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 44 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 44 of 56)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

county: Babb (D. ), 5,202: Drake (R.), 2,815; Crane (Pop.), 185;
Bacon ( Proh. ) , 58.

In January, 1896, the grand jury indicted the mayor and eight
aldermen on the charge of unlawfully voting and taking larger sala-
ries. This charge cut an important figure in the spring elections,
though the Democrats renominated Mr. Olinger for mayor. The
Citizens nominated T. T. Duffy, and the Republicans endorsed the
latter. This was a bitter fight, with charges, recriminations and
personalities of the severest stripe. The "salary grab" was the bone
of contention. The prejudice against the mayor and council on


this, wine rooms, extravagance, and other questions, caused the
defeat generally of the Democrats. For mayor, Duffy (R. and C.)
received 3.900 votes; Olinger (D.), 2,299; for assessor, Duncan
(R. and Cit.), 3,505; Ruegamer (D.), 2,536; the Citizens elected
two aldermen and the Democrats three.

In May, 1896, the Democratic state convention was held in Du-
buque. There was a large attendance and much enthusiasm. All
wanted Allison nominated for President on the Republican ticket.

The campaign of the fall of 1896 was one of the most brilliant
ever witnessed here. The Democrats were split on the silver ques-
tion and the Republicans were not much better off. "Coin Harvey"
expounded his sophistries and philosophies in October, and gained
many followers ; all admired the ingenuity of his theories. Ad-
dresses were made in this county by Boies, Bryan, Tillman, Nugent,
Allison. The Democrats of this county did not commit themselves
on the silver question at their convention. At the close of the cam-
paign it was said by the Herald that the presidential election of 1840
beld here was interesting, that of i860 exciting, that of 1864 absorb-
ing, that of 1876 doubtful and nerve-wrecking, and that of 1896
"the most remarkable campaign in the history of the county and
country." There registered in Dubuque 7,734 voters, against 6,782
in 1892. Marvelous to relate, McKinley for President carried
Dubuque city, but lost the county -by a small majority. Every
Republican candidate in Julien township was elected by majorities
ranging from 67 to 539. On the national ticket, the following vote
was polled in the county: Bryan (D.), 6,492; McKinley (R.),
5,203; Bryan (People's), 78; Palmer (Nat. Dem.), 153; Lever-
ing (Pro), 19; Bentley (National), 3; Mattchett (Soc. Lab.), 11.
There were but two county tickets — Democratic and Republican.
Henderson (R.) for Congress beat in this district Staehle (D. ) by
nearly 11,000 majority. In Dubuque, Henderson received 5,491
and Staehle, 6,482. For county attorney, Michel (R.) received
6,027 and Jess (D. ), 6,012. McKinley carried Dubuque city by 105
majority. Three Democratic county supervisors were elected. The
hard-money Democrats assisted in this result here. The Republicans
celebrated their victory with a torchlight procession, speeches, etc.

In the spring of 1897 the Democrats nominated John M. Kenety
for mayor and the Citizens and Republicans renominated Mr. Duffy.
Economy, reduction of the debt and its refunding, vice and wine-
rooms, etc., were among the issues. The result was as follows:
For mayor, Duffy (C. and R.), 3,267; Kenety (D. ) 3,084; re-
corder, Langstaff (R. and C), 3,212; Fitzpatrick (D.), 3,047;
treasurer, Gniffke (R. and C. ), 3,223; Kaufman (D. ), 2,939; city
attorney, Duffy (D.), 3,479; Webster (R. and C), 2,751; the
Democrats elected all aldermen except one.

In November, 1897, tiie Democrats swept the county, electing all
except the sheriff. Party spirit ran high, good government was





8 L

^i^H{^ c^u/hnc



demanded, and personalities were at times bitter and unjust. For
sherifif, Duggan (D. ) received in the county 4,869 votes, and Hau-
denschield (R.), =;,oo6. For governor, White (D.) received 5,815;
Shaw (R.), 3.928; Floyd (Peop.).29; Cliggitt (Nat. Dem.), 108;
Leland (Prohib. ), 40; Kremer (Soc. Lab.), 27.

