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 1) online

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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 1) → online text (page 18 of 56)
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Alexander D. Anderson. A. Christman.

John V. Brown. C. J. Cummings.

A. L. Brown. N. V. Descelles.

Richard Bonson. J. H. Emerson.



J. R. Goodrich.
John Goldthorpe.
Jesse M. Harrison.
Jonathan Higgins.
Henry Hunter.
W. F. Jaeger.
A. Keesecker.
John Spencely.
R. Spaulding.
Genge Strasser.
J. H. Thedinga.
Richard Waller.
T. S. Wilson.
R. C. Waples.
P. Williamson.
C. H. Booth.
John Bell.
Thomas R. Brasier.
Jacob Christman.
William Crummer.
Richard Cox.
Mathew McNear.
John JNIaclay.
Elias IMcCants.
Rudolph Nolte.
James Pratt.
Benjamin Rupert.
Xavier Rein f red.
Nathan Simpson.
Alexander Simplot.
Martin Shaffner.
John King.
S. M. Lorimier.
Oscar A. Langworthy.

A. Levi.

Dr. R. S. Lewis.

Timothy Mason.
M. AlcXamara.
William Myers.
John W. Markle.
John M. Moore.
Christopher Pelan.
John Palmer.
T. C. Roberts.
John Simplot.
H. L. Stout.

B. F. Davis.
John R. Ewing.
John D. Graffort.
Joseph Glew.

A. B. Harrison.
S. Hempstead.
George W. Jones.
George O. Karrick.
Peter Kiene.
P. A. Lorimier.
S. M. Langworthy.
Edward Langworthy.
Warner Lewis.

C. J. Liest.
A. McDaniel.
John Simpson.
James Slone.
James W. Taylor.
H. A. Wiltse.
Peter Waples.

I. E. Wootten.
Jesse Yount.

In November, 1865, so unclean had the streets become, the citizens
turned out en masse, formed a brigade, and cleaned them. It was
now realized that the railroad bridge should have been built in i860
and that the city during the war had paid large sums as unjust
freight and transfer charges. Now, in earnest, the people demanded
the bridge. It was called a "commercial necessity." 0\er 5.000
barrels of apples were stored here in November, 1865. for shipment
to the back country during the winter. In 1865, for the first time,
a regularly paid and disciplined police force was maintained. B. M.
Harger and J. D. Langworthy represented the Dubuque baseball
clubs at the baseball convention in Chicago late in 1S65 ; the North-
western Baseball Association was formed at this time.


The National State Bank succeeded the State Bank Branch in
November, 1865; L. D. Randall was president.

In December. 1865, Howard and McArthur contracted to supply
the city with gas; fifty lamps were in use — twenty-three on Main
street. The Dubuque Produce Exchange was formed before 1865.
In January, 1866, the National Savings Bank was established with
Franklin Hinds as president ; this institution was closely associated
with the First National Bank. In December, 1865, the boiler in
Jaeger's distillery exploded, wrecking the building and killing one
and injuring several persons. William McLenan was elected presi-
dent of the Julien baseball club for 1866. At this time the council
refused to appropriate $500 for the State Fair to be held here in the
fall of 1866. Within a few days the citizens raised $3,421 to secure
the fair for two years, prepare the grounds, etc. The city failed to
get the fair in 1866. The city paid 70 cents on the dollar for its
own scrip in February.

The Mississippi Navigation Convention was held here in Febru-
ary, 1866, and assembled in the hall of the Produce Exchange. A
large delegation from all upper river points was present, five states
being represented. The Iowa legislature attended in a body. E. O.
Stanard, of St. Louis, presided. The resolutions adopted demanded
extensive improvements in the Mississippi, particularly at the
rapids. The Dubuque Savings Institution was established in
February, 1866, with $100,000 capital and George A. Blanchard,
president, and R. A. Babbage, secretary and treasurer. The Young
Men's Library was opened in Julien hall in February. The People's
Savings Bank was opened in April, 1866, with John Thompson
president and J. K. Graves treasurer. Henry A. Wiltse was chosen
president of the Julien baseball club in 1866, vice McLenan resigned.
D. A. Mahony, Stilson Hutchins and John Hodnett established the
St. Louis Daily Times in June, 1866. Immense improvements on
sewers and streets were made in 1866. A big Fenian demonstration
occurred here July 4, 1866.

