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 28 of 56)
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the Dubuque & Pacific Railroad, in September, 1855, the city voted
130 in favor of the grant and 614 against it. The completion of
the Illinois Central to Dunleith was the occasion of an immense
celebration here. Many visitors were present — a number from
Chicago. The citizens had subscribed a sum to cover expenses,
but the costs ran $402 over that sum.

"We must say that if we, the people of Dubuque, are so stupid
or so niggardly of our present wealth or so lazy that we will not
push out our railroads to the West and Northwest immediately,
why, then, if we are left behind in the path of advancement we can
blame nobody but ourselves. Dubuque has got to wake up and go
to work at once to secure the trade and business of the country
west or she will be not only tributary to others herself but an unim-
portant secondary point. We have the start now, let us keep it.
Railroads have made Chicago what she is and will make Dubuque."
— (Express and Herald, June 25, 1855.) In the summer of 1855,
when the Illinois Central Railroad was completed to Dunleith, this
city held a big celebration of the event.

On the question of taking two hundred and fifty thousand dol-
lars stock in the Dubuque & Northwestern Railroad the county
voted: For the subscription, 2,166; against the subscription, 1,010.
On October 3, 1856, steam was raised in the engine "Dubuque"
for the first time ; this was the first engine in Dubuque ; it required
considerable care and skill to bring this engine across on the ferry
and to load and unload it. The Tete des Mortes branch of the
Dubuque & Pacific road was considered in 1855-6 and early in 1857
was being constructed. By January i, 1857, the Dubuque & Pa-
cific road was completed to within five miles of Dyersville.

By proclamation of Mayor Wilson December 13, 1856, was set
as the date of the special election to decide whether the city should
borrow five hundred thousand dollars for railroad purposes. The
election was duly held with the following results: For the loan,
1,456; against the loan, 4; rejected by canvassers, i ; majority for
the loan, 1,451. "We congratulate the people upon the result of
the ballot yesterday. It has settled the railroad policy of Du-


buque to have a system of railroads reaching to the Southwest
and the Northwest." — (Express and Herald, December 17, 1856.)
All Dubuque was urged to assist all Northwest, Southwest, Du-
liuque & Bcllevue and Turkey River Valley railroads. "These
roads will do more to build up Dubuque than all other means com-
bined. Before Dubuque will be, next to Chicago, the great city of
the West, the lines of roadroad in course of construction and those
recently projected must be pushed on towards completion." — (Ex-
press and Herald, January 28, 1857.)

The Dubuque Southwestern Railroad was let to contractors in
January, 1857, and was thirty-one miles long — four between Du-
buque and the junction with the Dubuque & Pacific and the balance
between Farley and Aiiamosa. The road was let at twenty-five
thousand dollars a mile. The newspapers at this time indulged in
pleasing dreams as to the future of Dubuque. Several made it the
center of the railroads of the West — that is, west of Chicago.

In January, 1857, the following officers of the Dubuque, St.
Paul & St. Peters" Railroad were elected: F. E. Bissell, president;
J. W. Taylor, treasurer; B. M. Samuels, attorney; H. E. Fellowes,
secretary ; James Langworthy, Gen. John Hodgdon, Governeur Mor-
ris, W. J. Barney, G. L. Nightingale, Gen. W. Lewis, Hon. G. W.
Jones, directors.

By a handbill dated February 23, 1857, the citizens of Cascade
called a railroad meeting to be held in that town March 7 "to secure
the location of tlie Great Northwestern Railroad on the route from
Galena to this place." George W. Trumbull was chairman of the
citizens' committee which called the meeting.

By special act of Legislature approved January 28, 1857, the
city of Dubuque was authorized to subscribe for two hundred and
fifty thousand dollars stock of the Dubuque, St. Peters and St.
Paul Railroad and to issue bonds for that purpose.

The vote here. March 31, 1857, as to whether the city should
lend her credit by issuing bonds to the amount of five hundred
thousand dollars additional to aid the Dubuque, St. Peters & St.
Paul Railroad, resulted as follows: For the loan, 1,129; against
the loan, 94; illegal, 5 ; total vote, 1,228. By May 20, 1857, work
had been commenced by the Dubuque & Southwestern Railroad
Company along Lake F*eosta, near Eighteenth street. "The first
shipment from the interior on the Dubuque & Pacific road was
brought in on Thursday from Dyersville. It consisted of a con-
signment to West & Hopkins of 450 barrels of flour for shipment."
— (Express and Herald. May 20. 1857.)

