Dubuque, Iowa

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Dubuque, Iowa
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Downtown Dubuque, Iowa
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"The Key City", "City of Five Flags", "Masterpiece on the Mississippi"
"Showing the Spirit"
Dubuque County Iowa Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Dubuque Highlighted.svg
Location in the state of Iowa
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Location in Iowa#Location in the United States
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Dubuque (the United States)
Coordinates: 42°30′N90°41′W / 42.50°N 90.69°W / 42.50; -90.69 Coordinates: 42°30′N90°41′W / 42.50°N 90.69°W / 42.50; -90.69
CountryFlag of the United States.svg  United States
State Flag of Iowa.svg  Iowa
County Dubuque
Incorporated January 28, 1857 [1]
Founded by Julien Dubuque
  Type Council-Manager
   Mayor Roy D. Buol (D)
   City manager Michael C. Van Milligen
   City 31.70 sq mi (82.11 km2)
  Land30.62 sq mi (79.29 km2)
  Water1.08 sq mi (2.81 km2)
617 ft (188 m)
 (2020) [3]
   City 59,667
  Rank 11th in Iowa
  Density1,882.24/sq mi (726.67/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (CST)
  Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
52001–52004, 52099
Area code(s) 563
FIPS code 19-22395
GNIS feature ID0456040
Website www.cityofdubuque.org
Courthouse, Dubuque, IA FI0006269.jpg
Courthouse, Dubuque, IA

Dubuque /dəˈbjuːk/ ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ) is the county seat of Dubuque County, Iowa, United States, [4] located along the Mississippi River. At the time of the 2020 census, the population of Dubuque was 59,667. [3]


The city lies at the junction of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin, a region locally known as the Tri-State Area. It serves as the main commercial, industrial, educational, and cultural center for the area. Geographically, it is part of the Driftless Area, a portion of North America that escaped all three phases of the Wisconsin Glaciation.

Dubuque is a tourist destination featuring the city's unique architecture and river location. It is home to five institutions of higher education, making it a center for culture and learning.

Dubuque has long been a center of manufacturing, but the economy grew rapidly and diversified to other areas in the first years of the 21st century. By 2005, the city led the state and the Midwest in job growth, ranking as the 22nd-fastest growing economy in the US. [5] Alongside industry, the city has large health care, education, tourism, publishing, and financial service sectors.


Spain gained control of the Louisiana Territory west of the Mississippi River following the 1763 defeat of the French; the British took over all territory to the east.

The first permanent European settler in what is now Dubuque was Quebecois pioneer Julien Dubuque, who arrived in 1785. In 1788, he received permission from the Spanish government and the local Meskwaki American Indians to mine the area's rich lead deposits. Control of Louisiana and Dubuque's mines shifted briefly back to France in 1800, then to the United States in 1803, following the Louisiana Purchase. The Meskwaki continued to mine with the full support of the U.S. government until 1830 when the Meskwaki were illegally pushed out of the mine region by American prospectors. [6]

Saint Mary's, one of 11 Catholic churches in Dubuque StMarysDub051904.jpg
Saint Mary's, one of 11 Catholic churches in Dubuque

The current City of Dubuque was named after Julien Dubuque, settled at the southern end of a large flat plain adjacent to the Mississippi River. The city was officially chartered in 1833, located in unorganized territory of the United States. The region was designated as the Iowa Territory in 1838 and was included in the newly created State of Iowa in 1846. After the lead resources were exhausted, the city became home to numerous industries. Dubuque became a center for the timber industry because of its proximity to forests in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and was later dominated by various millworking businesses. Also important were boat building, brewing, and later, the railroad industry. In 1874, the Diamond Jo Line moved its company headquarters to Dubuque. [7] Diamond Jo Line established a shipyard at Eagle Point in 1878. Just two years later, the company was the largest employer in Dubuque, putting 78 people to work, 75 of whom worked at the shipyard earning their collective $800$1,000 per week in wages. [8]

