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 48 of 56)
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twenty-nine butter and cheese factories, with an annual product of
about $255,000. In the nineties telephone lines began to cross the
county in various directions. On January i, 1894, the county debt
was $181,650.55 ; on January i. 1895. it was $163,680.39.

In 1902 the county board was petitioned by 180 members of the
Grand Army posts of the county to submit to the \oters the ques-
tion. Shall Dubuque county levy a one mill tax with which to build
a soldiers' and sailors' memorial hall ? The county tax in 1902 was
$357,273.51, and in 1903 was $361,724.78. The total assessment
in 1903 was $13,163,678. The number of polls in the county was
12,523 ; of this number, 8,426 were in Dubuque city.

The poultry show in the city hall at Dubuque in January, 1898,
was an important affair; the prizes aggregated $100. The total
county tax in 1897 was $456,373.33. The county assessment was
$13,783,545. Henry S. Hetherington died in 1898; he came to
the county in 1845 and was prominent. In December, 1897, there
were 173 saloons in Dubuque county; a tax of $600 each under the
mulct law would yield $103,800, one-half to the county and one-
half to the city or tovvnshi]j. In 1898 the corporation tax in Cas-
cade was 5 mills; Dyersville, 10 mills; New Vienna, 10 mills; Ep-
worth, 2 mills, and Farley, 10 mills. In 1898 the county spent
$56,063.70 for its poor. Dubuque County Farmers' Mutual Insur-


ance Association met at Farley in January, 1899; F. N. Simpson
was president. By 1900 the Iowa Telephone Company operated
1 14.5 miles in Dubuque county; Standard, 65.99 miles; Epworth
line, 16.98; Bishop line in Dyersville, .57. The third annual exhi-
bition of tlie Mississippi Valley Poultry Association was held here
in January, 1900. The county tax of 1899 was $330,157.39, and the
total assessment $12,750,301. The Cascade fair and the county
fair were lield together in October, 1899. The county board about
this time was allowed space in the ice harbor for a pesthouse. In
1900 the county tax for all purposes was $332,271.51, and the total
assessment $13,075,046. The county fair at Cascade in 1900 was
unusually good ; Cascade deserved and received great praise for its
efforts. Henry L. Stout died in July, 1900; he was one of the
first and foremost settlers and lived a life of great usefulness and

The total county tax in 1904 was $385,788.14; the school tax
alone was $153,697.11. The total real estate and personal property
in the county was valued at $12,434,349.

In 1904 Crawford's bill in the legislature provided for four
county supervisor's districts outside of the citj' of Dubuque, and for
one of Julien township, which was coextensive with the city, with
four supervisors outside of the city and three from the city proper.

In 1905 Dubuque county had the largest corn crop in its history
■ — an average of about fifty-two bushels to the acre; a full average
crop had always before been placed at forty-six bushels per acre.

The official papers of the county in 1895 were Times, Herald and
Telegraph of Dubuque, Pioneer of Cascade, and Commercial and
Nezvs Letter of Dyersville.

The tax under the mulct law brought the county a large revenue
in 1896. It was about this time that twenty cows at the county poor-
farm were condemned under the tests for tuberculosis.

It was noted about this time that Dubuque county had a total of
about 300 bridges, many of which were of iron and steel, and in
the aggregate had cost a large sum.

In August, 1907, a terrible storm swept over the county, doing
immense damage, especially to bridges and to the town of Bernard.
In November, 1907, Dubuque county sold to the State of Iowa five
islands in the Mississippi, located above Eagle Point.


1902 $257,045.11

1903 230,420.87

1904 214.319.86

1905 222,390.30

1906 221,937.78

1907 224,208.45

1908 202,479.88


1909 198,2977s

1910 216,636.10


January i, 191 i.

Bonded indebtedness $111,000.00

County general fund warrants 182,741.00

County bridge fund warrants 29,384.30

Auditor holds warrants. 1909-1910 3>i07.95

Total $326,233.25

All taxes in the county were as follows: For 1907, $416,224.71 ;
1908, $443,836. 13 ; 1909, $462,016.27; 191 o, $468,099.07.

