The home was built by William Renwick, who took over a lumber/sawmill business founded by his father, James, an immigrant from England. During William’s time, log rafts coming down the Mississippi River had grown so big that one of them could be milled into 900 boxcars of lumber. The mansion is Davenport’s finest example of Italian Revival Villa architecture. It features a large third-story tower, ornate iron cresting, 12- to 14-foot-high wood parlor doors, eight fireplaces and a three-story staircase. In 1907, the mansion became part of St. Katharine’s School. When the school moved to its Bettendorf location in 1973, the mansion was sold and became part of a nursing home complex. The buildings fell into serious disrepair over the next several years. In 1997, the ailing complex was purchased by historic property developer Chris Ales, who completed a resurrection of the entire St. Katharine’s property as a senior apartment center. In 2007, the Renwick mansion was purchased by Joseph Seng, a state senator and Davenport veterinarian. He has added geothermal heating and cooling systems, and the property can be rented for weddings, reunions and bed-and-breakfast accommodations. The mansion was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

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