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Benson Minnesota Community Guide


Location:
Benson Minnesota population sign Location of Benson Minnesota

Population: 
 Benson (city) 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2000-2010 Change
Actual Percent
Population 3,484 3,656 3,235 3,376 3,240 -136 -4.03
Land Area (sq. mile) 1.70 2.45 2.51 2.48 3.02 +0.54 +21.77
Density (persons per sq. mile) 2,049.4 1,492.2 1,288.8 1,360.5 1,080.0 -280.5 -20.62
Housing Units 1,353 1,573 1,484 1,566 1,602 +36 +2.30
Households -- 1,498 1,382 1,451 1,469 +18 +1.24
Persons Per Household -- 2.38 2.26 2.24 2.21 -0.03 -1.34

Geography:

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.02 square miles (7.82 km˛), all of it land. U.S. Route 12 and Minnesota State Highways 9 and 29 are three of the main routes in the city. The elevation is 1,047 ft (319 m) above sea level.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


Demographics:

As of the census of 2010, there were 3,240 people, 1,469 households, and 828 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,080.0 inhabitants per square mile (417.0 /km2). There were 1,602 housing units at an average density of 534.0 per square mile (206.2 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.2% White, 0.5% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.6% of the population.

There were 1,469 households of which 24.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.7% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.6% were non-families. 38.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.85.

The median age in the city was 43.6 years. 21.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.5% were from 25 to 44; 25.9% were from 45 to 64; and 22.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.8% male and 52.2% female.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


History:  

This region was the disputed land of the Chippewa and Sioux Indians. Raiding parties of each tribe made life quite perilous for any person. The first white man to travel across the future Benson area was Gideon S. Pond, an Indian Missionary who accompanied an Indian hunting party up the Chippewa River in order to study their habits and customs. However, it was not until after the Great Sioux Uprising that western Minnesota was made safe for white settlement. The first white settler in the Benson area is thought to be Ole Corneiliusen, a Norwegian who arrived in 1866. By this time the railroad had been extended from Minneapolis to Delano. This resulted in more rapid settlement in western Minnesota.

Early development of Benson and the rest of Swift County was strongly related to the railroad. A.W. Lathrop and W.V. Lathrop opened the first general store in Benson in 1869 in anticipation of the arrival of the construction of trackage through the area. The railroad continue laying tracks in the westward direction and by 1870 they had reached the site that they had determined to be a trading center named "Benson" in memory of a prominent politican from Anoka.

Boom Time

After the tracks reached Benson, no additional tracks were laid for over a year. As end of the tracks, Benson became a lively trading center. It was the exchange point to the Red River Ox Carts. These two-wheeled carts were built entirely of wood and raw hide and pulled by a single ox. They usually traveled in a train and the squeak of their unoiled wheels could be heard for miles. The Red River Ox Carts carried goods from Benson to about 15 miles downstream from the present-day city of Wahpeton, North Dakota. During this time Benson served as a market for the territory 100 miles to the north, south, and west. Prices were high at this time with a barrel of pork costing $40.00, 100 pounds of flour for $5.00, very poor butter was $0.50 a pound, eggs were a luxury, and potatoes were very scarce.

Within five years the population of Benson had grown to 300 with four general stores, two drug stores, two machinery houses, three hotels, one bank, and two saloons. In one of the general stores, A.N. Johnson & Co., the sales ran up to $60,000 in the last eight months of 1875. It was distinctly a boom period.

Early Life

Early life in Benson also included some hardships such as the smallpox epidemic of 1872, the grasshopper plague of 1876, and the fire of 1880. The fire was started by a cigar butt which was dropped and rolled through a knothole in the floor of Joe Fountain's saloon. The smoldering cigar soon burst into uncontrollable flames that resulted in severe losses to 20 concerns, destroying an entire city block. As a result of the fire, a volunteer fire department was organized by the Village Council on June 18, 1881.

