Come learn about us and how you can get involved with the DMHS - Saturday, February 11, 11-1PM
1701 Pennsylvania Ave, Des Moines, Iowa 50313

History of Younkers: More Than a Store - February 22nd, 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Presented by the Central Public Library 1000 Grand Avenue.  
Vicki Ingham, author of Younkers: The Friendly Store, will share how the business became an Iowa institution. Join us for a fascinating presentation and refreshments.

History of Iowa Capitol Building​  - Saturday, February 25th, 10:00 am 
State of Iowa Capitol Building (Enter at the south door and someone will direct you).  Joan Arndt, who fascinated us with interesting facts and tour last year, will give us more history about the Capitol,… that sometimes we take for granted.  MEMBERS ONLY EVENT

Governor Herring Presentation - Tuesday, March 7th - Franklin Library  

Presentation on Governor Clyde LaVerne Herring by granddaughter Victoria Herring.

Center Street Presentation - Tuesday, April 24th - more info to come.  



Des Moines History - 


The origin of the name "Des Moines" is uncertain. The French des moines literally translates to "of the monks." Some people believe it refers to French Trappist monks who lived in huts at the mouth of the Des Moines River, while others think it could be referring to the Moingona natives of the area. Another theory is that Des Moines was corrupted from the French de moyen ("middle") because of its location between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. 

​ Get your Des Moines Historical Society Gear Now!!!

  • NEW 2017 Calendars are here!!!

  • DMHS Pennants ​

  • DMHS Polo Shirts available for $22.00

Order items through Paypal below, many of these can also be picked up at:

 Ameriprise Financial Services

 2716 Grand Avenue   

 Des Moines, IA 50312

 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 *Make checks payable to Des Moines Historical Society...

Des Moines Historical Gear

Oops! Are you looking for the Des Moines (Washington) Historical Society? Try here >>

Contact Us


Des Moines Historical Society

P.O. Box 8038

Des Moines, IA  50301


Photos courtesy Lost Des Moines

Our success depends on the generosity of those who share our belief that Des Moines history should be preserved. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization,  your contribution may be  tax-deductible. 

We are a growing organization with many special tours, events and programs throughout the year. Join today!

The Des Moines (Iowa) Historical Society is a 501c3 organization with the mission to promote the preservation and study of the history and heritage of Des Moines, Iowa. 


Join Today

​NEW 2017 Calendar 

​​​Des Moines Historical Society

Give Local Des Moines - May 3, 2016 - we are joining more than 100 communities across the country to raise millions of dollars for our individual communities.  See Events page for more details.


May 14, 2016 - Quarterly Meeting and St. Johns Lutheran Church Tour


​​Iowa Architectural Foundation 2016 Lectures
​Thursday, April 28th– 6:30 Pm – Des Moines Art Center