(note from Grand daughter, Mauri Lee Davenport Gandy
The listings of ancestors have been corrected by Margo Fletcher McBride, grand daughter of Edwin Francis Davenport's sister, Louise Davenport Slade. There may be a small chance that the story of the father and three sons took place before 1663. Margo has successfully traced our line to that Date. The earliest ancestor found is Davis Davenport. If anyone knows of the ancestors mentioned in this biography please email me. Thanks.)
This is a story about the Davenport's, Not Davenport Beds, Not Davenport Iowa. But the Davenport Family -originally from Battle Creek, Mich. The Reverend William M, Davenport, Arrived at Baltimore, Md, from England when America was still a British Colony, with him were his three sons. John who settled in Iowa, Byron who moved to Michigan, and William Jr, started his life and family in the State of Georgia.
So the Davenports living in the United States can trace their family tree back to one of these three men. During the Wars of this nation, the Davenports have engaged in all of them and during the Civil War were on both sides, and by-this time there were Davenports living in every state in the Union.
Living in Battle Creek Michigan- William S, Davenport a descendant of Byron Davenport, the founder, of a large estate, had four sons and two daughters, one of his sons did not like farm work, and after finishing college decided to take up the teaching profession in Michigan, and on Saturdays he helped the local Editor - Printer Publish a weekly newspaper. He became more interested in type-setting then teaching, so he resign his school work, and moved to Grand Rapids to learn the trade in a daily newspaper. After serving his apprenticeship, he received a Union Card in The Typographical Union. He then moved to New Orleans, La., and went to work on the New Orleans States.
In a short time he was made foreman of 'the composing room. This man was named Edwin Francis Davenport, and he was living in a boarding house owned by a widow Mrs Margaret Bolet. He fell in love with one of her daughters, Louis Victoria Bolet, and after a brief courtship were married in St. Louis Cathedral.
After two years of 'happy married life, they had a son, who was named Albert Byron Davenport. Albert after his mother's brother, and Byron after his own brother in Battle Creek Michigan. Two years later a daughter was born and was named Louise Margaret. He resigned his job, on the States and bought an interest in a weekly paper in Bessemer, Alabama, and here his second son was born, and they named him Edwin Francis Davenport, Jr. (See Pictures of Edwin Davenport to left)
The life of' an owner of a country news paper in a small town is good in some ways and not so good in other ways. People pay their subscription to the paper with eggs, butter, milk and in produce and other farm products. So they had plenty to eat, and the stores that advertised let them take out in merchandise what ever they owed, so they had nice furniture and clothes. A big coal company ran big ads so they had plenty of fuel, they also had passes to all the shows and circuses that came to town, even passes from the railroads. After five years in Bessemer he received an offer from The States to take his foremanship back. He left with his family for New Orleans, so as. he said, "Could see and feel some money again". After a year his third son came. He was. named Louis Bolet Davenport, Louis was another brother's name, and Bolet was his mother's Family name. (See Picture of Edwin and Louis to right) When Louis was three years old his father lost his job on The States and we moved to Pensacola, Florida. We lived there about two years and went through a hurricane and spent the night in the post office building. We were all safe but loss some in property damages. We then followed our father to Charleston, South Carolina. He had a rented house awaiting us. We all liked Charleston, though the kids there called us Yankees. There are many historical things to see, and you can see Fort Sumpter from the famous Battery or sea wall, also many monuments and statues. While we were living there we had the misfortune of going through an earthquake. Page two The earthquake occurred at night about nine thirty, there were three shocks at intervals of about five minutes, We had a window slam down and break and a few pictures that fell , our two story house shook and trembled but it held together, the real damage was outside water and gas pipes broken big cracks in the pavement, and many bricks buildings tumbled into the streets, There were few killed but many injured. Mr. W. Judson, my fathers partner in Bessemer, wrote him a letter asking him to come back and run the plant there, as he was getting old and wanted to retire. He decided ta take another chance with the project, so he left for Alabama, leaving the family to pack and follow him later, I was in the 5th grade in South Carolina, but they put me in the 7th when I entered school in Bessemer, Though the school I had attended were way-ahead in most studies, I missed two years of arithmetic that the other students had. and this hurt me the balance of my school life, The next Summer my sister Louise and my mother, visited my aunt (Melanie Bolet Gutzeit pictures to right), Mrs. C. X. Gutzeit, in San Antonio, Texas. My-sister contacted Typhoid Fever and was seriously ill. My mother wired for us to come there. My-father decided to leave at once, He told Byron and I to pack and crate the furniture. and ship it to Texas; that he would get a job over-there and we would live in Texas. He took Louis with him, and left the task of packing the household goods to Byron and myself. We did, and how! We had barrels and boxes to put dishes and books in, we started crating the rest of the furniture, Byron took the mirrors off the dressers and buffet and put them in between the mattresses and then crated the mattress-, The moving man that took the stuff to the freight depot, says he never saw as many crates in all his time, he said you are shipping more lumber than household goods,, in those days they put your stuff in a freight car and held it until they had the car full, so it may be a week or 3 months before your car left on the rail road, The R. R. notified you of its arrival.
