- Born 20 Sep 1822 New Bedford, Bristol, Massachusetts
- Died 27 Jun 1904 Hood River, Hood River, Oregon
- Parents: Jeremiah Davenport and Alice Hathaway
- Wife: Clarissa Danforth Crapo (md. 10 Aug 1848)
- Children: Joseph Smith Crapo Davenport, Jeremiah Franklin Davenport, John Edward Davenport, James Albert Davenport, William Edwin Davenport, Mary Alice Davenport, Marcus Morton Davenport, Agnes Eudora Davenport, Charles Davenport, Warren Ellis Davenport
- Born 10 Aug 1828 New Bedford, Bristol, Massachusetts
- Died 11 Jan 1911 Portland, Multnomah, Oregon
- Parents: Joseph George Crapo and Mary Hicks Collins
Edward Wilcox Davenport
Clarissa Danforth Crapo
Clarissa Danforth Crapo
"Edward Wilcox Davenport* [also known as Edward Hathaway Davenport] was the fourth and youngest child of his parents. His father, Jeremiah Davenport, was in the mercantile and bakery business at Tiverton, R.I., and his mother, Alice, who was his father's third wife, had been a school teacher for twelve years and was a woman of talent and education. Jeremiah died of consumption when Edward was four years old and Alice died of the same disease less than two years later. She left her small son to the care of her spinster sister. The aunt was quite well-to-do and loved him dearly. She wanted him to change his name to hers, Hathaway. This he would never do, although he did use it as a middle name until she disowned him when he joined the Mormon Church. She begged him to renounce Mormonism, promising that if he did, she would make him her sole heir. This he refused to do, for he had been sincere in his acceptance of the doctrine taught by the Mormons. He gladly gave up his inheritance and went to Utah, suffering the hardships and privations of the pioneers, that he might make a home there and live in peace among others who believed as he did. His aunt left her property to his older brother, Jeremiah, who later with his wife and child, was drowned at sea.
"When Edward was twelve years old, he was apprenticed to a shoemaker to learn the trade, which at that time also included the tanning of the leather. He received no wages but was allowed to spend Saturday and Sunday with his aunt. He worked as an apprentice until he was twenty, when his aunt started him up in a business of his own. He followed this trade the rest of his working years.
"Edward was tall, dark and very quiet, having a sweet, even disposition. His wife, Clarissa, was very small, so small she could walk under her tall husband's out-stretched arm without even her hair brushing his sleeve. She was energetic and very quick in her actions and had a sharp temper, but ordinarily was jolly and full of fun and all her life loved to dance, sing and recite.
"Clarissa Danforth Crapo was the first of eleven children to be born to Joseph George and Mary Hicks (Collins) Crapo. She was born in her grandfather's farm home in New Bedford, Mass., on the 10th of August 1828, about one hundred and fifty years after her first Crapo ancestor arrived in America. He was Pierre Crapaud, better known to us as Peter Crapo.
"Her grandfather, Charles Crapo, was a great-grandson of Pierre. Her grandmother was Sarah Lucas, a great-granddaughter of Thomas Shaw. Thomas was a soldier in the American Revolution and died in the service of his country. He was in Captain William Shaw's First Middleborough Company of Minutemen and answered the Lexington alarm, April 9, 1775. He was killed in battle July 6, 1778.
"Clarissa's father, Joseph George Crapo, was the eldest son of Charles and Sarah. He was small of stature like his mother and inherited her alert business nature. He disliked the work on the farm very much and cherished a dream of someday owning a fishing smack, as the fishing boats were called.
"When Joseph was twenty years old, he fell in love with an Irish , Mary Hicks Collins. She was very pretty, with sparkling blue eyes and dark auburn curls. His father was very much opposed to the marriage but gave his consent when Joseph agreed to remain on the farm three more years, when a younger brother would then be old enough to take his place. So he and Mary Collins were married June 18, 1826, at Fall River, Mass. Their first child, a was born Aug. 10, 1828. She was such a sweet baby and the darling of her grandparents and her uncles and aunts. Many names were suggested for the newcomer, but the mother had her way and the baby was christened Clarissa. Her grandmother Crapo, though, always insisted on calling her Katie. Clarissa had her mother's Irish blue eyes and auburn curls and from the first she ruled them all with her sweet disposition and winning ways.
