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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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1960s. Photo courtesy: Larry Friedman
WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH COMPANY. The New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company, now Western Union, began as a financial services and communications company in 1851. The firm expanded by buying out a number of competitive companies. (1)

In 1856, the company changed its name to Western Union Telegraph Company in anticipation of its ability to send telegraphs from the east coast to the west coast. The company completed its first transcontinental telegraph line in 1861, then went on to offer a variety of money- and time-related services to the public. In 1884, the company was one of the first eleven companies to be listed on the Dow Jones Transportation Average in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). (2)

The Western Union company merged with the First Data Corporation in 1995, but the firm still used the name Western Union for its financial assistance services. Later it got involved with satellite communications and for a short time, cellular phones. (3)

The 1870-1871 Dubuque City Directory gave the address of this business as the Julien Building.

The 1886-87 Dubuque City Directory listed Locust near 5th.

The 1899-1900 through the 1923 Dubuque City Directory stated that this business was located at 494 Main.

The 1929 through 1964 Dubuque City Directory listed 490 Main.

The 1972 Dubuque City Directory listed 270 Main.

The 1974 and 1977 Dubuque City Directory listed 200 Main.



United States History: "Western Union," Online: http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1801.html