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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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GNIFFKE, Henry (Danzig, Western Prussia, Mar. 21, 1833--Dubuque, IA, Jan. 22, 1915). Gniffke's father was the owner of the largest exporting business in northern Europe--a business with five hundred employees. At the age of seventeen, Henry joined his father in the business. Despite his success, he came to the United States in 1850 and learned the printing business in the office of the Newburyport Herald. He worked at his trade in Boston and Cambridge before moving to Iowa and settling in Dubuque in May 1856.

He found employment with "The Northwest" published locally, but in August, Gniffke established the DUBUQUE NATIONAL DEMOKRAT. He wrote editorials for sixty year on a desk given to him by his employees. By 1873 the Demokrat was the only German publication in Dubuque County and the oldest of seven in Iowa.

In the fall of 1859, Mr. Gniffke was elected to the State Legislature in 1859-1860 and served during the regular session and during the extra war session. He was a member of the board of education for ten years years.



"Pioneer Resident Goes to His Reward," Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, January 23 1915, p. 6