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Encyclopedia Dubuque



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Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
DUBUQUE HARBOR IMPROVEMENT COMPANY. In 1854-55, the Harbor Improvement Company was organized for filling in the sloughs and effecting other improvements necessitated by the growth and wealth of the city. In it were Mordecai MOBLEY, Lincoln Clark, Lucius Hart LANGWORTHY, James LANGWORTHY, Thomas S. WILSON and James Ogilby.

The Mobley proposal, which was substantially accepted, planned to fill up Seventh street extension and bridge the sloughs with double track bridges in three months or fifteen months at the most; fill up Seventh street forty feet on top in twenty months; build a levee 320feet long and sixty-four feet wide.

Payment was to be a strip of ground one block wide out to the river on one side of Seventh street extended, blocks to be 206 feet deep, as soon as the work was half done; also alternate blocks on the other side; also the right to use the dredge boat for three years. The Dubuque Harbor Company sold many lots at good prices to private individuals.

In April, 1856, the Harbor Improvement Company asked permission to extend Fifth street to the river. Many warehouses were going up along the levee and along Seventh and Jones streets. Eighth Street extended was the northern boundary of the Harbor Improvement Company's tract. (1)

The work done by them had lasting value, but the officers decided to discontinue active operations when a financial panic struck the city around 1857.

The PANIC OF 1857 lasted about three years. In 1860 the Dubuque Harbor Improvement Company was back in business:

                  The Harbor Improvement Company will offer 
                  for sale at auction at their office on Seventh 
                  Street today at 10 o'clock 200 lots in their
                  addition to Dubuque. The land dividend scrip of 
                  the company will be received in payment." 
                                      (Herald, November 1, 1860.)

The Dubuque City Directory of 1857-1858 listed as officers of the company: Lucius Hart Langworthy, President; Samuel Duncan, Secretary; Ed. A. Lull, Treasurer.



Oldt, Franklin T. The History of Dubuque County, Iowa. Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880, Online: http://books.google.com/books?id=u9xDAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA464&lpg=PA464&dq=Burton%27s+Furnace+%28dubuque+history%29&source=bl&ots=0CkCGLFR0v&sig=a0Ou1vN3ew6nQUYoq2aOJsXF9Mg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=j3HVT5XALaP42QXVp9iFDw&ved=0CGgQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=Burton%27s%20Furnace%20%28dubuque%20history%29&f=false (p. 532)