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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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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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Wellington name on boulder.
WELLINGTON'S BOULDER. One of the many unique grave markers in LINWOOD CEMETERY, "Wellington's Boulder" marks the grave of William E. WELLINGTON, a prominent Dubuque businessman.

Wellington traveled through New England looking for the one-of-a-kind piece of granite only to return to Dubuque disappointed. Wellington's desire to have a unique marker for his grave eventually took him to Thornton, Iowa a small town south of Mason City. On the Wooden Shoe Stock Farm which he owned, he found a granite boulder he liked. (1)

In 1898 Wellington hired four men and had the stone excavated. It was 13 feet long, 7 feet in diameter at its thickest point, and weighed more than 28 tons. The stone was transported to Dubuque by railroad flat car and then moved to Linwood over a period of four days. Three days were needed to then move the stone to the Wellington plot. The stone, mounted on a railroad handcar, was pulled up by cable. It remains in its original condition except for the name "Wellington" carved into it. (2)



1. "A Mammoth Tombstone," The Dubuque Herald, January 26, 1898, p. 5

2. Kruse, Len. "Wellington's Boulder," My Old Dubuque, Center for Dubuque History, Loras College, 2000, p. 193-194