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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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Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
David Faust Collection

H & W MOTOR EXPRESS. Urban J. HAAS and Cyril WISSEL founded H & W Motor Express on September 26, 1927. The company was a one-truck operation running between Dubuque and Chicago.

The 1934 Dubuque City Directory listed 750 Iowa.

The 1937 Dubuque Consurvey Directory listed 750-56 Iowa.

The 1942 Dubuque Classified Business Directory through 1993 Dubuque City Directory 3000 Jackson.

At the time of Haas' death in 1961, the company was a $3 million business with 280 employees operating in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and with connections from coast-to-coast and Canada.

The building used formerly by the Dubuque Brewing and Malting Company became the H & W Building.

With the leadership of Wissel and later Urban "Skip" Haas, the company grew through the 1970s and 1980s. At one time, the company had 543 employees and 900 trucks. H & W regularly ran freight to Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Omaha, Kansas City, and St. Louis with stops all over Iowa.


The company closed in 2002 after its owner and CEO Roger Waldner filed for bankruptcy protection. In 2006 he was charged with twelve counts of bankruptcy fraud in connection with H & W's liquidation. He later plead guilty to two of the twelve charges.

An amazing string of nine trailers were hooked together for a Dubuque parade. Photo courtesy: Ray Grant
Deck of advertising playing cards. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding.



175 Years, Vol. 2, "Renowned Firm Comes to Sad End," Telegraph Herald, June 23, 2008