A few weeks back, I loaded up into the car with my Mom and we drove around the enormous county that is Jasper County harvesting the signs that I was missing. It was a good trip that include the traditional breakfast from Hardee’s. If the TOWN SIGN PROJECT has a sponsor it would be Hardee’s breakfast. I’m waiting Hardee’s. Just open up the checkbook!
Here are some facts about Jasper County:
+ As of the 2010 census, the population was 36,842.
+ The county seat is Newton.
+ The county was organized in 1846 and is named after Sergeant William Jasper, a Revolutionary War hero.
Here is a look at the Jasper County Photo Map:
Boundaries are approximate at best.
Here is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:
12 counties completed. 12.1% of the Cyclone State conquered.
Here are the Jasper County Town Signs:
Mitchellville, Iowa (Mostly in Polk County)
Welcome to Mitchellville
Colfax – Est. 1866
Welcome to Monroe – Home of the PCM Mustangs
Welcome to Baxter
Welcome to Sully – Est. 1882 – Home of the Jasper County Freedom Rock
Welcome to Kellogg – Founded 1865
Lynnville – A great place to live
Lambs Grove, Iowa
Oakland Acres, Iowa
Oakland Acres – West
Welcome to Reasnor – Founded 1877 – Population 190
Valeria – Town of a Railroad Romance
Ira – Est. 1883
Jasper County covers a lot of space and has 14 communities and 1 unincorporated community that I stumbled across. Once again, I no longer pursue unincorporated communities. That being said, I think Ira is more of a town than Valeria. And Oakland Acres. I don’t think Oakland Acres is a town at all. I think it is a bunch of rich pricks that live around a golf course that probably founded a “town” to escape paying their fair share of taxes. I could be way off base on that one, but I mean, prove me wrong. There is no city hall even. They have their city council meetings in the maintenance shed of the golf course. I’m going to give Oakland Acres, dead last for the worst town sign in Jasper County.
Best in Show. Hmmmm… I really like the town sign for Lambs Grove. Although I’m not really sure Lambs Grove is an actual town or just a neighborhood in Newton that doesn’t want to admit it is part of Newton. Monroe has a really nice sign. For an expensive town sign, I actually like it. I also like Sully’s sign. I’m not sure what the word Sully is supposed to be on, but my guess it that the blob is supposed to represent the Freedom Rock. I’d give it more points if it actually looked like their Freedom Rock a little bit. Newton’s sign is okay. There is an alternate Newton sign that I would consider the best town sign in Jasper County, which would be the first ever win for the best town sign in a county to go to the biggest town in that county, but I’m not 100% sure it is a town sign. So I’m holding it back. Best in Show in Jasper County goes to…
Jasper County Best in Show – Lynnville, Iowa
Although, I could probably be talked into giving this award to Ira.
There were a couple of alternate town signs in Jasper County:
Oakland Acres – Alternate
Baxter – Alternate
Newton – Alternate
Kellogg Sign – Backside
Kellogg – Alternate
However, there was one sign that bothered me. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It was Valeria:
What is this “railroad romance”? The railroad has long since left Valeria. There is a trail nearby where the railroad used to be. There aren’t any historic markers in Valeria. There is nothing to indicate what this is all about. My mad Google searches found the story on what appears to be a now defunct website called Iowa Backroads:
This modest metal sign welcomes visitors to the Jasper County community of Valeria, highlighting the railroad romance that led to its establishment. In the early 1860s, the William H. Johnson family left the South to escape the atmosphere and attitudes of the Civil War, and settled at the present-day site of Valeria. William’s son Nicholas and his sister Edna Valeria would play key roles in the birth of the village.
Edna fell in love with a young civil engineer named McBride, who worked for the Chicago and Great Western Railroad. She and her beau convinced her father to allow the tracks to cross the Johnson land. An agreement was reached based on the condition that the community’s depot would be known as Valeria. The couple ultimately married, though McBride left the railroad to become a dentist.
I’ll assume it is true because I could find no other information on the story.
Here is the current list of Best in Shows:
Best in Show – Boone County
Best in Show – Carroll County
Best in Show – Crawford County
Best in Show – Dallas County
Best in Show – Greene County
Best in Show – Hamilton County
Best in Show – Jasper County
Best in Show – Marshall County
Best in Show – Polk County
Best in Show – Story County
Best in Show – Webster County
Best in Show – Wright County
No change to the BENNETT TOWN SIGN POWER RANKINGS:
#3. Pilot Mound
#1. Coon Rapids
I’m not sure what county I will visit next. The last couple of weekends the weather has been rough, so I haven’t done any sign harvesting. The hopper is clear. Hopefully I get out on the open road this weekend!