Des Moines, Iowa

Located in the state of Iowa, Des Moines is also the most populous city of the state and is the 88th most populous city in all of the US. The economy of the city is largely supported by the insurance industry and the finance industry along with the publishing industry.

The climate of the city is classified as a humid continental climate which means that the summers here are quite hot while the winters are nice and snowy. The city offers a new shade in every season and that is why travelers are seen coming here through the year.

The parks and museums of De Moines are plenty and allow you to experience the various aspects of the city. Enjoy the theater to your hearts content here or take a look into the many architectural wonders that the city offers. Right from shopping to great food to immense culture, the city provides for it all. The city gets Fort in its name from the historical Fort Des moines, which is a popular tourist attraction.

Des Moines is a great place to live in. There are intriquing options in entertainment, education, affordable living and many other benefits the city offers its residents. Many businesses in the city also thrive.

Des Moines History

Founded in 1843, it was not until September 22nd in 1851 that the city of Des Moines was incorporated. The city lies at the confluence of Des Moines River and the Raccoon River and its location made it quite popular for humans way back in the pre historic age too.

It was in May 1843, under the supervision of Captain James Allen that a fort was constructed at the meeting point of the two rivers. The central need for this fort was to control the Native American tribes of the Sauk and Meskwaki, who had been shifted to this region from eastern Iowa. By 1846, these tribes were moved again and the fort became redundant. While James Allen wished to name the fort after the Raccoon River, he was instructed to name it after the Des Moines River by the U.S. War Department.

It was soldiers of the fort who were the first to mine coal here and they used it for the fort's blacksmiths. Despite great natural resources, the people here did not thrive under the White rule and illegal trade of whisky was said to be the most important cause of this problem. While the Natives kept trickling into the area till 1857, they did not find much favor here and the place continued to adorn an abandoned look.

On May 25th 1846, the fort was made the seat of Polk County. Strangely despite being bestowed with this honor the city did not grow much in importance and continued to offer a gloomy and abandoned look. Not much was constructed in the name of facilities and nothing much was done to promote the natural blessing of the city either. Then came the floods of 1851 that destroyed in entire area.

It was after the incorporation of the Des Moines city that it began it growth. In 1866 with the advent of the railroad that settlers began to flock to the city. The city was also made the state capital and this added to its charm. The Des Moines Coal Company opened its doors in 1864 and became the first systematic mining company in the region. Mining kept growing in the region to the extent that by the year 1893, there were 23 mines in the area and even after the mines were depleted of their coal, the city continued to grow.

About Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines is the county seat of Polk County and also spills into the adjoining Warren County. The city has been named after the Des Moines River that flows through the city. It is believed that the name of the river was adapted from the French Rivière des Moines which translated means "River of the Monks."

The city occupies an area of 77.2 square miles of which 1.88% is water. The 2010 census recorded a population of 203,433 of which 82.3% were Whites and 8.07% were African Americans. There were 0.35% Native American Indians and there were 3.50% Asian Americans with 0.05% Pacific Islanders. The median income of a household in the county was recorded at $38,408. 

The economy of the city is mainly supported by the insurance industry. Several important insurance companies like the Principal Financial Group, Marsh (formerly KVI), EMC Insurance Group, Allied Insurance, Aviva, Holmes Murphy, and American Republic Insurance Company all have their headquarters at Des Moines. Wells Fargo, ING Group, and Electronic Data Systems also operate from the city.

The city offers some fantastic buildings that should not be missed if visiting Des Moines. The 810 that towers over the rest of the city is an obvious building to be seen. The Iowa State Capital building is a huge attraction of the city while the Des Moines botanical center is a lovely place to visit not only for the buildings but also the many plants that are housed here. The Kruidenier trail bridge that is built across the Gray’s Lake is a must see sight especially at nights when the lights of the bridge are turned on. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park where the Des Moines Arts Festival is held is another very interesting location in the city. The Drake University must be visited not only for its academic benefits but also the magnificent buildings here. 

The city also hosts some great festivals and other similar events from time to time. The Des Moines Arts Festival is held in June every year. The Iowa State Fair is another important fair held in the city every August. The World Food Festival also brings in many visitors. The Downtown Farmers' Market and the Court Avenue Entertainment District where most of the city’s eateries operate are places that one must visit in Des Moines.  

About Polk County, Iowa

Located in the state of Iowa, Polk County is one of the five counties that make up the Des Moines-West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county was named after President James K. Polk and formed on the 13th of January, 1846. The county's first court house was also built in 1846 while the one that is operational at present was constructed much later in 1906. The county seat is the city of Des Moines which is also the capital city of Iowa.

Occupying and area of 591.90 square miles of which 3.81% is water, the county housed a population of 374,601 people in 2010. according to the 2000 census the racial make up of the population here was 88.34% Whites, 4.84% African Americans, 0.27% Native Americans, 2.63% Asians and 0.06% Pacific Islanders. The median income of a household here according to the same census was $46,116.

Apart from the county seat, Polk County also houses many other cities which are prominent. Of these Clive, Polk city, Pleasant Hill, Altoona, Granger and Norwalk are a few. The county has several incorporated areas also of which Avon, Farrar, Berwick and Enterprise are a few. The Des Moines River flows right through the county and forms a major source of water for this landlocked county.

Polk County boasts of several historically significant places that have found a place in the National Registry too. The Abraham Lincoln High School, the Bates Park Historic District, the Crane Building and the Crawford House are a few that deserve special mention. There are also others like Des Moines Saddlery Company Building that was built in 1881 and Earle & LeBosquet Block that was constructed in 1896 in the capital city of Des Moines. The Fleming building again in the capital city is another very important landmark that is housed in the county.