Lake Benton Minnesota
Capital Cove Cabin

About the Town of Lake Benton, Minnesota

Lake Benton is a very friendly and active community nestled in a beautiful Midwest landscape. 

Lake Benton MN

A Message From the Mayor

We would like to take this opportunity to "Welcome you to Lake Benton". We have a very friendly and active community. While you are here you will enjoy our small town hospitality and the efforts of our business people to provide for your needs.

We are conveniently located in southwest Minnesota on the crossroads of  the nation, U.S. #75 (International Highway King of Trails) and U.S. #14  (Laura Ingall’s Wilder Historic Highway).

We are also fortunate to be in the valley of the Hole-in-the-Mountain on Buffalo Ridge, a part of the Coteau des Prairies. The west end of Lake Benton lake is in our city limits. This 2,875 acre recreational lake is approximately seven miles long and provides endless opportunities for recreation and relaxation. Visitors come to our unique and scenic town each year to enjoy camping, water sports, fishing, horseback riding, plays at the historic Opera House, festivals, historic buildings, sites, and specialty shopping, as well as marveling at the unique vistas so uncommon to the prairies.

We are a four-season fun-land. Besides spring and summer activities, fall provides bountiful game for all kinds of hunting — deer, pheasants, waterfowl, and other game. Winter sports include snowmobiling, downhill and cross country skiing, ice fishing and winter camping.

Lake Benton is also known as the "Original Wind Power Capital of the Midwest". 600 plus wind turbines grace the skyline along the Buffalo Ridge, bringing clean, renewable energy to the forefront.

Another new addition to our community is the Heritage  Museum and Wind Power Learning Center of SW Minnesota. The facility, which includes a museum, is now open to the public and features a wind power kiosk complete with interactive workstations enabling users to learn about this clean, renewable energy.

We are proud of our schools, which include grades K-6. The city library also provides a fine selection of materials on a wide variety of subjects. Many denominations are represented among our six churches.

As you browse through this site you will soon see why we are proud of our community, its services, and other interesting things to see and do. We hope you’ll enjoy your stay — whether it is for a few hours or for several days. If we can be of any help, let us know. Perhaps you’ll consider making Lake Benton your home, too!

Michael W. Carpenter, Mayor 

History of Lake Benton, MN

Origination of the City

The City of Lake Benton took its name from the lake, a lake which had been named by John C. Fremont in honor of his fiancée, Jessie Benton, the daughter of Thomas H. Benton, U.S.  Senator from Missouri. Plans for the platting and building of the future village were made at a meeting on the lakeshore in the summer of 1879.  The official authorization of the municipality by the Minnesota State Legislature took place on October 24, 1881.

The railroad, always a key factor in the life of early pioneer communities, reached Lake Benton in November 1879. The first business lot sold was on the main street corner where the Coast-to-Coast/NAPA store is now located. Within a year, there were several new businesses and Lake Benton was an active, bustling village.

In 1881, Lake Benton became the second county seat for Lincoln County, having been moved from Marshfield after that village disbanded. Thus began a lengthy "battle" over which community would be the seat of county government. In 1901 a vote of county citizens decided to move the county seat to Ivanhoe, 14 miles north. In 1903 a Minnesota Supreme Court judge determined that the vote had been held illegally, and the county seat returned to Lake Benton. Then, another vote was held in 1904 with the decision again being made to locate the county seat in Ivanhoe, where it remains today.

Throughout its history, Lake Benton has always had the pride and determination needed to be successful in serving the needs of the community. With this rich heritage and tradition for excellence, the present business people and residents are dedicated to its continuance, with the hope that the residents of the future will pursue and expand the vision of our forefathers.

Lake Benton’s population today is 703, and the city encompasses 2,300 acres, making Lake Benton geographically the largest of the five communities in Lincoln County.

The city, nestled in a scenic valley on the shores of beautiful Lake Benton, and its vicinity includes some of the highest land in Minnesota. It is significantly different from other cities in the county due to the Bemis moraine, a glacial ridge, which forms the drainage divide between the Missouri and Mississippi River basins.