Viola, Iowa

Populated place
Unincorporated community in eastern Linn County that was a source of subjects for Grant Wood's paintings.



There's not much to see in Viola. It's a very small town with a few dwellings.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in August 2012



Street Views 


Post office dates: Oct. 7, 1861-Present.

Although a sleepy commmunity now, according to local residents, this was once a "…jumpin' joint…" with two motels and lots of activity.

There is a local legend about a school bus crash on the Matsell Bridge, north of town, and that the bridge is haunted.

About The School: Built in 1922 and closed in 1998. Was supposed to be turned into apartments but plans fell through. Animals and people got in and did substantial damage to the inside. With a donation, the building now belongs to the Stone City Art Foundation. Director Ian Cullis, who’s also the mayor of Robins, said he’s ready to begin work on a revival plan. “I intend to put it on the state historical register and make a plan to reconstruct the thing,” Cullis said.


Have Street View (50,476)
Iowa (2,530)
Linn County, Iowa (115)
Populated place (8,934)
Viola, Iowa (3)

Update Log 

  • June 9, 2013: New Street View added by Dave King
  • June 5, 2013: New photo from Dave King
  • May 12, 2013: Updated by Dave King: Added to Description
  • April 7, 2013: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated description
  • March 24, 2013: New photos from J.R. Manning



Viola, Iowa
Posted November 11, 2021, by Karin J Culter (culter4 [at] msn [dot] com)

My husband's gg grandfather and his family lived here in 1870. Delos Bunce was listed here as a physician, but we have found nothing about his life in Viola He supposedly went to Des Moines and also Trenton, MO and then just disappeared after that! Would like to find any old history about Viola.