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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Peter Olinger. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
OLINGER, Peter. (Luxembourg, June 11, 1854--Dubuque, IA, July 29, 1904). MAYOR. Olinger was elected mayor of Dubuque in 1894 capping a political career that began in 1892 with his election as alderman from the Third Ward. One of his first suggestions was to encourage "economy" in city affairs. He was opposed to any further road repairs in which grading cost more than $100 per block. (1) Newspaper accounts of his tenure as mayor celebrated his administration's fiscal soundness in which $60,000 of city indebtedness was repaid. His term also saw such civic improvements as increased brick paving and expanded sanitary connections.

Olinger migrated to the United States in 1871 and came directly to Dubuque. After eighteen months as a farm hand, he moved to the city and began a livery business that he maintained for fifteen years. In 1877 he also opened a saloon and grocery store on the corner of Clay and 17th Street. (2)

In 1891 Olinger sold his livery business but retained his interest in buying and selling horses. (3) He owned the celebrated horse "Keno F."



1. "An Era of Economy," Dubuque Daily Herald, May 17, 1892, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=_OG5zn83XeQC&dat=18920517&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

2. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, April 6, 1877, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18770406&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

3. "Peter Olinger Sells Out," Dubuque Daily Herald, March 13, 1891, p. 4

Oldt, Franklin. History of Dubuque County, Iowa. Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880, p. 855

Portrait and Biographical Record of Dubuque, Jones and Clayton Counties, Iowa. Chicago: Chapman Publishing Company, 1894, p. 128