After visiting in San Antonio and Louise had fully recovered, We went to, Beaumont where my Father had taken over the foremanship of the Beaumont Enterprise, the morning paper, They-rented a large house, 2 stories and 20 rooms they, took in roomers and boarders. Most of the people worked on the paper, one of them was Teff Welborn and his bride Elsie, he was a monotype operator on the Enterprise, Also W. J. Slade a telegraph operator, met and wooed my sister, and latter they-were married in that house, and Byron fell in love with a French girl, Ethel Leger, and they were wed, and lived in Beaumont. I had a job on the paper as galley boy. When my father had a run in with the editor, and resigned, he had an offer from The Times in El Paso, so we were on the move again. Mother played it smart this time she sold A1 the furniture and took Lewis and I .and left for the west, I was an apprentice on the Times composing room. My father didn't stay in-El Paso but six months, and left for Temple Texas. I stayed in El-Paso and finished learning my trade.,I was given a card before the allotted time was due. and drew a traveler, and hit the rails with linotype. operator named J. Arthur Grant, This is not an easy life, This bumming it on Freight trains slow dirty, bumpy and disagreeable, so it didn't take long for me to get enough of it, so I headed for Beaumont, after Grant was accepted and I was turned down by the Canadian Army. I tried to get in world war 1. In the meantime my father was living in Houston, And was surprised when I heard that my mother had another girl, They named her Coralie. In Beaumont I roomed with Byron and Ethel, and showed up for work on both newspapers, getting 4 or 5 days a week, and one night when I showed up at the Enterprise the foreman told me I had a situation, and lunch time I ran over to the Journal to take my slug off the board and saw that I was hired straight up, that meant that I had 2 jobs 6 days a week on both papers, well I held them both down for about 4 weeks, when an extra sub showed up PAGE THREE Ethel and I visited Houston to see the new baby Coralie. Ethel made over the new baby, as she and Byron wanted a child so much, My father told me he had an offer to go to Austin, as a makeup and assistant foreman. he said he was going to accept it. He left the next day, in the meantime, Ethel and I were getting too friendly, and I decided not to go back to Beaumont before something serious happened to our platonic friendship. I went to San Antonio after visiting the folks in Austin. I had a Job in a commercial shop and not much experience in this kind of printing. The reason I lasted until after the Telephone Directory went to press, was that the owner of the shop, Mr, Kirschell was a friend of my uncles. Then I received a call from my Dad saying there was an opening on The Austin Statesman and I took it up at once, and came to Austin. There was a Mr. Grubb who was the foreman of the composing room, and he had a radical bunch of men working for him, some of their nicknames would give a clue to what they were like, Dirty-shirt Williams, Hi-Ball DeCrocker and a guy they called 'the Whip? Marshbanks and his brother the Slugger were some Of his crew. My Dad was proofreader and I was the make-up man. Mr. Grubb was a tyrannical sort of guy. He came to work each evening laid a pistol on his desk and yelled out orders to different men. My father told me that the reason he carried a revolver was because one of the men he had fired recently pulled a knife on him and threatened to kill him The man Sam Hill was still in town and was going to be at a chapel meeting the next day, they held the meeting in the back room of the Iron Front Saloon, I voted with the majority to re-instate him, much to the dismay of my dad and Mr. Grubb. They had proven that Mr. Grubb.; had turned the clock up 5 minutes, and then fired the man for being 5 minutes late to work, He never came back to his job. He said it was the principal of the thing he wanted to prove. Mr, Grubb ,invited me to his house to supper and I met his daughter who was-a real attractive outdoor girls Annette and I went Horse back riding and canoeing, About this time Byron had moved to Austin and Ethel and her brother Leo, were renting a few doors down the street from us on East First Street. Our next door-neighbor-were the Me Garritys and they had their niece from San Marco visiting them. Their daughter Imo Bess about ten years old, introduced me to her aunt Lillian Moore, I fell for her on the spot, and made a date with her for that night, and when I got home mother told me that Annette had called. I was in a