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

Section 3 - Page 8, Submitted by David Bunker, March 20, 2012

Woes Developed When Citizens of Many Nearby States Chose
Name of Bloomington for Town

Bloomington was a popular name for towns in the middle west back in the early years of the 19th century. In fact it was too popular to please residents of this community. There were Bloomingtons in Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky and Illinois, and mail often intended for Bloomington, Iowa, frequently was missent. So residents of this community decided, back in the summer of 1849 to take action to remedy the situation. Appealing to the courts for aid, some 200 residents of the town addressed the following petition to the court:

    “The State of Iowa, Muscatine county ss: District Court of the Sate of Iowa, within and for the county of Muscatine, June term, 1849:

    “The undersigned land holders in the vicinity of the town of Bloomington, in the county of Muscatine in the state of Iowa, think it desirable to change the name of the town to that of Muscatine for the following reasons:

    “1. Frequent miscarriages of letters by mail occur by reason of there being towns in Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois of the same name.

    “2. Burlington is sometimes mistaken by postmasters for Bloomington, and mail matter is carried to and lies at the former place that is destined for the latter.

    “3. The reason for adopting the name of MUSCATINE is obvious – it is the name of one of the most noted and conspicuous land marks on the Mississippi river, a name co-eval with the first discovery of the course of the river by LaSalle, at the head of which the town is situated, and is the name of the county of which the town is the seat of justice. There is no other town within the knowledge of your petitioners of the same name.”

    Records show the petition and accompanying papers were filed June 6, 1849, Richard Cadle being county clerk at the time.

    The decree, as prayed, was granted on the 7th of june, 1849, by Hon. James Grant.

    Accompanying the petition was the following notarized statement:

    “The undersigned citizens of Muscatine county and Bloomington, Iowa, being duly sworn, say that they are satisfied that more than three-fourths of the inhabitants of said town desire the name thereof changed to that of “Muscatine” and they further say that they know of no other town or village in this State of the same name with that which is prayed for in the petition.
           “Andrew J. Fimple,
           “J. Scott Richman,
           “Stephen Whicher,
           “I. C. Day.”

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A Real Pioneer

Photo of old building ~ Serving a variety of purposes during the years of existence was the old log cabin pictured here which for many years stood on the Dr. James Weed farm. The cabin was built in the year 1837 on lot 3, block 10, Bloomington, Iowa territory. It was utilized as a residence, boarding house, and for a short time as a post office.

The property was purchased in the fall of 1839 by Dr. Benjamin Weed and used by him as a dwelling for several years. Many a scene of frontier life was enacted in this home. And for a time after it was replaced as a home it continued to give service, for a time as a carpenter shop and finally as a stable.

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