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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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WALLER, John Robert Sr.

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John R. Waller. Photo courtesy: Center for Dubuque History, Loras College

WALLER, John R. Sr. (Rockdale, IA, Mar. 10, 1845--Dubuque, Iowa, Aug. 20, 1891). Waller operated the first smelter in Dubuque with Richard BONSON and his brother Richard WALLER. In 1862 or 1863 he graduated from the Epworth Seminary. (1)

Waller returned to Dubuque after serving in the CIVIL WAR and began a smelting business with his brother-in-law, William COATES, and William G. WATTERS. (2)

In 1871 Waller formed a partnership with Edward W. Duncan that included real estate, insurance and loans. Waller and Charles H. EIGHMEY owned and operated the DUNCAN-WALLER OPERA HOUSE.

On January 24, 1877, Waller married Miss Mary Cooper, the eldest daughter of Augustin A. COOPER. He began working for the A. A. COOPER WAGON AND BUGGY COMPANY in 1881. His son was John Robert WALLER.

Locally Waller was a director of the DUBUQUE COUNTY BANK. He lost thousands of dollars as a director in the COMMERCIAL NATIONAL BANK. (3)

Family marker in Linwood Cemetery
Family marker in Linwood Cemetery



1. "Biographical Sketches," The Herald, December 20, 1885, p. 14

2. Ibid.

3. "Distress Ended in Death," "Dubuque Daily Herald," August 21, 1891, p. 4

Hughes, Christa-descendant, e-mail, Mar. 4, 2014