Maurice Stans’ grandparents immigrated to America from Belgium. His mother’s family was known for their brewery located in Shakopee, while his father’s family included notable musicians. He grew up with his parents and sister in a small house next to the railroad tracks. When he graduated from high school in 1925, he left to attend college in Chicago. While living in New York, he met a fashion model who would later become his wife of 51 years. Although he never again lived in Shakopee, Stans attributed his success to the solid education he received there and repeatedly gave community support. Family photographs and childhood mementos begin Stans’ story on exhibit.
Maurice Stans devoted his life to public service, first as the director of the budget for President Eisenhower’s administration, then as Secretary of the Commerce for President Nixon. He resigned that position to become the head of the “Committee to Re-elecct the President”, and endured the Watergate incident. Although he was heavily investigated, he only received a small fine for an accounting error. Stans returned to private life and wrote two books on his experiences with Watergate.