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Encyclopedia Dubuque



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STREETS (name changes). The congressional act of July 2, 1836 provided for surveying the lots and streets of several area cities including Dubuque. A total of $3,000 was appropriated to cover the expense. On March 3, 1837, an amendatory act was passed by which three commissioners were appointed to hear all evidence under the claims. These commissioners were to be paid six dollars per day.

Surveying streets did not suggest the early settlers wanted to quickly improve this means of transportation.

         Indian trails and miners' paths there were through 
         Dirty Hollow,over Whisky and Hamilton hills, through 
         the tortuous windings of Madden hollow, over the 
         rugged ascent of Lorimier Hollow, now Julien Avenue, 
         and through several other wild ravines and over the
         craggy steeps of the bluffs around the city. The only
         unobstructed approach to the city was by way of what 
         is called the Couler at the upper end of town. Farmers, 
         of course, complained, but their complaints were for 
         some time unheeded. They had to watch the opportunity 
         of fair weather to come to town and wait for each other 
         at the foot of the hills to double and sometimes treble 
         teams to help each other through. This process went on 
         for years until other markets superseded this largely. 
         Galena enterprise put a ferry across the river at Tete 
         des Mortes and secured much of the trade of Jackson and
         southern Dubuque counties. Other points — Bellevue,
         Muscatine and Davenport — drew from the county west. 
         It was then realized that Dubuque would have to improve its  
         Indian trails and miners' paths." 
                (Express and Herald, October 24, 1855.)

In 1865 John D. Bush proposed the laying out of Grand Avenue, commencing at Quigley lane opposite the brewery on Julien Avenue and extending along the ridge road until its intersection with the MILITARY ROAD on the top of Whisky hill. In November, 1865, so unclean had the streets become, the citizens turned out en masse, formed a brigade, and cleaned them.

Over time, Dubuque, like other cities, changed street names. Many changes were made in 1921 at the suggestion of CARR, Ossian E., Dubuque's first City Manager. Among those that have been changed are the following:

Clay Street. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Photo courtesy: Cathy's Treasures, 156 Main, Dubuque
Road leading to Mt. Carmel. Photo courtesy: Cathy's Treasures, 156 Main, Dubuque
Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Streets were cleaned by a horse-pulled vehicle in 1890. Photo courtesy: Center for Dubuque History
The Fluckiger Motor Company sold the City of Dubuque its first motorized street cleaner. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
A postcard with an interesting viewpoint of Main north from 9th
A postcard a viewpoint of Main south from 10th. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
1910 view of West 11th Street and its elevator.
Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Rockdale Road circa 1930
South Locust. Undated photo. Library of Congress
300 block of Southern. Undated photo. Library of Congress
Southern side of Dodge in the 600 block. Undated photo. Library of Congress
Western side of Locust in the 0 block. Undated photo. Library of Congress.
Original Name New Name Date of Change
Adams Avenue Prescott Street 1921
Adams Street Sac Street 1921
Alma Street Montrose
Altman Avenue St. Joseph Street 1921
Anne Place West 18th Street
Arch Street Seminary Street 1921
Aspen Linden
Audubon Grandview
Austin Place Raymond Place
Blocklinger Lane West 24th Street 1921
Bluff Street Providence
Bluff High Bluff
Boundary Street Grandview Avenue 1871
Brad Street Booth
Broad Street Mt. Pleasant
Brugh Schiller
Cardiff Street Summit Street 1921
Cascade Road Fremont
Centre Street Asbury
Center Street Finley Street 1921
Church 6th
Clay Street Central Avenue (1st to 18th) 1921
Clifford Street Eighth Street 1921
Clifford Foye Street
Clifton Street Altman Avenue 1921
Columbia Lexington
Cora Street South Hill St.
Couler Street Central Avenue (18th to city limits) 1921
Delhi Street University Avenue 1921
Division Lincoln
Dubuque Street Sumner
Eagle Point Street 20th Street
Eagle Street Extension Lindberg Terrace
East Street McCormick Street 1921
East Glen Oak
Eleanor Street Indian Ridge
Edith Street Roland Street 1921
Empley's Lane Thomas Street 1921
Exchange Street South Hill
Fink Street Jansen Street 1921
Forrest Street Florence
Franklin Street West 16th Street 1921
Franklin Fulton
Franklin Edison
Fremont Avenue Wartburg Avenue circa 1889
Fremont Avenue Wartburg Place 1921
Front Street Peosta 1938
Grandview Heights Plymouth Court
Grant Avenue Wilson Street 1921
Grove Street Greeley Street 1921
Hales Mill Asbury
Hall Street Auburn Street 1921
Harrison Monroe
Hart Street West 23rd 1921
Hazel Street Sunnyview
Herron Street South Locust Street 1921
High Street Rhomberg
High Street Highland Pl.
Iowa Street Extension Shelby Street
James Street Huff
Jefferson Avenue Carter Road
John Street Simpson
Julien Avenue Lorimer Avenue 1858
Julien Avenue University Avenue 1940
Julien Primrose
Karrick Street Finley Street 1921
Kerrigan Road 1956
Klingenberg Street Hennepin Street 1921
Lake Street Garfield
Leibnitz Street Lowell Street 1921
Lemon Viola
Lenox Avenue Van Buren
Linden Boulevard Logan Street 1921
Logan Belmont
Lorimier Avenue Julien Avenue 1859
Louisa Street Algona Street 1921
Main Street Front Street
Malady South Booth
Maple Street Morton Street 1921
Martha Ann Martha
McCabe Broadway
Middle Avenue Farley Street 1921
Mineral Street West Locust
Millville Street 32nd Street 1921
Military Street Rockdale Road
Monroe Harlan
Mount Carmel Avenue South Locust Street 1921
National Street Delhi
North Cascade Road Fremont Avenue 1921
North Street Hale 1921
North 1st Street Kimball Street 1921
North Iowa Street Shelby Street
North Main Street Main Street 1921
O'Neill Street Langworthy 1921
Orange Washington 1921
Park Avenue Randall Place 1921
Park Street Asbury Road
Park Hill West 28th 1921
Park Way Avenue Park Street 1921
Peru Road 32nd Street 1921
Pine Street Caledonia
Pine Street Pinard
Pine Street Poe Street 1921
Planke Road Couler
Pleasant View Avenue Lexington Street 1921
Rebecca Street Fairview Place
Reed Avenue Marshall Street 1921
Riga Street Algona Street 1921
Rosedale Avenue Auburn Street 1921
Russell Street Rowan Street 1921
Sanford Street East 24th 1921
Seminary Street Clarke Drive 1955
Seminary Street (from 17th to 18th) Heeb Street 1921
Shields Pine
South Dodge Street Bryant Street 1921
South Street Lombard
Spring North Booth
State National
Stewart Street Southern
Thomas Street West 16th Street 1921
Union Avenue Kirkwood Street 1921
Valley Dillon Street
Vine Street Burns Street 1921
Walnut Karrick
Wall Wallace
Wabash Avenue Seward Street 1921
Warren Putnam
Wartburg Avenue Fremont Avenue 1920
Washington Street O'Hagen Street
West Street Needham Place
West 4th Street Melrose Street 1921
West 14th Street Loras Avenue 1940
West Main Street Shields Street 1921
West Eagle Point Avenue Kaufmann
West Seminary Ungs Street
Whelan Bradley
Wilde Street Mt. Loretta
Willow Rosedale Street 1921
1st Avenue Decatur 1921
2nd Avenue Hamilton 1921
3rd Avenue Whittier 1921
4th Avenue Emerson 1921
5th Avenue (west of Linwood Cemetery) Edith Street 1921
5th Avenue (east of Linwood Cemetery) Roosevelt Street 1921
6th Avenue Stanton 1921
7th Avenue Shiras Avenue 1921
8th Avenue Farragut 1921
9th Avenue Hawthorne 1921
10th Avenue Sumner 1921