Between 1860 and 1880, Dubuque was one of the 100 largest urban areas in the United States. [9] Iowa's first church was built by Catholics in 1833. Since then, Iowans have followed a variety of religious traditions. [10] [ page needed ]

Old store Dbq ghost 1.jpg
Old store

Beginning in the mid-19th century and into the early 20th century, thousands of poor German and Irish Catholic immigrants came to the city to work in the manufacturing centers. The city's large Roman Catholic congregations led to its designation as the seat of the newly established Archdiocese of Dubuque. Numerous convents, abbeys, and other religious institutions were built. The ethnic German and Irish descendants maintain a strong Catholic presence in the city. Nicholas E. Gonner (1835-1892), a Catholic immigrant from Pfaffenthal in Luxembourg, founded the Catholic Publishing Company of Dubuque, Iowa. His son Nicholas E. Gonner Jr. (1870-1922) took over in 1892, editing two German-language weeklies, an English-language weekly, and the Daily Tribune, the only Catholic daily newspaper ever published in the United States. [11]

Early in the 20th century, Dubuque was one of several sites of a brass era automobile company, Adams-Farwell; like most others, it folded. Subsequently, Dubuque grew significantly, and industrial activity remained its economic mainstay until the 1980s. Tommy John, who pitched for the Dubuque Packers in 1961, recalled that the town was "about 98 percent Catholic" back then. "Dubuque was the epitome of small-town life," John wrote. "The people were friendly, everyone knew everybody else, and there wasn't a thing to do: no excitement, few restaurants or recreation choices, a decaying slum section. So we spent as much time as we could at the ball park...At certain times of the year, the fish flies fester in hordes like a biblical plague." [12] A series of changes in manufacturing and the onset of the "Farm Crisis" in the 1980s led to a large decline in the sector and the city's economy as a whole. In the 1990s, the economy diversified rapidly, shifting away from heavy industry.[ citation needed ] Tourism, high technology, and publishing are now among the largest and fastest-growing businesses. Dubuque attracts well over 1,500,000 tourists annually, and the number continues to increase. The city has encouraged the development of the America's River Project's tourist attractions in the Port of Dubuque, the expansion of the city's colleges, and the continued growth of shopping centers, such as Asbury Plaza.[ citation needed ]

Awards and recognition

Dubuque has received a number of awards and recognition for its redevelopment this century.[ when? ]


Aerial view of Dubuque and surrounding area 20170506-OC-PJK-0182 (34455904386).jpg
Aerial view of Dubuque and surrounding area
One of the Fourth Street Elevator cars Fourth Street Elevator car from above.jpg
One of the Fourth Street Elevator cars

Dubuque is located at 42°30′16″N90°41′13″W / 42.50444°N 90.68694°W / 42.50444; -90.68694 (42.50, -90.69). [19]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 31.22 square miles (80.86 km2), of which 29.97 square miles (77.62 km2) are land and 1.25 square miles (3.24 km2) are covered by water. [20]


Downtown Dubuque contains the city's central business district and many of its government and cultural institutions. It is the center of Dubuque's transportation and commercial sectors and the hub of the various outlying districts and neighborhoods. It is in east-central Dubuque, along the Mississippi River, and includes the area north of Maus Park, south of 17th Street, east of the bluff line, and west of the river.

The area is made up of several distinct neighborhoods, each of which has a unique history and character. These include Cable Car Square/Cathedral Square, the Central Business District, Jackson Park/Upper Main, Lower Main, and the Warehouse District. The Warehouse District in particular has experienced massive renovations and an influx in new businesses after a plethora of investments since 2005. [21] Another area of note downtown is the Port of Dubuque, which has had massive new investment and construction since the December 2002 opening of the Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark. [22] The downtown area includes a number of significant buildings, many of them historic, such as the Shot Tower, [23] St. Raphael's Cathedral, [24] and the Dubuque County Courthouse, [25] reflecting the city's early and continuing importance to the region.

