Benton County, Minnesota

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Benton County
Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Gilman, Minnesota.
Official seal of Benton County
Map of Minnesota highlighting Benton County
Location within the U.S. state of Minnesota
Map of the United States highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 45°42′N 94°00′W / 45.7°N 94°W / 45.7; -94
Country United States
State Minnesota
FoundedOctober 27, 1849 (created)
1850 (organized)[1]
Named forThomas Hart Benton
SeatFoley
Largest citySauk Rapids
Area
 • Total413 sq mi (1,070 km2)
 • Land408 sq mi (1,060 km2)
 • Water4.8 sq mi (12 km2)  1.2%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total41,379
 • Estimate 
(2021)
41,459 Increase
 • Density97.9/sq mi (37.8/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district6th
Websitewww.co.benton.mn.us

Benton County is a county in the East Central part of the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2020 census, the population was 41,379.[2] Its county seat is Foley.[3]

Benton County is part of the St. Cloud, MN Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI Combined Statistical Area.

History[edit]

Established in 1849 and organized in 1850, the county is one of the oldest in Minnesota.[4] It was named for Thomas Hart Benton, a United States Senator from Missouri.[5] Its county seat for many years was Sauk Rapids, at the confluence of the Sauk and Mississippi Rivers. The county seat moved to Watab in 1856 and returned to Sauk Rapids in 1859. Sauk Rapids became the terminus of a railroad line in 1874, but was destroyed by a tornado in 1886. In 1897 the county seat moved to Foley, where it remains. As St. Cloud expanded into a metropolitan area, the northern part of Benton County became a suburb.

Geography[edit]

The Mississippi River flows southeast along Benton County's western border, and the Platte River flows south through the county's northwest corner, discharging into the Mississippi at the county's western border. The terrain consists of low rolling hills, wooded or devoted to agriculture.[6] It generally slopes to the south and east, although its western portion slopes into the river valleys. The county's highest point is a small hill near the midpoint of the northern border, one mile (1.6 km) north of Brennyville, at 1,311' (399m) ASL.[7] The county has a total area of 413 square miles (1,070 km2), of which 408 square miles (1,060 km2) is land and 4.8 square miles (12 km2) (1.2%) is water.[8] It is the fifth-smallest county in Minnesota by land area and fourth-smallest by total area.

Soils of Benton County[9]
Soils of Sartell WMA neighborhood

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Lakes[edit]

[6]

Protected areas[edit]

  • Benlacs State Wildlife Management Area (part)
  • Bibles State Wildlife Management Area
  • Englund Ecotone Scientific and Natural Area
  • Sartell State Wildlife Management Area
  • Wisneski State Wildlife Management Area

[6]

Climate and weather[edit]

Foley, Minnesota
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
0.7
 
 
21
2
 
 
0.6
 
 
27
7
 
 
1.6
 
 
39
20
 
 
2.6
 
 
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3
 
 
69
44
 
 
4.2
 
 
78
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3.3
 
 
82
59
 
 
3.8
 
 
80
56
 
 
3.5
 
 
70
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2.5
 
 
57
35
 
 
1.4
 
 
39
22
 
 
0.8
 
 
25
7
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[10]

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Foley have ranged from a low of 2 °F (−17 °C) in January to a high of 82 °F (28 °C) in July, although a record low of −43 °F (−42 °C) was recorded in January 1977 and a record high of 107 °F (42 °C) was recorded in July 1936. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 0.62 inches (16 mm) in February to 4.17 inches (106 mm) in June.[10]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850418
186062750.0%
18701,558148.5%
18803,01293.3%
18906,284108.6%
19009,91257.7%
191011,61517.2%
192014,07321.2%
193015,0567.0%
194016,1067.0%
195015,911−1.2%
196017,2878.6%
197020,84120.6%
198025,18720.9%
199030,18519.8%
200034,22613.4%
201038,45112.3%
202041,3797.6%
2021 (est.)41,459[11]0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
1790-1960[13] 1900-1990[14]
1990-2000[15] 2010-2020[2]
Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 U.S. census data

As of the 2000 census,[16] there were 34,226 people, 13,065 households, and 8,518 families in the county. The population density was 83.9/sqmi (32.4/km2). There were 13,460 housing units at an average density of 33/sqmi (12.7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.22% White, 0.78% Black or African American, 0.52% Native American, 1.15% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.35% from other races, and 0.94% from two or more races. 0.90% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 47.8% were of German, 12.1% Polish and 8.8% Norwegian ancestry.

There were 13,065 households, out of which 35.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.10% were married couples living together, 8.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.80% were non-families. 25.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.14.

The county population contained 27.10% under the age of 18, 12.20% from 18 to 24, 31.00% from 25 to 44, 18.70% from 45 to 64, and 11.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,968, and the median income for a family was $51,277. Males had a median income of $33,214 versus $22,737 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,008. About 4.50% of families and 7.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.30% of those under age 18 and 12.60% of those age 65 or over.

