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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.


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901 Jackson. Undated photo. Library of Congress.

DUBUQUE LINSEED OIL PAINT COMPANY. The Dubuque Linseed Oil Paint Company was incorporated in 1882 with Jonathan Lull, president; Jacob RICH, vice president; and George L. TORBERT, secretary and treasurer. Both Lull and Rich were also associated with the DUBUQUE LINSEED OIL COMPANY, although it was a separate business. (1)

The company manufactured an estimated 1,000 gallons of paint daily. Located in a large four-story structure, with cellar, 40x100 feet, the company was powered by a twenty-five horse power steam engine. From 1882-1887, the firm manufactured 260,000 gallons of mixed paints sold in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas and Texas. (2)

In January 1895 it was announced that the company had been sold to the IOWA PAINT AND COLOR COMPANY. (3)

The building was once part of CARADCO. It was also known locally at the BETTY BUILDING because of a sign on the 9th Street side of the building. Betty Baxter products included the commercial production of biscuits and soap. In recent years, the building was the headquarters for EAGLE WINDOW AND DOOR. (4)

In 2013 the renovation of the Linseed Oil Paintworks Building at 901 Jackson was underway. Helping in the project was the announcement of a $2.2 million grant to help fund the estimated $4 million project to create 16 rental units in the building. The project was one of a dozen approved by the Iowa Economic Development Authority for federal community development block grants. (5)

The 1884-1885 Dubuque City Directory gave the corner of 9th and Jackson as the address. It remained in the same location through the 1960s.



1. The Industries of Dubuque: Her Relations as a Trade Center, Dubuque: J. M. Elster and Company, Publishers, 1887, p. 97

2. Ibid.

3. "Dubuque Paints," Dubuque Daily Herald, January 16, 1895, p. 8

4. Swenson, Jim, "4 Millwork District Buildings Represent Rebirth," Telegraph Herald, October 27, 2015, p. 1

5. Murphy, Erin. "Another Boost for Millwork District." Telegraph Herald, July 6, 2013, p. 1A-2A.