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


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DUBUQUE LAND COMPANY. In 1837 French families from the Trois Riviers District of Quebec, Canada settled in what became Dubuque County in Center Township. Before long, they were being encouraged to move west. (1) The Dubuque Land Company (operating in South Dakota as the Western Town Lot Company) in cooperation with land speculators from St Paul, Minnesota suggested land they were developing in South Dakota especially a site which became Sioux Falls. (2)

The Dakota Land Company of St. Paul and the Western Town Company of Dubuque, Iowa claimed the land around the falls on the Big Sioux River. The site was considered a promising town site for its beauty with water power. The Western Town Company arrived in 1856, and was followed by the St. Paul-based company in 1857. Each laid out 320-acre claims. The companies worked together for mutual protection. They constructed a temporary barricade of turf which they named "Fort Sod," in response to threats by native tribes. Seventeen men spent "the first winter" in Sioux Falls. The following year the population grew to near forty. (3)

Many of the French settlers did leave between 1850 and 1860. The settlement was remained Five Points after they left referring to the five roads Boy Scout, Calonder, Cedar Ridge, and Five Points North and South which converged there. (4)

The 1909 Dubuque City Directory gave the address for this business as 526-528 BANK AND INSURANCE BUILDING.

The 1911-12 Dubuque City Directory listed 524-528 Bank and Insurance Building.

The 1916-1917 White's Dubuque County Directory listed 314 SECURITY BUILDING as the address.



1. Kruse, Len. "French Settlement Turns Into Irish Five Points," Telegraph Herald, October 21, 1997, p. 7

2. Anderson, Grant T. "The Politics of Land in Dakota Territory: Early Skirmishes--1857-1861," South Dakota State Historical Society, 1979. Online: http://www.sdhspress.com/journal/south-dakota-history-9-3/the-politics-of-land-in-dakota-territory-early-skirmishesa1857-1861/vol-09-no-3-the-politics-of-land-in-dakota-territory.pdf

3. "Historic Sioux Falls," City of Sioux Falls, Online: http://www.siouxfalls.org/contactus/city/history

4. Kruse