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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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LANGWORTHY, Lucius Hart. (Lawrence Co., NY, l807--Dubuque, IA, June 30, 1865). Businessman. Langworthy, one of Iowa's first settlers, in an article entitled" A Vision" first used the word "Iowa" to name the new territory west of the MISSISSIPPI RIVER. With his brother James, Lucius had canoed west across the Mississippi in June 1830, three years before any other settlement in what would become Iowa.

Langworthy constructed the first frame house and first school in Iowa and served in the Territorial Legislature of Wisconsin that met at Burlington. He was appointed Dubuque's first sheriff in 1834 and owned an interest in the DUBUQUE VISITOR. Greatly interested in RAILROADS, Langworthy was one of the delegates who traveled to Washington to obtain a grant for the Pacific Railroad, a line in which he was an original incorporator. As an historian, he recorded much of the early history of the area.