The Farley and Loetscher Manufacturing Company was once the largest millworking plant in the world, apparently, and as such took up several blocks of the industrial area along the riverfront in Dubuque.
As we see more commonly with banks, the date of the founding is listed below, and the date of the construction of the building is listed second. Christian Loetscher and Jesse Farley provided the F and the L on the shield below.
The main building is massive, reminding me of the industrial buildings and warehouses of Anheuser-Busch or the cold storage warehouses on North Broadway back in St. Louis.
They closed in the 1960s, when much of the manufacturing in the Midwest began to be decimated. Were they behind the times, hopelessly out of date, or were they the victims of an increasingly uncaring corporate America? Regardless, hundreds of jobs were lost, and thousands of dollars of tax revenue was lost.
For me, I see the hard work of countless generations of Iowans, and all of the jobs that were lost when these huge companies closed, and the beauty of the designs of the architects who planned these buildings. I also see how those same Iowans have found ways to reuse these huge buildings, and how they are slowly coming back to life. I will show how there is rebirth in the old sawmills and woodworking plants in Dubuque.
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My grandfather, John Hipschen, was a Pattern Maker at Farley and Loetsher in the 1930’s and 40’s. My mother was a Hipschen.