Early Pioneer Jews of Davenport, Iowa


Early Pioneer Jews of Davenport, Iowa


Robert Krause

Robert Krause (brother of William Krause of Des Moines) was an early, successful merchant in Davenport.

Robert Krause married Louisa Steinhilber of West. Virginia in 1860

Together they had two daughters



Henry Abel was the second known Jew in Davenport.


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The following Jewish-run businesses were listed in 1860:

Nathan Billstein, Dry Goods

Fleishman, Clothing Co.

Haas & Meyer, Wholesale Dry Goods

Solomon Hersgberg, Dry Goods

Samuel Heinsfurter, Dry Goods

Robert Krause, Clothing

Alex Lederer, Dry Goods

Joseph Levy, Dry Goods

Leopold Lowenstein, Clothing

John Ochs, Real Estate

Raphel & Feder, Clothing

G. Rosenberger, Watchmaker

S. K. Stone, Clothing

Abraham Straus, Clothing

The Davenport Ferry, Vintage Postcard

The Davenport Ferry, Vintage Postcard

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During the  Civil War

Michael Raphael

Michael Raphael was appointed Horse Inspector by Federal Government.

Michael Raphael was born in 1837, in Oberslessing, Prussia.

He arrived in Davenport in 1853, and worked as a peddler for four years and then opened his store

Michael Raphael soon partnered in Feder & Raphael Wholesale Grocers.

Michael Raphael became a leading citizenofn Davenport and was known as the first Jew to hold a Federal office in Iowa.

After the Civil War

Michael Raphael was a wholesaler and Paymaster of Northwestern Railroad in Iowa.

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John Ochs

John Ochs created a successful Real Estate Land Agency.

John Ochs of Davenport

John Ochs of Davenport

He was born in Nordsteden, Germany in 1811, and arrived in Davenport in 1854,

John Ochs  purchased the land for the Jewish cemetery

John Ochs died in 1880.

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Lippen Ochs

Lippen Ochs was appointed Commissioner of Emigration for Germany by the Governor of Iowa in 1871

He headquartered in Hamburg, Germany for a year where he “boosted” the benefits of Iowa.

Lippen Ochs was then appointed to represent Iowa in the Eastern states and was headquartered in New York City with the job of bringing immigrants to Iowa

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M. Feder was the first Jewish “Minister,” and led services.

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A. Rothschild – Philanthropist

A. Rothschild was born in Eberstadt, Grand Duchy of Baden, Germany, in 1852

He arrived in Davenport and created D. Rothsschild Grain Co. with his uncles.

A. Rothschild was a Trustee of Cleveland Orphan Home.

He also served as President of B’nai Israel Congregation of Davenport.

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Information culled from: The Jews in Iowa, by Simon Glazer, 1904.


Anyone that can fill in more details on the lives of these early Davenport Jewish Pioneers, please contact us.