Illinois Genealogy Trails

Rock Island County Pioneers

- George Davenport -

Col. George Davenport's Home
Col. George Davenport's Home


George Davenport was murdered in his home on present-day Arsenal Island on July 4, 1845 by three men who were later hanged for their deed. His family was at a 4th of July picnic celebration at the time, and he was alone at the house.

The timbers from the scaffold were later used as rafters in a barn located at 4th Avenue and 14th Street.
The barn is no longer there.




The following men were listed in the Illinois Death by Execution records in Rock Island County:





Bailey Davenport, son of Col. Davenport
-Bailey Davenport-
one of George Davenport's sons

The following information is from researcher Sally BeDuhn who is a direct descendent of Margaret Davenport's brother, ??? Bowling. Sally currently lives in Rock Island. She has supplied the following notes about the Davenport family from her family's research. Notes were compiled by Lucille Sampson of the Rock Island County Historical Society in 1978.

Margaret Davenport was George's wife and first white settler in the Quad City area.

The probate record also lists a number of people to whom George bequeathed money or property.

Darlene Ward Paxton, a certified genealogist, did some research on the Davenport family and sent this letter to
Mrs. Alton K. Fisher on April 16, 1976.


Davenport Family Notes
submitted by Sally BeDuhn

The Davenport family is buried in Chippiannock Cemetery

Margaret, wife of George Davenport, b Mar 1769 King George Co. Va. d 23 Aug 1847.

Legal Documents--Revocation of Power of Attorney Mary L. Davenport to M. B. Young (14 May 1895)

Mrs. Susan B. Goldsmith b 10 February 1801 Erie, PA. settled Rock Island July 1816 d 5 Aug 1878.

Bailey Davenport sketch The Town Crier by George Wickstrom pp. 148-152.

Gen. T. J. Rodman succeded May. C. P. Kingsbury.

1837-1842 Col. Davenport had a large part in negotiation of treaties by which the Indians ceded their rights in Iowa lands to the U.S.

Accepted fact that Col. Davenport died in west room on 2nd floor due to blood stains. It was later used by Ellen Lloyd as her bedroom. Lloyd family moved to Rock Island after 1869. Souvenir hunters almost destroyed house. Gen. Rodman felt the Davenport House should be preserved as an historical monument to the early pioneers and suggested Mr. Lloyd and his family should live in some other house on the island. Lloyds, however, members of the Episcopal Church, wanted to move to R.I.

Misses Catherine and Naomi Davenport, grandaughters of the murdered colonel, provided funds for restoration under the direction of Phil Mitchell.

Ellen Lloyd married nov. 1865 Philip Lynch. They lived in Davenport house until house in Rock Island was ready.

Richard H. and Grace Anna Lloyd and daughter, Ellen. Richard H. Lloyd by direct appointment from Washington D.C. came to Rock Island Arsenal 1864-1869 to design and supervise the construction of buildings suitable for manufacturing war materials and for the housing of Army personnel. Major C. P. Kingsbury designated the Davenport house for use of Richard H. Lloyd family.

Used by Government from Oct. 1867 until September 1871. Abandoned by government 1871 and fell into disrepair. A Senator speaking in R.I. blasted the residents for neglecting structure. It was rewtored 1906 by Old Settler Association.

Blueprint of original building, prepared by a Dep't of Interior engineer in 1837 is in the National Archives. Part of uprights and cross section used in original house saved and utilized in 1906 restoration.

Newspaper articles--Future of Davenport House in Jeopardy. June 30 deadline for leasing.

Old Settlers Association of Rock Island County gave Davenport House back to Arsenal. Fails due to lack of funds.

4 July 1845 Col. Davenport murdered by bandits.

First meetings which the first railroad west of the Mississippi River sprang was held in the Davenport house. The city of Davenport was planned in Davenport house, also.

Last of Davenport family left in 1863 when Rock Island became headquarters for Arsenal Command.

Newspaper Article undated prob. Davenport paper "Romance and History Centers in Colonel Davenport Home at Rock Island Arsenal" (Picture showing dilapidated house).

"House recently restored" so paper ca 1906.

Councils with Indians--Black Hawk, Powesheik, Keokuk, and others.

In 1832 Abraham Lincoln, Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott and Jefferson Davis conferred here.

Gaudy red flowered wallpaper--R. I. Argus, Tues. Nov. 27, 1951 p. 14.

Legal Documents--Davenport Estate Lands, George

Zachary H. Goldsmith, deceased husband of Susan Goldsmith.

