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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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PHEASANTS. One of the nation's most popular game birds, pheasants were introduced to this country from Europe. In 1910 the most costly rail car of livestock was carried by the CHICAGO AND NORTH WESTERN RAILROAD from Chicago to the Iowa State Fair. The shipment valued at $25,000 was part of 15,000 English pheasants purchased from Wallace Evans of Oak Park, Illinois for its stocking program. (1) The first consignment of the birds to the Dubuque area was made in October 1913 when 150 English pheasants were released into the brush and timber at NEW MELLERAY MONASTERY. (2)

The birds came from the State Fish and Game Warden Elmer Hinshaw through the efforts of the DUBUQUE GUN CLUB. Club members had invited Hinshaw to Dubuque several months earlier to survey the natural conditions. A game preserve was established with the cooperation of many and owners who promised to protect the birds from poachers and to provide the birds with food over the winter. (3)

The birds and their young were not to be hunted for five years. Poachers were to be fined $100 for each bird in their possession. Additional pheasants were to be released along with 300-400 Hungarian partridges. (4)

In 1927 the county superintendent of schools announced that 500 pheasant eggs would be distributed to winners of the sixth grade poultry and potato projects. (5)



1. "Car of Pheasants For Iowa Hunters," Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, August 31, 1910, p. 12

2. "Game Preserve at Mellery Assured," Telegraph-Herald, October 26, 1913, p. 8

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. "Pheasant Eggs to Arrive This Month," Telegraph-Herald and Times-Journal, May 5, 1927, p. 8