predicament. I had forgotten I had promised Annette to go someplace, so I called Leo and asked him if he wanted a date, he said yes, So we flipped a coin to see wich one he would go with, and I got Lillian. Lillian and I hit it off like a pair of love birds. We had a date every evening until one night *we took a boat ride on Lake Austin and the boat broke down at the head of the lake and we did not get home until 2 o'clock in the morning Mac never believed our story that the boat had engine trouble and he told "Citty" as he called Lillian, to pack up and go home. And every week on my day off,, I would take the train and go to San Marcos to see her,, I was sort of timid guy. and that was a brave thing for me to go to a boarding house full of girls and court her, but I never missed a week and some times twice a week. I received a letter from her telling me about her room mate a girl named Secondina, and she wanted me to be real nice to her the next time I came up, well we decided to go boat riding, I guess 1-was to attentive to Secondina, when I looked back at Lillian she was not smiling, so I decided to pull into the dock, and I helped Secondina out and reached-back to help Lillian. She informed me that she didn't need help. and one of the laces from her high shoes caught on the boat and the next thing she was in the water, I had to jump in clothes and all to pull her to shore. Secondina was convulse with laughter, as we made our dripping way back to-the house, my suit shrunk so that I never wore it again and Lillian gave me a pair of trousers from Brother Tom about 3 sizes to big, and then we went back to the Mill Dam to find my coat which Lillian had been holding, luckily some man had retrieved it with pole and I had my watch and ticket to get home, and we parted that night as true lovers forevermore. PAGE FOUR. Lillian lived in a boarding house, operated by Mr. and Mrs. Tom H. Sevey. It was near The Southwest State Teachers College in San Marcos. Mrs, Sevey on the day we fell in the river, was in Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonia, undergoing surgery for gallstones and after her recovery and return home, she told Lillian that her nurse at the hospital knew me. This was a queer turn of fate for all the nurses in San Antonio she would have the one that I used to go with, when I lived in San Antonio, a Miss Cunningham, Annie told her that her sister was going to marry a man from Austin, Ed Davenport. The nurse told her that I was once her beau. I had asked Lillian to marry me but this was the first time that I had known that she had consented, . I wanted to set the date next month, but after talking it over with Mrs. Sevey we set the date for two months Off, Christmas Day, 1915, 1 had Byron go with me to get our marriage license as I was only Aarhus old. Byron was my best man,, and Secondina was maid of honor, Miss Anna Clara Karnes played the wedding music, and Sam Moore turned the music at the piano for her, they had just met that day, and were married the next year. We had a nice wedding and reception afterwards, Mv Uncle and Aunt from San Antonio, Mr. and Mrs. G. X. Gatzeit, and all of my family from Austin in fact we all came over in my uncles new Automobile an Aspersion, " Jack Rabbit". I .think that BIS shiny car took some of the attention from our wedding,. It was late that night when we got back to Austin, and my mother said that she had the front room all fixed up for us, but my kid brother Louis had really fixed us up,, he had taken the slats out &f the bed and we fell kerplunk on the floor that really embarrassed a couple on their first night, We left the next day for San Antonio to spend our honeymoon, My Aunt had a few young couples over the first evening for party, and the next day she hired a chafer and turned over the car to us, to go-any place we wanted, We had a swell time going to the parks, shows and shopping with a driver to take us wherever we desired,, PAGE FIVE The Gutzeitts gave a New Years Eve party for us and invited a Jolly crowd, We had a big time and lots to drink., But we got up early the next morning and left for Austin, to look for an apartment, The first place we lived was on Trinity St. We had two rooms and bath, it was furnished neat but was real small, One Saturday night I got off about 3 o'clock and was walking home. The Statesman was on Seventh and Brazos Sts., I passed a bakery and they were making doughnuts I bought a dozen and Lillian and I sat on the side of the bed and ate them while they were hot and oh so good and the next day we had the worst case Of indigestion anyone ever experienced,, I asked the landlady