"The era of prohibition in Iowa was the era of the unrestrained
liquor traffic in Dubuque, Scott and other river counties in which
local sentiment was against the prohibition law. In those days we
had over twice as many saloons in Dubuque as we have today. They
were open late at night and seven days in the week, and the liquor
influence in politics was stronger than at present. It does not fol-
low that conditions would be permanently improved by the repeal of
the mulct law. The Democrats would have the support of thou-
sands of Republicans in their demand for the restoration of the
open saloon. Besides, the sacrifice of the present revenue from the
liquor traffic in the border towns would probably not stop the sale
of liquor to any drunkard it was desired to save. Would prohibi-
tion help the man who could get liquor by crossing the bridge or pat-
ronizing the bootlegger? We fear not." — (Times-Journal, Janu-
ary I, 1911.)


DR. JOHN B. STODDARD is credited with being the first
physician to locate at Dubuque. He must have come quite
early in the year 1833, because he was present when the
cholera cases raged in July, August and September of that year.
He was almost immediately followed by Dr. John Hill, who also
administered to the cholera patients. About fifty deaths from
cholera occurred in Dubuque County that year. The ne.xt year Dr.
Frederick Andros arrived. Many years afterward he claimed to
have been the first duly registered and licensed physician here, be-
cause, according to his statement, the other physicians had not been
regularly licensed. He further stated that when he arrived there
were here two doctors, both nanled Stoddard, though not related
so far as known. As he makes no mention of Dr. Hill, the latter
had probably left the place. Dr. Andros continued to practice here
until 1838, when he moved to Clayton County. In the files of tb»?
Dubuque Ilsitor, which made its appearance in June, 1836, the ad-
vertisement or card of Dr. E. Andros appears. Dr. Frederick
Andros does not state v^^ho Dr. E. was. Dr. Stoddard's card also
appears in the J'isiior. His charges were, in town, day time, $1;
night time, $2; ex-officio services, $1 per hour; consultation with
other doctors, $10. There was an extra charge for mileage for
country calls. He kept medicines for sale, and was a surgeon as
well as a physician.

In June, 1836, Dr. John W. Finley began practicing here medi-
cine, surgery and midwifery, and became active and prominent at
once. In October, 1836, Dr. R. O. Shaw, surgeon-dentist, located in

In 1837 Dr. I. O'Ferrall began to practice. He kept vaccine
on hand. Dr. Plumbe began practicing about the same time. He
limited his midwifery practice to Dubuque. He was a graduate of
the medical department of the University of Leyden, Holland. Dr.
Lurton came in 1838 and dex'oted his attention to diseases of women
and children. At this time a Dr. Crane was associated with Dr.
Finley. The two (Finley & Crane) apparently had a large prac-
tice in 1838. Dr. Plumbe announced in September, 1838, that he
had long adopted the European plan of practice with bilious and
intermittent fever and ague, and would undertake to cure in a few
hours without the use of calomel.



During the decade of the forties several physicians located in
Dubuque. One located at Cascade about 1843. Dr. Charles Hutawa
was in Dubuque in 1840.

In three days during November, 1845, the citizens of Dubuque
subscribed $1,000 for a city hospital, owing to a smallpo.x scare,
but as the disease almost immediately disappeared the project was
dropped. In 1846 Drs. Charles Koepfle, R. S. Lewis and P. R.
Campbell were paid fees by the county board for attendance on the
poor. Dr. John B. Henion, dental surgeon, was here in 1847.

In 1847 among the doctors here were Joseph Sprague, Asa Horr,
Boone & Whitman, C. Koepfle, D. B. Lee, C. B. Carpenter, J.
O'Sullivan and Timothy Mason. Koepfle, O'Sullivan and Mason
were county physicians. The latter was a druggist. Drs. Horr and
Sprague practiced together medicine and surgery and made a spe-
cialty of deformities. Drs. Lee and Carpenter were dentists and

The next year there were here practicing Drs. Harrison Holt,
Ambrose Crane, J. B. Henion, Joseph Sprague, Asa Horr, C.
Koepfle, D. B. Lee, I. B. Branch, P. P. Berger and Doctor Dif-
fenbacker. Lee, Henion and Branch were dentists. In 1848 the
Iowa State Medical Society was organized at Iowa City.

