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Encyclopedia Dubuque

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




KAMILLER, Fred

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Kamiller, Fred. (Dubuque, IA, June 1, 1872--Dubuque, IA, Jan. 26, 1952). Humorist. Kamiller enjoyed national popularity for many years as an after dinner speaker of the Will Rogers style. Although capable of speaking on many subjects, he often stressed closer relations and more cooperation between city people and farmers.

Kamiller began his career speaking before the Dubuque Rotary Club at an outdoor meeting on his dairy farm north of EAGLE POINT PARK along Shiras Avenue. His wit and wisdom, demonstrated for the first time, soon gained for him a regional audience. He often spoke before service clubs and chambers of commerce. Gradually his popularity spread nationwide; he was booked to speak before national conventions including several engagements in Canada.

Failing sight led Kamiller to give up his speaking engagements. A local farmer and cattle breeder, he lived his entire life in Dubuque except for three years in Logan, Colorado and a brief involvement in the Alaskan gold rush. In Dubuque, Kamiller held the presidencies of both the Chamber of Commerce and the Dubuque Rotary Club.