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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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Photo courtesy: Jim Massey

JOHN ERNDSDORFF IRON COMPANY. Established in 1889 as a successor to the Westphal and Hinds Hardware Company's heavy hardware department, the company chiefly supplied large carriage makers, wagon manufacturers, and blacksmiths throughout the Midwest with iron and steel products. The company also maintained an inventory of between 200,000 and 300,000 feet of hard and soft wagon lumber.

In 1910 an account in the Telegraph Herald stated that the Ernsdorf Company sold and distributed over its territory a greater tonnage of business every year than was shipped out of any other city in the state of Iowa or out of any city on the MISSISSIPPI RIVER between St. Paul and St. Louis.

The company specialized in blacksmiths', wagonmakers', horseshoers', and machinists' supplies. Every item any of these fields needed was carried in stock. Oak, hickory, ash and other hardwoods were carried in large stock at all times.

The firm was located in a six story brick building at Jones and Main STREETS, the foundry building of the Dubuque Brass Works, and the former Harvey and Campbell factory. Company employment stood at forty excluding the salesmen, warehouse workers, and those working in the shipping department. The company's territory included Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, Missouri, Montana, and the Dakotas.

The 1911-12 Dubuque City Directory listed s Main and the sw corner of Jones.



"Ernsdorf Iron Company is as Old as Manufacturing History of City," Telegraph Herald, Feb. 9, 1910

Letterhead. Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Neverslip, a product sold by the company