Dr. Berger was a graduate of foreign medical schools and spoke
three languages.

In 1849 the cholera again appeared. By May 16 there were
many cases in Galena, but none here yet. In June as high as ten
deaths a day occurred in Galena. On May 30 there were a few
cases here, which proved to be the dreaded cholera. By the last of
June there had been from ten to twenty cases, and by July 7 there
had been eleven deaths in Dubuque, of which five cases were from
steamers. Large quantities of lime were sprinkled in the streets
and alleys. Drs. L. T. Boone and R. S. Lewis practiced here in

In July, 1850, cholera was again threatened and a hospital was
again talked of. In 1850 Dr. Horr used chloroform in an operation
of trachaeotomy on a child of Joseph Sebring.

In 185 1 there were here among others Drs. H. T. Whitman,
George W. Scott, Thomas Scott, Thomas P. Powell and Asa Horr.
George W. Scott was physician, surgeon and accoucheur. He used
vegetable remedies and not calomsl, opium, antimony, blistering,
etc. Dr. Horr finally made a specialty of surgery. He used
chloroform when amputating the leg of Ambrose Meeker, who had
been injured by a threshing machine. In 1851 he claimed to have
already used chloroform here in 300 different cases. Dr. Powell
had been a member of the Royal Medical Institute of Weland and
had ofiiciated as accoucheur of the Dublin Lying-in Hospital. He
made a specialty of diseases of women and children.

In 1852 the city had a few cases of cholera, perhaps during the







summer 100 cases in all. Ten to twenty died. Drs. George W.
Richards and Robert I. Thomas were county physicians in 1852.
A building was leased and fitted up for a hospital.

In November, 1852, a meeting of the physicians of Dubuque was
held at the office of Dr. Edward Kirkup for the purpose of forming
a county medical society. A committee on constitution and bylaws
was appointed and the meeting adjourned to a subsequent date.
The committee were Asa Horr, G. VV. Richards and F. C. Smith.
At the second meeting in January, 1853, the constitution prepared
was adopted and the following officers of the society were elected :
G. W. Richards, president ; John F. Ely and Harrison Holt, vice-
presidents ; Asa Horr, corresponding secretary ; F. Coleman Smith,
recording secretary ; R. S. Lewis, treasurer ; Richards, Horr and
Ely. censors. The first members were as follows : D. W. Richards,
R.E. Lewis, Asa Horr, Thomas Scott, Robert L Thomas, Harrison
Holt, F. C. Smith. T- W. Finley, W. R. McMahan, A. E. Smith and
J. F. Ely.

At the first annual meeting the members were: Asa Horr, W.
R. McMahan, Harrison Holt, G. W. Richards, Thomas Scott, F. C.
Smith, R. S. Lewis, John W. Finley and Robert J. Thomas, of
Dubuque: A. E. Smith, of Delaware County, and John F. Ely, of
Linn County.

The presidents down to 1879 were: G. W. Richards, F. Andros,
R. S. Lewis, Asa Horr, T. O. Edwards, R. J. Thomas, G. A.
Staples, C. W. Belden, G. W. Watson, H. Minges, J. C. Lay,
Benjamin McCluer, W. Watson, N. B. Matthews, William Hofif-
bauer, M. E. Connolly, John S. Lewis and M. H. Waples. The
Northwestern Sanitarium was established in 1876 by Dr. E. A.
Guilbert, and a little earlier the Dubuque Remedial and Surgical
Institute was opened on Main street. Dr. Guilbert was a homeo-

In April, 1853. the Medical Society met and passed resolutions
regretting the d'^eath of Dr. G. W. Richards. R. S. Lewis was presi-
dent of the society at this date and E. Kirkup secretary. Smallpox
was here again in 1853. Dr. W. R. McMahan was health officer.

