of Dubuque, Iowa
~ Researched, compiled and transcribed
by Georgeann McClure and Sue Rekkas
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History of Dubuque County Iowa, Chicago, 1880, page 786-787
FARLEY, is a native
of Tennessee, and was born April 2, 1813, and in 1817 his
parents moved to St. Louis, which was then a small French
town, and did not contain a single brick house; the first
steamboat landed at St. Louis during the year; when only 14
years of age, Mr. Farley came to Galena and landed there in
April 1827, and began working in the mines; after two years,
he went into partnership with his brother-in-law, and engaged
in smelting; in the fall of 1832, he came with others to
Dubuque, but did not remain; in the spring of 1833, he opened
a stock of goods in Galena, and in the month of May, that same
year, he came to Dubuque and made a contract for building a
house, and also a store, and in the following September he
opened a stock of goods here; in 1837 he moved his family
here; he continued in mercantile business from 1833 to 1858, a
period of a quarter of a century; since then, he has been
connected with railroading, and has been extensively engaged
in building railroad.
Mr. Farley has always been an enterprising business
man, and actively identified with the interests and growth of
the city; he is largely interested and principle owner of the
Key City Planning Mills, and also of the Key City Steam
Bakery; Mr. Farley has been three times elected Mayor of the
city of Dubuque, and held that office for three years; he has
also served in the City Council.
In 1833, Mr. Farley was united in marriage to Miss Mary
P. Johnson, from the city of Baltimore; she died in 1844,
leaving four sons—Charles W., John P., George W., and
In 1845, Mr. Farley married Miss Mary L. Johnson, from
Danville, Ky.; they have five sons—Harry G., Edwin B., Jesse
K., Fred H. and Warren C.
Generations of Farleys by Jesse Kelso Farley Jr., page 138
1850 he established a line of steamboats between St. Paul,
Minnesota and St. Louis, Missouri and thereby Dubuque became
the most important city on the Mississippi River between these
Generations of Farleys by Jesse Kelso Farley Jr., Page 123
Farley wrote…”I have been a lead miner and a lead smelter, a
steamboat captain 22 years, a merchant in Dubuque, and for the
last 25 years have connected with various railroads.”
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History of Dubuque County, Iowa, Containing a History of the
County Page 787
JOHN P. FARLEY,
agent of the Keokuk
Northern Line Packet Company, No. 2 Levee, Dubuque; is a son
of Jesse P. Farley, one of the earliest settlers and most
honored citizens of Dubuque; he was born in Galena, Ill., Nov.
2, 1836; his parents came here when he was only a few months
old, he grew up to manhood here and attended school here and
at Mt. Morris, Ill., and Mt. Vernon, Iowa; he has been engaged
in steamboating since 1862; he has held the position of agent
of the Keokuk Northern Line Packet Company since 1869, and is
one of the oldest steamboat agents on the river. He was united
in marriage, July 18, 1861, to Miss Bertha Markle, a native of
Dubuque, and daughter of J. W. Markle, one of the early
settlers; they have two children - Glenn M. and Carl T.
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Federal Census Mortality Schedule
Ward Four City of Dubuque,
County of Dubuque, State of Iowa
Date of Death
Cause of Death
George O 69
Dubuque Herald, July 11, 1869
…”emigrated to Missouri territory about the year 1818, when he
engaged as first clerk of the steamboat Mandan, under his and
the writer’s valued friend, the late U. S. senator from
Wisconsin, Gen. Henry Dodge, captain-to which position, then
one of great importance, the deceased was appointed, the lower
Mississippi river between St. Louis and New Orleans being the
theatre of his operations.
Capt. K. after
retiring from the command of the steamer Mandan turned his
attention to mining for lead ore at the mines in Missouri…”
deceased immigrated to this country from Missouri, with his
large, interesting and excellent family, in the month of July
1836. He again
turned his attention to mining in our adjoining counties in
Wisconsin and Illinois, but rather after a few months became
the proprietor of Jordan’s ferry—now the Dunleith & Dubuque,
becoming at the same time a mail contractor, hotel keeper, &
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of Dubuque County Iowa page 532
THOMAS LEVENS, a
resident of Dubuque since 1843 and one of the most prominent
citizens of that city, died on the 4th inst. aged
65 years. Captain
Thomas Levens died July 4th, 1883.
He was early employed in lead mining, but about 1843
located in Dubuque and became the owner of some of the best
mines of this region.
