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

. (page 21 of 56)
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 21 of 56)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

prohibitory amendment recently adopted to be unconstitutional.
In 1882-83 the floating debt was increased to $77,131.44; the total
cash received was $229,981.70. The Emma Abbott Opera Com-
pany was here in March, 1883. The floating debt was commenced
by a subsidy to the Milwaukee railway, and it seemed impossible to
stop it after it was fully started.

By ordinance of September, 1883, the United States Electric
Liglit and Power Company was granted the right to erect poles,
wires and other fi.xtures in the streets, alleys and public parks of the
city for illuminating and other purposes for twenty years. Suitable
regulations accompanied the ordinance.

An ordinance of March, 1883, gave the Dubuque Butchers' Asso-
ciation the right to erect a general slaughter house within the city
limits at East Dubuque and imposed specific conditions of cleanli-
ness, sanitation, etc.

The famous orchestra of Theodore Thomas ojiened here in April.
General Siegel called Dubuque "the Heidelberg of America."


Thomas W. Keene, tragedian, was here in May. Double street
railway tracks were built this year for the first time. On May 15
there were in the Young Men's Library 15,200 bound books. An
artesian well at White and Sixth street, 804 feet deep, flowed 150
gallons a minute late in June, 1883. Beecher lectured here July 27
on "The Reign of the Common People." On August 13, Mrs.
W. B. Allison while temporarily insane drowned herself in the
river. Bayless College celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary in
October, 1883. The Home for the Friendless reported $7,551.04
in loans and cash on hand in October, 1883. Its object was "to
provide for homeless and destitute women and children;" seventy-
five were cared for in 1883. Among the improvements in 1883
were the following: New schoolhouse, St. Raphael's school, Brad-
ley's brick warehouse, Booth's front fillings, Bentley's grain ele-
vator, Academy of Visitation, ice harbor, St. Joseph's Academy,
Sisters of Visitation, academy, city improvements ($153,000),
streets and engine houses, railways, lumber companies and many
expensive residences.

On December 31, 1883, the Dubuque Traveling Men's Associa-
tion was organized. M. R. Dewstoe was chosen president; L. M.
Langstatif, secretary and treasurer; the association started with a
goodly membership, which has steadily increased to the present.
Late in 1883 John L. Sullivan, Slade, McCoy, Taylor, Gillespie and
other sporting men gave a sparring exhibition at the opera house.
In November, 1883, a hunting party consisting of Frederick Jenkel,
Emil Jenkel, Frederick Jenkel, Jr., and Richard T. Hartig were
drowned in the river just above the city; several of the bodies were
not recovered for three or four months. The Dubuque National
bank opened its doors in April, 1884, with a capital of $100,000,
and with B. B. Richards, president ; W. J. Knight, vice president ;
James Harragan, cashier. The Iowa Trust and Savings Bank began
operations in February, 1884, with a capital of $50,000 paid up;
G. L. Torbert was president, F. D. Stout vice president, and J. E.
.-\llison cashier. A bill in the Legislature to repeal the law exempt-
ing school and church property from taxation encountered strenuous
opposition here in March, 1884; the churches memorialized the
Legislature to defeat the bill. Bishop Hennessy delivered a power-
ful address against the bill on March 23. In 1883-84 the fire depart-
ment was fully established on a paid and permanent basis ; the police
system was reorganized; the project of funding the floating debt
was defeated; gas, electric light and street car ordinances were
passed; the city was already the manufacturing center of this sec-
tion, but more concerns should be secured ; the Dubuque & North-
western, Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, and the Chicago & North-
western Railways were approaching connection with Dubuque ; and
slight reductions were made in the city debt. Also lots were filled,
railways extended, the useless motor was stopped on the hill, a new


engine house was built, a new system of sewerage was considered,
new streets were opened, and the Stocking claim was settled.

In 1883 there were half a dozen baseball clubs; one was called
"Blue Stockings"; they defeated the Galena Greys 17 to 5 and the
Clintons 6 to 4. and the St. Louis club 7 to 4. but in a return game
were defeated by the latter 9 to 5 ; they were defeated by the Port
Hurons in two games 15 to o and 9 to o.

In August, 1883. the council granted to John Reugamer, John
Trexler, J. P. Schroeder, John Klein, Frank Schroeder and George
Fengler, for a period of twenty-five years, free license and full
right to operate a ferry to be known as "Eagle Point Ferry," from
a place near Eagle Point, at Division street, across the river to the
Wisconsin shore. The necessary safeguards were required.

