"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.

FUERSTE, William

From Encyclopedia Dubuque
Jump to: navigation, search
Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald
FUERSTE, William. (Proctor, MN, Jan. 25, 1923--Dubuque, IA, Mar. 25, 2011). William Fuerste's family settled in Dubuque in 1930, following residences in St. Louis, Mo.; Proctor, Minn.; and Chicago, related to the medical practice and specialty training in eye, ear, nose and throat of Frederick Fuerste, William's father. (1)

William graduated from DUBUQUE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL in 1940. He attended the UNIVERSITY OF DUBUQUE and the University of Iowa before joining the military during WORLD WAR II. (2) His sea duty was in the Atlantic on the Destroyer Escort USS Sutton.

Fuerste returned to the University of Iowa and received his bachelor's degree in 1945. In 1947 he graduated with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law. (3) He was in the first class of returning veterans graduated and admitted to the Iowa Bar based totally on post-war courses in the law college. He married Margaret Welch, a native of Dubuque, on July 2, 1949.

An eloquent lawyer known for quoting Oliver Wendell Holmes and William Shakespeare in court, Fuerste's legal specialty was civil litigation. (4) In 1948 he first practiced law in Dubuque with Robert Clewell, becoming a partner in the firm of Clewell, Cooney and Fuerste in 1965. In 1965 he formed a partnership with Allan J. CAREW that developed by 1989 into the firm of Fuerste, Carew, Coyle, Juergens and Sudmeier. (5)

Fuerste served in various positions of presidency and committee chairmanship in his state and local bar associations and was a peer-elected Fellow and past chairman of the Iowa Chapter of the American College of Trial Lawyers. During his active trial career, he was listed in the publication "The Best Lawyers in America," first in 1983, and annually thereafter, as one of the 14 Iowa lawyers peer-rated as most excelling in the practice category of civil litigation.

Fuerste served as a member of the Dubuque Symphony Board and Rotarians.

Upon his death, friends and colleagues gathered in the third-floor North Courtroom to honor his memory. At the end of the meeting, a letter was opened that Fuerste had written to be read only after his death. In it he urged lawyers to be collegial at all times regardless of the circumstances. He closed with Polonius speaking to his son Laertes in Shakespeare's "Hamlet" saying "Farewell: my blessing season this in thee." (6)



1. McDermott, Brad. "Fuerste, Fifty Years in Law Practice, Shuns Spotlight," Telegraph Herald, December 1, 1997, p. 1. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19971201&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Ullrich,, Kurt, "Friends Gather to Praise Fuerste," Telegraph Herald, April 15, 2011, p. 5

5. Ibid.

6. Ullrich