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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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DAUGHTERS OF UNION VETERANS OF THE CIVIL WAR. The National organization of the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War are daughters, granddaughters, and great granddaughters of honorably discharged soldiers and sailors who served in the Union Army, Navy, or Marine Corps and Revenue Cutter Service during the Rebellion of 1861 - 1865, and those who died or were killed while serving in the armed services of the Union between April 12, 1861 and April 9, 1865.

The organization was begun on May 30, 1885 by Olive Howard, Harriet Knapp, Eva Merwin, Frank Merwin, and Bertha Martin. They held the first meeting on June 3, 1885 at the home of Eva Merwin, 419 First Street, SE Massillon, Ohio.

The organization was incorporated December 12, 1885 in Massillon, Ohio and the signers of the original Articles of Incorporation were Minnie F. King, Bertha M. Martin, Olive F. Howald, Eva Merwin and Any Merrill.

The organization's original name was National Alliance Daughters of Veterans and the group was endorsed by the GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC (G. A. R.) at the 34th Annual Encampment held in Chicago, IL in 1900.

During this organization's 35th National Encampment, held in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1925, the name was changed to Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War. The name was later changed during the 54th National Encampment, held in Des Moines, Iowa in 1944, to Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861 – 1865.

Local groups, called Tents, are named for Army Nurses who served in the CIVIL WAR or any loyal woman of the Civil War era whose patriotic deeds during the years 1861-1865 were recorded.

In states with less than three Tents, the Tents were called Detached Tents. When a state had three or more Tents, they became organized under a State Department. (1)

In 2020 there were 19 departments with 92 tents and 13 independent tents. (2)

In 1925 the Mary Agard Tent (named for Mary C. AGARD was organized in Dubuque with seventeen members. The membership rose to sixty-one and by 1970 had settled down to fourteen. They met on the second Wednesday of each month at DUBUQUE BANK AND TRUST COMPANY and carried out patriotic activities such as donating flags to local schools. A Department Convention was held in Des Moines in June with a District Three convention in October at Clear Lake. A new national headquarters building was dedicated in April that year in Springfield, Illinois. (3)

In 2012 there were six departments in Iowa but none in Dubuque.



1. National Genealogical Society Family History Conference," Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861-1865, Online: https://www.duvcw.org/

2. "National Genealogical Society Family History Conference," Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861-1865 – Booth #517, Online: https://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/daughters-of-union-veterans-of-the-civil-war-1861-1865-booth-517/

3. "Patriotism, GI Support is Goal," Telegraph-Herald, June 25, 1970, p. 51

Telegraph Herald and Times-Journal, June 7, 1931. Courtesy: Diane Harris
Telegraph Herald and Times-Journal, June 11, 1931. Image courtesy: Diane Harris