In the summer of 1866 a baseball tournament was held at Rock-
ford, 111. ; a golden ball and a gold-mounted bat were the prizes.
Special prizes were offered to the best base runner, best thrower,
most home runs, worst beaten club, etc. Ten clubs, including Julien,
of Dubuque, were present. The latter's players were J. R. Clark,
catcher; Cox, pitcher; J. Ware, short stop; Markell, first base;
Langworthy, second base ; Donaha, third base ; C. Ware, left field ;
Ballou, center field ; W. R. Clark, right field. The game with the
Cream Citys, of Milwaukee, was as follows :

Cream City 540061 i 42 23

Julien 142102140 15

The Dubuque Street Railroad Company, in July, 1866. petitioned


the council to grant them the right to occuin- the streets; Graves,
Stewart, Randall and others were back of tliis step. W^ater works
for the city were proposed in July, 1866. It was declared that the
old method of hauling water from the river must l^e al)andoned and
a new modern system installed. From the bluffs north of the city a
large supply of pure water could be secured, it was announced.

In July, 1866, a marine railway and boat yard was projected at
Eagle Point ; Captain Webb inaugurated the movement. At this
date the Young Men's Library contained 4,000 volumes and had
300 regular subscribers. Many buildings were erected this summer.
A. Heeb and others petitioned for a ferry at Eagle Point. The
council committee reported against granting the use of the streets to
a railway company until such step was clearly authorized by the
legislature. The citizens demanded a large public park at this date.
In August, 1866, the council authorized the Water Company to lay
pipes in the city. John H. O'Neill, city attorney, rendered the
opinion that the council had no right to grant the streets to a cor-
poration for street car purposes. Judge King expressed the opinion
that the city already possessed that right. "Steam railroads already
occupied the streets; why could not horse railways do likewise?"
it was asked. In September, 1866, C. C. Frinke, of Chicago, and
S. J. Cox, of Dubuque, played a billiard match here — 1,000 points.
Cox was conceded 200 points and won by 42 points — cushion carom.

In one week in September, 1866, there were sold at the market-
house 143 hogs, twenty-seven steers and five cows. In October the
fire companies demanded higher pay. The horse fair of November,
1866, was the best ever held here. The horse Kirkwood trotted a
mile in 2:34^, which was very fast for that period. Th.e wagon
factory of A. A. Cooper was one of the largest industries here. He
was now finishing 600 wagons a year; they were used all over the
West. By February, 1867, the town clock had cost $2,871.72. In
March, 1866, the First National and National State banks were con-
solidated, the combined capital being $300,000 and surplus $60,000.
R. E. Graves became president and W. H. Clark cashier. The
council had trouble with City Attorney O'Neill and dismissed him,
but later rescinded the order upon his agreement to behave himself.
Gas in 1867 cost $5.50, although the ordinance of 1853 limited the
price to $3.50. The Excelsior baseball club in 1867 consisted of two
nines — married men and single men — who played numerous games
with varied results.

In the spring of 1867 the Dubuque and Dunleith Bridge was
incorporated with a capital of $1,200,000, among the members being
Piatt Smith, H. L. Stout and W. B. Allison. After much contro-
versy it was finally determined to submit to popular vote the ques-
tion of permitting Ihe horse railway to occupy the streets. The
result was as follows: For the railway, 2,185; against the railway,
127. O. P. Shiras became alderman in April, 1867. At this time




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the Tunes and Staats Zcihtng became the official city papers. The
Key City Flouring Mills exploded April 22, 1867, killing four per-
sons and wounding eight others ; the mill was torn to atoms ; the
cause was "mill dust." On April 24 three distinct earthquake shocks
were felt here; chairs were set rocking, window panes rattled, pic-
tures on the walls swayed and tilted, chandeliers swayed and plaster
fell. People rushed from the buildings and many were nauseated.
The shocks came like waves from north to south. The people
demanded that the proposed railroad bridge should have a foot and
wagon attachment.

On June 21, 1867, Odd Fellows hall, in Facade block, was dedi-
cated. The Excelsior and Clipper baseball clubs played a match
game June 2j and the former won — 55 to 17; J. A. Miller was
umpire. In June, 1867, Julien township was constituted the sixth
voting precinct. In July, 1867, the city was sued on the W. W.
Corcoran loan — the principal bein^ $100,000, with a large amount
of interest past due. E. AlcCeney was city attorney in 1867. By
August, 1867, Dubuque had subscribed $600,000 for the river
bridge and at this time W. B. Allison became president of the com-
pany. The census of August, 1867, showed in the city a total popu-
lation of 21,133 whites and 89 colored. The number of voters was
3,487. There were six colleges and academies; manufactures were
valued at $3,194,350. A new fire engine costing $5,500 was
received September 5 and put in the new rooms on Iowa street ; it
was named the "J. K. Graves." Hawkeye Hose Company, No. i,
took possession of the new engine.

