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 William Davenport

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William Davenport

Birth
Jessamine County, Kentucky, USA
Death 24 Jun 1869 (aged 71)
Nebraska City, Otoe County, Nebraska, USA
Burial Nebraska City, Otoe County, Nebraska, USA
Memorial ID 45683589 View Source
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William Davenport was one of the ablest and most active pioneer preachers of the Church of Christ in Illinois, and was one of the leading spirits in the founding of Eureka College. The biographies of such men are always interesting and inspiring. He was born in Jessamine County, Kentucky, July 7, 1797. His parents were Jonas and Alice Davenport. His father died in 1802, and his mother in 1815. After the death of his mother, William made his home, for a time, with his aunt, Mrs. Williams, of Scott County, Kentucky. On August 30, 1819, he was married to Eliza Major, of Christian county, and they made their home in Fayette county until 1825, when they returned to Christian county. Here they made their home until 1835, when they removed to Woodford County, Illinois. Mr. Davenport studied law and was admitted to the bar, while in Christian county. His fine presence and fine oratorical powers soon put him in the front, and he had every prospect of a brilliant political career. He had, however, strong religious convictions and sentiments, and had joined the Baptist church in his youth. Having heard the preaching of Alexander Campbell and his co-laborers, Davenport was captivated by the simplicity and scripturalness of their teaching, and, while living in Christian county became a member of the Church of Christ, and threw himself, with characteristic enthusiasm into the ministry. When, in 1835, the family removed to Illinois, it consisted of the father and mother and four children. They settled on a farm, and William Davenport became one of those farmer preachers, who, without compensation, laid the foundation for five hundred churches now in existence in Central Illinois. His fellow-laborers were Palmer, Robeson, Brown, John T. Jones, Kane, Minier, Henry, and a score of others, and he labored as eloquently and as abundantly as any of them. Mr. Davenport was one of the most active leaders in the establishment of Walnut Grove Academy, in 1850, and the reorganizing of it as Eureka College. He traveled widely among the churches in 1852 and 1853, urging co-operation in establishing an institution for Christian education. He was the President of the first Board of Education appointed by the Churches of Christ in Illinois, and was largely instrumental in initiating the movement. He was one of the charter members of the Board of Trustees of Eureka College, when it was organized, in 1855, and it was chiefly through his labors among the churches that the funds were secured for the first college building, which was erected in 1856. [435] Mr. Davenport continued in the ministry until age impaired his activity. In the last few years of his life he resided in Nebraska City, Nebraska, where he died June 24, 1869. He is buried there. He rests from his labors and his works which follow him, in Illinois, especially, are manifest in all the churches, and in Eureka College. --- John T. Brown

Other children of William Davenport:

John Jonas Davenport (1820-1852)
William Horace Davenport (1823-1863)
Margaret Eliza Davenport (1835-1879)
Ben Major Davenport (1837-1894)


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