North End

Eagle Point Park in Dubuque's North End EaglePointPark1.JPG
Eagle Point Park in Dubuque's North End

Dubuque's North End area was first settled in the late 19th century by working-class German immigrants. The German-American community sought to establish German Catholic churches separate from the Irish Catholic churches downtown and in the South End. The area retains its working-class roots and is home to some of Dubuque's largest factories.

The North End is roughly defined, but generally includes the territory north of 17th Street and east of North Grandview Avenue and Kaufmann Avenue. The area is made up of two main hills (west of Central Avenue, and west of Lincoln Avenue), and two main valleys, the Couler Valley (between the two hills), and the "Point" neighborhood, adjacent to the Mississippi River. It is home to Dubuque's two main cemeteries, Linwood Cemetery (established for Protestants), and Mt. Calvary Cemetery (established for Catholics).

Other important sites in the North End include:

South End

The South End was traditionally the Irish American neighborhood, and became known as Little Dublin. It centered around southern portions of Downtown Dubuque. Remnants of Irish culture still survive, with Irish pubs such as Murph's South End Tap and The Lift, and stores such as Shamrock Imports still operating. Irish culture in Dubuque also revolves around the city's Irish Catholic churches, St. Columbkille's, St. Patrick's, and St. Raphael's Cathedral.[ citation needed ]

The South End is now much larger, including all the land south of Dodge Street, east of Fremont Avenue, and north of the Key West area. It has many of the city's "old money" neighborhoods, especially along South Grandview and Fremont Avenues and around the Dubuque Golf & Country Club. Many South End neighborhoods have a more spacious and park-like appearance, contrasting with the more urban North End.[ citation needed ]

Other important sites in the South End include:

West End

Dubuque's West End is a large, mostly suburban area settled almost entirely after the Second World War. Development was spurred by the onset of the massive baby-boom generation and sharply higher demand for new housing. Expansion began with the construction of the John Deere Homes in the Hillcrest Park neighborhood, which were financed by Deere & Company for its workers. Soon after, many large shopping centers were built, including Plaza 20, and the then-largest enclosed shopping mall in Iowa, Kennedy Mall.

The area continues to expand rapidly, with new subdivisions and shopping centers stretching out for miles from downtown. The West End is not clearly defined, but is generally considered to include all the suburban-style growth west of North Grandview Avenue, the University of Dubuque, and the Valentine Park neighborhood. The area is home to a wide variety of mostly middle-class neighborhoods and city parks, but also includes many of the city's largest schools, industrial parks, and all its large shopping centers. The area's expansion has also led to rapid growth in suburban Asbury and exurban Peosta, Iowa, both of which adjoin the West Side. The west side has also been acknowledged by a viral YouTube video named Rappin' for Jesus, where a church named the "West Dubuque Second Church of Christ" was mentioned. Both the video and church were made up, and the video was labeled as a hoax.

Other important sites in the West End include:


Dubuque has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa), which gives it four distinct seasons. The weather is not as extreme as that in other parts of the Midwest, such as Minnesota or Wisconsin. Spring is usually wet and rainy, summers are sunny and warm, autumn is mild, and winters are typically cloudy and snowy.

Climate data for Dubuque Regional Airport, 1991–2020 normals, [lower-alpha 1] extremes 1873–present
Record high °F (°C)63
Mean maximum °F (°C)46
Average high °F (°C)26.5
Daily mean °F (°C)18.8
Average low °F (°C)11.1
Mean minimum °F (°C)−13
Record low °F (°C)−32
Average precipitation inches (mm)1.32
Average snowfall inches (cm)10.7
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)9.18.910.111.413.
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)
Source: NOAA [26] [27]
  1. Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the expected highest and lowest temperature readings at any point during the year or given month) calculated based on data at said location from 1991 to 2020.


