Muscatine County, Iowa
Muscatine Journal & News-Tribune
Centennial Edition
31 May 1940

Section 3 - Muscatine Business Directory
“The first hundred years are the hardest . . .” or are they?

Of the more than 600 business firms in Muscatine, listed in the following business directory compiled by The Journal for its first centennial edition, are many who have weathered the storms of depression and hard knocks for nearly a hundred years. If we’ve missed any one of them in this listing, we deeply regret the oversight which is entirely unintentional. We have tried faithfully to give you a picture of how Muscatine firms have grown down through a century – from 1840 to 1940 – with each firm listed under the year in which it was established. It is also interesting to note by whom these firms were established, and the brief historical sketches which accompany most of them contain many amusing notes of the early days of our city.

When the wheels of industry began turning in Muscatine back in 1840 it was a far cry from the stream-lined business and industrial activity of today. We offer here The Journal’s directory of Muscatine firms:

Submitted by Phyllis Hazen
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J. M. KEMBLE LAW AND REAL ESTATE – Established in February of 1885 by J. M. Kemble.

    J. M. Kemble started in the insurance business in Muscatine in 1882, was admitted to the bar of Iowa in January of 1883, and entered the real estate business in 1886.

    His first office was located in an edifice where the Laurel building now stands. Later he moved to quarters above the George Eitman grocery, and again at 116 Iowa avenue. When the Hershey building was completed in about 1908, Mr. Kemble moved his office there, and has remained in that building to the present day.

    During his years in business Mr. Kemble has had three partners – Thomas Prosser, C. C. Horton, and his brother, Charles Kemble – but is now operating in his own name.

KEMBLE HOTEL – Established in 1885 by B. C. Ludlow.


THE BATTERSON STORE – Established in 1886 by S. M. Batterson.

    S. M. Batterson came to Muscatine from Wheatland, Ia., in 1886 and opened a general store, known as “The Batterson Bee Hive,” where Montgomery Ward is now located.

    The firm remained there until 1904 when a department store opened on the site of the present building. Elmer S. Batterson, a son of the founder, was in charge of the business at that time. In 1915 it was sold to an outside firm, but has continued to operate under the Batterson name through the years.

    H. I. Prusia is the present manager of the firm.

E. DORA & DONS, TRANSFER – Established March 26, 1886 by Ed Dora, Sr.


GROSSHEIM STUDIO – Established in May of 1887 by Oscar and Alexander Grossheim.

    George Eastman, founder of the Eastman Kodak company, was a personal friend of Oscar Grossheim, Muscatine photographer.

    Mr. Eastman spent two days visiting Mr. Grossheim at Muscatine in 1890, and several years later Mr. Grossheim visited Mr. Eastman at Rochester, N. Y.

    Mr. Eastman attended a convention of the Photographers’ Association of America at St. Paul, Minn., in July of 1890, at which he displayed a model of what he called the first hand camera. Some years later he coined the term Kodak, which has applied to hand cameras ever since.

    At the convention someone told of a Mr. Grossheim in Muscatine, Ia., who had built a hand camera some years previous. At the convention’s close, therefore, Mr. Eastman came by boat to Muscatine and found, upon calling on the local photo- …

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    … grapher, that Mr. Grossheim hadbuilt his hand camera some nine years before… in 1881. This was six years before Oscar Grosshein and his brother, Alexander, had opened their photograph studio in the 100 block on East Second street. After being in business together six years the two brothers separated, and Oscar continued the firm in new studio in the same block where he is now located. In 1898 he built the present building at 317 East Second street, and has continued in business there for 42 years, upholding the firm’s reputation for excellent photographs throughout the years.

U.S. BAKING COMPANY – Established in 1887 by J. H. Carl as the Vienna Bakery.

    The U. S. Baking company is the outgrowth of the old Vienna bakery start in 1887 by J. H. Carl at 305 East Second street. Mr. Carl operated the Vienna until 1903, when D. L. Carl, his son, together with John Rider took over the business, continuing the firm name Vienna.

