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Christensen personal papers

Identifier: 2011-04

Scope and Contents

Christensen Family Papers dates from 1858 – 1970s and measures approximately 1.6 linear feet. The collection is arranged in five series: Photographs, Postcards, Personal and Business Documents, Davenport Public School items, Ephemeral items.

Series One (ca 1880-1940) Photographs-portraiture and a few residences. Mostly local photographers. Some identification.

Series Two (ca 1900-1910) Postcards – many local sites and buildings.

Series Three (ca 1850-1972) Personal and business documents – diaries, mortgages and deeds, insurance papers, bank books, vital records from Denmark.

Series Four (ca 1890-1945) Davenport Public Schools items – certificates, report cards, medal.

Series Five (ca 1915-1945) Ephemeral items - union and fraternal organization memorabilia, local bank and store souvenir items, original turkey note.


  • 1858-1979

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

This collection is from the descendants of the CHRISTENSEN family that emigrated from North Abild, Denmark on the western coast of that nation. Christian Peter CHRISTENSEN came to America in 1872 according to his obituary, returning to his homeland to marry Elena Marie SCHMIDT in 1878. The couple and their daughter Helen arrived in Iowa in about 1881. By 1900 their family had grown to include children Alvina and Carl. The family remained in Davenport, Iowa. Christian Peter died in 1923 and Elena in 1927. Both are buried in Fairmount cemetery.

Carl [the son of Christian Peter and Elena] became a carpenter and married Meta WISCH in Clinton, IA. Many of the items in the collection are tied to him. Alvina never married. She was a seamstress who worked for Harned & Von Maur and Robert Krause, as did Meta according to the 1916 Davenport city directory.

Helen married Mr. George SCOTT October 6, 1909. The series of postcards in the collection correspond to the time she and her husband traveled south for his work and lived in Virginia. Mr. Scott died in Lynchburg, VA in August 1911 and his body was brought back to Davenport and buried at Fairmount under the auspices of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. Helen went on to work for the Clarissa C. Cook Home for the Friendless. Helen died in 1961. No obituary was located for her.


6 Box(es) (4 2.5" manuscript boxes; 2 flat clamshell boxes)

1 items (in oversized paper envelope)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

Range 37 Section 9

Immediate Source of Acquisition


Separated Materials

All post cards were removed to Post Card collection 2015

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