Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

49 Water St.

National or State Register of Historic Places
49 Water St. | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Benton Stone Water Tower
Reference Number:98001598
Location (Address):49 Water St.
Benton Stone Water Tower
49 Water Street, Benton, LaFayette County
Architect/Builder: M. Tschirgi & George Kirkpatrick
Date of Construction: 1899

In 1898 a fire swept through Benton, ravaging several buildings. Responding to this disaster, the citizens of Benton took it upon themselves to help prevent another tragedy. The people of Benton organized and raised taxes to create a water works program. Part of this program was the construction of the Benton Stone Water Tower.

The tower was built with a sixty-seven foot limestone base and was topped with a thirty foot wooden tank which supported a windmill, used to pump the water. Several decades later, in 1922, a steel tank replaced the wooden tank and the windmill. The tower's height makes it easily recognized as a prominent structure and landmark in the village of Benton.

The Benton Stone Water Tower is an example of Wisconsin's early water system installations. The tower resulted from a public outcry to improve sanitation and fire protection. The availability of indoor plumbing and bathing was a new and widely appreciated improvement for the citizens of Benton. The Water Tower is also an example of early public works engineering and led to the establishment of the Benton Fire Department.

Today, the Water Tower is seen as a landmark as well as a symbol of the community of Benton and its history.

Period of Significance:1899-1948
Area of Significance:Architecture
Area of Significance:Community Planning And Development
Applicable Criteria:Architecture/Engineering
Historic Use:Government: Public Works
Architectural Style:Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals
Resource Type:Structure
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:01/07/1999
State Register Listing Date:01/06/1999
Number of Contributing Buildings:0
Number of Contributing Sites:0
Number of Contributing Structures:1
Number of Contributing Objects:0
Number of Non-Contributing Sites:0
Number of Non-Contributing Structures:1
Number of Non-Contributing Objects:0
National Register and State Register of Historic Places, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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