Franklin T Oldt.

History of Dubuque County, Iowa; being a general survey of Dubuque County history, including a history of the city of Dubuque and special account of districts throughout the county, from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 2) online

. (page 1 of 52)
Online LibraryFranklin T OldtHistory of Dubuque County, Iowa; being a general survey of Dubuque County history, including a history of the city of Dubuque and special account of districts throughout the county, from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 52)
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BIOGRAPHY AND REMINISCENCE



Gov. STEPHEN HEMPSTEAD was born in Connecticut
in 1812, but came West early and was educated partly at
Jacksonville, Illinois. He studied law in Missouri and in
1836 was admitted to practice and the same year came to
Dubuque. He took a prominent place in this community from the
start. In 1838 he was elected to the Territorial Legislature. In
1844 he was a delegate to the Territorial Convention. In 1845 he
was a member of the Iowa Territorial Council and served as presi-
dent of that body. In 1848 he was chosen one of the commissioners
to revise the state laws. In 1850 he was elected governor of Iowa
on the Democratic ticket and served with distinction for four years.
In 1855 he became county judge. He was closely connected with all
the movements which made Dubuque one of the foremost cities of
the West. He finally passed away in 1883.

Peter A. Lorimier was born in Canada in 1783 and died in
Dubuque in October, 1871. He became an Indian trader early and
as such came to the western country long before the white settle-
ment. He located a trading and mining establishment near Galena
many years before the Black Hawk war, and during that troul)le.
having a stockaded fort and the assistance of his neighbors, did
not suffer. Gen. George W. Jones had a similar fort at Sinsinawa
Mound. Mr. Lorimier came to Dubuque in 1833 and began mining
as well as merchandising with Mr. Gration in 1834. He bought
considerable land adjacent and in Dubuque and became one of the
foremost citizens. He and others built the famous Lorimier House
in 1857, which for a long period remained the largest hotel in the
city. He refused office, but served as United States court commis-
sioner and was the first man invested with judicial authority in
what is now Iowa and a part of Minnesota by appointment of the
governor of Michigan territory. His commission was dated Sep-
tember 8, 1834. He later served as one of the county commissioners
in 1838. his associates being James Fanning and .Andrew Bankson.
In 1847 he served as mayor of Dubuque and he was again elected
in 185 1. He was forty years old before friction matches were
invented and hundreds of times kindled his fire with flint, steel and

497



498 HISTORY OF DUBUQUE COUNTY

tinder. He was of French extraction, the original name hcing De
Lorimier. He left a widow, two sons and three daughters. Reso-
lutions expressive of the city's loss were passed by the citizens in
various capacities.

Lucius H. Langworthy died in Dulmque June 9, 1865. He
was born at Hopkinton, New York, in February. 1807. In 1827,
with his brother James, he engaged in lead mining in Illinois, and
in 1830 came to Dubuque for the same purpose. In 1832, witli
others, he was compelled to leave, but returned during the winter
of 1832-3 and first lived in brush shanties on islands in the river,
their cabins being occupied by soldiers. They became prominent
and wealthy. Lucius H. married first in 1835 Mary F. Ruder, by
whom he had two sons. In 1842 he married Valeria A. Bemis, by
whom he had six children. He was the first sheriff of Dubuque,
receiving his appointment from the governor of Michigan territory
in 1834. He was interested in the Dubuque Visitor, the first news-
paper west of the Mississippi and north of St. Louis. He was one
of the early town fathers and as such did much to finance the town
and all harbor movements. He helped to build the first schoolhouse
in 1833. and was a contributor to the early churches. Lucius and
James Langworthy were partners in their mineral lands and by their
indefatigable efforts were already on the high road to fortune when
Edward and Solon joined them. For twenty-four years the four
brothers were associated under various business and firm names and
labored so harmoniously and successfully that the Langworthy
Brothers, Bankers, in 1854, owned, including their individual pro])-
erty, one-twelfth of all the real estate in Dubuque. Lucius H. was
genial, approachable, wide awake, honest and generous. His con-
tributions to all worthy improvements were large and numerous.
Particularly was he active in building railroads. His mining inter-
ests were immense. His home life was sweet, kind and elevated.
His funeral was largely attended by the old settlers in a body and
was very impressive. The funeral was the largest ever held in this
city up to that time.

