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 43 of 56)
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over John Maclay (R. ) by 1,893 to 1,774 votes. The issue was
"city extravagance." Guiteau, the assassin of President Garfield,
was well known here to a few. He had asked Rev. Mr. Burrell for
the use of the Second Presbyterian church for the presentation of
his fanatical doctrines, but was evaded and finally refused by Mr.
Ragan of the Young Men's Christian Association. On several
Sunday afternoons Guiteau accordingly addressed small and curious
audiences at Washington Square. Mr. Burrell spoke of him as a
"peripatetic religious fanatic." There was general sorrow here
when Garfield died.

In October the Democrats elected their entire ticket except senator
and treasurer. For governor, Kinne (D. ) received 3,864, Sher-
man (R. ) 2,669, Clark (G. B. ) 162. For the senate, J. K. Graves
defeated M. M. Ham by 4,260 to 2,374. For treasurer, Watters
(R.) defeated McCullough (D.) by 3,413 to 3,261. The defeat of
Ham was the principal event of this election.

In 1882 the Democrats named for mayor Fred O'Donnell. The
Republicans nominated no one for mayor. O'Donnell issued a
lengthy statement of the issues, as follows: (i) payment of debt
and interest; (2) encouragement to manufactures; (3) reduction
of the floating debt; (4) reduction of street expenses; (5) a wagon
bridge over the Mississippi; (6) an inner harbor; (7) good men
for officers; (8) economy; (9) drainage; (10) city water on the
bluffs ; (11) a change in ward boundaries. The floating debt was

In the fall of 1882 the Democratic victories throughout the
country roused the party workers here to a high pitch of excite-
ment. The November election resulted as follows : For secretary
of State, Walker (D.), 5,589; Hull (R.), 1,967; Gaston (G. B.),
87; Congressman Durban (D. ), 5,178; D. B. Henderson (R.).


of Dubuque, 2,385; Foster (G. B.), 78; shall stock be restrained:
Yes, 2,356; no, 3,085.

In 1883 Fred O'Donnell (D.), for mayor, won over Philip
Pier (R.) by 2,375 to 1,372: there were no special issues. Gov-
ernor Sherman addressed the Harvest Home at Farley in August.
In November Kinne (D.) received 5,238; Sherman (R.), 1,641;
Weaver (G. B. ), 66, for governor. The whole Democratic ticket
was elected by a large majority.

In the spring of 1884 Dubuque went Democratic by large ma-
jorities. For mayor O'Donnell's majority was 1,963,' the second
largest; every ward was carried by the Democrats. Prohibition
and taxation of churches were prominent issues. The majority
against funding the city debt was 1,582.

In the fall all parties were active and enthusiastic. Many able
speakers were listened to by large and eager audiences. Among
the speakers were John G. Carlisle, D. O. Finch, W. F. Vilas,
John A. Logan, D. B. Henderson, S. J. Kirkwood, W. B. Alli-
son, Fred O'Donnell, B. B. Richards, A. Y. McDonald, M. H.
Moore. There was intense excitement at the time of election.
When the result was known the joy of the Democrats was un-
bounded and uproarious. The Cleveland electors received in this
county 6,033 votes; Republican electors, 3,246: St. John (Pro.)
electors, 6. The balance of the ticket ran about the same. Hen-
derson (R.) defeated Linehan (D.) for Congress by 1,236 ma-
jority; Dubuque was the only Democratic county of the seven
counties composing this congressional district.

"Never in the history of our city was so much enthusiasm mani-
fested in the result of an election as is in this city at present.
Early yesterday morning large crowds paraded the streets, shout-
ing and blowing horns, thereby making the night hideous and
awakening the serene slumberers with their demoniac yells and
wild huzzas in favor of their rival candidates." {Herald, November
6, 1884.)

"The most fiercely contested presidential election since i860 has
about closed. Main street between Fifth and Sixth was densely
blocked at an early hour yesterday morning with despondent Re-
publicans and hopeful Democrats wondering and hurrahing as
ihe news shifted to this quarter or that. Betting was big and not
less than $10,000 changed hands in the streets between the Herald
ind Times offices, to sav nothing of other parts of the city."
(Herald, November 8, 1884.)

In March, 1885, the Dubuque colored people met in the African
Methodist Episcopal church and elected delegates to the colored
convention in Des Moines. Prohibition was the leading issue in
March, 1885. The Republicans here generally were divided be-
tween high license and local option ; the Democrats generally fa-
vored the former. The lliucs upheld the existing prohibitory law


and the Herald opposed it. The majority of the Republicans were
anti-prohibitionists. The Democrats nominated John Glab (D.)
for mayor, and the RepubHcans nominated E. W. Duncan (R.) ;
the former received 2,398 votes and the latter 1,460; this result
was considered a blow at prohibition. For the first time in the
history of Dubuque a candidate for sheriff was nominated by the
Democracy for a third term — James McCann.

