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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.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

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


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DUBUQUE BANK AND TRUST COMPANY. Bank awarded "superstar" status by Money magazine. Dubuque Bank and Trust received its state charter in April 1934. When it opened for business on July 17, 1935, the bank, with accounts insured by the FD.I.C. for $5000, occupied rooms in the Federal Bank Building at Ninth and Main STREETS. In the first six months of operation, Dubuque Bank and Trust received over $1 million in deposits. The first passbook was issued to the Rhomberg Company.

Following the purchase of the Federal Bank Building by Amtas Company, a company owned by AMERICAN TRUST AND SAVINGS BANK, Dubuque Bank and Trust moved on July 17, 1944, to the former location of UNION TRUST AND SAVINGS BANK at 14th and Central.

In August 1981, Heartland Bancorp, the holding company of Dubuque Bank and Trust, was formed. In May 1991, the name Heartland Bancorp was changed to Heartland Financial USA, Inc.

In November 1988, officials of Dubuque Bank and Trust announced the acquisition of KEY CITY BANK stock from the parent company, Banks of Iowa based in Des Moines. Key City operated at two locations in Dubuque and one in Epworth. In January 1990, the Farley State Bank was acquired with branches in Farley and Holy Cross. The acquisition of Galena State Bank by Heartland Financial in January 1992, made Heartland a two-bank holding company and the first Iowa bank holding company to purchase an Illinois bank. In 1988 Dubuque Bank and Trust received local attention for having what was believed to be Dubuque's only "talking" automatic teller machine at its Key West branch.

The bank, which has always been rated one of the top banks by the Sheskunoff Information Services, received national attention in October 1988, when it was named one of the 175 safest banks in the United States by Money magazine. Banks given superstar status by the magazine tended to be smaller than the nation's largest banks, located outside major urban centers, conservatively operated, and were not likely to compete for interest rates. Dubuque Bank and Trust, with assets in 1991 in excess of $353 million, was the largest bank in Dubuque. In November 1991, it was announced that through its farm loan portfolio, Dubuque Bank and Trust had become one of the top 100 largest agricultural banks in the United States.

In January 1990 Dubuque Bank and Trust announced their completed purchase of a row of vacant buildings along Central Avenue south of the main bank building. The structures were demolished in preparation for construction of an addition to the main bank. The bank also purchased the former Walsh Store across the street and with great attention to detail returned it to its former appearance and used the building for offices.