The Minneapolis Millers baseball team was the first professional baseball team to play under the lights in 1930.

Benton County, Minnesota has a rich and diverse history that spans several centuries. The area that is now Benton County was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Sioux and Ojibwe, who utilized the region's natural resources for hunting, fishing, and gathering. European settlement began in the 1800s when the United States government established treaties with the Native tribes, allowing for the migration of settlers into the area.

The land that would become Benton County was officially organized in 1849 when it was named for Senator Thomas Hart Benton. The county was predominantly agricultural, and early settlers worked the fertile soil to establish farms and homesteads. The construction of railroads in the late 19th century further facilitated transportation and economic growth in the area, allowing for the development of thriving towns and communities.

One significant event in Benton County's history was the construction of the Great Northern Railway line in the early 1900s, which boosted trade and brought increased prosperity to the region. With this economic growth came the establishment of diverse industries, including milling, logging, and manufacturing. The county also became a hub for education and culture, with the establishment of schools, libraries, and cultural organizations.

Today, Benton County continues to evolve and grow, with a balance between its agricultural roots and a modern, diverse economy. The county boasts a vibrant community, with its rich history celebrated through various festivals and historical sites. From its early origins as Native American territory to its development as an agricultural and industrial powerhouse, Benton County's history is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of the people who have called it home.

  • 1849: Benton County is established in the Minnesota Territory.
  • 1857: The first permanent settlement is established in what is now St. Cloud.
  • 1860: The town of Sauk Rapids is incorporated.
  • 1865: The Great Fire of Sauk Rapids destroys much of the town.
  • 1870: The St. Cloud State Normal School (now St. Cloud State University) is founded.
  • 1886: The Great Northern Railway reaches St. Cloud, boosting economic development.
  • 1939: The Benton County Courthouse, designed in Art Deco style, is completed.
  • 1963: The completion of the Sartell Dam creates a hydroelectric power plant.
  • 1998: The Granite City Crossing Bridge is opened, connecting St. Cloud and Sauk Rapids.
  • 2002: The Stearns County History Center opens, showcasing the history of Benton County.