In the spring of 1854 Drs. W. R. McMahan and N. B. Matthews
opened a private hospital in a brick house opposite the Court House.
They were well patronized and cared for smallpox patients. Their
consulting physicians were Drs. F. W. Finley, L. T. Coleman and
Smith & Shipman.

"Health of Dubuque. — The health of the city of Dubuque was
never better. While neighboring cities have been visited by that
enemy of our race, the cholera, Dubuque, with the exception of
two or three strangers who died of it, has thus far escaped un-
harmed." — Observer, July 22, 1854.

Dr. Watson was here in 1854; also Dr. E. C. Franklin, a pupil of


Dr. Valentine Mott. A few cases of cholera appeared here in

Among the physicians in Dubuque in November, 185:;. were
Lewis & Watson, Thomas Scott. Edward Dorn, W. W. Woolsey,
Mengus & Bengal, and P. L. Hatcli, honieopathist.

The new hospital of tiie Sisters of Charity was opened in 1855.
The citizens generally helped defray the expense of erecting the
building. Drs. E. A. Guilbert and P. L. Hatch opened a homeo-
pharmacy here in 1856. Drs. E. C. Franklin and W. B. Lillis
opened the sanle kind of a pharmacy a little later.

A medical and surgical clinic was conducted in 1856 at 133 Main
street, Dubuque, by W. B. Lillis, M. D. In December nineteen
cases were treated. About this time Dr. Iddings inserted an arti-
ficial e\'e in a patient and was complimented higiily for his skill.

Dr. AIcTaggart. eye and ear specialist, was here in 1857. Other
members at this time were : Horr, Belden, David, Watson, Pratt,
Sprague, Matthews, Edwards. Minges. McCluer, Jennings and
Thomas. They were all members of the Dubuque Medical Society.
They conducted a clinic in 1857, in which the following cases were
treated : Hernia, i ; porrigo favosa, 4 ; suppressio menses. 2 ;
blennadenitis, 2; haemorrhoides, i; leucorrhea, i; icteritous jaun-
dice, 4 ; psoriasis, i ; ascites, or dropsy, i ; stricture, or urethra, i :
dysentery, i ; total, 19.

The Dubuque County Homeopathic Medical Society was here in
February, 1858. Among the members were: E. H. Guilbert, Dr.
Williams, E. C. Franklin, C. A. Jaeger. H. P. Gatchell and John
Ellis. Belden (G. W. B.) & David (W. G. ), W. Lillis, S. H. Guil-
bert, T. Edwards and others were practicing. Horr & Barker were
partners. The two Guilberts were partners and probably brothers.

The annual meeting of the Dubuque Medical Society was held at
Dr. Staples' office in January, 1859. The following'officers were
elected for 1859: George AI. Staples, president; William Watson,
first vice-president ; Joseph Sprague, second vice-president ; James
C. Lay, corresponding secretary; P. C. Samson, Jr., recording sec-
retaiy; William Watson, treasurer; R. S. Lewis, chairman; C. W.
Belden, E. Dorn and N. B. Matthews, censors ; R. L Thomas, Ben-
jamin McCluer and Thomas O. Edwards, delegates to the American
Medical Association. R. L Thomas had just retired from the
presidency of the society.

Dr. Barker was a graduate of Dublin LTniversity and the Missouri
Medical State College. Dr. T. Edwards was a first-class surgeon.
He had been professor of surgery in the Medical College of Ohio.

Dr. Charles Jennings formed a partnership with Dr. Asa Horr in
April, 1859. He was a young man, a graduate of the University of
Pennsylvania and was well educated in medicine, ambitious and

The Dulnique Medical Society held its annual meeting January


3, i860, and elected the following officers for the ensuing year:
C. W. Belden, president ; Benjamin McCluer, vice-president ; J. C.
Fay, second vice-president; F. H. Pratt, corresponding secretary;
C. B. Jennings, recording secretary ; William Watson, treasurer ;
R. S. Lewis, Ed. Dorn and C. W. Belden, censors. Tom O.
Edwards, George j\I. Staples and Joseph Sprague were elected dele-
gates to the American Medical Association. Drs. Lewis, Sprague,
Pratt, McCluer, Minges, Staples and Watson were appointed a
committee to arrange for the meeting of the Iowa State Medical
Society, which was to assemble here in May, i860. Reports on
several difficult cases were read, and the address of the retiring
president, G. M. Staples, was listened to.