Mayor Wilson. Edward Langworthy and I". Herruu, in June,
18=^7, were successful in negotiating this city's railroad bonds in
New York Citv. where thev had been sent for that purpose. The
building of tiic Dubuque Western Railroad in 1857 led to the rapid
growth of Farlev Junction. :\lany buildings were soon in process


of construction. The Illinois Central and the Dubuque & Pacific
railroads secured in the summer of 1857 a large site for a station
and depot at Jones and Iowa streets, extending through to Dodge.
The two roads pledged themselves to build a union depot that
would cost one hundred thousand dollars. A fine railroad bridge
across the river was also planned. In consequence land near that
spot advanced fifty percent within a few days.

Dubuque expected by the Northwest Railroad to cut off and
capture nearly all the trade of southern Minnesota by running to
the rear of McGregor's Landing, La Crescent, Winona, Reed's
Landing and Hastings, and draw off much of the trade of St. An-
thony, Minneapolis and St. Paul, the Pacific road would bring here
the trade of all northern Iowa and the Southwestern road to Ana-
mosa on the Iowa Central Line would bring central Iowa trade
here, cutting off Sabula and Lyons. — {Express and Herald, April

22, 1857.)

"Look Out for the Locomotive. — The trains on the Dubuque &
Pacific road commence tomorrow to make regular trips to Dyers-
ville." — (Express and Herald, April 22, 1857.) "Brought Over.
— The Dubuque & Pacific road has had brought over and placed
upon the track their two passenger cars. On Monday they will
bring over their new locomotive 'Black Hawk,' then 'look out for
squalls.' " — (Express and Herald. April 29, 1857.)

The Dubuque Western Railroad and the Dubuque, St. Peters
& St. Paul Railroad occupied joint depot grounds and were upon
the main channel of the Mississippi and centrally located. The
first mentioned road leased the line of the Dubuque & Pacific
company as far as Farley Junction, from which point it passed
southwestward to Anamosa, its object being to strike the Iowa
coal fields. This road could not go via Cascade owing to the heavy
grades. "The contract cost of the first thirty miles from Dubuque
to Dyersville is $1,100,000, which is $36,666 per mile; this in-
cludes building, rolling stock, etc., except fencing and ballasting."
— (Express and Herald, November 4, 1857.)

The Dubuque Western Railroad had two locomotives named
"Lonsdale" and "Columbiana." The former went into a slough,
but was raised. Previous to October, 1858, the citizens of Du-
buque voted loans for railroad purposes as follows :

Dubuque & Pacific $ 200,000

Dubuque Western 250,000

Turkey River Vallev 200,000

Dubuque & St. Peters 750,000

Dubuque & Bellevue 100,000

Southern Wisconsin 1 50,000

Total $1,650,000


Up to that time tliere had been issued only $200,000 for the
Dubuque & Pacific and $250,000 for the Dubuque Western. It
was now proposed, owing to the hard times, to issue no more of
the bonds and the question of further issues was laid over to a
subsequent date in the City Council.

In March, 1857, the Council of Dubuque was petitioned to lend
the Dubuque, St. Peters & St. Paul Railroad $500,000 more,
making in all $750,000. The press at this time demanded that
the railroad company should now "show its hand" before expecting
this large addition to its subscriptions. It was demanded that
the route of the road should be made known. "The city has dealt
even magnanimously with the proposed road already, having given
it, or is ready to give it, $250,000, and now its directors ask a
half million more. The city is rich, to be sure; she has sold a
large amount of real estate recently, and has a large amount more
to sell, and she may be able to give a half million to the first
applicant ; but we submit whether she ought not to know how
and where it is to be put." — {Express and Herald, March 11,
1857.) As a matter of fact the company proposed to start from
Dyersville instead of from Dubuque.

On and after May 16, 1859, regular trains were run on the
Dubuque & Western Railway. They left Farley Junction every
morning at 9:30. The trains ran as far as Sand Spring, where
stages received passengers who were bound farther westward.
The trains at Farle)- Junction connected with those on the Dubuque
& Pacific.

Both the Galena & Chicago Union and the Illinois Central Rail-
ways practiced extortion on the shippers at Dubuque, and the
river freight and packet companies and concerns did even worse.
It was shown in March, 1859, that a saving of about 30 cents per
hundred could be gained by shipping via Milwaukee. "It is well
known that freight from Chicago to Dunleith has been kept at
nujch higher rates than at any other points on the Mississippi ; the
consequence is that Davenport, Fulton City and McGregor have
had a great advantage over Dubuque." — {Express and Herald
Cor., March 23, 1859.)

