Van Buren County, Iowa

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Van Buren County
Van Buren County Courthouse
Map of Iowa highlighting Van Buren County
Location within the U.S. state of Iowa
Map of the United States highlighting Iowa
Iowa's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 40°45′00″N 91°57′06″W / 40.75°N 91.951666666667°W / 40.75; -91.951666666667
Country United States
State Iowa
FoundedDecember 7, 1836
Named forMartin Van Buren
SeatKeosauqua
Largest cityKeosauqua
Area
 • Total491 sq mi (1,270 km2)
 • Land485 sq mi (1,260 km2)
 • Water5.7 sq mi (15 km2)  1.2%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total7,203
 • Density15/sq mi (5.7/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district2nd
Websitewww.vanburencounty.iowa.gov

Van Buren County (/væn ˈbjʊərən/ van BURE-ən) is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2020 census the population was 7,203, making it the state's tenth-least populous county.[1] The county seat is Keosauqua,[2] which contains the oldest continuously operational courthouse in the state of Iowa, and second oldest in the United States.

History[edit]

Plaque on the Van Buren County courthouse, indicating its age and historic status.

Van Buren County was formed on December 7, 1836, as a part of Wisconsin Territory, and was split off from Des Moines County. It was named for President Martin Van Buren. It became a part of Iowa Territory (later the state of Iowa) when that territory was organized on July 4, 1838.[3]

The county's courthouse was built in September 1843 in the style of Greek Revival and stands as Iowa's oldest, and the nation's second oldest, courthouse in operation.[4]

"The Honey War" refers to a colorful episode in Van Buren County's history when the State of Missouri and Wisconsin Territory border came into dispute. Missouri attempted to collect taxes from residents north of the disputed Sullivan Line of 1816, which residents said was not rightfully theirs to tax. The sheriff of Van Buren County subsequently arrested and jailed the sheriff from Kahoka, Missouri, and Missourians were charged with "stealing honey from bee trees in what in now Lacey-Keosauqua State Park. Each governor sent troops to resolve the problem but no bloodshed resulted. The matter was turned over to the U.S. Congress for arbitration".[5] The dispute, however, was not resolved until 1846, when Iowa became a state. Congress ruled "in favor of Iowa, allowing the original Sullivan line of 1816 to remain intact".[6]

Van Buren County is also home to Iowa's oldest community theater group still in operation, the "Van Buren Players," founded in 1963.[7]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 491 square miles (1,270 km2), of which 485 square miles (1,260 km2) is land and 5.7 square miles (15 km2) (1.2%) is water.[8]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
185012,270
186017,08139.2%
187017,6723.5%
188017,043−3.6%
189016,253−4.6%
190017,3546.8%
191015,020−13.4%
192014,060−6.4%
193012,603−10.4%
194012,053−4.4%
195011,007−8.7%
19609,778−11.2%
19708,643−11.6%
19808,626−0.2%
19907,676−11.0%
20007,8091.7%
20107,570−3.1%
20207,203−4.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790-1960[10] 1900-1990[11]
1990-2000[12] 2010-2018[13]
Population of Van Buren County from US census data

2020 census[edit]

The 2020 census recorded a population of 7,203 in the county, with a population density of 14.6895/sq mi (5.6717/km2). 97.24% of the population reported being of one race. 94.53% were non-Hispanic White, 0.39% were Black, 1.58% were Hispanic, 0.10% were Native American, 0.33% were Asian, 0.00% were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and 3.07% were some other race or more than one race. There were 3,500 housing units, of which 2,984 were occupied.[1]

2010 census[edit]

2000 Census Age Pyramid for Van Buren County

As of the census[14] of 2010, there were 7,570 people, 3,108 households, and 2,058 families residing in the county. The population density was 15.614/sq mi (6.029/km2) people per square mile. There were 3,670 housing units at an average density of 7.570/sq mi (2.923/km2) per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 98.3% White, 0.2% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 0.7% from two or more races. 1.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,108 households, out of which 25.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.4% were married couples living together, 7.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.8% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 33.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.1% under the age of 18 and 19.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.3 years. For every 100 females there were 100.6 males.

As of the 2000 census, the median income for a household in the county was $31,094, and the median income for a family was $36,420. Males had a median income of $27,379 versus $20,925 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,748. About 8.70% of families and 12.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.00% of those under age 18 and 15.60% of those age 65 or over.

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Townships[edit]

According to the 1850 US Census Records.

