city, Berrien county, southwestern Michigan, U.S. It lies on Lake Michigan near the mouth of the St. Joseph River, opposite its twin city of St. Joseph, 50 miles (80 km) west-southwest of Kalamazoo. Originally called Brunson Harbor and a part of St. Joseph, it was renamed for Thomas Hart Benton, a Missouri senator who had supported statehood for Michigan, and it was separately incorporated as a village in 1869, following a disagreement over bridging the river. The Israelite House of David, a religious sect, established a colony there in 1903. The city is also the site of Lake Michigan College (1946), a two-year institution, as well as a branch of Siena Heights University (1982).
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