In the autumn of 1883 the Republicans nominated only part
of a ticket ; they centered all their strength on J. K. Graves for
state Senator; he was defeated by W. J. Knight by 2,394 major-
ity. Whiting (D. ) for governor received 5,479; Larrabee (R.),


About this time David B. Henderson was making his mark
in Congress. He lashed the Democrats, especially the southerners,
in many sharp wordy duels. In February, 1886, when hit from
all sides, he hotly said : "I would rather spend an eternity in hell
with a Confederate than an eternity in heaven with a northern
copperhead." This declaration was many times afterward flung
in his teeth. John Glab was renominated for mayor by the Democ-
racy and was elected ; the Democrats carried the city. A factory
labor bill was introduced in the legislature by Senator Knight
in the spring of 1886. The manufacturers of Dubuque, in mass
meeting assembled, resolved that the bill was not adapted to the
industries of Iowa ; thirty-one local manufacturing houses signed
the resolutions against the bill.

During five days' registration in October, 1886, 4,623 names
were added to the election rolls. For secretary of state. Sells
(D. ) received 5,578; Jackson (R. ), 2,452, and the prohibition
candidate, 20. For courthouse bonds, 1,744; against courthouse
bonds, 4,621. To restrain stock- — yes, 2,595; no> 3'547-

The Democrats and Republicans nominated full tickets in the
spring of 1887. This was done in spite of the numerous evils
complained of and regardless of the strong attempt to unite both
parties to defeat the labor movement. An equalization of ward
])opulation was efifected by taking from the fifth and adding to the
first, second and third ; this angered the fifth ward and they held
a big indignation meeting and declared the change an unfair gerry-
mander. The necessity for a union of Democrats and Republicans
was declared to be "to crush out the impending evil of prohibi-
tion that just now threatens great danger to this city." The Labor
party fully organized in the spring of 1887 and named a ticket
with C. A. Voelker for mayor at the head. They held numerous
meetings, listened to strong speakers from abroad and ably con-
tested with the old parties for supremacy. It was thus a three-
cornered fight, with both of the old parties badly scared. Capital-
ists feared anarchy in case the Labor ticket succeeded. The con-
test was sharp and decisive. For mayor Voelker (L. ) received


1,984 votes; Preston (D.). 1,241; Gilliam (R.), 1.091 ; generally
the Labor party elected its city ticket — recorder, auditor, treas-
urer, assessor and attorney. They had control of the city coun-
cil. They held a big demonstration to signalize their victory.
There had registered 4,666 voters.

"It is putting it mildly to say that every one yesterday was
drawing his breath and wondering what did it. It was a result
that had not been anticipated and it was therefore a surprise. It
is the wave that has been sweeping through the land for a year
or two past. Labor is in a state of unrest ; it has not had its
rights as capital has had and is now asserting itself. It swept
Dubuque on ^Monday and it made a clean sweep of it, too, and
no mistake. The labor reformers and especially the Knights of
Labor must now assume the entire responsibility for the city gov-
ernment. There was a general feeling of despondency and dis-
couragement around town yesterday and there is no doubt what-
ever that many men believe that the name of this triumph will be
a great injury to Dubuque." (Herald, April 6, 1887.)

"Nothing has happened in Dubuques for years that has so thor-
oughly frightened business men as the election of the Knights of
Labor ticket on Monday last. The business men of Dubuque are
frightened and they have cause to be. They fear that a blow is
aimed at the prosperity of the city ; that activity in real estate
will cease ; that investments will be driven away : that building
will be retarded ; that taxes will be increased, and that rich men
will be made to sweat. The Republicans, while as citizens did not
favor the success of the Labor ticket, yet as partisans are rejoic-
ing that it succeeded, because the Democratic ticket was therefore
defeated." (Herald, April 8, 1887.)

Mayor Voelker said in his inaugural: "We wish it understood
that we contemplate no startling changes or innovations. W'e have
no new or untried theories which we desire to practice. But we
do declare that honesty and integrity shall be the basis of our
actions. Socialism and communism we despise and abhor. It is
our intention to manage city affairs as economically and honestly
as any citizen would his private business. We have no war to
wage with capital. We aim and hope to better the conditions and
prospects of the laboring masses." The vote in the city in 1886
was 4.231 ; in 1887 it was 4,316. It was figinxd that the Demo-
crats lost to the Labor ticket 1,444 votes and the Republicans 457.
After the election the general sentiment was, give them a fair
trial and hold them responsible for results.