    In 1904 it became known as Carl and Stutzman, being operated by D.L. Carl and O. L. Stutzman until Mr. Carl took it over alone from 1906 to 1917. At that time O. L. Stutzman bought back the bakery and changed the name to U. S. Later Mr. Stutzman sold out to John Nyweide, the present proprietor. Mr. Neweide is associated in business by his son, Wallace. The firm name of U. S. Bakery has been continued since 1917.


RATCLIFF’S CAFÉ – Established in the spring of 1888 by John Ratcliff.

Y. M. C. A. – Established in Muscatine in December of 1888 by a group of local men.


AUGUST BLAESING, Jr. CONTRACTOR – Established in 1889 by August Blaesing Sr.

    August Blaesing, Jr., namesake of his father, August Blaesing, Sr., who started in the contracting business in Muscatine back in 1889, has been in business for himself the past 30 years. August Jr., worked in his father’s firm for about five years before starting his own business. Among some of the larger jobs which he has completed in the last few years are the Hersey Nurses’ home on Mulberry avenue, the addition to the light plant, the municipal sub-station and municipal light office.

EDWARD BLAESING, CONTRACTOR – Established in 1889 by August Blaesing Sr.

    Edward Blaesing has been in the contracting business for himself for the past six years. Prior to that he had worked with his father, August Blaesing, Sr., who had been in the contracting business since 1889. August Blaesing, Sr., who is still living but retired from business is 85 years old. The Edward Blaesing firm is at present working on a job at the Huttig Manufacturing plant, doing the mason work on theboilers and putting on a turbine foundation and floors. Mr. Blaesing has from 6 to 12 men working for him all the time.

BEN & WILL BLAESING, MASON CONTRACTORS – Established in 1889 by August Blaesing, Sr.

    Ben and Will Blaesing, who started in business with their father, August Blaesing, Sr., in 1889, established their own firm in March of 1935. The senior Mr. Blaesing retired form business several years ago. Just recently the two brothers completed the new front on Broud’s store. Other large jobs done within the past few years include the Shell Service station, the Mobile Service station, and the Standard Service station – all three on East Hill, the new ….

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    front on the Daut building on Cedar street, and the Morgan Drug store front. Ben Blaesing is located at 1207 Cedar street, and Will at 1800 Orange.

DR R. S. TILLIE, VETERINARIAN–Established in August of 1889 by Dr. John Tillie.

STERNEMAN CLOTHING COMPANY–Established in Oc-tober of 1889 by John Sterneman.

    The Sterneman Clothing com-pany founded by John Sterne¬man in 1889, has had as its slogan, “Step up the Avenue and save dollars,” ever since moving to its present location at 305 Iowa avenue in 1912.

    Previous to that the store had been located at 208 West Second street, next to the old Bijou theater. When the theater burned, part of the clothing store was damaged by fire and the firm moved to Iowa avenue, where it has remained ever since. John Sterneman continued as head of the firm until his death on Nov. 13, 1918, at which time George Nietzel, who had been associated with the store for more than 50 years, took over the business. Early in 1939 he retired, and his son, Verle, became head of the firm.


MUSCATINE PEARL WORKS –Established in 1890 by John Graff.

    The Muscatine Pearl Novelty company originated the manu-facturing of novelties from fresh water pearl when it began business in the year 1898. Pearl novelties exclusively were made for years in a small shop located on Mulberry avenue, employing usually a half dozen people. The leading items manufactured at that time were pearl hat pins, pearl stick pins, pearl buckles and pearl slides. The variety of items made and production increased and the firm established new quarters on East Second street. The company was incorporated in 1920 and the name changed to the Muscatine Pearl Works.

    Modern button manufacturing and other machinery was in-stalled after O. A. Hammer became president of the company in 1935, and the trade name LUCKYDAY was established. It is one of the leading Pearl factories today and LUCKYDAY pearl buttons, novelties, slides, buckles, etc., are sold on all leading notion counters in the United States and in several foreign countries. “If it is made of pearl we make it” can truly be said, and if it is made of pearl it promotes the welfare of Muscatine.

