Founded in 1871, Des Arc was a rural town with a meager population of 177 Post-Ashfall in Iron County, Illinois. The population declined after the eruption until a need for metal ore was heard. The remaining inhabitants began mining metal ore and the population exploded to an estimated 6,500 people in 17 PA.
Soon after New Chicago light its blast furnaces, scrap metal became uncommon in the wasteland. A small community of less than an estimated 200 people located in southern Illinois began mining Iron ore to fill New Chicago's ravenous appetite for raw material. Soon, this small town became the wasteland's primary supplier of raw iron. The now bustling city decided to name itself Des Arc, after the numerous signs found within the city.
After being extracted from the earth, the raw iron would be sent up the Mississippi river and moved east into New Chicago where it would be turned into steel, ammunition, various weapons and machinery. 25% of all goods created with Des Arc iron would be shipped back down through the Mississippi river and would be given back to Des Arc as payment. Then, 8% of what Des Arc received would be given to the Republic of the Ozarks for protection along the Mississippi river and against raider attacks.