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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.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

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


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

M. MOBLEY'S EXCHANGE AND BANKING HOUSE. The successor to the MINERS' BANK, the institution was purchased by Mordecai MOBLEY and renamed. He was twenty-one years of age at the time. (1) A rumor about the bank caused a heavy run on deposits on September 11, 1857, by the German and Irish population which held his certificates of deposit. Ironically he had once been hired by Dr. Richard Barrett and Thomas Mather, principal owners of the Miners' Bank to examine its financial condition. (2)

A rumor against the M. Mobley bank on September 11, 1857 caused a heavy run on its deposits. In response to the withdrawals, forty of the most prominent businessmen, worth nearly $4 million, in the city pledged themselves to sustain "his entire ability to redeem any promise or other pecuniary liability at call." (3)

The bank closed in December, 1857. It was succeeded by J. K. GRAVES AND COMPANY. (4) Mobley issued an announcement stating that his assets in the amount of over $100,000 over all liabilities would be turned over to his creditors if they desired. He would retain only enough to feed and clothe his family. All creditors would be paid in full. The announcement came at a time when the money market in Dubuque was already heavily depressed. (5)

Mobley was able to reopen his bank in May, 1858. (6)

The 1858-1859 Dubuque City Directory listed 60 Main.



1. "Pioneer Dead," The Dubuque Herald, December 10, 1898, p. 15

2. Hayes, Nathaniel S. History of the Disciples of Christ in Illinois 1819-1914. Cincinnati: Standard Publishing Company, 1915 p. 573 Online: https://books.google.com/books?id=N68weNmW8lEC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=Mobley&f=false

3. Oldt, Franklin T. and Patrick J. Quigley. History of Dubuque County, Iowa. Chicago: Goodspeed Historical Association., p. 120

4. "Pioneer Dead..."

5. Oldt. p. 121

6. Ibid.