In the fall of 1887 there were three tickets in the field — Demo-
cratic, Republican and Labor. Both of the former feared the
latter and partly at least united for its defeat. The Labor party's
plan to equalize taxation threw consternation into the ranks of the
country's wealthy men, l)ut in reality added over $3,000,000 to


the assessment, mostly from taxdodgers. The old parties persist-
ently misunderstood, perhaps intentionally, the real objects of the
Labor party ; they declared the design was to tax capital out of
existence. The election resulted as follows : Dubuque county —
for governor, Anderson (D.), 4,521; Larrabee (R.), 1,894; Cain
(Lab.), 1,456; in the city of Dubuque — Anderson (D. ), 2,014;
Larrabee (R.), 1,085: Cain (Lab.), 1,147. There were polled
4.246 votes in the city and 7,871 in the county; the entire Demo-
cratic ticket was elected.

"Great credit must be given to the Republicans for this glorious
result in Dubuque county. Throughout the city they voted gen-
erally for the Democratic county ticket, as they considered it es-
sential to the continued prosperity of the city that the Labor party
should be beaten ; and as the Democratic ticket offered the only
means to do this they voted for it. The Republicans of Dubuque
have done nobly : and in rejoicing over the result the Democrats
want to accord them full credit and honor. They did splendidly."
(Herald, November 9, 1887.)

In the .spring of 1888 the three parties were divided and va-
riously reunited. All who feared the Labor party fused, called
themselves the "Citizens' Union ticket" and nominated George B.
Burch (R. ) for mayor, but otherwise named Democrats, except
for auditor. The other tickets were called "Straight Democratic"
and "Union Labor," the former being headed by John Glab (D. )
and the latter by Mr. Voelker (Lab.). It was noted that the Citi-
zens' ticket was supported by more straight Democrats than the
straight Democratic ticket. The Union Labor ticket was sup-
ported by Union laborers. Republicans and Democrats. Both sides
worked desperately. The Straight faction finally united with the
Citizens' faction. The result was as follows: Burch. 2,316;
Voelker, 1,980. The Citizens' ticket, except assessor, was elected.
With the example of anarchy in Chicago before them, both old
parties were afraid the same conditions might arise here. The
victors celebrated their success.

Their defeat in the spring of 1888 was a blow from which the
Labor party never fully recovered. They named a ticket in the
succeeding fall, but their vote was light. The two old parties
named full county tickets and fought hard for their national tick-
ets. The Prohibitionists also named a full ticket. The registra-
tion in the county for several years was as follows: 1882, 5,441 ;
1883, 6,912; 1884, 9,237; 1885. 7,720; 1886, 8,481; 1887, 7,806.
The registration in the city of Dubuque was: 1886, 4,621 ; 1887,
4,556; 1888. 5,274. The result was as follows: Democratic elect-
ors, 5,952; Republican electors, 3,055; United Labor electors, 328:
Prohibition electors, 53. The Democrats elected their county ticket
by large pluralities. For Congress Richards received in the county
5,387 votes and Henderson 4,039.


In 1889 R. W. Stewart was nominated for mayor by the Demo
crats. Tlie Republicans, calling themselves "Independent," nomi-
nated C. D. Hayden. The Labor party selected four Democrats
and six Republicans for its ticket. Before election the Republicans
and Laborites united on the Republican candidates, some conces-
sions being extended to the latter. The result was: Stewart (D. ),
2,471; Hayden (R. ), 2,112; the Democratic majority ranged
from 146 to 359. The proposition to sell the city real estate re-
sulted as follows: Yes, 1,019; no, 1,172. Outgoing Mayor Burch
recommended that power to supervise all city departments should
be given to the mayor. A division in the Democracy early in
this campaign was called "Jacksonians." It was stated at this
time that Governor Larrabee threatened to place here a state con-
stabulary to enforce the prohibitory law.