MRS. MARY BISESI FRUIT STORE–Established in October of 1890 by Tony and Joe Bisesi.

BRAUN BAKERY–Establish¬ed in 1890 by Frank Braun.

    Frank Braun, father of Carl Braun who is the present owner of the Braun Bakery, started a bakery in Muscatine 50 years ago at 201 West Second street. When Carl was 19 years old he took over the business for himself, operating it in the original location for eight years before moving to the present bakery at 500 Mulberry avenue. Carl Braun has been in the business for about 35 years, and does the baking for the firm every day.

PRUDENTIAL INSURANCE, COMPANY–Established in Muscatine in 1890 by Jacob S. L Williams.

W. G. BLOCK COMPANY–Established in about 1890 by W. G. Block.

    Fifty years ago the W. G. Block company was established in Muscatine as a coal business. For years Mr. Block had been connected either with the packets on the river as agent or with the Standard on company. How¬ever, as the packet business was gradually losing ground to the ...
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    Railroads and the Standard Oil company at that time, which was before the automobile, did not appear to offer the opportunities of today, it was only natural that Mr. Block desired to have his own company.

    He had already sold some coal to the steamboats and his father before him, Marx Block, had shipped a few barges of coal to the Muscatine Gas plant run by Truman Cowell. In fact, Marx Block is thought to have brought the first barge of coal up the Mississippi river from St. Lois. And so, as the business of selling coal offered greater opportunities, particularly with the coming shortage of wood, W. G. Block embarked in the coal business for himself.

    Since that time the business has branched out until it now controls yards in Iowa and Illinois – at Davenport where there are two yards, Rock Island, Moline, Muscatine, Clinton, Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Maquoketa, Sioux City and Waterloo.

    George J. Koenigsaecker is resident manager of the local yard. The Muscatine office is being moved in June from the Laurel building to 118 Iowa avenue.


OTTO GROCERY COMPANY – Established in August of 1892 by Christian Otto.

    Chris Otto and sons opened a grocery store at 205 East Second street in 1892, which continued until the death of Mr. Otto, Sr., in 1905.

    Thereafter the firm went under the name of Chris Otto’s Sons until the sons sold out to Potter Brothers of Tama, Ia.

    After five years, at the expiration of the building’s lease in the fall of 1917, the new firm of the Otto Grocery opened up a new cash and carry food market, which continues to enjoy the same successful business carried on many years before.

CAPTAIN E. A. BATCHELOR BOAT RENTAL – Established in the summer of 1892 by E. A. and Myron Batchelor.


TYPOGRAPHICAL UNION, LOCAL NO. 251 – Established in April of 1893 by a group of Muscatine printers.

    Three charter members of the Typographical union, Local No. 251, are still working at the printing trade in Muscatine. They are William Deutschman, George Keckler, and Gustav Weis.

    Ed Molis was president of the local union when it was first organized here in April of 1893.

    Present officers are Nathan Hoefflin, president; Robert Houseman, vice president; R. F. Martin, secretary-treasurer; Donald Branson , recording secretary; and Fred Van Zyl, sergeant-at-arms. The executive committee is composed of the president, vice president and secretary, in addition to Walter Koever and Charles Whitmore.

H. J. HEINZ COMPANY – Established in Muscatine in 1893 by H. J. Hinz.

As The Journal celebrates the completion of a century of progress, the H. J. Heinz company is almost on the eve of the golden anniversary of the beginning of its activities in Muscatine.

This is the oldest of the company’s branch factories now in operation.

The founder of the company, H. J. Heinz, recognized the advantages of Muscatine’s soil and climate for production, and decided to build a factory here. Muscatine had a boom year when work began on the local Heinz plant in 1893, with the first appearance of the street car in the city and other progressive steps.