In the spring of 1898 the Democrats nominated, for mayor, Mat-
thew Stafford ; all opposed to the former Democratic administra-
tion united on a "Citizens' ticket," with C. H. Berg for mayor; the
latter had served creditably as alderman, and even the Herald spoke
well of him.

In 1898, under the new law, instead of there being elected two
aldermen from each ward, there were to be one from each ward
and two at large from the whole city, elected by all the voters, just
as the mayor was elected. The mayor was to be elected for two
years. This change had led politicians to study the situation closely.
The leading issue was to reduce expenditures and the city debt, bond
and floating. Mr. Berg was elected by 3,397 votes to 2,843 fo"" ^I"".
Stafford. Elected also on the Citizens' ticket were auditor, assessor
and two aldermen ; the Democrats carried the balance ; it seemed
that the people wanted a change. The Citizens held every city office
except marshal and engineer. This was the greatest change in the
political, complexion of the city for thirty years. Of the seven
aldermen, five were Citizens. What made the Democrats sore was
the fact that other elections generally were Democratic.

The principal issues in November, 1908, were honest, lawful and
economical management of county affairs. The silver question, 16
to I, was warmly discussed and cussed. Democrats, Populists and
Silver Republicans united on a state ticket, with 16 to i as the
corner-stone. The Democrats made a clean sweep of this county
by large majorities. Matthews and O'Donnell, for judges, received
6,040 and 6,014, respectively, to 3,534 and 3,359 for Lyon and Utt,
respectively. Henderson (R.), for Congress, polled 3,966 to 5,671
for Howell (D. ) and 22 for Dean (Indep. ). In December, 1898,
Eugene V. Debs lectured at Dubuque, on "Labor and Liberty."

On October 16, 1899, President McKinley visited Dubuque;
great preparations for his reception were made ; Allison, Hancock,
Merry and others were at the head of the movement ; the schools
were dismissed in order that the children might see the illustrious
visitor, but a rainstorm marred their pleasure ; many distinguished
men were present.

In November, 1899, the whole Democratic county ticket was
elected by m.ajorities ranging from 264 to 1,794. For governor.
White (D. ) received 5,800 and Shaw (R. ), 3.785; state senator,
Nolan (D. ), 5,354; Hancock (R.), 4,699; sheriff, Conlin (D.).
5,173; Haudenshield (R.), 4,909.

In the spring of 1900, C. H. Berg was renominated for mayor by
the Citizens, and C. J. W. Saunders was nominated by the Demo-


crats. The principal promise of the latter was "to dissolve speedily
the compact that now exists between the city on the one side and the
haunts of crime and shame on the other." Mr. Berg, who had
become very popular, was given an immense majority — 4,828 to
3,022 for Mr. Saunders. The Citizens elected mayor, recorder,
treasurer, auditor, assessor, one alderman-at-large and three
aldermen in wards i, 3 and 5; the Democrats secured the balance.
The majorities varied greatly, showing the rupture of parties. By
hard committee and council work, the Berg administration, as a
whole, showed superiority over any previous city management.

In November, 1900, the county registration was 7,790; in 1896
it was 7,734. The vote on the national ticket was: McKinley (R. ),
4,752: Bryan (D.), 6,655; Woolley (Pro.), 56; Barker (Peop.),
i; Malloney (Soc. Lab.), 17; Leonard (United Christian), 8;
Debs (Soc. bem.), 75. For secretary of state. Crane (D.) received
6,812; Martin (R.), 4,814. The whole Democratic county ticket
was elected by about the same majorities. On the proposition to
revise the constitution, the result was : Yes, 4,009; no, 3,205 ; bien-
nial elections: yes, 3,839; no, 2,777. Henderson (R.), for Con-
gress, received the largest majority ever shown in this district —
11,491 ; he became Speaker of the House.

