It should be known (!) throughout Muscatine that two great button companies stood for over 100+ years. During which time, citizens found work, workers fed and clothed their families during a time that people of the nation were scratching a living from the land. As a result, the city of Muscatine reached global prominence as the capital of the freshwater pearl button industry.
Weber & Sons and McKee Button companies have recently, as if unnoticed, quietly closed their doors. Doors that have long stood open to opportunity, opening as foundational industries, creating employment and doubling Muscatine population in its heyday. People from all over the world came from Muscatine for opportunity. We are forever changed by the impression on our landscape made by the button families and their legacy.
Pictured here is the mark of incredible achievement awarded to the McKee Button Company to commemorate 100 years in business by Iowa’s Governor Terry Branstad. (1995)