Small Town Life in Benton, IL
The village of Benton lies in the south-central region of the state and began as a mere 20 acres in 1841. The property was donated by John Ewing and Walter S. Akin. The community was named for Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton.
By 1902, the village transformed into a small city and became incorporated. Today, the community serves as the county seat for Franklin County and was once the hometown of Grand Ole Opry star Billy Grammer, TV game show host Gene Rayburn and actor John Malkovich.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 7,087 people make their home in this quiet little community that encompasses nearly six square miles.
Of the nearly 3,000 households within Benton, more than 26 percent have school-aged children. Benton students attend one of two grade schools, one middle school and one high school. Upon graduating from high school, students have the option of continuing their education at one of seven colleges and universities that are conveniently located anywhere from nine to 66 miles from the village.
Fun in the Sun
The beautiful Benton Community Park lies nestled in a scenic wooded area with modern features that include lighted baseball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts and playgrounds.
The 18,000-acre reservoir known as Rend Lake lies just north of the community and remains a popular year round recreation destination. Nature and outdoor lovers alike enjoy camping, boating, fishing and a variety of water sports. Miles of trails welcome walkers, joggers and cyclists.
Benton residents enjoy a cost of living that remains lower compared to Illinois and U.S. standards. Manufacturing, retail sales, construction and public administration along with gas and oil extraction, mining and quarrying are the major industries found here. Construction and extraction, sales, material moving and managerial positions make up the bulk of the occupations in Benton, Southern Illinois.
Benton Points of Interest
The Franklin County Garage Museum once served as the first Ford dealership in the county and was 90 years old before being transformed into the current museum. Visitors have the chance to view historic belt drive machinery and a collection of antique automobiles that include a 1912 Ford once owned by gangster Charlie Birger.
The now Historic Jail Museum was the county jail that was constructed in 1905. The site is also known for being the last location in the country that performed an execution by hanging.
The George Harrison “Beatle” Museum commemorates the member of the famous pop band whose sister made her home in Benton. George and his brother visited the village in 1963 before the “Fab Four” went on to fame and fortune.
Local Medical Facilities
Orthodontist in Benton – Dr. Kyle Childers DMD at Childers Orthodontics – 201 West Washington, Benton, IL 62812 (618) 438-2815