In September, 1867, the Manchester Excelsiors and the Dubuque
Excelsiors, after several months of bluster and bragging, played a
matched game of baseball at Dubuque. The largest crowd ever
assembled here for baseball gathered to witness the contest, many
ladies being present ; the game lasted three hours and resulted as
follows :

Dubuque Excelsiors. . .20 2 2 i 2 i 5 i 13 47
Manchester Excelsiors. 75004025 2 25

In September, 1867, A. A. Cooper's wagon factory was destroyed
by fire ; within one month he rebuilt temporarily and continued
operations about as large as ever.

By ordinance of October, 1867, the Dubuque Street Railway
Company and their successors were granted "the exclusive right and
privilege to construct, operate and maintain over the streets of the
city of Dubuque street railways for carrying passengers and freight
for the term of twenty years." They were required to have at least
two miles of track completed and in operation within one year. By
act of July, 1883, additional rights and privileges were granted to
the company and additional requirements were exacted from it. In


April, 1890, tlie right to operate an electric street railway was
granted. Many provisions were added. In August, 1890, the
company was granted the right to erect an electric light and power
station within the city limits, and was limited to twenty-five years
duration. Proper reservations were made by the city. By ordi-
nance of September, 1890, the company was permitted to lay and
maintain a double track on certain streets. An ordinance of
February, 1892, permitted the company to extend its lines to cer-
tain other streets. In August, 1891, the ordinance concerning an
electric street railway was amended and additional rights were
granted — one provision being that regular cars should be run to the
main entrance of the Dubucjue Driving Park. Additional rights
were extended by the ordinance of July, 1897. The life of tlie com-
pany was extended thirty-three years from April 25, 191 5, and it
was required "to construct, create, establish and permanently main-
tain a park and pleasure resort on both sides of the Maquoketa river
at Sageville," and to create and maintain therein a lake to be formed
by damming up tlie waters of tliat river, tlie dam to be built about
100 feet west of Thompson's mill. The company was required to
extend its lines to this park. Three years was the time fixed for the
completion of the park and dam. The city reserved the right to
purchase the entire plant of the street railway company and required
half-fare tickets for working people during certain hours. Various
other rights and extensions have been granted the company.

In November, 1867, the sheriff sold at public auction many lots of
the Harbor Company for non-payment of taxes; they were all
bought back by the Harbor Company. Settlement of the city with
Mrs. Porter was finally effected in November ; the original debt was
$10,000. At this date Waterloo charged Dubuque with grain
elevator frauds — five bushels on each car taken, a biased inspection,
unlawful commissions, fictitious transfer rates, etc. ; the cliarge was
laid by Dubuque to the Illinois Central railroad. In the fall of 1867
four church choirs united and under Professor Seager gave public
concerts with great success, the benefits going to the Young Men's
Christian Association. The first work on the street railway was
done late in November, 1867, near Fleeb's brewery; the first section
ended at Tivoli gardens, whence extensions could be run to Eagle
Point and to the driving park. The stables were near Heeb's
brewery; the company started with fifteen horses. Wharfage in
November, 1867, amounted to $604.53. Foi" years a steady revenue
had been obtained from this source.

The lumber dealers in 1867 were Knapp, Stout & Co.. E. R.
Lumbert & Co., George Edwards, Pelan & Randall, Dubuque
Lumber Co., Mitchell & Kiene, J. M. Robison, Johnson & Bro.,
Ingram, Kennedv & Co., Clark & Scott, Gibbs & Parmenter, Solo-
mon Turck, W. H. & E. T. Allen, J. Scott & Co. and T. O. Sullivan.
About 25,000,000 feet were landed here in 1867. In eleven uKMiths


18,033,668 feet were shipped, mostly westward over the Dubuque
& Sioux City raih^oad.

Dubuque in 1867 handled in bushels: Wheat, 4,246,561; oats,
826,482; corn, 86,000; barley, 41,499.

H. Markell & Co.'s bank was closed forever January 6, 1868;
assignment was made to H. L. Stout and T. C. Roberts, two of the
heaviest creditors ; the liabilities were placed at $70,000. The cred-
itors held an excited meeting.