"The Republicans should be given severe rebuke for nominat-
ing a Prohibitionist for mayor of this city. It gives a bad cast
to their whole ticket. Dubuque wants nothing of a party which
nominates a Prohibitionist. The Republicans have shown a very
small regard for the sentiments of the people of the city against
the fanatic prohibition law which has so hampered the business
of the city and the industries of the state." (Herald, March 27,

Horace Boies, of Waterloo, nominated for governor, was popu-
lar here from the start. Hutchison, Republican candidate, was
not so well liked even bv the Republicans. The campaign was
enthusiastic and resulted in this county as follows: Boies (D.),
6,144; Hutchison (R. ), 1,820; Downing (Lab.), 62; Smith
(Pro.), 4. The Democrats swept the county. On the question,
Shall the number of county supervisors be increased? the result
was : Yes, 3,085 ; no, 2.S99. Shall stock be restrained : Yes,
3,380; no, 2,532. The Democrats nominated J. PI. Shields for
senator, and tlie Republicans nominated the old Democratic war-
horse, George \V. Jones. Shields received 6,030 votes and Jones
1.906. The issues of this campaign were: (i) Prohibition; (2)
State control of; (3) Australian ballot; (4) tariff. The
election of Boies gave Iowa to the Democrats for the first time in
over thirty years. The Democrats of Dubuque county rejoiced
as never before, and sent a large delegation to \\'aterloo to con-
gratulate the governor-elect.

In the spring of 1890 the Republicans at their city convention —
"Resolved. That it is the sense of the Republicans of the city of
Dubuque, in convention assembled, that the repeal of the present
prohibition law and the adoption of a judicious license law is a
measure demanded by the interests of the state, and would tend
to advance the cause of temperance and good government." They
did not put up a city ticket, except for aldermen, but cidorsed that
of the Democrats. Robert ^^^ Stewart was thus elected mayor.


In April, 1890, the legislature, by a vote of 81 to 49, voted to con-
tinue tb.e existing prohibitory law two years longer. A large dele-
gation from Dubuque attended the inauguration of Governor
Boies. The latter and Judge Couch (D. ) addressed audiences in
this county in the fall of 1890. The latter ran against Henderson
(R.) for congress, but was defeated in the district by 196 major-
ity. Bribery and election frauds were charged in November.
Dubuque county gave Couch 3,599 majority. For secretary of
state, Chamberlain (D. ) received 6,666, and McFarland (R.)
2,830; for constitutional convention, 1,135; against it, 3,156.
Five county supervisors were chosen. They were Joseph Schenmiel,
Thomas Dunn, M. F. McNamara, D. C. Stewart and Joseph
Schueller. The total vote polled was 9,525.

In 1 89 1 the Democrats nominated for mayor R. W. Stewart
and the Republicans nominated Mr. Crawford. Each party named
a full ticket. The result was: Stewart (D.), 2,783; Crawford,
(R. ), 1,867. The Democrats won the balance of the offices. The
Republicans favored prohibition. In June, 1891, Mayor Stewart
resigned, and was succeeded by C. J. W. Saunders. It was at this
time that General Jones insisted that Dubuque should have the
next national Democratic convention. A. Y. McDonald died in
July, 1 89 1. He had been a prominent manufacturer and Green-
backer ; served in the First Regiment and in the Twenty-first.

On October 30, 1891, Governor Boies spoke here in the opera
house; 1,500 heard him. On the platform sat George W. Jones
and Thomas S. Wilson, old wheel-horses of Democracy; Fred
O'Donnell presided ; J. H. Shields also spoke. The campaign was
hotly fought throughout this county. Governor Boies also ad-
dressed a large audience at Dyersville. Boies (D.) received 6,820
votes and Wheeler (R. ) 2,307, for governor. The Democratic
county ticket was elected by a large majority.

In the spring of 1892 there was proposed for Dubuque a one-
mill tax to retire the floating debt of $120,000. This tax had been
levied in 1891 to raise a fund for the engine house. By retiring
the floating debt and thus preserving the city's credit, the bonded
debt, as it began to fall due in 1896, could be refunded with
bonds bearing a lower rate of interest. The Democrats nominated
C. J. W. Saunders for mayor, and the Republicans, Hugh Cor-
rance. The Democratic majority for mayor was 1,989. The
Republican ticket was really a fusion or combination of all polit-
ical elements opposed to the city administration. There had been
made during the past year, at enormous expense, but at the request
of the citizens generally, vast improvements in streets and sewers;
but credit was good, as the city paid 100 cents on the dollar. There
were differences over the management of the floating and bonded
debt; they were fought out in this campaign.

In September the five wards of Dubuque were divided into


twelve election precincts. In the fall campaign, 1892, the Demo-
crats of this countv urged the nomination of Governor Boies for
the presidency. "On to Chicago!" was the cry from all parts of
Iowa ; but Cleveland was renominated. The Australian ballot
was used for the first time here and was popular at once. James
H. Shields was named for congress by the Democrats. Both par-
ties named full county tickets. Boies. Shields, Allison. Hender-
son, Colonel Lyon and other prominent speakers entertained their
respective followers. The vote in Dubuque county, for congress-
man, was: Shields (D.). 6,821: Henderson (R.), 3.587; Jes-
sup (Pro.), 51. A similar vote was polled for the balance of the
ticket. The presidential vote was as follows : Cleveland electors.
6,832; Harrison electors, 3,526: Weaver electors (Populist),
112; Bidwell (Pro.), 45. Three Democratic county supervisors —
Cunningham, McNamara and Stewart — were elected by large
majorities. There was great rejoicing among the Democrats over
the success of their national ticket.

