The Accidental Revelations of Sanborn Maps - A Great Introduction

Des Moines, 1884 Sanborn Map from Library of Congress

Have you used the library's collection of Sanborn maps for family history research? They are a great resource for a family historian attempting to identify property owned by ancestors. Sanborn maps can also show the evolution of a city, including residences, businesses, schools, churches, and mining companies (a surprisingly popular topic)...

Sherman Block - Historic Tour #8

F.M. Hubbell

On the northeast corner of 3rd and Court was the Sherman Block, built in 1855 by Hoyt Sherman.  B.F. Allen was a banker here and it was also the first home of Equitable of Iowa. Equitable was founded by F.M. Hubbell who arrived in Des Moines on May 7, 1855, with $3 in his pocket.  His father demanded he give the money back to him so he could buy land in Dallas County. Young Hubbell walked the streets until he found a job as a clerk in the land office with Phineas Casady.

Des Moines Historic Tour #5

James Savery image James Savery from History of Des Moines and Polk County, Iowa by Johnson Brigham. Vol. 1, p. 49. S.J. Clarke: 1911.


James C. Savery, with his brothers Chester and George, purchased their first hotel in 1853 on the south side of Walnut close to the Western Stagecoach Depot on Third Street.


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