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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.


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GERMAN ROMAN CATHOLIC BUILDING ASSOCIATION OF DUBUQUE. Founded on April 13, 1863, to raise money locally for the construction of a new place of worship. The Association, founded by Reverend John Fendrich, raised money by door-to-door collections from German Catholics living in Dubuque and from anyone else willing to donate to the cause. The effort was in response to the crowding of HOLY TRINITY CATHOLIC CHURCH whose parish swelled between 1850 and 1864 due to immigration and births. The Church, which originally had forty families, was pressed to serve three hundred.

As a result of the Association's efforts, five lots were purchased from the Langworthy estate in April 1864. Situated at the corner of White and 15th STREETS, the land costing $2,500 had been used as an orchard. Work on the new building began almost immediately. The foundation was finished in September 1864. SAINT MARY'S CHURCH was completed in February 1867.