The Great Northern Railway, which connected St. Paul, Minnesota, to Seattle, Washington, passed through Montana and played a major role in the development of the state's economy. The railway brought settlers and goods to Montana and facilitated the transportation of copper, wheat, and other commodities to markets around the country.
Sheridan County, Montana is located in the northern part of the state and holds a rich history. The region was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Sioux, Crow, and Blackfeet. In the 1700s, European explorers and fur traders began venturing into the area, establishing trading posts along the Missouri River. The Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through Sheridan County in 1806, documenting their interactions with the local tribes.

In the late 1800s, the discovery of gold and other minerals sparked a period of rapid settlement and development in Sheridan County. Towns like Plentywood and Medicine Lake were founded as mining and ranching communities. The arrival of the Great Northern Railway in the early 1900s further facilitated growth and trade in the area.

Agriculture also played a significant role in shaping Sheridan County's history. The fertile soil attracted settlers who established farms and ranches, primarily focusing on wheat and cattle. The county became known for its wheat production, contributing to Montana's reputation as the "bread basket of the nation."

Throughout the 20th century, Sheridan County experienced the challenges of economic fluctuations and natural disasters. The Great Depression in the 1930s brought hardships to the community, but with federal assistance, many were able to weather the storm. In later years, severe droughts and grasshopper plagues affected agricultural productivity, leading to adjustments in farming practices.

Today, Sheridan County continues to thrive as a primarily agricultural region, with strong ties to its history. The community celebrates its heritage through local events, museums, and historical societies, recognizing the resilience and determination of its early settlers.

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

  • 1865 - The area that later became Sheridan County was initially explored by European settlers.
  • 1870 - The first homesteaders arrived in the region and started establishing ranches.
  • 1883 - The Northern Pacific Railway reached the area, bringing increased transportation and economic opportunities.
  • 1913 - Sheridan County was officially established, named after Philip Sheridan, a renowned Civil War general.
  • 1914 - Plentywood, the county seat, was incorporated as a town.
  • 1923 - A major oil boom occurred in the region, attracting new residents and boosting the local economy.
  • 1941-1945 - Sheridan County, like the rest of the United States, was heavily impacted by World War II.
  • 1950s-1960s - Agriculture remained the dominant industry, but the county experienced a gradual decline in population.
  • 1990s-present - Efforts to diversify the local economy have led to the development of tourism, small businesses, and renewable energy projects.