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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.  


Native Peoples' History

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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