Indiana: Benton County

Benton County (pop. 8,854) is south of Newton County, along the border with Illinois. Indiana’s fourth-least-populous county, it reached its peak population of 13,123 in 1900.

Benton County in 1908

It is one of nine Benton counties, and one of the seven named for Thomas Hart Benton (1782-1858), five-term senator from Missouri.

The painter was his great-great-nephew.

Benton County has long been one of Indiana’s leaders in corn and soybean production. It’s now also known as the leader in wind-energy production in Indiana.

Fowler Ridge Wind Farm

The county seat of Benton County is the town of Fowler (pop. 2,317).

Benton County Courthouse (1874)

The 196-seat Fowler Theatre, in Streamline Moderne style, dates from 1940. It’s still showing movies.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights

The town of Oxford (pop. 1,162) was the birthplace of Dan Patch (1896-1916), the fastest harness-racing horse of its era and a nationwide celebrity. Dan Patch lived in Minnesota from 1902 until his death.

Oxford has an annual Dan Patch Days festival

The town of Boswell (pop. 778) has long been known as “The Hub of the Universe” – as has Boston, Massachusetts.

The town of Earl Park (pop. 348) is distinguished by its cemetery and the 22-foot monument to early settler Edward C. Sumner and his wife, Abigail.

Erected in 1882


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One comment on “Indiana: Benton County

  1. dot says:

    LOVE the Thomas Hart Benton painting! (and the Fowler theater….)

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