbin, 
Royal L. Mack, Thomas Scott, James Armstrong, George 
H. French, George S. C. Dow, J. E. Stevenson, John 
Schmidt, and J. J. Burtis. The board immediately 
met and re-elected all the officers of the bank. 

Although the bank had had on deposit with the United 
States Treasurer for many months a large amount of 
United States bonds to secure circulation, it was not 
until January 21, 1864, that the first installment of its 
currency was received. This consisted of $26,000 in five- 
dollar denominations. These bills were the second lot 
of the new notes that were engraved, the first having 
been furnished to the First National Bank of Washington, 
D. C. The face of the note bore in the left hand comer 
a vignette of Columbus sighting land; in the other comer 
a vignette of Columbus presenting America, in the form 
of an Indian maiden, to the old world, personified by 
three figures representing Europe, Asia and Africa. The 
back of the note displays an oval vignette, reproducing 
Vanderlyn's famous picture in the rottuida of the Capitol 
at Washington, representing the landing of Columbus. 

The success of the institution as a commercial bank 


brought with it a demand for fadlities to handle savings 
deposits, and the officers were prompt in making provi- 
sions to meet this public need. On January 25, 1864, 
public notice was given of the organization under the 
laws of Iowa of "The Davenport Savings Institution," 
with a capital stock of $100,000, the date of commence- 
ment being fixed for February ist. The list of stock- 
holders, seventy-two in number, was practically identical 
with that of the First National. Business was com- 
menced on the date fixed, in the same room, and at the 
first election of the incorporators David S. True was 
chosen president of the corporation. It was a success 
from the outset. Within three weeks the savings deposit 
amounted to $10,000, and before the year was completed 
it was found necessary to increase the capital stock to 
$250,000, as under its charter deposits could not exceed 
two-thirds of its capital stock. Later its name was 
changed to the Davenport Savings Bank, and for forty- 
four years the two banks were conducted in the same 

When the third quarterly statement of the First 
National Bank was called on April ist it recorded total 
deposits of $577,526.97, which was a larger sum than was 
ever before on deposit in any single bank in the State of 
Iowa. The city of Davenport was the most important 
financial center in Iowa, the total deposits of three banks 
of the city aggregating considerably more than $1,000,000. 
A considerable part of this large stim was soon to be 
transferred to the United States Treasury at Washington 
to help defray the enormous expenses of the war. The 
bonds of the Government which were offered to Davenport 
investors through the First National Bank were being 
taken by the patriotic people of this city. The National 


loan known as the Ten-forty bonds, which had been offered 
in March, proved attractive. They bore s per cent 
interest payable in gold, and at the prevailing rate of 
premium on gold they yielded over 8 per cent. Early 
in June came another war loan in the shape of a bond 
bearing 6 per cent interest, payable semi-annually in coin. 
This was followed in August by the U. S. 7-30 loan, 
payable in three years, with interest at 7 3-10 per cent. 
The people of Davenport had responded nobly to the 
caUs of the Government for financial aid, and on May 28th 
the First National forwarded to the United States Treas- 
urer a remittance for $200,000, the proceeds of the sale 
of government bonds. 

In Davenport there was evidence on every hand of 
the desperate struggle in which the nation was engaged 
for its preservation. On April 21st the cornerstone of 
the Arsenal was laid by Major Kingsbury; one month 
later upwards of 4,000 men were encamped at Camp 
McClellan in response to the call of President Lincoln 
for 100-day volunteers. 

Meanwhile currency conditions throughout the country 
were in a troubled state. Gold commanded a premium 
over greenbacks, and state bank notes were circulating 
in ever-increasing volume. On May 24th the First 
National Bank, following the example of the bankers of 
Chicago, gave notice that it would receive on deposit 
at par and pay out at par, only legal tender notes and 
National bank notes — all other currency, including Iowa 
State bank notes, to be received at the Chicago rate of 
discount, then one-half per cent. Very soon thereafter 
the Davenport branch of the State Bank of Iowa and the 
First National reached an agreement whereby the latter 
was to receive the State Bank currency at par, and the 


former was to redeem the same in greenbacks or National 
Bank notes. At this time the State Baiik of Iowa had 
over $1,500,000 of notes in circulation. 

The fourth quarterly statement of the bank, made the 
first Monday in July, showed the remarkable progress 
which the institution had made during the first year of its 
existence. The Daily Democrat of Jtdy 8th, commenting 
on this statement said: "The success with which this 
bank is meeting is almost incredible to the financial com- 
mimity. The career of this institution has been nothing 
but increase and success." The principal items included 
in this statement were: Loans and discounts, $56,521.47 ; 
United States bonds, $142,150; cash resources, $392,810.51 ; 
capital stock paid in, $86,160; undivided profits, $8,407.86; 
circulating notes, $20,000; deposits, $476,913.80. 

On September 26th the negotiations were closed for 
the purchase of the "Marbls Bank" building, which the 
institution had occupied from the beginning, at the south- 
west comer of Main and Second streets. The sum paid 
for the property was $22,500. This building was erected 
in 1857 by Cook & Sargent at a cost of over $75,000. It 
was built of Athens lime-stone, and at this time was said 
to be the finest bank building in the West, and one of 
the handsomest west of New York City. 

During September the last installment of the capital 
stock was paid in. 

No change in the board of directors had occurred dur- 
ing the year, and at the annual meeting on January 10, 
1865, the directots were all re-elected, and they in turn 
re-elected the same officers. The committee appointed to 
examine the books of the institution made a favorable 
report, and spoke in high praise of the careful and judi- 
cious management of the bank. 


A momentous change in the affairs of the bank occiorred 
on June 19th, when Austin Corbin tendered his resigna- 
tion as president and removed to New York City to make 
his future home. Under his management the institution 
had, in two years, grown to be one of the financial leaders 
of Iowa; its original projector, he had been largely 
instrumental for its prosperous condition. His resigna- 
tion was accepted wdth the deepest regret, but with best 
wishes for his future success. George H. French was 
thereupon chosen as president. Subsequently Royal L. 
Mack relinqtiished the vice presidency, and Dr. J. E. 
Stevenson was chosen as his successor. The two vacancies 
thus created on the board of directors were filled by the 
election of John L. Davies and James Thompson, and the 
latter remained on the board for almost thirty years. In 

1866, August Steffen succeeded J. J. Burtis as a member 
of the board. No change occurred in the personnel of 
the officers and directors until the annual meeting in 

1867, when Mr. French retired from the presidency and 
Ira M. Gilford was promoted to the place from the 
cashiership. W. H. Decker succeeded John L. Davies 
as a member of the board, and Hugo Schmidt, who had 
been assistant cashier from the day the bank started, was 
advanced to the position of cashier. At this meeting 
John F. Dillon presented the report of the committee 
appointed to examine the affairs of the bank. 

In 1870 W. H. Decker and Hans Reimer Claussen 
retired from the board of directors, their places being 
filled by Edwin Smith and August Wamebold. E. S. 
Carl was, on February 3d, chosen assistant cashier. On 
April 4th Hugo Schmidt resigned as cashier, to accept 
a similar position with the Citizens National Bank, and 
David C. Porter was chosen as his successor. The state- 
ment made December 28, 1870, showed the following: 



Loans and discounts ^(282,694.21 

United States bonds 125,550.00 

Other bonds 14,391-39 

Banking house 10,000.00 

Due from banks 92,955.91 

Cash on hand 75,325.52 


Capital stock $100,000.00 

Surplus 75,000.00 

Undivided profits 15,044.18 

Circulation notes 90,000.00 

Deposits 320,872.85 


At the annual election of the stockholders, January 10, 
1 87 1, Dr. J. E. Stevenson retired from the board, and for 
the next three years his place was filled by Judge James 
Grant, one of the conspicuous figures in the history of 
Davenport from early Territorial days. During the fall 
of this year the United States Weather Bureau was estab- 
lished in Davenport, with George H. Richmond in charge, 
and in October he began the display of storm signals from 
a 30-foot staff on the roof of the First National Bank 

During 1872 no change occurred in the directorate, but 
the annual election on January 14, 1873, was a memorable 
one. The membership of the board was Increased from 
nine to eleven, and the two positions thus created were 
filled by the election of D. ,C. Porter and George H. French, 
the nine old members being all re-elected. On the day 
following when the directors met, President Gilford, who 
had been at the head of the bank for the past six years, 
made known his resolution to retire from the position, 
and Hon. Hiram Price was chosen as his successor. D. C. 


Porter then resigned as cashier, and W. H. Price was 
chosen to succeed him. These changes were the cul- 
mination of a factional contest which had been carried 
on for several years and which had come to be known as 
"the Bank fight." There was general rejoicing among 
the friends of the institution over the termination of this 

The financial condition of the bank at the beginning 
of the year 1873, which was to be memorable as one of 
depression and panic, was excellent. The statement on 
February 28th showed: 


Loans and discounts $380,620.79 

United States bonds 100,000.00 

Other bonds 12,417.07 

Banking house 10,000.00 

Due from banks 136,865.20 

Cash on hand 63,177.95 



Capital stock $100,000.00 

Surplus 75,000.00 

Undivided profits 23,256.40 

Circulation notes 90,000.00 

Deposits 414,824.55 


While conditions throughout the summer were some- 
what abnormal, the worst days of depression did not 
come imtil fall. The crisis came with the failure of the 
New York banking house of Jay Cooke & Co., with its 
branches in many of the leading cities of the country. 
The next day is known in history as Black Friday, and 
for a week following banks and other financial institutions 
all over the country succumbed in great ntimbers, many 


closing their doors and others entirely suspending cash 
payments. Through these trials and tribulations the 
First National Bank of Davenport passed unscathed. 
On the 2Sth came the announcement that the Chicago 
banks had suspended. This greatly increased the diffi- 
culty of obtaining currency, and made unavailable the 
large balances which Davenport banks carried in that 
city. This compelled the banks of the Tri-Cities to adopt 
the policy of paying only $ioo in currency to each depos- 
itor, if so much were due him, and for all amounts above 
that sum to give certified checks, which were receivable 
at par by any of the banks of the three cities. This 
arrangement was in force but a short time, when full pay- 
ments were resumed. The First National Bank emerged 
from the crisis unharmed, and with its prestige materially 

In December, Hiram Price asked to be relieved of the 
duties of the presidency of the institution, owing to the 
other demands upon his time. At the annual session of 
the stockholders in January, 1874, six new members were 
elected to the board of directors: T. T. Dow, Lorenzo 
Schricker, Otto Albrecht, L. C. Dessaint, Charles Whitaker 
and Michael Donahue; and Dr. J. E. Stevenson was 
elected again, after an absence of three years. At a sub- 
sequent meeting of the board, James Thompson was 
advanced to the presidency of the bank, and Lorenzo 
Schricker was chosen vice-president. David C. Porter 
was again elected cashier, W. H. Price having retired a few 
months previous. For the next two years no change 
occurred in the personnel of the bank management, except 
in 187s H. A. Runge succeeded Mr. Albrecht as a member 
of the board, and in March of the same year E. S. Carl, 
who had served the bank faithfully as assistant cashier, 


resigned and became cashier of the Citizens National 

The election in 1876 resulted in the election of the old 
board of directors, with two changes: Francis Ochs 
succeeded Michael Donahue, and Charles E. Putnam 
took the place occupied for a year by H. A. Rimge. When 
the board met for the selection of officers for the ensuing 
year, Mr. Thompson declined re-election, and Charles E. 
Putnam, then president of the Davenport Savings Bank 
which was conducted in the same room with the First 
National, consented to accept the presidency temporarily, 
and his election followed. Two weeks later D. C. Porter 
tendered his resignation as cashier, following the disclosure 
of certain irregularities in his accounts, and Lloyd G. Gage, 
a brother of Hon. Lyman J. Gage who was afterwards 
Secretary of the Treasury, came from Chicago to accept 
the cashiership. Mr. Putnam continued as president 
until August I, of that year, when he resigned, and 
Major T. T. Dow was chosen as his successor. 

In the autumn of 1877 the board directed the officers 
of the bank to transfer $25,000 from the credit of surplus 
account to the credit of profit and loss account, and then 
to charge into the latter account all items that might in 
any way be impaired. This action was prompted by a 
desire to keep the assets clear of doubtful values, and it 
opened the way for ftu-ther rapid advancement and growth. 
Its wisdom was proved by the steady progress which the 
bank made during the years which followed. 

For the next five years but one change occurred in the 
officers of the bank. In May, 1878, Mr. Gage resigned 
as cashier, and John B. Fidlar was elected to his place. 
Few changes took place in the membership of the board 
of directors. In 1877 Walker Adams succeeded Charles 


E. Putnam. In 1878 H. W. Kerker was elected in place 
of L. C. Dessaint, who returned to the board in 1880. 
In 1879 Henry Kohrs succeeded John Schmidt; in 1880 
Anthony Burdick took his place on the board, and in 
1 88 1 Nathanael French was elected in place of Charles 

On the night of February i, 1880, the bank building 
was visited by a destructive fire. Great volumes of 
dense smoke were discovered pouring out of the windows 
of the building, and the volunteer fire department of the 
city labored for five hotu:s before the fire was extinguished. 
The interior of the building was a wreck from the flames 
and the water. The safes and vaults withstood the 
fire and the flood of water which was poured into the 
structure, and when they were opened it was found that 
the contents were neither smoked nor wet — all were in 
perfect condition. The next morning business was 
resumed by the First National and the Davenport Savings 
in tempiorary quarters at No. 122 Main street, where they 
continued until the building was restored for occupancy. 
The loss was about $8,000, which was fully covered by 

On March 28, 1882, the bank suffered a great loss in 
the death of Major T. T. Dow, who had been a member 
of the board of directors for eight years, and had served 
so capably as president for the last six years of this 
period. As a permanent record of the love and esteem 
in which he was held, his associates spread upon the 
minutes of the bank a set of resolutions attesting to his 
merit and worth. To succeed him the board elected 
James Thompson, who had served as president of the 
bank from 1874 to 1876. 

The year 1882 marked the expiration of the charter 


under which the bank was organized, and the question 
of the method by which the association was to be con- 
tinued became one for serious consideration. The hope 
was entertained that Congress would pass a measxire 
enabUng national banks to prolong the term of their 
existence, or renew their charters, but such action was 
not taken. The bill for that purpose pending in the 
spring of 1882 was long and tediously debated. The 
charter of "The First National Bank of Davenport, 
Ntunber 15" would expire by limitation on the 9th day 
of June, and with no provision of law for its extension, 
the only alternative was for the institution to go into 
voluntary liquidation. Accordingly a meeting of the 
stockholders was held on April 24th, at which it was 
unanimously voted to go into liquidation, and that its 
property should be offered for sale. All the formalities 
necessary to conform to the United States statutes were 
carefully complied with, and the assets of the bank were 
without delay and without any interruption of business 
transferred to its legal successor, designated as "The 
First National Bank of Davenport Number 2695." 
In other words, it reorganized under a new charter, but 
preserved its former name and entity. 

Such is the record made by this institution during the 
period of its first organization from 1863 to 1882. During 
the twenty years of its history it had made earnings to 
the amount of over $391,000 — had paid its stockholders 
$293,000 in dividends, set aside a surplus of $50,000, 
and had $48,000 in undivided profits. It was a record 
of success, of which the men who had worked to attain 
it had just cause for pride. With the passing of the 
twentieth milestone of the institution, they looked 
forward expectantly to the next term, confident that 
it would show an even larger measure of success. 




The First National Bank of Davenport 


The new organization was completed on May i, 1882, 
when the stockholders of the new First National Bank 
met, adopted a series of by-laws, and elected a board of 
directors. The share holders were: 

Adams, Walker 
Albrecht, Otto 
Barr, Benjamin 
Burdick, Anthony 
Bergfeldt, Fritz 
Campbell, J. D. 
Carnahan, Hugh 
Clark, Charles R. 
C. C. Cook, Home 

for the Friendless 
Cook, E. E., Trustee 
Dessaint, L. C. 
Dessaint, Mrs. M. C. 
Dow, John L. 
Dow, Josiah 
Dow, Mrs. Mary 
French, Mrs. F. W. 
French, George H. 
French, Nathanael 
Oilman, S. F. 
Oilman, Mrs. S. A. 
Oreen, Mrs. E. 
Hall, Israel 

Haller, Louis 
Hancock, F. H. 
Henry, J. Howard 
Jockheck, E. F. 
Knanpe, C. F. 
Kerker, H. W. 
Kohrs, Henry 
Krum, Mrs. S. L. 
Lane, James T. 
Lee, Mrs. L. M. 
McClelland, T. W. 
Meyer, Chas. F. 
Ochs, Francis 
Renwick, William 
Richardson Bros. 
Ruch, John 
Schmidt, John 
Schricker, Lorenzo 
Steflfen, August 
Stevenson, J. E. 
Thompson, James 
Watkins, C. S. 
Whitaker, Charles 

The capital stock of the institution was $100,000, 
divided into one thousand shares of $100 each. The 
articles of association provided that the charter should 
run for twenty years, or tmtil May i, 1902, and that it 


shotild have a board of directors consisting of eleven 
members. The first board chosen consisted of Walker 
Adams, Anthony Burdick, August Steffen, Nathaniel 
French, L. C. Dessaint, Lorenzo Schricker, J. E. Stevenson, 
James Thompson, H. W. Kerker, Henry Kohrs and S. F. 
Oilman, all of whom had served under the old regime. 
When the directors assembled they elected James Thomp- 
son president, Lorenzo Schricker vice president, John B. 
Fidlar cashier, and Charles F. Meyer assistant cashier. 
From this list of names it is at once apparent that the 
new corporation was in every respect a continuation of 
its predecessor. On May i, 1882, John J. Knox, Comp- 
troller of the Cvirrency, authorized the commencement of 
business under charter known as Niomber 2695, and 
that day the bank reopened its doors for business for 
another twenty years, in the same well-known quarters. 
The old bank went out of business and the new one 
succeeded it without any visible mark by which the 
public could know that a change had occurred. It set 
out under its new lease, enjoying the perfect confidence 
of every depositor and every business m^an of the com- 

The ensuing years were marked by steady growth 
along all Unes, and for the next decade there were remark- 
ably few changes in the personnel of the officers and 
directors of the institution. In July, 1883, the circle 
was broken by the death of Lorenzo Schricker, who had 
served for almost ten years on the board of directors, 
and for several years as vice president. At a subsequent 
meeting Christian Mueller was elected to the vacancy 
thus created on the board, and at the annual meeting 
in 1884 Dr. J. E. Stevenson was elected to the vice pres- 
idency. During the year Charles F. Meyer resigned as 


assistant cashier and George Hoehn was promoted to 
the vacancy. The year 1884 was a prosperous one for 
the bank, the stock holders receiving two semi-annual 
dividends of ten per cent each. The report which was 
made to the stockholders at their annual meeting in 
January, 1885, showed that during the three years which 
the bank had operated under its new charter, it had paid 
$44,000 in dividends and had increased the undivided 
profits from $50,000 to $70,000. At this meeting there 
was only one change made in the directorate. Nathanael 
French, judge of the district court, declined re-election 
and his brother, G. Watson French, was chosen in his 

On May 6, 1885, the statement of the bank showed 
the steady progress which was being made. 


Loans and discounts $516,677 . 19 

United States bonds 50,000.00 

Banking house 20,000 . 00 

Due from banks 171,729,07 

Cash on hand 101,670.82 



Capital stock $100,000.00 

Surplus 50,000.00 

Undivided profits 70,552.84 

Circulation notes 45,000.00 

Deposits 594.524-24 


The annual election in 1886 resulted in a single change 
in the directorate, George W. Cable being elected in 
place of L. C. Dessaint, who had removed to Dallas, 
Texas. In Janmry, 1887, G. Watson French retired, 


and his brother Nathanael resumed his place on the board 
of directors. In September of the same year, Walker 
Adams was called to his last rest. For ten years he had 
faithfully conserved the interests of the institution; his 
associates in its management united in testifying to his 
high integrity and splendid character. At a subsequent 
meeting John P. Van Patten was chosen to fill the vacancy. 
In 1888 Henry Kohrs retired from the board, and George 
M. Schmidt was elected in his stead. 

At the opening of 1892 a new force entered the councils 
of the institution, with the election of Joe R. Lane to 
the board of directors. He was chosen to succeed Dr. 
J. E. Stevenson, who decHned re-election. The retire- 
ment of Dr. Stevenson closed a long and faithful career 
of service to the bank. He was one of the founders of 
the institution, a member of the first board of directors, 
and its second vice president. He had served on the 
board for almost a quarter of a century, and as vice 
president for more than half that time. This long and 
honorable connection was severed with regret, and the 
board extended to him the hearty thanks of the bank 
for his labors in its behalf. Anthony Biu-dick was there- 
upon elected as vice president. 

For the next two years the institution moved steadily 
forward, without change in officers or directors. On 
June 30, 1891, the capital stock of the bank was increased 
from $100,000 to $200,000. The statement to the Comp- 
troller of the Currency on September 2Sth, of that year, 
showed the following: 


Loans and discounts $611,689.57 

United States bonds 50,000.00 

Other bonds 18,000.00 

Bank building 20,000.00 


Due from banks 141,663.93 

Cash on hand 101,225.10 



Capital stock $200,000.00 

Surplus 50,000.00 

Undivided profits 60,934.12 

Circulation notes 45,000.00 

Deposits 586,644.48 


On January 12, 1892, the stockholders elected John L. 
Dow to succeed George M. Schmidt, and Morris N. 
Richardson in place of Nathaniel French, resigned. For 
the next succeeding three years there was not a break in 
the directorate or the official staff of the bank. But in 
the year 1895 a change occvirred in both the presidency 
and the cashiership. The first blow was sustained in the 
death of President Thompson, who died at his home on 
Brady Street, January 2d, being then in the sixty-ninth 
year of his age. He was one of the original stockholders 
and was elected to the board of directors in 1866, serving 
continuously to the time of his death. From 1866 to 
187 1 he had filled the post of vice-president, and twice 
he had been elevated to the presidency, serving from 1874 
to 1876, and then for thirteen years from 1882 until his 
death. The directors by resolution formally testified their 
appreciation of the faithful service rendered by him to 
the bank by the liberal use of his time and ability. 

At the annual meeting held during the following week, 
A. J. Smith was elected to the vacancy on the board 
caused by the death of President Thompson, and when the 
board met two days later, on January 10, 1895, Anthony 
Burdick was chosen as president. For the next sixteen 


years the affairs of the bank were under his direction, and 
he labored faithitdly to advance the welfare of the insti- 

A few weeks later John B. Fidlar resigned his position 
as cashier, to enter the insurance field. He had entered 
the bank in 187 1 as discoiont clerk, and was promoted to 
the cashiership in 1879. He was succeeded in the posi- 
tion by Charles A. Mast, who began his duties on the 
iSth of April. 

During the summer a movement was inaugurated for 
the establishment of the Davenport Clearing House 
Association, and in this the officers of the First National 
Bank took an active and leading part. In August the 
organization was completed, and Charles A. Mast was 
elected as the first manager of the association. Its pur- 
pose was to expedite the interchange of commercial paper 
on a systematic basis, the establishment of moral and 
financial support between the different banks, and for 
the promotion of the financial interests of the city. The 
Clearing House has grown in strength and importance 
from the day of its establishment. The total clearings 
of the first year amotinted to $29,439,839, while the clear- 
ings last year were $84,161,023. 

