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Beaverhead County, Montana
Map of Montana highlighting Beaverhead County
Location in the state of Montana
Map of the U.S. highlighting Montana
Montana's location in the U.S.
Founded 1864
Seat Dillon
Largest city Dillon, Montana
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

5,572 sq mi (14,431 km²)
5,542 sq mi (14,354 km²)
30 sq mi (78 km²), 0.53%
 - (2010)
 - Density

3/sq mi (1/km²)

Beaverhead County is the largest county by area in the U.S. state of Montana. As of 2010, the population is 9,246.[1] Its county seat is Dillon.[2] Much of the perimeter of the county is the Continental Divide, including all of its border with the state of Idaho. The divide heads east into Montana at the county border with Ravalli County, between Lost Trail Pass and Chief Joseph Pass.

Major highways[]

  • I-15.svg Interstate 15
  • US 91.svg U.S. Highway 91
  • MT-41.svg Montana Highway 41
  • MT-43.svg Montana Highway 43

Adjacent counties[]

National protected areas[]

  • Beaverhead National Forest (part)
  • Big Hole National Battlefield
  • Nez Perce National Historical Park (part)
  • Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge


The county name is derived from a rock formation, which the Shoshone described as being shaped like a beaver's head.[3]

The original county seat was the gold-mining town of Bannack. In 1881 it was changed to Dillon.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 5,572 square miles (14,431.4 km2), of which 5,542 square miles (14,353.7 km2) is land and 30 square miles (77.7 km2) (0.53%) is water.

The Big Hole River runs through the county.


Beaverhead County is one of the largest cattle and hay producing areas of Montana. Barrett's Minerals, one of the world's largest talc mines, calls Beaverhead County home.[4] In 2009, Barrett Hospital and Healthcare was the largest private employer in the county.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 722
1880 2,712 275.6%
1890 4,655 71.6%
1900 5,615 20.6%
1910 6,446 14.8%
1920 7,369 14.3%
1930 6,654 −9.7%
1940 6,943 4.3%
1950 6,671 −3.9%
1960 7,194 7.8%
1970 8,187 13.8%
1980 8,186 0%
1990 8,424 2.9%
2000 9,202 9.2%
2010 9,246 0.5%

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 9,202 people, 3,684 households, and 2,354 families residing in the county. The population density was 2 people per square mile (1/km²). There were 4,571 housing units at an average density of 1 per square mile (0/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.86% White, 0.18% Black or African American, 1.46% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.09% from other races, and 1.18% from two or more races. 2.67% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.7% were of German, 14.9% English, 10.7% Irish, 9.0% American and 7.2% Norwegian ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 3,684 households out of which 30.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.80% were married couples living together, 6.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.10% were non-families. 29.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.60% under the age of 18, 11.90% from 18 to 24, 25.10% from 25 to 44, 24.90% from 45 to 64, and 13.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 105.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $28,962, and the median income for a family was $38,971. Males had a median income of $26,162 versus $18,115 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,621. About 12.80% of families and 17.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.30% of those under age 18 and 12.20% of those age 65 or over.



  • Dillon


  • Lima

Census-designated place[]

  • Wisdom

Other communities[]

  • Armstead
  • Bannack
  • Dell
  • Glen
  • Glendale
  • Lion City
  • Greenwood
  • Jackson
  • Lakeview
  • Polaris
  • Wise River


The University of Montana Western is located in Dillon

Notable residents[]

  • Joseph Poindexter, later Territorial Governor of Hawaii, served as County Attorney here.

See also[]

  • List of cemeteries in Beaverhead County, Montana
  • List of lakes in Beaverhead County, Montana
  • List of mountains in Beaverhead County, Montana
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Beaverhead County, Montana


  1. ^ 2010 Census. 010census/data/ "Montana". 010census/data/. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Merrill, Andrea; Judy Jacobson (1997). Montana almanac. Helena, Montana: Falcon Publishing. p. 6. ISBN 1-56044-493-2. 
  4. ^ State of Montana. "Beaverhead County". Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[]

Coordinates: 45°07′N 112°54′W / 45.12, -112.90

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Beaverhead County, Montana. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.