Open main menu

History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Robert S. Finkbine

Robert S. Finkbine - History of Iowa.jpg
[R S Finkbine]

ROBERT S. FINKBINE, the builder of the permanent State House of Iowa in his fourteen years' superintendence of that structure, erected a monument to his own memory that will endure for many generations. From the day that he was appointed Superintendent of the construction of the Capitol not a dollar of the appropriations made from time to time, was misapplied. He was thoroughly competent from long experience in building and no contractor was ever able to deceive him in the quality of the material furnished. His eagle eye was on every part of the work and from start to finish the State never lost a dollar of the $2,876,300 expended under his supervision. Mr. Finkbine was born in Ohio on the 9th of July, 1828, removed to Iowa in 1850 and for many years was a resident of Iowa City, where he engaged in contracting and building. On the 22d of February, 1856, when a State Convention of the opponents of slavery assembled at Iowa City and proceeded to organize the Republican party in Iowa R. S. Finkbine was one of the delegates from Johnson County. He was one of the men who in the evening at the ratification meeting called out Samuel J. Kirkwood for a speech which was the first introduction of the afterwards famous “War Governor” to the public. In 1863 Mr. Finkbine was elected to the House of the Tenth General Assembly and two years later he was reëlected to the Eleventh General Assembly. He was not a speechmaker but was esteemed as a member of excellent judgment. Soon after his appointment as superintendent of the erection of the State House, Mr. Finkbine became a resident of Des Moines, where he died on the 8th of July, 1901.