Throughout the year 1895 the depression, which had 
set in two years previously, continued in all lines of busi- 
ness with increasing severity. The coimtry was passing 
through a period of shrinking values and commercial 
depression, imparalleled in twenty years. With this 
liquidation the bank adopted a policy of greater conserv- 
atism, with the result that the loans and discounts, as 
well as deposits, show a considerable shrinkage; they were, 
respectively, on December 13th of that year, $571,122.32 
and $477,129.43. 


On June 4, 1896, occurred the tragic death of Austin 
Corbin at his summer home in New Hampshire, and as 
a permanent record of the high regard in which he was 
held by the bank, the following resolutions were tinani- 
mously adopted by the board of directors : 

Resolved, That in the death of Mr. Austin Corbin, our first 
president, the business world has lost one of its brightest business 
men — a man of sterling worth, of undaunted courage, a far-seeing, 
public-spirited man. He was a man of unusual enterprise, one 
whose pleasure it was to advance the good of mankind. With his 
family we mourn our loss. 

Resolved further, That the secretary place on the minutes of 
the board a copy of the above resolution, and that a copy be 
sent to the family. 

In April, 1898, A. J. Smith was removed by death from 
the board of directors, after a service of three years, and 
two weeks later John Hoyt was elected to succeed him. 
On July 5, 1898, Vice President John L. Dow passed to 
his reward, and at the meeting of the directors on the 3 ist 
of that month, August Reimers was unanimously elected 
to the vacancy on the board of directors, and Christian 
Mueller was chosen as vice president. On October 9, 
1898, Death again invaded the directorate of the insti- 
tution and claimed one of the veteran members in the 
person of August Steflfen. Mr. Steffen holds the record 
in aU the iiistory of the bank for length of service, having 
served continuously on the board of directors for more 
than thirty-three and a half years. And during that 
entire period he rarely missed a meeting of the board. 
Among all those who have been connected with the bank, 
he ranks one of the foremost by reason of the length of 
his service, his strict attention to details, and the influence 
he exerted upon its affairs. At the meeting of the board, 


on the 1 2th of that month, the following resolution 
was adopted: 

"That we express our profound sorrow at the loss which we 
personally sustain in the removal of one who was a true friend, an 
upright and most conscientious gentleman, a public-spirited citizen, 
and that in his death this bank loses a staunch adviser and one 
whose judgment and assistance in good times, and in panic, has 
been invaluable." 

At the meeting of the board on November 6th, August 
E. StefEen was unanimously elected to fill the vacancy- 
caused by the death of his father. 

The board of directors, at its meeting on October gth, 
gave additional evidence of the public spiritedness which 
has characterized the management of the institution since 
its inauguration. It was ordered that $500 be wired to 
Governor Leslie M. Shaw to help defray the expense of 
bringing the Fifty-first Regiment of Iowa Volunteers 
home from the Spanish-American war without expense 
to the federal government. 

The last statement of the year 1899, made to the Comp- 
troller December 2d, showed the total resources to have 
passed the million mark: 


Loans and discounts $673,822.47 

United States bonds 54,000.00 

Banking house and other real estate 49,600.00 

Due from banks 215,317.51 

Cash on hand 57,023.47 


Capital stock $200,000.00 

Surplus 50,000.00 

Undivided profits 26,484.18 

Circulation notes 45,000.00 

Deposits 728,279.27 


During the autumn of 1900 the circulation notes of 
the bank were increased from $50,000 to $200,000. The 
year marked steady advance in the business of the 'insti- 
tution, and the usual semi-annual dividends were declared. 
In October occurred the death of E. S. Carl, former assist- 
ant cashier, but for many years cashier of the Citizens 
National Bank, and the Board of directors of the First 
National Bank expressed their appreciation of his service 
to the community and his genial personality in resolutions 
spread upon the records of the bank. Mr. Carl was one 
of a large number of young men who had received their 
early training in the First National Bank, and had gone 
forth and made their mark in the field of banking. 

In September, 1901, occurred the death of Christian 
Mueller, by which the bank lost an officer and director 
who had served the institution faithfully for almost 
twenty years. His long residence in Davenport, his 
wide acquaintance, high character and business judgment, 
coupled with his constant interest in the bank's welfare, 
had made his services most valuable. Three weeks later 
his son, Frank W. MueUer, was elected to the place on 
the board thus made vacant, and Joe R. Lane was chosen 
to succeed Mr. Mueller as vice president. On Novem- 
ber i8th, Henry W. Kerker resigned as director, and 
Wilson McClelland was elected to fill the vacancy. 

At the annual meeting of the stockholders on January 
14, 1902, the old board of directors was unanimously 
re-elected, but the circle was soon to be broken by the 
resignation of Stephen F. Oilman, whose expanding busi- 
ness interests in Nebraska demanded his attention there. 
For almost twenty years he had willingly given of his 
time and ability to the management of the bank, and his 
resignation was received with keen regret. In accepting 


it, the board, on February 3d, addressed a set of resolu- 
tions to Mr. Oilman stating that "we do it only with a 
true and sincere hope for your future success and pros- 
perity, and with kind appreciation for the past efforts 
which you have, quite often at a sacrifice, given to the 
interests of this bank." 

For the second time in its history, the twenty-year 
period of the charter of the First National Bank of Daven- 
port was about to expire. Fortunately, it was not 
necessary in 1902, as it had been in 1882, to go through 
the formality of liquidating the business of the institution 
and obtaining a new charter. Congress in the meantime 
had made provision for the extension of the charters of 
national banks. On February 10, the board of directors 
by unanimous votes adopted the following resolution: 

Resolved, that Section 7 of the Articles of Association of the 
First National Bank be, and is hereby, amended to read as follows: 
This Association shall continue until the close of business on May i , 
1922, unless sooner placed in voluntary liquidation by the act of 
its shareholders owning at least two-thirds of its stock, or otherwise 
dissolved by authority of law. 



The First National Bank of Davenport 

Having passed the fortieth mile-stone of its existence 
the First National Bank started fom^ard into the new 
century with greater strength and vitality than ever 
before, under the direction of men experienced and capable 
in the management of its afiEairs, and whose hearts were 
in the task of carrying the institution forward to still 
greater success and usefulness to the community. For 
the next ten years remarkably few changes were to occur 
in the personnel of its officers and directors, and under 
their guidance the bank was destined to show a steady 
and substantial growth and progress during each 
succeeding year. 

The board of directors on May i, 1902, when the bank 
set forth on its extension of charter, consisted of Anthony 
Burdick, Joe R. Lane, John P. Van Patten, August E. 
Steffen, Morris N. Richardson, George W. Cable, August 
Reimers, Frank W. Mueller, John Hojrt, John F. Dow 
and Wilson McClelland. The officers were Anthony 
Burdick president, Joe R. Lane vice president, Charles 
A. Mast cashier, and George Hoehn and L. J. Yaggy 
assistant cashiers. 

The report of the condition of the bank, made in 
response to the call of the Comptroller of the Currency 
on the last day of April, disclosed the fact that the loans 
and discounts were almost to the million mark, while 


the deposits were well above that figure, and the total 
resources had passed a million and one-half. The state- 
ment in detail follows: 


Loans and discounts $ 954.393-95 

United States bonds 359>250-00 

Banking house and other real estate 37,500.00 

Due from banks 261,723 . 78 

Cash on hand 75,70i -59 



Capital stock $ 200,000.00 

Surplus 50,000.00 

Undivided profits 37,566 . 00 

Circulation notes 200,000 . 00 

Deposits 1,101,003.59 

Rediscounts 100,000 . 00 


At the annual meeting in January, 1903, John P. Van 
Patten was elected second vice president. No change 
occurred in the old officers until the closing day of the 
year 1903, when Charles A. Mast resigned his position 
as cashier, and George Hoehn was promoted to the vacancy 
thus created. In January, 1905, John L. Mason was 
elected to the board of directors, filling the vacancy caused 
by the death of John Hoyt which had occurred during 
the previous month. At the meeting of January 12th, 
the additional sum of $50,000 was carried to surplus. 

The bank sustained a serious loss on July 8, 1906, 
in the death of its cashier, George Hoehn, who for twenty- 
four years had served the institution faithfully and well. 
The board recorded the sorrow of its members by resolu- 
tions which were made part of the permanent record 
of the bank, commending Mr. Hoehn's character and 


integrity, and finding in them an example to be emulated. 
The directorate attended the funeral as a body. The 
position thus made vacant was filled by the promotion 
of Lewis J. Yaggy, and Will J. Housman was moved up 
to the assistant cashiership. 

About the same time a proposition was negotiated 
with the Davenport Safety Deposit Company whereby 
the bank purchased the shares of the company and took 
over its business. This company had been organized 
several years previous, but the business did not prove 
to be profitable. In December the board charged to 
tmdivided profits the sum of $4,010, being the cost of 
the shares of the Safe Deposit Company. In January, 
igo7, George W. Cable announced his desire to be relieved 
from further service on the board of directors, and his 
request was regretfully acceded to. He had taken his 
place on the board in 1886, and for twenty-one years he 
had been one of the foremost in promoting the welfare 
and progress of the institution. In his place, the share- 
holders elected his son, George W. Cable, Jr. 

Meanwhile the business of the bank was expanding, 
and the necessity for better facilities and enlarged quarters 
was becoming apparent. The first step in this direction 
was taken at a meeting of the board of directors, held on 
December 19, 1907, attention was called to the cramped 
appearance and the need of more room, and after con- 
sidering the subject at some length the president was 
authorized to give notice to the Davenport Savings 
Bank to vacate the premises as provided by the terms 
of the lease. For forty-two years the two banks had 
been moving forward side by side, growing and progressing, 
until the quarters in the old building were inadequate 
for the proper handling of their business. During the 


following year the subject of providing increased facilities 
became more and more imperative, and during the late 
summer the board of directors authorized the appoint- 
ment of a committee to investigate the possibility of 
remodeling the banking room. This committee consisted 
of Mr. Mason, Mr. McClelland and Mr. Steffen, and they 
were authorized to consult an architect and incur any 
necessary expense in connection therewith. 

A few weeks before the annual meeting of 1909, Death 
again invaded the directorate and removed Mr. August 
Reimers. For over nine years he had been a true friend 
of the bank and a faithful worker for its best interests. 
On January 12 the stockholders elected his son, J. Morgan 
Reimers, to the vacancy; otherwise the board remained 

The building committee presented its report to the 
board at its meeting on March i8th, and the same was 
approved. The committee was authorized to close 
the contracts for the erection of the new structure, which 
was to be a modem bank and office building, with six 
stories and basement. A detailed description of the 
new building is given in another chapter, specially devoted 
to that subject. It was ready for occupancy in February, 
1 9 10, and the first meeting of the board of directors held 
in the new structture was on the 17th of that month. 

On March 10, 19 10, the board created a committee 
of three to consider the advisability of establishing a 
Savings Department, and Messrs. Lane, Cable and StefEen 
were designated by the president to investigate the matter. 
Two weeks later they presented their report, recommend- 
ing that a Savings Department should be estabUshed 
at once and put into operation on the first of the follow- 
ing month. At the same time the committee submitted 


rules and regulations governing deposits in the same, 
which were imanimously adopted. Pursuant to this 
action, the new department was opened on April ist. 
It met with instant popular favor, and has enjoyed a 
healthy growth in deposits from that day to this. 

One sign of rising prosperity during the year was the 
increase in the rate of the semi-annual dividend from three 
to four per cent. On April 8th, the board transferred 
$100,000 from undivided profits to the surplus account. 
During the sunmier the First National Bank, which had 
for so many years been one of the regularly designated 
depositories of the United States Government, was 
designated also as a depository for postal savings funds. 

The year 19 11 is a memorable one in the history of 
the institution. During the year three of the veterans 
in the service of the bank were called to their reward, 
and there was widespread sorrow in the commtmity over 
the death of these men: Mr. Van Patten, Mr. Burdick 
and Mr. Cable. For many years their names had been 
identified with the First National as officers and directors, 
and they had performed great service in bringing the 
institution to the high position it occupied in financial 
circles of the Mississippi Valley. 

At the forty-seventh annual meeting of the stockholders, 
held January 10, 191 1, a resolution was adopted amending 
Article 3 of the association which fixed the number of 
directors at eleven, and providing that the board of 
directors should consist of not less than eleven nor more 
than fifteen members. A second resolution was passed 
creating the position of Chairman of the Board. 

These modifications were the preliminaries of a change 
in the presidency of the institution which was soon to 
occur. The number of directors for the year 191 1 was 


fixed at twelve, and the old board was re-elected, with 
a single exception. John F. Dow made known his 
desire to retire, and John W. Gilchrist was chosen to 
succeed him. The twelfth membership on the board 
was filled by the election of A. F. Dawson. 

When the board of directors met on January 14th to 
organize, President Btirdick stated that before proceeding 
to the election of oificers for the ensuing year he wished 
to have it known that if it was decided to elect him 
president, it should be with the vmderstanding that he 
shall resign the office whenever Mr. A. F. Dawson shall 
have completed his service in the United States Congress 
and can devote all his time to the affairs of this bank. 
Mr. Burdick made it known that he would continue to 
serve as a director of the bank, and continue to work for 
its interests and success. His retirement from the presi- 
dency was prompted by a desire to be relieved of some of 
the cares and responsibilities of business, in order that 
he might have more leisure for travel and recreation to 
restore his failing health. 

Mr. Burdick was then re-elected to the presidency. On 
April 6, 191 1, his formal resignation was presented to the 
board of directors, in the following note: 

April 6, 19U. 
To the Directors of the First National Bank of Davenport: 

Gentlemen: In accordance with our mutual understanding 
at the time of our late Bank election, January 12, 191 1, and agree- 
ably with my own desire to discontinue to longer carry the burden 
of responsibility that naturally attaches to the position, I hereby 
tender my resignation as President of your Bank. 

Yours respectfully, 
Anthony Burdick. 

In accepting this resignation, the board conveyed to 
Mr. Burdick their sincere thanks for the efficient manner 




in which, for so many years, he had discharged the duties 
of president, and expressed its high appreciation of his 
administration of the bank's afiEairs. It was a matter 
of congratulation that in his I'etirement from the office of 
president, the institution will still have the benefit of the 
wise counsel which his long experience has so well qualified 
him to give. Mr. Burdick was thereupon unanimously 
elected to the position of Chairman of the Board, and 
A. F. Dawson was chosen as president. 

The period of sixteen years covered by the service of 
Mr. Burdick as president had been one of great strides 
for the bank. When he became president in 1895 the 
deposits were about $550,000, surplus and undivided 
profits $80,000, and the total resources slightly above 
$900,000. When he laid down the duties of the presi- 
dency, the deposits were almost three times as great, 
siu-plus and undivided profits had mounted to $217,000 
and the total resources aggregated almost two and one- 
fourth million dollars. The great advance will best be 
seen from the figures of the statement to the Comp- 
troller, made March 7, 191 1, as follows: 


Loans and discounts $ 976,299.74 

United States bonds 260,000.00 

Other bonds and securities 123,733.82 

Banking house and other real estate 99,016.65 

Due from banks 679,683.80 

Cash on hand 71-645.73 


Capital stock $ 200,000.00 

Surplus 200,000.00 

Undivided profits 17,640.27 

Circulation notes 197,400.00 

Deposits 1.595.339-47 



In February the bank was called to mourn the death 
of John P. Van Patten, second vice president and senior 
director, which occurred on the 2 2d. In respect to his 
memory the doors of the bank were closed at 2 o'clock 
on the day of his fimeral, and at a subsequent meeting 
the board adopted the following resolution: 

Resolved, That in the death of John P. Van Patten we have lost 
an ever cordial, sincere, large-hearted and genuine friend, who has 
had and has well deserved the highest respect and appreciation of 
us as friends and co-directors; that he was regarded as one of the 
city's truest and best citizens; his judgment was always keen, 
just and sound; he was ever willing to be of service in the affairs 
of this bank, and he will be most sincerely missed by all connected 
with it. 

In April the regular semi-annual dividend was increased 
from 4 to s per cent. On May i8th the board elected 
L, J. Yaggy as director to fill the unexpired term of Mr. 
Van Patten, deceased. On May 2 2d the pleasing advice 
was received from Hon. Lawrence O. Mtirray, Comp- 
troller of the Currency, that the original charter number 
of the bank had been restored, and that henceforth the 
First National Bank of Davenport wiU be operated under 
charter Nimiber 15. It wiU be recalled that at the expi- 
ration of the bank's first charter in 1882, it was given 
Number 2695. There had long been a desire in the 
bank's management to get back the old nvimber, and the 
favorable action of the Comptroller, in response to the 
president's request, was consequently most gratifying. 

June 5, 191 1, is a sorrowful day in the history of the 
First National Bank. On that day the institution suffered 
an irreparable loss in the death of Anthony Burdick, 
for so many years president of the institution, and at 
this time Chairman of the Board of Directors. In la)dng 


down the cares of the presidency, which he had done but 
two months before, Mr. Burdick had planned to restore 
his health with a season of recreation and travel, but a 
deadly malady lay hold of him and, after a brief illness, 
he passed away, in fuU possession of all his faculties up 
to the last hour of his life. 

The next day the board met in special session to arrange 
for fitting action in respect to his memory, and authorized 
the officers to properly drape the entrance to the banking 
room, and that on the 7th the bank be closed at 1.30 p. m. 
At a subsequent meeting the directors expressed their 
sadness in the following resolutions: 

Resolved, That we record with profound regret and sorrow the 
death, on June 5, 191 1, of Mr. Anthony Burdick, who for nearly 
a quarter of a century has, with marked ability and unfaltering 
fidelity, served the First National Bank of Davenport as Director, 
as Vice-President, as President, and as Chairman of the Board; 

Resolved, That in his death we have lost a true, loyal and stead- 
fast friend; a man wise in counsel, sound in advice, and unerring 
in judgment. He was a man of broad sympathy, possessing a 
genial nature and rare good humor and kindliness. He was true 
and faithfi4 in every relation of life — devoted to his family, cordial 
in his friendships, and loyal to the best interests of this city and 
community. To know Anthony Burdick was to love him, and of 
no man could we more truthftdly say, 

"His life was gentle; and the elements 
So mix't in him that Nature might stand up 
And say to all the world, ' This was a man. ' ' ' 

Resolved, That these resolutions be entered on the permanent 
records of this bank, and a copy be sent to his family. 

Three months later another of the veterans of the bank 
was called to his final reward, in the death, on Septem- 
ber 26th, of George W. Cable. Mr. Cable had retired 
from the board a few years previous on account of impaired 
health, after a service of twenty-one years as director, 


during which time he had given the bank service of uncom- 
mon value by the excellence of his business judgment, 
and had endeared himself to every ofEcer and employee 
of the institution. As a tribute of respect to his memory, 
the regular weekly meeting of the board of directors which 
fell on September 28th was abandoned, and the members 
attended Mr. Cable's funeral. At the next succeeding 
meeting, his associates adopted the following resolutions: 

Resolved, Tljat we record with sorrow and regret the death on 
Tuesday, September 26, 1911, of Mr. George W. Cable, St., who 
served the First National Bank long and faithfully as a member of 
the board of directors. 

We shall long hold his name in grateful remembrance for his 
loyal service to this bank, for his effective efforts in the upbuilding 
and advancement of this city and community, and also for his 
admirable qualities as a citizen and a man. 

Resolved, That these resolutions be entered upon the permanent 
records of the bank, and an engrossed copy sent to the family with 
an expression of our sincere sympathy. 

The vacancy on the board of directors caused by the 
death of Mr. Burdick was filled a few months later by 
the election of Carl Richter, and for the past two years 
there has been no change in the personnel of officers or 
directors. At Christmastime, 191 1, the bank adopted 
the policy of showing its appreciation of the efforts of 
its employees by cash remembrances, based on salary and 
length of service. In October, 1912, Clarence F. Schmidt 
began his duties as teller, and at the annual meeting in 
January last he was elected an assistant cashier. 

The past two years have been marked by a steady and 
substantial growth of the business of the bank in all its 
various departments. The savings department has 
enjoyed a healthy increase in deposits from month to 
month, and the commercial department has kept pace 


with the expansion in the other branches. The institu- 
tion, with its strong connections in the principal money- 
centers of the country, is handling in liberal and satis- 
factory fashion a constantly increasing volume of business 
from correspondent banks throughout this territory. 
The growth of business is best evidenced from the figures 
of the latest statement to the Comptroller of the Cur- 
rency, made on April 4, 19 13, which is as follows: 


Loans and discounts $1,793,876.36 

United States bonds 260,000.00 

Other bonds 94,495 • 89 

Banking house and real estate 94,226.81 

Due from banks 688,534.60 

Cash on hand 114,465.57 



Capital stock $ 200,000.00 

Surplus 200,000 . 00 

Undivided profits 40,290.08 

Circulation notes 196,850.00 

Deposits 2,408,459. 16 


In this brief review of the activity of a single impor- 
tant institution, it should be borne in mind that the First 
National Bank, in the fifty years of its career, has grown 
and expanded as the city and community which it serves 
has increased in population and wealth. The institution 
enjoys a favored location. Davenport is in the center of 
the richest and most fertile agricultural section of the 
entire world. Draw a circle with Davenport as its center 
and with a radius of 150 miles, and it will embrace the 
most productive and the highest priced farm lands in all 
the Golden West. 


But it is not agriculture alone that is at the base of 
Davenport's growth and strength — manufacturing and 
transportation are contributing their share. The largest 
industrial center between Minneapolis and St. Louis has 
grown up here in the community embracing Davenport 
and her sister cities of Rock Island, MoHne and Betten- 
dorf. Here is found not only shops of size and impor- 
tance, but that wide diversification of manufacturing which 
makes for steady and profitable employment from one 
end of the year to the other. Its transportation facilities 
embrace the advantages of the Mississippi River and a 
group of trunk railways which radiate in every direction, 
affording facilities for supplying the vast markets about 
us with the products of factory and field. 

Another most potential factor in this growth Ues in 
the energy and thrift of the people of this city and stir- 
rounding cotrtitry. It is their power to produce wealth 
and their ability to save a comfortable percentage of 
their incomes that has placed Davenport in the very front 
rank of American cities in the per capita of bank deposits. 
It is the character of the people, quite as much as the 
strength and solidity of the banks, that has made the 
name of Davenport a synonym for soundness and conserv- 
atism in financial affairs. 

Situated amidst such surroimdings as these, with funda- 
mental conditions so eminently soimd, the future is 
bright with hope. Davenport is just entering upon 
an era of increased industrial activity. The eastern 
manufacturer is beginning to appreciate that his market 
is steadily moving westward; that cities such as Daven- 
port can offer him more advantages than he now enjoys; 
that power is low-priced; that transportation facilities 
are excellent; that warehousing is cheap, and that the 


cost of living is lower. Moreover, he realizes that in the 
mid-west he is centrally located and can distribute to 
his markets, more cheaply, more quickly and to much 
better advantage. 

Likewise, Davenport is preparing herself for the 
increased commercial activity which seems certain to 
come to the Mississippi Valley with the opening of the 
Panama Canal. This city has become a pioneer in river 
terminal work, and plans are being rapidly carried for- 
ward for an industrial section along the water front, to 
be equipped with all the modem appliances of cranes 
and warehouses for the prompt and economical handling 
of freight. 

