West Des Moines and Valley Junction

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In 1867, James Jordan, one of the first European settlers in the area, agreed to donate land and plat a small town in exchange for a railroad spur to serve his cattle operation. Jordan's business prospered as did the railroads and with them the town, which became known as Valley Junction. In 1891, the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad decided to relocate its engine shops from East Des Moines to the growing community that was now on the main line. Prosperity turned to bust when the rail yards moved out during the Depression, and the city renamed itself West Des Moines to invite a more stable population. The community bonded together during the war years, and when the interstate came, the city grew outward as a hub of retail commerce and transportation. Now a financial center in its own right, West Des Moines hosts several Fortune 500 headquarters and is a magnet for the best and brightest entrepreneurs in the state. This collection showcases the history and character of the city through the eyes of its citizens.
ISBN: 9780738561882
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Iowa
Series: Images of America
Images: 212
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
The West Des Moines Historical Society preserves the history of the community through its museums at the Jordan House, the restored home of James Jordan that also served as a stop on the Underground Railroad, and the Bennett School, a refurbished one-room schoolhouse. Craig S. McCue also works in the community and has authored other history books published through Arcadia.