Madame Modjeska was here in May ; she was the guest of
Edward \V. Duncan and wife: she received Dubuque ladies. In
May five persons were killed in the explosion at the planing mill
of Carr, Ryder & Wheeler. On July 3, 1884, the new prohibition
law went into effect; saloons here did business about as usual,
though apprehensivel}-. The Personal Liberty Society held regular
meetings to consider the situation. Informers were led to under-
stand that they would get into serious trouble if they interfered.
Secret anti-prohibition meetings were held ; J. P. Farley was one
of the leaders of the movement for the enforcement of the law.
Seven acres of lumber were burned in September. Late in 18S4 the
Fourth street elevator was built. On September 19 all Dubuque
was shaken by an earthquake ; it was particularly observed in high
buildings. The old Carter and Cheney farms, three miles from
Dubuque, were bought by Mr. Stout and converted into a fine, fast
stock farm that soon became famous ; twenty to thirty fine horses
were there at all times except during the racing season; a half mile
track was there and trainers constantly at work.

The Dubuque baseball club in 1884 had the following leading
players: Ahern, first; Crawford, second; Brown, third; Morgan,
catcher; Lear, pitcher; Burns, shortstop; Keas. left; Taylor, center,
and McCarten, right. The Dubuque Natatorium, containing 100,-
000 gallons, was opened in August at 1033 Main street; it was very
popular from the start.

Dubuque's trade for 1884 was very large and satisfactory: Gro-
ceries and provisions, $1,500,000; dry goods and notions, $1,500,-
000; hardware, $1,000,000; grain, etc., $1,650,000; William Ryan
& Sons, packing. $2,125,000 (this was the largest single industry
here). The jobbing trade was estimated at $12,000,000. Among
the improvements were those by Bishop Hennessy. Ryan, fire engine
house, Waples block, new schoolhouse, St. Joseph's Academy com-
pleted, Lorimier House improved, Eagle Point ferry, street railway
extension, Dubuque Bridge Company, Booth's improvements, city


improvements, Linwood cemetery, etc. In 1884 there were in use
here twenty-six arc Hghts; they were not satisfactory under all
circumstances; incandescent lights were demanded. The Dubuque
Electric Light and Power Company, organized in 1883, expired in

Madame Janauschek was here in January, 1885. Horses were
raced on Lake Peosta in January. In this month the Fourth street
hill elevator carried over 7,000 passengers ; at first there was only
one carriage ; J. K. Graves was connected with this service. Street
expenses in 1884-85 were $16,831. The contemplated sewer system
was estimated to cost $39,985.72. Several business failures
occurred early in 1885. In February, George R. Wendling lectured
here on "Is Death the End of All?" There was great sport at the
roller skating rinks. In the fall of 1885 Dubuque had 130 manu-
facturing establishments; 86 jobbers, 5,261 employes, horsepower
4,464. Among the really large advances here were Central market,
water power, steam supply, Mercy hospital, custom house, opera,
public library, fine art gallery, art and science institute, twenty-four
churches, hill elevator, forty-five miles of paved streets, etc.

In August, 1885, Edward Langworthy and wife celebrated their
golden wedding; she was formerly Pauline Reeder. In the spring
of 1885 the city bonded debt was $777,084.74. The city expenses
in 1884-85 were $173,367.66; the floating debt was $66,787; total
debt of city, $843,871.74. In March the Supreme court decided
in favor of the constitutionality of the prohibitory law. In the
spring of 1885 the city considered ( i ) how to pay the enormous
debt ; ( 2 ) how to economize ; ( 3 ) to reduce street expense and float-
ing debt; (4) must cease borrowing; (5) new railways were desir-
able; (6) manufacturing must still further be increased; (7) an iron
bridge was needed at Eagle Point, etc. There were forty liquor
cases in the federal court in September, brought by the Citizens'
League. The special delivery mail service was adopted here Octo-
ber I, 1885, for the first time. Previous to 1885 the year 1882 was
the most prosperous here since 1856.

In January, 1886, there were put up here 46,700 tons of ice; the
packers alone put up 12,200 tons; the leading packers were William
Ryan, George Rath, Strobel & Son, and Zumhoff & Son. In Janu-
ary three kinds of crossings were considered for the river: (i) A
pontoon bridge; (2) planks on the existing railroad bridge; (3)3
free ferry summer and winter by cable line. In 1885-86 the fire
department cost $15,811.51; police, $15,102.30; gas, $11,241.68;
street, $23,706.14; total city debt, $827,887.28.

