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National History Day: Categories

Suggested topics based on available primary sources

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Black Hawk and the Black Hawk War

Black Hawk’s Autobiography

Black Hawk War, 1831-1832; V.II, letter & papers (

Hunting a shadow, the search for Black Hawk; an eye-witness account 973.56 Hun (not in SC)

Lincoln and the Blackhawk War (SC973.56)

Keokuk City Directory for 1856-57 containing a general directory of the citizens, with statistical and other useful local information; also a sketch of the Black Hawk war and history of the half breed tract (SC Fiche 977.799 Cle)


Civil War

U.S. Army Veteran Reserve Corps (Invalid Corps)

 – Company Descriptive Book Veteran Reserve Corps 4th Regiment. Company K. (SC355.37 Com)

     Camp Roberts/Camp Kinsman (grounds of Annie Witt)


Dakota War/Sioux Uprising in Minnesota-Camp McClellan/Camp Kearney

                Outbreak and massacre by the Dakota Indians in Minnesota


Rock Island Arsenal Confederate Prison Camp

               Rock Island arsenal: in peace and in war. With maps and illus. Tillinghast, Benjamin Franklin. (SC 353.6 Til)

               War of the Rebellion series

               Diary of Lafayette Rogan-POW at Rock Island Prison Barracks (SC973.782 Rog)

               Prisons and Prisoners:  A Study of Illinois Civil War Prisons. P. Samuel Whitehead (SC973.77 Whi)


Davenport’s Civil War Rendezvous Camps

Unpublished manuscript on Iowa’s Civil War Camps

Daughters of Union Veterans of Civil War (Acc#1994-02)

August Wentz Post No. 1 Grand Army of the Republic



Under the Guns (Annie Wittenmyer)

Roster and Register of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion

War of the Rebellion series

Various autobiographies and contemporary accounts

AncestryLibrary subscription database; Fold3 subscription database

John Vale, Davenport resident for years, Congressional Medal of Honor winner in 1897 for actions in 1863 as Private in the Infantry

Iowa Regiments - Enlistment Papers – microfilmed and indexed



Draft Registration Cards on Ancestry Library and on Microfilm in SC for IA & IL

Fold3 subscription database



Oral Histories-additional collateral items

Autobiographies/Memoirs (SC 940.3 to 940.9)


Microfilm of newspaper clippings at SHSI-some online at Iowa Heritage Digital Collections

Diary from Philippines (SC 940.540 Mor)

Hero Street (WWII, Korea) in Silvis, IL

Local Women's Organizations

Ladies Industrial Relief Society (Acc#2004-03 finding aid available)



           “Protestant Ethic”

            Social welfare

            Confidential Exchange

                          Sophie Toller

                          Phebe Sudlow


Davenport Women’s Club 1900-1995 (Acc#1995-02)

Clionian Club (Iowa Women’s Archives)

Tuesday Club (see ephemera and Acc#1991-04)

Quota Club (see ephemera)

Lend-A-Hand Club (Acc#1989-11)

            Dr. Jenny McKowen/McCowen


Political movements/Political Figures

The Grange (Acc#2004-48 West View Grange, Scott County, Iowa)

                Founder Oliver Hudson Kelley lived for a time in our area

                1908 (June 12) Grange Field Meet at Wilton, Iowa

                materials at IA State and U of I

Mayor Kathy Kirschbaum, first woman mayor of Davenport (1970’s)

                Died 14April2005


1890’s political scrapbook


League of Women Voters (Acc#2004-40 and 2006-15)

                Alice French

                Lois Leach

                Mona Martin

Scott County Republican Women 1950-1962

               (Acc#1994-06 and ephemera)

Fred Schwengel (1906-1993)

               Member Iowa state house of representatives 1944-1954

               U.S. Representative from Iowa 1st District 1955-1965, 1967-1973

               Davenport businessman 1937-1954        

Davenport Civil Rights Commission historical information  (Acc#2005-13)


Local Theater/German Theater

Mary Fluhrer Nighswander (SC 792.092)

                Jr. Theatre/Show wagon City of Davenport

Broadway Theatre League (Acc#1997-28, 1999-04)

Adler/RKO Orpheum Theatre (Acc#2001-22, 2004-12)

Early Theater in Eastern Iowa by Joseph S. Schick (SC 792.90777 Sch)

