First Railroad in Des Moines

On August 29, 1866, the Valley railroad entered Des Moines. The first train that entered left from Keokuk at 7:30 a.m. and arrived in Des Moines a few minutes before 3:00 p.m. with 300 passengers from many Iowa towns including Keokuk, Burlington, Fairfield, Ottumwa, and Oskaloosa. The passengers were greeted by a large crowd on the east side of Des Moines (there was no railroad bridge in Des Moines until 1869).


Brigham, Johnson. History of Des Moines and Polk County, Iowa. S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1911.

Long, Barbara Beving and Patrice K. Beam. Des Moines and Polk County: Flag on the Prairie. American Historic Press, 2003.

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