This town is at the juncture of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers.
It is mostly a level prairie with a few swells or hills around it.
On May 25, 1846, the state legislature designated Fort Des Moines as the seat of Polk County.
Arozina Perkins, a school teacher who spent the winter of 1850–1851 in the town of Fort Des Moines, was not favorably impressed: This is one of the strangest looking "cities" I ever saw...
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.
Other major corporations such as Wells Fargo, Voya Financial, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, ACE Limited, Marsh, Monsanto, and Pioneer Hi-Bred have large operations in or near the metropolitan area.
Several prehistoric occupation areas have been identified by archeologists in downtown Des Moines.
Discovered in December 2010, the "Palace" is an expansive, 7,000-year-old site found during excavations prior to construction of the new wastewater treatment plant in southeastern Des Moines.
It is on and named after the Des Moines River, which likely was adapted from the French colonial name, Rivière des Moines, meaning "River of the Monks". insurance industry, and has a sizable financial services and publishing business base.
The city's population was 203,433 as of the 2010 census. The city was credited as the "number one spot for U. insurance companies" in a Business Wire article and named the third-largest "insurance capital" of the world.