"When the years had passed that her father had agreed to stay on the farm and he and his wife left for Maine to earn the money for his boat, they yielded to the pleas of all the family and Clarissa, or Katie as she was then called, was left in the care of her Crapo grandparents. Her uncles adored her, especially her Uncle Charles, who taught her little poems to recite at socials and family gatherings.
"Katie was four years old, when her Uncle Charles bought her a pair of little red shoes and took her to a social where she was to recite. She got about half-way through with the poem and stopped suddenly saying, "Uncle Charles kissed Miss Annie." Everyone laughed except Miss Annie and Uncle Charles, who taking hold of her arm said, "Katie mind what you are saying." She was somewhat frightened at his toe and hurriedly recited on to the end. Then thinking that perhaps they thought she had made it up she said, "He did really kiss Miss Annie," whereupon she was taken out and sent home. A few days later she was in disgrace again. Her grandparents were devoutly religious and she was early taught to say her evening prayer. One night she said an extremely short one and when questioned, she said she was "too tired." When she was taken to church not long afterward, she sat quietly all through the pastor's unusually long prayer and then in a loud whisper that carried all through the chapel, said, "He didn't get tired very soon, did he?"
"During her years with her grandparents, she was taught many things. She learned to knit and sew at an early age and her schooling was the best to be had there. She was bright and quick to learn and was always at the head of her class. When still just a child, she spelled down the whole school. When she was eight years old, her grandfather had her start reading to him from the Bible each night, and by the time she was twelve years old, she had read the Bible through. It was when she was twelve, too, that her parents returned to New Bedford, her father having acquired enough money to buy the coveted fishing boat.
"Clarissa loved the sea and went with her father on many trips. She became adept at steering. Once while they were living on an island in the bay, to be near her father's oyster bed, her mother became very ill and it was necessary to take her to the mainland to a doctor. As they were crossing the bay, a sudden storm came up. Clarissa was at the wheel and the huge waves would nearly sweep her off her feet. Those watching from the shore expected to see the boat swamped any minute and bet among themselves as to the outcome. When the vessel reached the harbor in safety and they saw it was a at the wheel, the winner of the bet insisted on her receiving the purse of thirty dollars he had won, to show his admiration for her bravery and courage.
"Her father followed the fishing trade for seven years and then was caught in a storm and his boat was wrecked. He was rescued and carried to France by an outgoing ship. It was over a year before he was able to earn enough to return and he had been mourned as lost.
"Clarissa was nineteen when he was wrecked and with the help of her brother Jonathan, who was a few years younger, supported their invalid mother and younger brothers and sisters. She had learned to run a loom in her uncle's linen factory and had been placed in charge of eight looms and taught other s to run them. Each day she was allowed one and a half yards of new material to use in dusting the machines. She used old material from home instead and her Uncle Charles allowed her to keep the new, so by the time she was married, she had a trunk full of linen and muslin material for use in her new home.
"She was a good dressmaker at the age of sixteen and did all the sewing for her mother's family. She learned tailoring, too, and at the age of eighteen could cut and sew a man's suit of clothes. In later years she made her husband's and sons' suits.
"Her family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when she was seventeen years old. She was nineteen when she met her future husband, Edward Wilcox Davenport. He was a member of the New Bedford Fire Brigade and she met him at a fir, when she, with other women and s, was serving hot food to the weary men. They were married on her twentieth birthday, August 10, 1848. Her first child, Joseph Crapo Davenport, was born when she was twenty-one.
"In 1851, Jonathan Crapo, Clarissa's brother, was to have driven a wagon to Utah for a friend, and as pay have space in it to take garden tools and other belongings. Just before the company was to leave, he cut his foot badly and his father said to Edward, "There is nothing we can do now, Edward, but have you go in Jonathan's place." So Edward left for Utah, where he would stay and prepare a home for his wife and child who were to follow him the next summer.
"When Edward arrived in Salt Lake City, he plied his trade of shoemaking, for which there was a great demand. In return he received materials and help in building a home. It was a humble home, a little log cabin with a fireplace for heating and cooking. The table and benches were hand hewn from logs. there were no windows and the only light by day, when the door was closed, was a hole in the wall with a board to slide over it as a cover. The light at night was furnished by a tallow dip, which was made by placing a piece of cloth in a dish of tallow. The homemade door was fastened shut by nailing a small piece of wood, called a button, on the frame and turning it across the door.
