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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.
DUBUQUE CASKET COMPANY
DUBUQUE CASKET COMPANY. Dubuque Casket Company's articles of incorporation were filed on January 20, 1893 by Mathias M. HOFFMANN, Sr., Arnold Nicks, Joseph H. Whatmore, J. C Longueville and J. C. ALTHAUSER. (1) In 1958 it ranked 21st in sales volume among 472 similar organizations in the United States. (2) The company was unique in the industry for its custom construction of each order. Over four hundred interior designs were offered. A workforce of sixty-five was employed year-round in addition to the office staff and traveling salesmen. (3)
In August, 1896 the company announced its construction of a casket for "the largest man in Iowa," The interior dimensions were 6 feet 3 inches in length, 3 feet in width, and 2 feet in depth." The casket was made for George Raible, a cigar manufacturer from Davenport. (4) The company continued to maintain a storeroom of oversized "shells for heavy or very tall people as well as small ones for stillborn or young children. A display room could accommodate as many as one hundred models. (5)
In 1988 the company was closed, and the building at 1798 Washington Street was sold to Boyes Truck and Auto Parts.
A collaborative agreement with the DUBUQUE VISITING NURSE ASSOCIATION was planned to help disabled residents live independently. Amenities included common space, parking, central air, stove, refrigerator and on-site laundry. The rehabilitation of the four-story structure incorporated the housing units within the upper three floors. The ground floor space was to be made available for a community room and to local service organizations/nonprofit organizations/schools/offices serving the north end. Parking consisted of 88 spaces. Total project costs for the restoration of the Dubuque Casket Co. building was estimated at 5.6 million dollars. This project was carried out by John GRONEN of GRONEN PROPERTIES/GRONEN RESTORATION.
1. "Dubuque Casket Company," Dubuque Daily Herald, January 21, 1893, p. 4
2. "Dubuque Firm's Output Ranks High in Nation," Telegraph Herald, June 29, 1958, p. 16
3. "Dubuque's Coffin Factories Employ 200 Men--Trade Covers the Entire West," Dubuque Herald, February 6, 1910, p. 1
4. "A Large Casket," Dubuque Daily Herald, August 7, 1896, p. 8
5. "Dubuque Firm's..."
6. "Dubuque's Coffin Factories Employ 200 Men..."