The name Whiskey Hill was used colloquially to refer to Southern Avenue through the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but never appeared on any printed map or street sign. (1)

In 2014 Dubuque motorists noticed a new type of signal added to two traffic lights on Ninth Street as part of recent construction projects. The flashing yellow left-turn arrow signal was a new traffic management tool aimed at keeping traffic moving, increasing safety, and reducing fuel consumption. (2)

The new signals were installed at the intersections of Ninth and Locust and Ninth and White streets in Dubuque and were being added to intersections across Iowa. The new signal featured a flashing yellow left-turn arrow, in addition to a red, green and steady yellow arrow. The flashing yellow arrow replaced the circular green signal used in the traditional left-turn signal configuration to indicate the need for left-turning vehicles to yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians. A flashing yellow arrow meant left turns were permitted, but motorists first had to yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians, and then proceed with caution. The flashing yellow arrow did not replace the solid yellow arrow and its meaning; it did replace the green “ball” indication as a signal for a yielding left turn. (3)

In November 2014 a new traffic control pavement marking was announced in the redesign of two downtown Dubuque streets. Dubuque motorists were reminded to note the change and stop where directed by the signage at the four intersections featuring diagonal crosshatch markings. The purpose of the markings was to force traffic to stop at a red traffic signal at a distance before the intersection, which allows truck traffic adequate space to safely make turns on to that street from the right of the intersection. (4)

White “Do Not Block” diagonal crosshatch markings were added to two intersections on Ninth Street and two intersections on Eleventh Street as part of the conversion from one-way to two-way streets. The intersections were for westbound traffic at the intersections of Ninth Street and White Street, Ninth Street and Central Avenue, Eleventh Street and White Street, and Eleventh Street and Central Avenue. Each intersection featured signage stating “Stop Here on Red. (5)


1. News Release. City of Dubuque. September 8, 2014. Online: http://www.cityofdubuque.org/newsreleases

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. News Release. City of Dubuque. November 25, 2014. Online: http://www.cityofdubuque.org/newsreleases

5. Ibid.

  • Lorimer Avenue." Dubuque Times Journal. Dubuque, IA, May 4, 1858.
  • Map of the City of Dubuque.Iowa Publishing Company. Davenport, Iowa, 1906.
  • "Ordinance Changing Street Names is Passed by Council at Last Meeting." Dubuque Times Journal, Dubuque, IA, March 27, 1921.
  • Oldt, Franklin T., History of Dubuque County, Iowa. Chicago: Goodspeed Historical Association
  • Research by John Klauer; 1918 Dubuque City Directory
  • Stessman, James T. "History of the Names of Streets of Dubuque." April 26, 1954. On file at Carnegie-Stout Public Library.
  • "Whiskey Label Sticks to Steep Hill." Telegraph Herald, Dubuque, IA, March 16, 1999.