By U.S. ArmyApril 5, 2019
The Davenport House was the first permanent residence of Colonel George Davenport, a trader with Native Americans and supplier to the U.S. Army. Davenport earned the honorary rank of colonel while serving as the volunteer quartermaster at Fort Armstrong. The city of Davenport, Iowa, was named in his honor
The original Davenport House was completed between 1833 and 1834 in the federal style. It is the westernmost house to use this style of architecture.
George Davenport remained on Rock Island after the closure of Fort Armstrong in 1836. For several years, he continued the upkeep and oversight of the now-abandoned fort and Army depot.
On July 4, 1845, Davenport's family left him at home to attend a parade in a neighboring community. Davenport was feeling ill. Under the assumption that the house was empty, bandits broke into his house in search of large sums of money. Finding Davenport in the house, the bandits beat and assaulted him in an attempt to uncover where the rumored wealth was located. Upon realizing this information was incorrect, the bandits fled the scene and left Davenport for dead. Davenport lived long enough to identify the bandits. The remains of John Long, one of the bandits, were not laid to rest until the 1970s.
The family abandoned the house in 1857, and it was rented by the U.S. Army during the Civil War as a residence for the commandant of the prison camp. In 1867, the Davenport family sold the house and property to the U.S. government. It then fell into a state of disrepair.
It was not until 1907 that the main structure was saved and restored by George Davenport's grandchildren. Repairs and restoration projects have continued ever since. Today, the house is maintained by the Colonel Davenport Historical Foundation and is open for tours; more information is available at www.davenporthouse.org.