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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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Dubuque City Directory, 1857-1858. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
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JULIEN HOUSE. The future Julien House was built in 1844 by Peter Waples. It was an imposing four-story building with a 60-foot frontage on Main Street extending to an alley. The first floor was reserved for store purposes with the rest given for a hotel. (1)

It was named the WAPLES HOUSE until around 1854 when Burton & Finley enlarged the building to eighty rooms and renamed it the Julien House. In 1856 the proprietors were Kingman and Rhoades. (2) In 1867 ownership changed from Alexander YOUNG to W. W. WOODWORTH. In 1873 an addition was made which resulted in the building having a frontage of 143-feet on Second Street with 45-feet on Iowa.

The hotel served as the "Eldorado of the lame, the halt, and the blind" on two occasions around 1875. The Dubuque Herald stated that the afflicted were coming from miles around to receive the services of surgeons from Indianapolis. (3) The physicians were part of the National Surgical Institute of Indianapolis, Indiana. The Institute made a specialty of surgical cases; paralysis; deformities of the face, spine and limbs; diseased joints, diseased eyes; catarrh, private diseases, piles, fistula, etc. (4)


The 1858-1859 Dubuque City Directory listed 24, 26, and 28 Main at the corner of 2nd. Kingman and Smith were the proprietors.

The 1859-1860 Dubuque City Directory listed the corner of Main and 2nd.

The 1880 Dubuque City Directory listed the northeast corner of 2nd and Main.



1. Oldt, Franklin T. History of Dubuque County, Iowa. Western Historical, 1880, p. 669

2. "Inns of Yesteryear," Telegraph-Herald and Times-Journal, April 30, 1933, p. 5

3. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, July 23, 1875, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18750723&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

4. "National Surgical Institute of Indianapolis, Indiana," Dubuque Herald, July 24, 1875, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18750723&printsec=frontpage&hl=en