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 23 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 23 of 56)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

500 voters petitioned to divide the Fifth ward. A bomb was hurled
in the Casino in June. It was about 1907 that Dubuque became a
member of the League of Iowa Municipalities, a body organized to
promote civic purity. The eight banks of Dubuque had over $10,-
000,000 resources. In 1907 the Bertillion system for the identifica-
tion of criminals was adopted. The city appropriation in 1907-8
was $266,650. Nearly a million and a half dollars were spent here


in 1907 for all sorts of improvements. It was a very prosperous
year until the panic arrived. The banks here, as soon as the action
in Chicago was known, met and resolved to pay out on deposits not
to exceed $100 per day, and no time deposits were to be paid until
the full time had expired. This act was approved by the leading
business men. A valuable tract of land along the north side of
the ice harbor was granted to the Boat & Boiler Company.

In 1907 the Illinois & Western Railway was granted the use of
certain streets and alleys for railway purposes. The city appropria-
tion for 1908 was $285,256. The Dubuque Woman's Club asked
for a room for the Juvenile Court.

In 1907 funds for the Young Woman's Christian Building were
subscribed and the structure was commenced. In March, 1907, a
mass meeting against illegal saloons was held at the opera house.
Archbishop Keane was the principal speaker. The saloons were
violating the Sunday and night closing ordinance. The Law and
Order League began numerous legal proceedings against them.
Arthur Mc Arthur confessed to having embezzled water works
funds. He was superintendent and was sentenced to four years in
the penitentiary. The Union Electric Company was a merger of the
previous companies here. The Dubuque Booster Club was much in
evidence in 1907. The Eagles held a brilliant carnival in July.
Bad saloons were steadily eliminated. At the Tri-State Fair in
August Dan Patch trotted a mile in i :ooi/2 ; several watches said as
low as I 158. Dubuque Baseball Club was having a hard time to
retain its place in the Tliree-I League. For the first time in history
not a saloon was open in Dubuque on Christmas day. 1907.

The city secured Eagle Point Park at a cost of about $18,000
in 1908. Paderewski was here in January, 1908. The Home
Comers' organization was conspicuous this year. A $100,000 pack-
ing plant offered to come here u])on certain conditions. Thomas
Loftus was president of the Three-I Baseball League in 1898. At
this time the Union Electric Company added twenty acres to Union
Park. The Iowa Bankers' Association met in Dubuque on May
5, 1908. It was a notable gathering. The Old Settlers added three
acres to the park at Dubuque's Grave. In October, 1908, Bavless
Business College held its golden jubilee anniversary. An excellent
exhibition of art works was opened to the public at the Carnegie^
Stout Library, under the auspices of the Woman's Club, late in
1908. At the Tri-State Fair in 1908 Minor Heir trotted a mile
in 2:0254- Immense crowds attended the fair and races.

The citizens indulged in pleasing dreams of a Greater Dubuque
in 1909-11. The Moon liquor bill became a law this year. It lim-
ited the number of saloons to one in every 1,000 population. On
April 4, 1909, the Union Electric Company turned its lights on in
Union Park. A delegation of Dubuque's business men was sent to
Des Moines in 1909 to appear before the senatorial committee to



protest against the resubmission of prohibition to the vote of
the people as a constitutional amendment. Free text books in the
schools were voted down here this year. On July 4, 1909, the law
prohibiting the sale of cigarettes went into effect. In the spring
of 1909 two distinct earthquake shocks were felt at Dubucjue. The
water works were declarecl taxable. Vast crowds assembled at the
Tri-State Fair. During the fair 2.91 inches of rain fell in one hour.
Many fine buildings were erected in 1909. Dubuque branch of
Armour & Co. planned to erect a building to cost $40,000. The
new Princess Theater was opened in September. There was a
30,000 paid attendance at the baseball games here in 1909.