In the spring of 1893 there was a widespread cry for reform
throughout the city of Dubuque; this led to the formation of a
reform ticket, the design being to carry both city and county. The
Citizens' or Reform ticket was headed by A. W. Daugherty for
mayor, and the Republicans endorsed the ticket. The Democrats
ncminated T. T. Duffy for mayor. The Citizens" or Reform ticket
generally was successful, Daugherty's majority being 401. The
Democrats elected the city attorney. J. E. Knight, and two alder-
men, but the balance of the Reform ticket was successful. This
result was a complete surprise to the Democrats — was wholly unan-
ticipated. "We have met the enemy and we are theirs," and
"Wa^ it a landslide, a cyclone, or a cataclysm; what was it?"
asked or declared the Herald. The People demanded reform, but
whac did they want?

In the autumn of 1893 there were three tickets in tlie field in this
county — Democrats, Republicans and Citizens — the latter composed
of certain Republicans. "Jacksonian" Democrats and dissatisfied
Democrats. The Citizens favored rotation in office, opposed third
terms, denounced the management of county finances, and de-
manded, of course, strict honesty of public servants; they thus
slapi)ed Henderson, candidate for Congress. There were four state
tickets — Democratic, Republican. Prohibitionist and People's. The
Democrats generally won in this county in November, 1893, by from
300 to 1,500 majority, although there were great Republican gains
here and all over the country. For governor, Boies (D.) received
in this countv 6. 1 74 votes; Jackson (R.). 2.522; Mitchell (Proh.),
86; Toseph (Peop. or Populist), 274; for senator, Baldwin (R.),
4,409: Shields (D.), 4,393; sherifi", Phillips (D.), 4,915; Hayden
(R. ), 3,771; treasurer, Traut (D.), 4.501; Vogel (R.), 4,240;
county superintendent, Horchem (R.), 4-349; Regan (D.), 4,318



In August, 1893, the Republican county convention recommended
Col. W. H. Torbert for the Republican nomination for governor.

In the mayoralty election of 1894 the following were tlie leading
issues: (i) decrease of city debt; (2) reduce expenditures and
increase revenues by increasing the saloon licenses, etc. ; (3) vigor-
ous use of the mayor's veto power when necessary; (4) equaliza-
tion of assessments. The non-partisans made a strong showing,
nominated A. W. Daugherty for mayor, and contested every issue
hotly. The Democrats nominated Peter dinger. The Republicans
endorsed the non-partisan ticket. The mulct law was much dis-
cussed, though all parties and factions here at this election leaned
gently and lovingly toward the liquor interests. A tax of $600 per
year was laid on all saloons by the mulct law, and was a lien on the
saloon property and premises. It was here and elsewhere made a
political issue. The cry of the partisans was, "Too much extrava-
gance; retrench and pay the city debt." The result of the election
was: For mayor, Olinger (D.), 2,883; Daugherty (R. and
Non-P. ), 2,442. The whole Democratic ticket was victorious.

In the fall of 1894 the Democrats elected their county ticket.
O'Donnell and Husted (Ds. ) were elected judges over Lyon and
Webster (Reps.) by large majorities. The balance of the Demo-
cratic ticket had majorities over 716. For Congress, Bashor (D. )
received in tliis county 5,640 to 3.556 for Henderson (R.). There
were but two county tickets — Democrat and Republican.

'In the spring of 1895 the Democrats renominated Mr. Olinger
for mayor, and the Republicans and Citizens named Mr. Crawford.
One of the issues was that of the economy and management neces-
sary to meet the refunding of a large portion of the old bonded debt
— over $200,000 to become due in 1895-96. The Democrats were
mainly successful at the polls; for mayor, Olinger (D. ) received
3.593 votes and Crawford (R. and Cit. ), 1,823; recorder, Cooney
(R. and C. ) won by 258 majority; for treasurer, GnifTke (R.
and C. ) won by 614 majority; for city attorney, Knight (D.) won
by 718 majority. The Republicans and Citizens elected two alder-
men and the Democrats three.

In the fall of 1895 the Democrats, as usual, carried the county by
large majorities. On the state ticket there were polled in this

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 43 of 56)