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Davenport Police Department Historic Photographs 1884-1930's

Identifier: 2008-07

Scope and Contents

This collection contains 9 oversize images, 15 cabinet photographs and ephemeral items pertaining to Davenport Police Department that were framed and hanging in the Police Administration area prior to moving to new building at Fourth and Harrison Streets. Container list available in finding aids folder


  • 1884-1930s

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials are available for use in the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center only.

Request permission before copying materials.

Personal digital cameras and scanners are allowed in the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center on a case-by-case basis. The items that a researcher may want to scan or photograph must be examined and evaluated for physical condition, copyright issues, and donor restrictions by staff.

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

The copyright law of the United States (title 17, United States Code) governs the making of reproductions of copyrighted material.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

Biographical / Historical

The Davenport Iowa Police Department dates back to 1839 when a City Marshal was appointed. 1871 it was fairly well organized with its headquarters in a small back room on property located on the southeast corner of Second and Brady Streets. By 1873 the force was uniformed, and in 1877 they moved their headquarters to the “old markethouse” also called “Bridewell” on the northeast corner of Fifth and Main streets. When Davenport’s new City Hall was opened in 1896 the police station transferred there. The patrol wagon and house of detention remained at 5th and Main.

The House of Detention, established in 1889 at the urging of local Christian and social action organizations, was for female and child offenders while they were in custody or served short term sentences. The Police Matron lived and worked at 5th and Main and had the same power and authority as a policeman. She was directly responsible to the chief of police. The first matron was Miss Annie Davis from 1889-1893. Mrs. Sarah Hill served from July 1893 until 1920. She was followed by Tillie Boettscher who held the position from 1920 until at least 1931.

Police Department needed more space – old car dealership was to be temporary quarters.

2007 moved into new Police Department building on the corner of 4th and Harrison Streets.


1 Box(es) (in 1 large flat archive box; 2 panoramic images)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

Range 14 Section 01. Panoramics stored in Map Case 03 Drawer 12.

Immediate Source of Acquisition


Physical Description

fair to excellent

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center Repository

321 Main Street
Davenport IA 52801-1490 United States

About the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center:

The Special Collections Department of the Davenport Public Library was established in 1982. In November of 1999, the newly renovated department opened to better serve its community and was renamed the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center. The Center acquires, arranges, describes, preserves, and makes available local history and genealogical materials concentrating on those pertaining to Davenport, Scott County, and Eastern Iowa.

Books and other printed materials in the collection can be found using a Library Search. For additional digital resources, browse the Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Archive. For more information about specific subjects relating to Scott County History, please browse the Research Guides.
Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center
Davenport Public Library
321 Main Street
Davenport IA 52801-1490
(563) 326-7902