In A Nutshell
Benton is a small, friendly community nestled in the beautiful, serene Southwest Wisconsin countryside. It lies in the heart of America’s dairy land, with its gently rolling hills, lazy streams, and fertile soil. Steeped in the rich traditions and culture of the early lead miners, it owes its very existence to the mining industry. While our treasure was initially found in the many lead mines that once dotted the region, Benton’s treasure today lies in its people–people with good, small-town values; people who have a strong, rural work ethic; and people who genuinely care about their neighbors and about their community.
You have an open invitation to come and visit the quiet, safe haven of Benton. Stay a while . . . get to know us. It won’t take long for you to see what makes Benton a very special place–a place we’re proud to call home.
Location and Population
Benton–with a population of 1007–lies in the very southwest corner of Wisconsin, just a stone’s throw from both Iowa and Illinois. This Lafayette County village is bordered on all sides by open land and farm fields. The Fever River meanders past the eastern boundaries of the village and flows to Galena, Illinois, where it empties into the Mississippi.
The people of Benton have a real commitment to community. Their “can-do” spirit has enabled them to direct change and to accomplish a number of important initiatives that have positively impacted the town and its residents. In 2009, the Village of Benton was awarded the “Cool Community Award” at the Building Economic Strength Together (BEST) Conference in Fennimore, WI. The Village received this award based on the community’s devotion to promoting economic wellness in the region.
Several farms surround the village, and agribusiness is an important part of the area economy. In addition to a number of small businesses located in Benton, the village has developed an industrial park that is ready to welcome business and industry to the community.
Built in 2004 and located in the industrial park, the Benton Business Incubator assists small and medium-sized businesses during their startup and early-growth stages. The building provides resident businesses with office and manufacturing space, as well as business-assistance services that are beneficial to start-up businesses and industry.
The school district is the village’s largest employer, with the Benton State Bank being second. A number of the town’s people work in the businesses that are located right here in Benton. Other people make the easy commute to workplaces in Platteville, Dubuque, Galena, and various other neighboring communities.
Benton has an excellent PreK-12 public school system with small class sizes and a low teacher/pupil ratio. In 2002 a new elementary wing was added to the high school building at 41 Alma Street, housing all grade levels under one roof. The quality education offered by the Benton School District prepares our students for the opportunities and challenges that lie beyond the school’s doors. Having high expectations for all students, our teachers focus on academic achievement and character development that prepare our students to live and work successfully in the 21st century.
Benton has good, affordable housing and prides itself in innovative development strategies that have helped grow the community. The village purchased two separate tracts of land, developed the infrastructure (including curb and gutter), and sold each large improved lot for $5,000.
The first development, located adjacent to the school, began in the mid-1990s. When all lots in that development were sold, additional land was purchased on the west end of Benton, and the Roling Oaks’ development was initiated. Currently, 23 of its 24 lots have been sold. The village has recently purchased additional land and working on Roling Oaks’ Heights subdivision which is offering new housing development. This will allow for 24 lots in two phases. Lots are selling fast at a great price of $7,500.