Country Facts and Folklore
By Andy Reddick


The Rand McNally 1895 Atlas of Iowa, gives population figures taken from the 1890 Federal Census, revealing 18 villages in Van Buren County listed with population figures. They are: Bentonsport, Birmingham, Bonaparte, Cantril, Douds Station, Farmington, Keosauqua, Kilbourne, Lebanon, Milton, Mt. Sterling, Mt. Zion, Pierceville, Pittsburgh, Utica, Vernon, Wilsonville and Winchester.

In addition, Leando, Long View, McVeigh, Selma, Stockport, Willits, and Wilson are listed, but with no population figures. None were incorporated villages.

All of the listed towns had post offices, with the exception of Long View. Long View was still on the railroad, although itís depot had recently been moved to Stockport. It never secured a post office.

Bentonsport is listed with a population of 283, with Vernon across the river adding another 249 for a community total of 532.

Farmington was the largest village, with an 1890 population of 1,002. This was the first time one of Van Buren Countyís villages had topped the coveted figure of 1,000 people, although local enthusiasts had claimed such totals for several decades, for each of the villages of Bentonsport, Bonaparte, Farmington and Keosauqua.

Only Farmington, Milton and Keosauqua would ever reach that total. Bentonsport had once reached 500 in the 1850s when steamboats plied the river, but had never been much larger (515 in 1867.)

Other populations: Birmingham, 545; Bonaparte, 762; Cantril, 356; Douds Station, 154; Keosauqua, 831; Kilbourne, 69; Lebanon, 35; Milton, 643; Mt. Sterling, 152; Mt. Zion, 16; Pierceville, 122; Pittsburgh, 99; Utica, 65; Wilsonille, 214 and Winchester 217.

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Contributed to the Van Buren Co. IAGenWeb Project by Andy Reddick