National Register Listings in
Polk County, Iowa

Abraham Lincoln High School Acadian Manor Historic District Ainsworth, William W. and Elizabeth J., House Alleman, Richard L. and Verda M., Farm Historic District American Republic Insurance Company Headquarters Building Andrews, Josiah, House Argonne Building Ashby Manor Historic District Ayrshire Apartments Bailey, William H. and Alice, House Baker, C. H., Double House Baker-Devotie-Hollingsworth Block Baker-DeVotie-Hollingsworth Block (Boundary Increase) Bartlett, Walter M., Double House Bates Park Historic District Baum, William A. and Etta, Cottage Beeson, Byron A., House Bell, Hill McClelland, House Benham, F. A., House Big Creek Schoolhouse Boyd, Byron and Ivan, House Boyt Company Building Bryn Mawr Apartments Burns United Methodist Church Camp Dodge Pool District Carpenter, James Sansom, House Case, Larnerd, House Chaffee-Hunter House Chamberlain, D.S., Building Chautauqua Park Historic District Civic Center Historic District Clemens Automobile Company Building College Corner Commercial Historic Business District Cottage Grove Avenue Presbyterian Church Court Avenue Bridge Crane Building Crawford House Cummins, Albert Baird, House Darling, Jay Norwood and Genevieve Pendleton, House Denny, Professor Charles O., House Des Moines Art Center Des Moines Building Des Moines Fire Department Headquarters-Fire Station No. 1 and Shop Building Des Moines Saddlery Company Building Des Moines Western Railway Freight House Drake University Campus Historic District Earle & LeBosquet Block East Des Moines Commercial Historic District East Des Moines Industrial Historic District Elliott Furniture Company Elmwood, The- The Oaks-The Birches Equitable Life Insurance Company of Iowa Building Evans, Edward B. and Nettie E., House Farmhouse, Olmsted Family Fire Station No. 4 First Methodist Episcopal Church Fish and Game Pavilion and Aquarium Fitch, F.W., Company Historic District Fleming Building Flynn Farm, Mansion, and Barn Flynn-Griffin Building Fort Des Moines Provisional Army Officer Training School Franklin Apartments Gabriel, Rees, House Goddard Bungalow Court Historic District Goode, Lowry W., and Hattie N., First North Des Moines House Grand View College (Old Main) Greek Orthodox Church of Saint George Greenwood Park Plats Historic District Grocers Wholesale Company Building Haley, F.E., Double House Hallett Flat-Rawson & Co. Apartment Building Harbach, L. and Sons Furniture Warehouse and Factory Complex Hatton, Dr. John B. and Anna M., House Hawkeye Insurance Company Building Hawkeye Transfer Company Warehouse Hayes, William B., House Hazen, Allen, Water Tower Henshie-Briggs Row House Herndon Hall Herring Motor Car Company Building Herrold Bridge Highland Park Historic Business District at Euclid and Sixth Avenues Hippee Building Hohberger Building Home Federal Savings and Loan Association of Des Moines Building Home of Marshall's Horseradish Homestead Building Hotel Fort Des Moines Hotel Kirkwood Hotel Randolph Hubbell Building Hubbell Warehouse I.O.O.F. (International Order of Odd Fellows) Valley Junction Lodge Hall No. 604 Ingersoll Place Plat Historic District Iowa Commission for the Blind Building Iowa Ford Tractor Company Repair and Warehouse Building Iowa State Capitol Iowa State Fair and Exposition Grounds Historic District Iowa State Historical Building Iowa-Des Moines National Bank Building Johnson, Capt. Nicholas W. and Emma, House Johnstone, Dr. Anna E. and Andrew A., House Jordan House Keeler, Rev. R. W. and Fannie E., House Kingman Place Historic District Kirkham, Francis M., House Knotts, Nellie and Thomas, House Kromer Flats Lexington, The Liberty Building Linden Heights Historic District Lord, Richard T. C., and William V. Wilcox House Lustron House #02437 Mack-International Motor Truck Corporation Building Mahnke House Maine, The Maish House Masonic Temple of Des Moines Mattes, Minnie Y. and Frank P., House Methodist Deaconess Institute-Esther Hall Middlesex Plat Historic District Municipal Building Murillo Flats National Biscuit Company Building Naylor House New Lawn, The Newens Sanitary Dairy Historic District Norman Apartment Building Northwestern Hotel Oaklands, The, Historic District Odenweller, F. F.-James P. and Nettie Morey House Owl's Head Historic District Peak, George B., House Perry and Brainard Block Plymouth Place Polk County Courthouse Polk County Homestead and Trust Company Addition Historic District Prospect Park Second Plat Historic District Public Library of Des Moines Register and Tribune Building Reynolds, Anson O., House Riverview Park Plat Historic District Rollins, Ralph, House Rumely-Des Moines Drug Company Building Saint John's Roman Catholic Church Salisbury House Sargent's Garage Savery Hotel Scheibe, Julius, Cottage Schmitt and Henry Manufacturing Company Scott, Mary A. and Caleb D., House Scottish Rite Consistory Building Seth Richards Commercial Block Sherman Hill Historic District Sherman Hill Historic District (Boundary Increase and Decrease) Sherman, Hoyt, Place Sherman, Lampson P., House Simmons, John P., House Sixth and Forest Historic District Smouse, David W., Opportunity School Southeast Water Trough Southwest Fifth St. Bridge St. Ambrose Cathedral and Rectory St. Paul's Episcopal Church Standard Glass and Paint Company Building Stevenson, Samuel A. and Margaret, House Stoner, Thomas I., House Stuart, Dr. Richard and Paulina, House Studebaker Corporation Branch Office Building Sylvan Theater Historic District Syndicate Block Taft-West Warehouse Teachout Building Terrace Hill Terrace Hill Theodore Roosevelt High School Trent-Beaver House Trier, Paul J. and Ida, House Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church Turner, Susie P., Double House U.S. Post Office Universalist Church Vail, Mrs. Marian D.-Prof. Charles Noyes Kinney House Valley Auto Co.-Morgan Auto Co. Garage Valley Junction Commercial Historic District Valley Junction-West Des Moines City Hall and Engine House Veneman's Bungalow Court Historic District Wallace, Henry, House Walnut Tire and Battery Co.-Globe Publishing Company Building Warfield, Pratt and Howell Company Warehouse Washington and Elizabeth Miller Tract-Center-Soll Community Historic District Weitz, Charles H. and Lena May, House West Chester West Ninth Streetcar Line Historic District Wherry Block Woodland Place Historic District Youngerman Block Younker Brothers Department Store
Iowa is home to the world's largest strawberry, which is located in Strawberry Point. The 15-foot-tall fiberglass strawberry was erected in 1967 and has since become a beloved landmark in the community.
Polk County, Iowa has a rich and diverse history that stretches back thousands of years. Native American tribes such as the Sauk and Meskwaki inhabited the region before European settlement. In the early 1800s, the area was explored by French trappers and later became part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Following the Black Hawk War in 1832, the Sauk and Meskwaki were forcibly removed from the county.

