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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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GERMANIA BAND. One of Dubuque's most prominent musical groups, the Germania Band came to public attention in December 1858. With excellence in performance their goal, practice sessions were held weekly in the members' homes. (1) Locally, the band played for such occasions as the Catholic Fair of 1863 which was held to benefit the German Catholic church. (2) The 1858-1859 Dubuque City Directory listed the group at 156 Main.

On April 22, 1861 the band accompanied a military unit to the Burtis House in Davenport where they serenaded the governor. (3) The band accompanied the Ninth Iowa Infantry in October 1861, during the first months of the CIVIL WAR but was mustered out of service at Springfield, Missouri in 1862. (4) They returned to Dubuque, but preceded the troops who bordered the "Molly Stark" leaving for battle in 1864. (5) The Germania Band provided for the reception given to General Francis J. HERRON on October 31, 1863. (6)

The band reorganized in 1879 with some of its members forming the GREAT WESTERN UNION BAND. (7) In 1884 the Germania Band ordered some new instruments at a cost of $1,000. (8) Some of those may have been used to "serenade" the staff of the Dubuque Herald in April 1885 by telephone from the home of Mayor Glab. The tune was a polka mazurka and "sounded clear and distinct." (9) Officers elected in 1885 indicate a division in the group. F. Hepp was elected leader of the brass band and Jean Meyer was chosen leader of the string band. (10)

It was common in the early years of Dubuque for everyone in town to meet at WASHINGTON PARK on the Fourth of July and follow the Germania Band, Great Western Band or some other musical group out to TIVOLI GARDENS for a picnic and a speaker. (11)

See: Fred HOPPE




1. "Dubuque County Before 1880," Telegraph-Herald and Times-Journal, November 16, 1933 p. 17

2. "Catholic Fair," Dubuque Herald, December 6, 1863, p. 4

3. "Letters From Civil War," Telegraph Herald, April 30, 1933, p. 5.

4. "Dubuque County Before 1880..."

5. "Dubuque Aided Nation in Past," Telegraph Herald, June 19, 1916, p. 10

6. "Reception of General Herron," Dubuque Herald, November 1, 1863, p. 4

7. "Dubuque County Before 1880..."

8. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, December 12, 1884, p. 3

9. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, April 10, 1885, p. 4

10. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, April 8, 1885, p. 4

11. "How the Event was Observed by Dubuquers of Years Ago," Telegraph-Herald, July 4, 1909, p. 11