His lob of 185 1 on the first day of hoisting yielded
127,000 pounds of ore and was then worth $26 per thousand
pounds. He was
interested in the old ferry company, when the boats were
Peosta and A L Gregoire.
He was for a time captain of the steamer Franklin No.
2. He left a
widow, 2 sons and a daughter.
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JOSHUA W. PARKER
Davenport Democrat, March 5th, 1879, page 1
The burning of the K. N. L.
steamers, Lake Superior and Dubuque was announced yesterday.
The loss on the former is $20,000 and on the latter
loss falls heavily upon the company.
The Dubuque ran on the Upper Mississippi last season,
but the Lake Superior has not been in these waters for a
couple years. The
Dubuque Telegraph gives a short history of the burned boats:
The Dubuque was built at some point on the Ohio River,
probably Pittsburgh, during the winter of 1876-7, and in the
spring of the latter year made her trial trip to St. Louis,
where she received her first load of freight.
She immediately entered the trade on the upper river
and arrived at Dubuque in June, receiving a welcome which has
not been accorded to any boat since.
Among the presents received by her on this trip were a
stand of colors from the citizens and a pair of fine deer
horns from Capt. Levens.
Her first commander was Capt. Parker of Dubuque.
She has been a very successful boat and has put quite a
sum of money in her owner’s pocket.
She was built at a cost of $49,000.
The Lake Superior made her first appearance at our
levee in the summer of 1870.
She was considered one of the finest boats on the river
when she first came on, and had the honor of being one of the
swiftest on the river.
She was somewhat larger than the Dubuque and cost
Dubuque was 233 feet in length, thirty-six feet beam, and five
foot hold. She had
four boilers, twenty-six feet long and thirty-eight inches in
diameter. She had
two cylinders, sever feet stroke, twenty inches in diameter.
The Superior was 210 feet long, 39 feet bean and six
feet in the hold.
She had five boilers, 26 feet in length and 38 inches in
diameter. She had
two cylinders, seven feet stroke, 22 ˝ inches in diameter,
working two water wheels, 28 feet in diameter.
Davenport Daily Times, Monday, February 27, 1893 page 4.
Joshua W. Parker, one of the old-time skippers of the
died at his home in Dubuque Saturday.
Herald, Sunday, February 26, 1893
With regret we
announce the death of Capt. Joshua Wyatt Parker which occurred
yesterday afternoon at three o’clock.
A man with the elements of friendliness most prominent
in his nature, general in disposition, through all the trials
of a long and busy life he found the sunny side.
Such men are mourned, as contact with their optimisms
go far towards making life worth living and with them some
light goes out.
Mr. Parker was born at Rutland, Ohio, February 19th,
1832 to Miss Eliza McQuigg, of Rutland.
He began steamboating in 1837, running in the Ohio and
Lower Mississippi river trade.
In 1837 he built the General Harrison, a fine side
wheel boat, and soon after built other boats, remaining in the
lower river trade until 1855, when he came to Galena, and was
connected with the Minnesota Packet Company until 1857.
He bought the steamer Fred Lorenz and ran her until
1860, when with others he formed the Northern Packet Company,
and in which year he also removed to Dubuque.
In 1867 he bought the steamer Dubuque around from
Pittsburg, brand new, and christened her in honor of this
city. When the
steamer arrived in this port the people made the event a
subject for a great celebration and presented her with a set
of colors as a token of their appreciation for the honor
conferred on the city in naming the boat “Dubuque.”
He continued to command the Dubuque until the blowing
up of the steamer Lansing, by which his son-in-law, Mr.
Curtiss, lost his life.
This occurred a few months after the Dubuque had been
bought here. Capt.
Parker then left the river and has not taken part in any
Among the boats which he commanded were the Canada,
Golden Ear, Lady Franklin, Alhambra, all famous boats in their
day. During the 35
years he was on the river he never had what might be termed a
serious accident, and he never permitted gambling on any of
his steamboats commanded by him.
Besides his wife he survived by five children, Mrs.
Jennie West, Mrs. Fannie Curtis of Tacoma, Wash., Mrs. Carrie
Anderson of Dubuque, Charles of California, and Frank of
son, Will died in Denver.
He served as an alderman from the fourth ward two
different times, the last time in 1887.
Funeral 28 Feb 1893, burial in Linwood Cemetery,
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