The first Heinz building was a one-story structure, 85 by 126 feet. Improvements and additions have been made until the factory now has a floor space of approximately 7 ½ acres.

The founder of the company took a personal interest in Muscatine and in the development of a factory here and agriculture in general. Old pictures show him in the fields inspecting crops, soil, and the operation of implements so modern that they are curiosities.

The first product to be sold under the Heinz name was prepared horse-radish, and the company has always processed large quantities in Muscatine.

He company which began in the little town of Sharpsburg, near Pittsburgh, Pa., 70 years ago has grown until today it has 26 factories in five countries. Mr. Heinz died in 1919, and since then his son, Howard Heinz, has been president.

M. J. McKinley is manager of the local plant.


W. H. McBRIDE DRUG STORE – Established Nov. 1, 1894 by McBride and Cope.

PETER BISESI CONFECTIONERY – Established in 1894 by Peter Bisesi.


ELKS LODGE – Established in June of 1895 by a group of 17 Muscatine men.

    Three charter members of the Elks lodge – Ed Zeidler, Fred Hacker, and G. B. Samuels – have seen the organization grow from 17 charter members in 1895 to the present membership of 780. The lodge was organized here in June of 1895, with the charter granted in July at the national convention in Atlantic City.

    The Muscatine Elks are noted for their charitable activities, which include annually the giving of Christmas baskets to underprivileged families, a Thanksgiving dinner for underprivileged children, providing groceries and coal to emergency cases and poor families, a $200 annual subscription to the community chest, and medical aid to the underprivileged.

    On Dec. 18, 1939, the lodge presented the city of Muscatine with Drinker Collins iron lung, and was honored by an official visit from the grand exalted ruler, Henry C. Warner.

    Two Muscatine Elks have served as Iowa state presidents, Clay Kneese and Arthur Umlandt. Recognition from the grand lodge has come this year through appointments made by the grand exalted ruler, Henry C. Warner.

    E. D. Horst was named as district deputy grand exalted ruler of the Iowa southeast district, and Arthur Umlandt was appointed as one of three judges to preside at the national ritualistic contest to be held in July at Houston, Tex. Mr. Umlandt has also served as district deputy grand exalted ruler of the Iowa southeast district.

HAWKEYE LUMBER COMPANY – Established in 1895 by Muscatine Lumber and Box company.

    The original mill from which the Hawkeye Lumber company is the outgrowth was started by Chambers brothers in the early days of Muscatine. Later it was taken over by Dessiant and company, and still later by the Muscatine Lumber company prior to 1886. At that time the mill burned down, and the business lay idle three or four years, after which it was started up again by Hahn brothers.

    In 1895 the business was taken over by the Muscatine Lumber and Box company, who operated it until 1915. At that time the name was changed to the Muscatine Lumber and Coal company, of which J. H. Kendig was the president and general manager for a number of years until his death.

    On Jan. 1, 1937, the firm was taken over by the Hawkeye Lumber company. L. B. Thomas is the present manager of the firm, which handles a complete line of lumber and building materials of all kinds, as well as coal reasonably priced.

    The Celotex brand of insulation board, Old American shingles, and Keystone fence are also featured.

    The firm operates other lumber yards in this vicinity at Wilton, Atalissa and Nichols.

McKEE BUTTON COMPANY – Established in March of 1895 by James S.McKee and W. E. Bliven.

    The McKee Button company, largest manufacturers of fresh water pearl buttons in the world – was known as the Peerless Button company back in 1895 when the firm was established by James S. McKee and W. E. Bliven. In 1897 he name was changed to McKee and Bliven Button company, and in 1925 to the McKee Button company.

    The first factory was located at the corner of Front and Linn streets, and the present building was erected in 1906.

    James S. McKee was president of the company from 1895 until his death in 1929, at which time J. Harold McKee became head of the firm. Since the latter’s death in July of 1936, Albert S. McKee has been president.

    The McKee Button company has sales offices in both St. Louis, Mo., and New York city.

