All Around Town
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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 will enable our students to live and work successfully in the 21st century.
The Village of Benton has three churches, each with very rich historical roots. The Benton Bible Church, St. Patrick Catholic Church, and the United Methodist Church were all organized in the mid-1800s. All three churches are located on or near Benton’s Main Street and have ample parking for church members and visitors. History of Benton churches link.
Benton Bible Church
148 Third Avenue
Sunday Services at 10:30 A.M.
Sunday School 9:30 A.M.
Pastor Nelson Perkinson
St. Patrick Catholic Church
E. Main Street
8:30 A.M. Year round
Father David Flanagan
608.759.2131 or 608.744.2010
United Methodist Church
172 Main Street
Sunday Services at 10:00 A.M.
Sunday School 10:00 A.M.
Bible study starts at 9:00 A.M.
Prayer & Praise gathering: Sundays at 6:00 P.M.
Primitive Methodist Church of Leadmine
Cty. I and Bean Street
Sunday Services at 9:00 A.M.
Pastor Bob Priest
Primitive Methodist Church of New Diggings
2920 Cty. I
Sunday Services (and Sunday School) at 9:00 A.M.
Benton Public LibraryVisit
48 W. Main St.608.759.BOOK (2665) Director: Jean Christensen
Assistant: Kathy Leverton
Assistant: Susan Ward Library Hours Monday: 12:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. Tuesday: 3:30 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. Wednesday: 3:30 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. Thursday: 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. and 3:30 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. Friday and Saturday: 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. Sunday: ClosedSearch the Catalog from Home
Internet users may browse Benton’s library catalog and the combined catalog collections of member libraries making up the Southwest Library System, a five-county service area consisting of 28 libraries. Library patrons may interlibrary loan items from other libraries in the system. Patrons will be notified by phone when requested items are available to be picked up at the Benton Public Library.
WISCAT is a statewide database of library resources that may be searched by library patrons and librarians. Patrons may request that the librarian interlibrary loan material found in a WISCAT search. Items may be picked up at Benton’s library when they arrive. Loan periods may vary according to the policies of the lending libraries.
Library Board Members and Board Meetings
Benton Library Board members include:
- Bill Foltz, President
- Al Kluge, Treasurer
- Mimi Kluge, Secretary
- Melissa Reif
- Sandra Scanlan
- Ann Smythe
- Sherri Timmerman
Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 2:00 P.M. at Benton Public Library, 48 W. Main Street. The meetings are open to the public.
Mazzuchelli Rectory MuseumE. Main (St. Patrick Church Grounds)
The Mazzuchelli Rectory Museum houses memorabilia associated with the life of Father Samuel Mazzuchelli, the well-respected pioneer priest who served as pastor of Benton’s St. Patrick Church for the last 15 years of his life.
Italian-born Samuel Mazzuchelli came to America in 1828, at the age of 22. Following his ordination, he was assigned to be missionary priest of the entire Northwest Territory—a region that covered over 52,000 miles of untamed frontier and included the far reaches of Mackinac Island and Sault Ste. Marie.
Father Mazzuchelli’s missionary work ultimately brought him into the Mississippi Valley, arriving in Galena in 1835. Galena and the surrounding area in Wisconsin were beginning to be settled with the permanent communities of miners, farmers, and various trades’ people. Father Mazzuchelli ministered to the people of this region, where he established over 40 parishes and built 25 churches, including Benton’s St. Patrick Catholic Church and New Diggings’ St. Augustine.
Father Mazzuchelli died of pneumonia in 1864 and is buried in St. Patrick Church Cemetery. In 1993 Pope John Paul II declared Father Mazzuchelli venerable, the first step toward canonization as a saint.
Father Mazzuchelli’s first rectory has been restored and now houses the Mazzuchelli Rectory Museum. The museum is available for tours by contacting the St. Patrick Church Rectory at 608.759.2131.
(Visitors might like to continue learning about Father Mazzuchelli by visiting his archives at the Sinsinawa Mound, located 12-14 miles west of Benton on Cty Rd. Z in Sinsinawa, Wisconsin. The exhibit includes highlights and accomplishments of his life and showcases a number of artifacts. Included in those artifacts is the chain Father Samuel wore as penance, secretly hidden beneath his vestments and wrapped tightly around his waist. Many people—particularly the ill and ailing—have prayed with Father Muzzuchelli’s penance chain in the hope of being granted a miracle. The Mazzuchelli exhibit at Sinsinawa Mound is open from 10 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. Monday through Friday (closing from noon to 12:30) and from 12:30 to 3:30 P.M. on Saturday and Sunday.)
