Dubuque, Iowa

Dubuque Business Signs

Dubuque is a city located on the eastern edge of the present-day U.S. state of Iowa, in what is locally known as the “Tri-State Area” of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.  Prior to colonization by the United States, this area had previously been inhabited by the Meskwaki, Woodland, and Oneota peoples.  Prior to United States intervention, this area was controlled by the Spanish and then the British.  The first permanent white settler to this specific region, Quebecois pioneer Julien Dubuque, came in 1785 to mine the area’s rich lead deposits.  The city of Dubuque, Iowa, obviously, was named after him, and it was officially chartered and incorporated in 1833.

Today, according to a 2016 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau, the city of Dubuque, Iowa is home to 58,531 people.  This makes it the tenth most populous city in the state of Iowa.  According to that same estimate, the Dubuque, Iowa metropolitan area is home to approximately 96,370 people.

Traditionally, the city of Dubuque, Iowa’s economy has been dominated by manufacturing companies.  In fact, according to a 2017 report by the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, the city’s top employer is Deere and Company, which is responsible for 2,350 local jobs.  Dubuque Community School District employs 1,946 people, while Medical Associates provides 1,046 jobs to the area.

Dubuque, Iowa is home to many buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  In fact, among these structures are The Five Flags Theater (which was built in 1910), The Grand Opera House (designed by Willoughby J. Edbrooke in 1890), the Julien Dubuque Bridge (which is also a National Historic Landmark), and Linwood Cemetery.  Additionally, the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, which was built in 1980, includes 52 acres.  The Dubuque County Courthouse, built in 1891 by architects Heer, Fridolin & Son, was designed in the Renaissance and Romanesque architectural styles.

One of Dubuque, Iowa’s most fascinating attractions, however, is undoubtedly Fenelon Place Elevator.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Fourth Street Elevator, as it is also known, is a 3 ft narrow gauge funicular railway “claimed to be the shortest and steepest railroad in the world.”  This 296 ft (90 m) long railroad, which began operation on July 25th, 1882, was also a contributing property in the Cathedral Historic District and the Fenelon Place Residential Historic District as well.

Dubuque, Iowa is also littered with institutions of higher learning.  Among these schools are Loras College, Clarke University, University of Dubuque, Emmaus Bible College, St. Pius X Seminary, Wartburg Theological Seminary, Northeast Iowa Community College, and just across the border is the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Dubuque, Iowa is also home to one professional sports franchises.  This is United States Hockey League (USHL)’s Dubuque Fighting Saints.  The Dubuque Fighting Saints play their home games in Mystique Community Ice Center.  The Fighting Saints, since their founding in 2010, have won an astounding one regular season titles (also known as the Anderson Cup), three conference championships, and two playoff championships (also known as the Clark Cup).

Do you, by any chance, own a small business in and/or around the Dubuque, Iowa area?  Have you ever considered starting up such an exciting adventure?  These resources could come in handy, should you choose to accept such an endeavor:

Apply for a Business License in Dubuque, Iowa:


Doing Business in Dubuque, Iowa:


Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce:


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Cedar Rapids, IA

Scott Grady




Decorah, IA

Brian Peterson