"Clarissa worked for a year in a factory to earn the money to have her trunk, bedding and food hauled across the plains. She walked all the way, carrying her boy when he became tired of walking or riding in the wagon. Before leaving her home she had received her patriarchal blessing, in which she was promised that both she and her baby would reach Utah in safety and that her son would become the father of a large family.
"When they had traveled about six weeks, her baby took sick with cholera, and in the morning became cold and stiff and to all appearances was . The captain of the company said to her, "Sister Davenport, shall we bury the baby this morning or wait until noon?" She answered, "Captain, my baby isn't ." She told him of the promise in her blessing and he replied that such things weren't always to be taken literally. She said, "Well, if that isn't true, nothing is true. You can't bury my baby here." "Well," he said, "we will wait until noon." And so they drove on. She rubbed the baby with oil that had been blessed and forced some down his throat and held him close to get him warm, praying all the while.
"After a time he began to get warm and limber and soon wanted a drink, after which he went to sleep. At noon the captain came to the back of the wagon again and said, "Sister davenport, are you willing for us to bury the baby now?" She uncovered the sleeping child and asked, "Would you bury a living child?" He looked at the baby in astonishment and then calling the company together, knelt down and asked forgiveness of our Heavenly Father for his lack of faith. This incident is but one of many to show the great faith Clarissa had all her life. Joseph reached Utah in good health and eventually became the father of many children as the blessing had promised.
"When the wagon train reached Indian territory, the captain said that they must all be very careful not to make the Indians angry. One noon as they camped for lunch, a band of Indians swooped down, yelling loudly. At the head wagon they stopped and spread a blanket on the ground in front of it. This meant that the pioneers must pay toll from their meager stores and fill the blanket with food, trinkets and other articles to the Indians' satisfaction before they could proceed on their way. While the Indians waited for their blanket to be filled, they went among the wagons, seemingly very interested in all they saw. Joseph was a beautiful child, having curly golden hair and big blue eyes, and the Indians thought he was wonderful. They would point to his eyes and then to the sky and make motions with their hands. The chief tried to buy him, offering Clarissa horses, robes, anything he had with him, but she would only shake her head and smile. While she was playing with the baby, several young squaws came up to watch. One of them begged hard to hold him, offering as a bribe, several strings of pretty blue beads. Clarissa was young and beads were very pretty, and so thinking it would do no harm and even help keep the Indians pacified, she started to hand the child to the eager squaw. As she did so, the squaw glanced up and Clarissa looking up too, saw the chief sitting on his horse, ready to grab the child and go. She quickly turned to the wagon, holding her baby boy close to her. The chief was very angry and scolded the little squaw severely, striking her many times with his hand. He knew she had done something to make Clarissa suspicious. The captain gave orders for Clarissa to keep her child out of sight until they were safely through the Indian territory.
"Once while gathering brush for the campfire with other women, she became confused as to the direction of their camp and was soon completely lost. She was seen, however, by one of the men who was on horseback, and he took her back to camp, two miles away and in the opposite direction.
"Edward knew his wife was coming and late in the summer of 1852, he with others who were expecting loved ones, got a yoke of oxen and a wagon and taking vegetables and other provisions, started out to meet them.
"What a happy reunion that was for the lonely husband, who for over a year had heard so little from his dear wife and baby, and for the brave little wife, who had traveled for three long months and who was so tired from the long wearisome walks she had taken and from the hardships and dangers she had endured, to reach her husband and Zion. She was so happy to know she could ride the rest of the way. She always said that the vegetables he brought were the best she ever tasted.
"In her snug little cabin in Salt Lake City, she soon had all the sewing and knitting she could do. This helped very much with the living as she was paid in produce. She did much tailoring, even making men's suits, and was especially in demand for making buttonholes, a task at which she was very proficient.
