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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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Two men are standing and seated at a waist-high, double-sided worktable, with an angled writing surface. Ledgers and a telephone are on the table. William J. Klauer Collection. Center for Dubuque History, Loras College
Undated photo. Library of Congress

MARTIN-STRELAU CO. (THE). Upon the death of his father, Moses H. MARTIN purchased his father's freight and transfer line. In 1889 he admitted to partnership Paul E. Strelau, under the firm name of Martin & Strelau, general freight and transfer agents and wholesale and retail dealers in wood and coal.

The Martin-Strelau Company was featured as early as 1911 in an issue of "The Black Diamond." Instead of repairing some storage sheds on their square block of property, the company torn them down and constructed a concrete, fire-proof "pocket." The new 87-foot long building was constructed for $14,000 and stored 2,000 pounds of coal in seven different sizes. This allowed the company to purchase coal when it was cheap and store it (vertically) until cold weather. The mass of coal allowed it to be handled with only one piece of equipment which reduced breakage. The most used types of coals were kept in the bottom bins. Lesser user varieties were lowered down to wagons in wire baskets. In addition, the new "pocket" did not take up space. In the future, the land surrounding it could be sold. The plant was designed and constructed by the Burrell Engineering and Construction Company of Chicago. (1)

The 1890-91 through 1899-1900 Dubuque City Directory listed 8th and Washington.

The 1909 through the 1955 Dubuque City Directory listed 798 Washington.

The 1957 Dubuque City Directory listed 422 Garfield.



1. "Superimposed Coal Bins Will Save Pocket Room," The Black Diamond, Vol. 47, p. 69. Online: http://books.google.com/books?id=4OZZAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA6-PA69&lpg=RA6-PA69&dq=Martin-Strelau+Company&source=bl&ots=MhdmjpedbU&sig=GQWkJT3T7Fhw1GWlnDy6Qv-TK7U&hl=en&sa=X&ei=_VwjVNreJMfmsAS1u4LADA&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Martin-Strelau%20Company&f=false