History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/John G. Shields
JOHN G. SHIELDS was born on the 22d of May, 1811, in Grayson County, Kentucky. He was one of the earliest settlers in the “Black Hawk Purchase,” long before it was organized into Iowa Territory. In 1835 he went to the Dubuque lead mines and established a store which for more than twenty years furnished goods for the early settlers in the lumber regions of Wisconsin and Minnesota. He was several terms alderman of the city of Dubuque and served as mayor in 1856-6. Mr. Shields was elected on the Democratic ticket to the State Senate in the summer of 1848 and was repeatedly reëlected, serving continuously for eight years. His district embraced thirteen counties a portion of the time. He was a practical legislator and took an active part in formulating the early laws of Iowa. In 1851 he was appointed senior Major-General of the State Militia by Governor Hempstead and organized the troops to repel the Clear Lake invasion of 1854. General Shields, with Jesse P. Farley organized the first Dubuque steamboat line in 1850 long before any railroads were built in Iowa. He was a lifelong Democrat and was one of the honored and highly esteemed pioneers of Dubuque. He died on the 25th of June, 1856.