Davenport Daily Times
Davenport Daily Times
Contributed by Cathy_Labath

Description: Foundations of Scott County

Date: November 10 1900

Newspaper published in: Davenport

Foundations of Scott County.
Old Rockingham.
Its Bustling Days and Noted Pioneers
Some of Them Still Survive While Others Have Traveled the Path Over Which None Return,
Leaving a Monument of Worthy Deeds.
By. F.J.B. Huot


Adrian H. Davenport
Another of the prominent men in the history of Scott county during the first twenty years of its existence, and particularly of Rockingham, of which he was the earliest promoter, was Adrian H. Davenport, who was born in Shawneetown, Illinois, March 14th, 1812, the son of Marmaduke S. Davenport. His father was appointed Indian Agent on Rock Island in 1832 and it was then that the family came to the Island to live. Adrian H. was married at Fort Armstrong in 1833 to Miss Harriet Lane, and he survived her loss less than a year, she dying in June 1880.

Was Second Sheriff in Scott County
Four years after taking out his claim at Rockingham and two years after the platting of the city, Captain A.H. Davenport was appointed the second sheriff of Scott county, Iowa, by Governor Lucas to succeed Major Frazer Wilson who was the first sheriff of the county appointed by Governor Dodge under the territorial government of Wisconsin. Captain Davenport served under this appointment until 1839 when the office of sheriff was made elective by a change in the organic law of the territory and the establishment of the county seat at Davenport. He was then elected and re-elected every two years until 1846 when under the law he could serve no longer. His portrait now hangs in the Scott county court chamber. The captain then retired to private life and one year later, 1847, he moved from Rockingham to LeClaire where he became largely interested in the latter town. After his departure Rockingham gradually became deserted, until today the casual passerby can scarcely realize that once blossomed the old-time boastful and dangerous rival of Davenport which, had she secured the county seat, might have been today the flourishing metropolis while these paved streets would have exchanged with her for her mud, her sands and her rock-ribbed shores.

Old John Friday
The oldest settler in Rockingham township, exclusive of the Davenports, was Charles Jacob Friday, a native of Wurtenburg, Germany, who was the first German to settle on these Scott county acres. Mr. Friday was born in 1788 and came to America in 1832, arriving in Davenport on April 15th of that year. He died in Scott county upon his original claim. When this pioneer came to Iowa, and took out a claim on the edge of the prairie, bordering the bluffs overlooking Rockingham, he brought with him his son, John M., who was born in Wurtenburg, Germany, May 18th, 1819. Young Friday received a meagre education in the Fatherland, being only thirteen years of age when his parents reached Davenport.

The First White Child
At the time of their advent cabins were scarce and the families were obliged to live in their wagons. On May 18th, 1832, one month after their arrival, the wail of a baby girl startled the birds with its unusual sound. The infant was christened Caroline and was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Jacob Friday, the rival of Mrs. Fridley and David L. Clark for the honor of being the first white child born in Scott county. Caroline Friday (now Mrs. George Winton) was born in a wagon not far from the present siteof the Friday farm-house in Rockingham township. Her brother John M. Friday broke the first prairie in the township and fenced in the first ten acres, planting the same in corn in June 1836. He also planted the first apple trees in Scott county during the same year, and raised the first crop of fall wheat. He also claims to have helped get out the first timbers sawed at the mill in Rockingham which was the only one between St. Louis and Dubuque on the Mississippi river.

John M. Friday
John M. Friday married Miss Elizabeth Forgey on May 6th, 1847. This union was blessed with eight children, Caroline, born March 13th, 1848; Nancy, April 8th, 1850; Anna D., August 22d, 1852; Sarah E., December 26th, 1854; Minerva, June 2d, 1856; Mary L, October 16th, 1859 and John M. July 19th, 1862. Mr. Friday came to Scott county a poor boy thirteen years of age, sixty-four years ago, and was one of the heaviest tax payers in Rockingham township. He owned at the time of his death two years ago, 243 acres of land in that township, 408 acres or thereabouts in Blue Grass, and 120 acres in Davenport townships, making considerably over a section in all. He has held several important county offices and was classed with the wealthy and influential men of the county. he was full of reminiscences and was a member of the Old Settlers' Association. He resided on the old farmstead until his death at the age of seventy-nine years, on his farm west of the city, where, in retired life he looked with satisfaction upon the result of his labors, expended towards the improvement of his county and the bringing of it to its present prosperous condition. As a companion Mr. Friday was genial and sociable, while as a friend there were none truer to his fellows than he. His name, his methods and his advice were things to conjure by in his township. He died full of years in 1898.

Submitted: 05/27/05

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