"SHSI Certificate of Recognition"
"Best on the Web"

Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

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


From Encyclopedia Dubuque
Jump to: navigation, search

FISCHER, WHEELER AND COMPANY. Henry WHEELER came to Dubuque in 1865. James CUSHING sold his interest in CUSHING, FISCHER & COMPANY that year to H. Ripon to focus on the vinegar business. The new company; Fischer, Wheeler and Company, dealers in pure lake ice; was located at the corner of Third and Iowa STREETS. (1) Wheeler was the manager with Louis FISCHER his partner.

In 1876 the company leased ZOLLICOFFER'S LAKE for ICE HARVESTING. The company maintained an ice house at the site and visitors aboard the ferryboat "Key City" were able to see the loading of ice onto another ship on May 11, 1876. Ice harvested by the company was sold locally and exported to cities like Davenport.

The Dubuque Herald carried news on December 21, 1877 that Fischer, Wheeler and Company had received an order for one hundred car loads of ice from St. Louis. (2)

In January, 1885 the company had 250 men and 40 teams involved in cutting ice. Of these, one hundred were working at Zollicoffer's Lake. The firm already had 5,000 tons of ice, sixteen inches thick being stored. An estimated 150 men and 40 teams were involved in filling the ice houses at the foot of Third Street. Workers were also involved in filling 300 railroad cars with ice for destinations between Dubuque and Cairo, Illinois. An order of 1,000 tons was to be shipped to Jackson, Mississippi and an equal amount to Cairo, Illinois. The company estimated that at the finish of the ice harvest an estimated 25,000 tons of ice would be placed in storage. (3)

Teams were paid $3.00 daily with laborers earning from $1.25 to $1.50.

The 1867 through 1873-74 Dubuque City Directory stated that this business was located at the northeast corner of Iowa and 3rd.

The 1874-1875 and 1875-1876 Dubuque City Directory stated that this business was located at 332 Iowa.

The 1878-79 Dubuque City Directory listed the corner of 3rd and Iowa.

In the 1880 city directory the address was given as the northeast corner of Julien and Bluff.



1. "On Ice Again," Dubuque Herald, January 5, 1873, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18730105&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

2. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, December 21, 1877, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18771221&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

3. "The Ice Harvest," The Dubuque Herald, January 16, 1885, p. 4