The Cottage Grove Historical Society has published a new book on the life and sad death of Lena Flaiskey Becker, known locally as Eva Davenport. Lena’s reputation was that of a local “demimonde” (a Victorian term for prostitute). Genealogist Debra Monsive did extensive research tracking down the events that led to her life in the Grove and into the world’s oldest profession.
Her death in 1905 was followed by a coroner’s jury. Their final verdict of suicide did not sit well with many in the community who felt she was murdered. Monsive handed the research to Holli Turpin, who wrote the narrative for their short, fascinating book. This book does not put an end to the debate around her death, but it does give a better understanding of Lena’s life. Her time in Cottage Grove was short, but her impact on the community was long lasting.
The book is available from local bookstores and online at cghistory.org for $9. Also, Monsive will be at Crafty Mercantile for the April Art Walk on Friday, April 29 at 6 p.m. to answer questions and give previews of two new planned murals.