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John Henry Hauberg papers

Identifier: MSS 27

Scope and Contents

The John Henry Hauberg papers, 1773-1998 and undated (bulk 1857-1955), primarily consists of the personal and professional papers of John Henry Hauberg. Personal papers include wills, deeds, financial records, land records, correspondence, and information on Hauberg's private library. In addition the collection includes papers related to Hauberg's civic and organizational activities as well as records related to the Denkmann-Weyerhaeuser Lumber Company.

Hauberg was very interested in local history, and he compiled approximately 150 volumes of research over the course of his life. The Collections series includes many of these volumes, which contain photographs, pictures, notes, maps, and transcribed oral histories, reminiscences, and interviews. Hauberg's research subjects include Black Hawk and the Black Hawk War of 1832, local Indegenous history and culture (primarily related to the Sauk and Meskwaki Tribes and Native American trade), the Sioux prison at Camp McClellan, Abraham Lincoln, early Rock Island history and Rock Island settlers, Colonel George Davenport, the American Revolution in Illinois and the West, and regional plants and forestry.

Hauberg spent much of his life photographing his family, home, surroundings, and subjects that interested him. Hauberg's papers include approximately 8,000 glass plate images, 60,000 film negatives, 30,000 photographic prints, 1,000 stereograph cards, and 1,000 35mm slides. The bulk of these images are unprocessed, but subjects documented in them include Hauberg's family and home, Hauberg's international and domestic travels, Native American groups and trails, local plant life and landscape scenes, Rock Island County history, and portraits.

In addition to Hauberg's personal papers, this collection also contains the Hauberg family papers, much of which was collected and preserved by John Hauberg. These materials include financial records, correspondence, estate records (wills, deeds, land records, etc.), photographs, scrapbooks, and other papers created by Hauberg's family, as well as the personal papers of Susanne Denkmann Hauberg, which include diaries, correspondence, and newsclippings.


  • Creation: 1773-1998 and undated
  • Creation: (bulk 1857-1955)


Language of Materials

English and German

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection. Audiovisual materials may be inaccessible pending reformatting. Contact Special Collections for more information.

Portions of this collection are unprocessed and are currently not available to researchers. For information about access to these materials, contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from Augustana College Special Collections and the copyright holder.

Historical Note

John Henry Hauberg was born 22 November 1869 on his father's farm near Hillsdale, Illinois. He was one of nine children, eight of whom lived until adulthood. Hauberg's education was his own responsibility. When farming duties interrupted his schooling at age eleven, he continued to read books and memorize documents such as the Declaration of Independence. He worked his way across the country, then returned to enroll in Duncan's Business College in Davenport, Iowa, in 1893, graduating in 1894. The same year, he enrolled in Northern Indiana Normal College, now Valparaiso University, Indiana, first attending classes in January 1895. Through the university's accelerated program, he earned a Bachelor of Science in 1896 and a Bachelor of Arts in 1897. He then enrolled in the Law Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, working odd jobs to pay his way, graduating with an LL.B in 1900. He passed the Illinois State bar exam in 1901 and set up a practice in Moline, Illinois. John Hauberg married Susanne Christine Denkmann 29 June 1911. He then moved his practice to Rock Island, Illinois, but abandoned it by 1914 because he and his wife traveled too extensively to be able to maintain it. Susanne Denkmann Hauberg brought many business interests into the marriage from her family, the Denkmanns of Weyerhaeuser and Denkmann Lumber Company, and John Hauberg held executive board positions in the Weyerhaeuser and Denkmann Lumber Company and many others through the rest of his life.

After marriage, John Hauberg became heavily involved in community work and in his passions for nature and history. He was actively involved in Rock Island County's temperance movement in the 1910s, served in the Illinois National Guard, and held positions of responsibility in the Lutheran Church, Augustana College and Theological Seminary, and the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), among others.

In 1909, Hauberg founded the United Sunday School Boys Band, a fife, drum, and bugle corps designed to give boys an incentive to attend Sunday school. For fifteen years, Hauberg and hundreds of boys marched and gave performances in the Quad City area. Hauberg also led the boys on weekend hikes and longer summer hikes, which evolved into the Big Hike, a yearly two- or three-week camping trip aided by wagons and, later, trucks. Hauberg founded the Black Hawk Hiking Club on 8 May 1920 under the name Black Hawk Prairie Club (the group changed its name in 1923), and led them on hikes every week regardless of weather. The club still exists today, and continues to go on its weekly and Big Hikes.

