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Encyclopedia Dubuque



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Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Front of trade card.Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
JAMES BEACH AND SONS. The successor of the DUBUQUE LARD-OIL, SOAP, AND CANDLE FACTORY, James Beach and Sons were operated by James BEACH, Edward J. Beach and Charles B. Beach. The company manufactured laundry and toilet soaps with such leading brands as "North West," "World," "Peosta," and "White Castile."

In 1891 the company constructed a large brick three-story building on the southwest corner of South Locust and Dodge streets.(Years later this building was used by A.Y.MCDONALD MANUFACTURING COMPANY). Three huge kettles cooked, steamed, and boiled the soap for six days. In 1906 new machinery was purchased make soap powder. This made the company the first soap powder mill in Iowa. Oils including musk, geranium, and jasmine were shipped to Dubuque by railroad in tank cars. Salesmen traveled nationwide advertising the company's products with free samples.

According to the History of Dubuque County, the company had annual revenues of nearly $50,000. The company produced over 10,000 boxes of soap; 3,500 molded candles; and between 300 and 500 barrels of lard-oil.

Back of trade card
Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Company stationery.
Originally this was the James Beach and Sons Company Factory and Warehouse--57 South Locust. Library of Congress.
Packing container. Photo courtesy: Diane Harris

The 1886-87 Dubuque City Directory listed the corner of Locust and Dodge.

The 1915 Dubuque City Directory listed 207 S. Locust as the company address.

Sanborn Fire map of the company. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding