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Encyclopedia Dubuque

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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.




Difference between revisions of "STEWART, Robert W."

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STEWART, Robert W. (Dubuque, IA, July 6, 1855--Dubuque, IA, Sept. 15, 1905). [[MAYOR]]. Stewart served as mayor of Dubuque for two terms, from 1889 to 1891. Although elected to the office for a third term, he refused to continue his service and returned to his law practice. Stewart was also a director of the [[DUBUQUE TELEPHONE COMPANY]] and a general counsel to the Anamosa and Northwestern Railroad. In 1891 he experimented with clay from a property. Shipping it to Ohio, he had some success in manufacturing paving bricks. (1)
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STEWART, Robert W. (Dubuque, IA, July 6, 1855--Dubuque, IA, Sept. 15, 1905). [[MAYOR]]. Stewart served as the mayor of Dubuque for two terms, from 1889 to 1891. Although elected to the office for a third term, he refused to continue his service and returned to his law practice. Stewart was also a director of the [[DUBUQUE TELEPHONE COMPANY]] and a general counsel to the Anamosa and Northwestern Railroad. In 1891 he experimented with clay from a property. Shipping it to Ohio, he had some success in manufacturing paving bricks. (1)
  
 
In 1890 with the cooperation of Sheriff Phillips, Stewart ordered that all "tramps will be decorated with that heavy jewelry commonly called 'ball and chain' and put to work on the rock pile." The ''Dubuque Daily Herald'' commented that with the "hot weather and the new order of things, Dubuque will be somewhat sultry for the tramp fraternity." (2) On July 1st a new tramp law went into effect  
 
In 1890 with the cooperation of Sheriff Phillips, Stewart ordered that all "tramps will be decorated with that heavy jewelry commonly called 'ball and chain' and put to work on the rock pile." The ''Dubuque Daily Herald'' commented that with the "hot weather and the new order of things, Dubuque will be somewhat sultry for the tramp fraternity." (2) On July 1st a new tramp law went into effect  
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Taxation during his administration was reduced $22,000. (10)
 
Taxation during his administration was reduced $22,000. (10)
  
In his inaugural speech in April 1891, Stewart called for a financial system for the city saying that the council was "going it blind." There was no record of appropriations or liabilities which were incurred without knowing the financial condition of the treasury. He also called for more attention to the condition of the streets saying that limestone was not a proper material for this use. Granite blocks were his choice for heavy grades with brick used for level streets. He also believed the city should be divided into districts in which all the roads would be sprinkled during the summer to reduce dust. He also believed that those being granted franchises should be bound by the agreement to provide certain considerations to the city. (11)
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In his inaugural speech in April 1891, Stewart called for a financial system for the city saying that the council was "going it blind." During his administration there was no record of appropriations or liabilities which were incurred without knowing the financial condition of the treasury. He also called for more attention to the condition of the streets saying that limestone was not a proper material for this use. Granite blocks were his choice for heavy grades with brick used for level streets. He also believed the city should be divided into districts in which all the roads would be sprinkled during the summer to reduce dust. He believed that those being granted franchises should be bound by the agreement to provide certain considerations to the city. (11)
  
At the April 20, 1891 council meeting all property owners with standing water on their property were told to fill in the area or it would done by the city at the expense of the landowner. The mayor's salary was raised from $1,500 to $1,600.  The boast of [[RHOMBERG, Joseph A.|Joseph A. RHOMBERG]] that he had seven councilmen willing to grant him a franchise to building a streetcar line to Sageville proved false. The matter was tabled to sometime in the future. Filling Couler Avenue with streetcar tracks was not considered wise until Jackson Boulevard beyond Peru Road was opened for traffic. Uniforms for all appointive officers were to be ready within thirty days at the expense of the officers. Proper buttons were be provided by the city. Two aldermen were appoint to see whether any of the $100,000 appropriated by Congress for work on the [[ICE HARBOR]] was still available. (12)
+
At the April 20, 1891 council meeting all property owners with standing water on their property were told to fill in the area or it would done by the city at the expense of the landowner. The mayor's salary was raised from $1,500 to $1,600.  The boast of [[RHOMBERG, Joseph A.|Joseph A. RHOMBERG]] that he had seven councilmen willing to grant him a franchise to building a streetcar line to Sageville proved false. The matter was tabled to sometime in the future. Filling Couler Avenue with streetcar tracks was not considered wise until Jackson Boulevard beyond Peru Road was opened for traffic. Uniforms for all appointive officers were to be ready within thirty days at the expense of the officers. Proper buttons were be provided by the city. Two aldermen were appointed to see whether any of the $100,000 appropriated by Congress for work on the [[ICE HARBOR]] was still available. (12)
  
 
Stewart was commended for his attention to peddlers in town by increasing the cost of the license they were to purchase before doing business. (13)  
 
Stewart was commended for his attention to peddlers in town by increasing the cost of the license they were to purchase before doing business. (13)  

Latest revision as of 21:07, 16 May 2018

STEWART, Robert W. (Dubuque, IA, July 6, 1855--Dubuque, IA, Sept. 15, 1905). MAYOR. Stewart served as the mayor of Dubuque for two terms, from 1889 to 1891. Although elected to the office for a third term, he refused to continue his service and returned to his law practice. Stewart was also a director of the DUBUQUE TELEPHONE COMPANY and a general counsel to the Anamosa and Northwestern Railroad. In 1891 he experimented with clay from a property. Shipping it to Ohio, he had some success in manufacturing paving bricks. (1)