Mrs. Frances P. (Stokely) Wilson died here in October,
1868. She came to Dubuque in 1842 to reside with her son. Judge
Thomas S. Wilson. Her eldest son, George, was educated at West
Point ; her second son was Judge Wilson, of Dubuque ; her third
son was Peter F., who for twenty years was an agent in the Treas-
ury Department at Washington, D. C. ; her fourth son was David S.
Wilson, of Dubuque, colonel of the Sixth Iowa Cavalry; her fifth
son was Samuel M. Wilson, a lawyer of San Francisco ; her daugh-
ters were Ann Eliza Wells, of Dubuque ; Mary Aull, of St. Louis,
and Kate Luke, of St. Louis. She lived to see her great grand-
children — and to see all of her descendants prominent where they






WIDEN POCKDATIONS





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HISTORY OF DUBUQUE COUNTY 499

resided. She was an Episcopalian. She married Peter Wilson, m
Philadelphia. Her father was Col. Thomas Stokely, of North
Carolina, who served the colonies in the revolution.

AuGUSTiN A. Cooper, by reason of his long residence in Dubuque
and his intimate connection with its civic and commercial prosperity,
is one of the city's foremost citizens. His life is so closely inter-
woven with Dubuque's history that one could not well be written
without the other. Born on Chess creek, in Susquehanna township,
Cambria county, Pennsylvania, on November 9, 1829, he is a son of
Leonard and Julia Ann Cooper, whose respective births occurred in
1797 and 1804. In the year 1634 Lord Baltimore brought a
Catholic colony from Great Britain to America in the ships ".\rk"
and "Dove," and having secured a special charter from King
George, located his colony in Maryland. In this band of pioneers
was the progenitor of the Cooper family in America. As time
passed the colony prospered and numerically increased, and even-
tually the descendants scattered throughout the country, ever carry-
ing with them the industry and probity for which they were noted
and loyalty to the religious faith of their fathers. Dr. Gallatzin,
the first fully ordained Catholic priest in the United States, early
in the nineteenth century, together with a number of families from
the original settlement, moved to the mountainous region of Penn-
sylvania. Accompanying him were the families of the two grand-
parents of A. A. Cooper, the immediate subject of this sketch, their
names being Henry Cooper and Mary Green on his father's side,
and Walter Elder and Priscilla Elder on his mother's side. In
Maryland they were the owners of slaves, which he liberated except
those who wished to go with them, but these, on being taken to the
rigorous climate of Pennsylvania, for the most part sickened and
died. Henry Cooper was born sometime during the sixties of the
eighteenth century. When the colonies declared their independence
from the mother country he volunteered his services in the cause of
the new government, but, owing to his youth, was rejected. He
persisted in his offers, however, and eventually was accepted and
served in the army until the conclusion of the rc\olution. In his
latter years he took great delight in telling his descendants of his
experience in the Continental army, the hardships and privations
endured, the fortitude and bravery of the soldiers and the glorious
results in winning independence from the oppressive British rule.
These reminiscent talks have been handed down to his descendants
and have no doubt instilled a great love of loyalty for America and
its institutions in their hearts. In 1824 Father Gallatzin married
the parents of A. A. Cooper, and the family continued to reside in
Pennsylvania many years. It was in a one-room, one-story log
schoolhouse there that Mr. Cooper received his primary education,
and in a neighboring little log Catholic church, presided over by



500 HISTORY OF DUBUQUE COUNTY

Father Lampkee. he first went to religious service. His wearing
apparel was made from flax and wool and was spun into cloth and
manufactured into clothing by his mother. In the spring of 1838
his uncle, Charles Elder and family, with another uncle, Dr. Stark
and his family, immigrated West, the fomier first settling at Long
Grove, Scott county. Iowa, and the latter finally locating at what is
now Ottumwa, Iowa. Through the influence of these pioneers,
Leonard Cooper with his family in the spring of 1839 moved West,
coming by wagon, a short distance on the first railroad ever built,
stage coach, canal, and steamboat, finally locating near Long Grove,
Scott county, Iowa, where Charles Elder had made claim to a tract
of land for them. This house was built of logs, chinked with mud,
puncheon flooring, clapboard roof and a wide fireplace for warmth
and in which to cook. Here for years the family lived, enduring
the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life, of which the
present generation has but a faint conception.

