Muscatine, Iowa

City: Muscatine

County: Muscatine

State: Iowa

Lat/Long: 41.3833, -91.0833

Muscatine is a city and the county seat of Muscatine County, Iowa. Located along the Mississippi River, the area that would become Muscatine was originally home to various Native American nations. The city of Muscatine began as a trading post established in 1833 to accommodate passing steamships and trade with Native American communities. The first permanent white settler arrived in 1835, and in May 1836, proprietors of claims platted the town. Houses and flour and sawmills appeared to meet the demands of the settlers, and in 1839, the town was incorporated as Bloomington. In 1849, the name was changed from Bloomington to Muscatine. The Iowa General Assembly incorporated Muscatine as a city in 1851. During the nineteenth century, Muscatine became an important center for agriculture, trading, and the lumber industry. Prior to the Civil War, Muscatine was home to a large African American population, which included fugitive enslaved persons from the South and free blacks who migrated to Muscatine from other northern states.

Irving B. Richman, History of Muscatine County Iowa (Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1911), 1:282-89; Kristin McHugh-Johnston, Images of America: Muscatine (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2010), 7; Patricia Reed-Merritt, ed., A State-by-State History of Race and Racism in the United States (Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2019), 306.