PENNANT PEARL BUTTON COMPANY – Established in New York as the Vienna Pearl Button company in 1895 by D. A. Willis and G. Blumenthal – came to Muscatine in 1900 and changed to Pennant company in 1915.

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J. GREENBLATT, HIDES AND FURS – Established in March of 1895 by Jacob Greenblatt.

GEORGE KRANZ & SON – Established in 1895 by Mr. and Mrs. George Kranz, Sr.

    Mr. and Mrs. George Kranz, who operate the George Kranz and son florist firm in Muscatine, have been in business for about 10 years. The establishment was founded by Mr. Kranz’ father, George Kranz, Sr., in 1895, at which time the greenhouses were built on Parham street. The senior Mr. Kranz died about seven years ago.

    Mr. and Mrs. George Kranz first operated a down-town retail store on Iowa avenue, and moved down to Second street six years ago.


MUSCATINE BROOM FACTORY – Established in April of 1896 by Harry Metzger.

    Harry Metzger, who founded the Muscatine Broom factory in 1893, was engaged in farming and broom making with his father at Washington, Ia., before coming to Muscatine.

    His first broom factory in this city, located at 804 Colver street, burned down about 35 years ago, at which time the present factory was erected at 918 Colver street.

    Mr. Metzger sells brooms in five states, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota and is on the road with his product every week. His two sons, Gerald and Glen, are associated in the business with him.


GRAND HOTEL – Established in July of 1897 by John Dermedy.

    John Dermedy, proprietor of the Grand Hotel since 1897, is believed to be the oldest active hotel man now living in the United States. Though nearly 93 years old, Mr. Dermedy still has complete charge of the business.

    The Grand Hotel was built by W. W. Webster in 1877. At first he used the ground floor as a monument show room and work shop, and the upper floors as a drill and dance hall being used by Company C for a drill room. In 1883 the building was remodeled and converted into a hotel, being opened as the Hotel Webster. At that time it was considered the “handsomest building in town and became at once the leading hotel.”

    In 1884 it came under the management of Arnold Barber, who had several successors as landlords unitl Dr. E. B. Fulliam Sr. became its owner, when he changed the name to Hotel Best. This continued until 1897, when J. G. Dermedy obtained possession and gave the hostelry thename of Hotel Grand.

    In 1909 Mr. Dermedy obtained the title to the building and in 1910 remodeled it to meet with the tastes of his patrons.


McCOLM & COMPANY – Established in 1898 by J. L. McColm

    J. L. McColm founded a dry-goods store under his name in 1898 at the present site of the Woolworth store on East Second street. He continued as head of the business until his death, when the firm was taken over by his son, E. L. McColm. Upon the latter’s death the store was continued on the same basis, with Laura McColm Atkins as head of the firm.

    The sote remained on East Second street until 1918 when the Laurel building was erected at the corner of Iowa avenue and Second. At that time McColm and Company moved into the new store, occupying the basement, first, second and third floors. In 1929 the J. C. Penney company moved its stock to the basement and first floor, with the McColm and firm occupying just the second and third floors.

    A complete line of women’s wearing apparel, floor coverings and draperies is carried by McColm and company, which has been under the management of Walter Freebern since Sept. 1, 1933.

FICKEN FURNITURE AND RUG COMPNAY – Established in February of 1898 by H. G. Ficken.

    When H. G. Ficken came to Muscatine from Burlington to establish a furniture business back in 1898, his son, John, then a young man of 25, entered the business with his father. The present owner of the Ficken Furniture and Rug company recalls how the family came from Burlington in a wagon drawn by one horse, with a horse and buggy trailing behind.

    The business was first started on West Second street at the location of the present Ramseyer plumbing shop. They had the first plate glass window on Second street, which was much envied by the other merchants whose windows were all four and six plates.

    After several years the firm was moved to the location of the Sterneman Clothingcompany. Some time later Mr. Ficken and his son joined with the Battersonstore, the elde Ficken remaing about four…

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    ... years and his son, John, 11 years.