Looking backward over its career of half a century, 
there is reason for satisfaction in the record which the 
First National Bank has made for itself. It is but the 
simple truth to state that it has always maintained high 
ideals of banking; that it has stood resolutely for what is 
sound and conservative in financial policies. Thus it 
has enjoyed the respect and esteem of the community, 
and attained a reputation well merited by its record. 
Looking forward to the future and judging it by the 
experience of the past, the First National Bank of Daven- 
port may confidently anticipate a continuance of its 
career of usefulness, and greater fortune for itself and for 
the community in which it is located. 


The New Bank Building 

It will be remembered that the First National Bank 
occupied its present qtiarters at the southwest comer of 
Main and second streets when the institution was organ- 
ized in 1863. The "Marble Baiik," as it was commonly 
known, was a handsome structure in its day, and for 
many years was the finest business building in Davenport. 
In 1864 the property was purchased by the First National 
Bank, and so became the permanent home of the insti- 

With the growth of the business of the bank, the 
necessity for additional room and more adequate facilities 
became a question of pressing importance. Then, too, 
with the growth and development of the city of Daven- 
port, the old building, which years before had surpassed 
all its neighbors in beauty and grace, began to look rather 
old-fashioned and out of place, occupying one of the most 
important comers in the very heart of the business dis- 

On October i, 1908, the board of directors, after care- 
ful and thorough consideration of the subject, decided 
upon the erection of a new building upon the present site, 
and to carry the project forward selected a committee 
consisting of John L. Mason, Wilson McClelland and 
August E. Steffen. This committee set to work, report- 
ing their progress from time to time to the board. The 
firm of Temple & Burrows was engaged to draw plans for 



E RECTE D IN 1 9 lO 

the new building, and in March following the contract 
for its erection was let to John SoUer. On April ist the 
banking business was transferred to temporary quarters 
four doors south on Main Street, and the work of demol- 
ishing the old structure began. What a wealth of history 
clustered around that old edifice! Thrown open to the 
public in 1857 with a reception and music and speeches, 
within a year it was thought necessary to call out the 
militia with cannon to guard it against threatened fury, 
aroused by a system which inflicted upon the people a 
fluctuating and depreciating State bank cturency. In 
186s, when all Davenport gathered to jubilate over the 
close of the Civil War, the general riot of rejoicing cen- 
tered at the First National Bank, and from its steps the 
multitude was addressed by leading citizens in speeches of 
congratulation and thanksgiving. For more than forty 
years the building had housed two of Davenport's leading 
banking institutions, and was inseparably associated 
with the business and commerce of the city. But now 
the old structure must go, to give way in the march of 
progress to a modem structure of steel and concrete and 

Eleven months later the new structure was ready for 
occupancy. The building practically fronts on four sides, 
there being an alley on the west, and on the south the 
windows above the second story are well above the roofs 
of surrounding buildings. The exterior walls above the 
second story are faced with dark matt hydraulic pressed 
brick. The cut stone of the street fronts from the grade 
line to the top of the first story was restored to the original 
lines of the old building, thus clearly defining the banking 
room. The building throughout is of steel beam con- 
struction, with reinforced concrete floors. 


In general, the design of the building is in the old Roman 
style of architecture. Good and impressive proportions 
are relied upon for general effect, and merely ornamental 
treatment is everywhere avoided. The purpose is to 
suggest the strength and dignity of a solid financial 

There are two main entrances to the bank and ofHce 
building. The principal bank entrance is at the comer 
of Main and Second streets, the bank floor being five feet 
above the street level. A second entrance on Second 
Street leads through a vestibtile to the elevator for the 
office building and by a short flight of steps into the 
banking room. 

The five floors above the banking room contain forty- 
nine offices, so arranged as to be thrown into suites if 
desired. All are outside rooms, thus assuring perfect 
light and ventilation. The halls throughout the btiild- 
ing are wainscoted with polished white Italian marble, 
and the floors are laid with ceramic Roman mosaic tiles. 
The edifice is strictly modem in every respect, with rtin- 
ning water, mail chute, pubUc vaults, and the latest 
conveniences furnished by city office buildings. 

The banking room occupies the entire first floor of the 
building, and is a handsome room with a lofty beamed and 
paneled ceiHng, with cornice frieze and architrave of 
ornamental plaster. The wainscoting and interior fittings 
are of marble and bronze. The marble work was care- 
fully selected for its harmony of color and beauty of 
figure, the bases and ledges being of Grecian green mottled 
marble, and the dies of ItaUan Pavonozzo with clearly 
defined veining. The griU work is of finest quality soHd 
bronze in Verde antique finish and of substantial yet 
artistic design. The walls and ceiling are canvassed and 


decorated in a dignified style in keeping with the design 
of the room in ornament and color. The entire wood- 
work of the room, including the movable furniture, is of 
quarter-sawed fumed white oak. 

The basement story is occupied by the Directors' room, 
finished in the same style as the banking room, and by the 
safety deposit vaults, with its entrance by a marble stair- 
case from the vestibule on Second Street. The safety 
deposit vaults are provided with coupon-rooms and recep- 
tion room, and all its appointments are in keeping with 
the general tone of the building. 

Its completion and occupancy in the beginning of the 
year 19 lo was a distinct addition to the modem buildings 
of Davenport's downtown business district. The build- 
ing stands as a monument to the confidence in the futtire 
of the city held by the officers and directors of an asso- 
ciation which for fifty years has conducted banking busi- 
ness on the same comer. 




Biographies of Persons Formerly Connected With 
The Bank, But Now Deceased 


Walker Adams, son of Ezra and Lydia Dewey Adams, 
was bom near Ava, Oneida County, New York, September 
12, 1822. A year later Ezra Adams died, leaving to his 
widow the rearing of their seven children. Lydia Adams 
was a woman of ability, strong character and fine Christian 
principles, equal in every way to her task. In that 
thinly settled community opportvinities for education 
were necessarily limited, but none were lost. Occaaon- 
ally two families united in engaging a teacher at home; 
more often however, study was limited to a few months 
during the winter at the district school, two miles distant. 
Walker Adams to make amends for the shortcomings 
of his school days, became a persistent reader of good 
literatxure, and to the end of his life found one of his great- 
est pleasures among his books. 

He remained at home as the head of the family until 
he was thirty-five years old, but Itimbering as a desirable 
business had already attracted his attention, for in 1853, 
in addition to work on the farm and the making of butter 
and cheese, he erected a steam saw mill on one side of 
the estate. Fotir years later he came west to Oshkosh, 
Wisconsin, where he continued in the Itimber business 


until 1866. In August of that year occurred his marriage 
to Miss Mary Peck at Hillsdale, Michigan, and they 
came immediately to Davenport to reside. 

Here Mr. Adams engaged in the wholesale lumber 
business, alone for the first years, until the firm of Adams 
& Hayward was organized in the seventies. This part- 
nership, which became well known throughout the West, 
continued until 1884 when Mr. Adams withdrew. He 
had already become actively interested in banking, 
having been elected as a Director of the First National 
Bank in 1877, and was also on the board of the Davenport 
Savings Bank. He retired from active business in order 
to devote his time to the interests of the latter, to the 
presidency of which he had recently been elected, and 
to allow himself more leisxire for travel. 

Walker Adams was bom a Quaker; and although he 
never professed that faith in his later years, yet the 
atmosphere of self restraint, of peace and quiet, in which 
his early life was spent, had a marked influence on his 
character. His was a retiring disposition, modest and 
unassuming. He never sought publicity nor public 
office, though he could have filled high positions with 
credit. His home was his comfort and delight, and there 
he loved to entertain his friends with open-hearted 

Mr. Adams was proud of his home city; he was inter- 
ested in many of its enterprises, and a generous giver 
to many a worthy cause. His death, September 17, 
1887, on the day of his return with his wife and daughter 
from a trip to Europe, came most unexpectedly and was 
felt as a public loss. His long-time friend, Mr. D. N. 
Richardson, said of him: "All who had dealings with 
him became as all others who had made his acquaintance, 








his friends. His mind was stored with useful information ; 
he was open and manly in all his dealings, and so pleasant 
and affable in demeanor that the impression that he 
was a true man made him popular with the business 

Otto Albrecht 

Otto Albrecht was bom at Neustadt, Holstein, 
Germany, August i8, 1826, and learned the cigar maker's 
trade in that city. He came to America at the age of 
twenty-six, landing at New Orleans in 1853, after a nine 
weeks' trip by sailing vessel. He came to Davenport 
in 1854 and entered the cigar manufacturing business, 
starting first on West Second street below Western 
avenue. The enterprise prospered and five years later 
it was removed to No. 306 West Second street, where 
the business grew to large proportions. 

He was elected to the board of directors of the First 
National Bank in 1874 and served one year. He also 
served for a time as director of the German Savings 
Bank and the Citizens National Bank. He was a member 
of the Turner and Schuetzen societies and of the Business 
Men's Association. He was a man of liberal views, 
kindly of heart, domestic in tastes, and charitable in a 
quiet way. In politics he was a life-long Republican, 
having cast his first vote for John C. Fremont. 

In May, 1856, Mr. Albrecht was married to Miss 
Sophie Sternberg, who died in 1884. The couple had 
ten children, three of whom survived their father: Mrs. 
Theodore Hartz, Mrs. John Wendt, and Paul R. Mr. 
Albrecht died at his home No. 613 West Sixth street, 
February 26, 1904, and by his request his remains were 
incinerated at the Davenport crematorium. 



Anthony Burdick 

Anthony Burdick was bom in Erie, Pa., March 29, 
1837. When eighteen years of age he headed for the 
West to seek his own fortune. He had decided to follow 
the vocation of school teacher, and arrived in Rock 
Island, Illinois, Oct. 17, 1856. He spent a few days 
there seeking in vain to secure a position as teacher in 
one of the schools. During those few days, John C. 
Fremont, the first presidential candidate of the newly 
formed Republican party made a speech in Rock Island. 
Mr. Burdick heard the speech and was made a strong 
convert to the party, to which he remained steadfast 
for the remainder of his Hfe. 

From here Mr. Burdick went to Aledo, in Mercer 
county, where he taught school during the winter, and 
in the spring of 1857 went to New Boston and began 
clerking in a general store. Here he was married, and 
in 1 86 1 bought the business in which he was for four 
years a clerk. 

Mr. Burdick remained in New Boston until 1869, 
when he sold out and came to Davenport and accepted 
a position as salesman with the Davenport Woollen Mills. 
He remained in this capacity for six months and then 
became associated with the Mason & Evers Carriage 
Works, with whom he remained for three years. 

During his forty-two years' residence in Davenport 
Mr. Burdick has been recognized as one of the city's 
leading business men and bankers. For ten years he 
was president of the Davenport Canning Company, 
imtil it was forced out of business by the trust. He 
was connected with numerous business enterprises, and 
was largely interested in the wholesale grocery firm of 
Smith Brothers & Bturdick. 


For more than thirty years he was an active and 
influential force in the affairs of the First National Bank. 
He was elected as a member of the Board of Directors 
in 1880; in 1889 he was chosen vice president, which 
position he held until 1895, when he was elevated to the 
presidency, and continued as executive head of the 
institution irntU April, 191 1, when he resigned on account 
of failing health. The directors of the institution, 
unwilling to part with his service, created the position 
of Chairman of the Board, which Mr. Burdick filled 
until his death. His reputation as a conservative and 
successful banker was state wide. His advice and 
counsel was in demand, and upon his opinion and judg- 
ment depended the result of many large business trans- 
actions, not only in Davenport but elsewhere as well. 

Mr. Burdick was an ideal citizen. He possessed a 
kindly disposition, was sincere and honest to the core 
in every transaction, and held the confidence and esteem 
of every citizen of Davenport to the fullest extent. In 
business, private and home life, he possesses the same 
cheerful disposition and largeness of heart, which were 
marked characteristics throughout his life. 

He was married to Miss Maria E. WiUitts at New 
Boston, June 21, 1858, and for fifty-two years their 
wedded Ufe was one of ideal happiness. Her death 
occtured in 1910 and less than a year after, on June 5, 
191 1, Mr. Biu-dick passed away. Two daughters survive: 
Mrs. M. N. Richardson, of this city, and Mrs. Edna B. 
Prost, who now resides in Chicago. A son, Norman 
Burdick, died some years ago. 

Mr. Burdick's life is a splendid exemplification of the 
self-made man. Starting out in the world at an early 
age, a poor boy, but fuU of energy and ambition, he 


sunnounted difficxilties and obstacles which would have 
discouraged young men of less resolution, and by pluck 
and perseverance and hard work, he wrought for himself 
a splendid success. 

John J. Burtis 

John J. Burtis was bom in ISTew York state May 27, 
181 1, and after completing his education entered the 
profession of dentistry. But for some reason dental 
work was not congenial to him and he abandoned it and 
came West, settling in Missouri. He was a Democrat 
in politics and for several years was prominent in the 
affairs of his party in that state, having served in the 
state legislature i He built and conducted the first brick 
hotel in Lexington, Missottri. 

Mr. Burtis removed from Missouri in the fifties and 
came to Davenport, and his energy and enterprise were 
important factors in the upbuilding of the city. In the 
spring of 1858 the Burtis Hotel, at the comer of Fifth 
and Iowa streets, was completed at a cost of $120,000 
and opened to the public. It was a magnificent building 
of four stories and basement, and at that time was the 
finest hotel west of Chicago. From the day of its opening 
it enjoyed a large patronage, and throughout the war 
it was the center of great activity and the scene of many 
notable gatherings of distinguished men. Governor 
Kirkwood lived at the hotel a great deal during this 
period, and no hotel in the West was more widely or 
favorably known than the Burtis. The building is now 
occupied by the Crescent Macaroni & Cracker Co. 

Mr. Btutis served on the board of directors of the 
First National Bank from 1864 to 1866. 

Later Mr. Burtis erected the Kimball Hotel and the 


Btirtis Opera House, and gave a great deal of attention 
to the latter after its completion. In the seventies Mr. 
Burtis removed from Davenport to Topeka, Kansas, 
where he was successfully engaged in the hotel business 
up to the time of his death, which ocaured July 19, 1883. 

George W. Cable 

George W. Cable was bom in Athens county, Ohio, 
June 17, 1831, a son of Hiram and Rachel (Henry) Cable. 
He acquired a good English education in the schools 
of Urbana, Ohio, after which he engaged in farming for 
two years. In 1857 he came to Iowa, settling on a farm 
in this county, where he remained for nine years. In 
1866 he came to Davenport and with his father engaged 
in the coal and lumber trade. Extending the scope of 
their activities to include an extensive and up-to-date 
lumber manufacturing enterprise, Mr. Cable was actively 
interested in the Itimber business up to the time of his 

In 1874 his father retired and was succeeded by John 
Hornby, under the firm name of Hornby & Cable. This 
association was maintained tmtil the death of the senior 
partner in 1879, when the business was reorganized under 
the name of the Cable Lumber Company, with George 
W. Cable as president. The business grew to large 
proportions, and the company became a power in lumber 
circles. The enterprise was developed along modem 
business lines, its ramifying trade interests reaching out 
to various sections of the country, while the close con- 
formity of the house to a high standard of commercial 
ethics gave it a high reputation, and it developed into 
one of the most important enterprises of this character 
in the Middle West. With the decUne of lumbering on 


the Upper Mississippi and the scarcity of logs, the Cable 
mill in this city was closed down and dismantled. The 
company, however, continued the operation of its vast 
lumber interests at other places. 

In 1886 Mr. Cable was elected to the directorate of 
the First National Bank, and for twenty-one years he 
served continuously with fidelity, retiring in 1907 on 
account of faiHng health. 

On October 18, 1854, Mr. Cable was united in marriage 
to Miss EUza E. Baldwin, of Champaign county, Ohio, 
and to them were bom four children: Mrs. A. W. 
McCandless, of Chicago; Mrs. C. J. Von Maur, of this 
city; Josephine, wife of Daniel Wing, president of the 
First National Bank of Boston; and George W., Jr. 

As the years went by Mr. Cable made other invest- 
ments of an important nature, including miUing, banking 
and telephone interests. He was likewise a director in 
several railroads, and his co-operation in any project 
was always taken as proof of its worth, because of his 
business discernment and known reliability. 

Mr. Cable died at his home at 807 East Locust Street 
in this city, Sept. 26, 1911. 

Ernest S. Carl 

Ernest S. Carl was bom January 4, 1842, in Coburg, 
Germany, where he received a thorough practical educa- 
tion. At the age of sixteen, after the death of his mother, 
he came to the United States, stopping for a few months 
in New York City and then coming west to Davenport, 
going to work in the general store of his brother-in-law, 
Mr. August Steffen. In i860 he started for California 
by way of the Isthmus of Panama, but on the steamer 
met Hon. John E. Lovejoy, United States consul to Callao, 


Peru, with whom he engaged as assistant secretary. A 
few months later he became assistant to Dr. Charles F. 
Winslow, the American consul to Paita, Peru, where he 
remained two years till Dr. Winslow's resignation. 

In 1863 Mr. Carl returned to Davenport, erected a 
warehouse on West Front street and entered the grain 
business. In 1868 he became teller in the Davenport 
National Bank, and two years later he was elected assist- 
ant cashier of the First National Bank, a position which 
he filled for five years, resigning to become cashier of 
the Citizens National Bank, remaining with that institu- 
tion for almost a quarter of a century. Failing health 
compelled his retirement in 1899. 

In 186 1 he married Miss Sarah Marckley, of Davenport, 
and to them was bom one daughter, Mrs. Rosa Ober- 

Mr. Carl's activities were not confined to banking. 
He was one of the founders of the Phoenix Milling 
Company, an effective promoter of the Hennepin canal, 
a friend of the Davenport Academy of Sciences, and a 
director of the Oakdale cemetery. He was a Turner, 
an Odd Fellow and a Mason. Next to his home and 
friends, his greatest pleasure was music, of which he was 
always a lover and patron. He was not only one of 
the best trusted but one of the most beloved men in 

After a year spent in Colorado seeking health, Mr. 
Carl returned to Davenport for a short visit, and on 
October 15, 1900, was stricken dead in the bank where 
he had spent so many years. The death of his wife 
occurred five months later. 


Hugh Carnahan 

Hugh Carnahan was bora in Jefferson county, Ohio, 
in September, 1816. In his infancy the family removed 
to Coshocton county, in the same state, and here his 
boyhood was spent, the youngest of nine children. When 
he was about twenty-five years of age his health failed. 
His friend, Dr. J. E. Stevenson, who was then living in 
Coshocton, persuaded him to come West, and the two 
set out together, reaching Davenport in pioneer days 
in 1851. They established the firm of Stevenson & 
Carnahan in the drug business, which was continued 
for almost a third of a century. 

He was very qioiet, unassuming and modest; a student 
and a great reader, and possessed of a retentive and 
well-ordered mind. In 1879 he was chosen a member 
of the board of directors of the First National Bank, 
but retired after one year's service. On September 22, 
1883, he suffered a stroke of paralysis in his room at 
Dr. Stevenson's house, where he made his home, and 
died during the day. He was never married. 

Hans R. Claussen 

The story of the life of Hon. Hans Reimer Claussen is 
one replete with action and intense human interest. 
From his boyhood days up to his death he labored patriot- 
ically with his voice, pen and arms to better the condition 
of his fellowmen. Banished from his native land, where he 
had risen to fame as an eminent man of letters and states- 
manship, he came to the United States and here rose to a 
high position among the most eminent men of the West. 

He was born February 23, 1804, in the province of 
Schleswig-Holstein. He received a college education 
at Meldorf and studied law at the University of Kiel. 


In 1830 he was admitted to the bar and commenced the 
practice of his profession, first at Heide. Four years 
later he removed to Kiel, the principal city in the province. 
In 1840 he was elected a member of the Legislature for 
Holstein, and was repeatedly re-elected until 1851, when 
he was exiled and emigrated to the United States. 

Schleswig-Holstein belonged to the kingdom of Den- 
mark until 1864, although the inhabitants were nearly 
all Germans. In 1848 the Legislature of the province 
sent a committee of five of their members to Copenhagen 
to present their grievances to the King of Denmark; 
Mr. Claussen was one of the five. On their arrival 
they were threatened by an angry mob, which denounced 
them as traitors and threatened their lives. They were 
received by the king, but their petitions were refused. 
On their return home they found the province in rebellion. 
Mr. Claussen was sent to Berlin to obtain aid from 
Prussia, and in this he was successful, and Danish 
authority in the province was destroyed. Three years 
later Schleswig-Holstein was restored to Denmark; a 
general airmesty was granted to the disloyal subjects, 
excepting about twenty persons, and Mr. Claussen 
among them, who were exiled. 

On coming to the United States in 1851 Mr. Claussen 
established his residence in Davenport; studied English 
and the laws of our country and was admitted to the bar 
in Iowa in 1853. Two years later he built a steam grist 
mill at Lyons, Iowa, which he conducted for three years, 
but which proved unsuccessful. He returned to Daven- 
port and again commenced the practice of law. In this 
he was successful from the outset, and soon enjoyed a 
large clientage. In i860 he admitted into partnership 
his son, Ernest, who was afterwards elected Mayor of 
the city for seven successive terms. 


When the First National Bank was organized Mr. 
Claussen was one of the prime movers in the enterprise. 
He was a stockholder from the very beginning, and in 
1865 was elected as a member of the Board of Directors, 
upon which he served most capably tuitU 1870. In 
1869 he was elected a Senator from Scott county, and 
two years later he retired from the active practice of the 

He was married in May, 1832, to Annie Rahbeck, 
daughter of a Danish officer, and they lived happily 
together for fifty-seven years, when her death occurred. 
Mr. Claussen was a close student of political affairs, 
and a clear and forceful writer on political and social 
subjects. His views were sought by the leading jotimals 
of the country, and his writings were widely copied and 
commented upon. His death occurred in 1894, aged 
ninety years. 

Austin Corbin 

Austin Corbin was bom at Nevrport, New Hampshire, 
July II, 1827. He was the eldest son of Austin Corbin, 
who was married to Miss Mary Chase, a cousin of Salmon 
P. Chase. Austin Corbin, Sr., was a successful farmer 
and a man well informed on all public affairs. He repre- 
sented his district in the State Legislature for a number 
of years. Their children were taught to be industrious 
and were given a good public school education. 

Mr. Corbin went to Boston in 1846 and was employed 
as a clerk for about a year. He then returned home and 
began the study of law under Ralph Metcalf, teaching 
school part of the time. In the meantime he developed 
a taste for literature, and was the author of two works 
of romance, which met with a fair degree of success. He 


graduated from the Harvard Law School in 1849, after 
which he entered into a partnership with Ralph Metcalf, 
subsequently Governor of the State. Like many a 
yotmg man at that period, he looked longingly toward 
the growing West, and in 1851 came to Davenport with 
the intention of following his chosen profession. Mr. 
Corbin while successful as a lawyer, did not practice 
long, for his quick eye perceived that with ready money 
there was a rich field for investment, and he soon induced 
his New England friends to furnish him money to loan. 

