"SHSI Certificate of Recognition"
"Best on the Web"

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.


From Encyclopedia Dubuque
Jump to: navigation, search
Photo courtesy: City of Dubuque
JUSTMANN, C. Robert (Dubuque, IA--Poulsbo, WA, Oct. 28, 2010). MAYOR. Justmann left high school at the age of sixteen to join the Army. He served in Europe and Africa during WORLD WAR II. Returning to Dubuque in 1945, he attended the UNIVERSITY OF DUBUQUE and then entered the Air Force in 1950 as a military officer. He served as a liaison engineer and linguist and a United States Department consultant for the West German embassy. (1)

After an absence from the city for twenty-two years, Justmann returned to Dubuque. He worked as an investment executive with Shearson, Hayden, Stone Inc., taught political science and economics, and served as alumni director at the University of Dubuque. Justmann served one term on the city council including a year as mayor in 1975. (2)

During his term of mayor, Justmann and the city council city offered residents living along CATFISH CREEK the opportunity to voluntarily seek annexation and then hook up to city sewer lines. Their faulty septic system had contributed to pollution problems. (3) They also defended their decision to hire a lobbyist for Dubuque projects in Des Moines. (4) In February the council gave itself the power to postpone building demolitions in seven older neighborhoods for up to ninety days. Justmann credited the ordinance with "being a vehicle to conserve the dwindling supply of inner-city dwelling units through renovation. (5) West 4th Street was designated an historically significant area and it was proposed that a non-profit corporation be established by neighborhood property owners along the lines of the Washington Neighborhood Improvement Corporation to develop a plan to upgrade the area. The council also took steps to implement a recommendation of the Mayor's Industrial Committee to sell portions of a 25-acre parcel in the industrial park to United Parcel Service and Iowa Coaches. This land was on the eastern side of Kerper Blvd. just north of the Wm C. Brown Publishing Company and the last remaining large tract in the park. (6) Early in his term, Justmann asked the council for permission to investigate ways of reducing the time of its deliberations. These were presented in May. (7)

Justmann championed city beautification. It was announced in January 1975 that the city council wanted to establish housing rehabilitation loans and had approved an application for a $25,000 federal grant to sponsor fine arts programs in the city's neighborhoods. Entitled "City Spirit," the program was sponsored by the National Endowment for the arts and was led locally by the mayor and the DUBUQUE ARTS COUNCIL. (8) In February he called for ideas from civic organizations. (9) In April, 1965 a civic project to plant, paint, and build began. Scheduled to last for weeks, the work would focused on twenty-five public areas. A financial boost was offered in what was called the "World's Largest Garage Sale" at the Dubuque County Fair Grounds. (10) planning began for AVON PARK. The controversial statue CONTINUUM was installed near the TOWN CLOCK PLAZA. On September 16, 1975 the council, against the advice of city staff, agreed to include captains and lieutenants in the collective bargaining group. Caught up in the bicentennial fever, the Dubuque City Council supported the idea of painting the JULIEN DUBUQUE BRIDGE red, white, and blue and the city accepted the offer of Jackson MARSHALL of land to establish a park. (11) A member of several arts groups, Justmann was instrumental in reviving the FARMERS' MARKET. (12)

After leaving city government, Justmann was one of the mayors who supported the FIVE FLAGS CIVIC CENTER. (13)

Other events to occur during his term as mayor can be found entering the date "1975" in the search feature of this encyclopedia.



1. Telegraph Herald (online) Oct. 31, 2010

2. Ibid.

3. Griffin, Suzanne, "Annexation is Council's Catfish Solution," Telegraph Herald, September 3, 1975, p. 27

4. Fyten, David and Stephen Good, "Officials Defend City's Hiring of Special Lobbyist," Telegraph Herald, January 27, 1975, p. 1

5. Fyten, David, "Ordinance to Delay Some Building Demolitions," Telegraph Herald, February 11, 1975, p. 20

6. Fyten, David, " Council Moves to Sell Industrial Park Plats," Telegraph Herald, August 7, 1973, p. 5

7. "Mayor's Ideas to Tighten Agenda," Telegraph Herald, May 16, 1975, p. 9

8. Fyten, David," Council Wants to Establish Housing Rehabilitation Loans, Telegraph Herald, January 28, 1975, p. 11

9. "City Beautification Ideas Aired," Telegraph Herald, February 9, 1975, p. 19

10. Fyten, David, "'Garage Sale' Boosts Beautification Effort," Telegraph Herald, April 27, 1975, p. 27

11. "City Expected to Accept Donation of 50-Acre Tract for New Parkland, Telegraph Herald, May 12 1975, p. 4

12. Fyten, David, "They Grow It All for You," Telegraph Herald, October 10, 1982, p. 6

13. "Ex-Mayors Back Five Flags," Telegraph Herald, August 13, 1976