The Library Lecture Course in 1867-8 embraced eight lectures of
the following persons : Dr. Vinton, Dr. Holland, Dr. Hayes, Prof.
Mason, Rev. J. C. Fletcher, Anna E. Dickinson, Prof. Youmans
and E. P. Whipple. That of Anna E. Dickinson netted at the door
$291.75 ; her house was worth $396.75 ; none of the others exceeded
$100. Season tickets yielded $839.33.

The wharfage in May, 1868, amounted to $963.92. The Herald
statistician said in January, 1868, that during 1867 about one hun-
dred buildings had been built. The boiler of the Tschirgi &
Schwind's brewery exploded in February, 1868, killing one person
and severely injuring four others. Half a block on Main street
between Sixth and Seventh was destroyed by fire in February, 1868,
the loss being about $50,000. The hogs packed here in 1866-7
numbered 6,400; in 1867-8, 8,978. In March, 1868, the United
States marshal sold at public auction the Central island property to
Stout, Graves and others. All sales were subject to the Jesup mort-
gage of 1853 for $30,000. This sale was made by order of the court
under the Corcoran claim which had grown from $100,000 in 1857.
to $175,000 in March, 1868. The city receipts for the fiscal year
1867-8 were $60,327.35 and expenses $68,029.60; cash on hand
April I, 1868, $19,215.61. J. K. Graves, retiring mayor, was
accused of irregularities by a council committee appointed to
examine his accounts. In May, 1868, old city bonds were worth
20 cents and new city bonds 85 cents on the dollar.

On May 27, 1868, Solon Langworthy rode on the first street
railway trip in the city; he rode over 120 acres which were bought
thirty-four years before for $500 and broke up in the spring of
1864. The tract extended from Tenth to Eighteenth streets and
from Iowa to the river. It was afterward divided between the four
Langworthy brothers.

M. B. Mulkern was city attorney in 1868. The city complained
in 1868 because, although it paid over one-half of the bridge tax, it
received no benefit. The county replied that the city was benefited
by the trade which came over the bridges to the city.

Immense damage all over the county was done by a furious storm
which occurred June 5, 1868. All the bridges on the Dubuque &
Sioux City railroad were swept away. Damage to the amount of
$10,000 was done in the city. Portions of skeletons were washed
out on the streets from the old cemetery. Another storm, June zy,


was almost as damaging. On May lo, 185 1, there fell in Dubuque
in about fifteen minutes 3.35 inches of rain. July 14, 1868, it was
102 degrees in the shade here. The J. K. Graves fire engine saved in
one year all it had cost. A. A. Cooper's new wagon factory was
dedicated in August, 1868, by over 300 couples who assembled to
do honor to this first citizen of Dubuque. Sixteen sets at one time
danced in the big hall. His employes thus showed their high regard
for Mr. Cooper. City officials and bands were present. In 1868
Dubuque had seventeen dry goods houses, twenty-six groceries, four
hardware stores, five drug stores, nine boot and shoe stores, fourteen
clothiers, nineteen churches and free public schools worth $150,000.
By September 17, 1868, the second span of the railroad bridge was
up in place. Mathias Ham was called the fadier of the Eagle Point
ferry, which started September 19, 1868.

The fastest horses in the West were at the driving park in
October, 1868. Bashaw Jr. trotted a mile in 2:26^/2. A red fox
was caught within the city limits late in 1868. Under a recent act
of the legislature the city voted late in 1868 on the question of
compounding the city debt ; new bonds were to be issued to cover all
the old indebtedness, which aggregated nearly $1,000,000. The
overwhelming question at this date was the city debt. Mass meet-
ings with all shades of opinion were held. Many thought the city
could secure a great reduction from creditors; a few wanted to
repudiate; but the great majority were willing to pay their honest
obligations. The city had received the benefits of the monev, mostly
well spent, and should not now think of repudiation, was the better
thought and conclusion. Judge Shiras had been sent to Des Moines
to secure the passage of the law. The city under the new law could
not issue more bonds than the sum of the old debt and interest. If
the new bonds were not issued the city could borrow no more
because its credit was gone with a vast debt hanging o\'er it. The
vote was finally postponed.

A prize fight between John Bernard and Peter Toohey was
fought at Menominee station December 12, 1868, and was attended
by a large number of Dubuque sporting men. The stakes were $200
a side and the fight was won by Toohey on a foul. William Daily
was referee. On December 14, 1868, the draw for the railroad
bridge was swung into position for the first time. The first pas-
senger train crossed December 22. In 1868 there were erected in
Dubuque about 150 buildings costing $800 or more each.