The Public Library was established in Benson in 1911 through a $7,500 donation from Andrew Carnegie and many generous gifts from local citizens. The following year the Swift County Hospital was constructed at a cost of $15,000 and had an original capacity of 20 to 25 patients. In 1949 a new City-County Hospital was constructed at a cost of $400,000. In 1971 a million dollar addition was added to the hospital and now offers Benson a modern 32 bed facility. The Benson Medical Center, a well-staffed group of family physicians, and Harley Clinic, a mental health clinic, are also housed in the facility. The Swift County-Benson Hospital celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 1987.

The first hotel, known as the Emigrant House, was constructed by the railroad company to accommodate railway workers and travelers. In 1876 an addition was made on the hotel and it was renamed the Pacific House. In 1900 the structure was moved to a lot behind the light plant and called the Columbia Hotel. The three story brick, 45 room Paris Hotel was then constructed on the previous site. This building remained as a landmark until it was destroyed by fire in September of 1976. The First Federal Savings Bank and the 1st American Financial Center now stand on that site.

Modern Conveniences

Public utilities and services have been available to Benson residents for many years. The waterworks was constructed in 1895. Cement sidewalks began to be constructed in 1901. The first telephone operated between the office and home of Dr. C.L. Scofield in 1893, three years before the original Bell patent expired. The power and light plant was built by private investors just before the turn of the century and was purchased by the City of Benson in 1902.

The turn of the century also saw the first "horseless carriage" in Benson. J.B.A. Benoit, who had been in the bicycle repair business, became interested in the new invention. In 1901 he purchased a lathe and began to build an automobile, completing it in April of 1902. This open two-seated rig was equipped with a five horse Dyke engine which could propel the car at the rate of four to twenty miles an hour. Its first run to Clontarf, a distance of about six miles, was completed in only 28 minutes.

Schools

The first school classes were held in the Emigrant House in 1870. The following year a one story frame structure was erected on the northeast corner of the courthouse block to serve as the school. This original school house of Benson has been restored and is open to the public. It is located at Ambush Park on West Highway 9. The first graduate received their diploma from Benson High School in 1890. In 1904 the Northside School (now the Junior High School) was constructed, following by the Southside School in 1913 and the Northside Elementary School in 1958. The new high school was constructed in 1965 and a major addition housing the vocational facilities and an indoor swimming pool was completed in 1976. An all-school reunion was held in 1990 to celebrate the Centennial of Education.

Courtesy City of Benson

BENSON, a city in sections 5-8 of Torning Township and named the county seat on February 18, 1870, was platted for the railway company by Charles A. F. Morris, for whom Morris in Stevens County was named, in the spring of 1870; it was incorporated as a village February 14, 1877, and as a city in 1908. The post office was established in 1870; it had a station in section 6 of the Great Northern Railway.

Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

Pacific looking east, Benson Minnesota, 1908
Pacific looking east, Benson Minnesota, 1908
LakesnWoods.com Postcard and Postcard Image Collection - click to enlarge


Government:
Benson City Hall
1410 Kansas Avenue
Benson, MN
56215
Phone: (320) 843-4775
Fax: (320)  842-7151
Web: www.bensonmn.org
Title Term Ends Name and Address Phone:
Mayor 12/31/2017 Gary Landmark
205 16th Street S
Benson, MN 56215
(320) 288-8023
City Manager appointed Rob Wolfington
1410 Kansas Avenue
Benson, MN
56215
(320) 843-4775
Council Member 12/31/2019 Terri Collins --
Council Member 12/31/2019 Lucas Olson --
Council Member 12/31/2017 Jack Evenson --
Council Member 12/31/2017 Stephanie Heinzig --

Post Office:
US Post Office
220 14th Street N
Benson, MN
56215-1105
Phone:
(320) 842-4741
Toll Free:
(800) ASK-USPS
Fax: (320) 843-2072
Web: www.usps.com
US Post Office
Regular Business Hours:
Week Days      
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Saturday
           8:30 am - 9:30 am 
Latest Collection at Post Office:
Week Days            5:15 pm
Saturday                5:15 pm