On March 19, i860, Dr. Underwood, of Dubuque, at the Julien
House removed a steotomatous tumor from the interior of the ear
of Miss Mary A. Morrison, of Jones County. It was about two
inches long and varying in thickness. It was removed in about
half an hour and was regarded as a \'ery skillful surgical operation.

The Iowa State Medical Society assembled in Dubuque, May 9,
i860. Dr. E. S. Barrows, of Davenport, president, called the meet-
ing to order. It was an interesting mieeting throughout. Man)'
valuable papers were read and many subjects discussed. Many
physicians from all parts of the state were present.

Dr. Asa Horr was operating and consulting surgeon and had a
large practice in 1861. Drs. Henry Smith and C. J. Ford were
dentists. Dr. C. B. Jennings was again here practicing in 1862. In
war time Dr. G. M. Staples was post surgeon. In 1863 Dr. Risch-
tach served as county physician. W. Matthews, of Peosta, grad-
uated from the Iowa Medical College at Keokuk about 1864.

The Iowa State Dental Society met here in July, 1865, and was
called to order by L. C. Ingersoll, president. About a score of
representatives were present from all over the state. Illustrative
clinical work was done.

Among the dentists present were Drs. Nichols, Gunckle, Chase,
Myers, Tulloss, Hardeman, Severance, Braugh, Sales, Miss Hobbs,
Kulp, Taft, of Cincinnati; Dr. Peebles, of St. Louis; Ingersoll and
Porter, King, Rogers and Clarke, of Dubuque.

In 1866 the steamer Canada which came here had on board six
cases of cholera, of which three proved fatal. The Minnesota also
brought here several cases. By prompt action the city prevented its
getting a foothold.

In 1867 the Northern Iowa Dental Association held its annual
meeting at Dyersville. Dr. A. B. Mason, of Cedar Falls, was presi-
dent, and Dr. E. L. Clarke, of Dubuque, vice-president.

One acre of ten belonging to the city on the west one-half of the
northeast one-half of Section 13, Township 89 north. Range 2 east,
was set apart for a hospital site in June, 1869. The building was to-
be erected by the city and the county jointly.


Dr. Harrison Holt died in 1870. He came to Dubuque in 1847,
practiced considerable at first and soon afterward became connected
with the Miners' Express and remained thus associated until 1852,
when he, D. A. Mahony. W. A. Adams and W. M. White estab-
lished the Herald. He died at Maquoketa.

Dr. Casper Koepfle died here in 1870. He settled here in 1844
and had a fair practice.

During the seventies the medical societies met quite regularly,
but no event of striking importance occurred. The hospital was
completed in 1872 and proved "just what was needed " The
grounds comprised fifteen acres and the building was located 500
yards from any residence and contained eleven rooms.

In 1869 the county board made a conditional appropriation of
$2,000 for a city hospital, to be paid to the city when it should de-
liver to the county a warranty deed of the tract of land. This was
done in 1872, when the hospital was erected.

The eighteenth annual meeting of the Dubuque Medical Society
was held in January, 1872, at Dr. McCluer's office. Dr. G. M.
Staples was the retiring president. The new officers were : Dr.
William Watson, president ; H. Rischatsch and N. B. Matthews,
vice-presidents; W. M. Waples, corresponding secretary; Dr. Con-
nolly, recording secretary ; Benjamin McCluer, treasurer; J. C. Fay,
J. W. Finley and W. McKee, censors ; W. Watson, librarian. Dr.
Fay read a paper on "Vesico Vaginal Fistula;" Dr. Watson one on
"Reflex Nervous Diseases;" Dr. Rischatsch on "Scarlatina Angi-
nosia," and Dr. McCluer one on "Reduction of Dislocation of the
Hip by Manipulation." At this time the society had fourteen mem-
bers, as follows: John W. Finley. Asa Horr, W. Watson, C. W.
Belden, N. B. Matthews. G. M. Staples, B. McCluer, J. C. Fay, H.
F. Rischatsch, W. McKee, M. H. Waples, M. E. Connelly, J. F.
Lewis and E. A. Crepin.

