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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

COATES, William

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COATES, William. (England, May 10, 1833--Dubuque, IA, Feb. 19, 1890). Coates came to American in 1842, arriving in Buffalo, New York and then moved to Chicago by way of the Great Lakes. Shipwrecked on Lake Erie, his family arrived in Dubuque with nothing. (1)

Coates was a contractor and smelter in the LEAD mines around Dubuque. He later traveled to California in 1852 and worked in the mines there until 1857 when he returned to Dubuque to work in the dry goods business in the firm of COATES AND BROTHER. (2) Coates entered the grain trade in 1862 for three years before returning to MINING and smelting.

The first Republican elected in twenty years to the Dubuque County Board of Supervisors, he served from January 1, 1874 to December 31, 1876. (3) He was the First Ward alderman at the time of his death.



1. Portrait and Biographical Record of Dubuque, Jones and Clayton Counties, Iowa. Chicago: Chapman Publishing Company, 1894, p. 188

2. "Wm. Coates Dead," The Herald, February 20, 1890, p. 4

3. Ibid.