Davenport, a city of Iowa, capital of Scott county, on the right bank of the Mississippi, just below the upper rapids, opposite Rock Island, 111., about 200 m. N. by W. of St. Louis, and 160 m. W. by S. of Chicago. It is built at the foot and along the slope and summit of a bluff 3 1/2 m. long, rising gradually from the river, and enclosed on the land side by an amphitheatre of hills half a mile in the rear. The back country is a rich farming region, and abounds in bituminous coal. The city presents the aspect of a prosperous commercial and manufacturing mart. It is regularly laid out, and besides the county buildings contains many imposing edifices, including the city hall and one of the finest opera houses in the west.
The population in 1840 was 600; in 1850, 1,848; in 1860, 11,267; in 1870, 20,038, of whom 8,301 were foreign. The Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific, and the Davenport and St. Paul railroads pass through the city. The old bridge connecting Davenport with Rock Island has recently been replaced by one of wrought iron, resting on massive piers of stone, which, besides a rail track, has accommodations for carriages and foot passengers, and was built partly by the United States and partly by the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific railroad company, at a cost of $1,000,000. There are several miles of street railroad. Davenport has immense water power, and is the great grain depot of the upper Mississippi. The following statistics are for the six months ending Dec. 31, 1872: Receipts by rail and wagon, 955,767 bushels of wheat, 1,441,962 of barley, 370,482 of oats, 12,480 of rye, 336,116 of Indian corn, 333,882 of potatoes, 119,480 of onions, 5,000 tons of hay, 210 of straw, 2,700 of anthracite and 38,040 of bituminous coal, and 150 of coke; shipped by rail, 2,414 cattle, 210 sheep, 7,800 swine, and 500 horses.
Among the leading manufactures were: lumber, $637,318; agricultural implements, $347,-000; carriages and wagons, $152,650; sashes, doors, and blinds, $282,743; furniture, $186,-787; woollen goods, $93,000; bags and wrapping paper, $100,000; ale and beer, $160,820; cigars and tobacco, $245,551; flour, 128,000 bbls.; corn meal, 14,400 bbls.; coke, 1,000 tons. There were slaughtered 5,121 cattle, 4,371 calves, 3,656 sheep, and 10,000 swine. The hides and pelts bought and shipped were valued at $100,000. There are several manufactories of saddlery and harness, machine shops, and brass and iron founderies; also three national banks, two savings banks, and three insurance companies. The city is governed by a mayor and a board of 12 aldermen. There are seven grammar school houses. The number of separate schools in 1871 was 54 (including a high, a normal, and an evening school), having 75 teachers, and an average attendance of about 2,500 pupils. The expenditure for school purposes was $132,244 92, of which $37,318 13 was for teachers' wages. The academy of the Immaculate Conception (Roman Catholic) had 12 instructors and 150 pupils. Griswold college (Episcopal), established in 1859, which has a theological department, had 7 instructors, 117 students, and a library of 4,000 volumes.
Iowa college, originally established here, has been removed to Grinnell, Poweshiek co. The library association has about 3,000 volumes. Four daily newspapers (two German), five weekly (two German), and a monthly periodical are published. The city contains an academy of natural sciences, two medical societies, and a branch of the Iowa soldiers' home. There are 25 churches, viz.: 2 Baptist (1 German), 1 Christian, 2 Congregational (1 German), 3 Episcopal, 1 Jewish, 2 Lutheran (German), 6
Methodist (1 German and 1 colored), 2 Presbyterian, 1 Reformed, 4 Roman Catholic (1 German), and 1 Unitarian. - Davenport was laid out in 1836, incorporated as a town in 1842, and as a city in 1851.