In the spring of 1902 the Democrats did not name a candidate for
mayor; they otherwise nominated a full ticket, but left the voters
to make their own choice for mayor from C. H. Berg (Citizens),
John Babcock (Law and Order)' and A. B. Wymer (Socialist);
the vote was: Berg, 4,160: Babcock, 1,040; Wymer, 550. The
Law and Order ticket favored Sunday closing, abolishment of wine-
rooms, slot machines, gambling and the social evil.

Governor Boies spoke in Dyersville and Worthington in Octo-
ber, 1902.

In November, for Congress, Birdsall (R.) received 3,636, and
Boies (D.), 5,717. Matthews and O'Donnell were re-elected judges
over Powers and Michel, though the Socialist candidates for judges
received 666 and 687 votes in this county. The Democrats — I\Iul-
grew, clerk: Weimer, auditor; McGovern, recorder; Fitzpatrick,
attorney, and Andre, Pillard and Cooney, supervisors, were elected.
The large Socialist vote, 646 to 732 on the whole county ticket, was
the sensation of this election here. This was a bitter contest and was
not the first one where passion and personal gain appeared to rule.
Each side claimed and plausibly showed that the other party was
always extra\-agant and usually corrupt when in power. An untruth-
ful attack, artfully, vehemently and unctuously conducted against
opposing party candidates, was supposed to reveal superior watch-
fulness, integrity and righteousness on the part of an arrogant and
self-boasting press. Often the campaigns of falsehood and slander
intentionally employed by the newspapers, were far worse than the
malfeasances thev denounced or concealed. Slander was an every-


day newspaper e\ent ; misrepresentation was the concealed bludgeon
used thug-like by the press to advance individual interests, sustain
diminishing newspaper circulation, or promote partisan success. In-
variably figures were made notorious liars by the skill of penny-a-line
reporters, venal press owners desiring public confidence and patron-
age, and oily editors without conscience, honor or hope of heaven.
This state of things had gone on so long in Dubuque county
that people no longer trusted newspaper tales of corruption and

In November, 1903, the Democrats elected every county officer
except treasurer; the vote for the latter was: Kretschmer (R. ),
5,041; Gehrig (D.). 4,641; Buckingham (Soc. ), 445. For gov-
ernor, Sullivan (D. ) received 5,074; Cummins (R. ), 3,810; Work
(Soc), 558. The Times charged corruption, extravagance and
plundering to the Democratic county administration; but the ticket
of the latter was elected "just the same."

In the spring of 1904 the Socialists nominated a full city ticket,
with Ernest Holtz for mayor, with the announced object "the over-
throw of the capitalistic wage system and the substitution therefor
of the co-operative commonwealth," etc. The Citizens' party renom-
inated Mr. Berg for his fourth term. He said that during the pre-
vious four years his aim had been "to meet the varied needs of our
people, to avoid clashing with them, and to unite all elements of
the community in one harmonious whole." Economy and a wise
expenditure of money had ruled, he said. The Democrats charged
immorality, conducted an alleged righteous campaign, and were led
by John J. Sheridan. "Decency" was their slogan. The result was:
Berg (Cit. ), 3,637; Sheridan (D.), 2,443; Holtz (Soc), 272.
This result showed that the citizens were satisfied with the Berg
administration, and that the Socialist movement was on the decline.

In November, 1904, an unheard-of thing occurred : The Repub-
licans swept Dubuque county for the first time in history, electing
every candidate except recorder. In a large measure this result was
due to Roosevelt's popularity, the county ticket being carried to suc-
cess by the national ticket. Corruption and illegal fees were charged
to the Democrats in county affairs. The result was : Roosevelt
(R.), 5,485; Parker (D.). 4.913: Swallow (Pro.), 52; Debs
( Soc. ) , 847 ; Watson ( Peop. ) , 56. The Socialist vote showed a
great increase instead of a decrease. For Congress, Birdsall (R. )
received 5,214, and Mallon (D.), 4,829; for county clerk. Sulli-
van (R.), 5,570; Mulgrew (D.), 5,110; for county auditor, Hau-
denshield (R. ), 5.897; Weimer (D. ), 4,878; county recorder,
Fober (R.), 5,151; McGovern (D.), 5,393; county attorney,
Barnes (R.), 5,792; Fitzpatrick (D.), 4,854; county supervisors,
McOuillen (D.), 5,135; Ferring (D.), 5,932; Hogan (D.), 5,133;
Byrne (R. ), 5,539; Laude (R.), 5,697.

