The view from the staircase mezzanine of the William Bettendorf Mansion, looking down into the grand foyer. Bettendorf died as the Bettendorf Axle Company he founded with his brother, Joseph W. Bettendorf, was rapidly expanding and just before he was to move into the palatial home in 1910. Bettendorf had emergency surgery a week before they were scheduled to move into the house. He was buried in Oakdale Cemetery in Davenport. His wife and stepson lived on the estate for a few years, but it was too big for them. The Iowa Masonic bought it in 1925.