Hauberg served on the boards or held membership in several historical societies, including those of Augustana College, Rock Island County, and Illinois. He was also interested in preserving Native American history, particularly focusing on the Quad City area and the Black Hawk War. He was instrumental in the founding of Black Hawk State Park (now Black Hawk State Historic Site) in 1927, and he and his wife furnished many of the relics in the museum erected in the park (later dedicated as the Hauberg Museum) in 1937. For this and other work, he was elected an honorary chief of the Meskwaki tribe in Tama, Iowa in 1940 and named "Ah-be-chi-ne-ma-so-ta Ma-qua," or "Standing Bear." Hauberg traveled extensively before and after marriage. He spent six months in Europe in 1900, and made two additional trips with his wife and children in 1924 and 1926. John and Susanne Hauberg also traveled to the Holy Land and to Asia, Africa and South America, sometimes on missionary work.

John Hauberg died on 13 September 1955 after a protracted illness. He is buried with his wife in Chippiannock Cemetery in Rock Island, Illinois.

Susanne Christine Denkmann Hauberg was born 2 May 1872 in Rock Island, Illinois, to a prominent family. Her father, Frederick Carl August Denkmann, supervised four sawmills as part of the Weyerhaeuser and Denkmann Lumber Company. She was one of seven children who grew to adulthood. She was educated in Rock Island's public schools, then sent to Miss Brittingham's private school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and finally to Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts, from which she graduated. She attended Wellesley College but was summoned back home by her mother. She also briefly attended Radliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Susanne Hauberg spent a year as a kindergarten teacher at a school run by a friend in New York City, then returned to Rock Island, inspired to found and fund the West End Settlement to provide services to impoverished mothers and children living in the west end of Rock Island. She also served on the board of the Bethany Protective Association (now Bethany for Children and Families), where she met John Hauberg. After marriage, she continued her philanthropic work with her husband, helping to set up Rock Island's Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), serving on the Red Cross Canteen Committee and various church-related causes, and donating money and goods to various organizations. In 1909, Susanne Denkmann and her siblings financed the construction of Augustana College's Denkmann Memorial Library (now Denkmann Memorial Hall) in memory of their parents. In 1921, she donated a plot of land, known as Archie Allen's Place, to the YWCA for a girls' camp. She died of a stroke 13 February 1942.

John and Susanne Hauberg had two children, Catherine Denkmann Hauberg and John Henry Hauberg, Jr. The oldest child, Catherine Denkmann Hauberg, was born 11 April 1914 in Rock Island, Illinois. She attended public high school in Rock Island, and then followed her mother's footsteps to Dana Hall School, from which she graduated in 1932. She graduated from the University of Illinois in 1936 (having also attended Augustana College during the summers) with a major in geology and a minor in zoology. She then proceeded to study zoology, with a botany minor, in graduate school, continuing at the University of Illinois for a semester before transferring to the University of Arizona. She married Edward Cleaveland Sweeney on 22 October 1938. She combined her interest in botany with her parents' philanthropy, becoming a trustee to the American Horticultural Society, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Conservation Foundation, among others. She was also a patron of the arts, supporting the Metropolitan Opera and the Aspen Music Festival. The Sweeney Mountains in Antarctica were named for her after she financed an expedition by the Norwegian explorers Finn and Jackie Ronne in the 1940s. Catherine Denkmann Hauberg Sweeney had five children: Susanne, Edward Jr., Philip, Harriet and John. She died of heart failure 25 January 1995.