Utilities:
Utility Type Utility Name Utility Phone
Electricity Benson Water & Light Dept   (320) 843-4775
Natural Gas CenterPoint Energy   (800) 245-2377
Wastewater Benson Water & Light Dept   (320) 843-4775
Water Benson Water & Light Dept   (320) 843-4775
Telephone Sprint (800) 788-3500
Cable TV Charter Communications (800) 493-7824

Major Employers:
Employer Products/Services Employees
CNH Farm Machinery & Equip. Mfg. 265
Benson Public Schools Elementary & Secondary Schools 180
Red Ball LLC Farm Machinery & Equip. Mfg. 115
Swift County-Benson Hospital General Medical & Surgical Hospitals 98
Meadow Lane Healthcare Ctr Nursing Care Facilities 83
Future Products Inc All Other Cut & Sew Apparel Mfg. 82
Custom Roto Mold All Other Plastics Prod. Mfg. 49
Chippewa Valley Ethanol Co All Other Misc. Mfg. 48
Lorenz Manufacturing Co Farm Machinery & Equip. Mfg. 24
BackStreet Media/Printing Graphic Design Svcs. 8
Ron Carlson Machine Precision Turned Prod. Mfg. 8


News:
Weather:

Click for Benson, Minnesota Forecast


Map:


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Minnesota State Highway Map of the Benson Minnesota area
Minnesota State Highway Map of the Benson Minnesota area


Events:
Pioneerland Band Festival

On June 14, 1988, the first Pioneerland Band Festival was held in Benson, Minnesota. Some of the finest bands in the state gathered to celebrate the joy of music and our American Flag. Every Flag Day since, the celebration has continued to grow into one of the most enjoyable music celebrations in Minnesota. Each year a new Grand Marshall is selected; someone who has used music to influence the community in a positive way throughout their lives. This is one celebration you don’t want to miss!

Pioneerland Band Festival, Benson Minnesota

For more Benson area events, see the Benson Chamber of Commerce Events Calendar


Attractions:
Glacial Ridge Scenic Byway

The area lies within the Alexandria Glacial Moraine Complex laid down by the Wadena Lobe of the last glacier, 30,000 years ago. The massive amount of ice, thousands of feet in thickness and loaded with unnumbered tons of rock material, ceased its forward movement and melted. What remained after the ice melted was an extensive, wide, low ridge, an accumulation of boulders, stones, gravel and other debris formerly contained in the ice sheet. Blocks of ice, buried in the debris, melted to form many of the hundreds of small lakes, dotting the countryside. The Byway offers something for everyone, whether their interests are historical, cultural, recreational or a simple scenic drive. The Byway offers access to West Central Minnesota‘s abundant natural resources, recreational opportunities, historical and cultural character, all while offering modern, convenient travel accommodations.


Recreation:
Ambush Park

A Park for All Seasons. On the shores of the Beautiful Chippewa River. Blacktop & Primitive Camping Sites - Hot Showers Lighted Picnic Shelters - Picnic Tables and Grills at Campsites - Located along the Banks of the Chippewa River - Large Bonfire Ring near South Shelter Historic School House - Horseshoe Pits -  Basketball Court - Extensive Hiking Trails - Sand Volleyball Court - Canoeing - Fishing On Site - Park Supervisor - Sanitation Station - Adjacent to Outdoor Swimming Pool and 18 Hole Golf Course

Ambush Park, Benson Minnesota
Benson Golf Club
2222 Atlantic Avenue
Benson, MN 56215
Phone: (320) 842-7901
Web: www.bensongolfclub.com

At Benson Golf Club the golfer will feel right at home. We offer the finest in golf and dining. Beginning with a traditional, full service golf shop which attends to the golfer’s every need, Benson Golf Club provides a first quality golf experience. From comfortable dining facilities which serves both light and hearty fare, to a golf shop laden with carefully selected apparel and equipment and staffed by professionals committed to providing the best possible golf experience, to beautiful manicured tees, fairways and greens….