Population ranking[edit]

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2020 census of Van Buren County.[1]

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2020 Census)
1 Keosauqua City 936
2 Farmington City 579
3 Milton City 380
4 Birmingham City 367
5 Bonaparte City 359
6 Stockport City 272
7 Cantril City 224
8 Douds CDP 156
9 Leando CDP 121
10 Mount Sterling CDP 33

Politics[edit]

Van Buren County has been predominantly Republican throughout its history, only voting for the Democratic candidate only six times in presidential elections from 1896 onward. However, the county was a national bellwether between 1964 & 2004, but voted Republican by wide margins in years the nation went Republican. Aside from Lyndon B. Johnson's landslide victory in 1964, the margins of victory Democrats won the county by in this 40-year period were incredibly narrow, with the difference being less than one hundred votes when Jimmy Carter & Bill Clinton won the county. From 2000 on, the county has trended strongly Republican, particularly in 2016 where Hillary Clinton received the lowest percentage by a Democratic candidate in 60 years. Clinton also failed to win even 1,000 votes, a feat which every major party candidate prior to 2016 had been able to accomplish in the county.

United States presidential election results for Van Buren County, Iowa[15]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2016 2,527 70.96% 845 23.73% 189 5.31%
2012 2,064 57.83% 1,402 39.28% 103 2.89%
2008 1,986 54.98% 1,546 42.80% 80 2.21%
2004 2,211 57.64% 1,568 40.88% 57 1.49%
2000 2,016 56.61% 1,440 40.44% 105 2.95%
1996 1,460 43.26% 1,536 45.51% 379 11.23%
1992 1,418 38.22% 1,464 39.46% 828 22.32%
1988 1,692 50.75% 1,612 48.35% 30 0.90%
1984 2,138 56.73% 1,606 42.61% 25 0.66%
1980 2,142 58.21% 1,311 35.63% 227 6.17%
1976 1,804 49.14% 1,807 49.22% 60 1.63%
1972 2,272 63.18% 1,268 35.26% 56 1.56%
1968 2,294 59.29% 1,331 34.40% 244 6.31%
1964 1,700 39.93% 2,555 60.02% 2 0.05%
1960 3,129 63.94% 1,760 35.96% 5 0.10%
1956 3,233 63.79% 1,833 36.17% 2 0.04%
1952 3,870 70.62% 1,577 28.78% 33 0.60%
1948 2,702 57.64% 1,917 40.89% 69 1.47%
1944 3,095 60.43% 1,997 38.99% 30 0.59%
1940 4,108 62.72% 2,416 36.89% 26 0.40%
1936 3,535 55.05% 2,804 43.66% 83 1.29%
1932 2,375 42.56% 3,135 56.17% 71 1.27%
1928 3,904 66.45% 1,944 33.09% 27 0.46%
1924 3,623 60.69% 1,209 20.25% 1,138 19.06%
1920 4,321 71.00% 1,682 27.64% 83 1.36%
1916 1,994 52.52% 1,735 45.69% 68 1.79%
1912 1,483 39.36% 1,495 39.68% 790 20.97%
1908 2,133 53.86% 1,730 43.69% 97 2.45%
1904 2,469 61.51% 1,416 35.28% 129 3.21%
1900 2,547 56.40% 1,893 41.92% 76 1.68%
1896 2,478 53.54% 2,076 44.86% 74 1.60%


Education[edit]

School districts include:[16]

Former school districts:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "2020 Census State Redistricting Data". census.gov. United states Census Bureau. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "WI: Individual County Chronologies". publications.newberry.org. Archived from the original on April 14, 2017. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  4. ^ Van Buren County Archived October 20, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Van Buren County, Iowa, a Pictorial History. Villages of Van Buren. 2007. p. 46.
  6. ^ Van Buren County, Iowa, a Pictorial History. Villages of Van Buren. 2007. p. 46.
  7. ^ Mary Ovrum; editor (1999). The Van Buren Players. The Van Buren Players. {{cite book}}: |author= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  13. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  14. ^ "Population & Housing Occupancy Status 2010". United States Census Bureau American FactFinder. Retrieved June 3, 2011.[dead link]
  15. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  16. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Van Buren County, IA" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 21, 2022. - Text list
  17. ^ "SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP (2010 CENSUS): Van Buren County, IA" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 21, 2022. - Text list

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°45′00″N 91°57′06″W / 40.75000°N 91.95167°W / 40.75000; -91.95167