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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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Photo courtesy: Jim Massey

GEISLER BROTHERS COMPANY. In 1892, Joseph Geisler opened a hardware store and sheet metal shop on Eighth Street. The company was then known as Lally and Geisler. The company manufactured and sold pots, pans and other small items. By 1903 Geisler had left the hardware store and decided to expand his sheet metal business. The company was relocated to a building on 5th and Locust where it remained twelve years. (1)

In 1907 the company became a family business when his son, Joseph Geisler, Jr., joined the firm. The company, a tin and galvanized iron works located at 503-509 Locust, had nine employees specialized in metal cornices, steel ceilings, roofing, spouting, gutters and furnaces. The company was renamed Joseph Geisler & Son Sheet Metal Works.

Arthur Geisler, the son of the elder Geisler, joined the company in the 1920s. The company, renamed Geisler Brothers Roofing and Sheet Metal Works, moved to larger buildings in 1915 at 534-544 Locust nearly across the street from their former site. (2) One of the new features other than machinery was the introduction of a modern show room equipped with a complete stock of all goods the company carried. The roofing work was expanded and a complete line of sheet metal work was added along with automobile body repair and home insulation work.

The 1916-1917 White's Dubuque County Directory and 1918 Dubuque City Directory listed 503 Locust as the address.

The 1922 Dubuque Telephone Directory listed 509 Locust.

The 1923 and 1929 Dubuque City Directory listed 544 Locust.

The 1934 through the 1962 Dubuque City Directory listed 532 Locust.

The 1964 through 1974 Dubuque City Directory listed 376 E. 8th Avenue.

The 1977 through 1993 Dubuque City Directory listed 340 E. 12th St.

The addition of Howard and Eugene Geisler, the younger Joseph Geisler's sons, to the business saw the company expand into ventilation and air conditioning. Howard's sons, David and Thomas, joined the company in the 1960s and chose to move the firm to the intersection of 12th and Washington in 1974 and into a new building. In 1991 the company was expanded again with the acquisition of Dubuque Steel Products. (3)



1. "Thirty-Eight Years is Firm's Record," Telegraph-Herald and Times-Journal, August 24, 1930, p. 44

2. Ibid.

3. 175 Years, Volume Three, Telegraph Herald, September 15, 2008