John Brassard Jr. at the German American Heritage Center -- September 23.

Sunday, September 23, 2 p.m.

German American Heritage Center, 712 West Second Street, Davenport IA

Unexpected, dark, and even horrific sides of Scott County history are currently being explored in a 2018 book by John Brassard Jr., and on September 23, the Eastern Iowa author will visit Davenport's German American Heritage Center in order to share real-life tales from his historical offering Murder & Mayhem in Scott County, Iowa.

Scott County, one of the oldest counties in the state, 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 springtime release, 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 no doubt be startled, scared, and shocked by numerous other hidden pieces of Scott County history, several of which Brassard will touch on in his German American Heritage Center 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 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 has also worked with the Scott County Historical Preservation Society, the Central Community Historical Museum, the Friends of Walnut Grove Pioneer Village, the Catholic Historical Center, and the Clinton County Pioneer Cemetery Association.

Brassard's German American Heritage Center presentation will find the author sharing stories from Murder & Mayhem in Scott County, Iowa at 2 p.m. on September 23, the event is free with $3-5 admission, and more information is available by calling (563)322-8844 or visiting

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