Charles Wesley Davenport was the second child of Nathaniel Smith and Ruth (Coleman) Davenport. He was born at Washingtonville, Orange County, New York, on August 16, 1826. He married English-born Anne Burnett, daughter of Walter and Rachel Burnett, in 1849. They had five children, three of whom died in infancy. Only one child outlived him.
Charles W. Davenport attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, graduating with a BA in 1848. In 1851 he received his Master of Arts degree, also from Wesleyan. He taught and/or was Principal at a number of schools in New York, Ohio and West Virginia.
In 1872, Charles, Anne and their 14-year-old son Charles Allen moved to Nebraska, where they took a homestead near Gibbon on lands that had been opened for settlement the previous year. Charles Wesley Davenport was "grandfathered" into the Soldiers Free Homestead Colony, which had been the first group of settlers at Gibbon, Nebraska in 1871. Today, his name appears among the 161 original members of the colony, on a large granite monument in a park in the middle of Gibbon.
The Davenport family worked the homestead and, in 1881, patented their claim and received the deed to the land. In 1890, C.W. Davenport was no longer able to withstand the rigors of farm life, and he and Anne bought a house in Gibbon, where they lived until his death on February 9, 1896. Charles Wesley Davenport was buried at Gibbon Riverside Cemetery on Tuesday, February 11, 1896.
Anne Davenport moved to Oregon some time between 1900 and 1903, with her son Charles Allen, who by then was married and had seven children of his own.
The following is Charles Wesley Davenport's obituary as it appeared in the Buffalo County Beacon on 14 Feb 1896:
On Sunday, February 9, 1896, occurred the death of Mr. C. W. Davenport in the 70th year of his age.Submitted by Great-great-grandson Alan Davenport
He was born in Washingtonville, Orange county, New York August 16, 1826. He was converted and united with the M. E. church at Montgomery, New York in 1845. On December 27, 1849 he was united in marriage to Miss Anna Burnett. Five children were born to them, four sons, one daughter, only one of whom, Mr. C. A. Davenport, is now living. He was a graduate of Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, and for many years was engaged in educational work, being eight years a teacher in Tarrytown Institute, New York; three years principal of Rhinebeck Academy, New York; six years principal of Barnesville Classical Institute, Ohio, and for two years principal of First Ward Public School, Wheeling, Virginia. For three years from 1869 to 1872 he was engaged in fruit farming in Vineland New Jersey, and on April 10,1872, he came to Nebraska and took a homestead northeast of Gibbon in what is now known as Sharon township. In the summer of 1872 he taught a term of school in the Gibbon school district. The farm which Mr. Davenport took as a homestead he greatly improved, and beautified by planting a large grove of trees and also many fruit trees, but his health was not equal to the labor of the farm and in December 1890 he moved to Gibbon where he has since resided.
The deceased was one of the most modest of men, and seldom took any part in public affairs. He was industrious and painstaking in his habits, of strictest integrity and had not an enemy in the world.
The funeral services were largely attended and were held on Tuesday at the M. E. church, Rev. A. W. Coffman officiating, assisted by Rev. Smith, presiding elder of the U. B. church. The interment was in North Gibbon cemetery. [Note: now Gibbon Riverside Cemetery.]