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"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 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 city's population was 203,433 as of the 2010 census. The city was credited as the "number one spot for U. insurance companies" in a Business Wire article and named the third-largest "insurance capital" of the world.Several prehistoric occupation areas have been identified by archeologists in downtown Des Moines.Discovered in December 2010, the "Palace" is an expansive, 7,000-year-old site found during excavations prior to construction of the new wastewater treatment plant in southeastern Des Moines.A 2007 article in The New York Times said, "If you have any desire to witness presidential candidates in the most close-up and intimate of settings, there is arguably no better place to go than Des Moines.") translates literally to either "from the monks" or "of the monks".The historian Virgil Vogel claimed that the name was derived from Moingona, the Algonquian clan name for "Loon", one of the clans of the local Native American people.
At least three Late Prehistoric villages, dating from about AD 1300 to 1700, stood in or near what developed later as downtown Des Moines.
On September 22, 1851, Des Moines was incorporated as a city; the charter was approved by voters on October 18.
In 1857, the name "Fort Des Moines" was shortened to "Des Moines", and it was designated as the second state capital, previously at Iowa City.
On May 25, 1846, the state legislature designated Fort Des Moines as the seat of Polk County.
Arozina Perkins, a school teacher who spent the winter of 1850–1851 in the town of Fort Des Moines, was not favorably impressed: This is one of the strangest looking "cities" I ever saw...I cannot tell you how many dwellings there are, for I have not counted them; some are of logs, some of brick, some framed, and some are the remains of the old dragoon houses... There are people from nearly every state, and Dutch, Swedes, etc.