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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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DUBUQUE AND MCGREGOR RAIL WAY. One of the predecessors of the Milwaukee Road, the Dubuque and McGregor was one of the eastern railroads in Iowa. These lines were established to ensure that river cities, like Dubuque, could enjoy year around transportation not halted by ice on the MISSISSIPPI RIVER that stopped navigation. Dubuque was also interested in constructing the line because McGregor, its main Iowa rival for business, was already linked to Minneapolis-St, Paul.

The Dubuque and McGregor was incorporated on March 20, 1868 with the promotion being largely that of Platt SMITH. The following year its name was changed to the DUBUQUE AND MINNESOTA RAILROAD so that the line could be extended to Winona, Minnesota. A branch up the Turkey River to Mankato, Minnesota and beyond was also approved.

In 1871 the road was renamed the Chicago, Dubuque and Minnesota Railroad and a 117-mile route had been constructed from Dubuque to La Crescent, Minnesota. By this time, however, James F. Joy and his associates from Burlington were in control. In 1872 they completed the 13-mile Turkey River Junction-Garber branch.

The Panic of 1873 along with high construction costs left the line in receivership. In 1878 the Chicago, Dubuque and Minnesota was joined with the CHICAGO, CLINTON AND DUBUQUE RAILROAD to form the CHICAGO, CLINTON, DUBUQUE AND MINNESOTA RAILROAD COMPANY.

To service and repair its equipment, the Chicago, Dubuque and Minnesota Railroad and DUBUQUE, BELLEVUE, AND MISSISSIPPI RAILWAY constructed extensive shops and employed an estimated hundred men. Both lines which used Dubuque as headquarters were purchased by the Milwaukee Railroad.



Donovan, Frank P. Jr. Iowa Railroads Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2000, p. 212-213