A couple months back I cruised around Van Buren County harvesting their town signs. Van Buren County is interesting because it is a collection of old villages more than towns. I don’t even know if that makes sense, but that is how they view themselves. Either way, there is lots of cool history in Van Buren County and cool little villages.
Here are some facts about Van Buren County:
+ Population is 7,243, making it the 90th most populous county in Iowa. Below Worth County and above Pocahontas County.
+ Largest town and county seat is Keosauqua.
+ Formed on December 7, 1836 as part of the Wisconsin Territory. Was split off from Des Moines County. Became part of the Iowa territory on July 4, 1838.
+ Named after President Martin Van Buren, who was considered the first forgettable American President.
+ The site of The Honey War. When a bunch of thugs from Missouri tried to invade Iowa and steal honey from Iowa’s delicious honey trees. The Iowans quickly kicked their ass back to their loser state. The conflict (mostly over the border between the state) was mostly decided in 1846 when Congress ruled in Iowa’s favor. Suck it “show me state”.
+ Home of Iowa’s oldest active courthouse. Second oldest in the nation.
+ Major highways are: IA-1, IA-2, IA-16, and IA-98.
+ Adjacent counties are: Jefferson, Henry, Lee, and Davis.
+ Population peaked in 1870 at 17,672.
The Van Buren County Courthouse is okay looking:
The Van Buren County Courthouse located in Keosauqua, Iowa.
The Van Buren County Freedom Rock is located in Stockport, Iowa:
With Van Buren County conquered, here is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:
94 counties completed. 94.9% of the Cyclone State conquered!
Here are the town signs of Van Buren County:
Population: 936 (-70)
Van Buren County has a truly great collection of town signs. Definitely a Top 5 County in this respect. I can’t pick a bad one.
But what town gets the purple ribbon? I love so many of them. I love the Milton sign and the Keosauqua sign and the Cantril sign. But I’m going to have to give the Best in Show prize to Bonaparte.
Bonaparte – Best in Show – Van Buren County
There are a few alternate town signs in Van Buren County:
Milton – Alternate
Here is the current list of Best in Shows:
Best in Show – Adair County
The next time we hit the open road for THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT, we will visit Louisa County.