The Iowa Institute of Science and Art was organized here early
in 1869, and its rooms were in the Facade building. Dr. Asa Harr
was president ; for many years he had been the obser\'er here of the
Smithsonian Institution. Rev. J. W. Hanson was secretary. Many
citizens contributed valuable relics. In February the fire companies
disbanded, but immediately reorganized.

A committee of the council was sent East early in 1869 to com-


promise matters with the city creditors. Turck and Thompson, both
ex-mayors, were on the committee. A brick house on Dodge street,
bouglit of J. J. E. Norman before 1868, was converted into a house
of refuge. It was burned probably to get rid of a nuisance early in
1869. On April 17 many ladies of Dubuque met at the residence of
Mrs. D. S. Wilson and organized a society the object of which was
"to secure the development and enfranchisement of women." Mrs.
D. S. Wilson was elected president ; Mrs. W. P. Large, vice presi-
dent ; Mrs. Austin Adams, corresponding secretary ; Mrs. J. L.
McCreery, recording secretary. All Iowa women in sympathy with
the objects were invited to join the society.

The population of the city in May, 1869, was announced as
23,543. By ordinance of July, 1869, the council granted the Du-
buque Lumbermen and Manufacturers' Railroad Company permis-
sion with the right of way to construct and for fifteen years main-
tain a railroad track along certain streets and public places in the
city. The ordinance was elaborate and contained many requirements
and provisions.

In June, 1869, at a special election to decide on compounding the
debt, the vote stood : Yes, 228 ; no, 265. Thus the citizens decided
against the issuance of new bonds to pay the old debt. Under
contract with the council William Rebman graded down, leveled
and planted with trees the old cemetery now called Jackson park ;
all bodies were removed. At a fight here between a Chicago dog
and a Dubuque dog owned by Mr. Sutton the latter won in fifteen
minutes. The total eclipse of the sun in August, 1869, was wit-
nessed by everybody here. Base ball was not thought much of in

At the suggestion of George W. Jones the council, in September,
1869, prepared a memorial to Congress to grant 640 acres at Peru
for a public park. The horse fair in October, 1869, was larger and
better than ever. Over forty fast horses were present. The Mer-
chants' Protective Union was organized in November, 1869. By
the census of 1869 Dubuque city was shown to have a population of
17,969, 3,542 dwellings and 3,448 voters. In 1869 the fire depart-
ment consisted of two steam engines, three hose carts, one hose
carriage, sixteen men, eight horses, 4,500 feet of rubber hose, two
hand engines — Washington No. i and Protection No. 2 — an old
hook and ladder truck and three or four ladders ; public cisterns
supplied water.

In 1867 there were erected 121 buildings; in 1868, 135, and in
1869, 176. The largest improvements in 1869 were Ryan's packing
hou,se, $100,000; gas works, $16,000; Methodist church, $22,000;
Second Presbyterian church, $50,000; Manson block, $23,000; Levi
block, $12,000; Ogelsby block, $12,000; thirty buildings cost over
$5,000 each.

Late in 1869 a big meeting was held to consider the question of


discriminating tariffs. B. B. Richards was the principal speaker.
About this time the mayor and aldermen were served with a man-
damus to levy a special tax to pay the recent Corcoran judgment of
$76,716.05. This was for unpaid interest on the Corcoran loan.
In 1869 and early in 1870 the council paid $117,500 of the city
debt. The old cemetery occupied by the Catholics near the
cathedral was adjudged the property of the city early in 1870; it
had been patented to no one.

CITY OF DUBUQUE, 1870 TO 1893.

DURING the fiscal year 1869-70 city debt to the amount of
$142,846.33 was paid. Edward Langvvorthy gratuitously
surrendered to the city his claim of $9,750, making the total
amount of debt settled $152,596.33. Of this amount
$123,846.36 was settled for less than 27 cents on the dollar. This
settlement was an extra good one, in view of the fact that the courts
had already decided that the city debt was valid. This council
deserves special credit, because many of the best men of the city, not
wishmg to take hold of the complicated and vexatious debt question,
had refused to become candidates for aldermen. The city receipts
for the year 1869-70 were $94,638.52, out of which the mayor and
council managed to save to be applied on the debt the sum of
$51,881. In January, 1870, bondsmen of City Treasurer Quigley
paid $5,000 in past due interest coupons as a full settlement of his

The total city debt on March i, 1870, was $882,745.42. The
actual debt was not known, because it had not yet been learned
which of the creditors would be willing to settle for less than 100

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 1) → online text (page 18 of 56)