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During World War II, Iowa was home to several prisoner of war camps, where German soldiers were held captive. The largest of these camps was located in Algona, Iowa, and housed more than 10,000 prisoners at its peak.
Dubuque County, located in the state of Iowa, has a rich and vibrant history that spans back centuries. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Meskwaki and Sauk people, who relied on the lands for hunting, fishing, and agriculture. European settlement of the region began in the late 17th century, with French fur traders visiting the area along the Mississippi River.

The city of Dubuque, after which the county is named, was established by Julien Dubuque, a French-Canadian fur trader, in the early 19th century. Dubuque gained permission from the Meskwaki chief to mine lead in the area, which sparked the first major economic activity in the county. The lead mines brought a significant number of settlers, mostly from Europe, who sought opportunities for work and prosperity.

During the mid-19th century, Dubuque County experienced rapid growth and development. The construction of the first railroad in 1855 connected Dubuque to the expanding western frontier, facilitating trade and transportation in the region. The county became a center for manufacturing and commerce, with industries such as milling, brewing, and boatbuilding thriving.

As the 20th century approached, Dubuque County faced new challenges and opportunities. The decline of the lead mining industry led to a shift in the county's economic focus. Manufacturing and agriculture became the backbone of the local economy, with notable industries such as farming, meatpacking, and cereal production driving growth. Today, Dubuque County continues to evolve and adapt, combining its rich history with modern advancements in industries such as technology, healthcare, and education to shape its future.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Dubuque County, Iowa.

  • 1673: First recorded European explorers, French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, explore the area
  • 1788: Julian Dubuque, a French-Canadian, settles in the area and establishes a lead mining operation
  • 1810: Julian Dubuque dies and the lead mining area becomes known as Dubuque's Mines
  • 1833: The "Town of Dubuque" is officially established
  • 1834: Dubuque becomes the first chartered city in Iowa
  • 1855: The Illinois Central Railroad reaches Dubuque, enhancing the city's transportation and economic opportunities
  • 1862: The Civil War begins, and Dubuque County contributes soldiers to the Union cause
  • 1872: The first railroad bridge, known as the Dubuque Rail Bridge, is constructed across the Mississippi River
  • 1882: A major fire destroys a significant portion of downtown Dubuque
  • 1901: Julien Dubuque's gravesite becomes a state park
  • 1982: The "Fenelon Place Elevator," a historic cable car, is designated a National Historic Landmark
  • 2010: Dubuque celebrates its 175th anniversary since official establishment