John Brassard Jr. is an author and historian. He has a degree in History from Iowa State University, and is the co-author of “Scott County Cemeteries,” a book about some of the former residents of our county. Mr. Brassard writes a regular column about Clinton County history called “Brassard’s Attic” 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. He has worked with the Central Community Historical Museum, Catholic Historical Center, and the Clinton County Pioneer Cemetery Association in Clinton County, Iowa, and is the newsletter editor for both the Friends of Walnut Grove Pioneer Village and the Scott Historical Preservation Society in Scott County, Iowa.

Published Works

Coming Soon from History Press – Murder and Mayhem in Scott County 

In the minds of some, the people who helped build this country were somehow more noble and righteous than individuals are today. However, if you lift the rug of history, you’ll find that people back then had some of the same sinister designs and motivations that can be found in the modern world. “Murder and Mayhem in Scott County“, the second book by John Brassard Jr., explores this theme and takes a long look at the darker side of Scott County, Iowa’s history.

Scott County Cemeteries

Settlement of Scott County, Iowa, began in the early 1830’s. Towns began to spring up all along the shores of the Mississippi River, and then gradually spread west toward the interior of what would become the state of Iowa. Businessman, politicians, lawyers, doctors, and pioneers all left their imprint upon that land, and then were buried beneath it, taking their stories with them. In their book, Scott County Cemeteries, John Brassard Jr. and his father, amateur historian John Brassard Sr., bring those stories back into the light, sharing that rich history with their readers.

Praise for Scott County Cemeteries

This was an interesting book and if anyone is interested in Scott County, Iowa history and the people that lived there they will like it.” – Susan Kay Rekkas

Totally interesting book, being from the area, was especially fascinating…hope more people take time to visit and research these areas.” – Karen Hill

Scott County Cemeteries is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books a Million.

Brassard’s Attic

John writes a monthly column for the DeWitt Observer called “Brassard’s Attic.” It covers various aspects of Clinton County, Iowa history. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad, but always entertaining, “Brassard’s Attic” seeks to educate and inform the public about the rich history present in Clinton County.
Excerpt from “Brassard’s Attic”
     “John M. Gates was born and raised in New England. He started his working life as a carpenter. Gates moved to other things, even running a museum for a few years. Eventually, he moved to Illinois and bought a mill. Unfortunately, that mill burnt down. So, in 1855, at the age of thirty-seven, he made his way west into Iowa and settled in DeWitt. And for sure, he saw and knew the hotel on the main avenue.”
     -From “Civil War vet bought hotel – with a lookout (maybe)” Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Other Publications

  • Who was Rev. P.J. Maher?” The Catholic Messenger, September 22, 2016
  • In 1906, tragedy strikes near Summit ChurchQuad City Times, October 31, 201
  • “95 years ago: Vigilante Al Klindt was the hero of the infamous Long Grove bank robbery.” North Scott Press, Wednesday, December 7, 2016
  • “Local History: A shortage was discovered at the bank in McCausland in 1923”  North Scott Press, December 28, 2016
  • Guest Column: Mississippi Valley Fair had its roots in rural Scott County.” North Scott Press, February 8, 2017
  • “Should the Old Bridge Go?” Along the Lincoln Highway: The Newsletter of the Iowa Lincoln Highway Association, Volume 22, Number 1. Spring 2017.
  • “Vigilante Justice Served: Citizens of Long Grove gunned down bank robbers in 1921.” Iowa History Journal, May/June 2017.