I. An E. county of Iowa, bordering on Illinois and Wisconsin, bounded N. E. by the Mississippi, and watered by the N. and S. forks of the Maquoketa; area, 600 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 38,969. It is hilly and well timbered, with a fertile soil. Limestone underlies the greater part of the surface. It is very rich in lead, and about 100 mines are in operation throughout the year, while in the winter three times that number are worked. The chief productions in 1870 were 495,244 bushels of wheat, 1,311,789 of Indian corn, 834,320 of oats, 75,739 of barley, 163,881 of potatoes, 37,393 tons of hay, 437,149 lbs. of butter, and 31,384 of wool. There were 8,425 horses, 10,434 milch cows, 15,034 other cattle, 9,682 sheep, and 37,232 swine. II. The chief city of Iowa in population, capital of the county, situated on the right bank of the Mississippi, directly opposite the boundary of Illinois and Wisconsin, and 460 m. by river above St. Louis; pop. in 1850, 3,108; in 1860, 13,000; in 1870, 18,-434, of whom 6,524 were foreigners; in 1873, 22,151. The city is built partly on a terrace 20 ft. above high-water mark, and partly on the bluffs, which rise about 200 ft.
The lower or business portion is regularly laid out and compactly built, while in the upper portion the streets rise picturesquely one above another. The United States building, accommodating the custom house, post office, and federal courts and officials for the northern district of Iowa, is of marble, three stories high, and cost over $200,000. The central market building, a three-story brick edifice, surmounted by a cupola, serves both for market purposes and city offices and council chamber; the third story consists of a single room, 45 by 145 ft., known as the city hall. Three of the ward school houses are each 52 by 80 ft., three stories high, with a basement, and wings on either side, 10 by 30 ft., and cost $25,000 each. The fourth ward school house is 70 by 50 ft., two stories high, with a basement and a large hall, and cost $18,000. The Methodist Episcopal, one of the Presbyterian, the Universalist, the Congregational, and St. Mary's (German Catholic) churches, and the cathedral, are imposing structures, the three last being surmounted by lofty spires. The Dubuque and Sioux City, the Dubuque Southwestern, the Chicago, Dubuque, and Minnesota, the Chicago, Clinton, and Dubuque, and the Illinois Central railroads furnish means of communication to all parts.
The city was made a port of delivery in 1854. In 1872 there were 62 vessels, with an aggregate tonnage of 3,606, belonging to the port, of which 17 of 1,517 tons were steamers, and 45 of 2,089 tons canal boats. Dubuque is the commercial centre of the great lead region of Iowa, N. W. Illinois, and S. W. Wisconsin. From 10,000,000 to 20,000,000 lbs. of lead, worth from $500,000 to $1,000,000, are shipped annually. Some of the mines are within the city limits, and the best within a few miles of it. Extensive warehouses have been erected on the levee, and large elevators for the grain trade. There are 3 national banks, with an aggregate capital of $500,000, and 3 savings institutions, with $350,000 capital. In 1870 Dubuque county contained 297 manufacturing establishments, chiefly in the city, employing 1,780 hands; capital invested, $1,636,775; annual value of products, $3,308,399. The most important were 5 manufactories of agricultural implements, 14 of carriages and wagons, 15 of clothing, 6 of furniture, 2 of iron castings, 1 of japanned ware, 1 of bar and sheet lead, 2 of pig lead, 1 of shot, 2 of engines and boilers, 4 of sash, doors, and blinds, 3 of soap and candles, 9 of tin, copper, and sheet-iron ware, 1 of tobacco and snuff, 4 planing mills, 6 saw mills, 14 breweries, 2 distilleries, and 16 flour mills.
The machine shops of the Chicago, Dubuque, and Minnesota railroad, situated here, are among the most extensive in the west. - Dubuque is divided into five wards, and is governed by a mayor and a board of two aldermen from each ward, together constituting the common council. There are also a treasurer, auditor, assessor, recorder, city attorney, and city marshal. The streets are all macadamized, provided with gutters and sidewalks, and lighted with gas, and pure spring water is carried to every part of the city from a reservoir containing 3,000,000 gallons, through 10 m. of mains. The amount in the treasury, March 1, 1872, was $34,252 83; receipts for the year ending March 1, 1873, $183,724 12; total, $217,976 95. The disbursements were $205,782 80, including $31,088 40 on principal of debt, $38,685 92 for interest, $7,032 96 for poor relief, $7,378 08 for gas, $27,684 42 for streets, $5,160 84 for fire department, $5,246 20 for water department, and $10,049 56 for salaries. The city debt is about $900,000; the assessed value of property about $17,000,000; true value, $23,000,000. The schools are under the management of a board of seven directors.
There are ten school houses, including one for colored children, and a high school; number of pupils enrolled in 1873, 2,880; average attendance, 2,117; teachers, 66, of whom 7 are males. The school expenditure in 1872 was $44,132 85, which includes $30,317 75 for teachers' wages. The German theological seminary (Presbyterian) in 1872 had 2 professors, 17 students, an endowment of $15,000, and a library of 600 volumes. There are three daily newspapers and five weekly (two German). There are 14 churches, viz.: Congregational, Methodist Episcopal, Universalist, Roman Catholic (3), Lutheran, Dutch Reformed, Presbyterian (2), Episcopal, Christian, Old School Methodist, and one unknown. - Dubuque is the oldest settlement in the state, and derives its name from Julien Dubuque, a French Canadian, who established himself here in 1788; its permanent settlement, however, dates only from 1833, when the Indian title to the land was extinguished. It was incorporated as a town in 1837, and in 1840 a city charter was granted.