We are continuing work on the history of the Muscatine County Sheriff's Office. Check back as we progress with this project. We are making every attempt to provide accurate and historical information!
Muscatine, seat of Muscatine County, first came into existence in the summer of 1833 when Colonel George Davenport, of Rock Island, Illinois, sent 3 representatives into the territory to setup a trading post. That same year, James W. Casey and John Vanatta stopped at the outpost. Here Casey's "woodpile," which stocked the steamboats providing access to the frontier, opened June 1, 1833 by the Blackhawk Purchase, and gave the settlement its first name of "Casey's Woodpile." In May 1836, a surveyor was engaged to survey a town and when the first plat was made the name of Newburg was given to the town, which was soon discarded and changed to Bloomington. The population then was 71.
The first jail was ordered built in January 1839 on the Northwest corner of the public square. The "old" jail that stands across 4th Street from the courthouse was built in 1857. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as is the courthouse. The "old" jail was replaced in 1907 at a cost of $15,000 for the building and $6,000 for the steel cage and fittings. On November 6, 1990 an $8.5 million bond issue was passed to fund the construction of a new jail on Walnut Street west of the Courthouse and Old Jail. The new state of the art jail was dedicated July 5, 1996.