Graf was founded around 1886, when farmer Christian Graf donated land to the Chicago Great Western Railroad for a depot. A coal chute and water tower were erected to serve the coal trains and a helper engine was kept in Graf to assist the trains up the incline to Farley. Due to the railroad, Graf was a thriving community. In 1898, a post office was opened in Graf, and during the 1920s Graf became an independent school district.
As time marched on, the railroad moved to more powerful locomotives, removing the need for the helper engine. Eventually the steam locomotives were replaced with diesel engines, causing the coal chute and water tower to be torn down around 1957. Finally, in 1978 the last train ran through Graf and the railroad closed. With the closing of the railroad, a group of Dubuque County residents, led by Doug Cheever, fought to acquire the railroad land and turn it into a nature trail. Heritage Trail was opened in 1986 and Graf is now located on the center of the trail, preserving its railroad heritage.
In addition to the railroad, two taverns and a sawmill operated in Graf. Probably the longest lasting business was a tavern run by Arvel and Mary Smith from 1948-1994. The sawmill is the only business in Graf today. The KTM Sawmill produces wood mulch, bedding, and other wood products. Even though Graf is not the bustling railroad town it once was, people living here enjoy quiet life among good neighbors.
Mayor: Alicia Soppe
City Council: Tom Hefel, Bob Schilling, Jef Schilling
City Clerk: Kurt Chipperfield
City Council Meetings: Held as needed on the first Tuesday of the month, 7:30pm, Graf City Building at the end of Lola Lane. Contact Kurt if you plan to attend a meeting so he can provide the date of the next meeting.
Attractions in Graf
Graf is located at the center of the 26-mile Heritage Trail, used for biking, jogging, walking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and enjoying nature. Heritage Trail connects Dubuque and Dyersville and is located along an abandoned line of the Chicago Great Western Railroad.
The nine-acre park is owned and operated by the Dubuque County Conservation Office. The park is located adjacent to Heritage Trail and along Little Maquoketa Creek. If offers playground equipment, two pavilions, and primitive restroom facilities. The pavilions can be rented by contacting the Dubuque County Conservation Office at 563-556-6745.
Cephalopods are abundant along Graf Road, just south of Graf Park. Bring along a hammer for hours of fossil hunting fun.
Graf is located at the center of Heritage Trail, approximately 13 miles from either Sageville or Dyersville.
From Dubuque: Follow Asbury Road west. After you pass Sundown Mountain and go down into the valley and across the river, you will come to Graf Road, immediately before an electrical power station. Turn left onto Graf Road and drive approximately 3 miles into Graf.
From Highway 20: Take the Peosta exit off Highway 20 and go north into Peosta on Sundown Road. Stay on Sundown Road until it meets with Old Highway Road. Turn left onto Old Highway Road and follow it to Graf Road (the first road to the right). Turn right onto Graf Road and stay on Graf Road until you arrive in Graf (this will require you to turn right after each bridge you cross).
Click here for a map, courtesy of MapQuest.
Restricted Residence District
Flood Plain Ordinance
Max Levy Notices and Resolutions
Max Levy Notice 2021-2022
The residents of Graf have garbage pickup on Tuesdays. The cost for garbage pickup is paid for by the Town of Graf. Please limit garbage to one 35 gallon container per week. Recyclable items should be placed in the Recycle Dumpster located at the end of Lola Lane. Please do not put glass in the Recycle Dumpster. If you wish, you can take glass bottles/jars to the designated dumpster at Dittmer Recycling located at 1755 Radford Rd. Household hazardous waste can be taken to the Dubuque Landfill for proper disposal.
High Speed Internet
Graf residents can purchase high speed internet service through Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative: https://mvec.coop/
In case of emergency – call 911. Fire and ambulance service is provided by the Epworth Fire Department. They will arrive in approximately 10-15 minutes. The Town purchased an AED that can be used to save someone having a heart attack. The AED is in the pump house on Lola Ln. It is easy to use and gives voice instructions during use. Use of the AED before the ambulance arrives can greatly increase chances of survival.
The Town of Graf does not have a severe weather alert system. Because of this, the town provides each resident with NOAA weather radios which will provide severe weather alerts. Residents that do not have a NOAA weather radio should contact the City Clerk.
The Town of Graf would like to thank the Dubuque Racing Association for a $5,000 grant to purchase two radar speed signs during 2015. These signs display motorist's current speed to discourage speeding and make Graf streets safer.
Kurt Chipperfield, Graf City Clerk
10294 Emberwood Drive
Dubuque, IA 52001
Please click on the link for information regarding the Dubuque County Code Red Emergency Notification System.