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Click on one of the stories below to start exploring Muscatine County's history through some of the influential people who have impacted us!


Native Peoples

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 who came to Muscatine searching for the perfect shell to make buttons, Boepple helped start the industry that shaped Muscatine for decades.


Claude Maxwell "Max" Stanley (1904-1984)

Max was a global citizen living in a local setting. His lasting legacy still shapes the work of the Stanley Center for Peace and Security. His life demonstrates the importance of various opinions sitting at the same table to discuss - even in rural communities like ours.


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.

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