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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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John Tigges

TIGGES, John. (Dubuque, IA, May 16, 1932--Dubuque, IA, Oct. 29, 2008). (560 West 11th) Tigges was an employee of the JOHN DEERE DUBUQUE WORKS and then Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company as a life underwriter before beginning his career as an author and writer in 1973. (1) He wrote more than thirty-eight books under his own name and pen names "Ned Stone" and "William Essex." He is also remembered for his popular column in the Telegraph Herald in which he asked readers to--"Remember when..."

In 1976 Tigges was commissioned to write Jean Marie Cardinal, an historical novel. Teaming with James SHAFFER, he wrote Dubuque: The 19th Century, Dubuque: The 20th Century, Iowa’s Last Narrow-Gauge Railroad, and Railroads of Dubuque, Iowa.

Using the name William Essex, Tigges wrote such novels as Garden of the Incubus, Unto the Altar, Kiss Not the Child, Evil Dreams, The Immortal, Hand of Lucifer, As Evil Does, Vessel, Comes the Wraith, The Pack, Venom, From Below, and Book of the Dead. He wrote Mountain Massacre, and Rails to Hades using the name Ned Stone. In 1986 Tigges founded the SINIPEE WRITERS' WORKSHOP and taught writing seminars in Iowa and Wisconsin. (2)

Business card. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding.

Tigges made many contributions locally to the field of music. He established the Dubuque "Pops" orchestra and helped establish the DUBUQUE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA in 1956. Tigges served as business manager of the symphony for ten years and played violin with it from 1958 to 1968 and again from 1971 to 1973. In 1972 Tigges founded the Julien Strings, a society string orchestra. He led the group and played violin. (3)

Tigges was a member of Editorial Associates, The International Platform Association, National Writers Club and was listed in Marquis' Who's Who in the Midwest and The International Who's Who of Writers and Authors. (4)

Charles Hancock home. Photo courtesy: Old House Enthusiasts' Club House Tour, 1987



1. "John T. Tigges," Online: http://iagenweb.org/boards/dubuque/obituaries/index.cgi?read=406735

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Tigges, John. They Came From Dubuque: Dubuque, Iowa" Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1983, p. 131