Benton County, Missouri

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Benton County
The Benton County Courthouse in Warsaw
The Benton County Courthouse in Warsaw
Map of Missouri highlighting Benton County
Location within the U.S. state of Missouri
Map of the United States highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 38°18′N 93°17′W / 38.3°N 93.29°W / 38.3; -93.29
Country United States
State Missouri
FoundedJanuary 3, 1835
Named forThomas Hart Benton
SeatWarsaw
Largest cityWarsaw
Area
 • Total753 sq mi (1,950 km2)
 • Land704 sq mi (1,820 km2)
 • Water48 sq mi (120 km2)  6.4%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total19,394
 • Density26/sq mi (9.9/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district4th
Websitewww.bentoncomo.com

Benton County is a county located in the west central part of the U.S. state of Missouri. The population was 19,394 as of the 2020 Census.[1] Its county seat is Warsaw.[2] The county was organized January 3, 1835, and named for U.S. Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri.[3]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 753 square miles (1,950 km2), of which 704 square miles (1,820 km2) is land and 48 square miles (120 km2) (6.4%) is water.[4]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18404,205
18505,01519.3%
18609,07280.9%
187011,32224.8%
188012,3969.5%
189014,97320.8%
190016,55610.6%
191014,881−10.1%
192012,989−12.7%
193011,708−9.9%
194011,142−4.8%
19509,080−18.5%
19608,737−3.8%
19709,69511.0%
198012,18325.7%
199013,85913.8%
200017,18024.0%
201019,05610.9%
202019,3941.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
1790-1960[6] 1900-1990[7]
1990-2000[8] 2010-2015[1] 2019[9]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 17,180 people, 7,420 households, and 5,179 families residing in the county. The population density was 24 people per square mile (9/km2). There were 12,691 housing units at an average density of 18 per square mile (7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.96% White, 0.15% Black or African American, 0.53% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.12% from other races, and 1.10% from two or more races. Approximately 0.89% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 7,420 households, out of which 23.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.60% were married couples living together, 6.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.20% were non-families. 26.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.72.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 20.50% under the age of 18, 5.70% from 18 to 24, 21.80% from 25 to 44, 29.70% from 45 to 64, and 22.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females there were 98.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $26,646, and the median income for a family was $32,459. Males had a median income of $26,203 versus $19,054 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,457. About 10.20% of families and 15.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.50% of those under age 18 and 9.60% of those age 65 or over.

Religion[edit]

According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2010), Benton County is a part of the Bible Belt, with evangelical Protestantism being the most predominant religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Benton County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (38.72%), Lutherans (LCMS) (19.06%), and United Methodists (14.49%).

Education[edit]

Public schools[edit]

  • Cole Camp R-I School District – Cole Camp
    • Cole Camp Elementary School (PK-05)
    • Cole Camp Middle School (06-08)
    • Cole Camp High School (09-12)
  • Lincoln R-II School District – Lincoln
    • Lincoln Elementary School (K-06)
    • Lincoln High School (07-12)
  • Warsaw R-IX School District – Warsaw
    • North Elementary School (PK-05)
    • South Elementary School (PK-05)
    • John Boise Middle School (06-08)
    • Warsaw High School (09-12)

Private schools[edit]

  • Lutheran School Association – Cole Camp (K-08) – Lutheran
  • Most of the students who attend Cole Camp's Lutheran School Association attend Benton County R-1 High in Cole Camp.

Public libraries[edit]

  • Boonslick Regional Library[11]

Politics[edit]

Local[edit]

The Republican Party controls politics at the local level in Benton County. Republicans hold every elected position in the county.

Benton County, Missouri
Elected countywide officials
Assessor Jim Hansen Republican
Circuit Clerk Cheryl Schultz Republican
County Clerk Susan Porterfield Republican
Collector David Brodersen Republican
Commissioner
(Presiding)
Steve Daleske Republican
Commissioner
(District 1)
Scott Harms Republican
Commissioner
(District 2)
Larry Berry Republican
Coroner J. Weston Miller Republican
Prosecuting Attorney Karen Coffey Woodley Republican
Public Administrator Lori Dunkin Republican
Recorder Carla Brown Republican
Sheriff Eric Knox Republican
Surveyor Jesse Wininger Republican
Treasurer Rick Renno Republican

State[edit]

Past Gubernatorial Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2020 76.84% 8,017 20.89% 2,179 2.27% 237
2016 63.41% 6,047 33.55% 3,199 3.04% 290
2012 50.94% 4,641 46.25% 4,213 2.81% 256
2008 41.57% 3,967 56.09% 5,353 2.34% 223
2004 56.67% 5,088 41.95% 3,767 1.39% 124
2000 52.76% 3,944 45.58% 3,407 1.66% 124
1996 44.36% 2,979 52.42% 3,520 3.22% 216

Benton County is split between two of Missouri's legislative districts that elect members of the Missouri House of Representatives. Both are represented by Republicans.

