Submission Guidelines

One hundred years is a long time. And in each passing day is a reminder that our history is growing and changing and, oftentimes, being forgotten. The Des Moines Historical Society (DMHS) wants to make sure Des Moines’ history isn’t lost. 

All you have to do is nominate someone or something and provide some kind of proof that he/she/it meets the criteria below. Honorees will be invited to and recognized during quarterly membership meetings of the Des Moines Historical Society. Other arrangements for the presentation of the Centennial Certificate may also be considered.

Honorees will receive a framed certificate acknowledging their achievement.Thank you in advance for your assistance with this important project. Below you will find the Centennial Certificate Program Guidelines and submission form.

Contact DMHS Board Members with any questions at:
or one of our Centennial Certificate Coordinators,
Karen Hanley,
Linda Powers,

DMHS Centennial Certificate Guidelines

Business (includes large and small) 
Organizations (non-profit, church or religious, school-related, tribal, other)
Buildings (includes privately owned and public/government)

The business / organization / person / home / building must be documented to be 100 years old or older and still currently living or in existence. Homes and buildings must reflect most of their original architectural character (additions/alterations acceptable, but only to the extent it has not compromised historic character).

Businesses and organizations must have been founded in Des Moines and remained (essentially) under the same name and with the same mission/purpose throughout its history.

Small businesses (50 employees or less) must have retained (essentially) the same name and purpose throughout its history. It is acceptable that ownership of the business may have changed. It is acceptable that the location has changed. Only businesses and organizations founded and currently operating within Des Moines city limits will be considered.

Only businesses / organizations / people / homes / buildings built, organized or born on or before 1915 will be considered for a 2015 Centennial Certificate. 

Homes: Includes multi-family structures (duplexes, four-plexes, apartment buildings) 

Buildings: Refers to structures that house commercial or retail businesses, government, schools or hospitals.  

People: Any man or woman, still living, who is 100 years old or older and who has spent the majority of their life living within the city limits of Des Moines. 

​There is no deadline or fee to submit Centennial Certificate nominations.

There are 3 easy ways to submit: 
1. By Mail: Mail to Centennial Certificate Program
Des Moines Historical Society, P.O. Box 8038, Des Moines, IA  50301.    

2. By E-Mail: Request a submission form by contacting; Fill it out and e-mail it back. 

3. Online: Click here for nomination form.

Centennial Certificate

In response to a need for greater recognition and acknowledgement of Des Moines history, DMHS began the “Centennial Certificate” program in 2012. 

DMHS is working to document businesses, organizations, people, homes and buildings that are 100 years old or older. 

Can you help? Read the guidelines at right, then download and fill out a nomination form (see link at bottom).

Mail or e-mail the form to: 

Des Moines Historical Society

Centennial Certificate Nomination

P.O. Box 8038

Des Moines, IA  50301

Photo courtesy Susan Burger,

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