Benton County, Iowa is located in the eastern part of the state, just south of the Cedar River and is bordered by Tama and Iowa counties to the north and east, Jones county to the south and Linn County to the west. The county covers an area of 431 square miles with a population of over 26,000 people.
Benton County is predominantly rural with a landscape made up mostly of rolling hills and farmland. The terrain gradually rises from east to west, reaching its highest point at 912 feet above sea level in the northwest corner. The county also has several rivers including the Cedar River which forms its northern border as well as smaller tributaries such as Big Creek, Indian Creek and Beaver Creek.
The largest city in Benton County is Vinton which has a population of around 5,000 people. Other towns include Belle Plaine, Blairstown, Garrison and Van Horne. There are also several small unincorporated communities located throughout the county such as Norway, Atkins and Urbana.
The climate in Benton County is generally mild with hot summers and cold winters. Average temperatures range from 35 degrees Fahrenheit in January to 78 degrees Fahrenheit in July with an average annual precipitation of 33 inches per year.
Overall, Benton County is a beautiful area with plenty of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy including camping, fishing, hunting and hiking along its many trails or along its scenic rivers. With its rolling hillsides and picturesque views it’s easy to see why this rural part of Iowa has become so popular among nature lovers over the years.
Country seat and other main cities of Benton County, Iowa
The county seat of Benton County, Iowa is Vinton, a city of around 5,000 people located in the center of the county. It is home to the Benton County Courthouse and several other government buildings as well as many shops and restaurants. The town also has a thriving arts community with several galleries, museums and theaters.
According to COUNTRYAAH.COM, Belle Plaine is another prominent city in Benton County located along the Cedar River in the northwest corner. It has a population of around 2,500 people and offers visitors plenty to do with its historic downtown district, numerous parks and recreation areas as well as a variety of restaurants and shops.
Blairstown is another small town located in the north-central part of Benton County with a population of just over 500 people. The town is known for its historic architecture including several old churches from the late 19th century as well as its annual Blairstown Days Festival which takes place every June.
Garrison is located just south of Blairstown and has a population of around 1,000 people. It was founded in 1875 by German immigrants who named it after General William Lloyd Garrison who was an abolitionist leader during the Civil War era. Garrison offers visitors plenty to do including visiting its historic downtown district or taking part in one of its many festivals such as Old Town Days or Summerfest.
Van Horne is another small town located in Benton County with a population of around 600 people. Van Horne was founded by Dutch immigrants in the late 19th century and today it’s known for its quaint downtown area which includes several antique stores, art galleries and unique restaurants.
Overall, Benton County has much to offer visitors from its diverse cities to its beautiful rural landscape filled with rolling hillsides and picturesque views. Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities or small-town charm there’s something for everyone here making it an ideal destination for travelers looking to explore all that Iowa has to offer.
History of Benton County, Iowa
Benton County, Iowa is located in the eastern part of the state and is bordered by Tama County to the north, Linn County to the east, Iowa County to the south, and Poweshiek County to the west. It was established on February 17th, 1837 as a part of Wisconsin Territory. In 1838, it was one of five original counties when Iowa became a state. The first county seat was located in Belle Plaine in 1840.
In 1846, Benton County’s population was 2,715 and it had 12 townships with several small villages. The county has seen an increase in population since then; by 2000 it had reached 20,000 people. Agriculture has long been an important industry in Benton County; corn and soybeans are major crops grown here today. Other industries include manufacturing and retail businesses.
The county has a rich cultural heritage with several historic sites including a preserved grist mill that dates back to 1850s as well as several churches that were built during this time period. There are also four museums located throughout Benton County that showcase its history; these museums include the Belle Plaine Historical Museum which features artifacts from early settlers such as furniture and tools from the 1800s as well as exhibits about local history. Additionally, there is an old-fashioned general store museum which contains items from early stores such as signs and antiques from decades past.
Economy of Benton County, Iowa
Benton County, Iowa has a vibrant economy that is driven by agriculture, manufacturing, and retail businesses. Agriculture is the county’s largest employer and continues to be an important part of the local economy. Corn and soybeans are the two major crops grown in Benton County; other crops include hay, wheat, oats, and barley. There are also several livestock operations in the county which raise hogs, beef cattle, sheep, and poultry.
Manufacturing is another key industry in Benton County. Companies such as Bendix Corporation produce automotive parts while other companies specialize in food processing or plastics fabrication. Additionally, there are several retail businesses located throughout the county that provide goods and services to residents. These include grocery stores, hardware stores, clothing stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more.
Benton County also benefits from tourism due to its many historic sites such as churches and museums as well as its natural beauty with numerous parks located throughout the county for outdoor recreation activities such as fishing and camping. Additionally, there are several festivals held annually which attract visitors from around the state including a summer festival that features carnival rides and games as well as a fall harvest celebration that includes music performances by local bands. The county also hosts an annual air show at Belle Plaine Airport showcasing historical aircrafts. Overall, Benton County has a strong economy that provides jobs for its residents while also bringing in visitors from around Iowa who come to visit its many attractions.