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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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Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald
1922 Dubuque Police Department. Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald

GIELLIS, John W. (Dubuque, IA, May 30, 1870--Dubuque, IA, June 28, 1944). Giellis was appointed the chief of the DUBUQUE POLICE DEPARTMENT on May 1, 1914 and resigned from the position effective January 1, 1939. He succeeded John Raesle in the position and had served three years as a deputy under Sheriff James Dunn.

Prominent in law enforcement circles in the Midwest, Giellis served as president and in other offices several times in the Iowa Association of Police Chiefs. Remembered as a person who stood by his department, he once asked for a substantial reduction in his own salary and those of other department heads rather than ask for a reduction in staff. (1) He was also remembered for taking a personal interest in the lives of his officers. He was also a member of the Iowa Patrolmen's Association.

Outside of law enforcement, Giellis served on the board of the DUBUQUE AUTOMOBILE CLUB and the board of directors of the Mount Calvary Cemetery Association. (2) ---


1. "Resignation Submitted to City Manager," Telegraph-Herald, October 3, 1938, p. 1

2. "John W. Giellis, Ex-Chief, Dies," Telegraph-Herald, June 19, 1944, p. 1