Governor Herring Presentation - Tuesday, March 7th - Franklin Library  at 6:30 p.m.

The public is invited to a Des Moines Historical Society lecture by Victoria Herring at 6:30 p.m. March 7 at the Franklin Library, 5000 Franklin Avenue. It will focus on Clyde L. Herring, the founder of Herring Motor Co., who manufactured Ford Model T cars in Des Moines. In 1908 Herring entered the automobile business in Atlantic, Iowa. As a result of his earlier acquaintance with Henry Ford, Herring received a free car and the right to own the Ford dealerships for all of Iowa in 1910. As president of the Herring Motor Company, and later the Herring-Wissler Company in Council Bluffs and Des Moines, he became wealthy. In 1915 his dealership sold and delivered more automobiles than any other automobile agency in the United States. He was a friend and confidant of Henry Ford as well as an Iowa governor (1933 to 1937) and a U.S. senator.



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. 

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. 


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​​​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

​NEW 2017 Calendar 

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