Grand Avenue - Once the grand dame of Des Moines streets, lined with mansions and trees, Grand Avenue was formerly known as Sycamore Street on the east side and Greenwood Avenue west of downtown. In 1887 the entire stretch was renamed Grand Avenue.
Ingersoll Avenue - Named for Ebenezer Jared Ingersoll, an Easterner who came to Des Moines and founded the Hawkeye Insurance Company. He also had extensive farm holdings.
Hubbell Avenue - This street's official name is Avenue Frederick M. Hubbell, in honor of Frederick Hubbell, founder of Equitable of Iowa and prominent Des Moines businessman and citizen of the late nineteenth century.
Scott Avenue - Wilson Alexander Scott was an early ferry operator in Des Moines. His remains are buried on the Statehouse Lawn.
Merle Hay Road - Merle Hay was the first Iowan killed in action in World War I.
Fleur Drive - Similarly, Fleur Drive was named for Captain Edward Fleur, a Des Moines soldier who was killed in France in 1918.
Bell Avenue - Named for Hill B. Bell, president of Drake University in the early 1900's.
MacVicar Freeway - Named for John MacVicar, who served as mayor of Des Moines from 1916-1918, as well as for his son, also called John MacVicar, who was mayor in 1928.
Watrous Avenue - Charles Leach Watrous moved to Des Moines in 1869, bought twenty acres of land on Southwest Ninth Street and opened a nursery. He later expanded to 145 acres and was one of the state's pioneer nurserymen.
Hickman Road - Possibly named for G.W. Hickman, a pioneer who came to Des Moines in 1848 and resided at Thirty-Fifth and Hickman for many years.
Kingman Boulevard - Named for Albert S. Kingman, a pioneer farm investor who owned 120 acres of land on the west side of Des Moines. As the city grew, he sold up to forty acres of his land for $1,000 per acre.
Brattleboro Avenue - This area of Des Moines was developed by a group of businessmen who called themselves the Vermont Syndicate. They used names of Vermont cities for street names in their development. Brattleboro is named for Brattleboro, Vermont, which in turn was named for William Brattle, a militiaman in the Revolutionary War.
Thomas Beck Road - Thomas Beck was an early businessman of the city who had extensive coal mine holdings in Des Moines. What is now Thomas Beck Road leads to the site of one of the old mines near MacRae Park.
John Lynde Road - It is not known for which of two John Lyndes, father and son, this street is named. An article in the Des Moines Register, however, quotes a descendant of the family as saying that the name should be pronounced "John Lined" and not "Lind."
Waterbury Road - Frank C. Waterbury was president of the Waterbury Chemical of Des Moines. Much of the company's income was based on the manufacture and sale of cod liver oil.
Presidential Street Names - A number of Des Moines streets honor presidents of the United States, including: Harrison, Wilson, Lincoln, Washington, Arthur, McKinley, Garfield, Buchanan, Adams, Monroe, Jackson, and Harding (renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway in December 1992.)
Mills, George. The Streets of Des Moines. Typewritten list found in the Iowa Vertical File at the Central Library.
Drake Neighborhood Association.
Various articles in The Des Moines Register and The Des Moines Tribune, available in the Iowa Vertical File at the Central Library.