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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
MASTERPOLE, Kathleen. (Fort Madison, IA-- ). Masterpole began her college career studying journalism at the University of Iowa. Within three months, however, she had changed her major to political science. She entered the University of Iowa College of Law three years later. (1)

Masterpole moved to Dubuque upon graduation and served as a clerk for Iowa Supreme Court Justice Francis H. BECKER. When he moved his offices to Des Moines, Masterpole returned to Iowa City to work in a firm for which she had clerked while in law school. She moved back to Dubuque and became the first assistant county attorney in Dubuque history. (2)

Particularly interested in prosecuting drunk driving cases, she convinced County Attorney Michael Sylvester MCCAULEY to purchase a videotape machine. She claimed using the machine to record suspects when they were brought into the sheriff's office often led to later confessions. (3)

In 1972 Masterpole was a member of the Dubuque County Crime Commission. (4) She served in 1973 as an attorney for a group of residents of the West Fourth Street neighborhood in opposition to a zoning change proposed for their area. (5) She was a popular speaker on topics related to women and the law.



1. Tauke, M. S. "The Gendarmes Call Her 'Queen Kate," Telegraph Herald, January 7, 1970, p. 22. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19700107&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Miller, Jim, "Three Projects Pegged for Anti-Crime Funds," Telegraph HeraldItalic text, January 27, 1972, p. 6

5. Fyten, David, "Fourth Streets Residents Battle Zoning Change," Telegraph Herald, March 22, 1973, p. 1