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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.


From Encyclopedia Dubuque
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Welcome to Encyclopedia Dubuque, a website dedicated to the history of the "Masterpiece on the Mississippi," Dubuque, Iowa – Iowa’s oldest city!

The basis of Encyclopedia Dubuque is the book, Dubuque: The Encyclopedia. Written in 1991 by Randolph W. LYON and published by First National Bank of Dubuque (now U.S. Bank), Dubuque: The Encyclopedia was designed as a table-top reference to Dubuque's history. Organized in alphabetical order, the entries were quick to locate and easy to read. Sales of the original Dubuque: The Encyclopedia were brisk. Over the years, the encyclopedia was frequently cited in the local newspaper, the Telegraph Herald, as a source of information, and copies at Carnegie-Stout Public Library had to be rebound due to heavy use.

As Dubuque reached its 175th anniversary, the Dubuque City Council announced that it would fund ten applications from local historical societies or groups with projects involving Dubuque history. The Carnegie-Stout Public Library Foundation chose to apply for a grant to convert the aging printed edition of Dubuque: The Encyclopedia to an expandable digital format. This grant application was approved in 2008, establishing the threshold for a new and exciting approach to local history.

I would like to thank the Carnegie-Stout Public Library Foundation for its encouragement and support of this innovative project. I have especially appreciated the support given to this project by Michael May at Carnegie-Stout Public Library. My technical support came from Angela and Ransom Briggs of Iowa City and Jason Burds of Carnegie-Stout Public Library. In addition to all the people who provided pictures and information for the book, I would like to add my deep appreciation to Bob Reding. Always willing to answer questions or provide material for pictures, Bob has been a treasure.

I dedicate this project to my wife, Ruth, who has enjoyed with me our life in this wonderful community and encouraged me at every moment to record its fascinating history.

Randolph W. Lyon