Benson Golf Club, Benson Minnesota
Swift Falls Park

The Swift Falls County Park is located on the banks of the Chippewa River in Swift Falls, Minnesota (the best little town by a dam site.) The community was so named because of the falls that were created when the Chippewa was dammed to provide power for a grain mill once located there. Nestled in rolling hills created by long ago glacial activity the park gives one a sense of serenity and pleasure with each visit. Spend an hour, a day or a week and you will understand the pleasure derived from visits to the Park area residents have enjoyed for years. The Park is open for camping mid-May to mid-October.

Swift Falls Park, Benson Minnesota


Lakes:
Lake Name Size
(acres)
Lake info Lake Map Rec Map Topo Map
Frovold  
Hassel  
Johnson  
Moore  

Health Care:
Affiliated Community Medical Center
1805 Wisconsin Avenue
Benson, MN 56215
Phone: (320) 843-2030
Web: www.acmc.com

The ACMC network is a regional leader in West Central and Southwest Minnesota's health care delivery system. Our 11-clinic network, which serves six local hospitals and about 103,000 patients throughout the region has over 170 physicians and mid-level practitioners and features more than 35 specialty departments with over 800 support staff. The heart of ACMC is providing compassionate, quality care for our patients.

Affiliated Community Medical Center, Benson Minnesota
Swift County Benson Hospital
1815 Wisconsin Avenue
Benson, MN 56215
Phone: (320) 843-4232
Toll Free: (800) 324-0787
Web: www.scbh.org

The Swift County-Benson Hospital has been in operation since 1912 and has a strong tradition of excellence in our community. A well-staffed group of family practice physicians, nurse practitioners and outreach specialists work together to provide a wide range of medical services for Benson and the surrounding area. In fact, for two years in a row, Swift County-Benson Hospital was selected as one of the Top 100 Small Hospitals in the US. Swift County-Benson Hospital is a facility that lives its mission: to provide quality personalized health care, locally accessible and responsive to community needs.

Swift County Benson Hospital, Benson Minnesota

Schools:
Benson Public Schools
1400 Montana Avenue
Benson, MN 56215
Phone: (320) 843-2710
Fax: (320) 843-2262
Web: www.benson.k12.mn.us

Grades:  PK-12
Students:  961

Benson Public Schools
Benson High School
1400 Montana Avenue
Benson, MN 56215
Phone: (320) 843-2710
Fax: (320) 843-2262

Grades:  7-12
Students:  469

Benson High School, Benson Minnesota
Benson Elementary School
1400 Montana Avenue
Benson, MN 56215
Phone: (320) 843-2710
Fax: (320) 843-2262

Grades:  5-6
Students:  n/a

 
Northside Elementary School
1800 W Nevada Avenue
Benson, MN 56215
Phone: (320) 843-2710
Fax: (320) 843-2262

Grades:  K-4
Students:  466

 
Benson Christian School
PO Box 195
Benson, MN 56215
Phone: (320) 843-2515

Grades:  K-12
Students:  13

 

Churches:
Assembly of God Church
1200 13th Street N
Benson, MN 56215
Phone: (320) 843-2612

Pastor:  Paul L Peterson
Sunday Worship:  n/a

 
First Baptist Church
701 Church Street
Benson, MN 56215
Phone: (320) 842-3381

Pastor:  n/a
Sunday Worship:  n/a

 
First Evangelical Free Church
900 13th Street S
Benson, MN 56215
Phone: (320) 843-3423

Pastor:  n/a
Sunday Worship:  n/a

 
Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ
211 13th Street N
Benson, MN 56215
Phone: (320) 843-3471
Web: www.uccwebsites.net

Pastor:  Rev. Karen O'Connell
Sunday Worship:  10:00 am

 
Our Redeemers Lutheran Church - ELCA
800 10th Street S
Benson, MN 56215
Phone: (320) 843-3151
Web: www.our-redeemers.com