In 1890 with the cooperation of Sheriff Phillips, Stewart ordered that all "tramps will be decorated with that heavy jewelry commonly called 'ball and chain' and put to work on the rock pile." The Dubuque Daily Herald commented that with the "hot weather and the new order of things, Dubuque will be somewhat sultry for the tramp fraternity." (2) On July 1st a new tramp law went into effect

         providing that anyone sixteen years of age and over, going 
         about without a business or calling to maintain himself, 
         shall be deemed a tramp. He is to have five days of solitary
         confinement or ten days of hard labor. And it shall be unlawful
         for any sheriff or keeper of any jail to permit anyone convicted
         under this act to have or possess any tobacco, newspaper, cards
         or any other article of amusement or pastime, or to permit such
         person to be kept or fed otherwise than stated in the commitment;
         any sheriff or jailer who violates the provisions shall be
         submit to a fine of not exceeding $100 or less than $25. (3)
         

The city council debated the need for and finally the location of a new DUBUQUE COUNTY COURTHOUSE during Stewart's administration. Despite consideration for using them, both WASHINGTON PARK and JACKSON PARK were maintained for their original use.

The city modernized its public lighting and transportation systems beginning with the work of the DUBUQUE ELECTRIC RAILWAY, LIGHT AND POWER COMPANY.

Initial reports of the census of 1890 proved suspect when a population of only 30,000 was found. On June 20, 1890 an announcement was made that fifty men were needed for a recount of the population. (4)

Faced with a tie vote on whether to allow the DUBUQUE STREET RAILWAY COMPANY the right to construct a parallel streetcar line along Couler Avenue in competition with the one operated by Allen & Swiney, Stewart voted against the new construction. (5) Allen & Swiney were granted an extension of their time to install tracks on Dodge and Windsor until the city had reduced the grade. (6)

Experimenting with road surfaces faced the city council. Jasperite installation proved a problem which the seller, a Colonel Drake of Minneapolis, blamed on the contractor. Drake promised a bond in any amount to install one to ten blocks of streets with the material as cheap as brick and guarantee them for five years. The council responded by awarding a contract to Charles Steuck to install brick on Iowa Street between Second and Third at a price of $1.55 per square yard. Galesburg brick were laid on their sides, while Dubuque brick were laid flat. (7) Cedar blocks were laid in front of the Fifth Ward firehouse. (8)

In 1890 the council first considered the purchase of patent ballot boxes first exhibited during the last election. (9)

Taxation during his administration was reduced $22,000. (10)

In his inaugural speech in April 1891, Stewart called for a financial system for the city saying that the council was "going it blind." During his administration there was no record of appropriations or liabilities which were incurred without knowing the financial condition of the treasury. He also called for more attention to the condition of the streets saying that limestone was not a proper material for this use. Granite blocks were his choice for heavy grades with brick used for level streets. He also believed the city should be divided into districts in which all the roads would be sprinkled during the summer to reduce dust. He believed that those being granted franchises should be bound by the agreement to provide certain considerations to the city. (11)

At the April 20, 1891 council meeting all property owners with standing water on their property were told to fill in the area or it would done by the city at the expense of the landowner. The mayor's salary was raised from $1,500 to $1,600. The boast of Joseph A. RHOMBERG that he had seven councilmen willing to grant him a franchise to building a streetcar line to Sageville proved false. The matter was tabled to sometime in the future. Filling Couler Avenue with streetcar tracks was not considered wise until Jackson Boulevard beyond Peru Road was opened for traffic. Uniforms for all appointive officers were to be ready within thirty days at the expense of the officers. Proper buttons were be provided by the city. Two aldermen were appointed to see whether any of the $100,000 appropriated by Congress for work on the ICE HARBOR was still available. (12)

Stewart was commended for his attention to peddlers in town by increasing the cost of the license they were to purchase before doing business. (13)

Stewart resigned his position as mayor in June of 1891 citing the impact his elected office was having on his legal practice. A recent ordinance had called upon him to be present for three hours each morning at city hall. He had also refused to use any of the $100 appropriated by the council for travel to Cedar Rapids and felt the money should be be used for that purpose. (14)


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Source:

1. "Paving Brick in Dubuque," Dubuque Daily Herald, September 26, 1891, p. 4

2. "The Chain Gang to Boom," Dubuque Daily Herald, May 24, 1890, p. 4

3. "No More Soft Snaps," Dubuque Daily Herald, June 28, 1890, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=_OG5zn83XeQC&dat=18900628&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

4. "Relative to the Census," Dubuque Daily Herald, June 20, 1890 p. 4

5. "Getting Rid of Gas," Dubuque Daily Herald, August 2, 1890, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=_OG5zn83XeQC&dat=18900805&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

6. "Street Pavement," Dubuque Daily Herald, October 21, 1890, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=_OG5zn83XeQC&dat=18901021&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

7. "News in Brief," Dubuque Daily Herald, December 3, 1890, p. 4

8. "Cedar Pavement," Dubuque Daily Herald, November 29, 1890, p.4

9. "News in Brief," Dubuque Daily Herald, November 18, 1890, p. 4

10. "Timely Tips for Taxpayers," Dubuque Daily Herald, March 21, 1891, p. 4

11. "The Mayor's Inaugural," Dubuque Daily Herald, April 10, 1891, p. 4

12. "His Salary is Sweetened," Dubuque Daily Herald, April 21, 1891, p. 4

13. "Popping It to Peddlers," Dubuque Daily Herald, May 14, 1891, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=_OG5zn83XeQC&dat=18910514&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

14. "Minus a Mayor," Dubuque Daily Herald, June 16, 1891, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=_OG5zn83XeQC&dat=18910616&printsec=frontpage&hl=en