John Brassard Jr. at the LeClaire Community Library -- March 29.

Thursday, March 29, 6:30 p.m.

LeClaire Community Library, 323 Wisconsin Street, LeClaire IA

Unexpected, dark, and even horrific sides of Scott County history are currently being explored in a newly released book, and on March 29, Eastern Iowa author John Brassard Jr. will visit the LeClaire Community Library, telling real-life tales from his historical offering Murder & Mayhem in Scott County, Iowa.

Scott County is one of the oldest counties in the state, and is where the Blackhawk Treaty was signed and the first railroad bridge across the Mississippi River was built. But as Brassard will reveal in passages from his new book, the county has also been witness to many shameful and horrific deeds. In Murder & Mayhem in Scott County, Iowa, readers will travel down Utica Ridge Road, where young Grace Reed paid the ultimate price for spurning the affections of a local farmer. They'll enter the bedroom of Margaretha Nehlsen, who poisoned her children with chocolate candies. They'll learn the saga of Harry Hamilton, a former policeman turned career criminal who played a key part in perhaps the most infamous bank robbery in Scott County history. And they'll be startled, scared, and shocked by numerous other hidden pieces of Scott County history, several of which Brassard will touch on in his March 29 presentation.

An author and historian, Brassard has a degree in history from Iowa State University and is a history columnist for the DeWitt Observer. His work has also been featured in the Quad-City Times, the North Scott Press, the Catholic Messenger, and the Iowa History Journal, and with his father, Brassard co-wrote the 2011 book Scott County Cemeteries. He serves as a board member and newsletter editor for the Scott County Historical Preservation Society, and also works with the Scott County Historical Society, the Central Community Historical Society, and the Friends of Walnut Grove Pioneer Village.

Brassard will share stories from Murder & Mayhem in Scott County, Iowa at 6:30 p.m. on March 29, and more information on the free event is available by calling (563)289-4242 or visiting

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