When the vellow fever was at Memphis in 1873, Dubuque raised
nearly $1,500 for relief. In 1873 Dr. James C. Fay became presi-
dent of the society here. The meetings were usually held at Dr.
McCluer's ofiice. The meeting of 1873 was interesting and in-
structive. Many papers on special subjects were read. Professor
Hay, of Rush Medical College, Chicago, was present and took part
in the proceedings.

In 1874 there were many cases of smallpox in the southeastern
part of the county. The profession united to "wipe it out" and suc-
ceeded. The members of the society in January, 1874, were as
follows: John W. Finley, Joseph Sprague, B. McCluer, William
Watson, George M. Staples, N. B. Matthews, James C. Fay, M. H.
Waples, C. N. Belden, M. E. Connolly. Asa Horr, H. Rischatsch,
W. McKee, Karl Mesling, H. Smith, of Epworth, and William
Bigelow, of Buncombe.

On June 21, 1874, John W. Finley, Joseph Sprague, Asa Horr,


William Watson, C. W. Belden. H. B. Matthews, G. M. Staples,
James C. Lay, Benjamin McCluer, H. T. Rischtash, Wiley McKee,
M. H. Waples, M. E. Connolly, Carl Misling. H. W. Smith and
Silas A. Tremain were incorporated as the Dubuque Medical

Dr. Nicholas B. Matthews died here September 9, 1875. He was
born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1819, was educated at Maynooth and
finished his medical education at Glasgow and Edinburgh. He
located in Dubuque in 1853, but for a short time practiced in Cas-
cade. He was a superior physician and was prominent in all worthy
public affairs.

In June, 1876, the Northeastern Iowa Homeopathic Medical So-
ciety met here at the Lorimier House.

On May 25, 1881, the State Medical Society assembled here. S.
B. Chase, of Osage, was president; M. H. Waples, of Dubuque, as-
sistant secretary. Dr. C. W. Belden, of Dubuque, delivered the
welcoming address. Almost every county of the state was repre-
sented. The proceedings were very interesting. Dr. McCluer, of
Dubuque, read a paper on "Injuries to the Orbital Regions :" Dr.
Staples, of Dubuque, one on "Chest Drainage and Emphysema."
The ethics of the profession was discussed. Receptions were given
by the leading citizens and homes thrown open for the comfort of
the visiting followers.

In 1883 several cases of smallpox were soon isolated and pre-
vented from spreading. The Hahnemann Medical Association of
Iowa was in session here in June, 1883. Dr. E. A. Guilbert tendered
the society a reception and banquet. In 1886 the Julien Medical
Society was organized and monthly meetings were held at the
houses of the members. Papers on medical subjects were read at
every meeting. Dr. Bready was president ; Dr. Fowler, secretary ;
Dr. Bready, custodian. The homeopaths reorganized in July. 1889,
and met at Dr. Jackson's office. Drs.' E. A. Guilbert and McCeney
were temporarily president and secretary, respectively. Drs.
William Bray, N. Bray and Jackson prepared a constitution and

In 1886 the health department reported on the necessity of doing
away with the numerous sinkholes about the city and recommended
the proposed new sewer; the open sewer system was denounced.
Dr. Greene was health physician. He was still official physician in
1888. He reported that for the year 1887 there were 620 deaths,
of which 355 were males. Twenty-eight had died of scarlet fever:
56 of diphtheria; 13 of chickenpox ; 14 of typhoid fever; 4 of ery-
sipelas; 13 of croup, and 492 of measles. In 1889 the officers of
the Julien Medical Society were ; G. M. Staples, president ; Dr.
Reynor, of Epworth, vice-president.

In May, 1890, the Iowa State Dental Association met in this
city. The Dubuque dentists in attendance were : W. P. Dickinson,

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 48 of 56)