DES MOINES COUNTY, situated in the southeast part of Iowa, with Mississippi river on the east, and Chickahoma river on the southwest. Area, 410 square miles. Seat of justice, Burlington. Pop. in 1840, 6,577 ; in 1850, 12,987. (Fanning's, 1853)

DES MOINES COUNTY Was first settled in 1832, by David Tothers, who settled three miles south-west of what is now Burlington. The next settlement was made by S. S. White and Amzi Doolittle, who were the proprietors of the original town. Additions were laid out in the order in which they are named : in 1836, by David Rorer, Amos Ladd, Enoch Wade, Isaac Leffler, G. W. Kelley, and others since. Population between 8 and 9000.
There are eleven houses of worship, viz. : two Roman Catholic, one Episcopal, two Methodist Episcopal, one German Methodist, one German Lutheran, one Congregational, one Baptist, and one Presbyterian. There are also three congregations who intend erecting houses of worship soon, viz. : Second Presbyterian; Cumberland Presbyterian, and Christian.
''Iowa State Gazette," weekly and tri-weekly; " Hawkeye," same; '' Telegraph," daily and weekly ; "Iowa Farmer," monthly, are published in this county.
Two large public school-houses, costing over $4000 each, in which eight schools are taught. There are also quite a number of private schools, all in a flourishing condition ; and the Baptist University, of which an account is published on another page. They have two machine and engine manufactories, two foundries, one planing mill, two steam flouring-mills, four sash, door and blind factories, three steam saw-mills, one shingle factory, one steam match factory, two furniture manufactories ; two coach, five wagon, two plough, one brush, one candle, and one starch factory; two large pork packing establishments, three banking houses, six hotels, three plank roads. Railroad connection with Chicago. Burlington and Missouri River railroad will be finished to Mt. Pleasant this summer — almost entirely graded to Ottumwa now. They have several large bakeries. An oil and paper mill no doubt would do well there. The opening of the railroad between Chicago and Burlington has given a new impetus to the latter city, and the population and business of the place will increase more during the present year than it has in any three years heretofore.
The people of Burlington are industrious and energetic, and their intelligence and literary taste may be judged of from the fact that the most extensive, if not the only Historical and Geological Society of the State, is located at this place. We are indebted to one of its gentlemanly members for a brief history of this institution, which follows : —
"The Iowa Historical and Geological Institute was organized December 18th, 1843, and incorporated December 31st, 1850. Its effects were destroyed by fire, January 16th, 1853. Its object is to collect and preserve, and to open to the public, historical matter of all kinds, more especially that relating to Iowa, a general library, maps, charts, drawings, pictures, statuary, and a cabinet of natural history, also — to sustain public lectures. When the cabinet and library were destroyed by fire, the Institute was in a flourishing condition, having about 800 volumes in the library, 2000 pamphlets, files of newspapers since the organization of the Territory and State, and a great many papers pertaining to the early history and settlement of the State, about 4000 specimens illustrative of the geology of this State, an herbarium containing the greater portion of the plants found in the State, also a number of specimens illustrative of the zoology of the State ; and a large collection of Indian relics, numbering about 400, among which were included nearly all the paraphernalia of Black Hawk. The loss sustained was irreparable, and for some time it was difficult to keep the Institute alive. For the last year, the Institute has been in a very flourishing condition; in fact, so much so that a thorough re-organization was necessary. The present officers are — "President, David Rorer. Vice-President William Thompson. Corresponding Secretary, John H. Rauch. Recording Secretary, A. D. Green. Treasurer, Luke Palmer. Librarian, C. C. Cloutman."  (Iowa As It Is in 1855; A Gazetteer for Citizens..., 1855)

Total Population 1840
Total Population 1850
Total Population 1860
Free Black Population 1860
Free Black Population 1850
Presidential Election Result 1848
Presidential Election Result 1852
Presidential Election Result 1856
Presidential Election Result 1860
Presidential Election Result 1864
Unconditional Union (1864)
Des Moines