Were your ancestors so amazing that they lived in two different states in the same house? Probably not, it’s more likely the culprit of changing land boundaries.Between 1836 and 1855 most all 99 Iowa counties were officially formed. Many of these…

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…

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…

On the northwest corner of Second and Walnut was the site of Joseph Hierb’s Saloon. Hierb and his brother started the first brewery in Des Moines in 1855, which later became known as City Brewery, located at 7th and Center Streets. They piled their…

In 1846, soon after the establishment of the state of Iowa, it was decided that it needed to be moved from Iowa City to a more central location. It took 9 years of rivalries for the legislature, with approval of Governor Grimes, to determine that…

In April of 1873, two men from New York, along with their families, stepped off the Keokuk & Des Moines rail line (Rock Island Line) to start a business based on innovation that would change the spice industry. Jehiel had been working for a…

In the summer of 1869 the first fire engine arrived in Des Moines: It was named the General Crocker Steamer in honor of General Marcellus Crocker, beloved Des Moines lawyer who died at the end of the Civil War. The steamer was financed by the…