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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.


From Encyclopedia Dubuque
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Letterhead. Photo courtesy: Cathy's Treasures, 156 Main, Dubuque
Shipping Crew. Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
PETER J. SEIPPEL LUMBER COMPANY. The company was organized in 1883 with Joseph A. MEUSER and Peter J. SEIPPEL operating in East Dubuque, Illinois. In 1897 the company was reorganized as Robinson and Seippel at 5 South Locust St. in Dubuque.

In 1907 the Seippel Company consolidated with the Meuser Brothers Company keeping the name of the Peter J. Seippel Lumber Company. Seippel was the company president and Meuser served as its treasurer. In 1928 upon the death of Seippel, Meuser became the president.

Ranked in 1909 among the largest employers in Dubuque, the Seippel Lumber Company sold more than 15 million feet of lumber annually. (1) Most of it was sawed in Stillwater, Minnesota. The company also maintained interests in Pacific coast timber. (2)

In 1911 the P.J. Seippel Lumber Company was the largest exclusively retail lumber yard in Dubuque. In contrast to other lumber companies which maintained a number of small yards scattered in small towns throughout their territory, the Seippel company had only one yard located in Dubuque. In its early days, the company also chose to buy its timber and have it sawed in the forests. It was then rafted to Dubuque at much less expense than when the rafts were made of logs. (3) The Seippel lumber yard constantly kept on hand from 50 million to 60 million feet of sawed lumber and annually shipped 25 million feet of lumber.

Timber cut to marketable size. Photo courtesy: Jim Massey

The Seippel Company, operating only a planing mill in Dubuque, employed more than two hundred workers. Specialties of the company were hardwood flooring and hardwoods for construction. Lumber, shipped all over the United States, was especially popular with jobbers in Chicago. The lumber was stored to season in lumber yards covering twenty-five acres.

In 1918 the company published The Gilt Edge Collection of Plans: Suggestions & A Guide for the Prospective Builder of a Practical, Convenient & Cheerful Home.

1976 advertisement. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Trade Card

The 1911-1912 Dubuque City Directory listed 203 S. Locust.

The 1915 through 1939 Dubuque City Directory listed the address as the corner of S. Locust and Dodge.

The 1957 through 1985 Dubuque City Directory listed 40 S. Locust.

Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
1910 Seippel advertisement booklet of 40 pages.
Pages in the advertisement booklet.
1913 publication
Image courtesy of Bob Reding



1. "The Sash and Door and Lumber Interests," Telegraph Herald, October 24, 1909, p. 31. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=h8JBAAAAIBAJ&sjid=0KkMAAAAIBAJ&pg=2102,5719481&dq=standard+lumber+company+dubuque&hl=en

2. Ibid.

3. "Are Dealers in Lumber," Times Journal, September 30, 1906, p. 19