Des Moines (dĭ moinˈ) [key], city (1990 pop. 193,187), state capital and seat of Polk co., S central Iowa, at the junction of the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers; inc. as Fort Des Moines in 1851, chartered as Des Moines in 1857. Iowa's largest city, it is an industrial, transportation, cultural, and governmental center in the heart of the Feed Grains and Livestock Belt. Printing and publishing, agricultural processing, and the manufacture of transportation equipment, machinery, metal and plastic products, textiles, and apparel are among its industries. The city is also home to many insurance and other financial services companies.
Settled by homesteaders, Des Moines became the capital of Iowa in 1857. It is the seat of Drake Univ., the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery, and Grand View College, among other educational institutions. Places of interest include the capitol (1871–84); the Des Moines Art Center; the Center of Science and Industry; the Iowa Museum of Agriculture; the Des Moines Central Library; and the state fairgrounds. The city suffered several floods in the 1950s, and despite flood control measures constructed on the Des Moines River, was again inundated in 1993.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.