Mr. Corbin returned to the home of his childhood in 
1853, and was united in marriage to Miss Hannah M. 
Wheeler, a former classmate of his in the district school. 
They had four children, three of whom are living: 
Isabella, who married George S. Edgell; Annie and Austin. 

In 1854 he entered into a partnership with Louis A. 
Macklot and fotmded the banking house of Macklot & 
Corbin. The business was established upon a secure 
foimdation and grew and prospered; and this was the 
only banking house west of the Mississippi River that 
did not suspend payment during the financial panic of 
1857. Subsequently the firm was changed to Corbin 
& Dow, and when the National Banking and Currency 
Act was passed in 1863, Mr. Corbin was the first to apply 
for a charter. When the daily papers announced the final 
passage of the bill, a meeting was called, the organization 
completed and a written application forwarded to 
Secretary Chase. When the office of Comptroller of 
the Currency was erected the charter of the First National 
Bank of Davenport was issued, and through the energy 
and resourceful character of Mr. Corbin this bank com- 
menced business June 29, 1863 — two days earlier than 
any other association in the United States. 


Mr. Corbin was elected one of the board of directors, 
and likewise chosen the first president of the new cor- 
poration. Under his capable management the new 
institution forged rapidly to the front. As related else- 
where, it met with marked success from the very start, 
due in large measure to the zeal and ability of its fotmder 
and president. The possibility of enlarging a business 
already so successful induced Mr. Corbin to remove to 
New York City in 1865. In the meantime he found 
himself compelled to take hold of the Indianapolis, 
Bloomington & Western Railroad. Placed at the head 
of its affairs he soon put it on a paying basis. This was 
his first railroad experience. He opened an office in a 
little back room on the second floor of 170 Broadway, 
with an office boy as his only assistant. The business 
developed into the Corbin Banking Company which was 
founded in 1874. 

Mr. Corbin discovered that year that Manhattan 
Beach could be made a great resort. He acquired five 
hundred acres along the beach, organized the Man- 
hattan Beach Improvement Co., and with characteristic 
energy soon reared the Manhattan and Oriental hotels 
and made the new resort one of the most popular on the 
coast. After meeting with this success, his attention 
was turned to the Long Island Railroad, which was then 
in the hands of several different companies, all of which 
were insolvent. Obtaining control of the stock, he 
consolidated the lines and soon had the road in sucessful 
operation, with its stock booming in price. Having 
proved himself one of the most capable railroad men in 
the United States, he became prominently identified 
with the reorganization of the Reading Railroad, which 
was then in bankruptcy. He became president of the 


company, and under his active direction the road was 
placed on a soUd and successful basis. 

His death occurred June 4, 1896, and was a sudden 
and tragic one. He had gone with his family to the 
Corbin game preserve of twenty-six thousand acres which 
he had established in the Blue Motmtains of New Hamp- 
shire. On the afternoon of that day he started from the 
house on a fishing trip in an open carriage, accompanied 
by his nephew. When about half way down the drive- 
way the horses became frightened and ran away, over- 
turning the carriage, and throwing the occupants out 
over an embankment against a ragged stone wall. Mr. 
Corbin's injuries were very severe, consisting of a com- 
pound fractiu-e of the right leg and two great cuts in his 
forehead. The coachman was instantly killed and the 
other occupants of the carriage were seriously injured. 
Mr. Corbin gradually grew weaker and died about ten 
o'clock that evening. 

The remains were taken to New York in the private 
car "Oriental," and on June gth funeral sendees were 
held at St. Bartholomew's Church. The pall bearers 
were Hon. William E. Chandler, Sir Roderick Cameron, 
Cornelius Vanderbilt, Hon. Benjamin F. Tracy, J. Rogers 
Maxwell, Dumont Clarke, J. G. K. Duer, Charles M. 
Pratt, A. N. Parlin and William B. Kendall. 

In personal appearance Mr. Corbin was tall and 
athletic, with flowing beard, blue eyes and a ruddy 
complexion. He was extremely active and the very 
embodiment of great nervous energy. His robust mind, 
his keen intelligence, his indomitable will and his rugged 
independence and self-reliance made him a natural leader 
among men. Accustomed to deal with large subjects 
and to control important enterprises, his views were 


broad and liberal, and his courage and steadfastness of 
pitrpose in carrying them into effect were such as are 
rarely equalled. He devoted his great talents to the 
accomplishment of worthy objects. His mission was to 
build up — not to destroy. The enterprises in which he 
was engaged grew and prospered and developed under 
his hands. 

John L. Davies 

The life of John Lodwick Davies presents one of those 
numerous examples of rapid personal progress from 
humble beginnings to a substantial and honored position. 
He was bom in the parish of Llangeithoe, Cardigan 
covmty, Wales, August 22, 18 13, and received his educa- 
tion at the parish school of Tiefilan. He learned a trade 
in Bath, England, and became a skillful workman in the 
wea\'ing of gold and silver lace for coach trimmings. 
This he left, however, owing to a constantly strengthening 
radicalism which rebelled against "making gewgaws for 
the pampered aristocracy." He turned his attention to 
a more sturdy industry, that of carpenter and joiner, 
and as such emigrated to the United States, settling at 
Cincinnati. From that city, down the Ohio, a winter's 
work in Louisiana settled in his breast an uncompromising 
hatred of himian slavery that made him one of the most 
zealous of the early abolitionists. 

Returning to Cinciimati he there married in 1840 
Miss Margaret Jones. They at once set out for a home 
in Iowa, but at Keokuk were driven back by the ice and 
did not reach Davenporb until March, 1841. Here he 
worked at his trade for ten years, and then, with B. F. 
Cotes, put in operation the first wood-working machinery 
in Davenport. In 1859, with George H. French, he 


purchased the large saw mill which was operated under 
the firm name of French & Davies. He also operated 
two mills in Wisconsin, one at Wausau and one at Pine 

Mr. Davies filled many positions of honor and trust: 
Alderman of the ward in which he Hved, director and vice 
president of the School Board, and member of the Board 
of Supervisors. He was one of the original stock holders 
of the First National Bank and served on the Board of 
Directors during the year 1866. Later he was a director 
of the Davenport National Bank, and also of the Daven- 
port & St. Paul Railroad Company. In 1868 he was 
made trustee-at-large of the Iowa Soldiers Orphans Home, 
was president of the board, and served as a member of 
the executive committee until his death, March 28, 1872. 

He was a warm admirer of republican institutions, a 
temperance man, and a member of the Congregational 
church. He won honor by bis resolute fidelity to principle, 
and patriotism and benevolence were his distinguishing 

William H. Decker 

William H. Decker was born in Harrisburg, Penn- 
sylvania, August 16, 1827. When he was twenty-two 
years old he went to California with the Argonauts, 
remaining in the West for eight years. He rettirned 
East in 1857 and engaged in the grain and milling business 
at Dayton, Ohio. While there he made a trip to Daven- 
port, and concluded to establish himself in business here. 
In 1859 he was married to Miss Sarah A. Munday, of 
Dayton, and their bridal journey ended at Davenport. 

Here he engaged in the manufacture of malt, the busi- 
ness expanding until his plant at Fourth and Scott streets 


became one of the most extensive in the country. For 
many years Mr. Decker was also a heavy grain buyer 
and shipper, and was quietly interested in several Daven- 
port manvtfactories, in which he had invested in a spirit 
of advancing the interest of the community. 

Mr. Decker was elected to the Board of Directors of 
the First National Bank in 1867 and served faithfully 
in that capacity for three years. He was also a member 
of the Board of Trustees of the Davenport Savings Bank, 
and a director of the Rock Island & Peoria Railroad 

Dtiring his life he traveled widely, having visited every 
state in the Union and familiarized himself with their 
products and resources. He was domestic in his tastes, 
and outside of his business his greatest enjoyment was 
in the quiet of his home. He was a great lover of flowers, 
shrubbery and trees. 

Mr. Decker died at his home in this city, November 
15, 1888, at the age of sixty-one, after an illness of only 
two days, leaving a widow and six children: Clara V. 
(now deceased), Fred M., Mary A., Francis S., William 
H. Jr., and Anna, now wife of Col. G. Watson French. 

Louis C. Dessaint 

Louis C. Dessaint was bom near Quebec, Canada, in 
the year 181 7. In his early manhood he removed to 
St. Loms, from which city he came to Davenport in 1854. 
Here he engaged in the manufacture of furniture, after- 
wards going into the manufactiu-e of Ivunber as a member 
of the firm of Schricker & Dessaint. He continued in 
this connection until 1868 when he purchased a saw 
mill in East Davenport. This he operated for about 
four years, when he sold out and turned his attention to 




the hardware business — ^first as senior member of the firm 
of Dessaint & Nutting, and afterwards Dessaint & Son. 

For ten years Mr. Dessaint served as a member of the 
board of directors of the First National Bank. This 
service began in 1874 and, with the exception of two years 
from 1878 to 1880, continued until 1886, when he removed 
to Dallas, Texas, where he made his home until his death 
in September, 1909, at the advanced age of ninety-two 

He was married in St. Louis to Miss Marie Drouche, 
and four children of the union still survive: Mrs. Sophia 
McKenzie, of Oakland, California; Mrs. Frank Angel, 
of Fort Worth, Texas; Louis A. Dessaint, of Davenport, 
and Miss Emilie, now a resident of Dallas, Texas. 

Michael Donahue 

Hon. Michael Donahue was bom in Glasgow, Scotland, 
February 9, 1816, where the early years of his hfe were 
spent. His parents came to America in 1835, but he 
had preceded them some four years previous with an 
uncle, during which time he resided in Duchess County, 
New York. His parents settled in Paterson, New Jersey, 
and at the age of twenty-two Michael engaged at the 
Union Works in that city as a moulder. At the end of 
his apprenticeship he engaged as a sailor on a voyage to 
the West Indies, and followed the sea for fourteen months, 
after which he became overseer of machinery in the 
Croton Water Works. He remained there until 1844, 
when he moved to Cinciimati, where he worked for two 
j'ears as a machinist. Two years later he enlisted in 
the Mexican War in Company A, First. Ohio Volunteers, 
and participated in some of the great battles of that war. 
At the close of his service he started a foundry for the 


repair of government boats, at the mouth of the Rio 
Grande, which he operated until the close of the war. 
Mr. Donahue closed his business and started on a voyage, 
arriving in San Francisco in the fall of 1849. Here, in 
company with two brothers, he established the Union 
Foundry, and engaged in blacksmithing and boiler 
making. This soon grew to be one of the most extensive 
foundries in the West. 

In 1852 the Donahue Brothers conceived the idea of 
lighting the city with gas. A franchise was obtained, 
and in two years the city was illuminated from their gas 
works. In 1854 Mr. Donahue visited the East, remaining 
in New York City nearly a year. In 1854 he came to 
Davenport and purchased the LeClaire foundry from 
Antoine LeClaire and George L. Davenport, and began the 
manufacture of steam threshing machines and agricultural 
implements. In a short time he was carrying on the 
most extensive business of the then rapidly growing city. 

Mr. Donahue may fairly be called the father of the 
Davenport Fire Department. He founded the depart- 
ment, and pvirchased and donated the first fire engine, 
called the Michael Donahue — then the first fire engine 
in Iowa. He was elected Mayor of the city in 1867 and 
re-elected the following year, but refused a re-election in 
1869. During no two years have such improvements 
been made in the city, than under his administration. 
During that time, and through him, was built the Daven- 
port & St. Paid railroad. He started the subscription 
with $10,000. In 1874 he built the water works system 
of Davenport, at a cost of nearly a half million dollars. 

His death occxarred October 2, 1884. He left a wife 
and two children, Miss Mamie, and James. 


George S. C. Dow 

George S. C. Dow was bom in Portland, Maine. He 
had the opportunities of a public school education, 
supplemented by an academic course and a period of 
instruction in the law. In the days of his early manhood 
he felt that he was capable of more remunerative endeavor 
than his native city afforded. Seeking for some better 
opening, he finally determined to try his fortune in the 
West. Hither he came in the early so's and settled in 
Davenport. He associated himself with Austin Corbin, 
under the firm name of Corbin & Dow, and began the 
practice of law. With his legal attainments, he had 
also a keen instinct for business, and the firm prospered. 
In 1863 the firm, under the same title, entered the field 
of banking in Davenport, opening for business at the 
comer of Second and Main streets. When the National 
Banking Act was passed, he was one of a group of capital- 
ists who set to work to foimd in Davenport a banking 
institution under the new law. The act had scarcely 
been adopted by Congress when the promoters made 
their appUcation for a charter, and when it was received 
the banking firm of Corbin & Dow was immediately 
merged into the First National Bank. Mr. Dow was 
elected one of the first board of directors of the new institu- 
tion, and for the first year of the bank's career he was an 
active promoter of its interests. A few years later he 
removed from Davenport, returning to his native city 
in Maine. 

John L. Dow 

John L. Dow was bom in Canterbury, New Hampshire, 
in 1830. At the age of twenty he came West and settled 
on a farm in Bureau cotmty, Illinois, where he remained 
for a ntimber of years. Six years later he engaged in a 


general store enterprise with his brother, Josiah Dow, at 
Annawan, Illinois, and soon after the firm also engaged 
in the grain business there. In both of these they were 

In 1 86 1, soon after the outbreak of the Civil War, he 
entered the volunteer service as a Second Lieutenant of 
Company A, 112th Illinois Infantry. He served through 
the four years with credit and came out as Captain of 
the company and greatly beloved by his men. During 
the war he was badly wounded in the leg, but recovered. 

In 1882 Mr. Dow removed to Davenport, whither his 
brothers, Josiah and Major T. T. Dow, had preceded 
him. He was never actively engaged in business here, 
although he was associated in a number of Davenport 
enterprises. He was a member of the firm of Dow, 
Oilman & Hancock, and had large holdings in the Daven- 
port Elevator Company. In 1892 he was chosen as a 
member of the Board of Directors of the First National 
Bank, and three years later he was elected vice president, 
which position he held until the time of his death. 

Mr. Dow was a man of unimpeachable integrity and 
honor in all his dealings, and enjoyed the sincere friend- 
ship of all who knew him. His death was sudden and 
unexpected. On the afternoon of July 5, 1899, while 
attending to some small matters about his home he was 
stricken with apoplexy, and a few hours later he passed 
away, survived by his wife; three sons, Josiah, George 
and Lyford; and two daughters, Mrs. Charles Pasche, 
and Miss Jennie. 

T. T. Dow 

Tristam Thomas Dow was born in Canterbury, New 
Hampshire, November 2, 1825, the son of Tristam C. 


and Susannah (Lyford) Dow. He received a liberal 
education, and when eighteen years of age he became a 
clerk in a store in his native town. In 1854 he removed 
with the family to Bureati County, Illinois, where his 
father had purchased a large farm. Soon after Mr. Dow 
opened a large general store at Annawan, maintaining 
his connection with this until 1868. 

In August, 1862, he enlisted as a private in the One 
Hundred and Twelfth Illinois Infantry and was elected 
captain. In the following spring he was promoted to be 
major, and he had command of his regiment practically all 
the time until he was mustered out. His was a splendid 
war record, and he is frequently mentioned in ofificial 
reports for gallant and meritorious conduct. He was 
with Sherman on his famous march to the sea, and com- 
manded a brigade in several engagements. In April, 
1865, he was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel, but soon 
after he resigned. 

In 1866 he engaged in the limiber trade in Chicago, 
and came to Davenport in 1868 to engage in the manufac- 
ture of flour. He and his associates built the Crescent 
mills, which were operated for many years, together with 
elevators at Wilton, Anita and Atlantic, Iowa, and 
Annawan, Illinois. 

Mr. Dow was elected alderman from the Fifth ward in 
1872, and after serving six years on the council was elected 
Mayor. He was chosen a director of the First National 
Bank in 1874, and two 5'^ears later he succeeded to the 
presidency, remaining in that position until his death. 

In 1859 he was married to Miss Mary Stevens, whom 
he had known in his youth at Canterbury. To them were 
born four children, only one, Mrs. S. F. Oilman, survived 
him. Mr. Dow died at his residence on Famam Street, 


March 28, 1882, from cerebral rheumatism, after an 
illness of three weeks. 

John B. Fidlar 

John B. Fidlar was bom in Hebron, Licking County, 
Ohio, May 16, 1839, and here the first fifteen years of 
his life were spent. In 1854 he removed with his parents 
to Delaware, Ohio, where he lived for five years, mean- 
while supplementing Ms education with a two years' 
course in the Ohio Wesleyan University. In the spring 
of 1859 he came to Davenport with his parents, and was 
first employed as patrol guard on the old bridge. He 
afterwards went to Bt-rlington and was clerk of the old 
Barrett House, then the leading hotel in that part of Iowa. 

On August 14, 1862, he enUsted as a member of Com- 
pany D, Twenty-fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. For 
gallant military service he was promoted through succes- 
sive grades tmtil he became captain of the company. His 
war record was one of tmfiinching bravery, and on one 
occasion he was woimded by a musket ball in his arm, 
which troubled him to the day of his death. 

After the war Captain Fidlar located in Btirlington and 
for a time was cashier of the American Express Company, 
and later served as express messenger between Burlington 
and Coundl Bluffs. He returned to Davenport, January 
4, 187 1, to take the position of discount clerk in the First 
National Bank, filHng the position faithfully for eight 
years, when he was promoted to cashier. He remained 
in that position for sixteen years and then tendered his 

After his retirement from the bank in 1895 he was 
identified with insurance interests and was treasurer of 
the Davenport Safety Deposit Company, of the Register 


Life Company, and of the Merchants and Mechanics 
Building and Loan Association, and a director in all three. 
He was married in Bitrlington, September i6, 1868, to 
Miss Lovenia Harper, and to them was bom one son, 
William Harper, who died in 1900. 

George H. French 

George Henry French, son of George and Mary 
(Richardson) French, was bom at Andover, Massachu- 
setts, February 23, 1825. Bereft of both his parents 
before he was twelve years of age, he was thrown upon 
his own resources, with the care of two infant sisters 
added to the responsibility. He attended the district 
school and afterwards worked his way through the Acad- 
emy at Andover and the High School at LoweU. He 
was prospering in business in Boston when an obstinate 
cough, believed to be the herald of tuberculosis, induced 
him to remove, in 1856, to Davenport. He engaged in 
the sawmill business, first in the firm of Cannon & French, 
and subsequently that of French & Davies. This firm 
furnished much of the lumber for the barracks and other 
buildings at Camp McClellan and for the prisons on Rock 
Island. He was always a patriotic citizen, and one of 
the group who supported Governor Kirkwood and Gen- 
eral Baker in their remarkable record of rushing Iowa 
regiments to the field. 

After selling out his interest in the Ivimber business, he 
engaged in the manufacture of agricultural implements 
in the Eagle Manufacturing Company, later in the Betten- 
dorf Metal Wheel Company, now the firm of French & 

In 1858 he was elected treasurer of the City School 
Board and re-elected for twelve consecutive years. In 


this capacity he contributed largely to the upbtdlding 
of Davenport's public school system. In i860 he was 
elected treasurer of Griswold College, and also treasurer 
of the Episcopal church for the diocese of Iowa. To his 
management of certain investments was mainly due the 
Episcopal residence in this city. He was mayor of Daven- 
port in 1861 and 1862. 

With Austin Corbin and others he was one of the 
founders of the First National Bank, being elected a mem- 
ber of the first board of directors. When Mr. Corbin 
removed to New York in 1865, Mr. French became presi- 
dent of the bank, ser\'ing in that capacity for two years. 

As a citizen he was interested in everything pertaining 
to the welfare, not only of his city and state, but of the 
nation. He served as aide to Governor Stone, of Iowa, 
dioring his term, and took an active part in sectuing the 
congressional legislation by which the United States 
arsenal was located on Rock Island. 

In personal appearance Mr. French was a handsome 
man, tall, well built, with a fine profile, a fresh complexion 
and a gray beard carefully parted in the middle. He was 
a man of wide cultivation, with a love of art and literature 
and humanity. And he had also a life-long love of 
nature. He was a devoted husband and father and a 
most loyal friend. Many older citizens will recall the 
four friends who were so much in each other's company. 
The other three were Gen. D. M. Flagler, John C. Bills, 
and William Cook Wadsworth. All were men of distinc- 
tion of manner; all men of mark in the community. 

On June 12, 1850, Mr. French married Miss Frances 
Morton, a daughter of ex-Governor Marcus Morton, of 
Taunton, Massachusetts. This union was blessed with 
three children, two sons and a daughter, all of whom still 


live in Davenport: Col. G. Watson French, Judge 
Nathanael French, and Miss Alice French, widely known 
as a writer under the nom de plume of Octave Thanet. 
Mr. French died in October, 1888. 

Lloyd G. Gage 

Lloyd Glover Gage was bom April 28, 1846, in DeRuy- 
ter, Madison County, New York. His father's name 
was Eli A. Gage, a hatter by trade, and his mother 
was Mary Cornelia Judson, and during that same year 
the family home was transferred to Rome, Oneida County. 
In 1856 his parents removed to Chicago. Here the lad 
received a fairly good education in the pubUc schools 
of that city, from which, when graduated, he became a 
junior clerk in a prominent banking office. He showed 
skill, adaptability, and the quality of application to duty, 
and so received deserved recognition and promotion from 
time to time until he was appointed chief teller in the 
Merchants National Bank of that city. This position 
he held with credit to himself until 1876, when he received 
the appointment as cashier of the First National Bank 
of Davenport. He had the happy faculty of making 
friends rapidly, and became deservedly popular as a bank 
officer. In 1879, thinking to improve his fortunes, he 
returned to Chicago and engaged in the brokerage business, 
giving attention mostly to the negotiation of commercial 
paper, a business which has since grown to large propor- 

He was twice married. His first wife was a daughter 
of A. C. Langworthy, of Sinclairville, New York. By 
her he became the father of two children. Of these a 
daughter storvived, grew to maturity, and is now the wife 
of Benjamin F. Sheldon, a merchant of Sinclairville. 


Two years or more after the death of his first wife he 
married Mrs. Cornelia Washburn. In 1885, soon after 
this marriage, he contracted a severe cold, which resulted 
in tuberculosis. In a vain quest for restoration to health 
he sought the influence of the Colorado climate, and there 
he passed away on July 4, 1886. 

It can be truthfully said of him that he was a man of 
integrity, possessed of native ability, and a well culti- 
vated mind. Vivacious and agreeable in manner, he 
drew around him a host of friends, who mourned his 
untimely death. 

Ira M. Gifford 

Ira Merritt Gifford was bom in Schaghticoke, Rensse- 
lear County, New York, November 3, 1829. The boy- 
hood of Mr. Gifford was passed on his father's farm, and 
his education was obtained in the public schools of Troy. 
After attaining his majority he was employed in mer- 
cantile business in Troy, and here developed that business 
sagacity and keen insight into financial matters for which 
he was distinguished in after years. In 1853 he came 
west and located on a farm about six miles from Daven- 
port, where he Uved for four years, when he was elected 
clerk of the court of Scott County, which office he held 
for four years from January i, 1858. 

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Mr. Gifford entered 
into the work of recruiting in such way as to attract the 
favorable attention of Governor Kirkwood, who gave 
him a special appointment on the governor's staff with 
the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and was detailed to visit 
Iowa regiments in the field and make investigations as 
to their needs. In the performance of this duty Colonel 
Gifford visited Cairo after the battle of Belmont; was at 


Fort Donelson after its captxire, and followed the Iowa 
troops into Tennessee. He was with them at the battle 
of Shiloh, and afterwards at the battle of Corinth. 