A fine arts gallery was opened in March, 1886; forty-two artists
and amateurs were represented; 10 cents admission was charged.
In June there were 12,396 bound \-olumes in the Young Men's


Pork Packing in Dubuque.

1882-83 97'5oo 1884-85 90,000

1883-84 121,000 1885-86 108,500

Summer Packing Additional.

1882 1 5,000 1884 22,557

1883 15,500

In August, 1886, tlie Dubuque Pontoon Bridge Company was
authorized to construct and nsaintain a bridge suitable for the cross-
ing of vehicles, horsemen and animals and for the ordinary public
uses and purposes of a highway bridge from at or near Pine street
in Dubuque across the Mississippi to the town of East Dubuque, in
Tllinois. It was to be located below and as near as practicable to the
railway bridge and the draw was to be of such dimensions and
character as should be approved by the secretary of war, or if built
without a draw it should Idc high enough at the right place to permit
the free passage at all stages of water of craft navigating the Mis-
sissippi. To assist the company in the construction of this bridge,
the city appropriated $25,000, to be paid in two installments, and
released it conditionally from taxation. The total cost was about
$133,000. The city reserved the right to take possession and control
of the bridge by paying annually to the company 8 per cent on the
total cost less that paid by the city. The mayor was to be ex-ofificio
a member of the board of directors. The toll was fixed by the coun-
cil, December 14, 1887.

An immense firemen's tournament was held here in June, 1886.
Clinton, Galena, Webster City, Chariton, Fort Dodge, Dyersville,
Cedar Rapids, Maquoketa, Independence, Marshalltown and other
cities were represented. It was held at the race track; it was the
largest and best tournament ever held in Iowa. Dubuque oat meal
mill burned in July. In 1886 the idea of a pontoon bridge was
abandoned and a high bridge became very popular; this was after
the city had passed an ordinance appropriating $25,000 for a pon-
toon bridge. The Finleys having left to the city a large bequest for
a hospital upon certain conditions; the citizens took steps to comply
with such conditions. 'J"he old Finley homestead on Julicn avenue
was finally devoted to this use; the bequest was about $80,000.
Under the Clark liquor law sharp action against the saloons here
was taken in the summer of 1886. At this time work on the new
sewerage system was commenced. In August, 1S86, the construc-
tion of the high bridge was awarded to Horace E. Horton, of Roch-
ester, Minnesota, at $122,994; his was the lowest bid by over $20,-
000; the bridge was to be completed by May i, 1887. This sum
included the iron approach on the east side. It was called a "high
level wagon bridge." Harnum's big show was here in September.
The North .Xmorican Telegraph Compan\- was granted the right


to erect poles on certain streets. In September the newly organized
Commercial Clnb had a membership of 140; they planned to build a
$15,000 club house. At this time an engine and two cars plunged
through the draw into the river. On August 31, 1886. three dis-
tinct earthquake shocks of twenty-five seconds' duration were felt
here. The city donated $25,000 toward the high bridge and the
citizens raised the balance by subscription; by the middle of October
about $75,000 was subscribed. Important improvements in 1886
were: Academy of Visitation, Bell's store, Bradley's warehouses,
Consolidated tank Line house. Diamond Jo yards, high level
bridge, etc.

It was noted in the spring of 1887, that real estate values had
taken a sudden "boom." In March, 1887, the boundaries of the
Second, Third and Fourth wards were changed and enlarged from
the surplus growth of the Fifth ward. In the spring of 1887 the
railways did an enormous amount of filling on the river front. In
1886-87 the hogs packed were 117,000. There was a great lack
of dwellings and business rooms. The total debt March i, 1887,
was $833,542.85. of which $761,234.80 was bonded. On March 23.
1887, the first shipment of iron for the high bridge arrived. The
water company was given the right in March, 1887, to put in pump-
ing works at the Lorimier House artesian well and from it to fur-
nish the hill its supply of water; this well was 1,050 feet deep and
flowed 180 gallons to the minute. The entire police force was dis-
charged in May and immediately reorganized. The Dubuque Job-
bers and Manufacturers' Union was strong and doing good work in
1887. The Eleventh Street Elevator Company was incorporated
in July.

