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East Second Street Company

Identifier: 2012-23

Scope and Contents

East Second Street Company records are arranged in six series: Finances- For years 1929-1960 (1951 is missing). Includes important daily business papers tax returns, blank tax forms, corporation reports, verified summary of payments, mortgage concerns, insurance, insurance correspondence/memos, evaluations of equipment, receipts, letters for ground rent, war time concerns, real properties, policies/endorsements, parking program leasehold, liquidation, inquiry of stock worth, balance sheet) Box 1 Folders 1-36: 1929-1939 Box 2 Folders 1-44: 1940-1950 Box 3 Folders 1-48: 1952-1959 Box 4 Folders 1-7: 1960

Stockholders/Directors- Correspondence between company and the stockholders, stockholder meeting minutes, inquiries about company doings Box 4 Folders 8-23: 1946-1953

Resolutions – Completed- Discusses lease information and signed by stockholders Box 4 Folder 24: 1959

Store Applicants- None for 1939 – 1946-1955 Correspondence between the East Second Street Company and potential companies in their properties Box 4 Folders 25-56: 1930-1959 (annual miscellaneous correspondence, telegrams, Huebotter, Joe Sirota, W.G. Dawson, Scholl MFG Co., Mitchell Realty, Kay Furniture, Freeman Glickman, Healey Eckmann, Dover Furniture, Inspection Reports, Murdoch Pain, C.B. Snyder)

Center Rebuilding- Bills, correspondence, insurance, building plans regarding the Putnam Center Rebuilding, architect information/receipts Box 5 1-19: Pending (proposals, figures), Paid Bills 1954-1957 (wages, Priester Construction, Deluhry Electric) Box 6 1-20: Paid Bills 1957 (Deluhry Electric), Insurance/Insurance Certificates, Graham, Anderson, Probst, and White 1955-1956 Box 7 1-17: Graham, Anderson, Probst, and White 1956-1957, Miscellaneous (progress reports, Whittlesey’s ledger, negatives of floor plans dated 1975)

Newspaper Clippings Box 7 18-21: 1940 – Includes clippings on other buildings and businesses opening on East Second Street (Murdoch Paint Co., Kay Furniture, and Holbrook Furniture) and also figures on businesses that were affected by a fire in February of that year 1958- Includes survey for parking project and copies of the Davenport Daily Reporter showing Scott County Records 1959- Includes information on the parking program (forums, negotiations, and purchasing bonds), the city of Davenport getting the “green light” on the program, Leath and Co. Furniture opens, and Montgomery Ward expanding their facilities Putnam Center Opening- articles about the new Putnam Center opening, advertising, and articles about W.C. Putnam and his legacy


  • 1929-1961

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.

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

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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 East Second Street Company was founded on September 11, 1929 and officially became a corporation on November 1, 1929 as a company that owned and operated several real estate properties in Davenport. The headquarters/offices were located at 804 Putnam Building, 215 Main Street, Davenport, IA, which was purchased from the estate of Elizabeth D. and Edward K. Putnam.

At the beginning of the business, the Putnam brothers of George (President), Benjamin (Vice President), and Edward (secretary and treasurer) held the officer positions and were the trustees of the Putnam estate after the death of their father, William. Walter E. Whittlesey, the assistant manager, was involved with the majority of the communication aspects of the business, eventually becoming manager and sole communicator for the business. Many other members of the Putnam family were stockholders including Wilella T. (wife of Benjamin), Hilma S., William C., Thorington C., and Mrs. Marta Putnam (wife of George). Properties owned and then rented to others were 117, 119-121, and 123 East Second Street. Companies they rented to over the course of operation included the E.E. May Seed Company, Bargain Furniture Store, L.E. Chute Co., Schmidt Music Company, Huebotter Furniture Company, and the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company.

On September 11, 1949, the East Second St. Company renewed their status as a corporation. In 1955-1957, they rebuilt the Putnam Center with the Chicago architectural firm Graham, Anderson, Probst, and White due to a clause in William C. Putnam’s will requiring the estate be expanded. The new building was between Brady and Main Street on Davenport’s West 2nd Street, and was called the city’s “Miracle Block.” It was planned and constructed so it would be on par with the shopping centers of New York City and Chicago. It included heated sidewalks, escalators, and was considered the Pride of Davenport showing ultimate progress.

During the years 1957 and 1958, the company saw a decrease in revenue. This was partially due to a parking program implemented by the city of Davenport for more off-street parking in the downtown area, and also other businesses were expanding when their leasers were not. Other competing businesses in the downtown area, including Leath and Co. Furniture Company and Montgomery-Ward, built new larger facilities to accommodate demand, and their leasers could not keep up. Revenue was also lost due to the expense of the new Putnam Center, costing over $1,000,000. In March 1960, the East Second Street Company went through the process of liquidation because of property loss and decreased revenue. The company officially disbanded on August 24, 1961.


7 Box(es) (in 7 manuscript boxes.)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

Range 38 Section 03

Immediate Source of Acquisition


Physical Description

fair to good

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