What does the history of Silverton and the story of the Davenport Family have in common? You will be happy to learn it's a man with a passion for learning more about them both, Gus Frederick, author of Images of America: Silverton by Arcadia Publishing. Gus's long involvement with the Silverton Country Historical Society lead to his taking on this project about his adopted hometown and learning about the stories behind the photographs--stories of its early years, its growth into a city, and its cadre of characters. Silverton was the home of the first college west of the Rockies not supported by a religious institution, Liberal University, which garnered countrywide interest for its broad array of programs.
Gus has also long been researching local celebrity cartoonist Homer Davenport and his family. Homer worked for the William Randolph Hearst newspapers and was the highest-paid cartoonist of his time. He was also instrumental in bringing the first Arabian horses to the United States, gifts from the king of Arabia in the Ottoman Empire, and the Davenport line of Arabian horses remains famous and viable to this day. His father T.W. Davenport also had a long and active history in early Oregon, known both for his service to Oregon nationally in many roles and the many journals he wrote documenting his experiences of those years which give us great insight into those times. Gus will be doing a presentation on Homer Davenport during Silverton's annual "Homer Davenport Community Celebration" August 8 at 1:30 and 3:00 p.m. at the Silver Falls Public Library. We're sure you'll enjoy this as much as we will!
You can find Images of America: Silverton as well as Gus's other book, The Annotated Cartoons by Davenport, available at the Willamette Heritage Center, Books & Time in Silverton, the Silverton Country Historical Society, and at his website: liberaluniversity.org.