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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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KRETSCHMER, Charles G. (Gloschkau, Germany, Jan. 19, 1822--Dubuque, IA, Dec. 9, 1897). Kretschmer graduated with honors from the Breslau Seminary and received a diploma as teacher. He taught in Peterwitz from 1843 to 1846, and then accepted the principalship of the school at Sadewitz, which he held until coming to America in 1849. He first went to New Orleans, but after a few months' residence in that city moved to St. Louis where he established a private school which he operated until 1853, when he came to Dubuque.

Kretschmer opened a private school at the corner of Seventh and White STREETS. (1) In 1858 the board of education of Dubuque elected him principal of the Fifth Ward school (later called Audubon). He held this position to the end of his life — a period of thirty-nine years and four months. During his administration the number of teachers in this school increased from six to sixteen and the number of pupils from 150 to 720.

In the summer of 1897 he announced his intention to retire from active service at the close of the following school year, the fifty-fifth as teacher and fortieth as principal. A picnic in his honor was held on the second day of September.

Kretschmer joined the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in 1855 and was an active member filling the various chairs in the local lodge and holding the positions of grand master and grand representative of the state. He was also a prominent member of the GERMAN BENEVOLENT SOCIETY which he joined in 1855. Kretschmer served as vice-president of the Iowa State Teachers' Association in 1865 and 1871.



1. Report, 1900, Des Moines: Department of Public Instruction, 1900, p. 23

Oldt, Franklin. History of Dubuque County, Iowa. Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880, p. 827

Obituary. Dubuque Herald, August 29, 1897