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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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CHEWNING, Charles. (Platteville, Wis. June 18, 1872--Chicago, IL, Jan. 10, 1947). The son of the late Mr. and Mrs. George W. Chewning, Charles moved to Dubuque when he was sixteen and lived here until he moved to Chicago in 1930. He worked as an iron moulder at the EXCELSIOR BRASS WORKS, but was remembered as the leader of many dance orchestras. Charles played the harp and fiddle. Even though he could not read a note of music, he could play anything he heard. Charles was a charter member of the local chapter of the American Federation of Musicians.

The Chewnings were a very musical family. Charles was married to Margaret Welter, the sister of Mathias WELTER and the father of Vincent CHEWNING and the brother of Leslie CHEWNING, the director of the CHEWNING-STUBER ORCHESTRA. At one time, Charles and his brother Leslie had their own orchestra called the CHEWNING BROS. ORCHESTRA.

See also: Marguerite CHEWNING, Hazel Marie CHEWNING

Photo of Charles Chewning when he worked at the Excelsior Brass Foundry. Photo courtesy: Susan McKeever.



Susan Marie Graas McKeever and Dorothy Ufer