to call a doctor, but she gave us both a glass of bicarbonate of soda and in a few hours we were all right, We stayed there about 2 months, The next place we rented was on the 200 block of East Second St. right off' Congress Ave,. WE had an apartment on the 2nd floor entrance on an outside stairs and a long porch running the length of the building, Lillian contacted Typhoid Fever while we there, and when she recovered we moved, I saw many men coming in there, and figured this was not the right environment for us. Our next home was on Brazos St.. across from the Capitol building. A Mr. and Mrs.Fred Cobb, were our new landlords, Mr. Cobb was a barber and the state champion chess player, he had his trophies on display in the living room of his house, we had the nicest apartments and real friendly people to associate with, He would spot me a rook or knight when we played chess, he also had some of the finest chess men that I had ever seen,, I think he let me win once in a while, so that I would play with him. I enjoyed watching him and some of the University Faculty play. We lived here about a year,, Then bought some furniture and rented a house on Spence St. about 2 months later we moved about 3 blocks away to a nicer house on Taylor St,-United States had declared war on Germany, and I had to register for the draft, Sam and I had made an agreement that if I was all called he would take care of Lillian. and if he was drafted I would take care of Anna Clara. PAGE SIX Going back a bit, when we lived on East Second St. and Lillian had Typhoid Fever, I called Dr. Weller he came up and examined her, and said it was a case of typhoid and ordered some medicine for her. He told me to give her a dose every two hours, He said the direction would be on the bottle the medicine arrived, and on the package it said to take one every two hours and follow with Castor oil, I gave her one and a tablespoon of oil, and I gave her four and four tablespoons of Castor Oil, The next morning when the doctor came . she was a good deal better, but awful weak,, The Doctor said the remedy was worse than the ailment and he was glad he didn't say take it in water I would probably gave her the medicine in the bath-tub. anyway she was 0. K. the next Day. I made application to join the Tank Corp, and was interviewed at the recruiting station, I was a little skinny guy, weighing only 110 pounds, and I think I failed my physical, because the Captain said I made 100 on my test. Any way they told me I was subject to call, but never heard from them, Mr. Grubb resigned his job on The Statesman, And Mr. Rowze made my, Dad foreman and I was his assistant, and make-up man, Byron was ad foreman, Abe Purcel1 proofreader,.Hugo Rauber, ad man, Jeff Gilbert, A. C Wright, .J. B. TATE Sr, and Walter Bauerfeind were the linotype operators, Zeke Hunt was an apprentice and galley boy. Edmund Travis was the editor and I will never forget an incident that happened one Saturday night. I had the paper all made up and ready to go to press with the Sunday morning edition, but the editorial page was held up because Travis was still writing the lead editorial. I had been in his office several-times asking for the copy. He was drinking heavily. He strolled out to the composing room carrying his typewriter and threw it at the form of the page and said "here is your editorial" and pied the page, I straightened up the type, and called Mr. A. C. Baldwina former editor and friend of Travis, and he clipped out an editorial for me to use. He thanked me for not calling Mr. Rowze, Travis was also thankful and apologized for his behavior, and we were close friends until he left the paper, PAGE SEVEN. E. F. Davenport Sr. lived at 87 th East Avenue after moving from East First St. Before Lillian and I were Married They-had a large six room house on a wide street (now it is The Interregional Highway). At that time there was a park in the center running the full length of each block, A Band Stand occupied the park between 1st and Holly Streets, They conducted Band Concerts and political rallies were held here before election campaigns . and the children of the neighbor hood enjoyed playing on the grass, we lived across the street from the folks, first on Spence and latter on Taylor St, The McGarritty's still were renting on East First. Byron and Ethel lived closer to town and had adopted a baby Elouise, and they seemed to be getting along better. Her brother Leo had gone back to Beaumont. That spring Lillian's niece Ida Mae visited with use and Essies two boys Willie and Herbert came over a good deal, and my brother Lewis was a freguent visitor.