In 1887 there was demanded improvement of the city gas; con-
struction of the high bridge approach ; continuance on the sewerage
system ; a police patrol ; better results from the street commission-
er's office ; abolishment of the contract system, etc. By the middle
of July, 1887, the fourth span of the high bridge was in place. The
United States E.xpress Company established an office here. In
August it was noted that twenty-four trains arrived and departed
daily. On August 10 the river was the lowest it had been since

The year 1887 was very prosperous. The following made impor-
tant improvements: (i) Northwestern Railway; (2) high bridge;
(3) new sewerage system ; (4) Southwestern Railway ; (5) Fourth
street elevator; (6) Elleventh street elevator; (7) street car to Eagle
Point; (8) filling sloughs with land; (9^ filling freight yards;
(10) filling by lumber yards; (11) ice harbor; (12) new Illinois
Central passenger station; (13) waterworks on the bluff; (14)
police patrol; (15) electric fire alarm; (16) new warehouses; (17)
new wholesale houses; (18) new manufactures; (19) hundreds of
new dwellings; (20) proposed electric street railway.


Notwithstanding its great debt tlie city did not flinch from such
proposed expenses as $250,000 to the Dubuque & Nortiiwestern
Railway; $130,000 for tlie new sewerage system; $125,000 for the
high bridge; and $150,000 to tlie Southwestern Railway. On Sep-
tember 19, 1887, a terrible railway accident near Eagle Point caused
the loss of four or five lixxs and the injury of about a dozen others.
On September 30 the city voted as follows : For the sewerage sys-
tem, 317; against the sewerage system, 1,341. In 1887 there was
strong talk of holding in 1888 a centennial celebration of the settle-
ment here of Julian Dubuc|ue in 1788. Early in November the
high bridge was joined from shore to shore : a celebration for the
opening was planned. On November 25 teams began to cross the
high bridge ; two carriages containing bridge and city officials made
the first trip. On the 29th the event was celebrated ; an immense
procession passed through the streets and over the bridge ; there
were floats, banners, mottoes, bands and societies in line, all escorted
by the Governor's Greys and accompanied by bands and driun corps.
Every business in the city was represented in the line. This was
one of the most notable celebrations ever held in Dubuque. The
main portion of the bridge is 2,000 feet in length and the T^ast
Dubuque approach 800 feet ; the roadway is eighteen feet wide, with
a foot path on each side. J. K. Graves was president of the day.
O'Neill, McDonald, Lyon and others delivered addresses ; a dispatch
from Senator Allison was read.

In 1886 the assessed valuation of the city was $15,021,390. and
the revenue $177,095.60; in 1887 the assessed valuation was $18,-
143,114, and the revenue $196,656.19. The saloon cases were in
the courts in 1887; when injunctions were served against them they
usually filed supersedeas bonds and continued operations. City
expenses in 1887 were $264,275.41, and receipts $228,351.94.

The Commercial National Bank closed its doors March 20, 1888;
the majority of the directors were men of wealth. There was due
depositors $444,059. E. P. Welles, of Clinton, was appointed
receiver. The total liabilities were $518,310. The Iowa Iron
Works owed the bank $145,000. Certain members of the bank had
withdrawn large sums. The receiver charged violations of the law
by the bank officials and on that ground asked for the forfeiture of
its charter; he also charged that false statements had been made.
In the end the bank paid about 70 cents on the dollar.

All the trade and labor organizations united in an immense mass
meeting July 23, 1888; it was a general movement for publicity and
relief; a permanent union of labor was efifected, with James White
president, T. J. Donahue secretary, and C. B. Keesecker treasurer.
Booth and Barrett, actors, were here in .\pril. 1888. Judge Lenehan
ordered forty-seven permanent injunctions against saloon keepers in
August. The sewer project having been revived, bids were called
for and the contract was awarded to J. C. ^lurrav at $21,767 in Sep-


tember. The butchers entered strong protests at this time against
the encroachments of Armour's "embalmed beef" upon their alleged
preserves ; the butchers and drovers' union passed resolutions against
the Armour products. Plans to celebrate on a large scale the
Dubuque centennial were prepared early in 1888. The Wycoff
Commercial school was in operation this year. The grand lodge of
the Knights of Pythias assembled here in October. An electric
street car line on Eightli street was proposed at this date. Work
on the new sewer rapidly progressed late in 1888. There were
ninety-nine indictments against saloon keepers late this year.

Among the improvements of 1888 were the following: Catholic
church at Sherrill's Mount, Diamond Jo yards, Iowa Iron Works,
Linehan Ferry Company, Morrison Bros., Novelty Works, Sacred
Heart church, private investments by Byrne, Bradley, Booth and
Cooper, city street improvements. Waller's building, the railways,
filling in front, etc.