Dubuque has several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places:

Dubuque has a number of notable parks, particularly Eagle Point Park and the Mines of Spain State Recreation Area.

The Grand River Center overlooks the Mississippi River in the Port of Dubuque. GrandRiverEventCenter.jpg
The Grand River Center overlooks the Mississippi River in the Port of Dubuque.

Dubuque's waterfront features the Ice Harbor and, just north of it, the Diamond Jo Casino and Grand River Event Center.

Dubuque is also the home of the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps. The Colts are a Drum Corps International world-class ensemble and tour the country each summer to attend drum-corps competitions. Each summer, the Colts and Dubuque host "Music on the March", a Drum Corps International-sanctioned marching competition at Dubuque Senior High School.

The arts organization Voices Productions spearheaded a project to incorporate large murals by street artists Gaia (artist), Werc and Gera and others in downtown Dubuque. So far over 30 murals have been painted. The original concept for the project was developed by Sam Mulgrew, Gene Tully and Wendy Rolfe. [28]


The city is home to the Dubuque Fighting Saints. They began playing in the Tier I Junior A United States Hockey League in the fall of 2010 at the new Mystique Ice Center. Dubuque was home to the original Fighting Saints team from 1980 to 2001, when the team relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma. From 2001 to 2010, the Dubuque Thunderbirds replaced the Fighting Saints playing in the Tier III Junior A Central States Hockey League at the Five Flags Center. The 2010-11 Fighting Saints were USHL Clark Cup champions after defeating the Green Bay Gamblers three games to one in the best-of-five Clark Cup Final. In 2013, the Fighting Saints again won the Clark Cup, defeating the Fargo Force three games to none in the final. The team averaged over 2,600 fans per game in the 2013-14 regular season, the highest average in team history.

Dubuque is also home to an Open Division soccer team, Union Dubuque F.C. On October 26, 2017, Union Dubuque announced that it would play in the United Premier Soccer League, a Tier 1 league of the United States Adult Soccer Association, beginning in the league's spring 2018 season. [29] The club is also eligible to participate in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Following the 2019 season, Union Dubuque F.C. announced that it would be joining the newly formed Midwest Premier League along with several nearby clubs.

Dubuque is also home to the 2015 ASA D Northern National champions, Kass & Co. Kass & Co. went 60 on the weekend of September 5 and 6 and won the championship game pretty easily with a final score of 304 in 5 innings. Even after he ran into the fence on a 600 foot home run by the opposing team, later described as "Pure stupidity", Dan Lucey declared "This is a great day for Dubuque, Iowa.” [30]



Dubuque's daily newspaper, the Telegraph Herald , had a daily circulation of nearly 31,000 as of January 27, 2007. [31] Other papers and journals operating in the city include Tri-State Business Times (monthly business paper), 365ink Magazine (biweekly alt/cultural magazine), Julien's Journal (monthly lifestyle magazine), the Dubuque Advertiser (advertisement paper), and the "Tri-States Sports Look" (local sports publication).


AM radio stations

(Strongest signal stations in bold) [32] [33] [34]

FM radio stations

(Strongest signal stations in bold) [32] [33] [34]


Dubuque and surrounding areas are in the Cedar Rapids/Waterloo/Dubuque broadcast media market, which is monitored by the A.C. Nielsen Company for audience research data for advertisers. For years, Dubuque had a local TV news station, KFXA/KFXB Fox 28/40. In 2004, that station became an affiliate of CTN. Dubuque-based TV news is now on KWWL-TV7 (Waterloo), and KCRG-TV9 (Cedar Rapids); both operate news bureaus in the city and cover most of its major stories. Since the closing of KFXA/KFXB, KWWL has captured a majority of Dubuque's local news market. [35]

Dubuque in film

Several movies have been filmed in and around Dubuque, including:


For many years, Dubuque's economy was centered on manufacturing companies such as Deere and Company and Flexsteel Industries. While industry still plays a major role in the city, the economy has diversified a great deal in the last decade. Health care, education, tourism, publishing, and financial services are all important sectors of the city's expanding business climate. Several major companies are either headquartered in Dubuque or have a significant presence in the city.

