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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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Family History: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=huppe&id=I48813

Edward Langworthy. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Gravestone in Linwood Cemetery
LANGWORTHY, Edward. (St. Lawrence Co., NY, Aug. 3, 1808--Dubuque, IA, Jan. 5, 1893). The third son of Dr. Stephen Langworthy, Edward and the rest of the family moved to Pennsylvania in 1815. Several years later, they all moved again to Diamond Grove, Illinois. James, Lucius and Edward again moved to the LEAD mines of Galena, Illinois. In 1830 James and Lucius settled in the pioneer community of Dubuque. Edward joined them the following February. (1)

In September 1832, Langworthy may have constructed one of the first houses in the future site of Dubuque along West Locust. (1) One of many eager miners, Langworthy and his brothers James LANGWORTHY and Lucius Hart LANGWORTHY were driven from the region in November of that year by soldiers from Prairie du Chien who had the responsibility of keeping whites east of the MISSISSIPPI RIVER.

Dubuque City Directory, 1857-1858. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

Langworthy returned to the Iowa side of the river in April 1833 and built several homes and many stores. In 1836 he attended a railroad convention in Madison, Wisconsin and was an early advocate for constructing a railway from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River. (2) Elected town trustee, county commissioner, and a member of the legislature for three sessions, Langworthy was also a member of the constitutional convention in 1844 when he proposed to exclude "negroes" from the state and to abolish the grand jury system. Neither idea passed. Langworthy helped create a claims system for the sale of mineral lands which was adopted by the public land office. (3)

As a city alderman, Langworthy helped establish schools, factories, and a street railway system. He also supported street and road improvements. Following the PANIC OF 1857, he became a stockholder and director of the FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF DUBUQUE. (4) He was also involved in the business of the NORWEGIAN PLOW COMPANY until the time of his death. (5)

In 1856-1857, John Francis RAGUE, a famous architect, designed the Edward and Pauline Langworthy home which was constructed in OCTAGON STYLE ARCHITECTURE. At the time of his death, Langworthy's personal assets totaled $170,000 making him the wealthiest of the brothers. (3)



1. "In Honored Age," Dubuque Daily Herald, January 5, 1893, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=_OG5zn83XeQC&dat=18930105&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

2. Gibson, Michael D. "Part II-Dubuque's First Family: The Langworthys," Julien's Journal, August 2013, p. 40

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. "In Honored Age."

Hudson, David; Bergman, Marvin; Horton, Loren. The Biographical Dictionary of Iowa. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2008

Oldt, Franklin T. History of Dubuque County, Iowa. Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880, p. 827-828

"Edward Langworthy," Linwood Legacies. Online: http://www.linwoodlegacies.org/edward-langworthy.html