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What is the history of Des Moines, Iowa, USA?

People, Pictures, Old Postcards and Stories From the Past

Explore Des Moines, Iowa, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures and genealogy.
"Des Moines, a city, the capital of Iowa, and seat of justice of Polk co., is situated on both sides of the Des Moines River (at the mouth of the Raccoon River), which affords abundant water-power and is crossed by 13 bridges. Lat. 41° 37' N.; lon. 93° 37' 30" W. The site is elevated. By railroad, Des Moines is 358 miles W. of Chicago, 360 miles N.W. of St. Louis, and 137 miles E. by N. from Omaha. The city has 6 public parks. The principal public buildings are a fine state-house which cost nearly £ and a marble edifice built by the United States for the post-office and court-house at a cost of $222,566. There are in the city 76 church organizations occupying their own houses of worship, the following denominations being represented: Methodist Episcopal (including Ger man, Scandinavian, and African), Presbyterian, Baptist (including African), Lutheran (English, German, and Swedish), Evangelical, Roman Catholic (including Ger man), United Brethren, Hebrew, Friends, Congregational, Protestant Episcopal, Christian (Disciple), Unitarian, United Presbyterian, Second Advent, and Latter-Day Saints. The city also has a large and prosperous branch of the Young Men's Christian Association. The organization is now finishing a $75,000 building, the same being equipped with parlors, reading-rooms, library, gymnasium, baths, music-hall, &c. The buildings will be free from mortgage. The schools of the city proper occupy 39 substantial buildings, including a new structure for high and industrial departments. The total number of teachers employed is 331, their salaries ranging from $45 to $145 per month. The superintendent's salary is $2000 per year. Several new school buildings are now in process of erection. Excellent parochial schools are maintained by the Roman Catholics and Hebrews. There are also private schools, and a young ladies' seminary (Catholic) of a high order. It has also 3 opera-houses, 2 high schools, the state library of about 20,000 volumes, 5 national banks, 7 other banks, and printing-offices which issue 4 daily and 30 weekly news papers and several monthly periodicals. There are also in the city 4 prosperous universities...

Des Moines is the converging point for 17 railroad lines, affording as many distinct outlets by rail, and giving quick and direct communication with the 99 counties of Iowa and the country at large. The city enjoys complete service with Chicago, St. Paul, St. Louis, Kansas City, and the country of the far west. It is a distributing point, with time-tables so arranged as to afford close connection with all trunk lines running in various directions. Ninety-six passenger trains now arrive and leave daily. The seat of state government was established here in 1855. Pop. in 1870, 12,035; in 1880, 22,408; in 1890, 50,093; in 1893, about 72,000."

Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ...
Joseph Thomas
January 1, 1895
J.B. Lippincott


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Old Photos, Pictures, Advertisements and Postcards from Des Moines, Iowa, USA


Des Moines, Iowa, USA
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Hunt and Adams
Des Moines, Iowa

Search old newspapers for stories about your family!


Des Moines Tribune
Homestead
The Iowa State Register
The Des Moines Leader
The Daily Iowa Capitol
The Des Moines Register

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Des Moines, Iowa, USA
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Walnut Street

Des Moines, Iowa, USA
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Walnut Street

Des Moines, Iowa, USA
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Fourth Street looking South from Locust Street

History and News of Des Moines, Iowa, USA

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  • 1851 - September 22 - The city of Des Moines, Iowa was incorporated as Fort Des Moines.
    historyorb.com
  • 1857 - State capital moved to Des Moines from Iowa City
    www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ usstates/ iatimeln.htm
  • 1887 - Suicide
    William M. Locks, a retired banker whose fortunes had become impaired by unfortunate speculation, committed suicide by shooting Thursday morning at... Read MORE...

  • 1901 - Des Moines - Iowa's Capital City by Frank I. Herriott
    The beginnings of the city of Des Moines are not shrouded in romance or shadowy tradition. Thrilling episode and epochmaking events do not abound in... Read MORE...

  • July 19, 1905: Morris Nourse earned a Carnegie Medal by saving a drowning boy in Des Moines, Iowa
    The Old Farmer's Almanac
    www.almanac.com
  • News  1906 - ACCIDENT AT DES MOINES. Five Commissioners to General Assembly Injured in Collapse of Platform.
    Des Moines, Iowa, May 18—Five commissioners to the Presbyterian general assembly were bruised and injured late this afternoon by the collapse of a... Read MORE...

  • News  1906 - TWO ASPHYXIATED. YOUNG MEN OF DES MOINES ARE VICTIMS OF GAS.
    Des Moines - FRANK MERRIAM, aged 25, and E. R. CAMPBELL, aged 22, were asphyxiated by illuminating gas in their room at 1435 West Locust Street. The... Read MORE...

  • News  1907 - SEVEN KILLED IN WRECK. COAL TRAIN ON CHICAGO AND NORTHWESTERN DITCHED IN IOWA.
    Des Moines, Ia., Feb. 4. - Seven miners were killed to-night, and a dozen were injured in the wreck of a coal train on the Chicago and Northwestern... Read MORE...

  • 1913 - September 22 - Des Moines, IA, experienced their earliest freeze of record.
    The Weather Channel
  • 1916
    Des Moines, a city and port of delivery, the capital of Iowa and of Polk oo., is situated on both sides of the Des Moines River (at the mouth of the... Read MORE...

  • 1924 - April 15 - WHO-AM in Des Moines Iowa begins radio transmission
    historyorb.com
  • News  1929 - 5 DEAD, SCORES INJURED DURING FIRE IN HOTEL. FIREMEN BELIEVE MORE VICTIMS BURIED IN WRECKAGE OF $250,000 BUILDING. 12 RUSHED TO HOSPITALS. FOUR JUMP FROM FIFTH FLOOR WHEN TRAPPED; CHECK-UP MISSING STARTS.
    Des Moines, Iowa, April 6. - (AP) - At least five persons are dead and scores are suffering from injuries, burns and cuts received in a fire which... Read MORE...

  • News  1929 - PILOT KILLED IN REFUEL TEST. PLANE GOES INTO NOSE DIVE, FLIER IS UNABLE TO RIGHT IT; PAL SAVED.
    Des Moines, Ia., July 19. - (AP) - ROSS ARNOLD, pilot of the endurance monopane, "Greater Des Moines," was killed late yesterday when the plane... Read MORE...

  • 1941 - December 31 - Snow which began on New Year's Eve became a major blizzard on New Year's Day, burying Des Moines, IA, uunder 19.8 inches of snow in 24 hours, an all-time record for that location.
    The Weather Channel
  • 1950 - February 21 - WOI TV channel 5 in Ames-Des Moines, IA (ABC/PBS) begins broadcasting
    historyorb.com

Des Moines, Iowa, USA Genealogy

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Updated: 5/16/2019 5:32:45 PM

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