In 1863 Mr. Gifford, Austin Corbin and a number of 
other leading citizens organized the First National Bank 
of Davenport. Mr. Corbin was elected president and 
Mr. Gifford cashier, which position he held until 1867, 
when he was elected president. 

He served as chief executive officer of the bank for four 
years, until failing health compelled him to retire. He 
spent some time in Chicago, engaged more or less in 
various business ventures, and in 1876, at the urgent 
solicitation of friends, he returned to Davenport and 
accepted the secretaryship of the Davenport Plow Works, 
a position which he filled in the ablest manner until 1880, 
when increasing physical infirmity compelled him to 

To restore his health he sought a milder climate, first 
going to Mexico, where he engaged in mining enterprises 
for a year or two. From there he went to California 
and also to Colorado, spending about four years altogether 
on the trip. He was benefited to some extent, but re- 
returned to Davenport in 1885 still badly broken in 
health. In July he went East on a visit, and on August 
24th of that year he died at his sister's home in Johnson- 
ville, N. Y., of consumption. 

Mr. Gifford was twice married, his first wife living but 
a short time. He was married the second time March 10, 
1858, to Miss Helen Josephine Lowrey, of Troy, N. Y. 
Two sons were bom to them: Waite Lowrey, who was 
killed by a fall from his horse in his thirteenth year, and 
Ira Lowrey, who is in business in Alabama. 


James Grant 

Before Davenport was even a hamlet, Judge Grant 
was a conspicuous member of the western bar, and from 
the very inception of the town he was a powerful pro- 
moter of its best interests. Strong, able, intensely- 
active, brusque in manner but generous and hospitable, 
he was a commanding figure among the pioneers of the 
Territorj'^ before its evolution into a state. 

He was bom near the village of Enfield, Halifax County, 
North Carolina, December 12, 181 2, his parents being 
of Scotch and English lineage. He was the second 
of eight children, and as a boy exhibited unusual precocity. 
He was first in all his classes, and was ready to enter the 
State University at Chapel Hill when he was thirteen. 
After graduation and teaching school three years at 
Raleigh, he emigrated to the Northwest, because of his 
intense dislike for slavery. He came to Illinois, was 
admitted to the bar, and began the practice of law in 
Chicago in January, 1834. He took high rank in the 
profession at once, and was soon appointed prosecuting 
attorney for the Sixth District of Illinois, which he held 
until he resigned in 1836. 

In 1838 he came to Scott County for the sake of his 
health, and settled on a large farm in Blue Grass town- 
ship, but he soon resimied the practice of law. In 1841 
he was elected a member of the territorial legislature, and 
was a delegate in the first constitutional convention of 
Iowa in 1844. Two years later he was a member of the 
second constitutional convention, and drew up the sec- 
tions embracing the bill of rights in both conventions. 
After Iowa was admitted as a state he was elected, in 
1847, as judge of the Davenport district, then embracing 
seventeen counties, and served for five years, declining 


a re-election. In 1852 he was again elected to the legis- 
latufe and chosen speaker of the House. 

During the decade beginning with 1850 Judge Grant 
was a conspicuous figure in the legal profession of the 
West. In 1851 he interested himself in promoting the 
Rock Island Railroad, becoming first president of the 
company, and making the contract for building the road. 
He manifested a genius for mastering the large legal 
problems which confronted the railroads at that time. He 
conducted to a successful issue litigation involving many 
milUons of dollars of securities, and was especially prom- 
inent in the famous litigation known as the "Railroad 
Aid Bond Cases." Although living in a new state and 
a small city, his professional income was as large as that 
of any lawyer of that period in the United States. His 
fee in a single case amounted to $too,ooo. 

Mr. Grant was elected a member of the Board of Direc- 
tors of the First National Bank in 187 1 and served for 
three years. 

He was three times married and had two children, but 
both died in infancy. He was married first to Sarah E. 
Hubbard, who died three years later. In 1844 he married 
Ada C. Hubbard, who died two years later. In 1848 he 
married Elizabeth Brown Leonard, who still resides on 
the hills overlooking the Mississippi a few miles above 
Davenport. Having no children of their own. Judge 
and Mrs. Grant opened their home to the children of 
relatives and friends, and in all eighteen boys and girls 
were educated and grew up under their care. 

Early in life he began to build up a law library, and two 
decades later it had become the largest law library in the 
West. This collection was always at the service of the 
bar of Iowa, and at his death provision was made for the 


perpetuation of the "James Grant Law Library" in 

For some years prior to his death he spent much of 
his time in California, and his death occurred at Oakland, 
in that state, March 14, 1891. 

George Hoehn 

George Hoehn was bom ia New York City, November 
21, 1858. He came to Davenport with his parents when 
a boy, and the greater part of his life was spent in the 
baiikirig business. He entered the First National Bank, 
October i, 1882, as individual bookkeeper, and by faithful 
work and close application to business kept steadily in 
line for promotion. In 1884 he was advanced to the 
position of assistant cashier, which he held ujitil January 
I, 1904, when he was elected cashier, continuing in this 
capacity until his death, which occurred July 8, 1906. 

About a year before nis death he purchased the beauti- 
ful home of the late Charles Dannacher on North Brady 
Street, and here he resided with his mother, Mrs. Sophia 
Hoehn, his father having died some years before. Mr. 
Hoehn was never married. 

John Hoyt 

John Hoj^ was bom in Bemardston, Massachusetts, 
June 20, 1829, and educated in the pubUc schools and 
Goodale Academy, from which he graduated at the age 
of fourteen. After an apprenticeship as a cabinet maker 
he entered the organ factory at Brattleboro, Vermont, 
which afterwards became the Estey Organ Company. 
He remained with this firm tmtil 1861, when consideration 
for his health brought him to Davenport. He brought 
with him a large stock of carriages and buggies, expecting 


to dispose of them in a year or so and then return East, 
but fate decreed otherwise. The war made business in 
musical instruments dull, and the old company with 
which he had been associated shipped him a big stock of 
pianos and organs. After they were on the way they 
wrote Mr. Hoyt what they had done. His fertile brain 
soon found a way out of the difficulty. The Government 
was calling for calvary horses, and Mr. Hojrt promptly 
began trading vehicles and musical instruments for horses. 
This incident put him into the piano business, in which 
he remained for the rest of his life. 

He served as alderman from the Fourth Ward for four 
years, and was one of the first advocates of a paid fire 
department to replace the volimteer organization. His 
record in the Cotmcil won for him the nomination for 
mayor in 1883, but his Democratic opponent was elected. 
Mr. Hoyt was one of the organizers of the Advance Club, 
and later was president of the Davenport Business Men's 
Association. He was elected a director of the First 
National Bank in 1898 and served until his death. 

He was married in Brattleboro, January i, 1851, to 
Harriet V. Willard. Mrs. Hoyt died in 1896. In 1900 
he was again married to Mrs. Laura Campbell. His 
death occurred December 3, 1904, following a stroke of 

Of him his associate directors in the First National 

BanJk truly declared that "he was regarded with highest 

esteem for his sotmd and conservative judgment and 

careful action. We will greatly miss his genial greeting, 

and we recognize his marked popularity and personal 

magnetism, and his friendship for everyone. He was one 

of the best of citizens, an able business man, of the 

strictest integrity, a man of large heart, and as true as 



Henry W. Kerker 

Henry W. Kerker was born at Weston, Missouri, 
September i6, 1844, and came to Davenport as a lad of 
eight in June, 1852. After completing his schooling he 
engaged in the grocery business with his brother, George 
W., at 207 West Second Street, and this store was con- 
ducted for a period of fifteen years. Later he was dis- 
tributing agent for a large flour milling company, in which 
connection he continued for ten years. For almost a 
quarter of a century Mr. Kerker served as a member of 
the board of directors of the First National Bank, being 
first elected in 1878 and continuing faithfully until 1901, 
when he resigned on account of ill health and went to 
California for the winter to regain his strength. 

On October 27, 1908, he suffered a stroke of apoplexy 
while calling at the home of his sister, Mrs. Phil Morgan, 
and five days later he passed away, leaving a wife, to 
whom he was married five years previous, and four sons: 
Edward H., of Chicago; Leo F. and Roy P., of Davenport, 
and Earl J., of Oklahoma. 

Royal L. Mack 

Royal L. Mack was bom in Weedsport, New York, 
about 1 83 1, and was educated in the common schools 
of his native state. Attracted by the possibilities of 
the new states in the Mississippi Valley, he came West 
in 1858 and settled in Davenport. Here, with his brother 
Elisha, he engaged in the retail hardware business, under 
the firm name of Mack Brothers, in a store on Second 
street, between Main and Brady streets. 

Mr. Mack was one of the leading factors in the organiza- 
tion of the First National Bank in 1863, was chosen by 
the stockholders as a member of the first board of directors, 




and by the board was chosen the first vice president of 
the institution. He continued in this position until 
1866, when he and his brother disposed of their business 
to Kelly & Wood. Mr. Mack, with his wife and daughter, 
returned East and settled at Buffalo, New York, where 
he engaged in the manufacture of tools, which business 
has since grown to large proportions. 

Charles F. Meyer 

Charles Frederick Meyer was bom in St. Louis, No- 
vember 22, 1850, the son of Francis and Augusta Meyer. 
The family removed to Davenport in 1857, and Charles 
was educated in the Davenport public schools, sup- 
plemented by a business college course. His first position 
was that of book keeper for August Steffen, then one of 
the leading grain merchants of the city. This position 
he held for several years, after which he accepted a 
similar place with Schricker & Mueller, in whose employ 
he continued for five years. 

In 187s he entered the First National Bank as teller, 
and in the course of two or three years was promoted to 
the assistant cashiership, in which position he served 
until the condition of his health warned him to abandon 
sedentary work. He resigned in 1884, and after a year 
of rest and outdoor exercise he entered the office of the 
Davenport Plow Co. as book keeper. Shortly after he 
was appointed City Collector, which position he filled 
most creditably until failing health compelled him to 
resign. He died March 14, 1887. He is survived by a 
widow, Augusta Meyer, now a resident of Sterling, 111. 

Christian Mueller 
Christian Mueller was bom in Holstein, Germany, 
March i, 1823. At the age of sixteen, after receiving a 


common school education, he was apprenticed to a 
mercantile concern, with which he remained for five 
years. In 1844, by the practice of economy and thrift, 
he was enabled to engage in merchandising on his own 
account, opening a store at Kiel. When the inhabitants 
of Holstein grew restive imder the oppression of the 
Danish monarchy, Mr. MueUer, during the winter of 
1847-8,'^organized a company of volunteers to aid in an 
effort to obtain greater freedom. In the latter year he 
joined some Schleswig-Holstein volunteers, and this 
heroic band attacked a fortified post at Hendsburg, which 
they captured. In the rebelHon which followed he was 
three times woimded and in July, 1850, was taken prisoner 
and laid for nine months in a hospital in Denmark. After 
peace was declared and his health was restored, he sailed 
for America in 1852. 

Mr. Mueller reached Davenport in July of that year, 
and soon after established a vinegar factory on the 
present site of the Kohrs Packing Company. This was 
destroyed by fire in 1854, and he lost all he had. He 
found employment for a time in a saw mill in Davenport, 
and afterwards operated a flour mill at Lyons. Return- 
ing to Davenport he took a position as salesman with 
the lumber firm of French & Davies. In i860 he became 
salesman for several lumber firms, and from 1863 to 
1868 was engaged in the grain business. He had found 
the lumber business congenial, however, and in 1868 he 
purchased the Dessaint interest in the liunber firm of 
Dessaint & Schricker, and in July, 1883, on the death of 
Mr. Schricker, he became sole proprietor. In 1895 he 
associated his three sons, Frank W., Edward and William 
L., with him in the business. 

For more than eighteen years, Mr. Mueller served 


faithfully and efficiently on the Board of Directors of 
the First National Bank, being elected in 1883 and 
continuing until the time of his death. In 1899 he was 
chosen vice president of the institution. 

Mr. Mueller was one of the founders and the first 
president of the Davenport Tumgemeinde, and was 
looked upon as the father of the organization. He was 
also one of the oldest members of the Davenport Schuetzen 

He was married in 1854 to Miss Elfrieda, daughter of 
Hon. Hans Reimer Claussen, and to them were bom 
five children: Frank W., Edward C, William L., Alfred C, 
now Mayor of the City of Davenport, and Mrs. Hilda 
M. Matthey. Mr. Mueller's death occurred September 
10, 1901. 

Francis Ochs 

Francis Ochs was bom in Saatz, Austria, October 12, 
1815. He removed from his native country and came 
to Scott coimty in 1849 and engaged in farming. Three 
years later he moved to Davenport, and shortly after he 
was elected City Assessor, which position he filled so faith- 
fully and impartially that he was four times re-elected 
by the voters of the city. 

Mr. Ochs was afterwards cashier of the Davenport 
Savings Bank, and left that position to become City 
Collector. In 1877 he was elected a director of the 
First National Bank, in which capacity he served until 
1880. For six years he served as a member of the School 
Board, and proved a most impartial and valuable man 
in that capacity. He was popular with all who were 
associated with him as an upright and kind-hearted man. 

He died on July 15, 1890, at his residence, 729 "West 


Sixth street, at the age of seventy-four years. He is 
survived by one daughter, Miss Emma. 

Hiram Price 

Hiram Price was bom in Washington county, Penn- 
sylvania, January 10,1814. He had very few advantages 
of education in his youth, and at an early age he entered 
a retail dry goods store as clerk, and afterwards was 
employed in a forwarding and commission house. He 
removed to Iowa in 1844 and located in Davenport, 
engaging in the mercantile business with a very small 
capital. In 1847 he was elected the first school fund 
commissioner of Scott county, which office he held for 
nine years. In 1848 he was elected county recorder and 
treasurer, holding these offices for eight years. 

He was elected president of the State Bank of Iowa in 
1859, and continued in that position until 1866, when 
the several branches were changed to National banks. 
When the Civil War broke out and the State had no 
available funds, he quartered and subsisted from his 
individual means about 5,000 troops for several months, 
at the request of Gov. Kirkwood. During the war he 
was appointed Paymaster General, the only office of that 
rank the state has ever had. 

Mr. Price was raised in the Democratic school of pol- 
itics, but left that party on the slavery issue and helped 
to organize the Republican party in Iowa. In 1862 he 
was elected to the 38th Congress from the Second district. 
His colleagues from Iowa in the House were Wm. B. 
Allison, Josiah B. Grinnell, Asabel W. Hubbard, John 
A. Kasson and James F. Wilson. Mr. Price was re-elected 
to the 39th and 40th Congresses, declining a renomination, 
but subsequently served in the 45th and 46th Congresses 


In the early days of railroad building, Mr. Price took 
a very active part. He was one of the first advocates 
west of the Mississippi of a railroad connection with 
the Atlantic. He was secretary of the Mississippi & 
Missouri Railroad Co. for seven years, and was president 
of the Davenport & St. Paul Railroad Co. for two years. 

The directors of the First National Bank, at their 
annual meeting in January, 1873, elected Mr. Price pres- 
ident of the institution, as a happy termination of a 
seven years factional controversy. He served in that 
position throughout the trying period of the panic of 
that year, resigning the position in December on account 
of the pressure of other duties. 

He was married April 27, 1834, to Miss Susan Betts. 
His son, M. M. Price, v/as for several years United States 
Consul at Marseilles. One of his daughters married 
Hon. John P. Dillon; another, the Rev. Laird Collier, 
and another, Alfred Sully, of Brooklyn. Mr. Price 
resided during the last years of his life at Washington, 
D. C, where he passed away. May 30, igoi, aged 87 years. 

Charles E. Putnam 

Charles Edwin Putnam, son of Benjamin Risley and 
Eunice Morgan Putnam, was bom near Saratoga Springs, 
New York, February 19, 1825. He received an excellent 
private school and academic education and afterwards 
read law in the office of Beach & Bockes in Saratoga. 
He was admitted to the bar in 1847, a^^d practiced law 
at Saratoga, later in New York City, and, during the 
summer of 1850, in Georgia. 

In the spring of 1854 he came to Davenport, and entered 
a partnership with Judge Gilbert C. R. Mitchell, a lawyer 
of eminence. From that time to the date of his death 
Mr. Putnam was actively engaged in the practice of law 


in Davenport. Upon the elevation of Judge Mitchell 
to the bench, Mr. Putnam was associated for a year 
with Gen. Joseph B. Leake, and from i860 to 1886 he 
was in partnership with Hon. John N. Rogers. The 
firm of Putnam & Rogers stood in the front rank of the 
profession in the West. 

Although deeply engrossed with the practice of law, 
he was active in numerous business enterprises. He 
was president of the Davenport Plow Company, the 
Oakdale Cemetery Company, and the Davenport Gas 
Light Company, and a director in many other concerns. 
For fourteen years he was president of the Davenport 
Savings Bank. In 1876 he was elected president of the 
First National Bank, and his firm and skillfial handling 
of a diifictilt situation was a notable service to the institu- 
tion. After clearing up the difficulty he felt compelled 
to retire, because of the pressure of other duties. 

Through life Mr. Putnam was devoted to literary 
pursuits. He was a diligent student, and built up one 
of the finest private libraries in the West. He gave 
much attention to historical study and to many of the 
branches of science. For nearly twenty years he was 
most actively identified with the Davenport Academy of 
Natural Sciences. 

On December 9, 1854, he was united in marriage to 
Miss Mary Louisa Duncan, a daughter of the late 
Governor Joseph Duncan of Illinois. This imion was 
blessed by a family of ten sons and one daughter. Mr. 
Putnam died unexpectedly on Jiily 19, 1887, siirvived 
by his widow, six sons and one daughter. 

August Reimers 

August Reimers was bom at Schwerin, Province of 
Mecklenburg, Germany, September 23, 1841. His father, 


who was a tavern keeper in that town, joined in the 
revolution against the King of Prussia in 1848, and lost 
his life in that struggle. The following year his mother 
with her three sons came to America, making her home 
in St. Louis, where she died in 1852. Young Reimers 
at the age of eleven, began to make his own way in the 
world, first as an office boy, then as a baker's apprentice, 
and later as a journeyman candy maker. 

When the CivU War broke out he was one of the first 
to enlist in the voltmteer service, joining Company B, 
Third Missouri Infantry. Twice did he re-enlist, and 
it was not until January, 1866, that his regiment was 
finally mustered, after a service of almost five years. 
Mr. Reimers remained with his regiment throughout its 
entire term of service, and was promoted from time to 
time until he was brevetted Captain. He was wounded 
three times — at Wilson's Creek, Missionary Ridge and 
Spring Hills. 

After the war he resumed work as a candy maker in 
St. Louis, where he remained until 187 1, when he removed 
to Davenport and opened a candy factory. This proved 
a successful enterprise, and three years later he took Wm. 
H. Femald into partnership, under the firm name of 
Reimers & Femald. Later the firm added the manu- 
facture of crackers to that of candy, and built up a large 
business throughout the West. 

In 1899 he was elected a director of the First National 
Bank, and served in that capacity until his death. He 
was a director and later president of the Crystal Ice 
Company, and a director of the Davenport Building and 
Loan Association. 

Mr. Reimers was three times married, first to Christina 
Hamm, of St. Louis, and to them were bom four children: 


Johanna, Martha, Lydia and August. Airs. Reimers 
died here in 1877. In October, 1879, Mr. Reimers married 
Miss Mary Schmidt at Muscatine, and one child was 
bom of this union: James Morgan, Mrs. Reimers passing 
away in 1892. On the occasion of a later trip to his native 
land, Mr. Reimers married Miss Clara Filzhut, of Berlin, 
who still survives him. 

He was a member of the G. A. R., the Loyal Legion, 
and had attained high ranlc in the Masonic fraterity. 
He traveled extensively in this country and abroad, was 
always a keen observer, and was a most pleasant and 
agreeable gentleman. When he died in December, 
1908, he was widely mourned as a good citizen and 
faithful friend. 

Henry A. Runge 

Henry A. Runge, a native of Schleswig, Germany, 
was bom February 7, 1832, and was reared on his father's 
farm tmtil the age of nineteen. Coming to Davenport 
in 1 85 1, he worked on a farm for two years, and then 
engaged in farming for himself. This occupation was 
not entirely congenial, and in 1855 he removed to Daven- 
port and entered the store of Wickersham & Hicks as a 
salesman. Within the next three years he became a 
silent partner in another large stove store, continuing 
in that relation for more than a dozen years. 

For a period of eight years, Mr. Runge served on the 
City Council as Alderman from the Third Ward. As 
chairman of the Committee on Streets and Alleys in 1872 
he devised a new and efficient system of keeping the 
accotmts of street work, which resulted in great economy 
for the city. He also took an active part in the settle- 
ment of the city debt question during the Renwick 


Mr. Runge was elected as a member of the Board of 
Directors of the First National Bank in 1875, and served 
until 1877, when he retired from active business. In 
1883, however, he founded the shoe factory at Fourth 
street and Western avenue, which he operated until the 
time of his death. 

He was of a kindly nature and of great firmness of 
opinion. He was not afraid to express his opinions, and 
would maintain them no matter how great the opposition. 
He was a firm Republican in politics. He was a member 
of the Pioneer Hook and Ladder Company for twenty-five 
years, being made an honorary member in 1875. 

He was married in 1853 to Miss Dorothea Kurmeier, 
and to them was bom one daughter, now Mrs. Max D. 
Petersen, of this city. Mr. Rimge died June 14, 1887, 
after an iUness of three weeks. 

Hugo Schmidt 

Hugo Schmidt was bom near Hagen, Westphalia, in 
Prussia, February i, 1839, and came to the United States 
at the age of fourteen to visit his sister, who resided in 
Davenport. Soon after arriving here he was employed 
with a party of engineers who were surveying the Territory 
of Minnesota. After returning to Davenport he went 
into the bank of Nicholls, Campbell & Co., in 1856, and 
shortly after accepted a clerkship in the law office of 
Corbin, Dow & Brown, where he read law and was sub- 
sequently admitted to the bar. He was appointed deputy 
County Treasurer in 186 1, and in 1862 entered the private 
bank of Corbin & Dow as cashier. 

When the First National Bank was organized in 1863, 
he was selected by Mr. Corbin as assistant cashier and 
teller, which position he held imtil 1867. Soon after he 


accepted a like position with the Davenport National 
Bank, which he resigned in June, 1870, to take the office 
of cashier of the Citizens National Bank. This position 
he filled with marked ability until May i, 1875, when he 
resigned to become a member of the firm of Reupke, 
Schmidt & Schwarting, in the steam bakery business, 
in which he remained tmtil the time of his death. 

He was married in 1861 to Miss Zella Koehler, and to 
them were bom six children, aU of whom are still honored 
residents of Davenport: Oswald; Tillie, now Mrs. E. 
Kaufman; Herman 0., Walter, Zella and Dr. B. H. 

Mr. Schmidt's entire business career was one of hard 
work, characterized by ability and strictest integrity. 
While giving close attention to business, he was socially 
most agreeable and popular, and his untimely death was 
greatly deplored and mottmed. 