The Key City Electric Street Railway Company, with a capital
of $100,000, began business late in 1888 by securing the right of
way; it planned to follow the old hill motor route. The city
demanded its share of the bridge fund from the county in January,
1889. The new Julien House was built by stock subscriptions in
1889; the old house was torn down early in the year. A railway
wreck near the fair grounds in July killed one and injured several.
Work on a new Grand Opera house was commenced early in 1889.
A street railway line down Seventh or Eighth to connect with the
high bridge was planned in 1889. The grand lodge of the Eegion
of Flonor met here in March. The total city debt March i, 1889.
was $834,777.64. Over thirty societies took part in the Washington
centennial celebration this year ; over 3,000 outsiders were present.
One of the largest processions ever on die streets paraded in grand
style. Colonel Lyon was the principal speaker at Schuetzen park.
Fred O'Donneli addressed the Irish-American club. Services in all
the churches were held.

By ordinance approved in August, 1882, the Western Telephone
Company was granted permission to erect upon the public streets
and alleys posts or poles, string wires thereon and operate and use a
telephone exchange. Complete regulations were set forth. An
ordinance of September, 1886. gave the North American Telegraph
Company the right to erect poles, string wires and maintain a tele-
graph system in certain specified streets. The act of July, 1887,
permitted the Eleventh Street Elevator Company to construct and
maintain a street railway on Eleventh street from Blufif street to
Highland place. The act of January, 1900, permitted that companv
to operate its railroad by electricity. The ordinance of April, 1899,
granted the Standard Telephone Company the right to erect and
maintain its telephone system in Dubuque. This ordinance was
long and covered all features of practical operation. In Julv. 1893.


the Fenelon Place Elevator Company was granted the right to oper-
ate a public elevator at Fourth and Fenelon streets.

The ordinance of March, 1889, granted permission and authority
to David H. Ogden and his successors to construct, maintain and
operate a single track electric street railway with all the necessary
accessories on certain designated streets, prescribed the mode of
operation and fixed the term at twenty years.

An ordinance of November, 1889, gave William L. Allen and
Thomas O. Swiney the right to maintain and operate an electric
street railway upon certain streets and public places of the city.
They were also authorized in December to erect an electric light and
power station under certain provisions. In September, 1897, the
Star Electric Company, successor to the United States Electric
Light and Power Company, was granted extensions and continua-
tions of duties and powers.

A furious storm July 2, 1889, did about $15,000 damage in the
city. In August the Dubuque Street Railway Company was granted
the right to use electricity, steam power, etc., and to go outside the
city limits ; its capital was increased to $250,000. Efforts to secure
the Industrial Home for the Blind were made in 1889. War
between two electric light companies and two electric street railway
systems was waged here in 1889-90.

At tlie close of 1889 there were in the city 205 manufactures;
hands in the same, 6,992; jobbing houses, 96; hands in the same,
1,967; traveling men from Dubuque, 313; horsepower in the fac-
tories, 10,890. Important improvements were Cooper's new resi-
dence, butchers' association, dri\ing park. Packing & Provision
Company, linseed oil works,. Diamond Jo line, the railways'
immense improvements, Electric Company, opera house. Standard
Lumber Company, Wartburg Seminary, Julien House, Hansen &
Linehan, Lesure's mill, etc. The year witnessed great advances.

It was duly noted in 1890 that in 1896 $201,926.63 of the old
debt would become due; also $356,956.55 in 1897, $107,161.43 in
1899, and $26,500 in 1904, and that now (1890) there was only
$42,000 in the city treasury. On March i, 1890, the bonded debt
was $728,279.47 and the floating debt $104,519.19. The city
receipts in 1889-90 were $329,350.87, and the expenses $331,783.13.
The revenue from saloons was $18,158.50.

"On the 14th of last month the council adopted an ordinance
giving the Rhombcrg line the additional privileges for which it
asked and carefully guarded public rights, imposing upon the com-
pany the usual and ordinary restrictions and which were imposed
upon the Dubuque Electric Railwav, Light and Power Comjianv,
familiarly known as the Allen & Sweeney line, and these privileges
the Dubuque Street Railway Company refused to accept because
of the restrictions referred to. We must not ignore public rights
to accommodate an individual and we cannot afford to retard tlic


Jl8TWBs- mmx AND'


R t



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 21 of 56)