Pastor:  Gary Brandenburg
Sunday Worship:  8:30 am

Our Redeemers Lutheran Church, Benson Minnesota
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church
508 13th Street N
Benson, MN 56215
Phone: (320) 842-4271
Fax: (320) 843-2264
Web: www.catholicareaparishes.org

Pastor:  Fr. Bill Sprigler
Saturday Mass:  6:00 am
Sunday Mass:  10:00 am

St. Francis Catholic Church, Benson Minnesota
St. Mark's Lutheran Church - LCMS
1420 Nevada Avenue
Benson, MN 56215
Phone: (320) 843-4131
Web: www.stmarkslcms.com

Pastor: 
Sunday Worship:  June - Aug - 9:00 am
                            Sept - May - 8:00 am and 10:30 am

St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Benson Minnesota
Trinity Lutheran Church
700 Nevada Avenue N
Benson, MN 56215
Phone: (320) 842-6981
Web: www.trinitybenson.org

Pastor:  Steve Rheingans
Sunday Worship:  9:00 am

 

Media:
Swift County Monitor News
101 12th Street S
Benson, MN 56215
Phone: (320) 843-4111
Fax: (320) 843-3246
Web: www.swiftcountymonitor.com
Swift County Monitor News, Benson Minnesota
 
Motels:
Benson Inn
620 22nd Street South
Benson, MN 56215
Phone: (320) 842-6990
Toll Free: (877) 747-8713
Web: reservation.magnusonhotels.com

Just minutes to Lake Hassel, the Benson Inn is close to many state parks and lakes. Come and enjoy hiking, swimming, boating, golfing, and biking at Glacial Lakes State Park, Lac Qui Parle State Park, and Sibley State Park. This Magnuson Hotels affiliate offers free wireless internet and plenty of parking for your RV or boat. Sorry no pets allowed.

Benson Inn, Benson Minnesota
Country Inn
300 14th Street S
Benson, MN 56215
Phone: (320) 843-4395
Web: www.countryinn-benson.com

Located in Benson, Minnesota, Country Inn Benson is within driving distance of many cities in the southwestern Minnesota area, including Morris, Montevideo, Willmar, Spicer, and Appleton. Our staff takes pride in our well-maintained hotel grounds, our friendly and efficient service, and our multiple amenities, including a connected restaurant. Feel free to ask about using our hotel grounds and pool for birthday parties, weddings and other events.

Country Inn, Benson Minnesota
Check for motel rates and availability on:
Expedia.com no one deals like we do!

Resorts:

none


Campgrounds:
Ambush Park

A Park for All Seasons. On the shores of the Beautiful Chippewa River. Blacktop & Primitive Camping Sites - Hot Showers Lighted Picnic Shelters - Picnic Tables and Grills at Campsites - Located along the Banks of the Chippewa River - Large Bonfire Ring near South Shelter Historic School House - Horseshoe Pits -  Basketball Court - Extensive Hiking Trails - Sand Volleyball Court - Canoeing - Fishing On Site - Park Supervisor - Sanitation Station - Adjacent to Outdoor Swimming Pool and 18 Hole Golf Course

Ambush Park, Benson Minnesota
Swift Falls Park

The Swift Falls County Park is located on the banks of the Chippewa River in Swift Falls, Minnesota (the best little town by a dam site.) The community was so named because of the falls that were created when the Chippewa was dammed to provide power for a grain mill once located there. Nestled in rolling hills created by long ago glacial activity the park gives one a sense of serenity and pleasure with each visit. Spend an hour, a day or a week and you will understand the pleasure derived from visits to the Park area residents have enjoyed for years. The Park is open for camping mid-May to mid-October. 15 camping sites, restrooms, showers, electricity, stream fishing, wooded hiking trails, foot bridges, picnic shelters, waterfall

Swift Falls Park, Benson Minnesota

Businesses:


The Benson Business Directory is Coming Soon!
 


Aerial Photo:    


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Topographic Map:   [click map to enlarge, zoom in or zoom out]

Topographic map of the Benson Minnesota area
Topographic map is courtesy of the Minnesota DNR - click map to zoom or enlarge

 

 
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