Swindlers’ Ridge Museum
25 W. Main Street
Located on the town’s Main Street, Swindlers’ Ridge Museum is home to artifacts and historical memorabilia from Benton and from the surrounding area. Included is memorabilia from the lead-mining industry that once was so prevalent in and around Benton. The museum is open from 11 A.M. to 3 P.M. every Saturday, Sunday, and Monday between Labor Day and Memorial Day. Other visits may be made by appointment by contacting Leo or Sandra Scanlan at 608.759.2722.
1851 Schoolhouse MuseumVillage Park—Catherine Street
Benton is fortunate to have a part of its educational history preserved in the 1851 Schoolhouse Museum, the first schoolhouse built in the village limits. At the time of its construction in 1851, the schoolhouse was located near the corner of Main and Park Streets, and although it was a public school, Dominican nuns were among its teachers until 1886.
When a new two-room school was erected in 1886, the first schoolhouse—according to oral history—was moved to the rear of the new school. After being sold some years later, it was moved one-quarter mile east on Highway 11 and used as a private residence. In 1980 the building was donated to the Benton Alumni Association and was moved once again to its present location on Catherine Street in the Village Park.
The museum houses a collection of Benton school and alumni memorabilia. It is open on Labor Day and Memorial Day weekends and other times by appointment by contacting Myrna Sysko at 608.759.4791.
Parks and Recreation
Public parks and green spaces in communities offer opportunities for recreation and relaxation, provide a habitat for plants and animals, and help give a community an aesthetic and historical identity. Benton’s park system and recreational areas encompass over thirty acres of land that may be enjoyed by the village’s residents and visitors.
Benton’s park pavilions and shelter houses are available for picnics, activities, and family gatherings. They may be reserved by contacting the Village Office at 608.759.3721.
The Village Park
Located on Highway 11 on the east side of Benton, the Village Park was originally the site of the 1852 St. Clara Academy, founded by the venerable Father Samuel Mazzuchelli. When the academy was moved to Sinsinawa and the remaining mission home destroyed by fire in 1896, the land on which the academy stood was subsequently sold to the village to be used as a park.
The Village Park sits on 7.7 acres of ground and at one time was home to bowery dances, band concerts in the gazebo, and even outdoor movies on Saturday nights. Today the park is not only home to the 1851 Schoolhouse Museum, but it also offers visitors picnic areas, a shelter house, public restrooms, and a tennis and basketball court. Separated from the park proper, but still part of the Village Park, is an open area located to the north, adjacent to Whaley Court. This large area is suitable for field sports such as baseball, football, and soccer.
New in 2009: Music in the Park, every Sunday evening in August , local people bring lawn chairs and a cooler to enjoy a variety of tunes played by local bands on the new bandstand that was possible through local donations of time and money.
Much of the village and school-sponsored recreational activities take place at Benton’s 11-acre Swift Park, located just below the school on Park Avenue. The park is named for Ray Swift—Benton teacher, historian, and town activist.
Swift Park has lighted football, baseball, and softball fields that are used for school activities, summer recreational leagues, and various other recreational uses of community residents. Two lighted tennis and basketball courts offer ample opportunity for tennis matches and pickup games of basketball.
Included in Swift Park are picnic areas, playground equipment, restroom facilities, and two covered pavilions. One of the pavilions is part of a new concession stand that was constructed in the summer of 2006. The Benton Booster Club sold engraved bricks to help fund the project, and those bricks, complete with names and messages, were used to build the front wall of the building. Additional names will be engraved on blank bricks as people continue to purchase them through the years. Those wishing to have names or memorials added may call the Village Office (608.759.3721) for contact information.
Across the Coon Branch Creek at the southern end of the park is the Boy Scout Camp. This area includes a cabin and recreation grounds that are accessed by a foot bridge. The cabin was built by the Boy Scouts and is used mainly for scouting-related activities, including scouts who take part in the annual Boy Scout Pilgrimage in Galena, Illinois.
New in 2009: New park equipment at swift park, thanks to a grant received from the Dubuque Racing Association and local donations of time and money.
Milton B. Wiseman Memorial Park
This small, green-space park is marked by a memorial plaque as a tribute to local area veterans. The highway-median area, dedicated as the Milton B. Wiseman Memorial Park, is filled with blossoming flowers during the summer and is commonly known to locals simply as “the island.”
