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FREE Bix Beiderbecke Graveside Jazz Concert 

It has become customary as part of the annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival to hold a concert at Bix's grave site on the Saturday morning of the Festival weekend. This year's festival is scheduled for July 30 - August 1.  Saturday morning, August 1, join us at Bix's grave site at 10 am and enjoy jazz music. Bring a folding chair and enjoy a summer morning in a beautiful setting while listening to fine jazz. There is no admission fee for this concert.
For more information on the Bix Beiderbeck Memorial Society and the 2020 Festival, please visit the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society. 

The Founders

Articles of Incorporation for the Oakdale Cemetery Company were signed on May 14th, 1856. Those signing were John McDowell Burrows, R.M. Prettyman, George B. Sargent, John Dalzell, Dr. J.M. Witherwax, Dr. C.C. Parry, Henry B. Hoffman, Strong Burnell, William H. Hildreth, Joseph Lambrite, Hiram Price, A.H. Barrow, John M. Cannon, John L. Davies and William H.F. Gurley. The following images are scans of the original Articles, from the Corporate Meeting Notes book on file at the office.

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The Civil War Connection - Soldiers' Lot

Soldiers' lot is located in Section 11 of Oakdale Memorial Gardens, Inc. as the cemetery is known today.  Originally, soldiers were interred in multiple areas of the cemetery, before the burials were consolidated into Soldiers' Lot.  As of Dec. 1885, 174 Civil War soldiers were buried in Soldier's Lot.  Around 1888, roughly 160 remains in Oakdale Cemetery, now Oakdale Memorial Gardens, Inc., were removed and placed in the Rock Island and Keokuk National Cemeteries.  In 1900, the remaining interments were consolidated into the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) plot within Oakdale Cemetery, now Oakdale Memorial Gardens, Inc., the location of all subsequent government burials.  In 1940 the GAR conveyed all interests in the plot to the Oakdale Cemetery Association, now Oakdale Memorial Gardens, Inc. and the United States acquired the lot in 1941.  Today, interments within the Soldiers Lot include 71 Civil War dead, seven of whom were killed during the Battle of Fort Donelson, TN and were the first Iowan casualties of the Civil War.

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Some of the noteworthy people buried at Oakdale Memorial Gardens.

                              Addison Hiatt Sanders                                        (September 13, 1823 –                                        November 7, 1912) was a                                    newspaper editor who j-                                    oined the Union Army                                        during the American Civil                                  War. He became a Brevet                                  Brigadier General before b                            the war was over, and went on to become the Secretary of the Montana Territory.
SOURCE: Wikipedia


                                     Count Nicholas                                                   Fejervary  (May 27,                                             1811, - Sep. 19, 1895)                                         was a Hungarian                                                 nobleman who came                                         to Davenport as a                                               refugee in 1853                                                   following the failure of                                       an insurrection in his                                           native Hungary. Davenport's Fejervary Park was the site of his estate.He chose the location for his home because the steep bluffs with a view of  the Mississippi River reminded him of his home on the Danube River. The house, which was on the site at the time the property was given to the city by Celestine Fejérváry, a daughter of Nicholas, is now gone. All that remains of the buildings is a carriage barn. A municipal zoo was added to the park in 1909.  It became known as Mother Goose Land.
SOURCE: Wikipedia


                              George Henry Cram                                            (January 22, 1838 – August                                5, 1872) was a general in                                    the Union Army during the                                American Civil War. Cram                                  was named as captain of                                    Company H of the 9th                                        Kentucky Infantry on                                          November 26, 1861. He was wounded in the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee in the spring of 1862. In April, Cram was promoted to lieutenant colonel and fought at the Battle of Perryville in that capacity. He commanded the 9th Kentucky at the Battle of Stones River in late December, where he was again wounded in action. In March 1863, he was promoted to colonel of the 9th Kentucky Infantry. He fought at the Battle of Chickamauga and led his regiment in the East Tennessee campaign, as well as during the assault on Missionary Ridge at Chattanooga, where he was yet again wounded. During the Atlanta Campaign, Cram commanded a brigade with distinction. He was later brevetted as a brigadier general for his performance.
SOURCE: Wikipedia


