Benton, the county seat of Franklin County, took its name from the prominent senator from Missouri, Thomas Hart Benton. The village of Benton was organized in 1841 on twenty acres of property donated by John Ewing and Walter S. Akin. In 1902 the village became a city, and incorporated under the mayor/commissioner form of government. Much of Benton’s growth in the past can be traced to the abundance of high sulfur coal, the presence of multiple railroads, rich soil and the industry of her people.
Why Benton, IL?
Benton is located just south of Rend Lake, as one of the premier vacation spots in Southern Illinois providing quality areas for boating, water skiing, camp sites, nature trails, hiking, biking, golf, picnicking, swimming, fishing, and hunting. May of every year, Benton and West City, Rend Lake’s Sister Cities of Hospitality, celebrate the building of Illinois’ second largest man-made lake – Rend Lake. The Rend Lake Water Festival attracts and entertains 1000s each year.
New subdivisions are being constructed all over Benton. New homes are being constructed on Lake Moses and Mirror Lake, in addition to many other sites in town. There are 70 units of low-income housing and 70 units of housing for the elderly. Benton has a number of apartment units, town houses and other rental properties available. Benton has a non-political commission form of government. Four Commissioners and the Mayor make up this decision-making body.
Living in Benton offers residents a sparse suburban feel and most residents own their homes. In Benton there are a lot of bars and restaurants. Many young professionals and retirees live in Benton and residents tend to be conservative. The public schools in Benton are above average.