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Friends of MLK Ask for State Grant

a drawing of the the proposed MLK Park in downtown Davenport
Friends of MLK
a drawing of the the proposed MLK Park in downtown Davenport

A group hoping to build a memorial in Davenport to civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Junior will ask the state for help

Friends of MLK

On Thursday, a committee of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (CAT Review Committee) will consider a request from a group called Friends of MLK for 219,000 dollars.

Friends Board Chair Ryan Saddler says that would pay for 20 per cent of the estimated cost of 1.1 million dollars. The memorial would be downtown at 5th and Brady streets.

"Really our main feature for the park would be 20 or so historic display panels that will be inter-changeable telling various stories of Davenport's ethnic and cultural history."

Saddler says it's believed to be the site of the first Black-owned business in Davenport, plus being along the route of the Underground Railroad, and the location of mixed race restaurant, entertainment, and rooming houses from the 1880's to the 1940's.

If the state grant is approved, and other funds can be raised, work could begin in the spring with completion next summer.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.