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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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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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Family History: http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/n/o/r/Moya-Nordholm/GENE2-0002.html

Peter Klauer. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

KLAUER, Peter. (Coblenz, Germany, Nov. 28, 1842-Dubuque, IA, July 8, 1919). Klauer moved to Dubuque in 1855 and served as an apprentice with the firm of Dries and Hennock, coppersmiths, and later Thomas Henne, a tinsmith. In 1870 he began his own business of manufacturing galvanized iron cornices, stoves, home furnishing goods, hot-air furnaces, and tin roofs in a shop at 1236 Iowa Street. (1)

Klauer brought his son, William, into the company as a pattern maker and they operated the firm as equal partners. (2) In 1885 they decided to construct a three-story building on the site. This decision led to the need to temporarily relocate the business to the first floor of the DUBUQUE CITY HALL for a year. Returning to Iowa Street, the business expanded so much that new space was needed. The company moved to the corner of 18th and Washington, and Peter became the general superintendent of the IOWA COFFIN COMPANY. (3)

In 1896 the Klauer Company moved to larger space at 1353 Iowa Street. (4) Entering the jobber-supply trade, the production of rain pipe, ridge-roll, and eaves grew. In 1904 the firm he founded was incorporated as the Klauer Manufacturing Company and the plant of the IOWA IRON WORKS was purchased. (5)

More land was purchased in 1911 for another plant. Manufacturing then included culverts and irrigation flumes. The company even became involved in the construction of three irrigation projects including one 29 miles long near Billings, Montana. KLAUER MANUFACTURING COMPANY, (incorporated in 1904) purchased the SMEDLEY STEAM PUMP COMPANY and operated its foundry. (6)

Klauer served as president of the GERMAN SAVINGS BANK, GERMAN TRUST AND SAVINGS BANK, UNION TRUST AND SAVINGS BANK, DUBUQUE AND WISCONSIN BRIDGE COMPANY, and vice-president of the Iowa Coffin Company. He was a member of the board of supervisors, chairman of the committee that directed the construction of the DUBUQUE COUNTY COURTHOUSE. He was an organizer of the DUBUQUE SHOOTING SOCIETY and one of the first directors and trustees of the Dubuque city library. He was a trustee of ST. MARY'S CATHOLIC CHURCH and a board member of ST. MARY'S ORPHAN HOME.

At the time of his death, Klauer reently resigned the presidencies of the board of public library trustees and the Dubuque Shooting Club where he was considered an expert marksman. (7)

Trade Card
Trade Card



1. Cooper, Brian. "Peter Klauer," Tri-State's German Heritage published by Telegraph Herald, June 2018, p. 40

2. Ibid.

3. "Klauer Celebrates 100 Years," Telegraph-Herald, April 5, 1970, p. 27

4. "P. Klauer, Head of Klauer Manufacturing Co. Dies at Age of 77," The Telegraph-Herald, July 8, 1919, p. 1

5. Ibid.

6. "Klauer Celebrates..."

7. "Dubuquers at La Crosse," Dubuque Daily Herald, July 17, 1894, p. 4

Goodspeed, Weston Arthur, History of Dubuque County, Iowa. Chicago: Goodspeed Historical Association, 1911, p. 617