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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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Haggerty, Otto P. (Dubuque, IA, Aug. 27, 1910--Dubuque, IA, Nov. 11, 1952). Haggerty operated the popular barge from which thousands have fished across the MISSISSIPPI RIVER from EAGLE POINT PARK. Haggerty had an agreement with bridge maintenance workers that he would answer an emergency whistle if a worker happened to fall into the river.

On February 7, 1952, Haggerty was an important participant in the rescue of a Dubuque resident who fell through thin ice south of the barge. Haggerty and others nearby quickly nailed lumber together to form a catwalk to rescue the person clinging to the edge of the ice. Ironically, Haggerty drowned when he fell from the stern of a boat which was crossing the river to his barge.