We saved up enough money-to make a down payment on our first home, 1302 East Second St, from Paul O'Simms real estate firm. He sold the notes Mr. Haschke bought them. It was a five room box house brand new, and it was here that our first son was born, Lillian had a difficult delivery and Dr. Grandberry had to use forceps to take the baby, We named him Edwin Francis the 3rd, He weighed 7 pounds at birth but in a week weighed only 4 lbs. He could not nurse and Dr. Grandberry tried to force him to nurse. We called in another doctor and he recognized at once that the boy had a cleft palate, and ordered a special nipple from Chicago. Dr. R. V. Murray was our family physician from that time on. He would have operated, but had to build the child up, and a week or two later he was down with Erysipelas. His little head was inflamed and swollen, Dr. Murray said if he could get hold of some cranberries, he may affect a cure. After phoning and searching round town he was informed that a woman in Manor who might have some and he came back that night with the cranberries, he told me to hold the baby as he was-afraid he would die in Lillian's arms. After using the berries on his head and wrapped with gauze, his fever went down and he recovered consciousness, but the operation for the cleft palate had to be postponed. PAGE -EIGHT.. We had taken E. F. III to a specialist and other doctors but something always came up to postpone his operation, Now days it is not considered much of an operation, but then it was considered a major one, and a bloody-and serious surgery, and as his teeth started to come in the doctors would not operate at all. When he was two years old Lewis Byron our second son was born. One of the worst things we had to put up with E. F. and his impediment was not to let him know that he was different from anyone else, but when we visited San Marcos Mrs. Seven would take him around the neighborhood and tell him to open his mouth so curious women could see his cleft palate, this of course made him over conscious of his ailment
When he was 10 or 11 years old we took him to a dentist, who made him an upper plate, but he never was able to wear it after going back to the dentist for many fittings over the span of 18 months. he finally abandon the idea it cost over 200 dollars,, (' @st before he got married the second time, He had Dr, Tommy Caldwell make him another plate,, but he would not keep it in his month long enough to get use to it, and so that project went down the drain) During the lst World War we like other places were short of men at the newspaper office,,. Marsh and Fentress had bought The Statesman and combined it with The American and published both papers@in one plant,, I was getting all the overtime I wanted and with bigger checks each week, we raised our standard of living, We traded our home for one a great deal nicer on Guadalupe St.. near the University also our first automobile a Chevrolet 490, my brother Lewis had joined the navy and spent his furlough with us on North Guadalupe, @ Brush the salesman who sold us the house explained that the higher payments we were making would cut the interest down sooner but if the payment got too stiff 'on us he would write an another contract and cut the payments down but after the men came back from the war, and I was not getting any overtime I asked for a reduction in payments on the house, Mr& Brush did not recall @ the statement and as we had nothing in writing, we had to sacrifice the home,, but we kept the car, PAGE NINE. After we gave up our home on N Guadalupe St$ we rented a house off the Manor Ready Laffeyete Street,, back of the Catholic Cemetery, Also The Brush Realty Go had given us a lot on Avenue F. In Hyde Park. Lillian wanted to trade it in on a house somewhere else, as she didn't like the location,, We took the lot in for 1100 equity, and could not get-that much in a down payment After living on Lafayette@St about 6 months-,,, we moved to-Hyde Park on Avenue E,, a block from our property out there. WE had purchased another Chevrolet 490 Chevy-No 1. had come to and unusual- end, coming home from Waco by myself. I was held up by a construction crew, building a culvert they were piling up gravel and rock on each side of the approach, they motioned to me to come on there was a string of cars behind me and I was the first one to test the now roadway, but when I got on the top the sand and rocks started to- sliding and the Chevy was at the side of the read at the bottom.