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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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WESTERN HOUSE. Martin Shaffner had come to the United States in 1834 as a jeweler, but moved the Dubuque to mine LEAD. He operated the Western House, a log building, as a restaurant and tavern for about thirty years. With a prosperous business, he constructed a new building of lumber and brick on the western side of O'Hagen Street at its intersection with Asbury Road. (1)

The 1858-1859 Dubuque City Directory listed Delhi in West Dubuque as the location. Martin Shaffner was the proprietor. Dominic Forret operated the bar and pool hall.

This remained in operation from 1850 until the beginning of the 1900s when it became a residence. Shaffer retired in 1870. (2) Dominic Forret was the proprietor of the Western House saloon, at 659 Clay in 1894. (3)

In 1894 M. Kies who had been the host of the HARMONY HALL HOTEL leased the Loes Building on Jackson Street between 12th and 13th STREETS and opened it as the Western House.



1. "Inns of Yesteryear," Telegraph Herald, May 28, 1933, p. 7

2. Ibid.

3. tokencatalog.com Online: https://tokencatalog.com/token_record_forms.php?action=DisplayTokenRecord&td_id=391097&inventory_id=391394&td_image_id=227343&attribution_id=400962&record_offset=186