A. A. Cooper came to Dubuque in 1846, and here began learning
the trade of blacksmith at $35 per year for his services. At that
time Dubuque had about 2,000 people. He completed his appren-
ticeship January i, 1850, and continued working as a journeyman
at his trade for $26 per month, this unusually large amount being
paid him because of his superior skill. After two months he bought
out one of his employers for $50, and from this small beginning
gradually prospered and added wagon-repairing to his general work.
In time the business changed to wagon manufacturing largely, the
material being obtained by felling trees in the woods, sawing and
drying same to suitable conditions and eventually manufacturing
them into wagons, buggies and sleds. It was this humble beginning
that has blossomed into one of the largest manufacturing concerns
in the country. Today the company employs about four hundred
hands, occupies several city blocks and is a monument to the skill
and shrewdness of its founder. During this long period of sixty-
five years, through the ups and downs, the panics and rumors of
panics, wars, and disturbances in money markets, Mr. Cooper and
the company he established have paid one hundred per cent on every
dollar's worth of business they ever contracted, which is a phenom-
enal record, and an achievement of which he is justly proud. While
prospering in material welfare, Mr. Cooper has taken an active part
in civic affairs, having served as alderman and as mayor pro tem
of the city. In politics he is a gold Democrat. For sixty-five years
he has been a member of St. Raphael's Cathedral Parish. January
22, 185 1, he was married by Bishop Loras, first Bishop of Iowa, to
Miss Mary J. Smith, daughter of Owen and Mary Smith, who were
among the early pioneers of Dubuque, having moved here from
New York in 1837. Seven children have been born to this mar-
riage: James Albert, who died in 1879. aged six years; Regina
Isabell, who died as the wife of Paul Gilmore in 1899; Mar>' Ellen,



I THE NEW YORK )

PU LlCL.BRARY



ASTOR, LENOX AND
TILDEN FOUNDATIONS

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HISTORY OF DUBUQUE COUNTY 501

the widow of John R. Waller, well known in banking and com-
mercial circles; Elizabeth A., wife of D. A. Sullivan, formerly of
the Sullivan & Stampfer Department Store; William P.. j)rcsident
of the A. A. Cooper Wagon & Buggy Company ; Catharine J(jse-
phine, and Austin A., secretary and treasurer of the above concern.
No family stands higher in the esteem of the public than that of
A. A. Cooper. In the evening of his life he can look backward
with contentment to his success under adverse conditions, and with
the satisfaction that he has honorably filled the niche appointed unto
him.

Peter Kiene, Sr., was born at Tamins. Switzerland, on
December 15, 1819. Arrived in Dubuque, Iowa, on August 15,
1840. On August 15, 1857, founded the firm of Peter Kiene &
Son. Died at Dubuque, Iowa, on April 14, 1898.

Peter Kiene was born on November 2, 1846, at Dubuque, Iowa.
Enlisted February 2, 1862, at Dubuque, Iowa, in Company "E,"
i6th Regiment, Iowa Infantry — "Crocker Iowa Brigade" — 17th
Army Corps. Mustered out of service on June 20, 1865, at Daven-
port, Iowa. Senior member of the firm of Peter Kiene & Son, of
Dubuque, Iowa, founded by his father, the late Peter Kiene, Sr., on
August 15, 1857.

The Beaubiens were the descendants of an old Detroit family of
noble French origin. They were among the founders of Chicago,
keeping there one of the first stores, hotels and livery stables. Four
brothers, Mark, Joseph, David and George, came to Dubuque in
1846. Mark and Joseph died at Hannibal, Missouri; David and
George remained in Dubuque and each married and reared families.

Charles Hypolitte Gregoire was born in 1798 in this country.
His father was a native of France and was concerned in the French
revolution. Charles H. grew up mainly at Ste. Genevieve, Missouri,
and was early engaged in trading in furs, merchandise, etc., on the
Mississippi. In 1820 he married Eulalie Pratte and they had one
son, Charles H. J. Gregoire, a well known citizen of Dubuque. He
lived many years in the lead country of Wisconsin and came to
Dubuque in 1852 and here died in 1859. He projected the lower
Harbor Company and carried it through the panic of 1857, and
owned the fine ferry steamers at Dubuque. His remains were taken
to Ste. Genevieve for interment.

Frank Carney, engaged in the tobacco and cigar manufacturing
business in Dubuque, is a native of the state of New York, his bn'th
occurring February 15, 185 1, at St. Johnsville, Montgomery county,
and is a son of Peter and Julia Carney. The parents were natives