"The next year Clarissa's parents and their family came to Utah. They were in the John A. Miller and John W. Cooley Company which was organized on the 8th of June, on the west bank of the Missouri River, near old Winter Quarters. The log of the company in the Journal History of the Church says the Crapo party consisted of eight persons, four wagons, three horses and eighteen cattle. They arrived in Utah the 9th day of September, 1853, and along with others of this company settled in Draper, a few miles south of Salt Lake City.
"Edward and Clarissa lived in Salt Lake City for several years and here their next two children were born. the first, Jeremiah Franklin, was born in 1853. He was a beautiful baby, bright and intelligent and was greatly coveted by a Doctor Franklin, who offered the parents one thousand dollars for him. Of course the offer was refused, but the baby was named for him. The second child, John Edward, was born in 1855. Perhaps Clarissa became homesick, for about this time, she and her husband and three little boys moved to Draper near her parents. Another son, James Albert, was born in June, 1857.
"In order to make a living though, they had to go wherever Edward could find shoes to mend and make, so after a short stay in Draper, they moved farther south to Camp Floyd, where an army of U.S. soldiers under Brigadier-General A. S. Johnson was stationed. Here Edward did shoemaking and his wife did washing and mending. Another son was born while the family lived at Camp Floyd, William Edwin. Little James died the year William was born and was buried in Camp Floyd. This was the first break in the family circle and was a great sorrow to the parents. Camp Floyd was far from being an ideal place for the family of growing boys and so in 1860, Edward decided to move his family back to Draper.
"Joseph Crapo and his pioneer neighbors by this time had accumulated quite a large herd of stock and larger, better range was very much needed. In 1860 Joseph, with three companions, his son-in-law, Alvin S. Montierth and William Smith and Barnard White, was chosen to select a new location. They went north and in April arrived in Cache Valley. The little cove where Avon is now located was very attractive. It was at the forks of East Creek and the Little Bear River, so that plenty of water was available. It was very beautiful with its green meadows and hills and profusion of spring flowers. The men were well pleased with the valley and speedily built a log cabin, after which they returned to Draper for their families. They said the valley was like Paradise and when the first families arrived there on the 18th of July 1860, they gave it that name, Paradise. Eight log houses were built that summer in a fort formation and the men working together raised a good crop.
"Edward and his family stayed in Draper and here in April, 1861, another child was born. To their great joy it was a little daughter, their first, and they named her Mary Alice. In 1862, the Davenport family left Draper to make their home in Paradise. On the journey to their new home, little William, who was three years old, became very ill. When they got to the hot springs in North Ogden, they camped for several days and gave the sick child baths in the warm water, which benefited him very much.
"They found Paradise to be very beautiful, but like every Paradise, theirs too had a serpent. In was in the form of Indians. In choosing their town site, they had unwittingly chosen a junction of Indian trails. Trails through East Canyon led to Wyoming, others led north to Idaho and south to Ogden and other southern Utah points. It was ideally located for camping, with plentiful hunting and fishing, and was very well known to the Indians, as the pioneers soon found out. Because of the Indian camps in the nearby river bottoms, it was necessary to herd the stock closely. A large public corral for the stock was built, with a high, strong pole fence and guards were stationed here and outside the fort, or town, day and night. The men went in armed groups to the fields to work and to the canyons for logs. As they were far from other settlements, the utmost vigilance was necessary at all times to protect themselves and their property from the Indians.
"Many tribes used these trails and Chief Washakie became a well-known figure to the settlers, as he and his tribe traveled back and forth through the valley.
"Church meetings were held in the homes that first year, with the eldest elder present, usually Joseph George Crapo, presiding. In February, 1861, Apostle Ezra T. Benson and Peter Maughn organized the church in the settlement and David James, who had moved to Paradise from Salt Lake City, was ordained the first bishop.
"That summer of 1861, Joseph Crapo and H. C. Jackson built a small sawmill on East Creek near the fort and the first timber was sawed. This small mill was the beginning of a fruitful business in the valley in later years.
"Bishop James was very tactful and careful in his dealings with the Indians and strictly heeded the advice of President Young, "to feed, not fight them." The people were very generous in supplying the needed provisions. Chief Washakie came on several occasions and asked for supplies, offering as pay in exchange, all the land east of Paradise. When Bishop James would remonstrate, saying he had received that land as pay the time before, chief Washakie would smilingly offer to sell it again.
