The Buffalo Bill Museum of LeClaire is organized and operated exclusively for educational purposes and to such ends is given the power to establish, to provide facilities for, to maintain and operate a museum to preserve early history, documents and relics pertaining to the Mississippi River, the Indian race, and William Cody, more commonly known as Buffalo Bill, early American life and settlers, and with particular emphasis to be placed on the relations of the above, and the connection with LeClaire Township and Scott County.
The Buffalo Bill Museum was established in 1957 by the LeClaire’s Women’s Club (now defunct), and was originally located in a store front on Cody Road (Hwy. 67) in LeClaire, IA. Its primary exhibits featured local river pilot artifacts, Buffalo Bill memorabilia, local Indian history, and items common to homes in the early 1800’s throughout the region.
In 1971 the first small museum building was constructed on the LeClaire Levee; later, in 2001 a 45 x 45 foot building addition was completed. Most recently, the River Pilots Annex was completed in 2008 to house the Lone Star Stern Wheeler.
The Lone Star was added to the museum’s collections in 1968, and later designated a “National Historic Landmark” (National Register # 89002461). It is the only surviving wooden-hulled vessel of its particular design.
The most recent update is our new entrance built in 2014 which includes the new docent desk, gift shop, office, archival room, and 2 restrooms.
Today, the museum welcomes nearly 20,000 visitors a year from all over the United States and at least 20 foreign countries. It operates 7 days a week, primarily through the efforts of volunteers, and remains a popular tourist destination along the I-80 corridor.
Board of Directors:
President: Ron Leiby
VP: Packy Huettman
Secretary: Debbie Smith
Treasurer: Dorothy “Polly” Sebastian
Executive Director: Robert Schiffke
Junior Director: Adrien Kazenske