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


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KEY CITY GUN CLUB. This organization was first mentioned in the 1870s.

Prizes were offered to members of the club for winning competitions. In April an oil painting went to the winner who hit 24 out of 30 glass balls. (1) Following the contest, a dance for club members and their wives was held at the LORIMIER HOUSE. (2)

Competitions were important events. On May 24, 1878 the Dubuque club competed in Independence, Iowa against their gun club. "Comfortable seats in the shade" were arranged for spectators of the friendly match in which there were no prizes. (3) The Key City Gun Club traveled to Ainsworth Springs on July 4, 1878 to complete for a prize medal. (4) In July 1878 a shooting contest was held by club members at the foot of 6th Street. The Wormood silver medal was won from Charles Gregorie by Fred Miller. If Miller could retain it during three contests, he would be named the champion shot of the club. (5)

Competitions were also held as benefits. Volunteers working for the HOME FOR THE FRIENDLESS operated a refreshment stand and received revenue from seating in the grandstand at a meet held in July, 1878. (6) In August 1878 the Key City Gun Club challenged the DUBUQUE SHOOTING SOCIETY to a match with glass balls at the DUBUQUE DRIVING PARK. Twelve members of each club would participate. The expenses of the competition would be evenly divided with the proceeds being given to the Home for the Friendless. (7)

New Year's Day, 1885 witnessed trap shooting using black birds by the club on the levee. (8) A second competition using live birds was held in March. (9)



1. "Key City Gun Club"Dubuque Herald, April 25, 1878, p. 4

2. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, April 26, 1878, p. 4

3. "Dubuque vs Independence," Dubuque Herald, May 19, 1878, p. 4

4. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, June 21, 1878, p. 4

5. "Key City Gun Club," Dubuque Herald, July 10, 1878, p. 4

6. "A Day's Sport," Dubuque Herald, July 28, 1878, p. 4

7. "Challenge," Dubuque Herald, August 3, 1878, p. 4

8. "Trap Shooting," The Dubuque Herald, January 3, 1885, p. 4

9. "Shooting Match," The Dubuque Herald, March 31, 1885, p. 4