502 HISTORY OF DUBUQUE COUNTY

of Ireland and came to the United States on their wedding trip.
They reaHzed that greater chances for success in hfe existed in this
country and accordingly determined to make their future home on
this side of the Atlantic. The date of their advent in the East was
about 1836, and in 1853 they came West to Dubuque, and here the
father for years followed his profession of roofer. He died in
January, 1872, aged sixty years, and was followed by his widow in
June, 1890, aged seventy-six years, and both are buried in Mount
Olivet cemetery. Frank Carney, the immediate subject of this
sketch, came to Dubuque with his parents when but two years old,
and was one of the first scholars enrolled in the Fifth Ward
(Audubon) school. When seventeen years old his education was
completed, and for two years thereafter he worked as a farm hand
near Dubuque. Mr. Carney well remembers having seen during his
boyhood days Indians traveling over the country with their families
and wigwams, sights which to the present generation are but dreams
of the past. After working on the farm he became a brakeman for
the Dubuque & Sioux City railroad, which at that time reached only
as far as Cedar Falls, and then was employed as conductor. He
later went with the Illinois Central road and continued with that
concern as conductor until 1894, or for a period of over thirty
years. At that date he was elected on the Democratic ticket as
justice of the peace and held that position for three terms; he also
was the first police commissioner of the city of Dubuque. In 1904
he embarked in the tobacco and cigar manufacturing business at 69
Eighth street and has been thus successfully engaged ever since.
Mr. Carney is a Roman Catholic in religious views and socially is
identified with the Dubuque Catholic Benevolent Society, the Inde-
pendent Order of Foresters, and the Mystic Workers. On January
30, 1870, in Dubuque, he was united in marriage with Miss IMary
A. O'Brien, daughter of John and Ellen O'Brien, natives of Ireland,
and now deceased and buried at Patch Grove, Wisconsin, and
Mount Olivet cemetery, Dubuque, respectively. To Mr. and Mrs.
Carney three sons and two daughters have been born as follows :
Ellen Lester, the wife of B. J. Schwind, of Dubuque, who is appro-
priately represented elsewhere in this work; Frank R., of Dubuque;
Grace M., a teacher in the local public schools, and William S. and
Alexander D., both deceased.

John F. Burns is properly considered the pioneer of the fancy
grocery business in Dubuque. He is a son of John F. and Bridget
Burns, who were of Irish ancestry and came from Paterson, New
Jersey, to Dubuque in the thirties and consequently were among the
earliest pioneers in this locality. These parents were hard-working
and God-fearing people and were devout adherents of the Roman
Catholic religion. Here the father died in 1861, and the mother in
1897, when seventy-six years old. John F. Burns, the subject of




vL/N-yCoV i U.^>./w</



HISTORY OF DUBUQUE COUNTY 503

this sketch, was born in Dubuque, July 16. 1858, and has passed
practically his entire life here. His career has been quiet and
unostentatious and has gained for him many warm and lasting
friendships which are so essential to the happiness of this passing
existence. In early youth he attended the public and parochial
schools, and when fourteen years old entered the grocery store of
Retallick & Burns as a clerk. He thus continued until 1881, and
then succeeded to the business and successfully conducted it until
1908, when he retired from active participation in business life.
Mr. Burns is unmarried and resides with his sister, Johanna, in
their beautiful home at 61 Wilson avenue. He is a life-long
member of St. Raphael Cathedral, and is also a Knight of Columbus
and a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

Gassovvay S. Weaver, a contractor possessing rare skill and
ability, who devotes himself principally to the erection of fine resi-
dences, has been for the past forty-three years a resident of
Dubuque. Born November 15, 1846, in Lancaster county,
Pennsylvania, he was a son of Benjamin and Mary Weaver
and descended from an old German family of three generations'
residence in this country. Benjamin Weaver was a contractor of
some repute in the eastern states, and there died in 1886, aged sixty-
seven years, preceded by his wife in 185 1, when thirty years of age.
After graduating from the public schools of his native county,
Gassoway L. Weaver entered Paradise Academy, which he attended
until nineteen years old. Then, under the tutelage of his father, he
spent seven years as an apprentice to the carpenter trade, thereafter
spending four months in Ohio as a journeyman carpenter. In 1868
he came to Dubuque, which city has since been his home and the
scene of his active business career. He first spent eight years in the
employ of Mr. B. W. Jones, an early contractor, and then, after
being connected with several other firms, formed a partnership with
Mr. S. Alexander, continuing thus for two years. In 1892 he
embarked in the contracting business alone and has been unusually
successful. During the above mentioned partnership he constructed
the West Dubuque schoolhouse, but later turned his attentions to
the erecting of beautiful private residences, one of which was that
of Senator N. J. Schrup. In politics Mr. Weaver is a Republican,
and since 1867 he has been an active member of the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows. To his marriage with Miss Julia Semper,
solemnized September 12, 1872, at Dubuque, two sons were born,
one dying in infancy, and Clarence J., local ticket agent for the
Chicago Great Western Railroad Company. Mrs. Weaver was the
daughter of Michael and Margaret Semper, who came to Dubuque
from Quebec, Canada, in 1835, descended from old French fami-
lies. The father was a farmer and owner of considerable property.



