Benton is one of the oldest existing towns in Mono County. Benton was founded by the western Indians who came to make use of its hot springs. As the nearby towns of Bodie and Aurora grew, Benton became a check-point for travelers on the way south in 1852.
Silver was discovered in the hills of Benton in 1862, and its population quickly grew. After hitting the initial strike of silver, not much more was found, but Benton's profits were soon primarily from silver.
Unlike other mining towns, Benton was able to provide enough for the town to thrive and flourish for about 50 years. Most of the main activity took place between 1862 and 1890.