    The father had returned to Burlington, Ia., and in 1913 John Ficken left Batterson’s to form the present Ficken Furniture and Rug company, buying out the furniture business of the Wittichs.

    He operated his business at the site of the U. S. Bakery on East Second street until purchasing the corner at Iowa avenue and Third streets, which was remodeled at a cost of $10,000 in 1925.

    John Ficken’s son, Jack, entered the business last summer following his graduation from the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts where he studied interior decorating. This makes the third generation of Fickens in the furniture business in Muscatine.

AUTOMATIC BUTTON COMPANY – Established in 1898 by Henry Umlandt and John Weber.

    The Automatic Button company is so named because it was the first plant in Muscatine to use the automatic button machine.

    Founded in 1898 by Henry Umlandt and John Weber, the firm was originally known as Weber and Umlandt. After two years it was taken over by Mr. Umlandt alone, who changed the name to Automatic Button company. He remained as head of the firm until his death in 1926, when his three sons, Carl, Arthur, and Harold Umlandt, and a brother, William Umlandt, took over the business.

    The firm originally operated in a house back of the present factory. In 1900 the business was moved into the present building, which had formerly been used as a mill and machine shop.

J. B. MARK & SON, REAL ESTATE – Established in April of 1898 by J. B. Mark.

SAMUEL’S CANDY SHOP – Established in 1898 by G. B. Samuels.

    G. B. Samuels started making candy in Muscatine 42 years ago, when he opened a candy shop on Iowa avenue, between Front and Second streets.

    In 1911 he moved up to Second street and remained there until 1925. Then for several years he specialized in the wholesale candy business, until in 1934 his son, Sherwood Samuels, opened an attractive new retail store in the 100 block on East Second. Two years ago the Samuels Candy shop was moved to 309 East Second street, its present location. Sherwood Samuels now makes all the candy himself, with the exception of several well-known brands such as Bunte, Johnston and Julia King, which are handled by the firm. Novelty candy favors are also available for special days.

WILLIAM DOERING & SON, CONTRACTOR – Established in 1898 by William Doering, Sr.

William Doering, Sr. started in the contracting business with his father before taking over the work for himself in 1898. His father had been a brick mason in Germany before coming to this country. About 10 years ago William Doering, Sr., took his son, William, Jr., into the business with him. The firm makes its own cement bocks in a shop on Sycamore street.

GEORGE BENNINGER CEMENT CONTRACTOR – Established in 1898 by George Maurer.

MAX HARTUNG CONTRACTOR – Established in 1898 by Max Hartung.


RED MEN LODGE – Established in Muscatine Nov. 13, 1899 with 28 charter members.

    The local Tribe of the Improved Order of Red Men was issued a charter under the name of Musquitine Tribe No. 95, Improved Order of Red Men on November 13, 1899, with 28 charter members, included among whom were Edward Hagerman, who remains an active member.

    The local Tribe has always been active in civic affairs, and in the years past organized and presented many Fourth of July celebrations; erected and presented to the city a beautiful Indian statute in memorial to the Mascotin Indians from whom Muscatine acquired its name; purchased and presented to the Muscatine high school a completely equipped cafeteria.

    This Tribe owns and operates a large four-story building on West Second street and pays taxes to the city on the portion of the building not used for tribal purposes.

    The local Tribe has been honored by the Great Council of Iowa, Improved Order of Red Men through election of two of its Past Sachems as Great Sachems of the Great Council of Iowa, these two being Past Great Sachem Edward O’Brien and Past Great Sachem Charles C. Hagerman.

    In the early days of the agitation for the freedom of the American colonies there were formed throughout the colonies certain patriotic groups to carry on the work of organization for the eventual stroke for freedom that the leaders had then foreseen; these groups bore various name – in the New England colonies the name adopted was Sons of Liberty, in New York Sons of Saint Tamina, and in Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas the name of Red Men.

