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FUND GIVEN IN 1891 BY
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The history of the first national ttank I
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THE FIRST PRESIDENT
®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
RAND McNALLY & COMPANY
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
PART II— BIOGRAPHICAL
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
PART III— APPENDICES
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
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
THE OLD BUILDING
THE MARBLt BANK'*
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.
GEORGE H. FRENCH
THE SECOND PRESIDENT
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
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-
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.
French & Davies
GifEord, Ira M.
Griggs, P. H.
Haight, J. H.
HaU, Philo E.
Harding, Peter B.
Harrison, Isaac W.
Hubbell, Sydney A.
lies, Thomas J.
KeUey, Asa P.
Kuehl, D. H.
Mack, Royal L.
Mast, August P.
Meisner, Johannes H.
Miller, John P.
Morrison, John D.
Parker, Wallace W.
Peek, John M.
Peterson, L. W.
Powers, Adeline H.
Shaw, D. B.
Stevenson & Carnahan
Tiffany, A. S.
Tilebein, E. A.
True, David S.
Watson, Oramel H.
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,
IRA M. GIFFORD
THE THrRD PRESIDENT
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
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
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.
Loans and discounts $ 69,100. 55
United States bonds 108,560 . 00
Furniture and fixtures 415.34
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
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
Undivided profits 15,044.18
Circulation notes 90,000.00
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
Undivided profits 23,256.40
Circulation notes 90,000.00
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 FOURTH PRESIDENT
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:
Campbell, J. D.
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, Mrs. Mary
French, Mrs. F. W.
French, George H.
Oilman, S. F.
Oilman, Mrs. S. A.
Oreen, Mrs. E.
Hancock, F. H.
Henry, J. Howard
Jockheck, E. F.
Knanpe, C. F.
Kerker, H. W.
Krum, Mrs. S. L.
Lane, James T.
Lee, Mrs. L. M.
McClelland, T. W.
Meyer, Chas. F.
Stevenson, J. E.
Watkins, C. S.
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
Undivided profits 70,552.84
Circulation notes 45,000.00
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
Undivided profits 60,934.12
Circulation notes 45,000.00
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
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
"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
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
Undivided profits 26,484.18
Circulation notes 45,000.00
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
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
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
Undivided profits 37,566 . 00
Circulation notes 200,000 . 00
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.
In accepting this resignation, the board conveyed to
Mr. Burdick their sincere thanks for the efficient manner
THE FIFTH PRESIDENT
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
Undivided profits 17,640.27
Circulation notes 197,400.00
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
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
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
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
THE NEW BUILDING
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
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,
PRESENT BOARD OF DIRECTORS
J MOfiGAN REIMERS
[. CARL RICHTER
PRESENT BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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 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 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 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
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
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
CHARLES E. PUTNAM
THE SIXTH PRESIDENT
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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 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 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,
TRISTAM T. DOW
THE SEVENTH PRESIDENT
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 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
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 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
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 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
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
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
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 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 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.
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
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
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
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
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 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 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,
THE EIGHTH PRESIDENT
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 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 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 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-
Biographies of Persons Still Living, At One Time
Associated With The Bank, But Whose Connection
With The Institution Has Been Severed
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
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, 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 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
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
ALBERT F. DAWSON
THE NINTH PRESIDENT
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
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, 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
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
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 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
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.
OFFICERS OF THE FIRST NATIONAL
BANK OF DAVENPORT
Albert P. Dawson
George W. Cable, Jr.
Albert F. Dawson
John W. Gilchrist
Joe R. Lane
John L. Mason
Joe R. Lane
Lewis J. Yaggy
Will J. Housman
C. F. Schmidt
William J. Stolle
Frank W. Mueller
J. Morgan Reimers
Morris N. Richardson
August E. Steffen
Lewis J. Yaggy
LIST OF OFFICERS OF THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK
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-
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-
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-
LIST OF MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
OF THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF DAVENPORT
FROM ITS ESTABLISHMENT IN 1863 TO 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-
tCARL RiCHTER, I9II-
*Member of first board of directors.
tMember of present board of directors.
TABLE SHOWING DEPOSITS, LOANS AND DISCOUNTS,
AND TOTAL RESOURCES, FROM 1863 TO 1913
Sept. 30, 1863. . .
. . $ 201,018.18
Sept. 12, 1873...
646,427 . 88
Sept. 30, 1884
489,282 . 30
Sept. 30, 1889. . .
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
672,041 • 77
Jl, 061, 879. 29
STATEMENTS OF CONDITION AT DIFFERENT PERIODS
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
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
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
Undivided profits 13,814.66
Circulation notes 90,000.00
Bills payable 20,000.00
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
Undivided profits 17,846.91
Circulation notes 90,000.00
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
Undivided profits 46,623.68
Circulation notes 45,000.00
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
Undivided profits 70,552.84
Circulation notes 45,000.00
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
Undivided profits 81,610.11
Circulation notes 22,500.00
Bills rediscounted 57,775-68
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
Undivided profits 22,873.29
Circulation notes 45,000.00
September 5, 1900
Loans and discovmts
United States bonds
Banking house and real estate
Due from banks
Cash on hand
$ 200,000 . 00
50,000 . 00
50,000 . 00
766,402 . 12
November 9, 1905
Loans and discounts
United States bonds
Banking house and real estate
Due from banks
Cash on hand
$ 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
Undivided profits 1 12,508 . 40
Circulation notes 197,200.00
Bills payable 70,000 . 00
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
FIRST NATIONAL BANK HISTORY
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
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;
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
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
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;
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;
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;
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;
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,-
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 ;
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;
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
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.