This community was first called Riverdale when it was established. Its post office moved from Mulberry and opened on November 30, 1869. The name changed from Riverdale to Lookout on September 27, 1875. The name changed back to Riverdale in 1877. That year, the town was laid out in the fall by Amanda and Winslow Haynes, and Oliver Cooper.
The town was the result of a disagreement between the railroad companies regarding the location of a depot. Consequently, the Jefferson City and Fort Kearney Railroad, a Union Pacific Railroad subsidiary, branched off and started a town of their own with the assistance of Haynes and Cooper. In the spring of 1879, P. H. Stepps opened a hardware store. The grain elevator, along with a hotel and several other businesses, was opened the same year. The name changed from Riverdale to Vining in honor of E.P. Vining, Union Pacific General Freight Agent, on March 21, 1881. The town was incorporated in 1885.
Because Vining is just one mile west of Clifton, it was often called West Clifton.
In 1910, Vining was an incorporated city of the third class. At that time, it was situated at the junction of the Missouri Pacific and the Union Pacific Railroads. It was a trading center and an important shipping point for a large agricultural district. It was supplied with several well-stocked stores, a grain elevator, telegraph, and express offices, good public schools, and a population of 191.
Its post office closed on August 31, 1955.
Because it no longer has a post office, it is officially “extinct” today. However, the community still has several business buildings, grain elevators, and numerous homes. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 43. It is 17 miles northwest of Clay Center.