Polk County was officially established on January 13, 1846, and was named after President James K. Polk. Des Moines, which is now the state capital and largest city in Iowa, became the county seat. In its early years, Polk County developed as an agricultural center, with farms and small communities dotting the landscape.

The county experienced significant growth with the arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century. The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad and the Chicago and North Western Railway helped establish Des Moines as a transportation hub, leading to increased industrialization and economic development. The city became a leading center for insurance and financial services, which had a lasting impact on Polk County's economy.

Throughout the 20th century, Polk County continued to evolve, with a growing population and expanding urban areas. Major landmarks like the Iowa State Capitol, the Principal Riverwalk, and the Des Moines Art Center have further solidified Des Moines' position as a regional cultural and economic hub. Today, Polk County is known for its diverse economy, strong education system, and vibrant cultural scene, making it a desirable place to live, work, and visit.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Polk County, Iowa.

  • 1836 - Polk County was established as one of the original counties in the Iowa Territory.
  • 1843 - Fort Des Moines was established as a U.S. Army post in the county.
  • 1851 - The city of Des Moines was officially incorporated.
  • 1865 - The Iowa State Capitol building was completed in Des Moines.
  • 1873 - The Des Moines Public Library was established, making it the first public library in the state of Iowa.
  • 1884 - The Des Moines Water Works was founded to provide clean water to the city.
  • 1907 - Hy-Vee, a popular supermarket chain, was founded in Beaconsfield, Iowa (later moved to Des Moines).
  • 1929 - Principal Financial Group, now one of the largest financial services companies in the United States, was founded in Des Moines.
  • 1958 - Construction of the 59-story Equitable Life Building (now known as the Financial Center) was completed, becoming the tallest building between Chicago and Denver at the time.
  • 1985 - The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden opened to the public.
  • 2004 - The Pappajohn Sculpture Park was established in downtown Des Moines.