The waterworks scandal came out about this time and has been


out much of tlic time since. It was held before the people ahnost
constantly during 1905 and 1906, and had a great deal to do in
determining election results in the spring of 1906. The Democrats
were determined to defeat the Berg administration, and nominated
Henry A. Schunk for mayor, who announced his platform was:
(i) Honesty in office; (2) a business administration; (3) pub-
licity of city affairs; (4) waterworks on a business basis; (5) a
plumbing inspector; (6) elimination of graft in the city hall; (7)
a Greater Dubuque. Tlie Herald openly charged the grossest cor-
ruption on the Berg administration and on the council. The Demo-
crats argued ( i ) No long tenure of office; (2) improvement in
waterworks management; (3) graft by the council and the mayor
to be stopped. Seven officeholders had held office under the city
for a total of sixty years; the mayor himself had held his office for
eight years ; there should be a change, it was urged. The result
was as follows: Berg (Cit.), 2,219; Schunk (D.), 3,363; Holtz
(Soc. ), 309; Needham (Indp. ), 892. Linehan (D. ), recorder;
Lyons (D.), auditor ; Brinkman (D.), treasurer: Kintzinger (D.),
attorney, were duly elected. Mr. Berg said on retiring: "We have
the honor of turning over to our successors the government of this
beautiful city, with its finances in excellent condition and its reputa-
tion for moral conditions equaled by only three other cities in this
broad land."

John D. Denison, of Dubuque, was nominated for lieutenant-
governor by the Democrats in August, 1906.

The gubernatorial campaign of November, 1906, was lively and
interesting and the county campaign personal and abusive. The
result was: For governor, Cummins (R. ), 4,274; Porter (D. ),
5,716; Shank (Soc), 350; Coffin (Pro.), 52; Norman (Peop.),
3; Hisey (Secular Government). 6. During the campaign Cum-
mins. Porter and Birdsall spoke at Dubuque. For Congress, Bird-
sail (R. ) received in this county 3.924, and Murtagh (D.), 5,043;
for the state senate, Crawford (R. ), 4.468; Frudden (D.), 4,982;
McAleece (Soc), 342; for auditor, Haudenshield (R.), 4,905;
Scharle (D. ), 4.968; Miller (Soc), 299; for treasurer, Ferring
(R. ), 4,724; Palen (D.), 5,108; Mason (Soc), 297; for clerk,
Sullivan (R.), 5,320; Callahan (D.). 4,398; Holmberg (Soc),
322; for sheriff, Laude (R.), 3,827; Dunn (D.), 6,158; Cos-
grove (Soc), 309: for recorder, Fober (R.). 3,748; Swift (D. ),
5,755; Brandt (Soc), 328; for attorney, Barnes (R.), 3.880;
Nelson (D.), 5.828; Euser (Soc), 303. Matthews and Bonson,
Democrats, were elected over Husted and Michel, Republicans, for
judges. Democratic coroner and county superintendent were chosen.
Reinecke (R. ) was elected county supervisor.

In the spring of 1908 the following was the vote for mayor:
Schunk (D.), 3,390: Ott (Cit. Non-Part.), 3,223 ; Cameron (Soc),
329; Needham (Indp.), 15. The real issue was the waterworks —


should its management be reformed or should the old system be
continued ? Originally, the Citizens' Non-Partisan League had
been created to purify civic afifairs; but now it was alleged by the
Democrats, the Citizens' methods were worse than the evils com-
plained of — they themselves needed purifying because they were no
longer the advocates of civic righteousness but of civic corruption.
The election of Mr. Schunk was believed by many to mean the eradi-
cation of vice and dishonesty. This year the first general primary
election was held in this county.

