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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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FANNING, James. (Queens County, Ireland--Dubuque, IA, May 3, 1857). MAYOR. One of the first residents of the area, Fanning emigrated to the United States in 1810 and came to Dubuque in 1833. (1) He and his brother, Timothy FANNING operated the first HORSE FERRY between Dubuque and Boat Yard Hollow. (2) His skill in repairing machinery was highly prized. In 1837 he was appointed by the President of the United States to be appointed a County Commissioner. (3) In June, 1837 Scott & Taylor, retail grocers, opened for business in a building Fanning constructed on Main Street. (4)

Fanning served as mayor of Dubuque in 1843. During his term of office, the city government was involved in the following: 1) new bridges were built on Bluff, Main, Iowa, Clay, Locust and White streets and Lorimier Hollow; 2) the council resolved itself into a board of health for the suppression of SMALLPOX; 3) it was necessary to dig drains from Bluff street to the slough across Locust, Alain, Iowa, Clay and White streets on Eighth; and 4) an ordinance prohibiting the opening of saloons and stores on Sunday was rejected in June, 1843: ayes — Fanning and Ogilby ; nays — Thedinga, Morhiser and Sleator. (5)



1. "Died," Express and Herald, May 13, 1857, p. 3

2. "Methodism in the New World," Dubuque Sunday Herald, May 9, 1897, p. 10

3. "Died,"

4. "New Store," Iowa News, September 9, 1837, p. 2

5. Oldt, Franklin T. History of Dubuque County, Iowa. Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880 http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/franklin-t-oldt/history-of-dubuque-county-iowa-being-a-general-survey-of-dubuque-county-histor-tdl/page-8-history-of-dubuque-county-iowa-being-a-general-survey-of-dubuque-county-histor-tdl.shtml