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Davenport’s first mayor gets new tombstone

July 7, 2018

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Davenport’s first mayor now has a tombstone after cemetery volunteers and city officials worked to get a marker placed on the grave.

Rudolphus Bennett was a Vermont native who journeyed to Davenport in 1837, the Quad-City Times reported . He was buried in Davenport after his death in 1871. It’s unclear whether Bennett’s grave originally had a tombstone.

Volunteer Colleen Powers said she researched Bennett that his wife, Lucinda, and daughter, Sarah, are also buried in the cemetery. A facet that Powers found most intriguing is that Bennett was a staunch Congregationalist, a church whose members often were associated with abolitionism.

Powers found information on Bennett by consulting numerous sources, beginning with newspaper obituaries.

Bennett’s new marker is in honor of the 175th anniversary of Davenport’s City Cemetery founding. The stone installed June 29 by Art Stone Co. is engraved with all three names, along with their birth and death dates.

The more than 11-acre (4-hectare) City Cemetery is Davenport’s oldest cemetery and contains the remains of an estimated 6,000 people. The last burial occurred in 1997.

The $995 marker was paid for out of the city’s capital improvements budget.

Bennett served a single one-year term as Davenport’s mayor in 1839.


Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com

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