It is the ultimate desire of John T. Pregler to build a focused, and eventually displayable, collection of local Tri-State history that encompasses the 19th Century and includes the Upper Mississippi River Valley Mineral District and the area covering the Black Hawk War of 1832.

If you are in possession of local historical artifacts, a family heirloom or items you think may be of some historical interest, and you either wish to find a new home for the item or just learn more about it and its historical significance, please contact John at The Lens of History  through our Contact page.

Tri-State Area

Artifacts and Historical Pieces of Interest

  • Photographs and Images
  • Letters and Documents
  • Newspapers and Periodicals
  • Stocks, Bonds and Currency
  • Autographs and Signatures
  • Books and Maps
  • Miscellanious Artifacts (buttons, personal artifacts, heirlooms, etc.)

Subjects of Interest 

Subjects of interest include but are not limited to the following....

Early Tri-State Pioneers and National Politicians  

  • Julien Dubuque
  • Henry Dodge
  • George Wallace Jones
  • Elihu Washburne
  • Ulysses S. Grant
  • William Boyd Allison
  • John Taylor Adams
  • Herbert Hoover
  • William Vandever
  • James W. Grimes
  • James Harlan
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Zachery Taylor
  • Jefferson Davis

Civil War

  • Gen. Francis J. Herron
  • Gen. U. S. Grant
  • Gen. William Vandever
  • Gen. Samuel Curtis
  • Gen. Ely Samuel Parker
  • Gen. John A. Rawlins
  • 1st Iowa Infantry
  • 3rd Iowa Light Field Artillery
  • 5th Iowa Cavalry
  • 9th Iowa Infantry
  • 12th Iowa Infantry
  • 27th Iowa Infantry
  • Camp Union – Dubuque
  • Camp Franklin – Dubuque
  • 45th Illinois Infantry
  • 2nd Wisconsin Infantry
  • 7th Wisconsin Infantry
  • George Washington Healey
  • Alexander Simplot

Photography - Images

  • John Plumbe Jr.
  • Richard Plumbe
  • Samuel Root
  • Alexander Simplot
  • 19th Century Dubuque-Grant-Jo Daviess Counties

Railroads & Steamboats

  • John Plumbe Jr.
  • R.S. Mason
  • Grenville Dodge
  • Dunleith & Dubuque Bridge Company
  • Dubuque and Pacific Railroad
  • Dubuque and Sioux City Railroad
  • Illinois Central Railroad


  • Charles Comiskey
  • Ted Sullivan
  • Tom Loftus
  • 19th Century Dubuque baseball
  • 20th Century Dubuque baseball

Native Americans

  • Black Hawk
  • Black Hawk War
  • Sauk Nation (aka Sac)
  • Meskwaki Nation (aka Fox)
  • Dakota/Lakota/Nakota Nations (aka Sioux)
  • Iowa Nation
  • Ho Chunk Nation (aka Winnebago)
  • Ojibwe Nation (aka Chippewa)
  • Miami Nation
  • Eli Parker
  • William Vandever
  • Thomas Forsyth

Contact Us today and tell us your story, we would love to hear from you! - John