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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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JOHN HARTIG. The 1880 Census lists John Hartig,, 43 years old at the time, as a gunsmith and having been born in Prussia. His shop was located on the SW corner of 5th and Iowa in Dubuque. His residence was upstairs as of 1892. His wife was Ida and his children were Clara and Edward, born in 1871.

John made about 6 guns a year for a couple of decades, so there may be very few still out there. A picture of John and most of the guns he made for his friends hangs at the DUBUQUE SHOOTING SOCIETY on Hwy 52.

John’s father was Julius Hartig, also a gunsmith born in Prussia in 1811; he was married to Augusta. Julius and Augusta had another son, Richard, who was born in 1852. He was a printer and my great grandfather. He died in a tragic duck hunting accident near Green Island in 1882. Several other prominent Dubuquers died that day when the weather turned brutal and their boat capsized.

Richard’s wife Ida raised their two children (my Grandfather, Albert J. HARTIG and my Aunt Olga) alone for a few years before she died suddenly at age 32. Then Edward Hartig and Hulda Kempf Hartig raised the children. AJ became a pharmacist through his studies at Northwestern University and Olga, first became a teacher and later one of the first female pharmacists in Iowa.

The 1859-1860 through 1873-74 Dubuque City Directory listed the south side of 5th between Main and Iowa.

The 1874-1875 Dubuque City Directory stated that this business was located at 218 5th.

The 1875-1876 through 1880 Dubuque City Directory placed the business at 278 5th.

The 1884-1885 through 1890-91 Dubuque City Directory listed the southwest corner of 5th and Iowa as the address.

The 1899-1900 through 1915 Dubuque City Directory gave 286 5th as the address.



e-mail, Richard J. Hartig, March 26, 2013