Benton (Illinois)

Franklin County


Benton is a small town and county seat of Franklin County in the south of the U.S. state of Illinois. In 2000, Benton had 6,880 inhabitants, a 2008 estimate showed a population of 6,957, which represents an increase of 1.1% over 2000.


Benton is located at 38 ° 00'15 " north latitude and 88 ° 54'58 " west longitude. The city covers an area of 13.7 km ², which consists exclusively of land area.

7.4 km north-west of Benton is the Rend Lake, a 76- km ² ( 18,900 acres) large reservoir that was created by the damming of the Big Muddy River.

In the center of the Benton Illinois State Routes take 14, 34 and 37 together. Due to the west of the city runs north -south Interstate 57, which is part of the shortest route from Chicago ( 480 km to the north) to Memphis ( 378 km to the south) is.

After St. Louis, Missouri, it is 158 km to the northwest, Illinois ' capital city is located 249 km to the north- northwest, Indiana's capital Indianapolis is located 372 km to the northeast, Kentucky's largest city, Louisville is located 301 km to the east and Tennessee's capital Nashville 337 km in southeast.

Benton is also junction of several railway lines of the BNSF Railway.


Benton is named after the politician Thomas Hart Benton, the senator from Missouri was. The place Benton was created in 1841 and was awarded the status of City in 1902.

The Franklin County was established in 1818 and was then about twice as large as today. 1839 Williamson County was split off and set the administrative headquarters on a hill at the southern end of Rowling 's Prairie. This was the place where the later Benton was created.

The present courthouse - already the third - is located in the city center. It was built in 1874-1875 at a cost of $ 27,500.00.

The bulk of the growth of the city is rich in coal resources, the situation at several railway lines, attributed fertile soils of the environment and the local industry.

On April 19, 1928 Benton was the site of the last public execution in the State of Illinois.

In September 1963, George Harrison from the Beatles visited the city. The building in which he was living now called Had Day's Nite Bed and Breakfast. Harrison also occurred in neighboring Eldorado in Saline County.

Demographic data

In the census of 2000 a population of 6,880 was determined. These distributed to 2,938 households in 1,825 families. The population density was 502.3 / km ². There were 3277 residential buildings, which corresponded to a housing density of 239.3 / km ².

The population consisted in 2000 of 98.7 % White, 0.3 % African American, 0.1% Native Americans, 0.3 % Asian and 0.1 % other. 0.5 % said to be descended from at least two of these groups. 0.5 % of the population were Hispanics who belonged to the various of the aforementioned groups.

24.4% were under 19 years, 5.4% 20-24, 24.8% 25-44, 23.0% from 45 to 64 and 22.4 % 65 and older. The average age was 42 years. The population consisted of 46.5 % of male and 53.5 % female residents.

The average income per household was $ 27,177, the average family income is $ 35,339. The per capita income amounted to $ 15,787. Around 15.6 % of families and 17.5 % of the total population were below the poverty line income.

Memorable people

  • Lin Bolen - former Vice President of NBC, was born in Benton
  • Doug Collins - Basketball Player ( Olympian 1972), NBA coach, attended school in Benton
  • Billy Grammer - country musician, born in Benton
  • William L. Hungate - Congressman from Missouri, federal judge, was born in Benton
  • John Malkovich - actor and film producer who grew up in Benton
  • Carl Scarborough - racing driver, was born in Benton