The Site of the Former Fort Des Moines Military Cemetery

Ground level photo above taken and donated by Nancy Andresen in August of 2013.
Without Nancy, this page would not exsist, as she has been the driving force behind it's publication.
Page created by Ralph Leonard.

(Des Moines Evening Tribune, May 30th, 1945) - WAC Cpl. Ethel McIntosh of Beloit, Kans., blows taps for veterans of four wars who are laid to rest in the small, neat Fort Des Moines cemetery. Few people know of this graveyard beside the highway east of Fort Des Moines where 178 headstones mark the burial place of colored, Indian and white men who died for America in the civil war, Spanish American war, World War I, and World War II. As in most military cemeteries, the headstones bear only names without dates or inscriptions to interest the curious.

The above photograph and accompanying caption depicts this "sacred ground" in 1945... the burial place of active duty soldiers who died while in service to their country, and some of their dependents.

These military interments were moved to various cemeteries, but mainly to the Keokuk National Cemetery, Keokuk, Lee County, Iowa in 1948, just three short years after the above photo was taken.

On October 4th, 2004, the United States Geographic Service added the cemetery location to their database on the Geographic Names Information Service (GNIS), noting that the cemetery location coordinates were "approximate." Unfortunately, their "approximate" location shows significantly south, and a little east of the actual site of the cemetery. This location is now designated, in error, by most map makers as the site of the former Fort Des Moines Cemetery.

The true location of the cemetery is at the southwest corner of SE 5th Street and Army Post Road, land that now appears to be part of the Des Moines Police Academy. The photos below are of that location.

ground shot

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