"About this time Edward bought a little Indian from her captors, a conquering tribe. She died when only about five years of age of whooping cough. She had grown very dear to the family in the years she lived with them. She was buried in the Paradise Cemetery. The Crapos also bought an Indian . They gave a yearling heifer for her. They gave her the name Naomi, and she lived with them for many years until her which was brought on by a fall. She was an excellent housekeeper and seemed very contented and happy with her foster family.
"In 1867 and '68, the Black Hawk Indians in southern Utah were causing the people much trouble and anxiety. As the Indians in northern Utah and Idaho were becoming restless and more hostile, the settlers all moved back into the fort, but more protection was needed. Apostle Benson advised the people in Paradise to move their settlement about three miles north, closer to Hyrum and other settlements and in more open country. This they did in the spring of 1868.
"It was considerable sacrifice to these early pioneers to commence a new settlement again so soon. Homes were moved where possible or new ones built, and equipment and stock moved to the new town site. The canal from East Creek was extended and finished in time to irrigate the new fields. This was a huge undertaking when it is remembered that except for the preliminary plowing, the canal was built by hand.
"At new Paradise the Davenports had a nice log home with two rooms downstairs and a large one above. The people still cooked on open fireplaces and having no matches, would borrow live coals from a neighbor when necessary to start a new fire. About 1870 though, Clarissa's sons bought her the first cook stove to be used in their town. It was called a step stove, the lids over the oven being a step higher than those in front. They also bought her a sewing machine, the first she ever had. It turned by hand as her son Mark well remembered, as it fell to his lot to do the turning, and lots of turning there was as she did much sewing for her neighbors as well as the sewing for her own family. When her eldest son, Joseph, was married in 1871, she made his wedding suit. Her youngest child, another son Warren, was born that same year in May.
|Edward Wilcox Davenport about 1870|
"The older Davenport boys engaged in the lumber business in Paradise and operated what young Mark laughingly called a tri-weekly mill; get a log out one week and try to saw it up the next. He also laughed at their sash or "up and down" saw as he called it, up today and down tomorrow.
"The grasshoppers had partially destroyed the crops for several years and the year 1872 had been particularly bad for Edward's family. Winter found them with very little food on hand. They had a very meager diet of a little parched corn, venison, bear meat, and now and then a little thickened milk and on rare occasions a little bread and dried fruit. A little wheat had been raised near Brigham City and Edward had gone there and taken his shoemaking kit from door to door, taking as pay for his work, flour, dried fruit, wheat or anything the people could spare. thus his family was able to fare as well as it did. In the spring the grasshoppers rose in a swarm and migrated to the south east, to the great joy of the people of the valley.
"When the Brigham City Co-op was started, Edward got work in the shoe shop. He rented a large room in the home of Aunt Phoebe Snow, a wife of President Lorenzo Snow. In September 1873, Clarissa and her four youngest children joined him there. The next spring Edward bought the adjoining house and lot, where the family lived for the next few years. Clarissa worked part of the time in the woolen mills where she was in charge of the looms. She also helped Sister Snow when she entertained, helping plan and prepare banquets. She also helped her with her home decorating, arranging pictures, curtains and furniture.
"In 1877, Edward sold his home in Brigham City and moved back to Paradise, where he helped his sons buy what was then as up-to-date saw mill. It was run by a turbine wheel and had a circular saw and modern log carriage. Its capacity was about one thousand board feet an hour. They called their mill the Davenport Brothers Lumber Company. Frank stayed in the lumber business most of his life, in Utah, Idaho and finally in Washington and Oregon, but the other boys gradually drifted into other kinds of business.
"Clarissa and her daughters, Mary and Eudora, cooked for the men at their summer camps, sometimes for as many as sixteen men at a time. In the fall of 1880, when they were loading the wagon to go home, Clarissa fell off the injured her back, causing it to be crooked and lame the rest of her life.
"In 1883 Edward bought some land on Egin Bench in what is now known as Parker, Idaho. Clarissa started a little store which she kept for several years and then sold to her son, Joseph. From his they moved to Monida, a railway station on the border line of Idaho and Montana.
