History

Muscatine County has a rich and diverse history. Established in 1839, Muscatine began as a town called Bloomingtown with a population of 71. Our town grew in values, industry, and community as time progressed.  

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Native Peoples' History

Human activity in Iowa began with Native American tribes long before settlers arrived.

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Mira Hershey (1843-1930)

Mira inherited her father's wealth and used it to fund Hershey Hospital, dedicated to caring for all the sick without regard to race, color, creed, or income.

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John F. Boepple (1854-1912)

A German immigrant and Muscatine's "father of the button industry," Boepple helped start the industry that shaped Muscatine for many years.

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Claude Maxwell "Max" Stanley (1904-1984)

Max was a global citizen living in a rural setting. His lasting legacy has shaped the Stanley Center for Peace and Security's work and is a testament to the importance of all opinions.

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Alexander Clark (1826-1891)

Muscatine resident Alexander Clark was a laborer, barber, lawyer, and activist who battled school segregation in Muscatine.

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J. Sarah and Emma Braunwarth (1853-1927)

Dr. J Sarah Braunwarth was the first female physician in Muscatine. Her sister, Emma Braunwarth, followed in her footsteps.

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Ora Pearl McGill (1894-1924)

Ora Pearl McGill came to Muscatine when she was fifteen to work in a button factory, later traveling the country to speak on behalf of factory workers, meeting Helen Keller, and becoming the principal of an Iowa school, before being murdered in 1924.

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Catherine Roxana Miller (1908-2008)

Catherine Roxana Miller was a global citizen, progressive educator, and social activist who helped to broaden many people's views of the world.

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Susan Clark (1854-1925)

Susan Clark was thirteen years old when she became the first black student in the United States to integrate a public school.

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Sebastiana (Anna) Sanchez (1875-1959)

Anna's life as one of the early Mexican residents of Muscatine was not easy.

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Willetta Strahan (1883-1974)

Willetta Strahan, who came to Muscatine in 1929 to become the first dean of the new junior college, had a passion for learning. In 1963 when the college finally got its own building, it was named for her.

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Aldeen Davis (1916-2000)

Aldeen Davis was an advocate, artist, writer, mentor, freedom-fighter, and friend. Muscatine Mayor Dick O’Brien declared January 14, 2001 Aldeen Davis Day to celebrate one of the city’s leading African American citizens.

History will be kind to me, as I intend to write it.

Winston Churchill