John Schmidt 

John Schmidt was bom in Oldenburg, Germany, 
April 17, 1810. His father was a sea-faring man, and 
the son followed a life on the ocean until he was twenty- 
four years of age. He then emigrated to the United 
States, arriving in New Orleans in 1834. Here he re- 
mained for about a year, and then moved to St. Louis, 
where he engaged in steamboating on the lower Mis- 
sissippi. He followed this life for the next fifteen years, 
until, in his fortieth year, he was severely injured in a 
boiler explosion on one of the steamers. In this accident 
his arm and leg were broken and he was so severely 
scalded that he was confined to the Marine hospital for 
a period of six months. After his recovery he opened a 
boot and shoe store in St. Louis. 


In 1851 he came to Davenport with his brother-in-law, 
Lorenzo Schricker, and opened a general store tinder the 
firm name of Schricker & Schmidt. Four years later 
the firm was dissolved, and Mr. Schmidt opened a new 
business at 124 West Front street and continued in 
business tintil 1872, when he retired from active work. 

He was one of the prime movers in the organization of 
the First National Bank in 1863, and was chosen as a 
member of its first board of directors and served thereon 
with fidelity for sixteen years. He was also one of the 
founders and a director of the Davenport Savings Institu- 

Mr. Schmidt was married in 1850 to Margarethe 
Schricker, and to them three sons were bom: Lorenzo C, 
George M., and William O. For several years prior to 
his death he lived a retired life, owing to the results of 
the severe injuries he had received in the steamboat 
explosion. His death occurred November 5, 1887, at 
his home, 1043 West Fifth street. 

Lorenzo Schricker 

From the days of his early manhood the life of Lorenzo 
Schricker was one of hard work, of close application, and 
of intense energy. He was bom November 12, 1825, 
in Bavaria, Germany. He attended school at Weisdorf, 
later the pol3rtechnic school of Nuremberg, and completed 
his education in the School of Agriculture and Industry 
at Hof. He afterwards served a four years' apprentice- 
ship in a dry goods store, and later was engaged as book- 
keeper by a railroad company, at a salary of $12 per 
month. When he was but nineteen years of age he took 
a contract to build a railroad. 

America — the land of promise — attracted him. He 


came to the U. S. in the spring of 1848, and engaged in 
the confectionery business at Cincinnati until the suc- 
ceeding fall, when he removed to St. Louis and engaged 
in the dry goods trade. 

Mr. Schricker came to Davenport in 1850 and opened 
a general store as senior partner of the firm of Schricker 
& Uibeleisen. The following year he entered into partner- 
ship in the same line of business with his brother-in-law, 
John Schmidt, and when that association was dissolved 
he established a store of his own and also entered the field 
of banking. Every undertakiag was crowned with suc- 
cess, for he applied himself with untiring energy to the 
management of his business interests. In 1858 he was 
elected city treasurer — the only public office he ever held 
— and after two years' service he retired from that posi- 
tion. In 1864, in partnership with L. C. Dessarnt, he 
engaged in the manufacture of Itunber, the firm purchasing 
the mill at the foot of Scott street. In 1868 Mr. Dessaint 
was succeeded by Christian Mueller, and the firm of 
Schricker & Mueller continued until the death of the 
senior partner. Mr. Schricker became v^adely known as 
a representative of the lumber industry in the Middle 
West. Under the lead of Mr. Schricker, in company 
with Mr. Weyerhauser, of Rock Island, the Upper Missis- 
sippi Logging Company was formed in 1871, and lumber 
interests received added impetus from this organization. 
The great logging works at Beef Slough were built by 
this association. 

In 1874 he had become an active factor in banking 
circles in this dty, being a stockholder and director in 
several banks and vice president of the First National 
Bank for ten years, retiring in 1884. 

The most of his time for six years previous to his death 


was spent in the pineries of Wisconsin, and there was 
one period of two years in which he did not pass a fort- 
night altogether in his home at Davenport. 

Mr. Schricker was three times married. He first 
wedded Mary Hansen. Their children were: August, 
deceased; William E., a banker at La Conner, Washing- 
ton; Ottilie, widow of the late Admiral Von Pietruski of 
the Austrian navy. His second wife was Sophia Kahl, 
and their children were: Richard, of this city; Laelius, 
deceased; and Harriet, who is married and resides in 
Vienna. For his third wife Mr. Schricker chose Johanna 
Matthes, and to them was bom one daughter. Miss Selma, 
now a resident of Davenport. Mr. Schricker died July 
12, 1883. 

Strong in his ability to plan and perform, strong in his 
honor and good name, his worth was widely acknowledged. 
He was a man of marked individuality and notable force 
of character, which won for him the respect and admiration 
of all. 

Thomas Scott 

Thomas Scott was bom in Lawrence county, Ohio, 
June 3, 1823, and, removing to Indiana, was there married 
in 1845. He continued his residence in that state tintil 
1857, when he came to Davenport. Here he entered 
the wholesale grocery business as a member of the firm 
of Ryan, Scott & McCann, and later he engaged in the 
live stock and commission business. 

Associated with Mr. Corbin and other enterprising 
citizens, he was one of the founders and original stock- 
holders in the First National Bank; was elected as a 
member of its first board of directors, and served faith- 
fully in that capacity for a period of sixteen years. He 


also served for several years as a director of the Davenport 
Savings Bank. 

In 1880 he removed to Chicago and engaged in the 
live stock commission business at the Union Stock Yards. 
For seventeen years he successfully conducted business 
in that city, after which he returned to Davenport and 
lived retired here until his death, May 26, 1905. 

He took an active part in public affairs, and represented 
the First Ward as alderman for several years. Later he 
was honored with the nomination for Mayor. He stood 
as a splendid type of American citizenship, loyal at all 
times to his honest convictions, and to the best interests 
of his community. 

In the family of Colonel and Mrs. Scott were the 
following children: Mrs. Belinda Hewitt, Mrs. Rachel 
De Armond, Thomas Winfield, Warren W., Mrs. Cora 
S. Smith, and Charles L. 

Adoniram J. Smith 

Adoniram Judson Smith was the son of a Baptist 
minister, and was named by his parents for the world- 
renowned missionary of that denomination. He was 
bom August 28, 1840, at Columbus, New Jersey. He 
came to Davenport in 1858 from Philadelphia, where 
he had been located for a short time. He began work 
as a clerk in the employ of his uncle, H. H. Smith, who 
then kept a variety store on the southeast comer of 
Second and Brady streets. After being employed as a 
clerk by Kelly & Mack and W. C. Wadsworth he entered 
the ftmiiture store of Daniel Gould in 1863. Here he 
remained imtU 1881, when, with Francis McCullough, 
he bought out Mr. Gould, and the business was con- 
tinued under the firm of Smith & McCullough. The 


firm continued for fourteen years, when Mr. McCullough 
retired and Will G. Smith succeeded to his interest, 
becoming a partner with his father. This firm continued 
until Mr. Smith's death. 

He served for three years as a director of the First 
National Bank, being chosen in 1895. 

Mr. Smith was married to Miss Helen A. Squires, 
December 12, i860, in the old Calvary Baptist church, 
which was a landmark for years on the southwest comer 
of Fourth and Perry streets. Two sons were bom to 
them: Will G. and Dr. Charles Elmer Smith, of Omaha. 
Mr. Smith died in this city April 7, 1898. 

Edwin Smith 

Edwin Smith was among the early settlers who were 
attracted to the promising state of Iowa, and came to 
Davenport in 1852 from St. Louis. He was a man of 
attainments, and soon became a forceftd figure in the 
business activity of the young and growing city. He was 
quick to recognize the value of the fertile soil of eastern 
Iowa, and acquired extensive tracts of land in Scott 
county. He was active in the organization of the National 
Insurance Company, which was engaged in business here 
for many years, and was elected president of the cor- 
poration. Mr. Smith took a keen interest in matters 
of public welfare, and for many years served as a member 
of the School Board, a portion of the time as its president. 
In 1870 he was elected a member of the board of directors 
of the First National Bank, in which capacity he served 
with fidelity for four years. 

August Steffen 

August Steffen was bom in Herford, Westphalia, 
Germany, October 24, 1824, and was one of a family of 


four children. At an early age he learned the tobacco 
manufacturer's trade, engaging in that occupation until 
he came to America at the age of twenty-four years. His 
journey across the Atlantic occupied about eight weeks. 
After landing in New York in September, 1848, he pro- 
ceeded to Cinciimati, where he found emplojrment at 
his trade for a few months, after which he went to New 
Orleans and from there to Natchez, Mississippi; but at 
neither of these places did he remain long. 

In the spring of 1850 he went to San Francisco. About 
this time excitement over the gold fields ran high in 
California, and Mr. StefEen decided to seek his fortune 
in the motintains. After reaching the gold fields he began 
prospecting and was fairly successful. He remained there 
for four years, when he returned to St. Louis by way of 
the Isthmus of Panama. While in St. Louis he formed a 
partnership with Ferdinand Roddewig and came to Daven- 
port to engage in the grocery business, locating at 
224 West Second street. Soon after he bought the 
interest of Mr. Roddewig and continued the business 
alone for about five years. He then embarked in the 
grain business, and became one of the heaviest operators 
in the state. In 1879 he purchased the dry goods house 
of M. Weidemann, and after canying on the retail busi- 
ness about three years, established also a wholesale 
business in the same line. For the past thirty years the 
Steffen Dry Goods Company has occupied a prominent 
place in the wholesale trade of the Northwest. 

Mr. Steffen holds the record for continuous service 
on the board of directors of the First National Bank, 
having serv^ed in that capacity for more than thirty-three 
years. He was one of the most active men in founding 
the bank, and was elected to the directorate in 1866, 




continuing up to the time of his death. He was also a 
director in the Davenport Savings Bank, and became the 
largest stockholder in both these institutions. He was 
for many years president of the Davenport Plow Works. 
He was united in marriage to Miss Margarete 
Gehrlicher, a native of Cobtu-g, Germany, and to them 
four children were bom, all of whom are still living: 
Meta, now wife of Dr. C. Matthey; Alfred; Adela, now 
wife of B. F. Aufderheide; and August E. Mr. Steffen 
passed away October 8, 1899, in his seventy-fifth year. 

J. E. Stevenson 

Dr. J. E. Stevenson was bom near Baltimore, Maryland, 
February 18, 18 19. He came to the West in the days of 
his best health and activity and settled in Davenport, 
and for forty-three years he was a respected resident of 
this city. During this period he practiced the profession 
of medicine, and for many years was associated in the drug 
business with H. Camahan under the firm name of 
Stevenson & Camahan. 

In the winter of 1862-63 he was one of the most active 
men in the organization of the First National Bank; was 
elected a member of the first board of directors, and served 
on that body until 1889, with the exception of three years 
from 1871 to 1874. In 1883 he was elected vice president 
of the bank, serving for six years in that office. 

Dr. Stevenson took a lively interest in public affairs, 
and for a number of years represented the Fourth Ward 
in the City Council. He was a consistent member of 
the Methodist chvirch. He was always the friend of the 
poor and the struggling, and his helping hand has been 
reached out to many an unfortunate. After retiring 
from active life he removed to Rock Island, and he died 


at his home there, February i8, 1 901, on his eighty-second 

James Thompson 

James Thompson was bom in 1826 in Western Penn- 
sylvania, where he Uved for a number of years of his active 
life. He came to Davenport in 1 8 5 6 , and was first engaged 
in the livery business. Later he became a dealer in real 
estate and farmer and rose rapidly from the ranks of the 
small operators to those of the capitalists and financiers 
of the city and state. It was in the field of real estate 
that he made his greatest success, and his operations 
extended to various parts of Iowa and to several of the 
surrounding states. He seemed to possess an unerring 
judgment as a land buyer, and he made many large deals 
— in some instances bujdng from railroads their entire 
holdings. At one time, a few years prior to his death, he 
held upwards of 100,000 acres of farm land in Iowa and 

Mr. Thompson was identified with the First National 
Bank from its fovmdation in 1863 up to the date of his 
death. He was one of the original shareholders of the 
institution, and in 1866 he was elected a member of the 
board of directors, which position he held for twenty-nine 
years. In 1871 he was elected vice president, and three 
years later, on the resignation of Hiram Price, Mr. 
Thompson was promoted to the presidency. He served 
in this position for two years, when he resigned. In 
1882, following the death of Major T. T. Dow, Mr. 
Thompson was again called to the presidency, and con- 
tinued as such for almost thirteen years. He also served 
for a time as a director in the Davenport Savings Bank. 
About a year prior to his death he was compelled to 
put aside all business cares on accoimt of failing health. 


His death occurred January 2, 1895, leaving a mie, two 
sons, Frank and Harry, and one daughter, Mrs. Henry 
Jaeger, of this city. 

John P. Van Patten 

John P. Van Patten was bom in Jordan, New York, 
September 24, 1833, the youngest in a family of four 
children. His father was an architect, and attained prom- 
inence in that profession in New York City. In 1834 the 
family came west and settled at Fawn River, Michigan. 
Upon the death of the father the family decided to make 
Davenport their home, being largely influenced in this 
decision by the eldest daughter, who married C. C. Alvord, 
of Fawn River, and went to reside in Davenport in the 
late '30s. So the mother, accompanied by her three sons, 
set out from Michigan in a prairie schooner and made the 
trip overland, reaching Davenport in November, 1842. 

John P. Van Patten, then a lad of nine, worked for a 
year on a farm, and in 1844 he went east with his mother 
to Canandaigua, New York. He remained there for 
four years and during that time was a student for three 
years in the Canandaigua Academy, after which he 
engaged as clerk in a book store. But the West was 
attractive to him, and in 1848 he returned to Davenport, 
and for three years was employed as a clerk in the grocery 
store of B. Sandford on Front Street. In 1851 he was 
admitted to partnership in the firm, and three years later 
Mr. Sandford sold his interest to C. C. Alvord, and the 
firm became Alvord & Van Patten and was so continued 
imtil 1867. In that year the senior partner sold out to 
Morton L. Marks and the firm became Van Patten & 
Marks, wholesale grocers. They conducted a prosperous 
and growing business until 1903, when the partnership 


was dissolved, and Mr. Van Patten took into the firm his 
three sons, John N., Edward H., and Alfred S., under the 
style of J. P. Van Patten & Sons. 

He was a loyal republican, but not an office seeker, and 
took an active interest in the success of that party. He 
was a delegate to county and state conventions on many 
occasions, and for many years was treasurer of the coimty 

In 1859 Mr. Van Patten was married to Miss Dorothy 
Hartzell, a daughter of the Rev. Jonas HartzeU of Ohio, 
and seven children were bom to them: Mrs. Florence 
Sweeney; Elizabeth, who died at the age of eighteen; 
Mrs. Marion Harper, also deceased; Alice, now the wife 
of Dr. W. L. Allen, of this city. The three sons previ- 
ously mentioned now conduct the wholesale grocery busi- 
ness in this city. 

Mr. Van Patten was elected as a member of the Board 
of Directors of the First National Bank in 1887, and in 
1903 he was elected a vice president of the institution, 
which position he held imtil his death, February 22, 1911. 

August Warnebold 

August Warnebold was bom in the province of Hanover, 
Germany, September 11, 1828. He came to America 
in 1854 and settled first in St. Louis, to which place his 
brother William — a candle maker by trade — had pre- 
ceded him. He remained in St. Louis until 1855, when 
he came to Davenport and opened a confectionery store. 
Shortly afterwards he engaged in the grocery business, 
and then in the grain business. In the latter he was very 
successful, and thus made a good start in life. He 
became a stockholder in the Davenport Plow Works and 
was elected vice president of the company, and later 


In 1863 he was one of the men originally participating 
in the inauguration of the First National Bank, and six 
years later he was elected to the board of directors, upon 
which he served for four years. He was a man of large 
influence and good business capacity. He was instru- 
mental in organizing the Crematory Society and erecting 
the crematorium in Davenport, but died before it was 
finished. In 1879 he went into the milling business, and 
was so engaged when he died in 1891. He was a member 
of the Tvimers, Schutzen Verein, United Workmen and 
the Iowa Legion of Honor. He also served the city two 
years in the capacity of alderman. 

Charles Whitaker 

Charles Whitaker was bom in Halifax County, North 
Carolina, September 5, 1833, the son of Spier and Eliza- 
beth (Lewis) Whitaker. His father was a practicing 
lawyer and was Attorney General of the State of North 
Carolina. Charles Whitaker attended Bingham School 
and later graduated from the University of North Caro- 
lina as a civil engineer. After completing his education 
he taught school for a year or two in his native state. In 
1856 he removed to Davenport, and was employed in 
surveying for the railroad then being built from here to 
Des Moines. The exposure was too severe for him, and, 
after recovering from a severe attack of typhoid fever, 
he gave up this profession and began the study of law 
with his father, who had moved to Davenport in 1854, 
and was practicing law with Judge James Grant. 

After his admission to the bar he opened a law office at 
DeWitt, Iowa, where he practiced for a year or two and 
then moved back to Davenport, where he continued in 
the active practice of the law until his removal from Iowa. 


Mr. Whitaker never held any public office except that of 
chairman of the Board of Equalization for Scott County, 
and in this position he served faithftiUy for a great many 
years. From 1874 to 1881 he served as a member of the 
board of directors of the First National Bank, and later 
he was a director of the Union Savings Bank. 

For the last fifteen years of his life his health was not 
good, and during that period he engaged in very little 
active business. In 1906 he removed from Davenport 
to Birmingham, Alabama, where he died December 23, 
191 1, survived by his widow, who was a niece of the late 
Judge Grant, and one son. Spier Whitaker, now prac- 
ticing law in Birmingham. 

His life was not spectacular in any respect, but was 
marked principally by his devotion to the practice of law. 
He did not have a very wide circle of acquaintances and 
only a few intimate friends, but he was respected by all 
who knew him, and especially by the older lawyers of 
Davenport, with whom he came in contact during the 
years he was in active practice. As a bank director he 
was unusually strict in his ideas of the fiduciary nature 
of the position, and was always a stout advocate of con- 
servative management. 


Chapter IX 

Biographies of Persons Still Living, At One Time 

Associated With The Bank, But Whose Connection 

With The Institution Has Been Severed 

James Armstrong 

James Armstrong was bom on a farm in Tioga County, 
New York, July 4, 1834. He was educated in the district 
school and later graduated from Hobart College. For 
two years following his graduation, he was a teacher of 
Latin and Greek in that institution. In 1857 he entered 
the law ofifice of Tracy & Walker in Owego, New York, 
and in the following year was admitted to the bar. He 
came west in 1858 arriving in Davenport on the ist of 
June in company with his fellow-townsman, Samuel E. 
Brown. They began the practice of law under the firm 
name of Brown & Armstrong. Later Mr. Brown retired 
from the firm and Mr. Armstrong formed a partnership 
with J. W. Stewart. 

Mr. Armstrong was active in the organization of the 
First National Bank and was elected a member of the 
First Board of Directors as well as attorney for the bank 
which position he held until 1873. 

In 1867 he was appointed collector of internal revenue, 
which office he held for several years. Mr. Armstrong 
was also director in the company which built the street 
railway on Third Street. During his residence in Daven- 
port, Mr. Armstrong was much interested in the Epis- 
copal chturch, and for some years was chairman of the 


building committee, which had charge of the construc- 
tion of the Cathedral. 

In 1873 he removed to New York City to take charge 
of the law and collection business of H. B. Claflin & Com- 
pany, and later he took up the private practice of law 
and was identified with Austin Corbin in numerous busi- 
ness enterprises. For the past twenty years Mr. Arm- 
strong has been the attorney of the Philadelphia & Reading 
Railway and the Philadelphia & Reading Coal and Iron 
Company. At the age of seventy-nine, he is still in good 
health and active in the practice of his profession. 

John F. Dillon 

John F. Dillon was bom in Washington county. New 
York, on Christmas Day, 1831. His father was Thomas 
Dillon. In 1838 he removed with his parents from 
Herkimer county. New York, to Davenport. When 
seventeen years of age he commenced the study of medicine 
under the direction of Dr. E. S. Barrows, one of the pioneer 
physicians of this city. He afterwards attended the 
Keokuk Medical College and graduated at the age of 
twenty-one. He entered upon the practice of his pro- 
fession in this city, but found after a few months that it 
did not accord with his tastes. So he began reading law, 
studying under John P. Cook, one of the most eminent 
attorneys of the state. He was admitted as a member 
of the Scott County Bar in 1852, and at once commenced 
the practice of his new profession. The same year he 
was elected prosecuting attorney for Scott County. In 
1858, when twenty-seven years of age, he was elected 
judge of the Seventh Judicial district, then composed 
of Scott, Muscatine, Jackson and CUnton counties. 
In 1862 he was re-elected without opposition. In the 


following year he was nominated by the Republican party 
as one of the judges of the Supreme Court of Iowa, and 
was elected for a term of six years. In 1869 he was re- 
elected for another term of six years with little opposi- 
tion, but before he qualified under his second election he 
was appointed by President Grant as United States 
Circuit Judge of the Eighth Judicial circuit, embracing 
the states of Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Missouri, 
Kansas, Arkansas and Colorado, and served in this 
position until 1879. 

When the First National Bank was organized in 1863 
Judge Dillon was one of the original stockholders, and 
for a number of years he served the bank in the capacity 
of attorney. In 1879 Judge Dillon removed to New 
York City, where he still resides, in the full enjo3m:ient of 
perfect health. He at once took a leading place among 
the bar of that city. He became general counsel for the 
Missouri Pacific Railway and the Western Union Tele- 
graph Company, and consulting counsel for the Man- 
hattan Elevated and the Union Pacific Railway. 

Judge Dillon has not only attained high distinction as 
a judge, but has also won many laurels in the field of 
legal authorship. Soon after his election as district 
judge he prepared his first legal work, "A Digest of the 
Decisions of the Supreme Court of Iowa." He was also 
the author of a most valuable work on "Municipal 
Corporations," which became the leading text on that 
subject both at home and abroad. 

John F. Dow 

John F. Dow was bom in Henry county, Illinois, 
October 17, 1856. His father, Josiah Dow, had been 
identified with the agricultural interests of that county 


from 1850 down to 1872, when the family removed to 
Davenport, the elder Dow engaging in the milling business 
as senior member of the firm of Dow, Oilman & Hancock. 
John F. Dow was educated in the public schools of Daven- 
port and then entered the grain business with his father. 
In July, 189s, they organized the Davenport Elevator 
Co., the business of which has expanded imtil they now 
operate twenty-two elevators scattered throughout Iowa, 
Minnesota and South Dakota, in addition to the Daven- 
port plant. From 1902 to 1911 Mr. Dow served as a 
member of the board of directors of the First National 
Bank, in which capacity he was a prudent cotmselor and 
a valuable friend to the institution. He declined re- 
election in order to accept the presidency of the Davenport 
Savings Bank. 

In March, 1878, Mr. Dow married Miss Nancy Sears, 
daughter of I. L. Sears, of this city. Their children are 
five in number: Bert and John, who are associated with 
their father in business; Worrall, book keeper in the 
Davenport Savings Bank; Elizabeth, now wife of Dugald 
G. Porter; and Miss Nancy. 