Over one hundred of the leading business men of Dubuque
petitioned the Illinois Central Railroad early in April, 1862, to
cancel the new order concerning freight carriage between Dubuque
and Dunleith, and asked that they be allowed to deliver and re-
ceive their own freight at Dunleith. The order objected to was
as follows : "In future the rates from Dunleith to Chicago will be
the same as from Dubuque: On grain, 23 cents per 100 pounds;
on flour, 45 cents per barrel; and all freight will be transferred
from Dubuf|ue by our regular transfer agent at above rates."

In 1867 the Illinois Central and the Dubu(|uc & Sioux City rail-
ways were united and a railwa\- bridge at Dubuque was planned.


At this date the Sioux City hue had ninety-nine miles in opera-
tion and the Southwestern forty-four miles. In 1868 great efforts
to secure lines that would compete with the Illinois Central were
made. In the summer the tunnel through the bluff at Dunleith
was being cut and 300 men were at work on the railroad bridge.
Right of way upon reasonable terms was given at all times to
railway companies that made the right showing and meant busi-

In March, 1870, Dubuque undertook the task of raising $200.-
000 private subscription for the Dubuque & Minnesota Railway,
which promised a very much desired communication with the
upper country; by March 19 $150,100 had been subscribed. A
passenger station was located at White and Fifth streets. Work
on the above railway was pushed in 1871 ; Guttenburg was the
first large town it reached above Dubuque. The first passenger
car for that line arrived at Dubuque alDOut September 13; alsa
twenty-five new box cars. October 9, 1871, the first regular pas-
senger train ran up this line. A large excursion from Dubuque
ran to Lansing May 8, 1872: this was the opening to that city. In
1872 the machine shops at Eagle Point were built. In 1872 the
Chicago, Clinton & Dubuque road was opened to Clinton; a big
excursion celebrated the event. The pivot in the drawbridge broke
in 1874, but anotlier was secured from Pittsburg in a hurry. The
Dubuque, Cascade & Western road was talked of late in the seven-
ties. The railway tariff law was repealed by the legislature in
March, 1878. By November 4 cars ran through to Zwingle on
the Cascade & Bellevue road. In 1880 the Chicago, Milwaukee &
St. Paul Company bought out the Chicago, Clinton, Dubuque &
Minnesota line. In the eighties, on the question of retaining the
Milwaukee shops by a donation of $35,000, the city voted — for
retention, 1.704; against retention, 54. The Dubuque & North-
western was planned in 1882-3. This road was assisted by $160.-
000 or more on a 5 per cent tax ; it was called Chicago, Burling-
ton & Northern in 1884; this line connected the whole Burlington
system with Dubuque. This line paid General Booth $55,000 for
a depot site, etc., from the Third street bridge to the river front.
In March, 1886, Dyersville voted a 5 per cent tax to aid this line.
The Dubuque & Northwestern and the Minnesota & Northwestern;
consolidated late in 1886. Dubuque assisted the Chicago, Milwau-
kee & St. Paul line with $60,000 in 1886.

The ordinance of October, 1870, granted the Dubuque & Minne-
sota Railway Company the right of way through the city, and
made careful provisions for all probable contingencies. The ordi-
nance of February, 1871, gave the Dubuque, Bellevue & Mississippi
Railway Company the same rights. The ordinance of March,
1881, granted the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Com-
pany the same right. The ordinances of March, 1884, and June,-


'885, gave the Dubuque & Northwestern Railway Company the
same privileges. The ordinance of Februar>', 1886, granted the
Chicago, Burhngton & Northern Railway Company right of way
through the city. The latter was given additional rights by ordi-
nance October. 1890. The ordinance of December, 1884, gave
the Illinois Central Railroad Company similar rights and privi-
leges ; other ordinances extended its rights and subjected it to
further duties and accommodations. Ordinances were passed in
April, 1878, and January, 1883, granting C. H. Booth and H. L.
Stout and Ingram, Kennedy & Day the right to lay railway tracks
along certain streets.

In 1888 the Dubuque & Southwestern Railroad was projected
to pass through Monmouth, Canton, Garryowen, Maquoketa to
Dubuque. It was shown here that $150,000 could be raised for this

In 1887 the talked of removal of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St.
Paul shops from Dubuque caused considerable excitement, a great
deal of inquiry and many angry articles in the newspapers.

