The History of Muscatine County, Iowa

It has been the purpose of the Publishers to condense, into the convenient form of a single volume, the scattered fragments of local history, and to give, for the sake of reference, an abstract of the many records of the county. In addition to such topics of value, there is herein given a very satisfactory paper on the geologic formations and history of the region, from the pen of Prof. F.M. Witter, whose research in and acquaintance with the locality, as well as with the abstract science, have peculiarly qualified him for such a task. The entomology of the county is also treated in a practical manner by Miss Alice B. Walton, who has made that branch of science a special study. The meteorological record, compiled by Mr. J.P. Walton, is a notable feature of the work. The Indian history is prepared from many sources, and contains several original conclusions, based upon accurate information. Of the history proper, it can be said that careful and painstaking efforts have been put forth to please the present and to benefit future generations of readers. The compilers desire to express their sense of obligation to the Press, the Pulpit, and the Pioneers, for their cordial co-operation; and, also, to venture the hope- that the product of their labors may not prove unacceptable. It would be impossible to name individuals who have aided in the preparation of this volume, and we can, therefore, offer but a general acknowledgment of the courtesy extended. That the History of Muscatine County, as here presented, may be satisfactory to all a sentiment, we confess, that is a bold one, in view of the freedom and diversity of public opinion is the sincere prayer of May, 1879.


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In the year 1541, DeSoto first saw the Great West in the New World. He, however, penetrated no farther north than the 35th parallel of latitude. The expedition resulted in his death and that of more than half his army, the remainder of whom found their way to Cuba, thence to Spain, in a famished and demoralized condition. DeSoto founded no settlements, produced no results, and left no traces, unless it were that he awakened the hostility of the red man against the white man, and disheartened such as might desire to follow up the career of discovery for better purposes. The French nation were eager and ready to seize upon any news from this extensive domain, and were the first to profit by DeSoto's defeat. Yet it was more than a century before any adventurer took advantage of these discoveries.