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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.”
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
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Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

DUBUQUE HIGH SCHOOL. The first high school in Dubuque. Opened in 1858 on the third floor of a building on the southwest corner of Central Avenue and 12th Street, the school was moved to a building at 17th and Iowa STREETS in 1859 and then closed.

The school reopened in 1866 offering a complete three year program. The first graduating class in 1870 had two students. Only twenty-five graduated between 1870 and 1876. The following year most courses were extended to four years. The school offered four-year Latin, scientific and classical programs, and a two-year business course.

The number of graduates between 1877 and 1885 soared to 219. The classical program was discontinued in 1885. When the board of education discovered in 1895 that most students were enrolled only in the two-year business program, it was dropped. The high school continued a four year program.

Dubuque High School was replaced by CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL which was dedicated on January 17, 1895.

Dubuque High School students and their parents attended a day-long cruise. Image courtesy: Diane Harris