G. Watson French 

George Watson French is a native of Davenport, 
having been bom here in the fifties. He was educated 
at Phillips, Andover, (which school as well as Phillips, 
Exeter, was founded by an ancestor of his, John Phillips). 
He was expected to attend Harvard University after 
his graduation, but he elected to go into the shops of 
the Eagle Manufacturing Co. as a day laborer instead. 
For three years he worked in the shops, learning every 
branch of the business. For the past twenty-five years 
he has been associated with his brother in the manufacture 


of metal wheels. In addition he has extended his activ- 
ities to the steel and iron industry elsewhere, having 
been associated with the Republic Steel Co. and the 
Tennessee Coal & Iron Co. He was elected as a member 
of the board of directors of the First National Bank in 
1885 and served for four years in that capacity. 

A Republican in poUtics, Colonel French has been 
active in the councils of the party for many years, both 
in local and state affairs. He was a delegate to the 
National convention at St. Louis in 1896 and took strong 
ground in favor of tmequivocal endorsement of the gold 
standard. He has attended every National convention 
of the party since then, most of them in the capacity of 

Colonel French has always shown himself to be a 
public-spirited citizen. He just completed three years 
of service on the board of directors of the Commercial 
Club, and was an active force in organizing the Scott 
County Farm Improvement League as a member of its 
executive committee. All his life he has been fond of 
nature and a country life, and in the years 19 10- 11 he 
bought and builded the lowana Farms, a notable enter- 
prise located a few miles above this city. Colonel French 
is married and has one son, George Decker. 

Nathanael French 

Nathanael French, son of George H. and Francis 
(Morton) French, was bom in Davenport in 1857. He 
received his education in Griswold College, one of the 
earlier educational institutions of this city, and at the 
Universities of Heidelberg and Harvard. After his 
graduation he studied law, and soon after his return to 
Davenport was elected District Judge. In 1888 he turned 


from the law to manufacturing, becoming one of the 
officers of the Eagle Manufacturing Co. In 1890 the 
Bettendorf Metal Wheel Co. was incorporated by W. M. 
Bettendorf, G. Watson French and Nathanael French. 
Later Mr. Bettendorf's entire interest was purchased, 
but for some years the name was retained. In 19 10 
the corporation was changed to the private firm of French 
& Hecht. The Davenport Wagon Co. was an offshoot. 
It was sold to Deere & Co. in 191 2. 

In 1 88 1 Judge French was first chosen a member of 
the board of directors of the First National Bank which 
position he held until 1885, when he declined re-election 
on account of his judicial duties. Two years later he 
was again elected to the board and served tmtil 1892 
when he voluntarily retired. 

Aside from his business career, in which he has reaped 
the rewards of well-merited success, Judge French has 
long been known in his home city as a practical philan- 
thropist and active helper in many lines of endeavor. 
To many institutions devoted to charitable and benev- 
olent objects he has shown his friendship and sympathy 
in quiet and effective fashion. His favorite recreation 
is golf, and he is an active member of the Rock Island 
Arsenal Golf Club, as he is also of the Contemporary Club. 
He is married and has two children : Francis Henry, now 
associated with Geo. M. Bechtel & Co., and Grace Hamil- 
ton, now Mrs. Harry Evans. 

Stephen F. Gilman 

Stephen F. Gilman was bom in Northfield, New 
Hampshire, July 22, 1844, a son of Stephen C. and Lurana 
(Goodwin) Gilman. He was educated at the pubUc 
schools in Franklin, New Hampshire, and came to Daven- 
port in 1868. In company with T. T. Dow and F. H. 


Hancock he engaged in the mill and elevator business, 
under the firm name of Dow, Oilman & Hancock, which 
built up a large and extensive business. Mr. Oilman 
was elected a director of the First National Bank in 1883 
which position he continued to hold until 1902, when he 
removed to Nebraska. Throughout these many years 
he was a staunch friend of the institution, and his resigna- 
tion was regretfully accepted and, as expressed by formal 
resolutions adopted at the time, "only with a true and 
sincere hope for your future success and prosperity, and 
with kind appreciation for the past efforts given to the 
interests of this bank." 

Mr. Oilman had established extensive milling interests 
at Neligh, Nebraska, and removed there in order to devote 
himself to them. These have been enlarged and extended 
tmtil they include the Pierce Mill Company, the Neligh 
Mills, and the Minnechadoza Mills. He recently incor- 
porated all his flour mill interests in the S. F. Oilman Mill 
Company, which owns and operates mills and electric 
light and water plants at Valentine, Neligh and Pierce, 
Nebraska. Mr. Oilman is also a director of the Security 
Fire Insurance Company, of Davenport. 

He was married, October 4, 1870, to Susan A. Dow. 
They have two daughters, Mary E. and Edna L. 

Francis H. Origgs 

Francis H. Griggs was bom November 14, 1834, in 
Brookline, Massachusetts, and his early education was 
received in the public schools of that town. In 1850 he 
entered Harvard University, taking the full collegiate 
course and graduating in 1854. In the early part of the 
following year he removed to Davenport, and engaged 
in mercantile pursuits, continuing therein until 1873; 


from 1855 to 1859 in the shoe and leather business, and 
from i860 to 1873 in the printing and publishing business. 

In 1863 he was one of the men originally participating 
in the inauguration of the First National Bank of Daven- 
port, and was elected a member of the first board of 
directors. At the time this is written, he and James 
Armstrong, who is practicing law in New York City, are 
the only surviving members of the first board of directors 
of the institution. Later Mr. Griggs became a director 
of the Citizens National Bank, and in 1873 was elected 
its president. To the duties of this position he gave his 
undivided time and attention. Upon the consolidation 
of the Citizens National Bank with the German Savings 
Bank, he was elected vice president of the latter institu- 
tion, which position he still occupies. 

Having been identified for many years with the financial, 
commercial and industrial development of Davenport, 
his history is interwoven with that of the city, and he 
has taken an important part in advancing the best inter- 
ests of the commimity. His fairness and frankness equal 
his firmness and decisiveness, and his good judgment and 
strict integrity have made him the wise counselor of many 
successful business men. 

Mr. Griggs was married in 1861 to Miss Candace Wat- 
son, daughter of Joseph Watson, of Indianapolis. 

Henry Kohrs 

Henry Kohrs is a native of Holstein, Germany, and was 
bom in 1830, the second son of a family of three children. 
He Uved in his native land untU after he had reached his 
majority, receiving such education as the humble circum- 
stances of his parents would permit, and doing the work 
that fell to the lot of boys of his class. He came to the 


United States in 1853, settling first in New York City, 
where he remained about a year. He then came West, 
reaching Davenport March 13, 1854, and began clerking 
in a dry goods store on a salary of $25 per month. Out 
of this he paid his living expenses, and by practicing 
frugality and thrift he was enabled in the following year to 
open a retail meat market. He continued this for almost 
twenty years, and in 1875 he branched out into the busi- 
ness of packing and shipping meats, establishing the Kohrs 
Packing Company. Since that time the business of this 
company has gradually developed and extended imtil 
it now reaches throughout the entire West. 

Although his attention has been largely occupied in his 
business, Mr. Kohrs has always shown an active interest 
in the welfare of his city. In 1882 he was elected a 
member of the city coimcil for a term of two years. In 
1879 he was elected a director of the First National Bank, 
a position he filled until 1888. 

On Christmas day, 1857, he married Miss Johanna 
Lohimian, a native of Germany, by whom he has eight 
children. Although he has already passed the age of 
four-score, he continues to give daily care and attention 
to his business interests. He is respected and honored 
by all who know him for his sterling quaUties of mind 
and character. 

Louis A. LeClaire, Sr. 

Louis A. LeClaire was bom in Davenport, January 4, 
1842, a son of Alexius and Marie (Pujal) LeClaire, and a 
nephew of Antoine LeClaire, who holds a conspicuous 
place in the history of this city from the time of its foun- 
dation. After completing the coturse in the pubUc schools 
of Davenport, he entered Iowa College at Griimell. In 


i862 he engaged in the real estate business, to which he 
devoted his energies for about thirteen years, when he 
became administrator of his uncle's estate. In 1876 he 
served as assistant cashier of the First National Bank. 
In 1882 he went to Western Iowa, and after his return 
in 1886 he entered the gas office. About that time, how- 
ever, on accotmt of poor health he was compelled to give 
up all business and take a rest. Later, when he had recu- 
perated, he joined his son in the formation of the LeClaire- 
King Publishing Company, of which he was made vice 

In 1870 Mr. LeClaire was united in marriage to Miss 
Mattie S. Beddison, daughter of Thomas Beddison, a 
prominent citizen of Rock Island. Five children were 
bom to them: Margaret; Marie, deceased; Louis A. Jr., 
Beatrice, and Bemice. His only son is now president of 
the LeClaire-King Publishing Company, of this city. 

Charles A. Mast 

Charles A. Mast was bom in Davenport and educated 
in the public schools of this city, passing through Grade 
School No. 2 and the high school. He began his banking 
career in June, 1869, as teller of the First National Bank 
of Moline, IlHnois. After serving in this position for a 
little over a year he accepted the position of teller in the 
Davenport National Bank, later being promoted to the 
assistant cashiership. His service with this institution 
extended from 1870 to 1885, when he resigned and removed 
to Norfolk, Nebraska, and became president of the Citi- 
zens National Bank of that place, remaining there for 
nine years and then becoming president of the First 
National Bank, of CarroU, Iowa. 

On April 15, 1895, Mr. Mast retumed to Davenport 




to accept the position of cashier of the First National Bank. 
For nine years he devoted himself assiduously to the duties 
of this place, and was an important factor in promoting 
the growth of the institution during that period. Mr. 
Mast was one of the leaders in the organization of the 
Davenport Clearing House Association, and in recog- 
nition of his activities in bringing this organization into 
being, he was chosen as its first manager. Mr. Mast 
resigned the cashiership January i, 1904, to engage in the 
business of public accoiintant and auditor, and in this 
field, as in banking, he has attained success in a marked 
degree. He still resides in Davenport, but his clientage 
extends throughout Iowa and in many of the surrounding 



Biographies of Persons Now Actively Connected 
WITH the Bank 

George W. Cable, Jr. 

George W. Cable, Jr., is a native of Davenport, having 
been bom here, October 25, 1869, a son of George W. and 
Eliza E. Cable. He received his education in Amherst 
College, from which he graduated with the class of 1891. 
After jfinishing school he became associated with his 
father in the Cable Lumber Company, then engaged in 
the manufacture of lumber, and from that time until 
the present his time and attention have been devoted to 
the Itimber and timber business. He is secretary and 
treasurer of the Hayward Lumber Company, and also 
operates a number of retail lumber yards in Iowa. 

Like his father before him, Mr. Cable is a member of 
the board of directors of the First National Bank, having 
been elected thereto in 1907. 

He was married November 9, 1899, to Miss Kathertne 
Woodruff, of Knoxville, Tennessee, and to them were 
bom two children: George Wyatt Cable and Katherine 
Woodruff Cable. Mrs. Cable passed away in March, 1912. 

Albert F. Dawson 

Albert F. Dawson was bom in the village of Sprague- 
ville, Jackson County, Iowa, January 26, 1872. His 
parents were Thomas and Ahce (Foster) Dawson. His 


mother died when he was a year old, and he was reared 
by his grandparents, Major Samuel Foster and wife. 
After completing the course in the pubHc schools at 
Preston, he attended the State University of Wisconsin 
for one year. At the age of nineteen he became publisher 
of the Preston Advance, and the following year he removed 
to Clinton and was employed on the Clinton Herald, of 
which he afterwards became city editor. 

In 189 s he went to Washington as secretary to Hon. 
George M. Curtis, member of Congress, and continued 
in this capacity until the expiration of Mr. Curtis' term 
in 1899, when he became confidential secretary to Senator 
William B. Allison. He served in this position for six 
years. In 1904 he was unanimously nominated for 
Congress by the RepubUcans of the second district, and 
after a memorable campaign was elected. He was 
re-elected in 1906 and again in 1908. His principal ser- 
vice in Congress was as a member of the Committee on 
Naval Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations. 
In January, 1910, he announced that he would retire to 
private life at the expiration of his third term, and declined 
to be a candidate for renomination. In the following 
December annotmcement was made that he would become 
president of the First National Bank of Davenport as 
successor to Anthony Biurdick, who wished to retire. 
His term in Congress expired March 4, 191 1, and shortly 
before this time he was strongly urged to accept the 
position of private secretary to President Taft, but this 
was declined, and on April 6th he began his duties as 
president of the First National Bank. 

He was married in Jxme, 1893, to Phoebe R. DeGroat 
and five children have been bom to them: Loleta, 
Claribel, Olive, Albert, and Eugene. 


John W. Gilchrist 

John W. Gilchrist, son of Hugh M. and Mary (Weir) 
Gilchrist, was bom in Wanlockhead, Dumfrieshire, 
Scotland, September 28, 1857, and was educated in the 
public schools of that country. In 1871, as a lad of 
fourteen years, he came to the United States with his 
father, and after stopping for a year in Pennsylvania 
came West and settled at Rapid City, Illinois. In 1873 
the father and son engaged in the coal mining business 
vmder the firm name of H. M. Gilchrist & Co., which 
later became the Empire Coal Company. In 1893 
they organized the Alden Coal Company, which now 
operates extensive mines in Mercer and Fulton counties 
in Illinois. 

Mr. Gilchrist removed with his family to Davenport 
in 1899. Besides his active operations in Illinois, he is 
interested in coal mines in Iowa, and in lumber in 
Arkansas, Alabama and the Pacific Northwest. He was 
chosen a director of the First National Bank in 19 11, and 
is also a director in the Davenport Savings Bank. 

In September, 1877, he was married to Miss Caroline 
Shuler, and to them have been bom nine children: Hugh 
M., who is associated with his father in the coal and 
lumber business; Mary, wife of Charles W. Crow; John 
W., Jr.; Grace, wife of John Ploehn, of Bettendorf; 
Archibald, Jean, Charles, Caroline and Helen. 

Will J. Housman 

Will J. Housman, son of Henry J. and Jacoba G. 
Housman, was bom in Davenport, September 13, 1882. 
He was educated in the public schools of this city, followed 
by a course in Duncan's Business College. Before 
entering the banking business he was employed for about 


two years as bookkeeper for the Phoenix Milling Com- 
pany. Leaving there, he entered the employ of the 
First National Bank as messenger in December, 1902, 
and was gradually promoted until his election as assistant 
cashier in 1906. 

Mr. Housman was married in 1894 to Miss Louise 
Harriet Knaack, and to them have been bom two 
children: Allen Will and AUce Louise. 

Joe R. Lane 

Joe R. Lane was bom in Davenport, May 6, 1858, a 
son of James T. and Aimie J. (Reed) Lane. He was 
educated in the pubUc schools of this city; at Knox 
CoUege, Galesbiu-g, Illinois, and the Law School of the 
State University of Iowa. In 1881 he was admitted to 
the firm of Davison & Lane, which continued until 1902, 
when Mr. Davison died. Soon afterwards Judge C. M. 
Waterman resigned from the vSupreme Court of Iowa to 
enter partnership with Mr. Lane, the firm becoming 
Lane & Waterman. 

In addition to his extensive legal practice, Mr. Lane 
has always had other important interests. He is president 
of the Lane Investment Company, which erected the 
Lane office building at Third and Main streets; president 
of the Building Society of the new Commercial Club; 
president of the Davenport Industrial Investment Com- 
pany, organized to advance the material welfare of the 
dty; director in the Davenport Hotel Company. He is 
vice president and senior director of the First National 
Bank, having been elected to the board in 1889, and made 
vice president in 190 1. He has taken an active part in 
the railroad development of this section, having been 
treasurer of the Davenport, Iowa & Dakota Railroad 


at the time of its construction; was manager and had 
charge of the building of the Davenport, Rock Island & 
Northwestern Railroad from Moline to Clinton; and the 
Davenport & Muscatine interurban, completed last year. 

Mr. Lane is a Republican in politics, and for many- 
years has taken a leading part in promoting the success 
of the party. In 1898 he was persuaded to accept the 
nomination for Congress from the Second District, and 
was elected to the Fifty-sixth Congress, but declined a 
renomination. He has since acted as district chairman 
in four campaigns, in all of which he has conducted a 
successful fight for the Republican nominee. He holds 
decided views on public questions, and expresses them 
clearly, logically and forcefully. 

He was married in 1881 to Miss Jennie Richardson, a 
daughter of the late D. N. Richardson. They have 
three children: Dick R. and J. Reed, both of whom are 
now members of the firm of Lane & Waterman; and 

Wilson McClelland 

Wilson McClelland, son of Thomas W. and Anna B. 
(Knapp) McClelland, was bom in Davenport, March 
28, 1864. After completing the course in the public 
schools of this city he entered the Rennselaer Polytechnic 
Institute at Troy, New York, from which he graduated 
in 1886. Returning to Davenport, he became associated 
with his father in the manufacture of sash, doors and mill 
work, the business having been established here in 1855. 
On the death of his father in 1902, he succeeded to the 
management of the T. W. McClelland Company as its 
president. In 1903 the continued growth of the enterprise 
necessitated enlarged quarters, and a new plant was 
built on East Third street. 


He is a member of the board of directors of the First 
National Bank, having been elected in igoi. He is also 
a director of the White Lily Manufacturing Company, 
Ideal Lighting Company, Victor Animatograph Company, 
Davenport Machine & Foundry Company, and Phoenix 
Milling Company. Mr. McClelland served for two 
years as president of the Commercial Club, and from 1909 
to 1913 as a member of the School Board. 

In 1890 he was married to Miss Anna Richardson, a 
daughter of the late D. N. Richardson. To them have 
been bom three sons: Thomas W., D. Nelson, and 
Robert R. 

John L. Mason 

John L. Mason was bom in Bowmanville, Ontario, 
Canada, July 14, 1844, a son of Samuel and Elizabeth 
(Sweet) Mason. He was educated in the schools of his 
native town. Mr. Mason first started to learn the harness 
business, but later on learned the trade of carriage trim- 
ming. He came to Iowa in November, 1865, going first 
to Marshalltown. Early in the following year he removed 
to Davenport, and in January, 1868, commenced business 
as a member of the firm of Mason & Evans, carriage 
manufacturers. In 1881 he bought Mr. Evans' interest 
and continued the business under the name of Mason's 
Carriage Works. In 1896 the firm was incorporated, 
and his two sons, Charles F. and Webster L., became 
members of the company. In 1901 they added auto- 
mobiles to their line. Mr. Mason was elected a director 
of the First National Bank at the annual meeting in 
January, 1905. 

On September 26, 1866, he was married to Miss Maria 
M. Coleman, of Toronto, Canada. To them were bom 


four children, three of whom are living: Charles F., 
Webster L., and Marion E., now wife of Charles Grilk, 
of this city. 

Frank W. Mueller 
Frank W. Mueller, eldest son of Christian and Elfrieda 
Mueller, was bom in Davenport, October 8, 1862. He 
was educated ia the public schools of this city and at 
the State University of Iowa. On completing his educa- 
tion he became associated with his father in the lumber 
business, and in order to gain a thorough knowledge of 
aU its details, passed through every department. He 
has devoted himself to the Ivimber and timber business, 
and is now president of the Mueller Lumber Company, 
and vice president of the Mueller Land & Timber Com- 
pany. Upon the death of his father in 1901 he was 
elected to fill the vacancy on the board of directors of 
the First National Bank, and during the past year has 
served as a member of the discotmt committee. Mr. 
Mueller is also a director of the Davenport Commercial 
Club. He is married and has one daughter. 

J. Morgan Reimers 
J. Morgan Reimers was bom in Davenport, March, 
1885, and was educated in the public schools of Bettendorf 
and this city, supplemented by a course in Duncan's 
Business College. He embarked in the baking business, 
to which he has since devoted his tinie and energy, and is 
now vice president of the Independent Baking Company. 
In 1909 Mr. Reimers was elected as a member of the 
Board of Directors of the First National Bank. He is 
also president of the N. Kuhnen Cigar Company. He 
was married, December 17, 191 2, to Miss Minnie E. 


Morris N. Richardson 
Morris N. Richardson, son of D. N. and Jennette 
Richardson, was bom in Davenport, October 26, 1862. 
He received his education in the public schools of this 
city, supplemented by a course at the State University 
of Iowa, at Iowa City. Mr. Richardson has turned his 
chief attention to the lumber and timber business, and 
is now secretary and treasurer and director of the Richard- 
son Land & Timber Co.; director and member of the 
executive coimnittee of the Sound Timber Co.; director 
and assistant treasurer of the Southern Lumber Co.; 
and director and member of the executive committee of 
the Southland Lumber Co. He is also a director of the 
Democrat Co., and for the past twenty-one years has 
served as a member of the Board of Directors of the First 
National Bank, his service commencing in 1892. H^ is 
a member of the Commercial and Outing dubs. He was 
married in 1886 to Miss Stella Burdick, of this city, and 
they have one son, Burdick N. Richardson. 

Carl Richter 
Carl Richter was bom in Davenport, November 3, 
1873, a son of Traugott and Marie (Schmidt) Richter. 
He was educated in the Davenport public schools and the 
Iowa Commercial Business College. At the age of eight- 
een he entered business with his father, who had founded 
the firm here in 1868, and worked for four years at the 
bench learning the fur trade. He was admitted as a 
partner in 1895. The firm was incorporated February i, 
1902, as T. Richter & Sons and Mr. Richter served for 
one year as vice president and two years as secretary 
and treasurer. Upon the death of his father in 1904, 
he was elected president of the company, which enjoys 


a wide reputation in the wholesale fur trade. Mr. Richter 
was elected as a member of the board of directors of the 
First National Bank in 191 1. He was married, October 
14, 1899, to Miss Jennie Kuhr. To them have been bom 
three children : Carl, Catherine and James. 

Clarence F. Schmidt 

Clarence F. Schmidt, son of George J. and Amelia 
Schmidt, was bom at Muscatine, Iowa, February 20, 
1885, and was educated in the public schools of his native 
city. When eighteen years old he entered the Muscatine 
branch of the H. J. Heinz Co. as bookkeeper. In 1905 
he was employed by the German American Savings Bank 
of Muscatine as assistant bookkeeper and was promoted 
until he became pajnng teller. In October, 191 2, he 
came to the First National Bank of Davenport as teller, 
and at the annual election in January last was elected 
an assistant cashier. He was married February 12, 191 2, 
to Miss Rebecca May Morgan. 

August E. Steffen 

August E. Steffen is a native of Davenport, having 
been bom here November 26, 1865, the son of August and 
Margarete Steffen. He received his education in the 
public schools of Davenport. When eighteen years of 
age he entered business with his father in the retail dry 
goods trade, which was later developed into the wholesale 
line. Upon the death of his father the firm was incor- 
porated under the name of the August Steffen Dry Goods 
Company, with Mr. Steffen as president and treasurer. 

While Mr. StefEen has turned his chief attention to the 
wholesale dry goods trade, he is actively identified with 
other important interests. He is a director of the First 


National Bank, having served in that capacity for the 
past fourteen years; vice president and director of the 
Davenport Savings Bank; president of the Davenport 
Brick & Tile Co. ; president and treasurer of the August 
Stefien Realty Co.; president of the Davenport Hotel 
Co.; secretary and treasurer of the Magnus Brewing Co., 
of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; vice president of Schick's Express 
& Transfer Co.; and president of the Guaranty Life 
Insurance Co. 

