West Des Moines and Valley Junction, Iowa (Images of America Series)

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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 Monies 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.

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.

The Images of America series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservationof local heritage, making history available to all.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738561882
  • Publisher: Arcadia Publishing SC
  • Publication date: 7/6/2009
  • Series: Images of America Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,402,878
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

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.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 6

Introduction 7

1 Pioneers 9

2 Early Valley Junction 21

3 Railroad Boom 37

4 Community Bond 51

5 Depression and War 71

6 Crossroads of the Nation 91

7 City of Tomorrow 111

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