Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Des Moines
DES MOINES, a city, capital of the State of Iowa, and county-seat of Polk co.; at the junction of the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers, and on the Rock Island, the Northwestern, the Burlington Route, the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul, and several other railroads. It is built on a plateau from 15 to 20 feet above the tidewater and is intersected by both rivers, which are spanned by eight bridges. The business portion lies near the rivers, and the residences are on the higher grounds beyond.
Public Parks and Buildings.— The city has an extensive park system. Among the notable buildings are the Capitol, erected at a cost of $3,000,000; the United States Building, containing the Postoffice and Federal Courts; the State Library; the State Historical Building, and Auditorium; Hospitals; Court House; the Grand Opera House; City Hall; State Arsenal; and about 75 churches.
Business interests.—The city is located in the center of a rich coal mining district. The principal industries, besides coal-mining, include pork-packing and the manufacture of starch, glass, pipe, brick and tile, foundry and machine shop products, engines, boilers, stove pipe, cements, furniture and brass goods. In 1919 there were 3 National banks.
Education.—The school system is maintained at a high standard. The annual expenditure for education is over $1,000,000. For higher instruction there were 5 public high schools, a private one, Des Moines College, Drake University, Highland Park College and Grand View College.
History.—Des Moines was first surveyed in 1846; incorporated as a town in 1853; and chartered as a city in 1857. In the last year it was made the State capital. Pop. (1910) 86,368; (1920) 126,468.