Mr. Stefien was united in marriage to Julia Tritchler 
in July, 1896, and they have three children: Mathias, 
August and Phillip. 

Lewis J. Yaggy 

Lewis J. Yaggy was bom on a farm in Will county, 
Illinois, December 18, 1868. His parents moved to 
Iowa when he was three years of age, and his education 
was obtained in the common schools of this state. In 
1888 he entered the law and abstract office of Freeman & 
Armstrong at Audubon, Iowa. He came to Davenport 
in 1894 to take the position of general bookkeeper in the 
First National Bank. Since that time he has been 
steadily promoted, in 1903 assistant cashier, and finally, 
on July II, 1906, cashier. He was elected a director of 
the institution in 19 11. 

Mr. Yaggy is a director of the Masonic Temple Asso- 
ciation and of the Davenport Y. M. C. A. He is an active 
member of the Sons of Veterans and of the various Masonic 
bodies. He was married in 1893 to Miss Adelaide 
Leonard, and to them have been bom three children, 
Raymond A., Thelma and Maurine. 





Albert P. Dawson 

George W. Cable, Jr. 
Albert F. Dawson 
John W. Gilchrist 
Joe R. Lane 
Wilson McClelland 
John L. Mason 

Vice President 
Joe R. Lane 


Lewis J. Yaggy 

Assistant Cashiers 

Will J. Housman 

C. F. Schmidt 
General Bookkeeper 
William J. Stolle 


Frank W. Mueller 
J. Morgan Reimers 
Morris N. Richardson 
Carl Richter 
August E. Steffen 
Lewis J. Yaggy 



Austin Corbin, 1863-1865. 
George H. French, 1865-1867. 
Ira M. Gifford, 1867-1873. 
Hiram Price, 1873-1874. 
James Thompson, 1874-1876, 1882-1895. 
Charles E. Putnam, 1876. 
Tristam T. Dow, 1876-1882. 
Anthony Burdick, 1895-1911. 
Albert F. Dawson, 191 i- 

Vice Presidents 
Royal E. Mack, i 863-1 866. 
J. E. Stevenson, 1866-1871, 1883-1889. 
James Thompson, 1871-1874. 
Lorenzo Schricker, 1874-1883. 
Anthony Burdick, 1889-1895. 
John L. Dow, i 895-1 899. 
Christian Mueller, 1899-1901. 
Joe R. Lane, 1901- 

Second Vice President 
John P. Van Patten, 1903-1911. 

Ira M. Gifford, 1863-1867. 
Hugo Schmidt, i 867-1 870. 
David C. Porter, 1870-1873, 1874-1876. 
William H. Price, 1873. 
Lloyd G. Gage, 1876-1879. 


John B. Pidlar, 1879-1895. 
Charles A. Mast, 1895-1904. 
George Hoehn, 1904-1906. 
Lewis J. Yaggy, 1906- 

Assistant Cashiers 
Hugo Schmidt, i 863-1 867. 
David C. Porter, 1867-1870. 
E. S. Carl, 1870-1875. 
Lours A. LeClaire, 1876. 
Charles F. Meyer, 1876-1884. 
George Hoehn, 1884-1904. 
Lewis J. Yaggy, 1903-1906. 
Will J. Housman, 1906- 
Clarence F. Schmidt, 1913- 







*austin corbin, i863-i865. 

*Thomas Scott, 1863-1879. 

*James Armstrong, i 863-1 874. 

*Frank H. Griggs, i 863-1 864. 

*George H. French, 1863-1867, 1873-1874. 

*JoHN Schmidt, 1863-1879. 

*J. E. Stevenson, 1863-1871, 1874-1889. 

*Ro¥AL L. Mack, 1863-1866. 

♦George S. C. Dow, 1863-1864. 

John J. Burtis, 1864-1866. 

Hans R. Claussen, 1864-1870. 

John L. Davies, 1866-1867. 

James Thompson, 1866-1895. 

August Steffen, 1866-1899. 

William H. Decker, 1867-1870. 

Ira M. Gifford, 1867-1873. 

Edwin Smith, 1870-1874. 

August Warnebold, 1870-1874. 

James Grant, 1871-1874. 

Hiram Price, 1873-1874. 

David C. Porter, 1873-1874. 

Michael Donahue, 1874-1877. 

Lorenzo Schricker, 1874-1883. 

Otto Albrecht, 1874-1875. 

Tristam T. Dow, 1874-1882. 

L. C. Dessaint, 1874-1878, 1880-1886. 

Charles Whitaker, 1874-1881. 

Henry A. Runge, 1875-1877. 

Charles E. Putnam, 1876. 

Francis Ochs, 1877-1880. 


Walker Adams, 1877-1887. 

Henry W. Kerker, 1878-1901. 

Hugh Carnahan, i 879-1 880. 

Henry Kohrs, i 879-1 888. 

Anthony Burdick, 1880-1911. 

Nathanael French, 1881-1885, 1887-1892. 

Stephen F. Oilman, i 883-1902. 

Christian Mueller, 1883-1901. 

G. Watson French, i 885-1 887. 

George W. Cable, i 886-1 907. 

George M. Schmidt, 1888-1892. 

John P. Van Patten, 1888-1911. 

tJoE R. Lane, 1889- 

JOHN L. Dow, 1892-1899. 

fMoRRis N. Richardson, 1892- 

Adoniram J. Smith, 1895-1898. 

John Hoyt, 1898-1904. 

fAuGUST E. Steffen, 1899- 

AuGUST Reimers, 1 899-1908. 

fFRANK W. Mueller, 1901- 

fWiLSON McClelland 1901- 

JoHN P. Dow, 1902-1911. 

tJoHN L. Mason, 1905- 

fGEORGE W. Cable, Jr., 1907- 

tJ. Morgan Reimers, 1909- 

tJoHN W. Gilchrist, 191 i- 

tALBERT F. Dawson, 191 i- 

tLEWis J. Yaggy, 191 1- 


*Member of first board of directors. 
tMember of present board of directors. 




Loans and 





Sept. 30, 1863. . . 

. . $ 201,018.18 

$ 56,548.10 

$ 243,596.24 

Jan. I, 





Oct. 3, 





Oct. I, 





Oct. 7, 





Oct. 5, 





Oct. 9, 





Oct. 8, 





Oct. 2, 





Oct. 3, 





Sept. 12, 1873... 



646,427 . 88 

Oct. 2, 





Oct. I, 




632,737 -86 

Oct. 2, 





Oct. I, 





Oct. I, 





Oct. 2, 




487.033 05 

Oct. I, 





Oct. I, 





Oct. 3, 





Oct. 5, 





Sept. 30, 1884 




Oct. I, 





Oct. 7, 





Oct. 5, 


489,282 . 30 



Oct. 4, 





Sept. 30, 1889. . . 




Oct. 2, 





Sept. 2 

5, 1891... 






Sept. 30, 1892 $ 722,513 .11 

Oct. 3, 1893 422,313.32 

Oct. 2, 1894 529,891 .80 

Sept. 28, 1895 455,804.44 

Oct. 6, 1896 409,830.60 

Oct. 5, 1897 645,725 . 18 

Sept. 20, 1898 576,204.38 

Sept. 7, 1899 674,731 . 10 

Sept. 5, 1900 766,402 . 12 

Sept. 30, 1901 919,346.32 

Sept. 15, 1902 983,669.87 

Sept. 9, 1903 1,091,612.89 

Sept. 6, 1904 853,272.27 

Nov. 9, 1905 954,639. 12 

Sept. 4, 1906 919,036.20 

May 20, 1907 1,109,233.04 

Sept. 23, 1908 1,145,362 .25 

Nov. 16, 1909 1,182,193.09 

Mar. 29, 1910 1,3351663.27 

Mar. 7,1911 1,595.339-47 

April 18, 1912 2,191,715.76 

April 4, 1913 2,408,459 . 16 

Loans and 



672,041 • 77 



Jl, 061, 879. 29 




















1,538,145-63 2,825,590.75 
1,793,876.37 3,045,599-24 



FROM 1863 TO 1913 

September 30, 1863 

Loans and discounts $ 56,548.10 

United States bonds 66,350.00 

Due from banks 45,800.97 

Checks on U. S. depositary 22,350.48 

Cash on hand 51,384.03 

Expense account 1,162.66 



Capital stock paid up $ 40,000.00 

Undivided profits 2,578.06 

Deposits 201,018.18 

December 30, 1863 


Loans and discounts $ 69,100.55 

United States bonds 108,560.00 

Furniture and fixtures 415-34 

Due from banks 55,247.82 

Cash on hand 154,485.46 



Capital stock paid in $ 55,210.00 

Undivided profits 3,525.06 

Due United States Treasurer 35,005.33 

Deposits 294,250.62 


October 8, 1870 


Loans and discounts |>32i,oi3.62 

United States bonds 129,100.00 

Other bonds 9,708.16 

Banking house 10,000.00 

Due from banks 67,173.00 

Cash on hand 73.i59-i9 



Capital stock Jioo,ooo.oo 

Surplus 75,000.00 

Undivided profits 13,814.66 

Circulation notes 90,000.00 

Bills payable 20,000.00 

Deposits 311.339-31 

October i, 1875 


Loans and discounts. $352,063.83 

United States bonds 100,000.00 

Other bonds 9,645,88 

Banking house and real estate 41,028.30 

Due from banks 51.554- 13 

Cash on hand 78,445.72 



Capital stock $100,000.00 

Surplus 75,000.00 

Undivided profits 17,846.91 

Circulation notes 90,000.00 

Deposits 349.890.95 



October i, 1881 


Loans and discounts $530,194.73 

United States bonds 50,000.00 

Banking house 20,000.00 

Due from banks 46,698.90 

Cash on hand 73,668.53 



Capital stock |ioo,ooo.oo 

Surplus 50,000.00 

Undivided profits 46,623.68 

Circulation notes 45,000.00 

Deposits 478,938.48 


May 6, 1885 


Loans and discounts $516,677.19 

United States bonds 50,000.00 

Banking house 20,000.00 

Due from banks 171,729.07 

Cash on hand 101,670.82 



Capital stock $100,000.00 

Surplus 50,000.00 

Undivided profits 70,552.84 

Circulation notes 45,000.00 

Deposits 594,524.24 


October 2, 1890 


Loans and discounts $715,660.71 

United States bonds 25,000.00 

Banking house 20,000.00 

Due from banks 92,617.70 

Cash on hand 98,859.01 



Capital stock $100,000.00 

Surplus 50,000.00 

Undivided profits 81,610.11 

Circulation notes 22,500.00 

Bills rediscounted 57,775-68 

Deposits 640,251.63 

$952, 137-42 

October 5, 1897 


Loans and discounts $563,688.37 

United States bonds 54,000.00 

Other bonds 31O77.97 

Banking house and real estate 53,200.00 

Due from banks 218,215.56 

Cash on hand 71,416.57 



Capital stock $200,000.00 

Surplus 50,000.00 

Undivided profits 22,873.29 

Circulation notes 45,000.00 

Deposits 645,725.18 


September 5, 1900 


Loans and discovmts 

United States bonds 

Banking house and real estate 

Due from banks 

Cash on hand 

$ 515.158.58 







Capital stock 


Undivided profits 

Circulation notes 


$ 200,000 . 00 

50,000 . 00 


50,000 . 00 

766,402 . 12 


November 9, 1905 


Loans and discounts 

United States bonds 

Other bonds 

Banking house and real estate 

Due from banks 

Cash on hand 

I 744.956.94 








Capital stock 


Undivided profits 

Circulation notes 



$ 200,000 . 00 






March 29, 1910 


Loans and discounts $ 934,685 . 54 

United States bonds 260,000.00 

Other bonds 101,900.00 

Banking house and real estate 81,840.90 

Due from banks 544,035 .26 

Cash on hand 92,909 . 97 



Capital stock $ 200,000 . 00 

Surplus 100,000.00 

Undivided profits 1 12,508 . 40 

Circulation notes 197,200.00 

Bills payable 70,000 . 00 

Deposits 1,335.663.27 

April 4, 1913 


Loans and discounts $1,793,876.37 

United States bonds 260,000.00 

Other bonds 94.495 • 89 

Banking house and real estate 94,226 . 81 

Due from banks 688,534 ■ 60 

Cash on hand. 114,465.57 



Capital stock $ 200,000.00 

Surplus 200,000 . 00 

Undivided profits 40,290.08 

Circulation notes 196,850.00 

Deposits 2,408,459. 16 




Adams, Walker, biography, 79-81; Director, 46; death, 52. 

Albrecht, Otto, biography, 81; Director, 45. 

Armstrong, James, biography; 135-136; first Board of Directors, 

33; reelected, 38; first Attorney, 34. 
Bank of Florence, notes used in Davenport, 19; depreciation of 

notes, 20. 
Bank of U. S., control of banking situation to 1836, 9. 
Building of First National Bank, piurchase of Marble Bank Building, 

41; Weather Bureau housed, 43; damaged by fire, 47; plans 

for new building, 62; the New Bank Building, 72-75. 
Burdick, Anthony, biography, 82-84; Director, 47; Vice President, 

52; President, 53; resigned, 64; Chairman of Board, 65; death, 

Burrows and Prettyman, early merchants, 17-18; issued own notes, 

19; payment suspended by banks, 21. 
Burtis, John J., biography, 84-85; Director, 38. 
Cable, George W., biography, 85-86; Director, 51; resigned, 61; 

death, 67-68. 
Cable, George W., Jr., biography, 146; Director, 61. 
Camp McClellan, 40. 

Capital Stock of First National Bank, original, 31; increase, 52. 
Carl, Ernest S., biography, 86-87; Assistant Cashier, 42; resigned, 

45; death, 57. 
Camahan, Hugh, biography, 88. 
Charter, Secured, 31; new charter, 48; original charter number 

restored, 66. 
Chicago and Rock Island Railroad, Davenport subscription, 19. 
Chubb Bros., Barrows & Co., bankers, 23. 
Civil War, Currency conditions, 40. 
Clark & Brothers, drafts used in Davenport, 17. 
Claussen, Hans R., biography, 88-90; retired, 42. 


Cook & Sargent, first bankers in Davenport, i6; growth, i8; issued 
own notes, 19; threatened by mob, 22; notes redeemed, 23. 

Corbin, Austin; biography, 90-94; helped organize First National 
Bank, 33; on first Board of Directors, 33; President, 34; 
re-elected, 38; moved to New York, 42; death, 55-56. 

Corbin & Dow, 24. 

Counterfeit Detectors, 13. 

Davenport, early banking, 16-24; growth from 1836-47, 16; early 
transportation, 17; first bridge across Mississippi River, 19; 
population in 1854, 19; aid to railroads, 19; panic of 1857, 
20-2 1 ; financial importance in 1 864, 39 ; subscribed to govern- 
ment bonds, 39; Weather Bureau established, 43; present 
condition and outlook for future, 69-71. 

Davenport Clearing House Association, 54. 

Davenport Safety Deposit Company, 61. 

Davenport Savings Bank, organized, 39; forced to move, 61. 

Davies, John L., biography, 94-95; Director, 42; resigned, 42. 

Dawson, Albert F., biography, 146-147; Director, 64; President, 65. 

Decker, William H., biography, 95-96; Director, 42; retired, 42. 

Deposits of First National Bank, on opening day, 35; annual 
statements, 166-171. 

Dessaint, Louis C, biography, 96-97; Director, 45; retired, 51. 

Detectors, counterfeit, 13. 

Dillon, John F., biography, 136-137. 

Directors of the First National Bank, original board, 33; first 
annual election, 38; membership increased, 43; increased 
again, 64; list of directors, 162-163. 

Donahue, Michael, biography, 97-98; Director, 45-46. 

Dow, George S. C, biography, 99; on first Board of Directors, 33; 
re-elected, 38. 

Dow, John F., biography, 137-138; Director, 59; retired, 64. 

Dow, John L., biography, 99-100; Director, 53; death, 55. 

Dow, T. T., biography, 100-102; Director, 45; President, 46; death, 

Fidlar, John B., biography, 102-103; Cashier, 46; resigned, 54. 
Fire of 1880, 47. 

First National Bank, Capital Stock of, original, 31; increase, 52. 
Florence Notes, repudiated by Davenport business men, 21-22; 

redeemed, 23. 


French, George H., biography, 103-105; presided first meeting of 

stockholders, 32; on first Board of Directors, 33; re-elected, 38; 

President, 42; retired, 42. 
French, G. Watson, biography, 138-139; Director, 51; retired, 51. 
French, Nathanael, biography, 139-140; Director, 47; resigned, 51; 

re-elected, 52; resigned, 53. 
Gage, Lloyd G., biography, 105-106; Cashier, 46; resigned, 46. 
Gifford, Ira M., biography, 106-107; first Cashier, 34; President, 42; 

retired, 43. 
Gilchrist, John W., biography, 148; Director, 64. 
Gilman, Stephen F.^ biography, 140-141; Director, 50; resigned, 57. 
Grant, Judge James, biography, 108-110; presided at currency 

meeting, 22; redeemed Florence notes, 23; Director, 43. 
Griggs, Francis H., biography, 141-142; on first Board of Directors, 

33 ; secretary at first meeting, 34. 
Hill, Allen & Co., bankers, 23. 
Hoehn, George, biography, no; Assistant Cashier, 51; Cashier, 60; 

death, 60. 
Housman, Will J., biography, 148-149; Assistant Cashier, 61. 
Hoyt, John, biography, iio-iii; Director, 55; death, 60. 
Hes, Dr. T. J., presided at meeting of stockholders, 33. 
Iowa State Bank, attitude towards, 11; Merchants' Branch, 23; 

notes discounted, 40. 
Jay Cooke & Co., failure, 44. 

Kerker, Henry W., biography, 112; Director, 47; resigned, 57. 
Kohrs, Henry, biography, 142-143; Director, 47; retired, 52. 
Lane, Joe R., biography, 149-150; Director, 52; Vice President, 57. 
Le Claire, Louis A., Sr., biography, 143-144. 
Loans and Discounts, annual statements, 164-165. 
Mack, Royal L., biography, 112-113; on first Board of Directors, 33; 

first Vice President, 34; re-elected, 38; resigned, 42. 
McClelland, Wilson, biography, 150-151; Director, 57. 
McCulloch, Hugh, First Comptroller of the Currency, 27; prepared 

articles of association for First National Bank, 32. 
McGregor, Lawes and Blakemore, bankers, 23. 
Macklot & Corbin, second bank in Davenport, 17; refused Illinois 

currency, 24; Corbin retired, 24. 
Mason, John L., biography, 1 51-152; Director, 60. 
Mast, Charles A., biography, 144-145; Cashier, 54; manager clearing 

house, 54; resigned, 60. 


Meyer, Chas. F., biography, 113; Assistant Cashier, 50; resigned, 50. 

Mississippi & Missouri Railroad, Davenport subscription, 19. 

Mueller, Christian, biography, 113-115; Director, 50; Vice Presi- 
dent, 55; death, 57. 

Mueller, Frank W., biography, 152; Director, 57. 

National Bank Act, first bank to operate under, 3; first banks 
chartered, 4; Chase's plan, 25-26; bill in Congress, 26; enacted 
as law, 27; advantages, 27-30; provisions of Act, 28-29. 

Nickels, Campbell & Co., bankers, 23. 

Notes of First National Bank, first issued, 38; increased to $200,- 
000, 57. 

Ochs, Francis, biography, 115-116; Director, 46. 

Officers of First National Bank, present, 159; complete list, 160-161. 

Panics, panic of 1857, 19-20; of 1873, 44-45. 

Porter, David C, Cashier, 42 ; Director, 43 ; re-elected Cashier, 45 ; 
resigned, 46. 

Postal Savings Depository, 63. 

Price, Hiram, biography, 116-117; President, 43; resigned, 45. 

Price, W. H., Cashier, 44; retired, 45. 

Putnam, Charles E., biography, 11 7-1 18; Director, 46; President, 46; 
resigned, 46. 

Reimers, August, biography, 118-120; Director, 55; death, 62. 

Reimers, J. Morgan, biography, 152; Director, 62. 

Resources of First National Bank, annual statements, 164-165. 

Richardson, Morris N., biography, 153; Director, 53. 

Richter, Carl, biography, 153-154; Director, 68. 

Runge, Henry A., biography, 120-121; Director, 45; retired, 46. 

Safety Deposit Vaults, in new bank building, 75. 

Savings Department, established, 62. 

Schmidt, Clarence F., biography, 1 54 ; Teller, 68 ; Assistant Cashier,68. 

Schmidt, George M., Director, 52; retired, 53. 

Schmidt, Hugo, biography, 121-122; first Assistant Cashier and 
Teller, 34; Cashier, 42; resigned, 42. 

Schmidt, John, biography, 122-123; on first Board of Directors, 33; 
re-elected, 38; resigned, 47. 

Schric^er, Lorenzo, biography, 123-125; Director, 45; Vice Presi- 
dent, 45, 50; death, 50. 

Scott, Thomas, biography, 125-126; on first Board of Directors, 33; 
cha#man at first meeting, 34; re-elected Director, 38. 


Smith, Adoniram J., biography, 126-127; Director, 53; death, 55. 

Smith, Edwin, biography, 127; Director, 42. 

State Banks, growth after 1836, 9; speculative period, 9-15; Mass., 

10; R. I., 10; N. Y., 10; Ind., lO-ll; la., 11; Ohio, 11; 

opinions on wild cat banks, 12-14. 
State Bank of Iowa, Merchants' Branch, 23; notes discounted, 40. 
Statements of First National Bank, first quarter, 36 ; second quarter, 

37; various, 166-17 1. 
Steffen, August, biography, 127-129; Director, 42; death, 55. 
Steffen, August E., Jr., biography, 154-155; Director, 56. 
Stevenson, Dr. J. E., biography, 129-130; on first Board of Directors, 

33; re-elected, 38; Vice President, 42; retired, 43; re-elected 

Vice President, 50; resigned, 52. 
Stockholders of First National Bank, first meeting, 32 ; original list, 

31-32; list of stockholders of reorganized bank (1882), 49. 
Suffolk Bank System, 10. 
Surplus, First National Bank, transfer to profit and loss account, 46 ; 

condition in 1882, 48; increase to $100,000, 60; increase to 

$200,000, 63. 
TaUman, Powers and McLean, bankers, 23. 
Temple & Burrows, architects of new bank building, 72. 
Ten-forty Bonds, subscribed in Davenport, 40. 
Thompson, James, biography, 130-131; Director, 42; President, 

45-46, 47; death, 53. 
True, David S., first president Davenport Savings Institution, 39. 
Van Patten, John P., biography, 131-132; Director, 52; second Vice 

President, 60; death, 66. 
Velie, L. S., president currency meeting, 21. 
Virgien, August, first bookkeeper, 34. 
Wamebold, August, biography, 132-133; Director, 42. 
Watson, Oramel H., secretary meetings of stockholders, 32-33. 
Weather Bureau, established, 43. 

Whitaker, Charles, biography, 133-134; Director, 45; retired, 47. 
Wildcat banking, 11-15. 

Yaggy, Lewis J., biography, 155; Cashier, 61; Director, 66. 
Yarberg & Barrows, early bankers, 19.