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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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VAN DUELMAN, Frank J. (Dubuque, IA--Dubuque, IA, Apr. 24, 1961). MAYOR. Van Duelman was active in Dubuque labor circles. By 1946 he had served eighteen years as secretary-treasurer of the district for the sheet metal works of the Milwaukee Railroad and from 1935 through 1941 was president of the Metal Trades Council. As a member of Machinist Local 1238, he was employed at MORRISON BROTHERS COMPANY. (1)

Van Duelman served on the city council from 1938 and was subsequently re-elected in 1940, 1944, and 1946 for a total of twelve years. (2) He first held the office of mayor of Dubuque in 1941. As the mayor, he proclaimed the annual Clean-Up, Paint-Up and Fix Up week in May. (3) In May he also called thirty-six local organizations together which then formed a Dubuque unit of the United Service Organizations (USO). This organization undertook a drive to raise $7,000 to financing recreational and spiritual facilities for men and women affected by the national defense program. (4)

During his second service as mayor in 1948 the new AIRPORT south of the city was officially opened. (5) The council was also concerned about the construction of an administration building and water supply and sewage disposal system. (6)

In 1950 he gave his support to plans to provide soft water in the city. (7) He was also among the councilmen who postponed a final vote on contracts to provide out-of-the-city protection by the fire department. (8)



1. "All Will Seek To Remain as City Fathers," Telegraph-Herald, February 10, 1942, p. 13

2. "Action Line," Telegraph Herald, November 29, 1977, p. 3

3. "Clean-Up and Paint-Up Week, May 5 to 10th," Telegraph-Herald, May 5, 1941, p. 8

4. "Dubuque USO Unit Organized," Telegraph-Herald, May 29, 1941, p. 3

5. "Dubuque Municipal Airport Dedication Rites Attract Thousands; Jets Featured," Telegraph Herald, October 25, 1948, p. 1

6. "Two Projects to be Studied," Telegraph-Herald, June 2, 1948, p. 3

7. "Final Action on Soft Water is Postponed," Telegraph-Herald, January 26, 1950, p 1

8. "City Fathers Delay Fire Law," Telegraph-Herald, January 4, 1950, p. 9