Glasgow, Montana

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Downtown Glasgow
Downtown Glasgow
Location of Glasgow, Montana
Location of Glasgow, Montana
Coordinates: 48°11′42″N 106°38′10″W / 48.19500°N 106.63611°W / 48.19500; -106.63611Coordinates: 48°11′42″N 106°38′10″W / 48.19500°N 106.63611°W / 48.19500; -106.63611
CountryUnited States
 • MayorRebecca Erickson
 • Total1.40 sq mi (3.63 km2)
 • Land1.40 sq mi (3.63 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
2,090 ft (638 m)
 • Total3,250
 • Estimate 
 • Density2,367.78/sq mi (913.90/km2)
Time zoneUTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−6 (Mountain)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)406
FIPS code30-31075
GNIS feature ID0771793

Glasgow is a city in and the county seat of Valley County, Montana, United States, the population was 3,250 at the 2010 census[5] with an estimated population of 3,328 as of 2018.[6]

Despite being just the 23rd-largest city in Montana, Glasgow is the most populous city for over 110 mi (177 km), thus making it an important economic hub for a large region in Eastern Montana.[7] Both Amtrak and the National Weather Service operate facilities in Glasgow that link the city to the surrounding region.[8][9]


Native Americans inhabited the region for centuries, and extensive buffalo and pronghorn antelope herds provided ample food for the nomadic tribes. The Nakoda, Lakota, and Dakota peoples alternately inhabited and claimed the region from the 16th to the late 19th centuries. In 1804 the Lewis and Clark expedition came within 15 miles (24 km) of the future site of Glasgow and noted the extensive herds of buffalo and various game. In 1851, the US government formed the first treaty with the Native American tribes, in 1885 the tribes engaged in the last known buffalo hunt in the region, and in 1887, a treaty was signed where the tribes surrendered[citation needed] 17.5 million acres (71,000 km2), which led from 1888 to the formation of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation and the removal of the tribes from the Glasgow area.[citation needed]

Glasgow was founded in 1887 as a railroad town by James Hill, who was responsible for creating many communities along the Hi-Line. He and a local railroader named the town when they spun a globe and their finger landed on Glasgow, Scotland.[10] Glasgow grew during the 1930s when President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the construction of the Fort Peck Dam, which became a major source of employment for the Glasgow area.

During World War II, the Glasgow Army Airfield housed the 96th Bombardment Squadron and 614th Bombardment Squadron, flying B-17 Flying Fortresses, at different times during the war. Starting in December 1944, a German POW camp was established at the facility, lasting until the end of the war. After the war ended the base was closed, and part of the facility eventually became the present day Glasgow Airport. Glasgow was the death place of Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Speirs, famed member of Easy Company, 101st Airborne.[11]

In the 1960s, the population rose to about 6,400 due to the nearby presence of the Glasgow Air Force Base, (SAC air command and housing B-52 bombers) used during the Vietnam War and the earlier part of the Cold War. A significant amount of mid-century modern and Googie-style architecture was built in Glasgow at this time, much of which survives. After the de-activation and closure of the base in 1969, Glasgow's population declined to about half its one-time size by 1990, when the loss rate stabilized.[12][13] Glasgow currently functions as the major regional administrative, shopping and services hub for Valley County and some of the areas beyond.

Googie architecture in Glasgow, June 2012

Geography and climate[edit]

Glasgow is located at 48°11′54″N 106°38′7″W / 48.19833°N 106.63528°W / 48.19833; -106.63528 (48.198252, −106.635402).[14]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.43 square miles (3.7 km2), all land.[15] The town has an elevation of 2,093 feet (638 m)[16] and is nestled in the Milk River Valley.

Using data from Oxford University's Big Data Institute, The Washington Post, in 2018, identified Glasgow as "the middle of nowhere" for the contiguous United States. The article stated "Of all towns with more than 1,000 residents, Glasgow ... is farthest – about 4.5 hours in any direction – from any metropolitan area of more than 75,000 people".[17]

Glasgow experiences a continental semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk) with long, dry winters with typically freezing but exceedingly variable temperatures and hot, dry summers. The extreme variability of winter temperatures is due to the large warming produced by chinook winds as air descending from the Rockies is warmed, contrasting with very cold continental air masses typical of inland locations at this latitude. As an illustration, the record cold month of February 1936 averaged −15.8 °F (−26.6 °C), but the two warmest Februaries of 1931 and 1984 averaged above 32 °F or 0 °C and had mean maxima above 43.5 °F or 6.4 °C. Snowfall averages 34.8 inches or 0.88 metres per year.[18] Tornadoes are a rare occurrence. Two F2 tornadoes did however, hit the Glasgow area on June 25, 1975.[19]


As of May 2012, the major industries present in Glasgow are retail (23% of employment), public administration (16%), construction (14%), and health care and social assistance (7%). Farmers and farm services comprise 4% of employment. As of June 2014, the unemployment rate was 3.2%.[23]

The median home price was an estimated $82,005 in 2009.[23]


Glasgow is served by the Glasgow School District.[24] There are three public schools in the district: Glasgow High School, Glasgow Middle School, and Irle Elementary. Glasgow High School has a student population of 255. The remaining K–8 schools have 599 students, for a total of 854 in the public school system.[23]

For Glasgow's residents aged 25 years and over, 81.5% of them attained at least a high school diploma, with 17.0% attaining at least a bachelor's degree, with 6.2% attaining a graduate or professional degree.[23]