Dubuque's largest employers include: [36]

Other companies with a large presence in the area include McGraw Hill Education, Duluth Trading Company, Alliant Energy, Woodward Communications, Swiss Valley Farms, the Metrix Company, Rite-Hite Company, and Tschiggfrie Excavating Co.

In recent years, Dubuque's economy has grown very rapidly. In 2005, the city had the 22nd-highest job growth rate in the nation, [5] far outpacing the rest of Iowa. This was a level of growth similar to those of Austin, Texas, and Orlando, Florida, among others. The city created over 10% of the new jobs in Iowa in 2005, [37] and the number of jobs in Dubuque County reached new all-time highs, with over 57,000 people working in nonfarming jobs. Many new and existing businesses have announced significant expansion plans, including Sedgwick CMS, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, Deere and Company, Cottingham & Butler, Quebecor World Inc., and Namasco.


Saint Raphael's Cathedral, the oldest church in Iowa St Raphaels Cathedral.jpg
Saint Raphael's Cathedral, the oldest church in Iowa

Dubuque Metropolitan Area

Dubuque is the primary city in the Dubuque Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). It is at the junction of four major highways and two major railroads. Its location along the river has formed the city into a major Midwestern hub. The Dubuque area is the general area encompassing Dubuque, Iowa. The MSA proper includes Dubuque County exclusively and unofficially includes: Jackson County, Iowa, Jo Daviess County, Illinois, and Grant County, Wisconsin. The official population of the Dubuque County was 93,653 as of the 2010 population estimates. [38] If unofficial counties are included, the area's population is nearly 200,000.

Historical population
1850 3,108    
1860 13,000+318.3%
1870 18,434+41.8%
1880 25,254+37.0%
1890 30,311+20.0%
1900 36,297+19.7%
1910 38,494+6.1%
1920 39,141+1.7%
1930 41,679+6.5%
1940 43,892+5.3%
1950 49,671+13.2%
1960 56,606+14.0%
1970 62,309+10.1%
1980 62,374+0.1%
1990 57,538−7.8%
2000 57,686+0.3%
2010 57,637−0.1%
2020 59,667+3.5%
Source: "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved 2020-03-29.
Source: U.S. Decennial Census [39] [3]
The population of Dubuque, Iowa from US census data DubuqueIowaPopPlot.png
The population of Dubuque, Iowa from US census data

2010 census

As of the census [40] of 2010, there were 57,637 people, 23,506 households, and 13,888 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,923.2 inhabitants per square mile (742.6/km2). There were 25,029 housing units at an average density of 835.1 per square mile (322.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.7% White, 4.0% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 0.5% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 2.4% of the population.

There were 23,505 households, of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.6% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.9% were non-families. 33.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.92.

The median age in the city was 38 years. 21.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 13% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.3% were from 25 to 44; 25.9% were from 45 to 64; and 16.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.4% male and 51.6% female.

2000 census

As of the census [41] of 2000, there were 57,686 people, 22,560 households, and 14,303 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,178.2 people per square mile (841.1/km2). There were 23,819 housing units at an average density of 899.4 per square mile (347.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.15% White, 1.21% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.68% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 0.69% from other races, and 0.96% from two or more races. 1.58% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 22,560 households, out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.6% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.99.

Age spread: 23.6% under the age of 18, 11.8% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,785, and the median income for a family was $46,564. Males had a median income of $31,543 versus $22,565 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,616. About 5.5% of families and 9.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.3% of those under age 18 and 12.5% of those age 65 or over.


