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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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TURCK, Solomon

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TURCK, Solomon. (St. Louis, MO--New York, NY, Jan. 30, 1907). MAYOR. Turck was associated with the LAFLIN AND RAND POWDER COMPANY powder company around 1864 when he and his brother, John, took over the management of a manufacturing mill at Platteville, Wisconsin. Both brothers had worked for Laflin for many years. (1) He was also invested in silver mines in Colorado with his brothers who lived in Central City, Colorado. They also held title to valuable gold mines. (2) Turck held the office of mayor in 1868. City officials that year complained that although the city paid over one-half of the bridge tax, it received no benefit. The county replied that the city was benefited by the trade which came over the bridges to the city. (3)

Late in 1868 the city was ready to vote on the question of increasing the city debt; new bonds were to be issued to cover all the old indebtedness, which totaled nearly $1,000,000. Many thought the city could secure a great reduction from creditors, a few wanted to repudiate the debt, but the great majority were willing to pay their honest obligations. The vote was postponed and committee of the council was sent East early in 1869 to negotiate matters with the city creditors. Turck and Thompson, both ex-mayors, were on the committee. (4)

Turck was again elected mayor in 1872. He submitted his resignation as mayor on September 17, 1872 and moved to New York to serve as the president of Laflin and Rand. (5) Prior to the CIVIL WAR, the expansion into the coal fields of the Du Pont family was the first step in its near monopoly of powder production in the anthracite region for twenty-five years. The Du Pont family formed an alliance with the country’s number two powder maker, Laflin & Rand, whose president (from 1873), Solomon Turck, was an old friend. He and du Pont divided the anthracite business between them resulting in huge wealth. (6) On the social/business side of his life, Turck was elected on February 12, 1889 in New York the treasurer of the newly organized American Shooting Association. (7)

One of the early fire engines in Dubuque was named in his honor. (8)



1. Sylvester, Nathaniel Bartlett. History of Ulster County, New York, 1880. Online: https://books.google.com/books?id=ruI_AQAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PA58&lpg=RA1-PA58&dq=SOLOMON+TURCK&source=bl&ots=wL6brqnWB3&sig=uY80A58pVZ0HdQj8YsTb46MRHK0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjMu__CpofTAhXKNSYKHVgaBegQ6AEINzAH#v=onepage&q=SOLOMON%20TURCK&f=false

2. "The Silver Mines of Colorado, Dubuque Herald, August 11, 1865, p. 2

3. "Dubuque Sought Business Methods From Beginning," Telegraph Herald, March 27, 1921, p. 14. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=bi5eAAAAIBAJ&sjid=SmANAAAAIBAJ&pg=6644,4092622&dq=james+fanning+dubuque&hl=en

4. Oldt, Franklin T. History of Dubuque County, Iowa. http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/franklin-t-oldt/history-of-dubuque-county-iowa-being-a-general-survey-of-dubuque-county-histor-tdl/page-18-history-of-dubuque-county-iowa-being-a-general-survey-of-dubuque-county-histor-tdl.shtml

5. "Special Session of the Council," Dubuque Herald, September 17, 1872, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18720917&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

6. "Explosive Growth," The Gateway to Innovation. Online: http://www.innovationgateway.org/content/explosive-growth-1?page=4

7. "A Shooting Association," New York Times, February 13, 1889. Online: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9905E5D6153AE033A25750C1A9649C94689FD7CF&legacy=true

8. "Salon Turck Dies in New York City," Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, January 30, 1907, p. 12