Henry C. Davenport

Henry C. Davenport

Knox County, Tennessee, USA
Death 23 Aug 1905 (aged 76)
Tennessee, USA
Burial Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee, USA
Memorial ID 63203156 · View Source
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Several hundred people Thursday afternoon stood with heads bared under the virgin oaks of a beautiful grove two miles South of the city, out of respect to the memory of Henry Davenport. Many of those there assembled had gathered at the bier of soldiers and statesmen, but the deference with which they on Thursday demeaned themselves was none the less. Henry Davenport died dispossessed by circumstances a kind heart and charitable nature of his worldly possessions, with which he had been bountifully blessed. But he had left a heritage for his hundreds of relatives there gathered even more precious - a name that was synonymous with kindness and charity.

Henry Davenport died Wednesday night at the age of 73 years. A general breakdown in health caused his demise. He was practically never sick before. He died in the same room in which he was born in the old Adam Thomas house built 130 years ago. It was the first frame house of consequence built in the Southern part of Knox County, and the old stone chimneys at each end of the house, massive and not affected by time, were viewed with profound interest by those assembled. Rev. R. C. Medaris spoke of the life of the deceased and told the unequivocated story of "dust to dust" etc.

Perhaps Henry Davenport was at one time the largest landowner in Knox County. He did not know how much he owned. This is perhaps why at one time he refused $75,000 cash for his land and $25,000 for immediate possession and personal property. This was a number of years ago, before Knoxville had began to grow as it has. He was then standing around a large herd of yearlings with his hand on the back on one, near a large barn, and looking down the meadow where he had followed the plow since a boy.

The deceased was a son of Thomas Davenport, one of the pioneers of Knox County and who with the Cunninghams, Banthams, Doyles, Fords, and Maxeys, settled the Southern part of the county. The father was a farmer in meager circumstances and married a daughter of Adam Thomas. She came into possession by Will and Testament of the old home where Henry, Adam, Jane, Thomas, and John Davenport were reared. Now only Jacob Davenport survives.

To acquire land was the sole ambition of all and soon the little farm began to expand. First the large farm of John Owens, which is now Woodlawn Cemetery, and hundreds of other acres were acquired. In course of time the large farm of Thomas Henderson was bought, a part of the immense Caleb Powers estate, a strip of the Doyle lands, and lastly the Bantham lands, known as the "old Banty fields" was bought.

Henry Davenport was by this time a middle age man. While illiterate his word in trade was authority, his opinion in the division of an estate or between warring neighbors was the law. He sent herds of cattle to the mountains in the spring and was the largest grower in the county. Henry Davenport was charitable. He kept scarcely no bank account, carried his money with him, chiefly and this was what caused him to throw away large sums every year. He was scarcely ever known to refuse to put his "mark" on a note as endorser or refuse anyone who wanted to borrow money.

In cases of sickness he was known to travel miles of evenings and set beside the sick all night and work next day. He assisted in the digging of many graves. But with the charitable and kind hearted avaricious and wicked find victims. While the kind hearted old man was leaning on his gate fourteen years ago, two dapper gents, suave and very familiar drove up. They told the old man of the possession of two bars of gold, worth, they said, $10,000 and on them they wanted to borrow $3,500. The old man accompanied them to a hotel in the city where a pseudo assay was made and a phony statement issued. Mr. Davenport met the men near his home, they delivered the "gold" and he the legal tender. They were to return in ten days and when Charles Day, a relative, was taken into the secret, he pronounced the property brass, and then the bubble burst. The men never returned and being thus temporarily crippled, Mr. Davenport began to endeavor to recoup his fortune, but he could never retrieve himself. Reverses followed and at last he transferred everything to his creditors. His nephew Charles Davenport bought the old home and here Henry Davenport spent the remainder of his days with his eyes fixed steadfastly on the other world.

-- Knoxville Sentinel, Fri, 25 Aug 1905 --


MAY 6, 1829
AUG. 23, 1905

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  • Created by: Rajordan
  • Added: 21 Dec 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 63203156
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Henry C. Davenport (6 May 1829–23 Aug 1905), Find A Grave Memorial no. 63203156, citing Davenport Cemetery, Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by Rajordan (contributor 46490397) .