A site for a bathing house on the river front near the harbor was
granted in 1909. The Dubuque Memorial Association applied for
the privilege of building a hall in one of the parks. The city appro-
priation for 1909-10 was $207,522; for 1910-11 it was $305,-
578.26, and for 1911-12 it was $297,529.

To the Young Woman's Christian Building subscription Peter
Kiene, John V. Rider, B. W. Lacy and J. T. Adams gave $500
each in 1910. On March i, 191 1, the total city debt was as follows:

General bonded debt $ 734,282.00

Water works bonds 324,000.00

Floating debt 224,522.74

Total $1,282,804.74

The Dubuque Clearing House Association was organized April
16, 1891, and consisted of eight members: First National, Second
National, Dubuque National, Dubuque County, Iowa Trust & Sav-
ings, German Trust & Savings, German, and Citizens' State. The
meetings were held at the office of the Dubuque National. The
first officers were : P. J. Lee, president ; E. W. Duncan, vice-presi-
dent; James Harragan, manager. The clearings from May, 1894,
to May. 1895, were $12,469,000. In 1910 they were about $50,-
000,000. The present officers are: P. J. Lee, president; B. F.
Blocklinger, vice-president ; James Harragan, manager.


STEAMBOATING on the Western rivers ante-dated the arrival
of permanent settlers. Particularly was this the case at Du-
buque. In i8i I the first steamboat was built for the Ohio and
Mississippi rivers; by 1838 there were in existence on those
streams 638 steamers, besides about 6,000 flatboats and keelboats.
Before 1832 many steamers came up to Galena and Prairie du
Chien; of course, as there was no Dubuc|ue yet, only an Indian en-
campment called "Little Fox Village," the most of the boats did not
touch here, though no doubt a few did to load the lead mined by the
Indians and carry their furs and hides to market. As a matter of
fact, nearly all the first settlers who did not come across the country
from Illinois and Wisconsin, came here by steamboat. By 1834 the
steamboats on Western waters numbered 234.

In 1832 Capt. N. F. Webb commanded the Tippecanoe and vis-
ited all up-river ports, including what is now Dubuque. His home
was at New Albany, Indiana. He became well and favorably
known to all persons along the upper Mississippi. At dififerent
limes he commanded the Flora, Fannie Harris, Ocean Wave, Itasca,
Milwaukee, and the government boat Montana. In 1850 he moved
to Galena. He was finally so injured in an accident on the United
States dredgeboat Montana that his death resulted a few days later.
At every port along the river and on every steamer, flags were hung
at half-mast. His death occurred at St. Paul.

In 1834, at the time O'Connor was hung in Dubuque, Capt. Har-
ris, with the steamer Jo Daviess, brought here a large crowd from
Galena to witness the execution. This boat went up the Wisconsin
river as far as Fort Winnebago in 1834.

Many steamers sailed the Upper Mississippi in 1836, and among
those that touched at Dubuque were the Dubuque, Captain Atchi-
son; Wisconsin, Captain OT^laherty ; Missouri Fulton, Captain
Smith; Heroine, Captain Tomlin; Olive Branch, Captain Strother.

"The new and splendid steamboat Missouri Fulton arrived at this
port on Friday last with 225 passengers on board and 250 tons of
freight. The Missouri Fulton made her last trip from Galena to
St. Louis in thirty-five hours, being the quickest trip ever made
between those ports." — Visitor, May 11, 1836.

The Frontier arrived here May 16, 1836, having returned from
a trip up Rock river as far as Dixon's Ferry with an "eighty ton
keel." The Gipsy, Adventure, Captain Lafferty; Galenean, Captain



Plasterage ; St. Peters, Captain Throckmorton ; Missouri Fulton,
Captain Perin; Smelter, Captain Harris.

In August, 1836, the Missouri Fulton arrived, having made the
trip from St. Louis to Dubuque in 78 hours, with a detention of 30
hours on the way, thus with an actual running time up stream of
48 hours. She carried 325 cabin and 100 deck passengers and 250
tons of freight. This was the quickest trip on record thus far.

