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Vinton, Iowa
Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School
Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School
Location of Vinton, Iowa
Location of Vinton, Iowa
Country United States
State  Iowa
County Benton
 • Total 4.97 sq mi (12.88 km2)
 • Land 4.88 sq mi (12.65 km2)
 • Water 0.09 sq mi (0.22 km2)
787 ft (240 m)
 • Total 4,938
 • Density 1,010.85/sq mi (390.32/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 319 Exchange: 472
FIPS code 19-81210
GNIS feature ID 0462580
Courthouse in Vinton, 1911

Vinton is a city in Benton County, Iowa, United States. The population was 4,938 in the 2020 census, a decrease from 5,102 in 2000. It is also part of the Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Statistical Area. Vinton is the county seat of Benton County.


Vinton was founded in 1849. It was named for Hon. Plynn Vinton, a state legislator. The first railroad line was extended to Vinton in 1869, and it was incorporated as a city that same year.


Vinton's longitude and latitude coordinates
in decimal form are 42.164144, -92.026077.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.83 square miles (12.51 km2), of which, 4.74 square miles (12.28 km2) is land and 0.09 square miles (0.23 km2) is water.

Vinton is located on U.S. Route 218 and the Cedar River, which has flooded parts of the city, most recently in 2008. The town's extensive tree cover was damaged by a derecho (straight line windstorm) on July 11, 2011.


This region has significant seasonal temperature differences, going from warm summers to very cold winters. There is precipitation year-round, and snowfall occurs in almost all years. Most summer rainfall occurs during thunderstorms and a very occasional tropical system. Vinton averages 32.7 inches of precipitation annually. May and June are the wettest months; January and February, the driest. This area is classified as humid because it is not dry enough to be classified as semi-arid or arid.

Climate data for Vinton, Iowa
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −2
Average low °C (°F) −12
Average precipitation days 5 5 7 9 10 9 8 8 7 6 5 6 85
Source: Weatherbase


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1870 2,460 —    
1880 2,906 +18.1%
1890 2,865 −1.4%
1900 3,499 +22.1%
1910 3,336 −4.7%
1920 3,381 +1.3%
1930 3,372 −0.3%
1940 4,163 +23.5%
1950 4,307 +3.5%
1960 4,781 +11.0%
1970 4,845 +1.3%
1980 5,040 +4.0%
1990 5,103 +1.2%
2000 5,102 −0.0%
2010 5,257 +3.0%
2020 4,938 −6.1%
Iowa Data Center
Source: U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 5,257 people, 2,187 households, and 1,397 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,109.1 inhabitants per square mile (428.2/km2). There were 2,299 housing units at an average density of 485.0 per square mile (187.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.8% White, 0.3% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population.

There were 2,187 households, of which 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.9% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.1% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.91.

The median age in the city was 40.3 years. 24.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.1% were from 25 to 44; 24.5% were from 45 to 64; and 19.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.3% male and 52.7% female.

Arts and culture

Popular culture

Movie appearance

Portions of downtown Vinton, along with the Benton County courthouse, were featured in the 1996 John Travolta film Michael. Also seen during the movie's opening credits was Prairie Creek Church, a rural area Christian church located approximately six miles northeast of the city.

Portions of downtown Vinton were used in the movie "The Final Season"


The Vinton-Shellsburg Community School District operates public schools. The district was established on July 1, 1993, by the merger of the Vinton Community School District and the Shellsburg Community School District.

Vinton is the home of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, Iowa's state educational institution for vision-impaired students.

Residing in the Braille School since 2008 is the North Central Region headquarters for AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC).

Notable people

  • Desi Druschel, baseball coach
  • James Lorraine Geddes (1827–1887) A native of Scotland he moved to Vinton before the American Civil War where he joined as a private but rose in rank to brigadier general and later became Superintendent of the Iowa Institution for the Education of the Blind from 1867 to 1869.
  • Mary E. Holland (1868–1915) A detective and fingerprint expert was born in Vinton.
  • Mary Ingalls (1865–1928) was a student at the Iowa College for the Blind (now the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School) in the early 1880s. The town is often mentioned in connection with the writings of her sister Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of Little House on the Prairie
  • Seaman A. Knapp (1833–1911), whose farming experiments led to the formation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cooperative Extension System, claimed Vinton, Iowa, as his hometown and named Vinton, Louisiana, after it.
  • Bing Miller (1894-1966) was a professional baseball player and coach for the Philadelphia Athletics; his walk-off hit won the final game of the 1929 World Series against the Chicago Cubs.
  • Sally Pederson (1951- ), who was the 45th lieutenant governor of Iowa, graduated from Washington High School in Vinton.
  • Cato Sells (1859–1948) The Commissioner at the Bureau of Indian Affairs from 1913 to 1921 was born in Vinton.
  • Buren R. Sherman (1836–1904) who would later become the 12th governor of Iowa, was a resident of Vinton from 1863 to 1866, during which he served as county judge for Benton County. His gravesite is in Vinton, in Evergreen Cemetery.
  • Adeline De Walt Reynolds (1862-1961) was an actress who made her film debut at the age of 79 after an eventful life. She was born and raised near Vinton.
  • Calvin Pearl Titus (September 22, 1879 – May 27, 1966), a soldier of the U.S. Army, was the last American standard-bearer. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of Peking of the Boxer Rebellion
  • Everett Warner (1877–1963) was an artist born in Vinton who became a leading contributor to US naval camouflage during both World Wars.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Vinton (Iowa) para niños

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