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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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KASSLER MOTOR COMPANY. In 1922 when the company at 495 White was a sales representative for Maxwell automobiles, Kassler Motor Company chose to begin handling Chryslers. By October 1926, Chrysler registrations were the second highest in Dubuque County and by 1927 had settled to third.

In 1927 the Kassler Motor Company moved to the corner of Fifth and White. The front of the building was terra cotta with a brick finish and the name of the firm lettered in gold. A large electric sign extended from the building and was visible from three directions with the word--Chrysler. The company had a territory that covered eight counties in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Articles in the TELEGRAPH HERALD mentioned many innovations in design of the building. The heating system provided heat but also ventilation for the workers' health. The 110 by 100 foot building was divided into two sections by construction of a fireproof wall and steel doors which divided the display rooms from the service and repair departments. Department managers each had keys to their own department but not to the other departments. Only Mr. Kassler had a master key to each department.

The company advertised that it was taking a keen interest in used cars. The main display room that fronted on White and Fifth was divided by a fireproof wall--one section for new cars and the other devoted to used vehicles.

The opening of the company on March 19, 1927 was attended by a dance in the display rooms. "Merit awards" were given for the best couple dancing a Charleston or Black Bottom dance stunt. The oldest couple on the dance floor was also honored. Judging was done by the audience.

The 1923 Dubuque City Directory listed 495 White.

The 1929 Dubuque City Directory through 1937 Dubuque Consurvey Directory listed the corner of White and E. 5th.