Late in 1836 Captain Briggs commanded the Olive Branch and
Captain Van Houten the Adventure. J. Parsons operated a ferry
across the river ten miles above Dubuque, opposite the old Snake
Diggings. Authority was given to Mathias Ham and Horace
Smead to operate a ferry at Eagle Point, where there was a place
called Ham's Landing: it was on the southeast quarter of section
20. The Waller smelting furnace stood at Rockdale in 1836.

Capt. D. S. Harris died in 1893, being a resident of Galena. In
1823 he came to Galena on the steamer Col. Bumford and found
the place a rude mining camp. He engaged in the steamboat trade.
He and his brother built the first steamer constructed at Galena —
on the river bottom near the mouth of Hughlett's branch, and
called her Jo Daviess. In 1834 Captain Harris took her to St.
Louis with a cargo of lead and sold both cargo and boat. The
next year the two brothers built the Frontier at Cincinnati. They
next built the "Smelter," which ran between Cincinnati and Galena
in 1836 and 1837, the round trip occupying twenty-one days. He
afterward built the Relief in 1838, the War Eagle in 1839, the
Pizarro in 1840, the Pre-emption and Otter in 1842, and the New
St. Paul in 1843. I" the twenty-eight years of his river experience
he built or was interested in nearly one hundred steamers. His
last trip was in the Grey Eagle, which struck the Rock Island bridge
in 1861 and went down. In 1833 he married Susan M. Lang-
worthy, daughter of Dr. Stephen Langworthy. His second wife
was Sarah Coates. He left ten children, two or three residing in
Dubuque county.

In the spring of 1837 the horse ferry-boat used here to convey
across the river passengers, teams, live stock, etc., was struck by a
steamer and sunk ; this loss necessitated the use for a while of a
llatboat, propelled by oars. At this date the ferry right was owned
by General Jones and was estimated to be worth $25,000: the toll
for one adult was 25 cents. The Pavillion, Captain Lafferty, ran
from Dubuque to St. Peters in May, 1837. The ferry at Eagle
Point was in operation in May. In June the new steamer Burling-
ton, Captain Throckmorton, touched here on its way up to St.
Peters. Mrs. Hamilton, widow of Alexander Hamilton, the great
statesman who was killed in a duel by Aaron Burr, was a passen-
ger. In June and again in July, 1837, the river was from fifteen
to eighteen feet above low mater mark.

In July, 1837, the Irene passed down from St. Peters, having on


board three companies of United States troops bound for Jefferson
barracks, Missouri. At this time about 400 Indians were gathered
at Fort Snelling to meet the United Statets commissioner, Governor
Dodge. A treaty was on the tapis.

By ordinance, 1837, there was a port physician whose duty it
was to board every steamboat or other vessel coming from any port
known to be infected with any disease and examine the passengers
and crew previous to their landing. All such persons were to be
prevented from landing.

On August 15, 1837, a few miles below Bloomington, on the
upper Mississippi river, the steamer Dubuque burst one of its flues
and scalded to death sixteen persons and dangerously scalded many
others, several of whom afterwards died. The captain of the boat
was Smoker.

The steamer Dubuque about September 19, 1837, ran on a snag
just above Hannibal. Missouri, tore a large hole in her hull and
sank quickly in twelve feet of water. The principal cargo was
groceries and flour. The boat was a total loss.

The distance by river from St. Louis to Dubuque was reck-
oned at 475 miles. Many steamers touched here in the fall of 1837
and many passengers were landed, bound mostly for the interior.

There was a small snow squall about November 20, 1837, but
aside from that the weather had been fine up to December 2, 1837.
The river was open, but business had largely suspended, owing to
fear of sudden changes to winter.

The steamboat Gipsy arrived here on December 8, 1837. She
had tried to go up Fever river to Galena, but ice prevented. The
river had risen a foot in twenty-four hours ; considerable floating
ice in the Mississippi.

