Benson (Minnesota)

Swift County


Benson is a small town ( with a status of "City" ) and the administrative seat of Swift County in the U.S. state of Minnesota. In 2010, Benson had 3240 inhabitants.


Benson is located in western Minnesota to the mouth of the East Branch Chippewa River in Chippewa River, a left tributary of the opening into the Mississippi River Minnesota. The geographical coordinates are 45 ° 18'55 Benson " north latitude and 95 ° 36'14 " west longitude. The city covers an area of 7.82 km ².

Towns nearby Benson are De Graff (12 km southeast), Danvers ( 13.5 km west-southwest ) and Clontarf (9.6 km to the northwest ).

The nearest major cities are Minneapolis (201 km east), Minnesota's capital Saint Paul (220 km in the same direction), Rochester ( 341 km southeast), Sioux Falls, South Dakota (264 km south-southwest ) and Fargo, North Dakota (206 km north-northwest ).


In Benson of U.S. Highway 12 and Minnesota State Routes 9 and 29 come together. All other roads are minor roads, some unpaved roadways or urban roads.

In northwest-southeast direction, a railway line of the BNSF Railway through the city of Benson runs.

The Benson Municipal Airport is located 4.8 km west-northwest of the center of Benson. The nearest major airport is the Minneapolis -Saint Paul International Airport (219 km east).


Before the arrival of the first white men the land was claimed by both strains of the Anishinabe and the Sioux.

The first white settlers of the area around the present-day city was 1866, the Norwegian Ole Corneiliusen. 1869, the first general store was built in anticipation of the construction of a new railway line.! 870 came the railroad and a settlement was established, which was named after a local politician from Anoka Benson. Also the first hotel was built around this time and served as accommodation for many employees of the railroad. There also the first school of the city was held for their children.

Since the railway was a year not built around a small trading center developed around the end of the line. 1875 Benson had 300 inhabitants, four general stores, two drug stores, three hotels, a bank and two saloons. A year later the first school building of the city was put into operation.

1876, the area was hit by a plague of locusts. In 1880, a great fire broke out in the city, which led to the founding of the volunteer fire department Benson a year later.

In 1890 the first graduates of Benson High School received their high school diplomas. A public waterworks was built in 1895. A power plant was financed by private investors even before the turn of the century, which was transferred to municipal property in 1902.

Around the turn of the century the first horseless carriages came to Benson. J.B.A. Benoit, who ran a bicycle repair shop, showed interest in the new invention and constructed in 1902 even a two-seater open car.

The Northside School (now Junior High School ) was built in 1904. A public library was founded in 1911. One year later, was a hospital for 20 to 25 patients. The Southside School was opened in 1913. In 1949, a new municipal hospital was built. The Northside Scholl in 1958, a new high school in 1965. All schools in the city to celebrate the 1990 centennial of the school system in Benson.

Demographic data

According to the census in 2010 lived in Benson 3240 people in 1469 households. The population density was 414.3 inhabitants per square kilometer. In the 1469 households lived statistically 2.14 per person.

The racial the population was composed of 97.2 percent white, 0.5 percent African American, 0.4 percent Native American, 0.2 percent Asian, 0.1 percent and 0.6 percent Polynesians from other ethnic groups; 1.0 percent were descended from two or more races. Regardless of ethnicity were 2.6 percent of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

21.9 percent of the population were under 18 years old, 55.6 percent were between 18 and 64 and 22.5 percent were 65 years or older. 52.2 percent of the population was female.

The median annual income for a household was $ 37,773. The per capita income was $ 24,700. 10.5 percent of the population lived below the poverty line.

Memorable people

  • Mark Kennedy ( born 1957 ) - politician, Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives - born in Benson
  • Darwin Hall (1844-1919) - politician, Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives - worked for several years in Benson
  • Paul John Kvale (1896-1960) - Politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives Farmer- Labor Party of Minnesota - lived for several years in Benson