Allison-Henderson Park is a nice hilly spot in Dubuque that you may have gone by a time or two. Maybe you stop by to play on the swings or use the hockey rink... but where did it get its name?

The physical address for the park is 1500 Loras Boulevard, and the name actually stems from the Dubuque Masonic Lodge Number 125 on Locust Street in downtown Dubuque.

Masonic Lodge Number 125 in Dubuque
Image - Google

In 1858, thirteen Freemasons from Dubuque met to form a new Masonic lodge within the community. The location on Locust wasn't their first spot, but the group moved there when the building was built and dedicated in 1932.

One notable member included David B. Henderson, who served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1883 to 1903 and was Speaker of the House from 1899 to 1903. 

Another member, William B. Allison, became a charter member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1863 to 1871 and then as a member of the U.S. Senate from 1873 to 1908.

In 1908 a fundraising effort began to fund land for a future park, which was originally planned along the Mississippi River. It took about five years to raise the money and the location for the future park moved many times due to various land disputes. (The current location wasn't actually settled on until 1947!)

Ultimately, Allison-Henderson Park was named in recognition of these two politicians and their service to our nation.

The lighted in-line hockey rink at Allison-Henderson Park in Dubuque

The next time you stop by for a picnic or a ride on the swings, you can tell your friends and family about the namesakes for this quaint tristate park.


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