Dubuque's Halloween 1921: "Noisy but Orderly"

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Halloween 1921 in Dubuque saw a healthy dose of mischief, but no reports of serious damage or injury were noted by The Dubuque Telegraph Herald the next afternoon.

Dubuque Overview      Image: US LOC

A Halloween party at The Boys Club spooked and entertained lots of area kids, and the Halloween weather was comfortable, reaching a high of 63 degrees.  Police in Dubuque prepared for a busy night with a doubling of night shift manpower and an announced intention to "prevent, not punish."

Dubuque Houses Image: US LOC
Dubuque Houses     Image: US LOC

Abundant Mayhem

The newspaper's account of Halloween night police activity included a range of pranks and partying, and credited the enhanced police presence for keeping the merriment from causing any significant harm.  In addition to countless calls about mysterious doorbell ringings, the DPD reported:

  • Crowds of people in costume walking up and down Main Street.
  • One person riding on the hood of a car while playing a saxophone on downtown streets.
  • A group of kids being "very, very sternly" reprimanded after one admitted to throwing a pebble at a billboard near 24th & Central.
  • A quick gang of pranksters tore apart a vehicle at 14th & Adair, removing the wheels and leaving various parts strewn about the disassembled car.
  • Someone took out a streetlamp at 28th & Jackson with a bean shooter (heck of a shot).
1919 Essex    Image: US LOC

A hundred years later, as Halloween 2021 approaches, there's a lesson in the idea of "prevention vs. punishment" that still rings true.  Let's make it a safe, healthy & happy Halloween in Dubuque!

Dubuque Overview    Image: US LOC



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