Additional Recreation Areas
Benton’s school, located at 41 Alma Street, sits on almost 15 acres of land that provide an area for a number of recreational activities for the children of Benton. A large, hilly area to the east of the school is used for winter sledding and tobogganing, and a grassy area behind the school is used for a variety of games and team sports. Playground equipment and a basketball court provide a place for children to play during the school year and during the summer, as well.
Independent, locally owned businesses are vital to the economy of a community. Dollars spent locally help to boost the local tax base—a tax base that aids our school district and supports our municipal services. Not only are Benton businesses a distinctive part of the character of Benton, but they also support our school, its athletic teams, and its extracurricular programs; they make donations to various clubs, organizations, and social groups; and they know the things that are important to our community and to the day-to-day lives of the people with whom they do business. Our businesses are vital to the success of Benton—please support them often.
Benton Business Incubator
Grow Your Business in Benton
Benton is part of a business “incubation” support process that helps start-up businesses and industries. The Benton Business Incubator was created to nurture start-up companies and entrepreneurs and to help them make it through those first few critical years of business. The business incubator offers small and medium-sized start-up businesses office, manufacturing, and warehouse space at low, affordable monthly rates. Additionally the incubator provides a variety of business-assistance services and resources that are beneficial to successful growth.
The Benton Business Incubator is located on the west edge of Benton at 244 Ridge Avenue, just off State Hwy. 11. That location allows easy access for your customer base and for truck traffic to and from your industry. Major four-lane state highway systems are just minutes away.
A profile of the Benton Business Incubator is provided by clicking on the link below. Answers to frequently asked questions are also given. For additional information regarding how you can start and grow your business in the Benton Business Incubator, please contact us at 608.759.3721, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following list includes contact information for Benton’s various clubs and organizations. Unless otherwise noted, all area codes are 608.
- American Legion Post 290
Eldon Kruser, Commander
Terry Sheffer, Adjutant
- American Legion Post 290
- Benton 4H
Jean O’Neill, Coordinator
- Benton Athletic Booster Club
Todd Bastian, contact
- Benton Alumni Association
Jim Sysko, Jr, President
- Benton Community Development Corp.
Aaron Erdenberger, President
- Benton Fire Department
Carl Langkamp, Fire Chief
- Benton First Responders
Chuck Voight, President
- Benton Saddle Club
Dale Brink, contact
- Benton 4H
- Girl Scout Troops
Marion Fladseth, Coordinator
- Girl Scout Troops
- Izaak Walton League
Frank Blahnik, President
- Izaak Walton League
- New Diggings PM Church Youth Group
Melody Husemann, Coordinator
- New Diggings PM Church Youth Group
- VFW Post 7896
Eldon Kruser, Commander
- VFW Auxiliary Post 7896
Mary Belle Whaley, contact
- VFW Post 7896
Your Invitation to Visit
You have an open invitation to visit Benton and the surrounding area. See what this region has to offer in terms of beauty; business opportunities; and a family-oriented, slower-paced way of life.
Come by yourself, or bring your entire family. Experience a number of events and festivities that Benton organizations sponsor. Check our calendar of upcoming events—and don’t forget our Labor Day weekend celebration.
Labor Day Weekend
Benton is the place to be on Labor Day weekend. The town virtually overflows with people, as families and friends return home for a weekend full of good times and Labor Day traditions.
The weekend typically kicks off with Saturday’s Alumni and Friends Golf Tournament at Cole Acres. The town’s museums, filled with historical and educational memorabilia, are all open; the Fever River Puppeteers perform; and there’s a Saturday chicken barbeque for anyone having too much fun to cook.
Sunday’s activities are capped off in the evening by the annual BCDC Street Dance, a dance drawing a crowd of between 1,200-1,500 revelers. Benton’s old classmates and friends, as well as huge numbers of people from neighboring communities, look forward to “raising the roof” at the annual dance. (Dance-goers must be 21 to enter, though—there are absolutely no exceptions to the rule.)
Labor Day wouldn’t be Labor Day without Benton’s parade, the best parade in the tri-state area. Following the parade there are midway rides, music, games, and a craft fair in the park; duck races at the Horseshoe Bend; and Benton’s famous pasty dinner—nothing says “Benton” like pasty! (For those of you who’ve never heard of the Cornish dish, pasty is savory layers of delicious meat and potatoes that have found a comfortable home inside a pie crust.) Labor Day’s activities close with the firemen’s raffle at 7 P.M.