The Lens of History is the work of author-historian John T. Pregler with a focus on nineteenth-century history in and around the Tri-State area of Dubuque, Iowa, that directly relates to our national history narrative. Pregler tells the story within our history through a collection of images, documents, and artifacts related to Native Americans, American politics, the American Civil War, early American railroad development, early photography, and Dubuque’s role in the evolution of our National Pastime – baseball.

Pregler is actively involved in two organizations with the mission of researching and promoting American history. The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) is the legal heir to the Civil War veterans’ fraternal organization the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and works to remember our veterans and what they did 1861 to 1865 so a nation could survive, “Lest We Forget!”  The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) works to research and better understand the multi-century-long history of baseball and its evolution into Major League Baseball as we know it today.


George “Cannonball” Jackson Grave Marker DedicationLinwood Cemetery, Dubuque, IATBD
General Grant Visits Dubuque lectureSt. John’s Episcopal Church, Dubuque, IATBD
Inaugural Dubuque Civil War Round TableTBDTBD


Marking the Grave of Dr. Henry Rose – On October 1, 2023, Camp Commander John T. Pregler (second from left) and members of Robert Mitchell Camp No. 206 of the SUVCW mark the grave of Henry Rose and recognize his service to the 11th Missouri State Cavalry.

Friends and members of Robert Mitchell Camp No. 206

Picturing Dubuque Baseball Exhibition – Pregler is guest curator of the Picturing Dubuque Baseball exhibition at the Dubuque Museum of Art (February 17, 2024 to June 16, 2024) telling the 150-year history of Dubuque’s involvement with the evolution of professional baseball including the founding of the American League. The exhibition complements a National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum photographic exhibition.

Picturing Dubuque Baseball exhibition at the Dubuque Museum of Art

2024 SABR Dubuque Baseball Classic – Pregler organized the inaugural two-day SABR Dubuque Baseball Classic which included a presentations by historian John Liepa; Pregler; SABR historian and Negro League authority, Phil Dixon; Supervisor of MLB Umpires, Larry Young; and former MLB pitcher Cal Eldred.

Larry Young, MLB Supervisor of Umpires, speaks at the 2024 SABR Dubuque Baseball Conference

2024 Dubuque Honor Flights – Pregler and members of SUVCW Camp No. 206 participated as honor guards welcoming home veterans from their return visit from the memorials in Washington, D.C., on May 13th and 14th.

John T. Pregler (left) and Dennis Geesaman (right) of Robert Mitchell Camp No. 206

Available online and at bookstores

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The Historic Tales of OLD DUBUQUE are as important to the nation as they are to Iowa. Look into the life of railroad attorney Abraham Lincoln as he pays a visit to a prominent railroad engineer in Dubuque prior to becoming president. Follow Congressional debate on whether U.S. Representative William Vandever (R-IA) had the right to simultaneously hold a seat in Congress and a Commission in the U.S. military during the Civil War. View some of the more popular Americans photographed by famed Dubuque photographer Samuel Root, including an image of Frederick Douglass captured while in Dubuque for one of three lectures the “Self-Made Man” made in the Key City. Author-historian John T. Pregler sheds light on these rediscovered facets of American history and many others.


  • River Lights Bookstore – Dubuque, Iowa
  • National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium Gift Shops – Dubuque, Iowa
  • Barnes and Noble – Dubuque, Iowa
  • Books-A-Million (BAM) – Kennedy Mall, Dubuque, Iowa

Tri-State History on AM 1370 KDTH

Voices of the Tri-States

Listen to stories about Tri-State history on previous episodes of Voices of the Tri-States, hosted by our friend Cindy Kohlmann.  Click here to view and listen to past episodes.

© WARNING: All images used on this website are RESTRICTED-USE digital images taken with a camera by John T. Pregler since 2017 of artifacts he owns, unless cited otherwise. Older images in the “public domain” are represented by modern digital photographs that are covered by copyright law and are the exclusive property of John T. Pregler for use on The Lens of History and may not be copied, reproduced, or used for any reason without the expressed written consent of John T. Pregler. For permission to use images from this website, please send a written request via the Contact page.