John Henry Hauberg, Jr. was born 24 June 1916 in Rock Island, Illinois. He began his education in Rock Island's public schools, spent a year at Fessenden School near Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut. He spent some years at Princeton University, leaving the school in 1939. He married Anne Westbrook Gould on 9 June 1941. John Hauberg Jr. served in the infantry during World War II from 1943 to 1946, and then returned to college to get a degree in forestry from the University of Washington. He experimented successfully with reforestation in the Pacific Northwest on his Pilchuck Tree Farm, in addition to board positions with the Weyerhaeuser Lumber Company and the Pacific Denkmann Company. He was also a patron of the arts, donating his extensive collection of Native American art to the Seattle Art Museum, supporting the Seattle Symphony, and founding the Pilchuck Glass School with his wife, Anne Gould. They had two children, Fay and Sue. John and Anne divorced in the late 1970s, after which he married Ann Homer Brinkley. He died of a heart attack 5 April 2002.


101.8 Cubic Feet (204 boxes, 3 volumes, 3 oversize boxes, 3 oversize folders, 4 AV boxes, and 19 image boxes)


John Henry Hauberg was a businessman, philanthropist, civic organizer, researcher, and photographer active in Rock Island and the Quad Cities area in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Hauberg and his wife, Susanne Denkmann Hauberg, were very active in the Quad Cities community, serving on many advisory boards and organizing dozens of philanthropic initiatives. Hauberg was also an avid photographer, capturing some 100,000 photographs over the course of his life. The John Henry Hauberg papers, 1773-1998 and undated (bulk 1857-1955), primarily consists of the personal and professional papers of John Henry Hauberg. Personal papers include wills, deeds, financial records, land records, correspondence, and information on Hauberg's private library. In addition, the collection includes papers related to Hauberg's civic and organizational activities, records related to the Denkmann-Weyerhaeuser Lumber Company, and approximately 100,000 of Hauberg's photographs in various formats. Also included in the collection is the Hauberg family papers, including materials created by Susanne Denkmann Hauberg.


Most materials arranged chronologically within each subseries. When possible, original folder and item titles have been maintained.

Other Finding Aids

A more detailed finding aid for the John Henry Hauberg papers is available at the following link:

The John Henry Hauberg glass plate images have been described separately at

Custodial History

The materials described in this finding aid constitute the bulk of the John Henry Hauberg papers, with the exception of Hauberg's collection of glass plate images. Due to the number and descriptive detail of the John Henry Hauberg glass plate images, they have been described in a separate finding aid to facilitate access.

Some materials in this collection were previously housed at the Hauberg Civic Center in Rock Island, Illinois, prior to transfer to Special Collections.

The Joseph P. Miller sketchbook was originally part of the private book collection of George D. Smith. Hauberg purchased the book from the Anderson Galleries during an estate sale in 1920.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received in various accessions from John Henry Hauberg, John Henry Hauberg Jr., Fay Hauberg Page, Susanne Sweeney Kayyali, and other members of the extended Hauberg family. "Pilgrimage to the Lincoln Birthplace Farm" received from Agnes Koerber, December 1969.

Existence and Location of Originals

Some materials in this collection (primarily in the Photostatic copies series) were photocopied by John Hauberg from original materials held in various libraries, archival collections, and private collections througout the country in the course of these research. In instances where the source of the material is identified, original materials are presumed to have been maintained by the original owner. For photocopies with no citations to original sources, the locations of the original items are unknown.

Existence and Location of Copies

Portions of this collection have been digitized and made accessible in Digital Special Collections at

Related Materials

MSS 27 John Henry Hauberg glass plate images MSS 0027 Hauberg, John Henry - Papers, Rock Island County Historical Society, Rock Island, Illinois MSS 0121 Local Option League - John Hauberg, Rock Island County Historical Society, Rock Island, Illinois MSS 0329 Hauberg, Susanne Denkmann Collection, Rock Island County Historical Society, Rock Island, Illinois MSS 0006 Anna Hauberg Collection, Rock Island County Historical Society, Rock Island, Illinois John H. Hauberg, Sr. Photograph Album, Library and Archives, Forest History Society, Durham, NC, USA

Processing Information

Processed by Special Collections staff, 1990s-2016. Finding aid encoded by Samantha Crisp, July 2016.

John Henry Hauberg papers, 1773-1998 and undated (bulk 1857-1955).
In Progress
Samantha Crisp
July 2016
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Repository Details

Part of the Augustana College Special Collections Repository

639 38th Street
Thomas Tredway Library
Rock Island Illinois 61201 United States