504 HISTORY OF DUBUQUE COUNTY

He died in 1870. aged fifty-eight years, and was followed by his
wife sixteen years later, at the age of eighty-fonr.

Joseph P. Kutsch. An industry of first importance in a rapidly
growing city like Dubuque is that represented by the contractor and
builder, and there are many talented follow^ers of this vocation in
the city. One of the most prosperous and successful of the firms
engaged in this line of endeavor is that of Kutsch Brothers. Joseph
P. Kutsch. senior partner of this concern, commands considerable
attention for the perfection of his work has entitled him to distinc-
tion. He w^as born in the city of Dubuque on October 6, 1859, and
has known practically no other home. Nicholas and Helena Kutsch,
his parents, were natives of Germany, but at an early date immi-
grated to America and after a short residence in New York came to
Dubuque in 1850. and here lived happily together until the death of
the mother on July 15, 1897, at the age of sixty years. The father
was a contractor by occupation, but is now^ retired from the active
business cares of life and is residing at 2105 Washington street at
the advanced age of eighty-three years. Before coming to the
United States he had served in the German army. To him and wife
a family of eight sons and two daughters were born, as follows :
Frank P., general foreman of the Peter Klauer Manufacturing
Company; Joseph P.; Charles, of the Kutsch Brothers contracting
firm ; William, farming in Dubuque county ; Robert, a tinner at
Sioux City, low'a; Victor, outside foreman for Klauer Manufac-
turing Company ; August, carpenter of this city ; Albert, who died
September 30, 1909; Louisa, the wife of Joseph Bonz, a florist : and
Othilda, who married Joseph Bitter, a tailor of Dubuque. Until
sixteen years old Joseph P. Kutsch, the immediate subject of this
memoir, attended the local public and parochial schools, and then,
under the able tutelage of his father, learned the contracting and
building business. For a time he was in partnership with his
father, but upon the latter's retirement associated himself with his
brother, Charles, and the firm of Kutsch Brothers has ever since
successfully continued operations. Fair in their prices and honor-
able in all transactions, success was assured them from the start, and
the expression "Kutsch Brothers" has become synonymous with
artistic finish and perfection throughout. Among the more impor-
tant of their works are St. Francis convent, St. Mary's casino, the
Immaculate Conception academy and many other notable structures.
Aside from the business cares of life, Mr. Kutsch has taken con-
siderable interest and pleasure in the social side as well, and is
identified with the Catholic Order of Foresters and the Dubuque
Sharp-Shooters' Club, of Dubuque. He has attained considerable
local prominence in the latter organization, having won in the
neighborhood of one hundred prizes, and on June 20, 1910, won the
championship cup for the best exhibit of marksmanship. In



HISTORY OF DUBUQUE COUNTY 505

religions views he is an adhcMcnt of the Roman CathoHc failh and
is a member of Sacred Heart chnrch. Jnne 21, 1893, he was united
in marriage with Miss Maria Regina Bilhngs, and to them two
chil(h-en have been born, named WaUer. who fell into a vault when
but eighteen months old and died, and Irnia, now attending Sacred
Heart academy. Mrs. Kutsch was the daughter of Alonzo Billings,
and descendecl from an old English family which have resided in
this country for several hundred years, principally in the New
England states. Her father passed away at Big Patch, Wisconsin,
in June, 1897, at the age of eighty years, being preceded by his
wife in June, 1870, and both now lie at rest in the cemetery of that
city.

Dr. Horace G. Knapp, pioneer dental practitioner of Dubuque,
has been engaged in the practice of his profession in this city for the
past forty-five years. He is, perhaps, the oldest living active prac-
titioner in Dubuque, and commands the highest respect and esteem
from all who know him. Dr. Knapp was born December 13, 1843,
in Litchfield, Maine, and is a son of Horace and Lucretia Knapp.
who were descended from England and Normandy respectively.
Both sides of the family can trace their ancestry back to the early
periods in the growth and development of those countries, but for
many generations have resided in America. Horace Knapp, well
remembered as one of Dubuque's prominent medical practitioners,
was a native of Kingfield, Maine, born in 1819, and for many years
followed his profession in Connecticut and Chicago. Illinois. He
came West with his family to Dubuque, Iowa, in 1884, and here



Online LibraryFranklin T OldtHistory of Dubuque County, Iowa; being a general survey of Dubuque County history, including a history of the city of Dubuque and special account of districts throughout the county, from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 52)