                             Phebe W. Sudlow (July 11,                                 1831 - June 8, 1922) was a                                 pioneer for women in the                                   education field and was the                               first female superintendent                               of a public school in the                                     United States. Sudlow also                                 became the first female professor at the University of Iowa in 1878, despite having no formal college degree. When Sudlow was elected superintendent of schools she was originally offered a lower salary than that of a male superintendent, but was paid an equal wage after she told the school board, "Gentlemen, if you are cutting the salary because of my experience, I have nothing to say; but if you are doing this because I am a woman, I’ll have nothing more to do with it." Sudlow served as superintendent for four years. Among her achievements was the construction of a new high school.
SOURCE: Wikipedia

                                   Leon Bismark "Bix"                                                         Beiderbecke (March 10, 1903 –                                     August 6, 1931) was an                                                   American jazz cornetist, jazz                                           pianist, and composer. He was                                       one of the most influential jazz                                     soloists of the 1920s. A native of                               Davenport, Iowa, Beiderbecke                                       taught himself to play cornet                                         largely by ear, leading him  to adopt a non-standard fingering some critics have connected to his original sound. "Bix" Beiderbecke is our most celebrated person buried at Oakdale Memorial Gardens.
SOURCE: Wikipedia


                             Dr. Jennie McCowen was among                                   the first women to enroll in and                                     graduate from the University of                                     Iowa Medical Department as it was                               known in the 1870s. Originally from                               Ohio and the daughter of a                                           physician, she taught in the public                               schools after graduating from a                                     teacher-training institution, at that                               time one of the few career options                               open to single women. She then moved to Iowa, going to medical school at a time when many medical schools did not accept women, and she received her M.D. in 1876. 
SOURCE: Wikipedia


                            Henry Peter Bosse (1844–1903)                                      German-American photographer,                                cartographer and civil engineer.                                    Henry Peter Bosse was a prescient                                photographer in that he foresaw                                  and adhered to aesthetic values                                    which have come to define the                                      work of German photo-journalists                                around the world. Bosse stood at the forefront of German appreciation for photographic look books concerned with the hand of man, modern architecture, and urban design.  Bosse's photography assisted with his creation of the most accurate map yet made of the upper Mississippi which, in turn, facilitated the engineering of bridges, locks, and levees. Several variants of his drawn maps exist, while his album of photographs, per se, may have been the first photographic map of a major river ever created.
SOURCE: Wikipedia


                           Jacob M. Eldridge, the city's                                         namesake, arrived in central Scott                                 County in 1846, having purchased                                 land for $1.25 per acre. Immigrants                               from Germany soon followed, and                               northern Scott County slowly began                             to develop. Railroads were                                             developed during the 1860s, bringing more settlers.  Eldridge Junction, built on land donated by Jacob Eldridge, was incorporated on July 2, 1871.
SOURCE: Wikipedia
PHOTO SOURCE: From "History of Davenport and Scott County" Vol. II by Harry E. Downer-S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago., 
SOURCE: Wikipedia


Joseph W. Bettendorf (October 10, 1864 – May, 1933) and his brother William P. Bettendorf  (July 1, 1857 – June 3, 1910) were industrialists in Davenport, Iowa. In January 1895 the brothers incorporated under the name of the Bettendorf Axel Company. W. P. Bettendorf was the company’s first president and J.W. Bettendorf initially served as secretary and manager of the company. Two fires in 1902, one on January 28 and the other in May, destroyed the plant. The residents of the town of Gilbert, which was about three miles east of Davenport at the time, raised $15,000 to buy the old Gilbert farm between the Mississippi River and the Davenport, Rock Island and North Western Railway tracks. The brothers decided to establish a new plant in Gilbert. A year later the citizens of the town elected to change its name to Bettendorf.
SOURCE: Wikipedia

Rafael Guastavino is the website with the history of Reafael Guastavino architecture projects, he is known for 600 different building.  He designed the Petersen Private Mausoleum here at Oakdale Memorial Gardens, Inc.

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