Since its founding, Dubuque has had, and continues to have, a strong religious tradition. Local Catholic settlers established what would become the first Christian church in Iowa, St. Raphael's Cathedral, in 1833. The city also played a key role in the expansion of the Roman Catholic Church into the Western United States, as it was the administrative center for Catholics in what is now Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Many important Catholic religious leaders have lived in Dubuque, including its first bishop Mathias Loras, Father Samuel Mazzuchelli, Clement Smyth, and Mother Mary Frances Clarke. Roman Catholic parishes around the city include Saint Raphael's Cathedral, Saint Mary's, Sacred Heart, Holy Ghost, Saint Patrick's, Saint Joseph the Worker, Resurrection, Saint Columbkille's and Saint Anthony's.

Since the 1870s the religious character of the area has been shaped by the Roman Catholic Church. In 2010, Catholic adherents who regularly attended services made up about 53% of Dubuque County residents. [42] This contrasts with Iowa as a whole, which was about 17% Catholic in 2010. [43] The city proper is home to 52 different churches (11 Catholic, 40 Protestant, 1 Orthodox), 1 Jewish synagogue, and 1 mosque. [44] [45] In addition to churches, 5 religious colleges, 4 area convents, and a nearby abbey and monastery add to the city's religious importance. Most of non-Catholic population in the city belongs to various Protestant denominations. Dubuque is home to three theological seminaries: St. Pius X Seminary, Minor (College) Seminary for Roman Catholic men discerning a call to ordained priesthood, the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, with the Presbyterian Church USA, and the Wartburg Theological Seminary, with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. These latter two institutions train both lay and ordained ministers for placements in churches nationwide.

Dubuque is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque, which directly administers 1/4 of Iowa's territory for the church, and is the head of the Ecclesiastical Province of Dubuque, the entire state of Iowa.

Law and government

The City of Dubuque operates on the council-manager form of government, employing a full-time city manager and part-time city council. The city manager, Michael C. Van Milligen, runs the day-to-day operations of the city, and serves as the city's executive leader.

Dubuque has been using its city-owned Community Broadband Network to become a smart city. In 2014, city government officials created four apps to monitor data related to water use, electricity use, transit patterns, and waste recycling efforts. The City of Dubuque Sustainability Coordinator, Cori Burbach, stated this was "for educating citizens and implementing behavior changes that they control based on the data these applications provide". However, Dubuque has been reaching the limits of its network and lack sufficient services from giant providers. [46]

Policy and financial decisions are made by the city council, which serves as the city's legislative body. The council comprises[ when? ] the mayor, Roy D. Buol, who serves[ when? ] as its chairman, 4 ward-elected members, and 2 at-large members. The city council members are[ when? ]: Brent M. Shaw (Ward 1), Luis Del Toro (Ward 2), Kate M. Larson (Ward 3), Jake A. Rios (Ward 4), Ric W. Jones (at-large), and David T. Resnick (at-large). [47] The city council meets at 6 P.M. on the first and third Mondays of every month in the council chamber of the Historic Federal Building. The city is divided into 4 electoral wards and 21 precincts, as stated in Chapter 17 of the Dubuque City Code. [48] [49]

In the 89th Iowa General Assembly, Dubuque is represented by Senators Pam Jochum (D) for Senate District 29 and Carrie Koelker (R) for Senate District 50 in the Iowa Senate, and Representatives Charles Isenhart (D) for House District 100, Shannon Lundgren (R) for House District 57, and Lindsay James (D) for House District 99 in the Iowa House of Representatives. [50]

At the federal level in the 117th Congress, it is within Iowa's 1st congressional district, represented by Ashley Hinson (R) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Dubuque, and all of Iowa are represented by U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R) and Joni Ernst (R). [50]

City Council of Dubuque, Iowa
MayorRoy D. Buol
At-LargeDavid Resnick
At-LargeRic Jones
First WardBrett Shaw
Second WardLuis Del Toro
Third WardKate Larson
Fourth WardJake Rios

