Benton County is located in the northwest part of the U.S. state of Indiana, along the border with Illinois. As of 2010, the county’s population was 8,854. It contains six incorporated towns as well as several small unincorporated settlements; it is also divided into 11 townships which provide local services. The county seat is Fowler.
Benton County was formed February 18, 1840. It is named for Thomas H. Benton (D), U.S. Senator from Missouri. The original county seat selected in 1843 was Oxford, but after a long struggle between contending factions it was moved to Fowler in 1874.
The current Benton County courthouse, located in Fowler, was designed by Gordon P. Randall of Chicago and built in 1874 by Levi L. Leach at a cost of $62,257. The new courthouse was an impressive building from an architectural standpoint, but also provided much-needed improvements in security, including large fire-proof vaults. Randall had designed the Marshall County courthouse a few years earlier.
Map of Benton County, showing townships and settlements
Benton County’s western border is shared with the state of Illinois and Iroquois County; Vermilion County is to the southwest and shares a small portion of Benton County’s border. Newton and Jasper counties lie to the north, with White and Tippecanoe counties to the east. The entire southern border is shared with Warren County.
According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 406.51 square miles (1,052.9 km2), of which 406.42 square miles (1,052.6 km2) (or 99.98%) is land and 0.09 square miles (0.23 km2) (or 0.02%) is water.