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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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Notepaper from Tully's Dubuque Lumber Company. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

DUBUQUE LUMBER COMPANY. A lumber company that was revived-in name years later. The Dubuque Lumber Company was begun with $50,000 in September 1866. The company was located at 12 Levee according to the 1867 Dubuque City Directory. The 1868-69 Dubuque City Directory gave the company address as south Southern Avenue. A sawmill, established in 1867, was destroyed by fire on April 29, 1870.

The mill was rebuilt, but another fire in 1872 did $100,000 in damage to the lumberyards. Fire struck again in 1876. Destroyed were a two-story frame mill and its machinery, two large dry kilns and their contents, and nearly 500,000 feet of lumber. (1) The company was ruined. The firm, also known as MOORE'S MILL, was located near present-day Maus Lake on the southern end of Dubuque.

The 1878-79 Dubuque City Directory listed the northwest corner of Main and 1st.

The 1884-1885 Dubuque City Directory gave 513 Locust as the address for the company office.

The 1911-12 Dubuque City Directory listed Lincoln and 10th.

In 1890 Dubuque Woodenware was started by several businessmen with land purchased near EAGLE POINT from Joseph"Diamond Jo" REYNOLDS. The 1899-1900 Dubuque City Directory listed Lincoln Avenue and 10th. On Februry 1, 1894 a special meeting was called to consider raising the capitalization to $100,000 based on the excellent business being done. Money was needed for expansion and more equipment. (2)

On May 30, 1901 the lumber mill was destroyed by fire. In March 1902, however, officials of the company announced that the firm would resume business by May. The company in 1902 was capitalized at $100,000 and employed seventy-five workers. The officers of the company included Thomas Ives, president; William LAWTHER, Sr., vice president; and Louis H. BREDE, secretary-treasurer. (3)

Over the succeeding years, this firm was renamed Dubuque Woodenware and Lumber Company, Dubuque Lumber Company, and Dubuque Lumber and Coal. Thomas TULLY, Sr. and Ben Herve were partners from 1896 until 1946 when Tully bought out Herve's interest. The firm, which served a twenty-five-mile radius of Dubuque, finally became known in the community as the Dubuque Lumber Company. The company closed in October 1990, and the property was sold to the Perfection Oil Company. The inventory was liquidated.

Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

Confusion between the two Dubuque Lumber companies has remained. In 1977 a marker was erected at Dubuque Lumber celebrating the link by telephone of the lumberyard to its office in 1878. This marker rightly belonged on the site south of Dubuque where the earlier company carried on its business.

The 1966 through 1987 Dubuque City Directory listed 2655 Lincoln.

Carpenter's apron. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Carpenter's apron. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding



1. "Conflagration," Dubuque Herald, July 23, 1876, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18760723&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

2. "Municipal Molecules," Dubuque Daily Herald, February 1, 1894, p. 4

3. "Building Plant," Dubuque Telegraph Herald, March 15, 1902, p. 3. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=bWhBAAAAIBAJ&sjid=MqkMAAAAIBAJ&pg=4179,33516&dq=standard+lumber+company+dubuque&hl=en