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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.

NELSON, Thomas

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Family History: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=louiek&id=I0058

Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald

NELSON, Thomas. (Dubuque, IA, Nov. 13, 1910--Dubuque, IA, May 27, 1997). Nelson served as the Dubuque City Attorney from 1950 to 1960. He was then involved in a dispute with the city council which found a conflict of interest with his position as city solicitor while maintaining a separate legal practice. (1) At the same time, the council was finding a similar conflict in the role of Laverne SCHILTZ as city manager while being a part of a land development company. On February 16, 1960 by a 3-2 vote both men were relieved of their civic positions despite unanimous agreement of the council members that there was no evidence of improper influence or criminal conflict of interest. (2) Nelson returned to private practice until appointed a District Court judge in 1964. He retired as senior judge in 1988. (3)

Nelson was a state and local commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and a former grand regent of the ELKS CLUB. (4)

A firm believer in rehabilitation, Nelson is perhaps remembered, unfortunately, as the victim of arson which destroyed his home and many priceless historical records in May 1985.



1. "Final Form on Motion Uncertain," Telegraph Herald, February 16, 1960, p. 1

2. "Vote 3-2 on Ethical Violation," Telegraph Herald, February 17, 1960, p. 1

3. Obituaries. Telegraph Herald, May 29, 1997, p. 6A. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19970529&printsec=frontpage&hl=en