"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
A pamphlet with four pages of poetry dedicated to newscarriers.
Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald

DUBUQUE HERALD. The Dubuque Herald was the lineal descendant of the DUBUQUE VISITOR. The paper went through several changes of name with new proprietorship or consolidation--IOWA NEWS in 1837, MINERS' EXPRESS (THE) in 1841, the Dubuque Democratic Herald in 1850, and the Dubuque Express and Herald in 1854. (1) As the Express and Herald, it was published by Joseph B. DORR and Company. In a year or two, the "Express" was dropped, and it became the Dubuque Herald. (2)

As the nation approached the CIVIL WAR, the Herald displayed a very leery view of the approaching hostilities. In commenting on the condition of the various military groups being organized in Dubuque, the newspaper editorial staff commented:

         Of these the City Guards were nearly defunct, 
         the Light Horse were unequipped, the Turner 
         Rifles were an independent organization; so 
         that there were really only three companies 
         here that could be depended upon for military 
         service. Neither of these turned out more 
         than an average of about thirty men each — 
         in all about ninety men, or one full company. 
         A certain number of our companies should be 
         broken up, for the reason that they are weak 
         and inefficient for all military ends and 
         purposes. Their members attend drills when 
         it suits their convenience — act as best 
         suits their convenience when they do attend, 
         and disgrace themselves and everybody else 
         when on parade.
                      Herald, January 23, 1861 (3)

In January and February of 1861, the newspaper took the issue into legal grounds suggesting that the South was operating within the Constitution.

        It is to be hoped that there will be no conflict
        between Fort Sumter and the South Carolinians: for 
        if a conflict ensues and blood be shed and lives 
        lost, it will not be in the power of the federal 
        government to restrain the fanaticism of the North 
        from indulging itself in the commission of such acts 
        of hostility against the South as it has long sought 
        for a pretext to justify it in doing. The South commits 
        the greatest folly in giving its northern enemies a 
        justification for the course which will undoubtedly 
        be taken by the North, should the South become the
        aggressor as apprehended. 
                        Herald, February 1, 1861 

There was open hostility to the Times. In 1860 the following editorial appeared in the Herald:

        Who edits the local department of the Times just now? It
        looks like an ollapodrida or a dish of hash, or Joseph's
        Coat, there are no two consecutive pieces alike. There is
        the insipidity of Thomas, the paling sentimentality of 
        our Jesse, and a sort of nondescript style, neither flesh
        or fowl, by somebody else. No trout was ever more speckled
        than it that same column. (4)
Dubuque Herald, May 14, 1889

Until 1865 there were a number of changes in proprietors and editors. Among them were many prominent men including John KING; Col. Wm. Merritt, of the First Iowa Infantry and later Postmaster at Des Moines; Judge David S. WILSON; Judge George GREENE; Dennis MAHONY; Joseph B. DORR; Stilson HUTCHINS; F. M. ZIEBACH. Beginning in January 1865, the Herald was owned and operated by Moses M. HAM and D. D. W. CARVER. (5)

In January 1864, the Herald announced that it would expand from a seven to an eight column newspaper. Newspaper officials claimed that the change was needed due to the many advertisements crowding out the news. News links were announced as "telegraphic dispatches from the Capital" and "Associated Press." (6)

In November 1873 construction on a new building was still in progress when the PANIC OF 1873 closed the MERCHANTS' NATIONAL BANK where the business accounts were kept. Work, however, was not delayed; the heavy machinery was transported from the building across the street. (7)

In 1887 the Herald published three editions. The daily and weekly had been published for year. The Sunday edition was started around 1885. The Sunday and weekly editions were double the size of the daily. (8) Brief news reports over the years were classified on the last page of the paper under a heading that was called "Caught on the Fly," "News in Brief," and "Municipal Molecules."

c. 1900 Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald

The newspaper and its three editions were only part of the Herald establishment. In job printing, book binding, and blank books, the company built up a large business employing as many people as the newspaper. The Herald's printing and binding were done for commercial people, railroads, banks, counties, insurance companies, and merchants. (9) In December 1893 the newspaper made available a portfolio of pictures from the World's Fair. Advertisements claimed the portfolio showed the same scenes as the official book of the fair issued by the Joint Committee on Ceremonies and selling in book stores for $5.00. Citizens could secure Part One, containing sixteen pictures, by turning in coupons from any three different dates of the newspaper with ten cents. (10) The popularity of Part One led to additional orders and Part Two was available on December 29th. Part Three was announced on January 5, 1894. Reports announced that copies of the portfolio had been received from Wyoming, California, Kansas, Louisiana and Montana.

The newspaper announced that a supplement of pictures in full color would accompany the April 29, 1894 edition. (11)

As the Dubuque Herald, the paper was published until October 1901 when it was merged with the DUBUQUE TELEGRAPH. (12) This became the TELEGRAPH HERALD.

The 1859-1860 Dubuque City Directory listed the corner of Main and 5th for this newspaper published by J. B. Door and Company.

The 1878-79 Dubuque City Directory listed 6th and Locust.

The 1899-1900 Dubuque City Directory listed 120 6th for this daily and weekly publication.



1. "Telegraph-Herald First Paper West of Mississippi Decision of National Historical Society," Telegraph-Herald, November 30, 1919

2. "An Old Timer," Dubuque Daily Herald, August 13, 1896, p. 8

3. Oldt, Franklin T. History of Dubuque County, Iowa. Online: http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/franklin-t-oldt/history-of-dubuque-county-iowa-being-a-general-survey-of-dubuque-county-histor-tdl/page-29-history-of-dubuque-county-iowa-being-a-general-survey-of-dubuque-county-histor-tdl.shtml

4. "Editorial," Dubuque Herald, January 25, 1860, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18600125&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

5. The Industries of Dubuque: Her Relations as a Trade Center, Dubuque: J. M. Elster and Company, Publishers, 1887, p. 86

6. "Enlargement of the Herald," Dubuque Democratic Herald, January 20, 1864, p. 1. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=A36e8EsbUSoC&dat=18640120&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

7. "A Herald Anniversary," Dubuque Daily Herald, November 26, 1893, p. 8

8. "The Industries of Dubuque..."

9. Ibid.

10. "The Columbian Memorial," Dubuque Daily Herald, December 20, 1893, p. 4.

11. "A Photograph in Colors," Dubuque Daily Herald, April 21, 1894, p. 4

12. "Telegraph Herald: A Storied Institution," Telegraph Herald Commemorative Edition: Past, Present and Future, March 26, 2012, p. 2A