  • District 57 — Rodger Reedy (R-Windsor). Consists of the northern half of the county, including Cole Camp, Ionia, and Lincoln.
Missouri House of Representatives — District 57 — Benton County (2020)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Rodger Reedy 4,127 100.00% +17.13
Missouri House of Representatives — District 57 — Benton County (2018)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Rodger Reedy 2,966 82.87% +9.55
Democratic Joan Shores 613 17.13% -9.55
  • District 125 — Jim Kalberloh (R-Lowry City). Consists of the southern half of the county, including Edwards and Warsaw.
Missouri House of Representatives — District 125 — Benton County (2020)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jim Kalberloh 5,010 100.00% +38.24
Missouri House of Representatives — District 125 — Benton County (2018)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Warren D. Love 2,910 61.76% -38.24
Democratic Chase Crawford 1,802 38.24% +38.24

All of Benton County is a part of Missouri's 28th District in the Missouri Senate, which is represented by Sandy Crawford (R-Buffalo). A previous incumbent, Mike Parson, was elected Lieutenant Governor in 2016 and became Governor in 2018 following the resignation of Eric Greitens.

Missouri Senate — District 28 — Benton County (2018)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Sandy Crawford 6,198 75.36% +13.60
Democratic Joe Poor 2,027 24.64% -13.60
Missouri Senate — District 28 Special Election — Benton County (2017)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Sandy Crawford 877 61.76% -38.24
Democratic Albert J. Skalicky 543 38.24% +38.24

Federal[edit]

All of Benton County is included in Missouri's 4th Congressional District and is currently represented by Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Hartzler was elected to a sixth term in 2020 over Democratic challenger Lindsey Simmons.

U.S. House of Representatives — Missouri’s 4th Congressional District — Benton County (2020)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Vicky Hartzler 7,981 77.28% +5.54
Democratic Lindsey Simmons 2,073 20.07% -5.72
Libertarian Steven K. Koonse 273 2.64% +0.17
U.S. House of Representatives — Missouri's 4th Congressional District — Benton County (2018)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Vicky Hartzler 5,966 71.74% -1.99
Democratic Renee Hoagenson 2,145 25.79% +3.91
Libertarian Mark Bliss 205 2.47% -1.93

Benton County, along with the rest of the state of Missouri, is represented in the U.S. Senate by Josh Hawley (R-Columbia) and Roy Blunt (R-Strafford).

U.S. Senate – Class I – Benton County (2018)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Josh Hawley 5,685 68.05% +20.84
Democratic Claire McCaskill 2,318 27.75% -17.32
Independent Craig O'Dear 166 1.99%
Libertarian Japheth Campbell 127 1.52% -6.20
Green Jo Crain 58 0.69% +0.69

Blunt was elected to a second term in 2016 over then-Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander.

U.S. Senate — Missouri — Benton County (2016)[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Roy Blunt 5,891 61.87% +14.66
Democratic Jason Kander 3,097 32.52% -12.55
Libertarian Jonathan Dine 300 3.15% -4.57
Green Johnathan McFarland 103 1.08% +1.08
Constitution Fred Ryman 131 1.38% +1.38

Political culture[edit]

Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results[13]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2020 77.4% 8,109 20.8% 2,180 1.9% 195
2016 75.2% 7,213 21.1% 2,025 3.7% 352
2012 66.3% 6,069 31.9% 2,925 1.8% 163
2008 59.9% 5,759 37.8% 3,629 2.3% 223
2004 61.9% 5,575 37.5% 3,381 0.6% 53
2000 56.0% 4,218 41.8% 3,150 2.2% 166
1996 43.1% 2,895 44.6% 2,996 12.3% 824
1992 34.5% 2,511 43.9% 3,195 21.6% 1,570
1988 56.4% 3,467 43.2% 2,654 0.4% 24
1984 62.8% 3,805 37.2% 2,251
1980 59.0% 3,451 38.3% 2,241 2.7% 160
1976 51.5% 2,875 48.0% 2,684 0.5% 28
1972 71.3% 3,537 28.7% 1,423
1968 61.1% 2,899 28.4% 1,345 10.5% 498
1964 55.0% 2,477 45.0% 2,030
1960 70.0% 3,484 30.0% 1,496
1956 66.8% 3,145 33.2% 1,563
1952 72.3% 3,470 27.2% 1,303 0.5% 26
1948 67.0% 2,768 32.9% 1,360 0.1% 3
1944 74.7% 3,294 25.1% 1,108 0.1% 6
1940 68.7% 3,912 31.0% 1,765 0.3% 18
1936 63.1% 3,375 36.5% 1,950 0.4% 21
1932 43.6% 2,038 55.6% 2,596 0.8% 38
1928 72.3% 3,411 27.5% 1,296 0.2% 9
1924 60.7% 2,693 35.8% 1,588 3.5% 155
1920 68.5% 3,367 30.6% 1,506 0.9% 42
1916 57.9% 1,842 40.4% 1,285 1.8% 56
1912 37.4% 1,142 39.6% 1,209 23.1% 704
1908 59.1% 1,924 39.3% 1,280 1.6% 52
1904 57.0% 1,963 39.8% 1,372 3.2% 109
1900 54.4% 1,980 42.1% 1,532 3.5% 128
1896 51.8% 1,957 46.6% 1,762 1.7% 63
1892 51.0% 1,570 34.4% 1,058 14.6% 450
1888 54.3% 1,704 43.8% 1,374 2.0% 62

At the presidential level, Benton County is solidly Republican. Benton County strongly favored Donald Trump in both 2016 and 2020. Bill Clinton was the last Democratic presidential nominee to carry Benton County in 1996 with a plurality of the vote, and a Democrat hasn't won majority support from the county's voters in a presidential election since Franklin Roosevelt in 1932.