"Rock Island's Hermit Prince" by Jim Arpy Our Founding Fathers Series part 3 Sunday Times-Democrat, Sun., Nov 5, 1967 pp. 1 and 5D.

Hon. Mayor Bailey Davenport Biog. sketch Portrait and Biographical Album of Rock Island County pub. 1885 pp. 343-344. Pictures, also.

Legal Documents--Revocation of Power of Attorney from Mary L. Davenport to M. B. Young filed 14 May 1895. Names mentioned Joseph L. Davenport, husband of Mary L. Davenport, Bailey Davenport, W. C. Putnam, wit. James E. and Clara C. Bruce.

1819--First church service held by Rev. Peter Williams, a Methodist, delivered the sermon, etc.

1816--Col. Davenport sent here by U.S. Government to be post trader at the newly established military post of Fort Armstrong, etc.

Organizations involved in restoration project--Colonel Davenport House Association, Old Settlers Association of Rock Island County, Colonial Dames, D.A.R.

Col. George Davenport House history, copy of map showing arsenal island by T.W. Walker and C. W. Stephens.

Murdered July 4, 1845.

"The Banditti of the Prairies" by Edward Bonney.

Davenport family sold all rights to the house and land for $40,740 when the Government established the Arsenal during Civil War.

Direct descendents still living in 1958. Miss Mayme Davenport and Mrs. Vincent O'Connor of Wichita, Kans.

Davenport House Ass'n formed 1921. greek Revival style of Federal Period architecture in Upper Mississippi Valley. Library of Congress has on file drawings and photographs of the house. Built in 1833. Large 2 story addition at rear used as a kitchen and servants quarters. It also had two wings--the west one used as trading post. Decorated in bright colors. The Indians were fond of bright colors. but no direct passage to house.

Letter Dec. 17, 1935 Col. A. G. gillespie, Rock Island Arsenal to John H. Hauberg re: repair of house.

The Argus, Sun., July 18, 1976 p. 10 "Blood All Gone"--Old Col. Davenport house on Arsenal being restored."

Moline Dispatch, Sat. Mar. 15, 1953 "125 year old Col. Davenport House 'Ill' of neglect--Old Settlers Ass'n issued revocable license by War Dep't Oct. 8, 1906.

Bailey Davenport b 15 Sept. 1823 Cincinnati, Ohio came to Rock Island County 1823 made his will 8 July 1856 all to mother. 10 July 1856 married but soon divorced. died 10 Jan. 1890 Influenza 66 yrs. Lands auctioned 1891. Will names older brother, George L.

George Davenport, wife, Margaret, b Mar. 1769 King George Co, Va. d 23 Aug. 1847 (This is Margaret's data, not George's, editor's note)

Mrs. Susan M. Goldsmith b 10 Feb. 1801 Erie, Pa. settled Rock Island July 1816 d 5 Aug. 1878.

"Need $12,000 for Repairs--Future of Davenport House in Jeopardy" prob. Argus, April 1960.

"That Col. Davenport Home Is Certainly Davenport's Baby", Morning Democrat, Fri., April 15, 1966 p. 12.

Davenport House owned by U.S. Gov't under license, issued by War Dep't, to Pioneers and Old Settlers Ass'n of Rock Island County.

"125 year old Col. Davenport House 'Ill' of Neglect" Moline Dispatch, Sat., Mar. 15, 1958 p. 8.

Quad-City Home Builders Ass'n. 1 Aug. 1960. Col. C.J. Williams, Rock Island Arsenal Commander, received authorization to proceed with the rehabilitation of the Col. George Davenport house, etc.

"Future is Dark--Suggest Quad-City-Wide Plan to Restore Davenport Home", no date prob. Argus 1960 ca April 15.

Notes collected by N. Lucille Sampson from files in Rock Island County Historical Library. 1978.



Probate Record of George Davenport

Davenport, George (p. 129) dated 25 Oct. 1844, probated 28 July 1845, proof of death, George Davenport died on or about 4 July 1845 (a note on the side says: For correct record of will of Geo. Davenport, see Book C, p. 39. After looking up this document, it appears to be the same as the one above except for different spellings of some of the names: "Catharine" for Cathrin, for example). (This note appears in the original.)

