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PREGLER, Walter A.

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PREGLER, Walter A. (Dubuque, IA, Sept. 19, 1934 - ). MAYOR of Dubuque, 1966 and 1969. Pregler, a retired tool and die maker at JOHN DEERE DUBUQUE WORKS, served as a member of the lay advisory board of XAVIER HOSPITAL, chairperson of the Community Development Commission, and member of the FIVE FLAGS CIVIC CENTER task force.

Pregler was a member of the Dubuque City Council from 1966 until 1973 when he chose not to seek re-election. His campaign for office was based on rezoning for KENNEDY MALL, building a FLOODWALL, and URBAN RENEWAL in the downtown area. In 1966 he and others testified before two congressional subcommittees seeking federal funding for flood prevention. This was the first major investment by the federal government in Dubuque since the construction of the lock and dam in 1933. The mall was constructed and urban renewal came to the downtown. During this time the city hired a firm to do a comprehensive transportation study, modernized and computerized the city's wastewater treatment plant, hired a staff to assist the city planner, and lobbied for funding for an Iowa-Wisconsin bridge.

Pregler regained a seat on the council in January 1977, after winning a special election with 51 percent of the vote. By triumphing in the election, Pregler became the first person elected to the city council three times since Clarence P. WELU was elected in 1948, 1951, and 1955. At the age of 31, Pregler was also the third youngest mayor to serve in Dubuque's history behind John P. SCHREIBER, 29, and Charles Kintzinger, 30.

Pregler's community service went beyond his years on the council. He made additional trips to Washington, D.C. to lobby for an expanded U. S. 161 into a four-lane road and to get a four-lane by-pass around Dubuque. He served on the boards of Operation New View, Dubuque Keyline Transit, Community Development Block Grant, MERCY MEDICAL CENTER and XAVIER HOSPITAL and chaired the Dubuque Transit Trustee Board and the Political Action Committee of United Auto Workers Local 94. He was a member of the Dubuque County Democratic Central Committee for nearly forty years and the Keystone Area Education Agency Board. Pregler was a grand knight of the KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS and recording secretary for the retirees of UAW Local 94.

In recognition of his service, Pregler received distinguished service awards from the JAYCEES (1966) and DUBUQUE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (1974). In 1976 Pregler received the Outstanding Service Award, presented by the Dubuque City Council, for his efforts in organizing the Community Development Commission. In 2007, Iowa Governor Chet Culver made Walter A. Pregler an Honorary Colonel in the Iowa State Militia for his fifteen years of service to the State of Iowa in qualifying state high school students for possible appointment to one of the United States Service (military) academies.

In 2007 Pregler was inducted into the Dubuque County Democratic Party Hall of Fame along with his older brother Gerald G. Pregler and former Iowa U.S. Senator John Culver, along with other county notables. In attendance for the induction ceremonies were U.S. Senators Joe Biden (D-DE) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT). Iowa Governor Chet Culver (D) was present to accept the induction into the Hall of Fame on behalf of his father, John Culver.

In 2013 Pregler was inducted into the Dubuque Labor Hall of Fame for his lifelong commitment to organized labor. U.S. Representive Bruce Brailey (D-IA) and U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) were present. Rep. Brailey presented Pregler with a resolution submitted into the U.S. Congressional Record in recognition of Pregler’s nearly 5 decades of committed service to the Dubuque area working man. (1)

Walter A. Pregler is the younger brother of Robert L. PREGLER and Gerald G. Pregler and the son of Walter G. Pregler. (2)



1. Dubuque County Democratic Party. Online: http://www.dbqdemocrats.org/about-us/hall-of-fame-inductees/

2. Pregler, John. e-mail. June 29, 2017