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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 Oatmeal powerhouse at 7th and Washington. Undated photo. Library of Congress.
DUBUQUE OATMEAL MILL. In 1882 the Dubuque Oatmeal Mill was founded with a capitalization of $35,000 by Julius K. GRAVES, William Christianson, Thomas Wallace, Henry L. STOUT, and Jesse P. FARLEY.

The mill was constructed on the corner of Seventh and Washington STREETS near a spur line of the CHICAGO, MILWAUKEE, AND ST. PAUL RAILROAD. The four-story brick building had six, 6-foot brick kilns on the first floor, an eight-stone grinding room on the second floor, three barley mills, a purifier and a cutting room on the third floor and a cleaning room on the top floor. Power was supplied from a one-story powerhouse with a 150-horsepower steam generator.

The first barrel of Acme Oatmeal was shipped on October 20, 1882. Production continued through the 1880s with milling of up to two hundred barrels of oatmeal daily.

The company went out of business before 1889 and the building was taken over by the UNITED STATES ELECTRIC LIGHT AND POWER COMPANY. A one-story building was added to the south wall of the original powerhouse to house the company's three power-generating dynamos. In 1892 this was purchased by the STAR ELECTRIC COMPANY. The factory was used as a furniture and household good warehouse and then by MARTIN-STRELAU Company (THE). Later still the building was used to store doors for CARDCO.

The 1884-1885 Dubuque City Directory listed 7th and Washington as the address.

The 1886-87 Dubuque City Directory listed the northeast corner of 7th and Washington.



Historic American Buildings Survey, National Park Service, 1988