Political climate

For most of its history, the people in Dubuque have been mostly Democratic.[ citation needed ] This was due to the large numbers of working-class people and Catholics living in the city.[ citation needed ]

At times, Dubuque was called "The State of Dubuque" because the political climate in Dubuque was very different from the rest of Iowa.[ citation needed ]

For the most part, Dubuque has maintained itself as a Democratic stronghold, even in recent years.[ when? ]

Notably, however, at the turn of the twentieth century, the United States Congress was led by two Dubuque Republicans. Representative David B. Henderson ascended to Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1899, at the same time Senator William B. Allison served as Chairman of the U.S. Senate Republican Conference, an office now known as Senate Majority Leader.[ citation needed ]


The front of Emmaus Bible College Emmaus Bible College (Iowa) 101.jpg
The front of Emmaus Bible College

Public education

Dubuque is served by the Dubuque Community School District, which covers roughly the eastern half of Dubuque County and enrolled 10,735 students in 20 school buildings in 2006. The district has 13 elementary schools, three middle schools, three high schools, and one preschool complex. It is among the fastest-growing school districts in Iowa, adding over 1,000 students in the last five years.

Public high schools in Dubuque include Dubuque Senior High School and Hempstead High School.

Private education

The city has a large number of students who attend private schools. All Catholic schools are run by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque. The Archdiocese oversees the Holy Family Catholic Schools, which operates 11 schools in the city, including nine early childhood programs, four elementary schools (one of which is a Spanish immersion program), one middle school, and one high school, Wahlert Catholic High School. As of 2006, Holy Family Catholic Schools enrolled 1,954 students in grades K-12. [51]

Dubuque also has one Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod affiliated elementary school, the Dubuque Lutheran School.

Higher education

Dubuque is home to a large number of higher education institutions. Loras College and Clarke University are two four-year colleges operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque. Protestant colleges in the city include the University of Dubuque, which is associated with the Presbyterian Church (USA), and Emmaus Bible College, connected with the Plymouth Brethren movement.

Three theological seminaries operate in the city: St. Pius X Seminary (Roman Catholic, associated with Loras College), the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary (Presbyterian), and Wartburg Theological Seminary (Lutheran).

Other post-secondary schools in the area include Northeast Iowa Community College, which operates its largest campus in nearby Peosta, Iowa and has a satellite campus in Dubuque; the Roman Catholic Divine Word College missions seminary in nearby Epworth, Iowa; and Capri Cosmetology College in Dubuque.

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville is another major university about 20 miles northeast of Dubuque in Platteville, Wisconsin.


Health and medicine

Dubuque is the health care center of a large region covering eastern Iowa, northwestern Illinois, and southwestern Wisconsin. On March 15, 2012, the Commonwealth Fund released its first Scorecard on Local Health System Performance; it ranked Dubuque second in the nation. [52] The city is home to two major hospitals that, together, have 421 beds. Mercy Medical Center - Dubuque is the largest hospital in the city with 263 beds, [53] and one of only three in Iowa to achieve "Magnet Hospital" status. Magnet Hospitals must meet and maintain strict standards, deeming them some of the best medical facilities in the country. [54] Mercy specializes in various cardiac-related treatments, among other things, and is affiliated with Trinity Health, one of the largest Catholic health delivery system in the United States. [55]

Dubuque's other hospital is The Finley Hospital, which is a member of UnityPoint Health's network of hospitals. Finley is JCAHO accredited, and as of 2007 had 158 beds. [56] It is unofficially Dubuque's "cancer hospital," as it has significant oncology-related facilities, including the Wendt Regional Cancer Center. [57] The hospital campus has expanded in recent years,[ when? ] with the construction of several new buildings.

