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In addition to being a writer, I am also a historic storyteller. This means that rather than making up a story for people to enjoy, I use the medium of storytelling to bring moments of history to life for my listeners.

My presentations have been enjoyed by people all over the state of Iowa. I’m both willing and able to provide your storytelling needs across a variety of venues. Here are some of the places I’ve spoken:

  •    Central Community Historical Society and MuseumDewitt, Iowa
  •    German American Heritage CenterDavenport, Iowa
  •    Iowa Masonic Health FacilitiesBettendorf, Iowa
  •    LeClaire Community LibraryLeClaire, Iowa
  •    Gateway ArcanaClinton, Iowa
  •    Corning Opera HouseCorning, Iowa
  •    Estherville Public LibraryEstherville, Iowa
  •    Scott County Historical SocietyDavenport, Iowa
  •    Scott County Historic Preservation SocietyBettendorf, Iowa
  •    Jackson County Historical SocietyMaquoketa, Iowa
  •    Central Community SchoolsDeWitt, Iowa
  •    Crawford Brew WorksBettendorf, Iowa


me william bettendorf mansion
Presenting at the William Bettendorf Mansion. Courtesy of Iowa Masonic Health Facilities


   Whether light-hearted or dark in tone, my stories are always entertaining and educational. I have given a variety of programs on various topics, including:

  • The Great Long Grove Bank Robbery of 1921 (A personal and client favorite!)
  • Murder and Mayhem in Scott County, Iowa
  • Infamous Murders of Clinton County, Iowa
  • William Bettendorf – Inventor, Businessman, and Philanthropist
  • The Story of the William Bettendorf Mansion
  • The Land that My Ancestors Knew: A History of Adams County, Iowa
  • Boo! – True Ghost Stories from Scott County, Iowa
  • Feud! – The Great Clinton County Courthouse Rivalry
  • The Legends of Scott County, Iowa
  • A Brief History of Native American History in Scott and Clinton Counties


Each story is told in rich detail, based on meticulous historical research. Often, each presentation is supported by both modern and historical photographs in order to give the listener a more immersive experience.

Before a presentation at the Frances Banta Waggoner Library in DeWitt, IA

It doesn’t matter if you’re seeking to educate or  to entertain, I can provide both to your satisfaction. Drop me a line and book me today!

Here’s what some people have said about my presentations: 

“Mr. Brassard has a talent for weaving a compelling narrative out of incomplete historical details. His presentation at GHC 2017 was thoughtful, engaging, and instructive on how historical memory and historical truth often work at cross purposes. His passion for digging into the dark corners of local history is impressive and inspiring.” 

   – Bradley Wiles, Former Director of Clinton Public Library, Knowledge Management Specialist at IMEG Corp

   “One of my favorite alternative stories of American history is Wisconsin Death Trip. It is one of those books that uses the past as a reflection of contemporary times and makes  us question if the human condition has ever changed. Like Lesy, John examines what it means and has meant to live. When done with macabre or done with sensationalism, Murder and Mayhem can come across as a ploy to cause reaction. By brining impassioned storytelling and the backdrop of progress and modern development, listeners and readers of John will be reminded that humans have “free will” or agency to both wreak mayhem but also form a new identity in the aftermath of the ultimate price paid to be human. Death is equally as important to our history as life, and anyone looking to book John will get a history story, not a story of death.”

– Matthew Parbs, Director of The Sawmill Museum, Clinton, Iowa

For more information, go to the “Contact” section of this website and book your presentation today!





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