MUSCATINE, formerly BLOOMINGTON, a flourishing city and river-port of Iowa, and capital of Muscatine county, is situated on the right bank of the Mississippi, 100 miles above Keokuk, and 32 miles S. E. from Iowa City. Commencing at the head of the upper rapids of the river, that stream may be traced in a, direction almost due west for more than 40 miles, until it strikes a series of bold rocky bluffs, by which its course is suddenly turned towards the S. At the apex of this bend, on the summit of these bluffs, is situated the city of Muscatine. The place was first settled by the whites in 1836, previous to which time it had been an Indian trading post, known by the name of Manatheka. It is one of the most populous and commercial towns of the state, and is the shipping point for an extensive and fertile territory. In consequence of the bend in the river, Muscatine is nearer the centre of the state than the other ports on the Mississippi, and it naturally commands the trade of two great fluvial divisions of Iowa, namely, the valleys of the Red Cedar and Iowa rivers. The projected railroad from Rock island, Illinois, to Fort Des Moines, is expected to pass through this place. Muscatine has a good landing for steamboats, which ply frequently between this and other towns on the river. It contained, in 1850, 2 printing offices and several churches. Pop. in 1853, estimated at 5000. (Baldwin's New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States..., 1854)
MUSCATINE The City of Muscatine was laid out in May and June, 1836. It is situated on the Mississippi River, one hundred miles by river above Keokuk, and thirty miles below Rock Island. It contains about 9,000 inhabitants, fifteen churches, three large school houses and three small ones, the county court house, two banks, many three and four story stores, and many large and elegant dwellings, located upon its bluffs and hills.
Lumber is the principle article manufactured. B. Hershey Esq., has the best saw-mill in the State. It is located at the lower end of the city of Muscatine, making the head of Muscatine slough a harbor for logs. It has over ninety saws in it, run by steam, and will cut 40,000 feet of lumber per day, besides making 22,000 shingles, and large quantities of lath and pickets, and dressing flooring. It averages 37,500 feet per day. There is also another saw-mill. Very large quantities of lumber are received by rafts from the pineries of Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Beef, pork, wool and grain are bought extensively at Muscatine, having the choice of transportation either by river or railroad to the sea-ports. A large wholesale and retail merchandise business is done at the city of Muscatine. (Hair's Iowa State Gazetteer..., 1865)