Environmental Issues

Mississippi River

                Floods and Flooding

                Acc#1992-10 scrapbook on 1965 flood

                Newspapers and clipping books from newspapers


                Maps of floodplains

                Flood studies

Operation Clean Davenport

Ding Darling-artist

Ernest Oberholtzer-photographer, boundary waters

Chad Pregracke, Living Lands and Waters– local activist and environmentalist

Labor/Manufacturing Industry

John Deere

The Grange

International Harvester/Case


Machinists Convention Souvenir Booklet held in Davenport c1911 (ephemera OS)

Photocopy of typed manuscript with editing ca1936 by McNabney (ephemera-Organizations:  Labor Unions)

Davenport, Iowa-A Textbook for Manufacturing (ephemera)

The Bettendorf Company

Labor Newsletter 1951-1966  (Acc#1997-01)  

Sieg Company  (Acc#1996-09)

Health Care/Hospitals

St. Elizabeth’s Fire at Mercy Hospital

                Coroner’s report files


                The St. Elizabeth’s Fire SC 977.769 Kub

Mental health clinics and care—Vera French

Chiropractic medicine/clinics


German Clinic-Morbonia Hospital

Woman’s Hospital of Davenport, founded 1892 (Dr. Jennie McCowen)

Visiting Nurses 

               ephemera 1935 show

               Lilah Bell (Acc #2011-01)



              Pine Knoll

              Benadom-sanitarium and lawsuits, etc.

                             Hostetler photographs

                             Legal cases

                             Advertisements in city directories, atlas, etc.

St. Lukes Hospital & Nursing school

                (Accessions #1999-02, 2001-34, X11)

                SC 362 Sai,   SC 362.11 Phe,    SC 378.77 St 1964

Mercy Hospital

                SC 362.11 Con and SC 362.11 Ker




                It Was Salubrious SC 610 Mor

Alternative healing

                Mrs. Dr. Keck

                The Quack’s Daughter  SC 920 NETTL GRE

Movements in healthcare—

                Inspections-Board of Health



Public Health

                City involvement-positions:  City Scavenger, Inspectors

                Contemporary Club Paper  “Public Health and What is Being Done for It” written and presented in 1904

                Lilah Bell Archive & Manuscript Collection (Acc. #2011-01)


Palmer Chiropractic

Davenport Public (Acc#2004-50)

                J. B. Young

                Phebe Sudlow

                Elegius Weingartner

Davenport Parochial

                St. Ambrose Academy

                Immaculate Conception Academy



                                #2015-22 Caywood

                Marycrest College and subsequent names

                                 oral histories


                St. Katherine’s

                Villa de Chantal

Griswold College

Browns Business College

Mt. Ida Kindergarten-nursery schools

Handicapped-Fairmount Pre-School (Acc#2005-11)

Youth Activities

Davenport Nature Club Acc# 1997-14

4-H Club 1830-1970  Acc#1998-11

Music Student’s Club Acc#1997-04

Diary X-08

Camp Fire Girls Acc#2002-05

Women and Athletics

Virginia Lohmiller  (Acc#2003-42)

Iowa Girls HS Athletic Union Programs

Depression era

Civil Works Administration

Banking in the local area

City Commissions

Levee Commission (Acc#1998-18)

W.D. Peterson (#2004-50)

Bridge Commission (Acc#2002-07)


Municipal Art Gallery – Davenport Art Museum—Figge

Beaux Arts

Contemporary club papers

Tri-City Symphony

Local Authors

             Oral Histories

              Books on shelves


Parks & Recreation

Park Board/City Department  Acc#2003-09

Revitalization of city parks

            VanderVeer/Central Park

                          Hostetler Photos




Turner Society

            Ephemera Organizations:  Davenport Turngemeinde monthly pub


            Closed stack

Concordia Singing Society (Acc#1996-08)

Scheutzen Park

Gold Coast

Auxiliary Turner Society

Irish:  Hibernian Hall

            Neighborhood=Cork Hill

Latinas-Women who lived in Cook’s Point

            Iowa Women’s Archives, University of Iowa

Mexican-Americans on Hero Street in Silvis, IL.

