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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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W. P. ALLEN. The predecessor of the W. P. Allen Company was established in 1847 by a Mr. Blanchard. In 1851 W. P. Allen purchased Blanchard's interest and later on accepted a Mr. Hosford into partnership. In 1863 Mr. Allen bought out Hosford's interest and continued the business as sole proprietor, except from 1865 to 1867, when Mr. Alexander Young held an interest in the business. After Young's withdrawal from the business, Mr. Allen was the sole proprietor.

The business at 256 Main Street was a three-story brick building. The stock included drugs, paints, oils, dye stuffs, patent medicines, druggists' supplies, and artists' materials. His specialties were Mogul Medicines, Compound Syrup of Blackberry and Mayflower.

W. P. Allen operated the store for fifty years. It was succeeded by HEDLEY AND BROWN who continued the business for twelve years. W. K. BROWN took over the business in January 1908. (1)

There were four salesmen. The annual trade earned upwards of $50,000.

The 1868-69 Dubuque City Directory listed 30 Main.

The 1870-1871 and 1873-74 Dubuque City Directory listed 38 Main.

The 1874-1875 through 1890-91 Dubuque City Directory listed 256 Main.

See: William Paggett ALLEN



1. "Prominent Business Firms of Dubuque," Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, August 23, 1908, p. 28

The Industries of Dubuque: Her Relations as a Trade Center, Dubuque: J. M. Elster and Company, Publishers, 1887, p. 92