In August, 1908, Senator William B. Allison died here at the
age of seventy-nine years, after a long and brilliant career as a
citizen and statesman. The whole country united in fitting tributes
to his high character and useful and influential public services.
Many prominent men attended his obsequies, among whom were
Vice-President Fairbanks, Governor Cummins and Senator Dolliver.

In the fall of 1908 the issues discussed were trusts, high tarifif
and existing high prices. The local Democrats took the position
that all these evils were the result of Republican mismanagement,
while the Republicans declared existing conditions were due to
shortage of supply, local influences, etc. Mr. Work, the Socialist,
was here in October. The Times-Journal criticized severely the
Democratic management of county affairs — particularly that of the
county debt, which had increased. It had advanced to about $185,-
000 in spite of the fact that the mulct receipts during the last seven
years had amounted to $355,496.32. The Telegraph-Herald stated
that the bulk of the debt arose from bridge expenses resulting from
floods, and had been necessary. This was a stirring campaign,
replete with personalities more or less libelous in their character.
On the national ticket, Taft (R.) received 4,708; Bryan (D.),
6,645; Chafin (Pro.), 53; Debs (Soc), 427; Watson (Peop.), i;
Hisgen ( Independence), 21. There were but three county tickets —
Democratic, Republican and Socialist. The registry in Dubuque
city was 8,212. The vote for governor was as follows: Carroll
(R.), 3,779; White (D.), 6,857; Brown (Pro.), 49; McCrillis
(Soc), 361; Cowler (Peop.), 4; Weller (Ind.), 11. The result
was as follows on the county ticket : Auditor — Scharle (D. ), 6,320;
Haudenshield (R.), 4,643; Brandt (S.),335; treasurer — Ferring
(R.), 4,606; Palen (D.), 6,370; McAleece (S.), 335; clerk —
Sullivan (R.), 4,765; Harrington (D.), 6,054; Lux (S.), 344;
sherifif — Dunn (D.), 8,049; Wright (S.), 436; scattering, 4;
recorder— Klegmond (R.), 3,755; Swift (D.), 6,783; Coyle (S.),
356; attorney — Barnes (R.), 3,701; Nelson (D.), 6,929; Enser
(S.). 360.

At the mayoralty election in 1910, Schunk (D.) received 2,886
votes: Haas (Cit. Non-Part.), 3,304; Buchet (Soc), 252. Mr.
Schunk was renominated on his good record during four years ; no
serious charge against his administration was made. Mr. Schunk


sought re-election on the following policy : ( i ) Conservation of
waterworks; (2) continuation of waterworks law suits; (3) oppo-
sition to special privileges; (4) greater efforts for Greater Du-
buque; (5) active pursuit of tax dodgers; (6) business adminis-
tration; (7) decrease of the tax levy; (8) a city parking system.
But the Citizens' Non-Partisan voters wanted ofifice, power and
other choice things, conducted a campaign on more or less fictitious
issues and triumphantly elected their ticket except auditor. The
following city officers were elected: Daniel J. Haas (C. N. P.),
mayor; Otto P. Geiger (C. N. P.), recorder; George D. Wybrant
(C. N. P.), treasurer; M. E. Lyons (D.), auditor; George T.
Lyon (C. N. P.), attorney; W. A. Schaffhauser (C. N. P.), as-
sessor; C. H. Baumgartner (C. N. P.), engineer. Of the seven
aldermen elected two were Citizens and five Democrats.

In November, 1910, there were no special local issues of impor-
tance; the division of the Republicans in state and nation into
stand-patters and progressives extended to this county, and here as
elsewhere gave victory to the Democrats. The following were
elected: Robert Bonso'n (D.) and J. W. Krutzinger (D.), judges;
Nicholas Schrup (D. ), senator; M. F. McCullough (D.) and
Simon Miller (D.), representatives: Theo. Scharle (D.), auditor;
Joseph A. Palen (D.), treasurer; C. D. Harrington (D.), clerk;
J. J. Dunn (D.), sheriff; Samuel Swift (D.), recorder; P. J. Nel-
son (D., no opposition), attorney; Harry B. Smith (D., no opposi-
tion), superintendent: Paul Ilg (D.), surveyor; John C. Voelker
(D.), coroner; Joseph Connolly, John R. Kingsley, T. H. McQuil-
len, Frank Bahl", M. W. Daly 'and John Vorwald, all Democrats,
county supervisors. For governor. Porter (D.) received 6,616;
Carroll (R.). 2,240, and Work (Soc.) and MacEachron (Pro.)
received a few votes each.