Son, George (Loste) Davenport, Bailey Davenport; mentions Margret Davenport and Susan Lewis, her daughter; notes that Susan Lewis is the mother of Bailey Davenport and George (Loste) Davenport, and that Margret Davenport is the grandmother of George (Loste) Davenport; mentions land in McDonough and Henderson Counties, Ill.; mentions Elizabeth Davenport, under 18 years of age and the daughter of Cathrine Fourt; Grandson, George Alonza Davenport; mentions land in town of Davenport, Scott County, Territory of Iowa; Grandson, Joseph Davenport. Grand-daughters, Naomi and Cathrin Davenport; gives land to Mrs. Juley Watts (no relationship given) bequeathes money to the support of An Gakey, Sen.; Wit. A.H. Miller, G.B.M. Kown, G.C.R. Mitchell.



Letter to Marcie Fisher
Davenport Family History and Genealogy

Dear Marcie:

I just returned from the East Coast, researching and spending time with No. 2 daughter and family.

Yes, when I first came to Davenport, I heard so many stories about Col. George Davenport, that I thought I would try to prove or disprove some of the savory ones. I only found the truth to be much blacker than the rumors. The story has been very popular with various organizations. Luckily there are no survivors of the two sons of the Col. Lida Greene would like me to do the story for the Annals, but I am not a writer. Of course, Zachariah Goldsmith appears and there is enough for a whole new story. I'll tell you briefly how it goes.

The Col. was born in 1783 in England as George King. He came to the U.S., entered service and married Margaret Bowling Lewis (sometimes spelled Louis), a widow, who was 17 years older than himself. She had two children William and Susan who was a child of 5 when they were married in 1805. In 1816, August 16 Margaret Davenport with her two children, came to Ft. Armstrong, where George was supplying the troops with food.

In 1817 George and his step-daughter, Susan, had their first child, George L'Oste and in 1823 they had another son Bailey. Margaret, Susan, George Sr. and the two boys all lived together on the Island.

The Col. was murdered on 4 July 1845 and his wife Margaret died 23 August 1847. They were both buried in a plot behind the "mansion" on the island and later interred in Chippiannock. (cemetery in Rock Island). Susan Lewis Goldsmith is buried beside her mother. (Instructions in her will)

The Rev. Z. Goldsmith preached the funeral sermon of the Col. and the text is in "Banditti of the Prairie." he was the first minister to hold regular Episcopal services in this area and the first service was Thursday 14 Oct. 1841. He divided his time between Rockingham and Davenport. He continued until 1849 when he was displaced from the ministry. He resigned 3 April 1849. On 19 June, 1849, Susan Lewis married for the first time the Rev. Zachariah Goldsmith. He died in the summer of 1854 from Delerium tremons but Susan had divorced him previously. It is such a sad story, Marcy, as he wasn't even buried by the church and I have a record of his 8 years of baptisms, marriages, etc.

I have not had time to do more research on this man and I only have abstracted the will but will pass on to you what I have and can get more if you wish. It seems that George Jr. was not fond of Goldsmith and kept bringing suit against him concerning property that Susan had deeded to him. When he died he still owned quite a bit of Davenport property.

I am sending the notes that I have and hope that you will find them useful. I would love to help if you should want to do more research on this man.

Oct. 21, 1841 we are happy to learn tht the Rev. Mr. Goldsmith, late of Prince George County, Virginia has been selected by Bishop Kemper of the Protestant Episcopal Church to preside over the parishners of Davenport and Rockingham and when convenient to visit our neighbors of Rock Island. As a friend to morals and good order, we hail his arrival amongst us with pleasure, and trust his labors may be abundantly blessed in this wild but beautiful region. We are requested to state that service will be held on the coming Sabbath at half past 2 p.m. in Taply's room nearly opposite the LeClaire House. --Davenport Gazette

Mrs. Susan M goldsmith died in Rock Island, on 8/5/1878 at the residence of her son, Bailey Davenport where she had lived for 20 years or more. She was born at Erie, Pa. in 1801 and was 77 years old at the time of her death.

Davenport Gazette: 20 March 1851 "The Gazette allows Goldsmith an advertisment at the usual rates and article relative to Goldsmith's Ecclesiastical trial which was recently held and was slanderously reported by the Banner." (Marcie, I tried to locate the article in the Banner but didn't find it, neither did I spend much time on it.)

Goldsmith's will: Children John Mason Goldsmith and Mary Mildred Goldsmith. Nephew, Zachariah H. Blakistone received the house on the corner of Maine and 7th for kindness to my 2 children. 2 girls in the house of Isaac Little received $15. A niece, Precilla B Blackstone. Should his children died before age 21 his nephew ZD, Blackistone P10 Milestown St. Mary's County Maryland.

Wm. Collins (brother in Sons of Temperance) August 2, 1854 and probated 4 day Sept. 1854. (letter incomplete)


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