Late in 1895 the plan to connect Dubuque with the Chicago &
North-Western Railroad was favorably and enthusiastically con-
sidered here. A company was organized in Dubuque with that
object in view — to connect this city with Toledo and therefore with
the whole North-Western system. A large meeting, held in
Dubuque in December, 1895, to consider the subject, passed resolu-
tions advocating a tax levy under the law of 1892 to raise the neces-
sary funds. A pledge of $20,000 was necessary at once; this was
promptly given. It was shown that the whole amount needed, about
$150,000, could be raised here at once by private subscription. A
meeting held in February opposed any new railway tax. Already
Dubuque had four great trunk line.s — Illinois Central, Great West-
ern, Burlington & Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul. The effort for
the new line was made mainly by those business men here who were
boosting Dubuque's trade and commerce.

The Clinton, Dubuque & North-Western Railway was projected
in 1900. Offers of help were freely made here. Dubuque wanted
more railways and was willing to pay for them.

In 1904 the citizens here quickly subscribed $151,000 for the
Dubuque, Iowa & Wisconsin Railway. This movement seems to
have been abandoned because in 1906 the citizens subscribed in two
weeks' time $125,000 for the same road. In 1907 the Illinois &
Western Railway was allowed to use the streets and alleys for rail-
•way purposes.


SOLDIERS who had served in the Revolution may have been
among the first settlers of Dubuque county ; and it is certain
that volunteers of the War of 1812 and of the Blackhawk con-
flict located here.

In December. 1836, Peter H. Engle was given the rank of
colonel by the Wisconsin territorial authorities and was appointed
aid to the colonel of the militia. In 1837 Col. W. W. Chapman
resigned his position as colonel of the Fourth Wisconsin regiment
of militia. In the fall of 1837, Col. William S. Hamilton was
commander of the First brigade of militia of the counties of Iowa,
Dubuque, Des Moines and Crawford.

General order No. i by Gov. Robert Lucas, commander-in-chief
of the militia of Iowa territory, divided the territory into three
divisions. In the Third division the counties of Dubuque, Clay-
ton, Fayette and attached territory were constituted the Second
brigade, and to Dubuque county was assigned the First regiment
of this brigade and division. Peter Hill and John King, of Du-
buque, were appointed aides-de-camp to the commander-in-chief.
Warner Lewis, of Dubuque, was appointed major-general in com-
mand of the Third division, and Francis Gehon was appointed
brigadier-general in command of the Second brigade. Gen. Fran-
cis Gehon died in Dubuque. April 2. 1849. He was born in Ten-
nessee in 1797 and grew up in Kentucky and Illinois. He engaged
in merchandising at Helena. Arkansas, and Dodgeville, Wiscon-
sin. He commanded a company during the Blackhawk war. In
about 1833 he came to Dubuque county and in 1836 was ap-
pointed United States marshal and was reappointed until 1841.
In 1842 he was elected to the Iowa territorial legislature. In 1846
he was tendered the command of a company of dragoons for the
Mexican war, but was compelled to decline on account of ill health.
He was able and honest; he was a Baptist.

A small squad of men from this county served in the "Missouri
War" of 1839; they went down the river and joined companies
at Burlington or Keokuk. Timothy Mason and George Wilson,
the latter being a brother of Judge Thomas S. Wilson, were edu-
cated at West Point. Dubuque, Delaware and Buchanan counties
were constituted the Fourth regiment of the territorial militia
in January. 1838. Paul Cain was colonel of the Wisconsin militia
Fourth regiment. He commanded captains to parade their com-



panics June 23, 1838. Accordingly Capt. William Allen called
(Hit the First company at Dubuque.

Capt. George O. Karrick died here in July, 1869. He was edu-
cated at West Point and soon afterward became first mate on the
steamer Mandan on the Mississippi river. He came to the Du-
buque mining regions in 1836 and soon became owner of Jordan's
ferry, becoming also mail contractor, hotel keeper, etc. In 1845
he became a clerk in the surveyor-general's office. He was con-
nected with many of the industrial enterprises of early times. He
was elected captain of the only company raised in DuDuque
county for the Mexican war. His training at West Point fitted
him for this position. R. O. Anderson was first lieutenant. They
raised a company of sixty-five volunteers, drilled constantly for
two months, and were then informed that their services were not
needed, whereupon the company was disbanded. He thus ob-
tained his title of captain. He was a classmate of Capt. Joshua
Barney, government engineer to improve the Dubuque harbor in