    After the Revolutionary War was concluded and the Constitution adopted these various groups were assembled in a national patriotic and political body which adopted the name …

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    … of Red Men. Later the name was enlarged to that of the Improved Order of Red Men, and political action was abandoned and it continued merely as a fraternal-patriotic organization. The Improved Order of Red Men is now and always has een an intensively American patriotic order; its history is closely inter-woven with the history of the United States and the birth of the Stars and Stripes.

    RECORD PRINTING COMPANY – Established in May of 1899 by William Narvis.

    The building occupied by the Record Printing company at 214 Chestnut street was formerly the old Congregational church of Muscatine. It was also used as an Armory by Company C, and later by the A. O. U. W. as a lodge hall. In 1916 it was purchased by William Narvis, founder of the Record Printing company and the firm moved to that location.

    The Record was first located over the old Journal office in the building now occupied by the Red Paint store. Later it was moved to the corner of Chestnut and Second streets and in 1916 to the present location. Stuart Narvis, son of the founder, entered the business in 1914, and upon the death of his father in 1928 took complete charge.

    Two years ago the firm put in a new Miller Mayor Automatic which takes a sheet 27 by 40 and runs 3,000 an hour; and just recently installed another new Kelly cylinder press which takes a sheet 19 by 24 and runs 4,200 an hour. There are two linotypes in the composing room and an equipment of modern faces. The firm’s motto is “no job too large or none to small for us to handle.”

    The Record is agent for Shaw-Walker filing supplies and office furniture, for Mellink fire-proof safes, and carry Borum and Pease loose-leaf ledgers and forms and also the Wilson-Jones line. Since 1923 the firm has been publishing each month a syndicated service for L. W. Ramsey advertising agency in Davenport, which is sent all over the United States. For this project the company has printed nearly 5 million copies, using over 21 tons of paper and a ton of ink.

BETTERSON-WESSELS COMPANY – Established in 1899 by Elmer S. Batterson and J. E. T. Wessels.

    The Batterson-Wessels company is engaged in the wholesale distribution of buttons and notions throughout the country. Founded by Elmer S. Batterson and J. E. T.Wessels in the late 1890s, the firm has continued under the same name through the years. The son of the founder, John E. Wessels, has recently entered the business.

    J. E. T. Wessels died on Oct. 15, 1923, at which time H. E. Fayle became manager of the firm, remaining in that capacity until May of 1935, when Mrs. Anna Korte took charge. John E. Wessels entered the business following his graduation from Notre Dame University last June. Mr. Batterson was connected with the firm until 1935.

J. E. KRANZ, FLORISTS – Established in September of 1899 by J. E. Kranz.

MUSCATINE COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY – Established in 1899 by a group of Muscatine county physicians.

    Records show that the first medical society in the county was organized in 1869 and re-organized in 1874, but who formed the associations and how long they were kept alive is a ...

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    … matter of doubt.

    However, the present Muscatine County Medical society was formed on May 11, 1899 when, pursuant to a call issued by Dr. E. H. King, the regular practitioners of Muscatine county assembled at the Y. M. C. A. parlors. The society was made auxiliary to the Iowa State Medical society, “the object being the promotion of social and professional relations of its members and the advancement of original scientific investigation.”

    The first officers elected were Dr. H. M. Dean, president; Dr. E. H. King, vice president; and Dr. J. L. Klein, secretary, treasurer.

    Prominent among the charter members, in addition to Dr. King, Dr. Klein and Dr. Dean, were Drs. G. A. Heidel, George Lezotte, E. K. Tyler, F. H. Kittle, Miss Emma L. Braunwarth, G. O. Morgridge, Miss Sarah Braunwarth, T. F. Beveridge, A. J. Oliver, A. J. Weaver, and H. P. Mason, the latter of Wilton.

    At the present time there are 22 members. Current officers are Dr. T. M. Miller, president; Dr. E. O Muhs, vice president; and Dr. J. L. Klein, Jr., secretary-treasurer. Meetings are held once each month at the Hotel Muscatine.

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