The steamers Gipsy and Smelter visited Dubuque many times
in 1837-8 : they brought up many passengers and immense quanti-
ties of freight. Usually just before navigation closed, store sup-
plies for the winter were brought up in astonishing quantities ; the
same rush occurred each spring to market at St. Louis and other
points down the river the products of the upper country. The new
steamer Demoine, Captain Cole, arrived from below on March
23, 1838; she was "very handsome" and drew only twenty-two
inches. In 1838 the Gipsy was commanded by Captain Gray;
Bee, by Captain Burnham ; Cygnet ; Brazil, by Capt. Orrin Smith.

The Knickerbocker. Capt. Van Houten, arrived here for the
first time May 4, 1838; she had fifty berths in the gentlemen's
cabin, all in staterooms, and handsomely furnished.

In 1838 for the first time the steamboats began to carry the mail
regularly to all up-river ports as far as Prairie du Chien. This
was an important step, because previously all mail came to up-
river points by stage and horseback across Illinois and Wisconsin.

The steamboat Gipsy, Captain Gray, ascended Rock river to the


mouth of the Pecatonica in May, 1838. Dixon's Ferry had been
reached by the Frontier in the spring of 1837. The steamer Brazil
ran up to St. Peter's in June, 1838, with a large passenger and
freight list; notice of this trip was given in advance by the News:

"Fast Travelling. — A gentleman of this place arrived yesterday
morning (June 8, 1838) on the Rolla, having come up from New
Orleans in ten days less seven hours, including twenty-seven hours
spent in St. Louis. This is the quickest trip ever made on the
Mississippi. He came on board the steamer St. Louis as far as
St. Louis." (lozi'a Nczvs, June 9, 1838.)

"The steamer Brazil, Captain Smith, passed this place on
Tuesday evening last on a trip of pleasure to the Falls of St.
Anthony — that far-famed place for the resort of fashion — laden
with beauty and all the other little et ceteras. The sound of the
music and tripping of the light fantastic toe, together with the
splendor of the boat, made us envy a trip — but we don't go."
(loiva News, June 16, 1838.)

The steamboat Wisconsin, in 1838, went from the Fort Win-
nebago portage in Wisconsin, about 200 miles from Prairie du
Chien, down to St. Louis. At the time the Wisconsin was at Fort
Winnebago the water was flowing from Fox river of Green bay
across into the Wisconsin river.

During 1838 on the upper Mississippi the following accidents to
boats occurred : Ariel, struck a rock, sank, raised ; Des Moines,
snagged, raised ; Irene, snagged, lost ; Indian, snagged, raised ;
Quincy, damaged, repaired; Science, snagged, lost. (Statement of
Henry G. Carson, pilot.)

The Mississippi river, late in July, 1838, was very high — about
ten feet above low water mark — higher than it had been since last
year. It rose over a foot in twenty-four hours.

In December, 1838, an act of the Iowa territorial legislature
authorized Timothy Fanning to operate a ferry at Dubuque for
twenty years. He was required to land at any required part of
the river front of the town ; to keep ample boats and facilities,
and two years later was to put on a steam ferryboat and a suffi-
cient number of flatboats.

The river at Dubuque was wholly clear of ice by March 16,
1839, and in a good stage for navigation. The Demoine left
March 16 for St. Louis, loaded with lead.

"Boats are now plying rapidly between this place and St. Louis.
The Pavilion, Ariel, Rhine, Hero and Rio have departed since our
last. The Brazil will be here this morning." — (/occa Nczi's, March
16, 1839.)

The river traffic was very brisk and large in 1838 and 1839.
Large numbers of settlers and live stock, and quantities of house-
hold goods, arrived by every steamer and passed into the interior.


Tlieir presence created tlie demand for store goods and the towns
and villages grew prosperous.

"The Mississippi continues open with but little ice running. The
steamboat Rapids ascended as far as Rock Island on Tuesday
morning last, but fearing cold weather, returned. Last night snow
fell to the depth of about four inches." — {lozva Nezvs, December
14, 1839.)