In May. 1846, Dubuque was called upon by Governor Clarke,
of Iowa, for a company for the Mexican war, and accordingly
sixty-five volunteers were promptly raised by George O. Karrick,
R. 6. Anderson, John Parker, George McHenry and others. They
drilled and fitted themselves for service, but were not called out
by the authorities. Over a full regiment was raised in Iowa by
June 25, 1846, as follows: Des Moines county, two companies;
Lee, two companies; Van Buren, two companies; Muscatine, one
company; Louisa, one company; Washington, one company; Du-
buque, one company; Johnson, one company; Linn, one company;
Jefferson, one compan\- : total, thirteen companies. This regiment,
ds such, was not called into the service. About June 25, 1846. a
full company under Captain Wright left Galena for the front and
in it were a few volunteers from Dubuque county. Iowa sent
only one company to the Mexican war, numbering 113 men, rank
and file; they reached the front ^Nlay 25 and in less than one year
were reduced by disease and death to thirty-six men. They were
called the "Iowa Dragoons." Capt. James H. Morgan was their

In 1847, Capt. John Parker enli.sted a few recruits here for the
war, and at the same time Capt. John R. Bennett, of Bloomington.
also called for recruits here. Late in 1847 Thomas H. Benton,
Jr., was captain of the Dubuque Guards. "It was a fine company,
but too few in numbers. It was uniformed and met regularly at
its armory to drill." said the Express. John O'Mara, of this
county, served in the Mexican war as a member of the Texas
Riflemen; he fought at Monterey and in the battles before the
City of Mexico; he died here of ill health in 1848. In 1848 strong
efforts to secure bounty and extra pay for the Mexican war veterans


were made; David S. Wilson and others here kept blank papers
and proved up claims and discharges.

The Dubuque City Guards were organized in July, 185 1 ; but
as yet they had no uniforms. They were finally fully uniformed
and paraded in full dress for the first time March 17, 1854, under
Capt. M. M. Hayden; it was said that they were all Irish except
the captain; Governor Hempstead reviewed the company. They
were called upon late in 1854 to 'check strolling and marauding
Indian bands in the Northwest. General Shields had general com-
mand of the company during this movement; when called upon
there were only about twenty men in the company, but enough to
make sixty were promptly raised. They quit business, drilled,
hired teams, but were not required to leave the city, though they
were at great expense. Later they presented claims for pay,
which were scaled down by the legislature and finally allowed.

In 1856 the Union Guards were organized with Peter A. Lori-
mier captain; the City Guards were in existence at this time; thus
Dubuque had two companies which appeared at nearly all public
functions out of doors. They participated in the celebration of
the battle of New Orleans, January 8, 1855, and were out in full
strength ; the occasion ended with a supper at the Julien House.
A small company, of which Judge Hempstead was captain, was
organized in February, 1858. This company, reorganized, became
the "Governor's Greys," named in honor of Governor Hempstead.
They were presented with a beautiful flag in 1859 by the ladies
of Dubuque, Miss Sallie Lewis making the presentation speech,
and Capt. J. M. Robison replying; this flag was taken to the field
in 1 86 1 and led and inspired the company at the battle of Wilson's
Creek. In November, 1858, the City Guards tendered their serv-
ices to the state to assist in punishing the Indians guilty of the
Spirit Lake massacre, but they were not needed.

In August, 1859, there were four military companies here:
City Guards, Capt. M. M. Hayden ; Governor's Greys, Capt. J. M.
Robinson ; Washington Guards, Capt. H. H. Heath, and Jackson
Guards, Capt. S. D. Brodtbeck ; the latter company had just been
formed. Captain Brodtbeck had seen service in the Swedish army.
The Washington Guards was first organized in May, 1859. I"
February, i860, the Greys received from the state sixty rifled
muskets and the necessary accoutrements. In March, i860. Cap-
tain Brodtbeck was appointed major of the Third battalion of
Iowa militia by Governor Kirkwood.

"The Governor's Greys were out on parade yesterday in their
new white accoutrements. We will defy any city in the West to
turn out a better looking military company or a 'whiter' lot of boys
than our own G. G.'s. 'Tis true they are composed of the very
pink of our finest young men, still there is not a tinge of the cod-


fish in tlie composition of one of them."' — (Herald, April lo.

R. G. Herron soon succeeded H. H. Heath as captain of the
Washington Guards, and was re-elected in May, i860. The Greys
were reorganized in April, 1859; in July they numbered thirty-
three. In August and September, i860, the Dubuque light artil-
lery company was organized ; thirty-two citizens signed the call

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 28 of 56)