Bailey Davenport



Bailey Davenport was born on September 15, 1823 in Cincinnati, Oh. He was brought to the county in the same year by his parents Col. George Davenport and Susan Lewis. Susan Lewis being   his father’s step -daughter He was a graduate of the West Point Academy then became a professor of Mathematics. Following that he became an assistant Postmaster General of the United States.


During the Blackhawk war he was inspired to be a horse trader. Since most of his life he was connected to gardening and farming and horse trading, in 1841 his father gave him 59 quarter sections of land in Adams, Hancock, McDonough, Fulton and Henderson counties and also at that time he became a real estate dealer.


His father owned large tracts of land in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri so Bailey became his father’s agent. His main job was the payment of taxes.


Upon his father’s murder he inherited a great amount of acres and after his father’s murder he purchased many more acres from Col. Davenport’s estate. At one point he owned over 2,200 acres in and around Rock Island County. Some of his interests included coal mines and quarries.


Bailey Davenport was one of the original organizers of the Merchants State Bank of Davenport. He was also the projector of the Rock Island and Milan Street Railway. He owned the most popular resort in the county named The Blackhawk Watch Tower advertised as a “tourist’s paradise”. In addition he had laid out   four additions in the city of Rock Island and three in the city of Moline. He also served as mayor of Rock Island for five terms during the Civil War.


Even though Bailey Davenport was a very wealthy man. He was known as very friendly and very accessible. People were often warmly received at his large estate, even strangers.There were some accounts saying he was always suspicious of people.


Bailey Davenport passed away at his home in Davenport , Iowa on January 10, 1890. Since he never married or had any children. His heirs were the children of his late brother George L. Davenport. They were Naomi I, Henry C., Joseph L., Catherine and Ebeneezer C.


He is buried in the Davenport family plot at Chippiannock cemetery in Rock Island.


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