"In April, 1888, Clarissa went back to Paradise to visit her daughter Mary and to care for her seriously ill mother, who died soon after in May. While she was gone, Edward bought a cow, which he tried to lead home. It tried to run back to its calf and Edward was tripped and fell, breaking his right arm. The doctor didn't think it was broken and so it healed wrong, causing his fingers to become crooked and stiff. Because of this, it was very hard for him to continue his shoemaking. He was lost without his trade and very unhappy at his inability to work.
"By this time several of their children had moved to Oregon, so in 1900 Edward and Clarissa went there too. They were living in Hood River, Oregon, in 1902, in part of their son Frank's home, when Edward fell and hurt his back. He was partially paralyzed and was taken care of by his daughter Eudora, until she moved away nearly a year and a half later. His wife, Clarissa then cared for him until his the 27th of June, 1904. He was buried in the cemetery in Hood River, Oregon. Clarissa then went to Woodburn, Oregon, to live with her daughter, Eudora D. Short.
"Clarissa had splendid eyesight and though handicapped by creeping paralysis, which eventually caused her , she did fine needle work. Her knitted lace was beautiful. When she was eighty-one years old, she pieced a crazy quilt of velvet pieces. She died the 11th of January, 1911, in Portland, Oregon, and was buried by the side of her husband in the Idlewild Cemetery in Hood River, Oregon.
"Although they endured many hardships and trials, Edward and his wife Clarissa Davenport had lived full and eventful lives, rich in love and friendship and accomplishing much good.
"They were the parents of ten children, eight boys and two s, seven of whom survived them. They were grandparents to sixty-three grandchildren and so left a large posterity to thrill at their life story and profit by their example of faith and industry.
"*An explanation is due those of you who read this history. It is essentially Aunt Dora D. Short's story of her kinfolk. In 1947, I joined a local camp of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. Since the first objective of this organization is to secure and record histories of Utah pioneers, I went to the D.U.P. office in Salt Lake City to see which histories of our ancestors were already on file. Finding none, I decided to start with the histories of my great-grandparents, Edward and Clarissa (Crapo) Davenport.
"Since I knew little about them, except the traditional stories of "Little Grandma" crossing the plains, I went to Aunt Dora for help. She was delighted and as a starter gave me a copy of the history she had written which is widely circulated among members of the family. She told me she had planned to enlarge it anyway, and even had parts of it written, such as the new stories of "Miss Annie," the "little red shoes," and "the preacher who didn't tire easily," and more detailed accounts of others. She gladly let me take these and other notes she had and gave me every help and encouragement.
"Her remembrance of what her mother had told her about the Camp Floyd, Draper and early Paradise eras wasn't too clear. By consulting Bancroft's History of Utah and Hovey's Early History of Cache County, I was finally able to reconcile our data with theirs. However, they credit Peter Maughn and Ezra T. Benson with giving the settlement of Paradise its name and I used Aunt Dora's version. I also got much valuable help from the Journal History of the Church in the Historian's office in Salt Lake City.
"When it was finished, I read it to Aunt Dora and after making a few minor changes of words and phrases, she gave it her full approval, and copies of the history were put on file in the Utah County and State D.U.P. Archives.
"In this present history, however, I have re-arranged the material, placing Edward's early history first instead of that of his wife, Clarissa.
"There are two things I have been unable to verify. First the birthplace of James Albert, Edward's fourth child. The family record says Camp Floyd, Utah, but the camp wasn't established until a year after the birth date we have for him. So, whether he was born somewhere else or whether the birth date we have for him is wrong, I don't know. The second thing is Edward's baptism date. Aunt Dora said he was baptized just before taking Jonathan's place and leaving for Utah, but other records, including one of his own, give it as 1850 instead of 1851, the year he came to Utah.
"As much as possible I have used Aunt Dora's own words in this history and because of that and since it was written with her knowledge and approval, I feel that this is truly Aunt Dora's own story of her kinfolk.
--written by Dorothy D. Hall
* * *
from Hall, Dorothy D., compiler. Davenport Ancestry in America and Descendants of John Pope Davenport and Edward Wilcox Davenport: 1640-1962. Springville, Utah: Art City Publishing Company, 1962, pp. 63-77.
|Edward's headstone in Idlewild Cemetery, Hood River, Oregon|
|Clarissa's headstone in Idlewild Cemetery, Hood River, Oregon|