Our distinctive hotel is named for Stanley Merrill Howe, a life-long resident and business leader of Muscatine, IA. A native and local business leader for more than 60 years, Howe helped build HON Industries, a locally based, global leader in the manufacturing of office furniture and hearth products.
Howe began his career in the 1940’s after graduating with an MBA from Harvard Business School. Under the management of Maxwell Stanley, his childhood Scoutmaster and Sunday School teacher, he worked his way up the corporate ladder by joining the Board of Directors in 1958, becoming president in 1964, and taking over as Chairman and CEO when Stanley died in 1984.
An intellectual, thoughtful, and analytic man, Howe was a roll up your sleeves kind of man and a visionary. Refusing to slow down after retirement, he actively pursued his desire to fix up downtown Muscatine with one of his very first projects, the revitalization of Pearl Plaza, a historic building that houses a variety of unique merchants and is a favored spot of out-of-town visitors and locals.
A selfless man, Stan, along with his wife Helen, thoroughly enjoyed helping others. They dedicated their time to improving education in Muscatine and throughout Iowa where they contributed to the Iowa State Foundation and the development of the University of Iowa Business School. Today, Howe’s contributions to the town are honored through the dedication of several buildings including the Howe Galleria, this hotel, and the Stan Howe Commons at Muscatine High School.
Watch Downtown Muscatine thrive as we invite business leaders, conference planners, and leisure travelers to The Merrill Hotel & Conference Center. Strategically placing our hotel in the heart of the city, along our picturesque river, fuels the economic engine for our community and the State. In fact, the construction project alone translates into 100 jobs and a $38 million impact on the local economy. This along with an estimated 550 jobs and an $81 million impression on Iowa means The Merrill Hotel has placed itself, our city, and our State very well.