Historical Markers in
Chouteau County, Montana

1806 Lewis' Return A Montana Crossroads An Island on the Plains Bank of Northern Montana Big Sandy Bloodiest Block in the West Buffalo Robe Fur Press Camp Cooke Choteau House Chouteau County Chouteau County Courthouse Church of the Immaculate Conception Coal Banks Landing Coulson's Steamboat Offices Cow Island Incident Cow Island Trail Culbertson House Cummings Building Davidson and Moffitt Harness Shop Decision at the Marias Decision Point Decision Point Drowning of the Governor Exploring the North Fork Fire! Fire! First Fire Engine House Fort Benton Fort Benton Fort Benton and the Indian Wars Fort Benton and the Mullan Road Fort Benton Bridge Fort Benton Engine House Fort Benton Historic District Fort Benton Levee Fort Benton – Fort MacLeod Trail Fort Chardon Fort LaBarge Fort Piegan Fort Walsh Trail Fur Trade Posts Grand Union Hotel Grasshoppers in the River? Great Northern Railway H.J. Wackerlin Hardware Company I.G. Baker Company I.G. Baker Home Judith Landing June 6, 1908 Keelboat Mandan Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Lewis and Clark Trail Marias River Masonic Building McGraw's Saloon Most Progressive in Montana Mullan Road Mullan Wagon Road Naturally Sustained Productivity Nez Perce Fight Nez Perce War Old Fort Benton Old Fort Benton Bridge Old Fort Campbell Open Range Cattle Ophir Pacific Hotel Priming the Pump Shep's Vigil St. Paul's Episcopal Church Stage Lines Steamboat Navigation Steamboat Relics Stockmen's National Bank Stream Flow Monitoring T.C. Power & Bro. T.C. Power Building T.C. Power Dry Goods Store Tale of Two Treaties The Anglos Are Coming The Choteau House The Engage's Quarters The Judith River Formation The Little Shell Chippewa The Manitoba Railroad The Montana Memorial Thomas Francis Meager Upriver Businesses Victims of Blood Indians Massacre Virgelle Mercantile Virgelle State Bank War Dogs Memorial Welcome to the Mountain Ranges Whoop Up Trail Whoop-up Trail "George Montgomery: Rider of the Purple Sage"
In the early 20th century, Montana was a center of activity for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a radical labor organization that advocated for the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of a worker-controlled society. The state was the site of several major strikes and labor conflicts during this time, including the Anaconda Road Massacre of 1920, in which striking miners were killed by National Guard troops.
Chouteau County, located in the state of Montana, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The area has long been inhabited by indigenous peoples such as the Blackfeet and Assiniboine tribes. These tribes lived off the land, utilizing the abundant wildlife and resources of the area.

In the early 19th century, European explorers, such as the famed Lewis and Clark expedition, made their way through what is now Chouteau County. Their exploration marked the beginning of westward expansion as settlers began trickling into the area.

The establishment of Fort Benton in the mid-19th century played a pivotal role in the county's history. It served as a hub for trade and transportation along the Missouri River, becoming one of the most significant frontier settlements. The arrival of the steamboat further facilitated commerce and communication with the outside world.

As more settlers arrived in Chouteau County, farming and ranching became prominent industries. The county's fertile soil and ample grazing land proved to be ideal for agriculture. Crops such as wheat, barley, and oats were grown, while cattle and sheep were raised.

Over the years, Chouteau County has faced various challenges, including economic downturns and natural disasters. However, the resilient spirit of its people has allowed the county to adapt and thrive. Today, Chouteau County remains a largely rural and agricultural region, with a strong sense of community and a deep appreciation for its storied past.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Chouteau County, Montana.

  • 1864: Chouteau County was created by the Montana Territorial Legislature.
  • 1865: Fort Benton became the county seat of Chouteau County.
  • 1869: The first ranches were established in the county.
  • 1870: The first irrigation ditches were built in the Sun River Valley.
  • 1871: The first steamboat arrived at Fort Benton, boosting trade and transportation.
  • 1884: The Montana Central Railway reached Fort Benton, improving transportation further.
  • 1885: Chouteau County experienced a significant population growth due to railroad development.
  • 1909: The county's first newspaper, the Chouteau County Democrat, was established.
  • 1930s: Chouteau County was severely affected by the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl.
  • 2019: Chouteau County remains a predominantly rural area with a focus on farming and agriculture.