Like most rural areas throughout Missouri, voters in Benton County generally adhere to socially and culturally conservative principles which tend to influence their Republican leanings. Despite Benton County's longstanding tradition of supporting socially conservative platforms, voters in the county have a penchant for advancing populist causes. In 2018, Missourians voted on a proposition (Proposition A) concerning right to work, the outcome of which ultimately reversed the right to work legislation passed in the state the previous year. 64.74% of Benton County voters cast their ballots to overturn the law.

Missouri presidential preference primaries[edit]

2020[edit]

The 2020 presidential primaries for both the Democratic and Republican parties were held in Missouri on March 10. On the Democratic side, former Vice President Joe Biden (D-Delaware) both won statewide and carried Benton County by a wide margin. Biden went on to defeat President Donald Trump in the general election.

Missouri Democratic Presidential Primary – Benton County (2020)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Joe Biden 843 69.50
Democratic Bernie Sanders 280 23.08
Democratic Tulsi Gabbard 10 0.82
Democratic Others/Uncommitted 80 6.60

Incumbent President Donald Trump (R-Florida) faced a primary challenge from former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, but won both Benton County and statewide by overwhelming margins.

Missouri Republican Presidential Primary – Benton County (2020)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Donald Trump 1,520 98.45
Republican Bill Weld 3 0.19
Republican Others/Uncommitted 21 1.36

2016[edit]

The 2016 presidential primaries for both the Republican and Democratic parties were held in Missouri on March 15. Businessman Donald Trump (R-New York) narrowly won the state overall but carried a majority of the vote in Benton County. He went on to win the presidency.

Missouri Republican Presidential Primary – Benton County (2016)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Donald Trump 2,278 55.40
Republican Ted Cruz 1,314 31.96
Republican John Kasich 287 6.98
Republican Marco Rubio 138 3.36
Republican Others/Uncommitted 95 2.31

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-New York) narrowly won statewide and carried a majority in Benton County.

Missouri Democratic Presidential Primary – Benton County (2016)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Hillary Clinton 669 53.31
Democratic Bernie Sanders 568 45.26
Democratic Others/Uncommitted 18 1.43

2012[edit]

The 2012 Missouri Republican Presidential Primary's results were nonbinding on the state's national convention delegates. Voters in Benton County supported former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania), who finished first in the state at large, but eventually lost the nomination to former Governor Mitt Romney (R-Massachusetts). Delegates to the congressional district and state conventions were chosen at a county caucus, which selected a delegation favoring Santorum. Incumbent President Barack Obama easily won the Missouri Democratic Primary and renomination. He defeated Romney in the general election.

2008[edit]

In 2008, the Missouri Republican Presidential Primary was closely contested, with Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) prevailing and eventually winning the nomination. However, former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-Arkansas) won a slim plurality in Benton County.

Missouri Republican Presidential Primary – Benton County (2008)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Mike Huckabee 824 35.58
Republican John McCain 803 34.67
Republican Mitt Romney 580 25.04
Republican Ron Paul 75 3.24
Republican Others/Uncommitted 34 1.46

Then-Senator Hillary Clinton (D-New York) received more votes than any candidate from either party in Benton County during the 2008 presidential primary. Despite initial reports that Clinton had won Missouri, Barack Obama (D-Illinois), also a Senator at the time, narrowly defeated her statewide and later became that year's Democratic nominee, going on to win the presidency.

Missouri Democratic Presidential Primary – Benton County (2008)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Hillary Clinton 1,753 68.77
Democratic Barack Obama 687 26.95
Democratic Others/Uncommitted 109 4.28

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Village[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Other communities[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "2020Population and Housing State Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. ^ Eaton, David Wolfe (1916). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. pp. 209.
  4. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
  6. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
  7. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
  8. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
  9. ^ "QuickFacts. Benton County, Missouri". Retrieved October 2, 2020.
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  11. ^ Breeding, Marshall. "Boonslick Regional Library". Libraries.org. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  12. ^ "County Results - State of Missouri - 2016 General Election - November 8, 2016 - Official Results". Missouri Secretary of State. December 12, 2016. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  13. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2018-03-24.

Further reading[edit]

  • History of Cole, Moniteau, Morgan, Benton, Miller, Maries and Osage counties, Missouri : from the earliest time to the present, including a department devoted to the preservation of sundry personal, business, professional and the private records; besides a valuable fund of notes, original observations, etc. etc. (1889) online

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°18′N 93°17′W / 38.30°N 93.29°W / 38.30; -93.29