$ and a big rock was-on the seat beside me, I was lucky I was not injured The workmen tied a chain to-the car,,and hauled it up sideways, We examined the car all over and the foreman said they would pay for any damaged but the engine started and the car drove perfectly,- so I- continued -journey homes but just as 17was pulling into the driveway at home the frame broke in two,, Instead of Junking the car I dragged it in the back yard and sold parts off it, I made more this way then I could have gotten at the Junkyard. Chevy No 2, was a latter model and we made many trips in it, to San Marcos and San Antonio,, and many a fishing trip Lots of times at night we would hear the fire engine sirens, we would wrap E., F, and Lewis in blankets and take out for the fire, or if it was an ambulance we would go to the accident., Uncle Sam had a Baby Grand" Chevrolet, that would be compared to the Im@a tod,-@,y, I had a friend Walter Bauerfeind, who worked with me on the paper who had a Dodge Brothers Dodge, and he was-a good country boy mechanics, He saved me many repair bills on my car and I would help him work on his,,, There was also-Frank Boyd who owned a Overland, he was a member of our gasoline alley, too. Byron had a Model-T Ford Uncle Tom in San Marcos had a Krit, Uncle Charlie owned AN AIR cooled Reo* PAGE TEN. My father and mother had moved from East Avenue to a house they were buying in Hyde Park on Avenue D, Byron also was buying a home in the North part, of town,-On 32nd,- St, they had an adopted daughter-Alice Louise Coralie, E,.F,, and Lewis were playmates only living 2 blocks apart,, W Dad had suffered a partial- stroke and had retired as foreman of The Statesman, He was getting his I-. T. U. pension, he went into the rubber, stamp business, for awhile, Lewis and I,-helped him at night, he made arrangement with a small printing firm to use their plant and type for his business, Me eventually sold out to the proprietor of the print shop,), I decided to build on my lot in Hyde Park, and Kuntz-Stannberg Lumber Co. Financed the deal and Got at a contractor, Ernest Parker, my idea was to build a cheep house and try to sell it or tde for another home, but Lillian came out with me and decided she liked the place and had some suggestions of its construction,, so when the place was finished we moved in. It was- beside a creek or@branch and there was-a big tree stump in the middle, and when it rained the brush and trash washed down to the stump and it would flood our back yard, Lewis back from the Navy, said he had a plan to remove it, so on New YEARS Eve, at 12 o'clock when the celebration was in full blast, he pulled a switch that set of a pipe filled with dynamite planted under the stump it rained pieces of wood all around the neighborhood, but the stump was gone and we never had anymore flooding,, Lewis had a job as an apprentice with Andrawatha Electric Company, he put base plugs all through our house as a Christmas-present, He later got a Job bending pipe Emery mine near Burnett, My dad went back to-the trade, and had a position as-proofreader on the Oklahoman in Oklahoma City, He wrote to Mother to rent the house and move out there) Lewis, had bought 490 Chevy and he mama 9 Coralie drove to Oklahoma, in those days that was a three day trip, They had an accident at Italy,, Texas on their way, San he sent Mama And Coralie on the bus, and he drove the wreaked car the rest of the way, arriving almost a week later.
1920 photo of Lillian & Ed.
(Part 2 will be added)
Picture of Charlie Gutzeit's sisiter - Emma
Email Mauri Gandy
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Biography of Leah Guthrie Davenport
Biography of Lewis Byron Davenport
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