Bonaparte, Iowa

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Bonaparte is a city in Van Buren County, Iowa, United States. The population was 458 at the 2000 census. The town is located on the Des Moines River and contains a number of historical buildings, including a large pottery. The town was flooded during the Flood of 1851.



Bonaparte is located at 40°42′0″N 91°48′3″W / 40.7°N 91.80083°W / 40.7; -91.80083 (40.699914, -91.800837).[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.4 square miles (1.0 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 458 people, 190 households, and 121 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,254.2 people per square mile (477.9/km²). There were 212 housing units at an average density of 580.6/sq mi (221.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 100.00% White. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.31% of the population.

There were 190 households out of which 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.8% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.3% were non-families. 31.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.3% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 100.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,438, and the median income for a family was $33,750. Males had a median income of $30,057 versus $19,479 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,479. About 16.5% of families and 15.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.0% of those under age 18 and 20.0% of those age 65 or over.

In the news

On October 14, 2006, five Bonaparte natives were murdered in their home. Michael Bentler, 53, his wife Sandra, 47, and their three daughters: Sheena, 17, Shelby, 15 and Shayne, 14, were pronounced dead at the scene. The family's oldest and surviving child, Shawn Michael Bentler, 22, was arrested in Illinois on unrelated drug charges. The following Sunday afternoon, he was charged with five counts of first-degree murder, in what has been characterized by the media as one of the worst mass murders in Iowa history. Shawn was found guilty on May 24, 2007. (News: BBC Des Moines Register)

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