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Townships[edit]

Census-designated place[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Ghost towns[edit]

[6]

Government and politics[edit]

Benton County voters have tended to vote Republican for the past few decades. In 2016 Donald Trump won the county with 64.2%, the highest share of the vote for any presidential candidate since Franklin Roosevelt in 1932.[17]

United States presidential election results for Benton County, Minnesota[18]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 14,382 64.61% 7,280 32.70% 598 2.69%
2016 12,872 64.17% 5,640 28.12% 1,546 7.71%
2012 10,849 55.30% 8,173 41.66% 597 3.04%
2008 10,338 53.46% 8,454 43.71% 547 2.83%
2004 10,043 54.63% 8,059 43.84% 282 1.53%
2000 7,663 51.40% 6,009 40.31% 1,236 8.29%
1996 4,835 36.54% 6,006 45.39% 2,392 18.08%
1992 5,053 35.16% 5,156 35.88% 4,162 28.96%
1988 6,060 50.33% 5,861 48.68% 119 0.99%
1984 6,830 57.48% 4,922 41.42% 131 1.10%
1980 5,513 46.79% 5,272 44.75% 997 8.46%
1976 4,099 37.38% 6,235 56.86% 631 5.75%
1972 4,652 49.35% 4,282 45.43% 492 5.22%
1968 3,470 43.29% 4,022 50.17% 524 6.54%
1964 2,818 37.47% 4,679 62.22% 23 0.31%
1960 3,324 44.23% 4,175 55.56% 16 0.21%
1956 3,591 57.77% 2,609 41.97% 16 0.26%
1952 3,856 59.54% 2,587 39.95% 33 0.51%
1948 2,297 38.19% 3,632 60.38% 86 1.43%
1944 2,988 56.76% 2,258 42.90% 18 0.34%
1940 3,491 55.76% 2,742 43.79% 28 0.45%
1936 1,783 30.67% 3,111 53.52% 919 15.81%
1932 1,329 24.84% 3,901 72.92% 120 2.24%
1928 2,373 46.29% 2,732 53.30% 21 0.41%
1924 1,629 41.90% 572 14.71% 1,687 43.39%
1920 2,920 78.83% 554 14.96% 230 6.21%
1916 1,020 49.09% 945 45.48% 113 5.44%
1912 468 24.38% 562 29.27% 890 46.35%
1908 1,001 54.11% 765 41.35% 84 4.54%
1904 1,205 71.90% 433 25.84% 38 2.27%
1900 849 51.58% 751 45.63% 46 2.79%
1896 778 46.61% 867 51.95% 24 1.44%
1892 426 25.63% 577 34.72% 659 39.65%


County Board of Commissioners[19]
Position Name District
Commissioner Warren Peschl District 1
Commissioner Ed Popp District 2
Commissioner Steve Heinen District 3
Commissioner and Vice Chair Spencer Buerkle District 4
Commissioner and Chairperson Allen "Jake" Bauerly District 5
State Legislature (2018-2020)
Position Name Affiliation District
  Senate Jeff Howe[20] Republican District 13
  Senate Jerry Relph[21] Republican District 14
  Senate Andrew Mathews[22] Republican District 15
  House of Representatives Tim O'Driscoll[23] Republican District 13B
  House of Representatives Dan Wolgamott[24] Democrat District 14B
  House of Representatives Shane Mekeland[25] Republican District 15B
U.S Congress (2018-2020)
Position Name Affiliation District
  House of Representatives Tom Emmer[26] Republican 6th
  Senate Amy Klobuchar[27] Democrat N/A
  Senate Tina Smith[28] Democrat N/A

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Minnesota Place Names". Minnesota Historical Society. Archived from the original on October 29, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Benton County, Minnesota". www.census.gov. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 21, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Upham, Warren (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 49.
  6. ^ a b c d Benton County MN Google Maps (accessed March 5, 2019)
  7. ^ Benton County High Point, Minnesota. PeakBagger.com (accessed May 4, 2019)
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  9. ^ Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota: Self. pp. 61-64. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2.
  10. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Foley MN". The Weather Channel. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  11. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021". Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  12. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  13. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  14. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  15. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  16. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  17. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  18. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  19. ^ "County Board | Benton County, MN". www.co.benton.mn.us. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  20. ^ "MN State Senate". www.senate.mn. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  21. ^ "MN State Senate". www.senate.mn. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  22. ^ "MN State Senate". www.senate.mn. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  23. ^ "Rep. Tim O'Driscoll (13B) - Minnesota House of Representatives". www.house.leg.state.mn.us. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  24. ^ "Rep. Dan Wolgamott (14B) - Minnesota House of Representatives". www.house.leg.state.mn.us. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  25. ^ "Rep. Shane Mekeland (15B) - Minnesota House of Representatives". www.house.leg.state.mn.us. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  26. ^ "Congressman Tom Emmer". Congressman Tom Emmer. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  27. ^ "U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar". www.klobuchar.senate.gov. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  28. ^ "Home". Senator Tina Smith. Retrieved June 24, 2020.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°42′N 94°00′W / 45.70°N 94.00°W / 45.70; -94.00