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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.
UNION ELECTRIC COMPANY
The company listed as its officers Frank D. STOUT, president; William S. MOLO, vice-president; E. A. Engler, secretary; George W. Kiesel, treasurer; and W. J. Brown, manager. Stockholders included all the officers and John Peter ELLWANGER, Bart E. LINEHAN, Peter KIENE, Charles H. EIGHMEY, and Benjamin William LACY.STREETCARS replacing both with up-to-date equipment.
In connection with their new car barns, company representatives announced in 1904 that Union Electric would be installing a plant enabling the firm to manufacture all the street cars they required. In addition, the facilities would allow the company to make all kinds of repairs. (5)
Union Electric announced in 1905 that meters were being placed on their street cars. (6) Company officials stated that these were to see where electricity ("juice") was being lost. A secondary potential for the meters was to see whether drivers were using too much power. In going down hills,"instead of letting the car drift of its own momentum, they throw it onward at a terrific and dangerous rate of speed." (7) The newspaper concluded that while drivers in some cities were rewarded for their careful use of power, it was doubtful that this would happen in Dubuque.
In 1911 Dubuque residents were among the few in the United States to have "two rides for a nickel." (8) Dubuque was also the only city in Iowa where a ten minute service was in operation all day long, every day of the year and where a five minute service was maintained during the rush hours from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m., 11:30 to 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Union Electric operated 17.5 miles of street railway track and maintained seventy cars in service to handle traffic. All the cars were electrically heated which was not common in the industry. When the "pay as you enter" cars were introduced, Dubuque was the first city in the United States operating "single trunk" cars to adopt the plan. (9) Union Electric also provided light and power to all parts of the city.
UNION PARK, operated by the company, was the only park of its type in the United States maintained exclusively by a street railway company. (10) In 1912 advocates for a "White Way" began the process of bringing lights to Clay and Main STREETS.
In 1913 it was announced that the company had purchased two electric "omnibusses" to operate between Dubuque and East Dubuque, Illinois. The cars were said to be electrically heated and lighted.
In 1916 Union Electric announced the completion of a new intake well that was the only one of its kind in the nation. The old well had proven inadequate. At very low stages of the river there had been the danger than being unable to get water for the condensers because the bottom of the old intake pipe was one foot above the river level. The new well, constructed on a copyrighted design, used the spiral principal of eliminating a large amount of the solid matter in the water. The bottom of the new well was six feet below the river level. (11)
In 1916 DUBUQUE ELECTRIC COMPANY took over the operation of Union Electric.
See: UNION PARK
1. "Alderman Wallis on Equalization," Telegraph Herald, Dec. 20, 1914, p. 26
2. "Put Into Effect," Telegraph Herald, March 7, 1902, p. 3
3. "Story of the Strike," Telegraph Herald and Times Journal, March 24, 1933, p. 14
4. "Echoes from Dubuque Newspapers," Clinton Mirror, July 4, 1903. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2281&dat=19030704&id=caIoAAAAIBAJ&sjid=CAYGAAAAIBAJ&pg=6042,1191791&hl=en
5. "To Make Own Cars," Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, April 30, 1904, p. 2
6. "Will Put Meters on Cars," Telegraph Herald, August 19, 1905, p. 12
8. "Dubuque Has Finest Car Service to be Found in the United States," Telegraph Herald, March 15, 1910, p. 7
11. "Union Electric Co. Has a Unique Well," Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, July 17, 1916, p. 10