Toole County, Montana

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Toole County, Montana
Toole County Courthouse in Shelby, Montana.JPG
Toole County Courthouse in Shelby
Map of Montana highlighting Toole County
Location in the state of Montana
Map of the United States highlighting Montana
Montana's location in the U.S.
Founded 1914
Named for Joseph Toole
Seat Shelby
Largest city Shelby
 • Total 1,946 sq mi (5,040 km2)
 • Land 1,911 sq mi (4,949 km2)
 • Water 35 sq mi (91 km2), 1.79%
 • (2010) 5,324
 • Density 3/sq mi (1/km²)
Congressional district At-large
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6

Toole County is a county located in the northern portion of the U.S. state of Montana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,324.[1] Its county seat is Shelby.[2] The county was established in 1914 from parts of Hill County and Teton County and was named after Joseph Toole, the first and fourth governor of Montana. It is south from the Canadian border of Alberta.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,946 square miles (5,040 km2), of which, 1,911 square miles (4,950 km2) of it is land and 35 square miles (91 km2) of it (1.79%) is water. [3]

Its northern boundary is the Canadian border. A part of its southern boundary is formed by Marias River, which flows through the south-eastern portion. In the eastern part are several creeks, the largest of which is Willow, which rises in the Sweet Grass hills and follows a southerly course through the county. In the Sweet Grass hills and elsewhere indications of oil and gas have been found.

Adjacent counties[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 3,724
1930 6,714 80.3%
1940 6,769 0.8%
1950 6,867 1.4%
1960 7,904 15.1%
1970 5,839 −26.1%
1980 5,559 −4.8%
1990 5,046 −9.2%
2000 5,267 4.4%
2010 5,324 1.1%
Est. 2012 5,220 −2.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
2012 Estimate[1]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 5,267 people, 1,962 households, and 1,308 families residing in the county. The population density was 3 people per square mile (1/km²). There were 2,300 housing units at an average density of 1 per square mile (0/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.89% White, 0.15% Black or African American, 3.19% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.32% from other races, and 2.13% from two or more races. 1.16% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 23.0% were of German, 19.4% Norwegian, 10.2% Irish, 8.3% American and 8.3% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 93.7% spoke English, 4.2% German and 1.3% Spanish as their first language.

There were 1,962 households out of which 32.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.80% were married couples living together, 6.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.30% were non-families. 30.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.50% under the age of 18, 6.80% from 18 to 24, 28.20% from 25 to 44, 23.60% from 45 to 64, and 15.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 106.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 107.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,169, and the median income for a family was $39,600. Males had a median income of $27,284 versus $19,141 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,731. About 9.70% of families and 12.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.00% of those under age 18 and 9.50% of those age 65 or over.




Unincorporated communities[edit]

Notable people[edit]

  • Earl W. Bascom (1906-1995), "Father of Modern Rodeo" and Hall of Fame Cowboy, artist, sculptor, actor, inventor, cowboyed in the 1920s on a ranch on Kicking Horse Creek once owned by his cousin C.M. Russell
  • Charles M. Russell (1864-1926), cowboy artist and sculptor, ranched on Kicking Horse Creek near the Sweetgrass Hills, honored in the Hall of Great Westerners in Oklahoma City

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Census 2010 Gazetteer Files". Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  4. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°39′N 111°41′W / 48.65°N 111.69°W / 48.65; -111.69