Benjamin Franklin Allen and his wife Arathusa celebrated the completion of Terrace Hill on their fifteenth wedding anniversary, January 29, 1869. The home was designed by W.W. Boyington from Chicago, had 20 rooms, and is said to have cost the Allens…

The S.S. Brinsmaid house was the earliest known Prairie Style house in Iowa. It was designed by architect Arthur A. Heun and built in 1901 on the northeast corner of 36th and Grand. Heun is known for designing many large mansions in the Chicago…

On August 29, 1866, the Valley railroad entered Des Moines after 12 years of work.  The first train that entered left from Keokuk at 7:30 a.m. and arrived in Des Moines a few minutes before 3:00 p.m. with 300 passengers from many Iowa towns…

From the late nineteenth century through the 1930s Iowa had a thriving automotive industry, and automobiles were designed and manufactured in its capital city by several companies. From early electric carriages to gasoline-powered luxury cars, Des…

Second and Euclid is the home of Park Fair Mall, but it was once the site of an interesting piece of Des Moines educational history. Highland Park College, Des Moines University, and the University of Lawsonomy once stood on this spot. Highland Park…

Kurtz Hardware Co. proudly states it was founded in 1866 as a tinsmith and general hardware store, providing basic supplies for both residential and commercial clients. Louis H. Kurtz emigrated from Germany in 1840.  While journeying west, his…

At the turn of the 20th Century, many Des Moines residents sent their laundry out be laundered by others. White Star Laundry was one such company. It was owned by J.O. Anderson and operated out of the East Side of Des Moines. Anderson expanded his…

In 1857 Des Moines only encompassed 8.75 sq/mi. In 1890, Des Moines increased its size dramatically to 55.1 square miles by annexing 8 surrounding communities. This was a significant increase in land and population. The boundaries for various years…

Sevastopol began as a settlement south of Des Moines around 1855.  It was laid out by James Sherman, was recorded on July 21, 1862,  and  incorporated in 1877 or 1878 (varies with source).  Its boundaries were SE 5th, Hartford Ave, Bell Avenue and…

People passing by the large brick building at Southeast Seventh and Scott Avenue in Des Moines may not realize the significance of this structure.  For more than 50 years it was the home of the Roadside Settlement House. Founded in 1896 by the Kings…