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Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa

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Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Des Moines, Iowa.

Not to be confused with Des Moines County

Des Moines is the county seat of Polk County and was orginally named Fort Des Moines, which was shortened in 1857.

History

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Des_Moines,_Iowa''

Des Moines traces its origins to May 1843, when Captain James Allen supervised the construction of a fort on the site where the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers merge. Allen wanted to use the name Fort Raccoon; however, the U.S. War Department preferred Fort Des Moines. The fort was built to control the Sauk and Meskwaki Indians, whom the government had moved to the area from their traditional lands in eastern Iowa. The fort was abandoned in 1846 after the Sauk and Meskwaki were removed from the state and shifted to the Indian Territory.

The Sauk and Meskwaki did not fare well in Des Moines. The illegal whiskey trade, combined with the destruction of traditional lifeways, led to severe problems for their society. One newspaper reported:

"It is a fact that the location of Fort Des Moines among the Sac and Fox Indians (under its present commander) for the last two years, had corrupted them more and lowered them deeper in the scale of vice and degradation, than all their intercourse with the whites for the ten years previous".

After official removal, the Meskwaki continued to return to Des Moines until around 1857.

Archaeological excavations have shown that many fort-related features survived under what is now Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway and First Street. Soldiers stationed at Fort Des Moines opened the first coal mines in the area, mining coal from the riverbank for the fort's blacksmith.

In May 1851, much of the town was destroyed during the Flood of 1851. "The Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers rose to an unprecedented height, inundating the entire country east of the Des Moines River. Crops were utterly destroyed, houses and fences swept away."

In 1864, the Des Moines Coal Company was organized to begin the first systematic mining in the region. Its first mine, north of town on the river's west side, was exhausted by 1873. The Black Diamond mine, near the south end of the West Seventh Street Bridge, sank a 150-foot (46 m) mine shaft to reach a 5-foot-thick (1.5 m) coal bed. By 1876, this mine employed 150 men and shipped 20 carloads of coal per day. By 1885, numerous mine shafts were within the city limits, and mining began to spread into the surrounding countryside. By 1893, 23 mines were in the region.[28] By 1908, Des Moines' coal resources were largely exhausted.[29] In 1912, Des Moines still had eight locals of the United Mine Workers union, representing 1,410 miners. This was about 1.7% of the city's population in 1910.

Links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Des_Moines_River

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principal_Financial_Group

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meredith_Corporation

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raccoon_River

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_Site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sauk_people

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meskwaki

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Mine_Workers

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Library_of_Des_Moines

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Post_Office_(Des_Moines,_Iowa)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Des_Moines_City_Hall

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equitable_Building_(Des_Moines)