Montana towns and cities were named for interesting people, places, and businesses. Some of these names, like Absarokee, came from Native peoples, others from pioneers and Mountain Men. Trains, mining companies, and celebrities named the rest.
Here is some light on famous Montana places and how they were named.
BUTTE This mining city was once the state capital. It was named after a prominent Butte that overlooked the city.
HELENA Todays capitol ironically is named after the Helena Scott Company from Minnesota.
BOZEMAN John Bozeman who found the Bozeman Trail, helped to start the town in 1864.
BELGRADE Just west of Bozeman, the growing town was named after a Serbian Capitalist that visited the area and paid for the granary along the railroad tracks.
GARDINER Johnson Gardiner was an early fur trapper that roamed this area. The Gardiner River is also named after him.
LEWISTOWN Lt. Col. Williams Lewis was the commander of this former military base and town.
KALISPELL The resident tribe of Indians host this name.
RINGLING The Ringling Brothers Circus often stayed here during the off season and named this town.
MILES CITY Gen. Nelson Miles, a Civil War and Indian War veteran named this town.
LIVINGSTON This railroad town is named after Charles and Johnston Livingston, who were Directors for the Northern Pacific Railway co.
BILLINGS and HARLOWTON are named after Railroad Barons and supporters.
You can discover the history of all the names and places with a quick Google search. It’s important to know the history and meaning of where we call home.