The Scotties of Glasgow High School have won 47 Montana State Championships in their storied history. Glasgow High School currently offers twelve sports for students grades 9–12 (football, volleyball, boys and girls cross country, wrestling, boys and girls basketball, softball, boys and girls track and field, and boys and girls golf.) They have been competing at the Class B level (40 schools) in the MHSA (Montana High School Association) since the 1992–93 school year. The school is most well known for their Boys Wrestling and Girls Cross Country Programs. They have won 13 state championships and 32 state trophies in Boys Wrestling. The 32 trophies are more than other Class A, B, or C School in Montana. They have also won an ALL–class state record 16 Girls Cross Country Championships.[citation needed]

The Glasgow Reds baseball team competes at the Montana American Legion Class A level (31 teams). They finished second at State in 2000 and 2012 and third in 1999, 2013, & 2015.


There were no reports of rape or murder occurring in Glasgow in 2010, compared with one murder the previous year, and 16 incidents of rape from 2003 to 2008. Overall, the crime rate to 2010 appears to be in a general downward trend, and is well below the national average.[23]

A new Sheriff's Detention Facility was completed in April 2011 at a cost of $3.16 million. The facility, located downtown, is 10,000 square feet (930 m2) and has 26 beds, replacing the 16 beds of the previous jail. The detention center houses inmates from local police and Sheriff, as well as regional inmates for agencies such as the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service and Montana Highway Patrol and has an average of 16 inmates on any given day.[citation needed]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)3,322[3]2.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
2015 Estimate[13]


As of the 2010 census,[2] there were 3,250 people, 1,479 households, and 834 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,272.7 inhabitants per square mile (877.5/km2). There were 1,653 housing units at an average density of 1,155.9 per square mile (446.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.8% White, 0.2% African American, 4.5% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population.

There were 1,479 households, of which 26.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.5% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.6% were non-families. 39.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 19.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.13 and the average family size was 2.85.

The median age in the city was 45.6 years. 22.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.3% were from 25 to 44; 28% were from 45 to 64; and 22.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.8% male and 52.2% female.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,504. 14.5% of the population were below the federal poverty line, compared to 15.1% for the USA as a whole.

Notable people[edit]



Glasgow is on the Hi-Line of the BNSF Railway and is served daily westbound and eastbound by Amtrak's Empire Builder route.


Glasgow is served by Glasgow Airport and has daily commercial service to Billings. The current commercial air service provider for the Glasgow Airport is Cape Air.


Glasgow is located on U.S. Highway 2, which is a major east-west traffic corridor of the northern Great Plains region. Montana Highway 24 passes nearby the city, a major north-south route connecting southern Montana to Canada. No Interstates run near the region.

Glasgow and the greater Valley County region is also served by a commercial taxi/bus service called Valley Country Transit. Bus and/or Van rides are available daily for in-county travel purposes. Riders are charged on a per trip basis.



  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ "Look Up a ZIP Code". USPS. Archived from the original on July 5, 2015.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  6. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  7. ^ Bureau, U.S. Census. "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  8. ^ "Glasgow Amtrak Station". Montana. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  9. ^ US Department of Commerce, NOAA. "Glasgow, MT". Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  10. ^ Helland, Joan; Helland, Mary; Maxness, Marilyn; Rea, James; Rusher, Kitty Lou (2010). Glasgow and Valley County. Images of America. Valley County Historical Society. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 7–8. ISBN 978-0-7385-8063-0. LCCN 2009943666. OCLC 535495456. OL 24383083M. James Hill, president of the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railroad, soon to be the Great Northern, could not wait to share what he had seen with the rest of the world. They spun a globe, a railroad worker's finger landed on Glasgow, Scotland, and the siding was named Glasgow, Montana Territory.
  11. ^ "Glasgow, Montana". Big Sky Fishing.Com. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
  12. ^ a b "U.S. Decennial Census". April 20, 2012. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
  13. ^ a b "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on October 19, 2016. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  14. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  15. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  16. ^ "Profile for Glasgow, Montana, MT". ePodunk. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
  17. ^ Van Dam, Andrew; Karklis, Laris (February 20, 2018). "Using the best data possible, we set out to find the middle of nowhere". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 13, 2018.
  18. ^ "Weather Forecast Office Glasgow: About Us". NOAA National Weather Service. June 25, 2018. Archived from the original on October 7, 2018. Normal snowfall is 34.8 inches [34 inches or 0.86 metres], but the record was 108.6 [108.6 inches or 2.76 metres] in 2010–2011.
  19. ^ "Tornado History Project: Maps and Statistics".
  20. ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the expected highest and lowest temperature readings at any point during the year or given month) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
  21. ^ "NOWData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  22. ^ "Station Name: MT GLASGOW". National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  23. ^ a b c d e "Glasgow, Montana". Archived from the original on June 23, 2015.
  24. ^ "Glasgow Public Schools web page". April 11, 2012. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
  25. ^ Lentz, Harris M. III (2012). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2011. Lentz's Performing Arts Obituaries. 18. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. p. 278. ISBN 978-0-7864-6994-9. ISSN 1087-9617. OCLC 941156529. OL 26140289M. Rasey was born in Glasgow, Montana, on August 21, 1921.
  26. ^ "About The Glasgow Courier". The Glasgow Courier. 2016. ISSN 2378-8305. LCCN sn85042379. OCLC 12317058. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015.

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