Town Sign Project: Benton County

I recently took a Friday off from the Computer Mine and Jesse and I spent the day tooling around Benton County and another county harvesting their town signs. It was a very enjoyable road trip.

Here are some facts about Benton County:

+ Population is 26,076.
+ The county seat and largest city is Vinton.
+ Named for Thomas Hart Benton, a Senator from Missouri.
+ Was formed on December 21, 1837 from sections of Dubuque County.
+ Major highways are I-380, US-30, US-151, US-218, IA-8, IA-21, IA-27, and IA-150.
+ Adjacent counties are Black Hawk, Buchanan, Linn, Iowa, and Tama.
+ Currently at peak population.

Benton County has a beautiful courthouse:

Benton County Courthouse
Benton County Courthouse in Vinton, Iowa

The Benton County Freedom Rock is located in Shellsburg:

Benton County Freedom Rock

Benton County Freedom Rock

Benton County Freedom Rock

Benton County Freedom Rock

With Benton County conquered, here is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:

Town Sign Project -23 Counties

23 counties completed. 23.2% of the Cyclone State conquered.

Vinton, Iowa
Vinton, Iowa
Welcome to… Vinton – the City of Lights
Population: 5,257

Belle Plaine, Iowa
Belle Plaine, Iowa
Welcome to Belle Plaine – Historic Downtown District
Population: 2,534

Atkins, Iowa
Atkins, Iowa
Population: 1,670

Walford, Iowa
Walford, Iowa (Also Linn County)
Population: 1,463

Urbana, Iowa
Urbana, Iowa
Welcome to Urbana
Population: 1,458

Shellsburg, Iowa
Shellsburg, Iowa
Welcome to Shellsburg – Founded 1854
Population: 983

Newhall, Iowa
Newhall, Iowa
Welcome to the City of Newhall
Population: 875

Blairstown, Iowa
Blairstown, Iowa
Welcome to Blairstown
Population: 692

Van Horne, Iowa
Van Horne, Iowa
Welcome to Van Horne – Population 682

Keystone, Iowa
Keystone, Iowa
Welcome to Keystone
Population: 622

Norway, Iowa
Norway, Iowa
Welcome to Norway – “A Great Place to Come Home To”
Population: 545

Garrison, Iowa
Garrison, Iowa
Population: 371

Mount Auburn, Iowa
Mount Auburn, Iowa
Welcome to Mt. Auburn – Population 150
Population: 150

Luzerne, Iowa
Luzerne, Iowa
Luzerne Welcomes You – Established 1868
Population: 96

Watkins, Iowa
Watkins, Iowa
Watkins Mudhens Baseball State Champions

Benton County has a very solid collection of town signs. I don’t know that there is a showstopper in the bunch, but at least every single town has a sign. Even the unincorporated town, sorta. It is really just a sign for their baseball team, but it is so great that I’m calling it a town sign. I guess if I have to pick which one is the worst, it is Blairstown. Their town sign got blown over and Jesse had to hold it up just I could get a picture of it. Now, while that might actually be my favorite picture in the set, it doesn’t say much for the town sign.

I think Best in Show for Benton County is pretty obvious too. It has a snazzy design and has a pithy motto. Plus, it calls back to high school sports glory that no longer call this town home.

Norway, Iowa
Norway – Best in Show – Benton County

Norway baseball used to be something of a dynasty in Iowa High School sports. They won something like 20 State Championships but eventually their school district was consolidated into the Benton Community School District with the towns of Van Horne, Atkins, Blairstown, Keystone, and Newhall. It is headquartered in Van Horne. The last year of Norway High’s existence they won a final State Championship. The story was turned into one of the poorest made movies ever called THE FINAL SEASON. It stars the guy who played Rudy in the Notre Dame propaganda film RUDY and the nerdy girl that got hot when she took off her glasses and let her hair down in SHE’S ALL THAT. The movie takes many unnecessary licenses with the actual events, but more than anything it is just horribly written. It is currently on Amazon Prime if you want to make your own estimations though.

A few towns in Benton County also had alternate signs:

Van Horne, Iowa
Van Horne Alternate

Norway, Iowa
Norway Alternate

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:

Fontanelle, Iowa
Best in Show – Adair County

Audubon, Iowa
Best in Show – Audubon County

Norway, Iowa
Best in Show – Benton County

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Carroll County

Murray, Iowa
Best in Show – Clarke County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Popejoy, Iowa
Best in Show – Franklin County

Scranton, Iowa
Best in Show – Greene County

Menlo, Iowa
Best in Show – Guthrie County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Ackley, Iowa
Best in Show – Hardin County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

East Peru, Iowa
Best in Show – Madison County

Pleasantville, Iowa
Best in Show – Marion County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Tama, Iowa
Best in Show – Tama County

Creston, Iowa
Best in Show – Union County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County

Next time we check in with THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT it will involve Poweshiek County.

2 thoughts on “Town Sign Project: Benton County”

  1. Watkins also has an amazing baseball field with the lights inside the fence.

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