"Pleasure excursions to the Falls of St. Anthony — the Ha-ha-
wat-e-pa (laughing waters) of the Sioux — are becoming quite
fashionable this season. The fast, beautiful and popular steam-
boat Brazil touched at Dubuque on her way up, with a large com-
pany of ladies and gentlemen in high spirits on Monday evening."
— (lozva News, July 23, 1840.)

In January, 1840, George W. Jones was authorized to keep a
ferry on the Mississippi at Dubuque for twenty years; he was not
to conflict with ferry charter of Timothy Fanning and was per-
mitted to use either horses or steam. In July, 1840, Congress
appropriated $1,000 for the survey of a steamboat landing at

"The Mississippi has been rapidly rising for the last four or
five days, which has made a temporary suspension of the works
on the canal in our harbor necessary." — (Iowa Nezvs, June 26,

In 1843, Thomas McCraney and James Churchman operated a
ferry at the upper end of Dubuque.

In 1841-43, the following boats, among others, were engaged in
trade on the upper Mississippi ; their tonnage follows : Agnes, 92 ;
Amaranth, 200; Chippewa, 102; Galena, 115; General Brooke,
120; Illinois, 120; Indian Queen, 115; lone, 140; Iowa, 112;
Jasper, 98; Malta, 130; Mermaid, 160; Nauvoo, 125; New
Brazil, 200; Ohio, 130; Osage, 140; Osprey, 105; Otter, 95;
Potosi, 115; Rapids, 115; Sarah Ann, 135; St. Louis Oak, 115;
and eleven transient boats with an aggregate tonnage of 1,300. In
1841 these boats made 143 trips, carried freight worth $124,000,
and passengers to the amount of $73,400 fares. (See Sen. Doc.
No. 242, 28th Cong., 1 2th session. Vol. IV.)

The Jasper was commanded by Captain Roberts and was de-
signed for up-river trade, having small draught. In 1842 numer-
ous meetings along the river were held for the purpose of securing
an improvement of navigation. In 1843, the principal boats touch-
ing here were: New Brazil, Iowa, Osprey, Potosi, Ohio, Rapids,
General Brooke, St. Louis Oak, Galena, Sarah Ann, Amaranth,
Leander and Osage. In 1845 the War Eagle, Lynx, Osprey,
Falcon, St. Louis Oak, Mermaid and St. Croix were active.

In September, 1845, the Archer, Captain Gilman, was a new
steamer with a good trade. Others were the Atlas, Captain Reilly;
Prairie Bird, Tempest (new\ Confidence, Mendota, War Eagle,





R t


^^m ^^ff ^W ^^^ ! WP . ^" III' •

llirnT" iriiB" «ini nw mal *» •■rliTv ^iri.iM nc ■'=■• =



.u..(aH "WmiHiMv ^a .mLJ-II!!' i — ■'.■i>' ^^i

- -'^-■!i"s:i«i«i»u.




Time and Tide, St. Anthony, Captain Montford; Iron City, Ber-
trand, Fortune, Red Wing, Monona. Early in 1846 the St. An-
thony and the War Eagle were sunk, but were soon raised and
refitted. In 1847 the Bon Accord was commanded by H. Bersie,
the Cora by Captain Throckmorton, and the Lynx by Capt. John

Captain Barney's annual report, made September 5, 1847, showed
$2,291 unexpended. Afterward the dredge boat's operations for
two months amounted to $890 ; agent for six months, $600 ; ex-
pense to Washington, $200; additional, $1,690, leaving about $600
on hand May 10, 1848. Thus the $14,500 appropriated for the
harbor was nearly gone and the harbor "presented more formida-
ble obstructions to the passage "of steamboats than it did before
the present improvements were commenced." — {Miners' Express,
May 10, 1848.)

