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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.


From Encyclopedia Dubuque
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E. M. DICKEY COMPANY (THE). The E. M. Dickey Company with Joseph "Diamond Jo" REYNOLDS president and E. M. Dickey secretary and treasurer, was incorporated August 1, 1886. The business was an extensive buyer of grain at almost all MISSISSIPPI RIVER points above Dubuque. The firm extended this business into western Iowa where it constructed a number of elevators and warehouses on the main line of the ILLINOIS CENTRAL RAILROAD and also at the principal stations on the Cherokee and Dakota extensions of the same road.

In 1887 the elevator operated by the company at Dubuque was too small to handle its business. The company then leased the Illinois Central Railroad elevator under construction in East Dubuque, Illinois and operated it as a cleaning and distributing house for both river and western grain. This elevator had a storage capacity of 200,000 bushels and a handling capacity of forty to fifty cars a day.

The company made a specialty of furnishing choice grades of milling wheat, barley and oats in round lots. E. M. Dickey also handled anthracite and smithing coal, besides being an agent for the sale of the coal on the Illinois Central and Minnesota & Northwestern Railways. In 1888 the company owned the East Dubuque elevator and was cleaning thousands of bushels of barley. (1)

Besides the chief items of grain and coal, the company was a large dealer in salt, cement, lime, stucco, and plaster. It was the supply agent of the DIAMOND JO LINE carrying a large stock of steamboat and raft supplies, manilla rope, tackle blocks, fire brick, tile and clay, oars and row locks, oakum, cotton duck and all other articles usually found in a first class ship chandlery store.

It was announced in August 1891 that the company would move its headquarters to Chicago due to the need to be present there while settling the "Diamond Jo" Reynolds estate. (2) This relocation did not affect the status of the Diamond Jo offices in Dubuque. (3) The coal business in Dubuque was sold in 1893 to Thomas James MULGREW. (4)

The 1890-91 Dubuque City Directory listed 1 Levee.



1. "Go To Chicago," The Herald, August 15, 1891, p. 4

2. "East Dubuque Items," The Herald, September 23, 1888, p. 5

3. "Going to Chicago," Dubuque Daily Herald, August 15, 1891, p. 4

4. "Dubuque Industry Purchased in 1893," Telegraph-Herald and Times-Journal, August 24, 1930, p. 18

The Industries of Dubuque: Her Relations as a Trade Center, Dubuque: J. M. Elster and Company, Publishers, 1887, p. 78-79