This is one of the old towns of Benton County, and in 1855 was a more important town than Vinton. It continued to grow somewhat for three years afterward, several substantial brick buildings being erected during the time.
As long as there was any prospect of navigating the Cedar River, Benton City held its own; but when the railroad was granted, in 1869, leaving the town two miles at one side, the village lost business and population.
November 23, 1857, John H. Pulver, engineer of the Benton City Mills, was killed by slipping and falling inside the fly wheel, while adjusting the belt to a grindstone. He was carried around violently through a space one foot in diameter, and then thrown against the grindstone with such violence as to break his skull.
A Masonic Lodge was formed here in 1855, but was afterward removed to Shellsburg.