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


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Union Trust and Savings Bank
Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

UNION TRUST AND SAVINGS BANK. '"The Bank that Boosts Dubuque." Opened on January 20, 1887, Union Trust at 13th Street and Central was originally known as the GERMAN TRUST AND SAVINGS BANK. Among those who organized the bank were John BELL, Peter KLAUER, and Nicholas GLAB. Bell served as the bank's first president until his death in 1893. He was succeeded by Paul TRAUT. Peter Klauer was elected president on January 16, 1889. (1) Deposits grew rapidly: (2)

                 April 16, 1892---------360,747.83
                 April 16, 1902---------699,915.33
                 April 16, 1912-------1,747,395.70
                 April 16, 1922-------2,728,510.00

The bank changed its name in 1918 in response to the anti-German feelings caused by WORLD WAR I. By 1922 it had loaned $5,000,000 on Dubuque city and county real estate making it the local leader in this area. (3)

14th and Central before the construction of Union Trust.Photo courtesy: Dubuque Bank and Trust Company.
One of the 22-ton vault doors for Union Trust and Savings Bank is shown before it is unloaded from a horse-drawn wagon. Photo courtesy: Dubuque Bank and Trust Company
Vault door. Photo courtesy: Dubuque Bank and Trust Company.
Once unloaded, the vault door had to be lowered through a hole in the sidewalk before it could be inched into place on the basement vault of Union Trust and Savings Bank. Photo courtesy: Dubuque Bank and Trust Company.

In 1922 bank officials announced the construction of a new building by Weary & Alford Company of Chicago, specialists in bank construction. (3) Contracts were to be awarded by July, 1922 with work completed by May 1, 1923. In 1923 Christopher H. BERG was the president as the bank opened its new building.

Advertising button. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

Union Trust was the first bank in Iowa to use the Bank Insured Savings System. (4) Under the plan, depositors were given insurance and credit on the rest of their payments to be payable in full face value in the event of death.

Deposit bag from Union Trust and Savings Bank. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

In 1932 during the GREAT DEPRESSION Union Trust was declared insolvent. In October, 1932 L. A. Andrew, state superintendent of banking and the receive of the Union Trust and Savings Banks, filed an application in the state district court asking for a court order authorizing him to enter into an optional contract with William H. KLAUER and Frank Gilloon, an attorney. for the sale of the bank building and fixtures for $62,500. Both had owned small blocks of stock in the bank when it went into receivership. Other people were associated with Klauer and Gilloon, but were not named. It was stated at the time that a new bank might move into the building. (5)

The building became the home of DUBUQUE BANK AND TRUST COMPANY on July 17, 1944. In 1990 the buildings next to the bank were purchased and torn down to make an addition to the main bank. (6)

Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Stock certificate. Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Child's bank (front)
Child's bank (back)

(Photo Courtesy: http://www.dubuquepostcards.com)



1. "Structure to be Constructed at 14th and Central Avenue," Telegraph Herald, April 16, 1922, p. 16. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=QCBRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=W84MAAAAIBAJ&pg=4718,343399&dq=center+for+dubuque+history&hl=en

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. "Yesterdays," Telegraph Herald, February 26, 2008, p. 13

5. "Business Men Are Backing New Project," Telegraph-Herald, October 10, 1932, p. 1

6. Ibid.

"Union Trust Big Factor in Growth of the Community," Telegraph Herald, Nov. 19, 1923