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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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Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald
FROMMELT, Leo. (Dubuque, IA-Dubuque, Ia, June 8, 1995). While attending Saint Mary's High School, Frommelt worked in the mailroom and as a newspaper carrier for the Dubuque Times Journal. He took a position as bookkeeper for the Clayton Brick and Tile Company after graduation in 1922. He worked as auditor for the huge MEUSER LUMBER COMPANY in the mid-1920s.

In the late 1930s Frommelt became the deputy county recorder, a position he held for seven years. After a series of jobs in private industry, Frommelt succeeded J. J. Shea as Dubuque city clerk in 1955. Over the following twenty-two years, he swore in 25 Dubuque city councilmen, served under 20 mayors, worked for two city managers and during a four and one-half month period in 1960 between the terms of city managers Laverne SCHILTZ and Gilbert D. CHAVENELLE, Frommelt headed the city administration.

As the official secretary to the city council, Frommelt was responsible for recording all motions and all votes. He made sure the right councilmen signed the right paper and the right department heads were given the right directives. It was also be duty to made sure federal and state communications were properly routed.

Frommelt was granted retirement by the city council after twenty-four years of service as city clerk. Considered an expert on bonding procedures, Frommelt also administered most city licensing and served as the official secretary for the city council and clerk for the Civil Service Commission. Frommelt's office was responsible for city voter registration and elections until 1972. His tenure in city government saw Dubuque's greatest years of growth.

For his years of public service to Dubuque, Frommelt was the recipient of the FIRST CITIZEN AWARD in 1978 from the TELEGRAPH HERALD.



Buckley, John, "Leo F. Frommelt--"First Citizen," Telegraph Herald, December 29, 1977, p. 13