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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.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

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


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IOWA INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND ARTS. Located in the FACADE BUILDING, the Institute in 1874 was featuring the work of taxidermist Thomas Dangerfield. He had been employed for "several months" preparing exhibits of every bird and animal found in Iowa. (1) Asa HORR was elected the organization's president in 1868 and was still in that office in 1874. (2)

In 1877 the Institute hosted a lecture on the metric system which the Dubuque Herald declared would become "universal due to its efficiency and simplicity. (3) In May the Institute appointed a committee to investigate the milk being sold locally. It was thought the milk was too thin. (4)

On January 3, 1879 the members met to consider the continuance or reorganization of the group. (5) The members decided to hold occasional meetings at the homes of members. (6) In the February 20, 1880 issue of the Dubuque Herald, it was reported that individual members had established collections of their own and were considering the establishment of an academy. (7)

In 1896 the announcement was made that efforts were being made to reorganize the group. A temporary organization was formed with the election of Theodore RUETE as president and Richard HERRMANN as secretary. Committees were established with a plan to hold the next meeting at the call of the president. (8)

During the same year, the EARLY SETTLERS' ASSOCIATION OF DUBUQUE COUNTY (THE) and the Dubuque members of the Iowa Institute of Science and Arts met in the office of Philip PIER and the Julien Dubuque Monument Association was formed. Articles of incorporation were written and directors was elected including Patrick J. QUIGLEY, Theodore Ruete, Richard Hermann, Alexander SIMPLOT and Philip Pier. (9)

Continuing its interest in offering a lecture for the community, the organization hosted W. J. McGee, famed resident of Dubuque County, who was then involved in the Bureau of American Ethnology and curator of the Smithsonian Institute of Washington, D. C. It was expected that the lecture would be about geology and the ethnology of this part of the country. (10) The is the last mention of the organization to be found in local newspapers.



1. "The Art Institute," Dubuque Herald, May 17, 1874, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18740517&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

2. "Iowa Institute of Science and Arts," Dubuque Herald, May 27, 1874, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18740527&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

3. "The Metric System," Dubuque Herald, May 25, 1877, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18770525&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

4. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, May 29, 1877, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18770529&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

5. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, January 4, 1879, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18790104&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

6. "Arts and Sciences," Dubuque Herald, January 5, 1879, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18790105&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

7. "Local Science," Dubuque Herald, February 20, 1880, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18800220&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

8. "The Natural Sciences," Dubuque Herald, December 16, 1896, p. 8

9. "How the Remains of the Late Julien Dubuque Were Brought to Light After Seventy Years," Dubuque Telegraph Herald, April 24, 1910, p. 12

10. "Prof. W. J. McGee," Dubuque Herald, March 14, 1899, p. 8