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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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Dressed in a long-sleeved, dark colored blouse and long, dark skirt, Dr. Killeen is seated at a cluttered roll-top desk, reading a letter. William J. Klauer Collection. Center for Dubuque History, Loras College

KILLEEN, Mary. (Dubuque, IA--Dubuque, IA, July 15,1937). The daughter of John F. KILLEEN, Mary in 1935 became the first Dubuque woman to be listed in the Catholic Who's Who. After attending Catholic schools in Dubuque and graduating from high school with honors, Killeen attended Iowa State Teachers College (now University of Northern Iowa) in Cedar Falls. She returned to Dubuque and taught for several years at PRESCOTT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. (1)

Killeen left the city to attend the College of Medicine at Michigan University and then pursued postgraduate work in Chicago and at Harvard. (2)

Killeen returned to Dubuque as a physician and surgeon and served on the staff of Mercy and Finley hospitals. In 1921 she was elected president of the Dubuque County Medical Society. (3) She was elected president of the medical staff at FINLEY HOSPITAL (THE) in 1929. (4)

Killeen organized the DUBUQUE VISITING NURSE ASSOCIATION and the CATHOLIC WOMAN'S LEAGUE. She was a lecturer at CLARKE COLLEGE and held memberships in the Dubuque Chamber of Commerce, Dubuque Federated Women's Club (later DUBUQUE WOMEN'S CLUB), Civic Music Association, Choral Club, and charter membership in the DUBUQUE ART ASSOCIATION. She was among the first to advocate for the teaching of music in the public schools. (5) Killeen was active in the PLAYGROUND MOVEMENT in Dubuque and served as treasurer of the hygienic committee. (6)



1. "Death Claims Mary Killeen," Telegraph-Herald, July 16 1937, p. 1

2. Ibid.

3. "Medical Society Elects Officers," Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, December 13, 1921, p. 11

4. "Staff at Finley Elects Officers," Telegraph-Herald and Times Journal, November 22, 1929, p. 10

5. "Death Claims..."

6. "Playground Move Popular," Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, June 19, 1910, p. 7