How did Stubbs Eddy get his name?

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Captain James R. Stubbs was one of Davenport’s early eccentrics. He lived in a cave close to an eddy in the river near the Lindsay Park Yacht Club. His peculiarities grew in notoriety until his cave home came to be called Stubbs Eddy.

Local saloons have been named after him and in the Village of East Davenport, Captain Stubbs is a much-loved legend. There was no stranger sight in the early days of Davenport than Captain Stubbs, strolling into town followed in single file by his pet pig, his cat, and his dog. Together, they lived in the cave like mound.

Stubbs, it was generally accepted, had attended West Point. Whether or not he graduated is hazy, but he was in the military and achieved the rank of captain. He was stationed at Fort Armstrong in the 1840's, developed a fondness for the Iowa shore, but returned east after his military career to Washington D.C.

He found a lover, who promised marriage but later spurned him. A despondent Stubbs returned to East Davenport penniless and built a cave dwelling of mounded earth. He lived and brooded in his cave for eight years.

In time, Captain Stubbs retreated from his cave, gave his pig to a farmer, and returned to civilization. He became a justice of the peace and worked as a surveyor, running out many early claims.

In much later years, the site of Stubbs' cave home became storage caverns for the cooling beer from a nearby brewery. Today, however, he would likely turn morose again to find his old cave home has been turned into a parking lot.


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