Van Buren township was platted in 1837 by James Boxell. As the area grew and was developed, it was known by many names: Roods Town, Roods Crossroads, and Stringtown. Finally, in 1892, the town of Van Buren (named after Pres. Martin VanBuren) was incorporated.
Van Buren bills itself as the “Popcorn Capitol of the World.” The largest local employer is the Weaver Popcorn Company; accordingly, its most famous annual event is the Popcorn Festival, held each August.