At the time of his 1993 selection for the TH First Citizen Award, J. Bruce Meriwether was chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Hawkeye Bank of Dubuque, previously First National and subsequently U.S. Bank.
David Wm. Rusk, known for his energy and optimism, especially where it concerned a better Dubuque, received the Telegraph Herald First Citizen Award for 1992 after leading Vision 2000, a community-wide strategic planning endeavor.
Jerry Enzler's energy, vision and achievements as leader of the Dubuque County Historical Society delivered an important boost to the entire Dubuque community — at a time it really needed a lift. He became the TH’s 22nd First Citizen Award recipient.
It's been said that rules, like records, are made to be broken. In 1990, when it came to the TH's internal "rule" that only one individual or married couple per year could receive its First Citizen Award, it was broken by Walter Peterson and Bill Kruse.
In announcing George Freund’s selection as the recipient of the 20th First Citizen Award, the TH noted that, in German, his last name means "friend." The Dubuque native (1920-2006) was a renaissance man of sorts, and a friend to the city for more than 80 years.
Frank Hardie, recipient of the TH First Citizen Award for 1988, had his sights set on a career in medicine, but the Great Depression changed his plans. He instead managed to find work with an outdoor advertising company in Quincy, Ill.
Just two years removed from sharing First Citizen Award honors with fellow members of the Dubuque Racing Association, Arnold Honkamp received the 1987 award in his own right. But the 18th annual award had nothing to do with Dubuque Greyhound Park.
Less than four months after Sister Catherine Dunn was named president of Clarke College in 1984 a devastating fire swept through the campus. On the final day of 1986, the TH recognized her leadership and can-do spirit by naming her its 17th First Citizen.
It is unusual for the Telegraph Herald First Citizen Award to go to an organization rather than an individual or a married couple. It’s happened only once in 49 years. But 1985 was an unusual time. And the Dubuque Racing Association was worthy of the honor.
The 15th recipient of the TH First Citizen Award, Ruby Sutton became the first person of color to receive the newspaper’s recognition, and it came in 1984 in a virtually all-white community dealing with a past, present and future of racist attitudes and incidents.
In our December 1983 article announcing her selection as the 14th recipient of the TH First Citizen Award, we described Mary Biggins as a Dubuquer who couldn’t say “no.” Biggins (1904-1995) possessed an abundance of roll-up-the-sleeves energy toward community betterment.
George Lipper helped make the Dubuque-Wisconsin bridge a reality, while his wife Gloria was the first woman to head the United Way drive when they became co-recipients of the TH’s First Citizen Award in 1982.
1981 First Citizen Mary Hickey (1920-2005) made the interests and welfare of the developmentally disabled a personal and community priority.
Auleen Eberhardt, the 1980 recipient of the TH First Citizen Award, was energetic, occasionally controversial and always working to change hearts and minds.
Louis Fautsch Sr. (1908-1989) became the 10th recipient of the First Citizen Award, not for overcoming his own alcohol problem but for helping and inspiring hundreds of others to overcome theirs.
In 1978, when Jacqueline F. Merritt became the ninth recipient of the First Citizen Award, she was a woman some might describe as a "stay-at-home mom." But, while she was a mother of six, she was rarely staying home.
A Telegraph Herald reporter once described Leo F. Frommelt, recipient of the newspaper's eighth annual First Citizen Award, as "tough-minded, kind-hearted and German as beer."
In 1976, the First Citizen Award was in its infancy — and its seventh recipient, Paul Hemmer, hardly seemed much older. Hemmer was just 32 when the Telegraph Herald selected him for the award in recognition of his accomplishments as a composer and champion of local culture.
There was one and only one Jackson "Mac" Marshall (1894-1977). A homespun boilerman with a lifelong love of nature, Marshall became the sixth recipient of the First Citizen Award in 1975. Dubuque's Marshall Park was donated to the city by Jackson that year.
To look today upon quiet Ecumenical Tower in Dubuque, one might be surprised to know its origins were anything but quiet. Standing tall amidst the storm was the Rev. Thomas W. Rhomberg (1927-2014), recipient of the TH’s First Citizen Award in 1974.
If not for the leadership and vision of Wayne A. Norman Sr. (1920-2001), Dubuque would look and be much different today. In 1973, when he was selected for the Telegraph Herald’s First Citizen Award — the previous three years, the honor was called Man of the Year — Norman had already made a major difference in the community.
Gerald W. "Red" McAleece (1904-1984) parlayed his sports reputation, civic commitment and easy-going manner into a legendary career as a coach, broadcaster and community icon.
When a Telegraph Herald reporter visited the Dubuque City Hall office of Gilbert Chavenelle (1911-1988) to tell him he had been selected the TH’s “Man of the Year” for 1971, the city manager would have none of it. “For God’s sake,” he told the scribe, “get out of here and find someone else.”
Roger J. Rhomberg (1926-2000), the consummate Dubuque businessman and civic leader, was the Telegraph Herald’s choice for its first-ever “Man of the Year” recognition — soon afterward known as the First Citizen Award.