Origins of DSM Street Names, pt. 3

Brattleboro Avenue – This area of Des Moines was developed by a group of businessmen who called themselves the Vermont Syndicate. They used names of Vermont cities for street names in their development. Brattleboro is named for Brattleboro, Vermont, which in turn was named for William Brattle, a militiaman in the Revolutionary War.

Thomas Beck Road – Thomas Beck was an early businessman of the city who had extensive coal mine holdings in Des Moines. What is now Thomas Beck Road leads to the site of one of the old mines near MacRae Park.

John Lynde Road – It is not known for which of two John Lyndes, father and son, this street is named. An article in the Des Moines Register, however, quotes a descendant of the family as saying that the name should be pronounced “John Lined” and not “Lind.”

Waterbury Road – Frank C. Waterbury was president of the Waterbury Chemical of Des Moines. Much of the company’s income was based on the manufacture and sale of cod liver oil.

Presidential Street Names – A number of Des Moines streets honor presidents of the United States, including: Harrison, Wilson, Lincoln, Washington, Arthur, McKinley, Garfield, Buchanan, Adams, Monroe, Jackson, and Harding (renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway in December 1992.)


Mills, George. The Streets of Des Moines. Typewritten list found in the Iowa Vertical File at the Central Library.

Drake Neighborhood Association.

Various articles in The Des Moines Register and The Des Moines Tribune, available in the Iowa Vertical File at the Central Library.

Republished from the Des Moines Public Library website.

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