The Town of Vinton was incorporated by the Virginia General Assembly on March 17, 1884, with a population of 584 and a land area of one and a half square miles. Following incorporation, Vinton experienced continued development. Much of the development in the town resulted from the spin-off of economic growth occurring in Roanoke. The economic and social linkages formed between Roanoke and Vinton in the late 1800s have continued through to the present.
Land Companies Formed
During the late 1880s, a number of land companies were formed:
Aetna Land Company
Glade Land Company
Midway Land Company
Vinton Land, Loan, and Building Company
Much of the existing farm land was made available for development, and much land speculation occurred during this period in the town's history. Fortunes were made and lost in the course of a few months. After a number of boom years, the intense speculation subsided. Land and housing costs were greatly reduced. Many of the families who purchased the low-cost properties were employees of the Norfolk and Western Railway Company. It was at this time that Vinton became known as the working man's town.
As the population expanded, a demand for new services was evidenced. The first weekly newspaper, the Vinton Dispatch, was established in 1889. Religious denominations grew as the population increased. Initially, the Methodists were the only denomination having a place of worship; however, over the years Lutherans, Baptists, Presbyterians, and other denominations also constructed churches.