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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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Photo Courtesy: Telegraph Herald
MARKELL, DARROW AND COMPANY. According to the 1857-1858 Dubuque City Directory, this bank was located at 131 Main Street. The New York correspondent of this bank was the American Exchange Bank.

By November, 1860 H. Markell was advertising itself as the successor.

In January, 1868 creditors of H. Markell were of the opinion that his business failure had been the result of "adverse circumstances." Poor investments including grain, a Missouri land investment, and investments in property here had been made in an effort to recover money owed. He had also suffered a heavy financial loss in the failure of Ketchum & Son, once one of the largest banking houses in New York City. In the last two days of bank business, an estimated $28,000 had been legitimately been paid out. Markell declared that he would pay all of his debts. (1) Among his assets was a deed to 3,200 acres of land in Edwards County, Texas. The property remained in the control of Dubuque residents who were creditors of the bank. In 1891, Edward W. Duncan purchased the property for one dollar an acre and was immediately offered ten dollars. It was not mentioned that he sold. (2)

He apparently made good on his debts. In January, 1878 he was elected to the Board of Managers of the DUBUQUE ART ASSOCIATION. (3) At the Fourth War Republican caucus in 1882, Markell served as chairperson and was appointed one of twenty delegates to the county and township conventions. (4)



1. "Another Meeting of Markell's Creditors," The Herald, January 14, 1868, p. 4

2. "In Democratic Texas," The Herald, March 4, 1891, p. 4

3. "Dubuque Art Association," The Daily Herald, January 11, 1878, p. 4

4. "Local Politics," The Dubuque Herald, October 19, 1882, p. 4