In 1848 the steamer St. Peters was owned here by P. and R. C.
Waples; she ran regularly to St. Louis and was one of the
Dubuque and Potosi Packet Line. W. S. Grims was master. An-
other regular packet boat was the Dubuque, Edward H. Beebe,
master. The Pearl was commanded by Capt. A. Montgomery.
By December 15, 1848, there was fine sleighing here and teams
crossed the river on the ice. The Eliza Stewart was commanded
by Capt. William Edds.

Galena offered a free ferry (Young & Whiteside) to all per-
sons crossing there from Iowa to trade, and during April, 1848,
the following were thus ferried free : Two-horse teams, 272 ; one-
horse teams, 22; cattle and horses, 198; persons, 739. The cir-
cumstance was used as an argument for a free ferry to Dubuque.

In 1849 there were Highland Mary, St. Peters, War Eagle, Capt.
Robert A. Reilly ; Dubuque passengers went by the latter boat to
St. Louis to buy goods in March. The Senator, Anthony Wayne
and Cora, Captain Gorman, were active in 1849. I" April, 1849,
George W. Jones arrived from Washington, D. C, by the steamer
Dr. Franklin, having come from that city in fourteen days. In
April, 1849, the steamer Josiah Lawrence reached Galena with
450 passengers and thirty cases of cholera on board ; eleven of
them proved fatal. All boats from New Orleans brought up cases
of cholera. That disease broke out at Galena and Dubuque became
alarmed. Lime was scattered over streets and alleys ; everybody
was >jrdered to "clean up." Many steamers in a bunch were burned
during a sudden and destructive fire at St. Louis in May, 1849;
among them were the Prairie State, St. Peters, Alex. Hamilton,
Dubuque, Ed. Bates and others known at Dubuque. Early in
June the Anthony Wayne brought here two cases of cholera, but
the patients died the same night. On October 3, 1849, a delegation
from Dubuque attended the Rapids Improvement Convention at


Davenport. The Dubuque was here again in October, having been
repaired; her upper works only had been burned at St. Louis.

The Anthony Wayne was the first arrival from below, March
8, 1850. The Excelsior, Captain Ward, was here a few days
later; also the Lamartine, Capt. J. M. Marsh. Dubuque began to
grow rapidly this year and the river traffic was very brisk. On
April 24, 1850, the river was the highest ever known here at this
season of the year. During the forties and fifties it was customary
for the steamers of different lines or independent to race both up
and down. These races were always exciting and often danger-
ous. Bets were freely made and gambling was open and for high
stakes on the boats. Early in June, 1850, the Nominee and Dr.
Franklin had an exciting and hotly contested race of several days'
duration alon^' the upper Mississippi. Racing was generally con-
denmed, but did not prevent its occurrence and repetition. Pre-
vious to about 1850 the term "upper Mississippi" was applied to all
above the Rapids near the mouth of the Des Moines river, but
after that date it was usually confined to the river about St. An-
thony's Falls. The location of a permanent boat landing at Du-
buque caused a bitter conflict of private interests.

In 185 1, at a meeting of river men, a line of steamers with head-
quarters at Dubuque, was projected; J. H. Emerson, B. J. O'Hal-
loran, Captain Estes. Piatt Sniith, T. S. Wilson, G. R. West, C. W.
Cutter and M. Mobley were prominent in this organization. At this
date the ferryboats were operated by Timothy Fanning, S. L. Gre-
goire and Charles Bogy. More lumber and log rafts than ever began
to come down from the Wisconsin and Black rivers. Large quanti-
ties were used here and sold to the back country. Dubuque was
gi owing as ne\-er before. Men began to make rafting their sole busi-
ness; it required the highest skill to take a raft of 2,000,000 feet
of logs successfully down the river to St. Louis, dodging all the
islands, sharp heads, bridges and rapids ; a raftsman who could
do it commanded the highest wages.

In November, 1851, the council leased "such right as it might
have" to the ferry privileges here to Mr. Gregoire for six years,
in consideration that he should pay $100 annually and furnish a
steam ferryboat. This step was taken against the expostulations
of Mr. Fanning, whose period had not expired, because he had

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 23 of 56)