Among other health care facilities, the city is home to two major outpatient clinics. Medical Associates Clinic is the oldest multi-specialty group practice clinic in Iowa, and currently operates two major outpatient clinics in Dubuque, its "East" and "West" campuses. It is affiliated with Mercy Medical Center — Dubuque, and also operates its own HMO, Medical Associates Health Plans. [58] Affiliated with the Finley Hospital is Dubuque Internal Medicine, which as of 2007 was Iowa's largest internal medicine group practice clinic. [59]



Dubuque is served by four U.S. Highways (20, 151, 61 and 52) and one state highway (3). Highway 20 is the city's busiest east–west thoroughfare, connecting to Rockford (and I-39/I-90) and Chicago to the east, over the Julien Dubuque Bridge. In the west, it connects to Waterloo. Highways 151 and 61 run north–south through the city, with a shared expressway for part of the route. Highways 52 and 61 both connect Dubuque with the Twin Cities (Minnesota) to the north, with 61 connecting to Davenport (and I-74/I-80), and 52 connecting to Bellevue to the south and then Clinton via U.S. Route 67. Highway 151 connects Dubuque with Madison, Wisconsin (and I-39/I-90/I-94) (via the Dubuque–Wisconsin Bridge) to the northeast and Cedar Rapids to the southwest. Dubuque has four-lane, divided highway connections with Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Madison, and Waterloo.

Iowa State Highway 3 begins in Dubuque, connecting the city with central and western Iowa. The four-lane divided Northwest Arterial (former Iowa State Highway 32) acts as a beltway for parts of the North End and West Side, connecting Highways 3 and 20. Less than two miles (3.2 km) from the junction of the Northwest Arterial and Highway 20, the Southwest Arterial is a 6.1-mile (9.8 km) expressway carrying Highway 52 southeast from Highway 20 to Highways 151 and 61 near Key West and the Dubuque Regional Airport. [60]


The Dubuque Regional Airport DubuqueAirport.jpg
The Dubuque Regional Airport

Dubuque and its region are served by the general-aviation Dubuque Regional Airport ( IATA : DBQ, ICAO : KDBQ). The airport currently has one carrier, Envoy Air, (a division of American Airlines) which operates three non-stop jet flights daily to Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Northwest Airlines regional partner Mesaba operating under Northwest Airlink used to have daily service to Dubuque. Northwest operated twice daily flights to and from Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport ( IATA : MSP, ICAO : KMSP) using Saab 340 aircraft. [61] These flights began June 2008 and ended on August 31, 2009. Northwest Airlines offered service to Dubuque prior to 9/11.

The Dubuque Regional Airport has reported steadily increasing passenger numbers over the years, and, until recently,[ when? ] had service from three different carriers prior to 9/11. In early November 2007, it was announced that October 2007 was the best month ever for American Eagle airline at the Dubuque Regional Airport, according to Robert Grierson, Dubuque Regional Airport manager: "We had 4,510 total revenue passenger enplanements; that is a record for American Eagle in Dubuque. American Eagle averaged a 79.82 percent enplanement load factor. Load factors are determined by how many revenue passengers were on the plane versus how many seats are available."[ citation needed ]

Currently, a $23 million new terminal is being built to modernize and expand the airport. [62] Improvements include a larger terminal, new access road, and expanded aviation parking. [63] The new terminal at the Dubuque Regional Airport was expected to open in 2016.

Mass transit

In Dubuque, public transportation is provided by the city transit division The Jule. [64] The Jule operates multiple bus routes and on-demand paratransit Minibus service throughout the city. [65] The routes are based out of one or more of the three transfer locations and run in 30-minute loops. These loops serve neighborhoods, shopping areas, medical offices, and industrial parks and provide connections to other areas of the city with the 15-minute cross-town Express route. The system's three major transfer stations are Downtown Intermodal (9th & Elm St), Midtown (North Grandview & University Avenues), and the West End (Kennedy Circle/John F. Kennedy Road). [66]

Notable people

See also

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