ALONG the Mississippi river came tlie white men who first saw
what is now Iowa and first camped upon its soil. In 1673
JoHet, who was sent west to find a way to the "South Sea,"
as the Pacific Ocean was then called, came down the Wiscon-
sin and Mississippi rivers, accompanied by Father Marquette. They
saw and perhaps set foot upon what is now Dubuque county. In
1680 Father Hennepin and seven others of the LaSalle party sent to
the Illinois country, came up the Mississippi and saw and no doubt
camped upon the present Dubuque county. In 1702, Lesueur and a
large party of adventurers and hunters from the French settlement
at the mouth of the Mississippi came up past the present Dubuque
county, exploring the shores thoroughly as they passed along, kill-
ing buffalo, elk and wild fowl for their subsistence and very likely
thus hunting in what is now Dubuque county. They went on up to
Minnesota and passed the winter at Blue Earth, where they con-
structed a fort, killed large numbers of buffalo and dug for con-
veyance to Europe a considerable quantity of the blue earth, imag-
ining it to contain valuable mineral, perhaps copper. On their re-
turn in the spring they again passed by and probably camped
upon this county. Soon afterwards Nicholas Perrot, Nicollet and
other Frenchmen were in the vicinity of Prairie du Chien, Lake
Pepin and as far up as St. Anthony's Falls. A fort was built near
Lake Pepin by Perrot and garrisoned. As early as 1766 English
traders visited all this region and established many trading posts
among the Indians : they were extending the trade and territory of
the Hudson Bay Company. Marquette called the Mississippi "Con-
ception" ; Hennepin called it "St. Louis", and LaSalle called it

"The lead mines on the west side of the Mississippi had first been
worked by one Longe, then by his successor, a trader with the
Indians, Mr. Cardinal, and finally by one Dubuque. This was re-
lated in 1835 by a Canadian of eighty years of age who for more
than twenty years had been the servant of Dubuque." — (Fr. S.
Mazzuchelli in "Historical and Edifying Memoirs of a Mis-
sionary." )

Previous to 1803, what is now Dubuque county was a part of
Louisiana, which belonged to Spain before 1763, when it was
ceded conditionally to France as the result of the seven years' war.
-At the request of Napoleon, in 1800, it was "retroceded" to France,
but in 1803 was ceded by the latter to the United States. In 1804



Congress made the present Dubuque county a part of the District
of Louisiana. The next year it became part of the Territory of
Louisiana and in 1812 a part of the Territory of Missouri. It re-
mained a part of IMissouri until the latter became a state in 1821.
In 1834 it was attached to Michigan Territory and in 1836 becaine
a part of Wisconsin Territory. In 1838 it became a part of Iowa
Territory and finally, in 1846, a part of the State of Iowa. The
act creating Wisconsin Territory became efifective July 4, 1836,
and the act creating Iowa Territory became effective July 4, 1838.

Previous to October i, 1834, all of what is now Iowa was with-
out political organization. On that date (October i, 1834), all was
attached to Michigan Territory, and the following are some of the
provisions of that act :

"That all that district of country which was attached to the Ter-
ritory of Michigan by the Act of Congress, entitled 'An Act to at-
tach the territory of the United States west of the Mississippi river
and north of the State of Missouri to the Territorv' of Michigan,'
approved June 28, 1834, and to which the Indian title has been ex-
tinguished, which is situated on the north of a line to be drawn due
west from the lower end of Rock Island to Missouri river, .shall
constitute a county and be called Dubuque; the said county shall
constitute a township which shall be called Julien ; the seat of justice
shall be established at the village of Dubuc|ue until the same shall be

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 44 of 56)