Benton is a city in Franklin County, Illinois, United States. The population was 7,087 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Franklin County. The city is part of the Metro Lakeland area.
Benton, the county seat of Franklin County, took its name from the prominent senator from Missouri, Thomas Hart Benton. The village of Benton was organized in 1841 on 20 acres (81,000 m2) of property donated by John Ewing and Walter S. Akin. In 1902 the village became a city, and incorporated under the mayor/commissioner form of government.
Franklin County was platted in 1818, the year Illinois became a state, at twice its current size. It included the territory that is now Williamson County. In 1839 the county was split roughly in half and the county seat was permanently fixed "at a hill at the south end of Rowling's Prairie," the site of the future city of Benton.