The Larnerd Case house (also known as Rose Hill) at 3111 Easton Boulevard is said to be the oldest home in Des Moines.  Different sources cite the original construction date from the early 1840’s to 1850. Owners appear to have loved the home, one…

A history of the Rowat Cut Stone Company should begin many years back. In fact, in 1850 a boy was born into a large family in Kilmarnock, Scotland. This boy started to learn to be a stonecutter at the age of 14 and just after he was 21 years old he…

James C. Savery was Des Moines' first great hotel man. Arriving in 1857, Mr. Savery purchased the Marvin House on 3rd Street and renamed it the Everett House which became the terminus of the stage line.In 1856, he led investors in the building of…

Almost 50 years ago Des Moines and Iowa were digging out of a massive snowstorm, remembered by many locals as the “Blizzard of ’73.” The snow started on Monday, April 9, and buried Des Moines in 12 inches of snow. Drifts of 15 feet were common…

Iowans, has voting got you down? C’mon, cheer up and practice gratitude to the Aussies who 162 years ago invented something that forever changed how we vote in America: the Australian Secret Ballot. Before its introduction in the U.S., voters…

Ronald (Dutch) Reagan, movie star, governor of California, and president of the United States from 1981-1988, lived in Des Moines for a time in the 1930s, when he worked as a sports announcer for WHO radio. Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois, in…

Open air schools in the United States started in 1908 but closed down by 1941. Children who attended usually suffered from tuberculosis (TB). Most people with TB were treated in sanitariums, but this made it difficult for children to acquire an…

Emma Ferrington inherited Reliable Rug Factory from her deceased husband Warren E. Ferrington in 1890 and quickly expanded services and products. You can still see the remaining building on Keo Way. According to a 2020 Des Moines Register article,…

William Wirt Witmer grew up the 12th of 13 children on Pennsylvania farm. He attended school at Gettysburg College, leaving it to enlist in the 104th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. After being mustered out he studied law and came to Muscatine,…