German American Heritage Center – Davenport, Iowa

German American.jpg

Description – This museum and research center is housed in the restored Germania Haus/Miller Hotel, a Victorian structure built in 1868. The hotel had served as a stopping place for Germans emigrating west in the late nineteenth century. Thousands of these Germans took up temporary residence there before finding a home in the Quad Cities or going on farther west. The facility has old documents, other records, and artifacts relating to the German immigration and how those who came affected Iowa and other states. Visitors can do genealogical research in the library, archives, and research center.

Admission – Fee is charged

Directions – shortly after turning north on U. S. Highway 61 in the downtown area, turn west on 2nd Street

Credit Cards – None
Phone – (319) 322-8844


  1. matthew truitt says:

    hello, I purchased a home on 1027 Wilkes avenue In Davenport. The architects were clausen and Kruse, and it was completed in 1927. William C Gehrmann was the owner, and I was told that he owned the Davenport Lard Factory at the time. my home is directly behind the Putnam and Imax. I am right in the middle of Fejervary park. I have tried to find more info on the internet, but my efforts have been fruitless. I assume he was a German immigrant, and was wondering if you folks could help. Thanks, Matt Truitt

  2. Thanks for sending us your inquiry, Matt. I have forwarded it on to the director of the center and requested that any information be submitted to you.
    We hope you get the information you want, good luck.

    Pat Watson

  3. Donald Kohrs says:

    7. HELEN5 KOHRS (JOHANN HEINRICH LUETJE KOHRS4 (HENRY), CONRAD CARSTEN3 KOHRS, LUETJE2, HEINRICK JACOB1 COORS) was born 23 Apr 1863 in Davenport, Iowa. She married WILLIAM GEHRMANN 07 Sep 1887 in Davenport, Iowa, son of DIETRICH GEHRMANN and ANNA. He was born in Uetersen, Germany, March 15, 1858, the son of DIETRICH and ANNA (DIECKMAN) GEHRMANN, also natives of Germany. Dietrich Gehrmann was a manufacturer of chicory, a root treated and used as a substitute for coffee. Dietrich and Anna Gehrmann was quite a prominent citizen of his native country, in which both he and his wife spent their entire lives. Mr. Gehrmann died February 16, 1933. Notes for WILLIAM GEHRMANN: William H. Gehrmann, starting in business life in America at a salary of eight dollars per month, rose to become the vice president and general manager of the Kohrs Packing Company of Davenport, in which connection he was active in the control of one of the leading enterprises of the city. His business affairs were so carefully managed that success placed him in a prominent position among Davenport’s representative men. William Gehrmann was educated in the private schools of his native town of Uetersen Germany and afterward learned bookkeeping, which he followed for two years. In 1875, when a youth of seventeen years, he sailed for America, making the voyage alone as a passenger on the steamship Schiller. This was the last complete trip which she made, as she was lost at sea on her return trip, being wrecked on the Needles off the English coast. Mr. Gehrmann landed at New York City and soon afterward started for the Middle West, going to St. Louis, Missouri, where he secured a place in a grocery store at a salary of eight dollars per month. He afterward was employed in a wholesale grocery house of that city, with which he was connected until 1879, when he went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and entered the training school of the Truners Academy for the training of teachers of gymnastics. Following his graduation in 1880 he returned to St. Louis and accepted a position as teacher in the gymnasium of the Toensfeldt Institute and St. Louis Turn Verein. There he continued until the spring of 1887, when he went to Walkerville, Montana, and with the capital he had saved from his earnings engaged in the butchering business on his own account. In this undertaking he prospered but in 1895 he sought a broader field of labor in Anaconda, Montana, where he organized the Montana Meat Company in connection with Marcus Daly and Conrad Kohrs. In 1898, however, he sold out his interest to his partners and came to Davenport, where he assumed the management of the interests of the Kohrs Packing Company, which had been established in 1874 by Henry Kohrs. He became the vice president and general manager of what, in its day was one of the extensive business concerns of the city, employing about one hundred people. The output of the Kohrs Packing Plant was known throughout Iowa, Illinois and Missouri and all points in the south. They did their own killing, dressing and packing and the establishment was under government inspection. Everything was conducted with the strictest regard to sanitation and the excellence of the products insures a continuance of a liberal and growing patronage. Fraternally Mr. Gehrmann was connected with the Elks and the Masons and was prominent as a club man in the city of Davenport. He took an active interest in all public affairs as one of the leading representatives of trade interests in Davenport. He also figured in financial circles as a director of the Iowa National Bank. He was prominent among the German-American citizens as the president of the Davenport Turner Society and was interested in the educational progress of the city, doing effective work in behalf of the public schools as a member of the board of education since 1901. His record was characterized by continuous progress along every line to which he directed his activity and most of all he is known as a representative and prominent business man who accomplished what he undertook by reason of well formulated plans and close and unremitting application (From "Vol 2 History of Davenport and Scott County" by Harry E. Downer – S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago,

  4. Donald Kohrs says:

    The first son born to William and Helen (Kohrs) Gehrmann. At the age of 10, William, returned to Davenport, Iowa, with his family. He graduated from Davenport High School in 1907, and from Stanford University in 1912. In 1912, he went to Venezuela with a company that was exploring for oil. At the beginning of World War I in Europe, he returned to Davenport, and to the Kohrs Packing Company. He married ANITA HANSSEN on 15 Feb 1920, daughter of CHARLES HANSSEN and MARIE BRUHN. At the time of his death, William was seventy-six years old, while at the time of her death, Anita was eighty-four. William and Anita are buried in Oakdale Cemetery, Davenport Iowa.

  5. Deborah Hoeper Parrish says:

    I have been trying since I was in my 20′s to find out what happened to my great grandmother who was an immigrant in 1882. She divorced her husband in Hamburg, Germany and came here by herself with her on year old son. Her name was Katherine Knaak Hoeper, My grandfather’s name was Charles Henry Hoeper Sr. He lived on City Island for many years. He married Vera Gaskey and they had a family. Later after their family was grown, they moved to 510 Gains St. He used to walk to the corner tavern on 3rd and Gains and sing German songs for drinks….. But nobody knows what happened to his mother Katherine….. I have discovered that she married a man by the name of Frank Singleman (also a German immigrant) and they had at least one son together. The father and son are buried at the Chippianock cemetery in Rock Island Illinois…..but there is no mention of Katherine in their obituaries and she is not interred at that cemetery or at either of the family cemeteries either……. Her maiden name was Knaak…….If you have any information regarding this woman, it would be greatly appreciated….Sincerely Deborah Hoeper Parrish

Speak Your Mind