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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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FICKE, Herman Styles

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Image courtesy: Meghann Toohey, Serials, Digital Management and Archines Assistant, University of Dubuque

FICKE, Herman Styles. (Dubuque, IA, Dec. 22, 1881--Dubuque, IA, Apr. 14, 1955). When once asked if he remembered the start of the English Department at the UNIVERSITY OF DUBUQUE, Ficke remarked that he remembered it well---he was the English Department.

Ficke was the son of Rev. Herman Ficke, a pastor at IMMANUEL CONGREGATIONAL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST and Mary Caroline Styles, the daughter of Levi A. STYLES and Mary Turner STYLES. His uncle, Charles August Ficke, was a major benefactor of the city of Davenport through donations of art.

Herman Styles Ficke graduated from Lafayette College, in Easton, Pennsylvania as the Latin salutatorian of his class. He continued his education at Columbia University and the University of Chicago. He received his master of arts degree from the University of Wisconsin.

Ficke taught at the University of Dubuque from 1906 until 1921. He then pursued graduate work at Harvard which resulted in another master of arts degree in 1923 and a doctor of philosophy degree in 1924. He and his wife returned to the University of Dubuque on 1928 after teaching a year each at the universities of Tennessee and Texas.

Professor Ficke returned to Lafayette college in 1946 to accept the honorary degree of doctor of literature. In the same ceremony General Dwight D. Eisenhower received an honorary doctorate.

In addition to his teaching, Professor Ficke was a regular contributor to educational publications. For two years, he was the chief editorial writer for the Dubuque Times-Journal. One his his short stories, "The Tale of the Cork Leg," so impressed Mark Twain that the famed writer included it in an anthology of humor.



"Ficke Named Emeritus," Telegraph Herald, February 12, 1950, p. 17. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19500212&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

Herman S. Ficke, University of Dubuque Archives.

"Dr. Ficke, 73, UD Professor Emeritus, Dies," Telegraph Herald, April 4, 1955, p. 29