Muscatine, situated on one of the largest east-west bends of the Mississippi River, grew from a small territorial trading post into an Iowa community rich in agricultural bounty and manufacturing ingenuity. Mussels harvested from the mighty Mississippi propelled the city to the status of the "Pearl Button Capital of the World" by the turn of the 20th century. Booming lumber yards, sash and door manufacturers, and the first H. J. Heinz canning facility built outside of Pittsburg added to the town's growth and prosperity. An aspiring writer named Samuel Clemens, civil rights pioneer Alexander Clark Sr., the self-proclaimed cancer cure of Norman Baker, and other notables add even more texture to the town's rich heritage. The story of Muscatine is traced through these businesses and the men and women who left a legacy of work ethic that defines the Midwest.
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