"SHSI Certificate of Recognition"
"Best on the Web"

Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

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


From Encyclopedia Dubuque
Jump to navigationJump to search

BOARD OF TRADE. The first attempt to organize the business people of Dubuque was made in 1854 when the first Board of Trade was founded after a meeting in the Globe Hotel. The board worked for better steamboat and rail connections. Lacking firm organization, however, the Board of Trade soon failed.

The Dubuque Miners' Association attempted to replace the first Board of Trade, but it too soon failed.

The Board of Trade was reorganized on January 15, 1876 with Henry S. HETHERINGTON elected president. (1) One of the first questions placed before it by the Dubuque Herald was whether the city would not benefit from attracting a woolen mill to the city. (2) Committees were formed dealing with the bridge issue and tariffs. The group was invited to send representatives to the Southern States Immigration Convention on March 1, 1876. (3) In May 1876 a draft of articles of incorporation were presented to the members and the organization applied to the National Board for membership. (4)

This board of trade eventually failed and a third attempt at reorganization was made in 1877. Lack of attendance became a problem as early as January of 1879 when a resolution was passed requesting the secretary to get enough members to pledge their attendance at the next scheduled meeting. (5) The organization was present in 1890 when the former building of WESTPHAL AND HINDS, renovated by Bishop John HENNESSY, was named the Board of Trade Building. The board of trade had offices on the third floor. (6) This building was destroyed by fire on February 1, 1891. After the fire was extinguished, Bishop Hennessy authorized his agents PETER KIENE AND SON to treat the firemen to dinner at the Silver Moon restaurant. (7)

Despite the fire, the Board of Trade met on February 6 and authorized the president to confer with "capitalists" in town about the possibility of forming a stock company to construct buildings, secure ground and attract new companies to the city. (8)

In July 1892 the president of the board advocated the creation of a syndicate to purchase two hundred acres of land north of the city and then sell it to manufacturers. This had been done successfully in Clinton and other cities. He reportedly expected a suburb could be developed with several thousand residents in a few years. (9)

After the organization of the DUBUQUE INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION, members of the Board of Trade chose to rename their organization the DUBUQUE COMMERCIAL CLUB. This name was changed on February 16, 1920 to the DUBUQUE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.



1. "The Board of Trade," Dubuque Herald, January 26, 1876, p. 4.

2. "A Needed Enterprise," Dubuque Herald, February 4, 1876, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18760204&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

3. "Board of Trade," Dubuque Herald, February 20, 1876, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18760220&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

4. "Board of Trade," Dubuque Herald, May 13, 1876, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18760513&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

5. "Board of Trade-Shall It Be Kept Alive?" Dubuque Herald, January 26, 1879, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18790126&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

6. "Board of Trade Building," Dubuque Daily Herald, September 18, 1890, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=_OG5zn83XeQC&dat=18900918&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

7. "A Furious Fire," Dubuque Daily Herald, February 2, 1891, p. 4

8. "Board of Trade," Dubuque Daily Herald, February 8, 1891, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=_OG5zn83XeQC&dat=18910207&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

9. "Municipal Molecules," Dubuque Daily Herald, July 12, 1892, p. 4.

Pamphlet. "Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner Celebrating Its 60th Anniversary March 31, 1976