            Hero Street USA videorecording  DVD 940.5404 Her

            New Materials (as of Oct.2006)


Jews of the Tri-Cities (Reform Advocate) SC296.0977 Jew

Scott County Sunday School Association Records  (Acc#1989-05)

Contemporary Club papers

Local businesses/Economy

Zimmerman Steel Co.

Bettendorf Company

Newcomb Loom  (Acc#1989-12)

Mueller Lumber Company

            (Acc#1995-01, 1997-21,  2003-04)

            Family history materials-genealogy vertical file

            Display board

Lee Enterprises—Adler family


            Books on shelf

Iowana Farms (Acc#1997-05,  1998-22)

Victor Animatograph

Chamber of Commerce literature


“Thousand Days” program 1945 to attract industry to Davenport; State of Scott

Gordon-Van Tine – similar to Sears Homes – i.e. pre-manufactured in “kit” form

Washing machine manufacturers – Voss and White Lily

Palmer College and WOC

WPA, etc projects

Lock and dam #15

Interesting Local Events

State of Scott-promotion during 1940’s




            Newspaper articles

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital fire

Klindt murder case

Interesting Local Individuals

Annie Wittenmyer and the Wittenmyer Home formerly Iowa Soldiers and Orphans Home

              Acc#1989-07 1950s era scrapbook of photographs

              Autobiography Under the Guns  (SC 973.7 Wit)


              Wittenmyer Home anniversary book

              Palimpsest article written by former resident of the home

              Bibliography With Love and Concern, Annie Wittenmyer  (SC362.73 Bru)

              Annual reports to the state

              Oral histories of people who lived there as workers/orphans

Bix Beiderbecke, jazz musician



             Bix Box records and article

             Audio recordings


Fejervary family

             Celestine - letter from her in LIRS accession

                       History of her on qcmemory

             Nicholas  Acc#2003-41,  2005-07

             Biographical History and Portrait Gallery of Scott Co, IA (SC977.769 Bio)

             Fejervary Park (see Acc#2003-09 Davenport Park & Rec)

Ebeneezer Cook

              Biographical History and Portrait Gallery of Scott Co, IA (SC977.769 Bio)

              Acc#2005-03 deed

 Clarissa Cook



            Home for Friendless-new hospice

            Deed for Bettendorf (Acc#2005-03)

Alice French, pen name Octave Thanet-local author


             Family history

             Acc#2001-38,  2005-09

George Davenport

             Acc#2005-06,  1994-07

             Family History on poster in Miscellaneous drawer of map case

             Regina Schantz thesis

             Biographical History and Portrait Gallery of Scott Co, IA (SC977.769 Bio)

Antoine LeClaire

              Biographical History and Portrait Gallery of Scott Co, IA (SC977.769 Bio)

Susan Glaspell (Acc#1988-03)



Some interesting ones that might take a little more effort

Walsh family—People’s Light Company

            Map in ephemera


E. P. Adler


            Lee Enterprises



Maria Purdy Peck (Mrs. Washington F. Peck)

            Husband Dr. Washington F. Peck is in

            Biographical History and Portrait Gallery of Scott Co, IA (SC977.769 Bio)

             From 1914 Woman’s Who’s Who of America

             Founder of St. Luke’s Hospital Training School for Nurses


             President Clionian Club

             Organizer and first president of Davenport Woman’s Club

             Favored woman’s suffrage


Florizel Reuter (aka Florizel von Reuter)

            Child prodigy violinist from Davenport-

            Hostetler photos

            Played all over Europe. Married a European woman and during the war led a sparse existence. Spiritualist. Ended career in Wisconsin.

            Newspaper clippings


Jennie McKowen (1845-1924)

1880 to Davenport-Scott County Medical Society

1886 Medical Examiner U of I

1887 founded Working Woman’s Lend-a-Hand Club in Davenport Connected to Davenport Academy of Science (now Putnam Museum)

1892 founded Woman’s Hospital of Davenport

            U of I Women’s Archives

            Our Lend-a-Hand accession


Mary Louise Duncan Putnam (1832-1903)

1867 development of Davenport Academy of Science (now Putnam Museum)-first woman member, later president

1876 responsible for publication of Proceedings of the Academy, worldwide circulation

Editor of publication in 1881

Inducted posthumously into Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame 1991


Benadoms - photos, court cases, divorces, newspapers



            Court cases