biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
F. M. DAVENPORT, attorney at law, Oska- looes, was born in Gallia County, Ohio, May 1, 1840, and is the son of Joseph and Rebecca (Coverston) Davenport, natives of Ohio. Joseph Davenport was born May 27, 1814, and his wife June 17, 1816; they were united in marriage on the 18th of May, 1837. By this union there were ten children, nine of whom are living: F. M. Davenport, of Oskaloosa; Almeda, wife of Jackson Allgood, of Republic County, Kan; Henry W., a farmer in Greene County, Iowa; Eliza, wife of J. W. Roberts, of Kansas; America, wife of Richard Nash, of this county; George W., of Keokuk County, this State; Samuel H., of this county; Joseph T., of Norton County, Kan.; James W., attorney at law, of Jefferson County, Iowa, and a graduate of the law school at the Iowa State Uni- versity. Mr. and Mrs. Davenport emigrated to Iowa and located in Mahaska County in the year 1847. He entered 500 acres of land in Adams Township, and of that body of raw land and unbroken prairie made one of the best farms in the county. Polit- ically Mr. Davenport was a Democrat of the Jack- sonian school, and was a man well versed in the affairs of State and nation. He took a deep and active interest in educational matters, and his chil- dren received all the advantages that the best schools in the country afforded. Mr. and Mrs. Davenport were life-long members of the Method- ist Episcopal Church, the father over forty years, and the mother for a period of half a century. He died in Mahaska County Feb. 29, 1884; his widow is still living. As man and wife they journeyed together forty-seven years. The subject of our sketch came to this county with his parents, and was educated in the Iowa Wesleyan University, in Mt. Pleasant, graduating in the classical course in the class of 1864. He en- gaged in farming for four years, and in the mean- time pursued a course of reading in elementary law. He then entered the law department of the Michigan University, at Ann Arbor, where he spent the junior year. Returning from that city he entered the office of Seevers & Cutts, then the lead- ing law firm of Central Iowa, remaining for eight months, and then began the practice of his profes- sian, which he has continued ever since. Mr. Davenport is also largely engaged in farming and stock-raising. He was one of the originators of the Acme Coal Company of this county, and devel- oped this mine. In politics Mr. Davenport is an uncompromising Democrat, and was the candidate of his party for the State Senate in 1875. His personal popularity was such that the Republican majority, which ranged in that day from 900 to 1,500, was reduced in his case to 300. In 1878 he was elected Solicitor of the city of Oskaloosa, and in 1880 was the can- didate of his party for Circuit Judge. The district being strongly Republican, he was defeated, but his personal popnlarity and well-known legal ability enabled him to greatly reduce the majority against him over the entire district. He has always taken an active interest in the success of the political party to which he is attached, and has always given liberally of his means and his services to bring about the discomfiture of its opponents. In 1885 he assisted as one of the projectors in the estab- lishment of the Oskaloosa Times, the leading Dem- ocratic paper of the district and county, but with- drew from all connection with that office in 1886. Mr. Davenport was married, May 1, 1870, to Miss Martha M. Griffith, daughter of William and Lavinia Griffith, of Ohio. The issue of this union is one child, William Warren, now twelve years of age. From 1871 to 1873 Mrs. Davenport was Principal of the Oskaloosa High School. She has always taken an active interest in the temperance cause, and has been its impassioned advocate upon the rostrum for many years. In 1885 she attended the general convention of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, at Philadelphia, as a delegate from Iowa, and is at present Treasurer of the Women's Christian Temperance Union of the State of Iowa, and also of the local society of Oskaoosa. She is also one of the managers of the Benedict Home for Fallen Women, located at the city of Des Moines. She was educated at Hopedale Acad- emy, in the State of Ohio. At her home she is a prominent worker in all the ladies' organizations. She has always been a great worker in looking up the poor of the city, and assisting them herself and in making their wants known to the Ladies' Relief Society and to the Township Trustees. She has received many invitations of late to lecture in various parts of the country, but owing to poor health and the many duties of her official position in the Women's Christian Temperance Union, has not been able to accept.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy