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Des Moines Information

Des Moines, Iowa, is located in the Iowa River Valley. It is centrally located between the Missouri River and the Mississippi River, which some believe the namesake is derived. No one is certain how the name Des Moines came to be; however, several theories exist. One of such theories is due to its location and the French influences in the area. De moyen translates to "the middle" from French into English. Another more literal translation is based on the fact that French Trappist monks resided in the river basin during the early settler days and Des Moines literally translates to "of the monks." It could also be derived from the Moingonan natives who resided in the area.

This city has unique origins as it was created as a military fort to protect the rights of local tribes, the Fox and Sak. The Iowa River Valley officially permitted settlers in 1845, just one year before the state of Iowa's official statehood. Several years later, the capital was moved from Iowa City to Des Moines. The city has been a source of progression and prosperity throughout its existence. It is home to the first African American officer training facility and the first Women's Army Corps training center. The city paved the way for women's rights, as the women of the city volunteered to work for the men so they could fight during the Civil War. The city was instrumental in becoming one of the first states to allow interracial marriage, as well as gay marriage. They are also leaders in environmental protection and the production of alternative energies such as wind turbines and biodiesel as a way to protect their fertile land and the environment for generations to come.

The city has not been without its share of strife. Due to the fact that the city is built around the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers, Des Moines is subject to flooding. Extensive measures have been taken to protect the city from future flooding as it seems to be occurring with greater frequency. The economy of the Iowa River Valley was based on agriculture for decades. Eventually, the city would go on to become the national center for insurance and publishing. The city is now home to a number of cultural centers, museums, and a thriving downtown area, which attracts visitors from throughout the state and the country alike.

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