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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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

ERNST, Daniel

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ERNST, Daniel. (Des Moines, IA,--). Ernst graduated from DUBUQUE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan Law School. From 1957 to 1960, he served on active duty as a Judge Advocate General for the US Air Force and several more years in the Air Force Reserves. He later served fifteen years in the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. Ernst maintained an active law practice in Iowa and Illinois until 1991 when Governor Vilsack appointed him to lead the First Public Defender Office for Allamakee, Clayton, Delaware and Dubuque counties.

In 2006, Ernst was appointed and served 12 years on the State Commission on Aging. He was a founding member of the Friends of the Mines of Spain and helped incorporate the non-profit, Children at Home. He served on several other boards including the Board of Governors of the Iowa Bar Association, Red Cross trustees, and the Mental Health Association. He was moderator at FIRST CONGREGATIONAL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, past president of the Dubuque County Bar Association and adjunct instructor at CLARKE COLLEGE.

During retirement, he obtained certification to counsel and assist veterans. Dan was a Democratic Central Committee member for many years with duties as a caucus leader and poll watcher. He wrote a book recalling the Waldena RockFest.

Ernst received the Governors Volunteer Award in 2001 and was inducted into the Democratic Hall of Fame in 2015.



Dubuque County Democrats. Online: http://www.dbqdemocrats.org/halloffameinductees.php#DanErnst