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When Des Moines was in Keokuk County...

Iowa Counties

 Iowa Territory - December 28, 1837 The Newberry Library Were your ancestors so amazing that they lived in two different states in the same house? Probably not, it’s more likely the culprit of changing land boundaries.

Between 1836 and 1855 most all 99 Iowa counties were officially formed. Many of these county boundaries changed during that time. If your ancestors were some of the first to the area, their records may be in more counties than you think. In 1836, Dubuque County made up two-thirds of the state and included what would ultimately become Polk County.

Then and now

Kruidenier building

Kruidenier Building - Current The older picture is from a Des Moines Chamber of Commerce publication titled, aptly, Des Moines, from May of 1920. The newer picture of the same building is from the Polk County Assessor's website.

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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