About This Place
Benton Harbor is a city in Berrien County in the U.S. state of Michigan which is located west of Kalamazoo. The population was 10,038 at the 2010 census. It is the lesser populated of the two principal cities included in the Niles-Benton Harbor, Michigan Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a total population of 156,813.
Benton Harbor and the City of St. Joseph (which is located across the St. Joseph River) are known locally as the "Twin Cities". Fair Plain and Benton Heights are unincorporated areas adjacent to Benton Harbor.
Benton Harbor was founded by Henry C. Morton, Sterne Brunson and Charles Hull, who all now have or have had schools named after them. Benton Harbor was mainly swampland bordered by the Paw Paw River, through which a canal was built, hence the "harbor" in the city's name. In 1860, the village was laid out by Brunson, Morton, Hull and others, and given the name of Brunson Harbor. In 1865 the name of the settlement was changed to Benton Harbor in honor of Thomas Hart Benton, a Missouri Senator who helped Michigan achieve statehood. In 1869, Benton Harbor was organized as a village and in 1891 was incorporated as a city.