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It is on and named after the Des Moines River, which likely was adapted from the French colonial name, Rivière des Moines, meaning "River of the Monks". insurance industry, and has a sizable financial services and publishing business base.
The people support two papers and there are several dry goods shops. In May 1851, much of the town was destroyed during the Flood of 1851.
In recent years, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, and Facebook Des Moines is an important city in U. presidential politics; as the state's capital, it is the site of the first caucuses of the presidential primary cycle.
Many presidential candidates set up campaign headquarters in Des Moines.
In addition, 15 to 18 prehistoric American Indian mounds were observed in this area by early settlers.
All have been destroyed during development of the city.
This town is at the juncture of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers.
It is mostly a level prairie with a few swells or hills around it.
"The Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers rose to an unprecedented height, inundating the entire country east of the Des Moines River.
Crops were utterly destroyed, houses and fences swept away." The city started to rebuild from scratch.
It contains well-preserved house deposits and numerous graves. State of Iowa archaeologist John Doershuk was assisted by University of Iowa archaeologists at this dig.
At least three Late Prehistoric villages, dating from about AD 1300 to 1700, stood in or near what developed later as downtown Des Moines.
The Sauk and Meskwaki did not fare well in Des Moines.