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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.


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Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald

EBERHARDT, Auleen. (Dubuque, IA, June 25, 1899--Dubuque, IA, Jan. 12, 1995). Eberhardt was a beloved senior citizen and recipient of the 1980 FIRST CITIZEN AWARD from the TELEGRAPH HERALD. June 25, 1989, was officially designated by the Dubuque City Council as "Auleen Eberhardt Day" to honor one of Dubuque's most respected citizens. (1)

In February 1921 Eberhardt was the only lay employee when she began working for WITNESS (THE), the Dubuque Archdiocese newspaper, as a feature writer and advertising manager. Her "Little Stories of the Saints," series ran in the newspaper for two years. She later worked for the Dubuque Times Journal. A Dubuque correspondent for the Des Moines Register more than fifty years, Eberhardt became well known for her steadfast support for her hometown. Her positive letters to the editor in the Telegraph Herald praised civic and individual accomplishment with a customary optimistic tone. She became nationally known as a Catholic writer of more than two hundred short stories and articles. She wrote two thirty-six week serials for "The Ave Maria;" Aunt Minnie, a novel; and "Small Prayers for Small Children," a children's booklet. (2)

One of the organizers of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women in 1932, Eberhardt was well known for founding the CATHOLIC MOTHERS' STUDY CLUBS in 1941. With her guidance, Dubuque residents contributed funds necessary for the city's first CHRISTMAS CRIB. She served as president of the St. Joseph Academy Alumnae and three years as governor of the Iowa Chapter of the International Federation of Catholic Alumnae. Her civic record included three years as chairwoman of the March of Dimes; one year as co-chairwoman of the Women's Division of the United Way; two years as president of the DUBUQUE WOMEN'S CLUB; twelve years as chairwoman of the Fine Arts Festival and White Picket Fence Art Show; chairwoman of the first polio quarantine program; board member of the Heart Association, Tuberculosis Association, Easter Seals; president of the Mercy Hospital Auxiliary, and advisory board member for Century 21 Loras College. The Dubuque City Council appointed her to the Dubuque Cultural Commission and the Dubuque Advisory Board Commission.(3)

In 1972 she received one of the Catholic Church's most prestigious awards for lay people-the "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice" (For Church and the Pope) medal. June 25th was also the date for the official release of " A Century with Auleen," a series of eight tapes in which citizens interviewed her about a variety of topics including Catholic education and journalism. (4)



1. Obituaries, Auleen Eberhardt, Telegraph Herald

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Stanley, Mary, "Woman to be Honored in Dubuque," Telegraph Herald, June 22, 1989, p. 17