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. Learn about the first custodians' of this land.

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Mira Hershey (1843-1930)

Mira inherited her father, Benjamin Hershey’s, wealth when he passed. She was incredibly generous and funded 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 named "father of the button industry" in Muscatine, 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 local setting. His lasting legacy has shaped the work the Stanley Center for Peace and Security continues to do and is a testament to the importance of all opinions - even those in local rural communities like ours.

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Alexander Clark (1826-1891)

Muscatine resident, Alexander Clark was a laborer, barber, lawyer, and activist. Read more about his accomplishments in battling school segregation in Muscatine.

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J. Sarah and Emma Braunworth (1853-1927)

Dr. J Sarah Braunworth 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 at 15 to work in a button factory. Pearl traversed the United States speaking out for the rights of workers in early factories, met Helen Keller, earned her teaching license, taught, and became the principal of the Buffalo, Iowa, school before she was murdered in 1924.

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Catherine Roxana Miller (1908-2008)

Catherine Roxana Miller was a global citizen, progressive educator, and social activist.

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Susan Clark (1854-1925)

Susan Clark was 13 years old when she became the first black student in the United States to integrate a public school through a court order. Her suit, decided by the Iowa Supreme Court, gave all Iowa children the right to attend public school regardless of race, religion, nationality, or any other distinction.

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Sebastiana (Anna) Sanchez (1875-1959)

Anna and her daughter are the only Mexican females listed in Muscatine in 1910. Anna told her life story to one of her granddaughters who wrote it down.

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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 has been described as 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