Lake Benton Lake

Named in 1838 —

Lake Benton — a scenic valley in Lincoln County, Minnesota — has been a source of inspiration for poet and historian alike.

"Hid from the wind’s shrill battle call,
By sheltered wood and mountain wall . . . "

The lake received its name all the way back in 1838 on the occasion of the exploration trip of the Nicollet-Fremont party through the Minnesota-Dakota Territory. Fremont and Nicollet were genuinely impressed by the beauty of the lake, surrounded by wooded hills and stretching out toward the east for nine miles. They camped along its shores, enjoying the scenery as well as the fishing.

General John C. Fremont had been sent to keep an eye on the new country and Joseph Nicolas Nicollet (a French mathematician and map-maker) was busy mapping the land between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Fremont, lonely and homesick, looked off over the lake and thought of his fiancee, Jessie Benton, daughter of Missouri Senator Thomas H. Benton.

"Why not name this Lake Benton, for her," he thought and suggested it to Nicollet. Our city, which took its name from the lake, was founded in the late 1870’s and was platted August 29, 1879.