Iowa Counties
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Iowa Counties

There are ninety-nine counties in Iowa. The first two counties, Des Moines County and Dubuque County, were created in 1834 when Iowa was still part of the Michigan Territory. In preparation for Michigan's statehood, part of Michigan Territory was formed into Wisconsin Territory in 1836]. Two years later, the western portion was split off to become Iowa Territory. The south-eastern part of Iowa Territory became Iowa, the 29th state in the union, on 28 December 1846, by which point 44 Counties had been created. Counties continued to be created by the state government until 1857, when the last county, Humboldt County, was created.

Benton County, Iowa

Benton County Education, Geography, and HistoryBenton County, Iowa Courthouse

Benton County is a county located in the state of Iowa. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 26,076. Benton County was created on December 21, 1837. The county seat is Vinton. The county is named in honor of Thomas Hart Benton, a senator from Missouri who pushed for westward expansion of the United States, colonel in the War of 1812.

Benton County is included in the Cedar Rapids, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Benton County Name

Benton county is named for Thomas Hart Benton, a senator from Missouri who pushed for westward expansion of the United States.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Benton County History

Benton County, one of the original twelve counties created from Dubuque County, is named in honor of Thomas Hart Benton. Benton was a lawyer, colonel in the War of 1812 and senator from Missouri. The county was established in 1843.

In the spring of 1846 a county seat was selected and the county was established. It was called Northport and the town was platted the following summer. Soon the town's name was changed to Fremont, in honor of General John Charles Fremont. A town in Iowa was already named Fremont so they again changed the name, this time to Vinton, after Ohio Congressman Plynn Vinton, who paid $50 for the honor.

The first permanent courthouse was begun on July 13, 1856 with the laying of the cornerstone. This building was officially dedicated at a grand ball on December 23, 1856. The final cost of the two-story brick structure was $13,000.

When the time came to replace the old brick courthouse, there was great excitement. There was a persistent rumor that the contents of the cornerstone included a liquor bottle that would have had 49 years to age. The disappointment was just as great when no bottle was found.

The present courthouse was begun in 1905, and it was completed in 1906. The elaborate, three-story stone structure was constructed at a cost of $150,000. It has a 112-foot high tower that contains a clock and 1,500-pound bell which was donated by Paul Correll, a local merchant and farmer.

This building has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.


As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 718 square miles (1,860 km2), of which 716 square miles (1,850 km2) is land and 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2) (0.3%) is water.

Benton county is located in east Iowa. Hannen Lake is located in this county. The lake was the first man made lake in the state of Iowa, built in 1957.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Northeast: Buchanan County
  • East: Linn County
  • Southeast: Johnson County
  • South: Iowa County
  • Southwest: Poweshiek County
  • West: Tama County
  • Northwest: Black Hawk County


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