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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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GIERKE-ROBINSON COMPANY. The Gierke Robinson company was formed in 1919 by E.W.C. Gierke and Arnold H. Robinson. Robinson represented several construction equipment manufacturers. Gierke was selling oxygen and acetylene cutting and welding tools as a representative of Searchlight Co., a forerunner to Air Reduction Corp., Chicago.

It was the beginning of large scale road-building across the country and construction equipment distributors were rare. In 1924, the two men leased facilities in Davenport, Iowa and became true distributors, creating and maintaining their own inventory. Originally, five companies were represented.

In 1927, they invested $5,000 and formed Arnold-Ervin Co. as early distributors of General Electric refrigerators and Atwater Kent radios. Two years later they sold the Arnold-Ervin Co. for $25,000, helping the firm survive the GREAT DEPRESSION.

The firm grew and prospered. In 1957, Gierke purchased Robinson's interest. Founder Gierke died in 1964 and Robinson in 1969. Glen E. Gierke joined the company in 1949 and became owner of the firm in 1964. Glen E. Gierke, Jr., joined the company in the mid-1970s. Terry Kilburg purchased the company in 2012.

The company shifted from heavy construction equipment to light construction equipment. One of the primary focuses of the business became equipment used to prepare, place, finish, saw or cure concrete. The company also had extensive expertise in pumps, mixers, hydraulics and industrial fittings.

Branch offices were opened in Dubuque, Iowa (1970), Waterloo, Iowa (1977), Bettendorf, Iowa (1989) and Iowa City, Iowa (1996). In 2014 the company had 35 employees.



Gierke-Robinson Company. Online: http://business.dubuquechamber.com/list/member/gierke-robinson-company-dubuque-3291

The 1972 and 1974 Dubuque City Directory listed 110 Bryant.

The 1980 through 1993 Dubuque City Directory listed Highway 20 West.