Dillon, Montana

Dillon, Montana
A street corner in downtown Dillon, 1942

Located at the intersection of several major highways in southwestern Montana, Dillon is also in the heart of some of America's best blue-ribbon fishing. The city was founded as a supply center for the miners working Montana's Gold West Country. The first cattle arrived in 1865 and have played a central role in the economy of the area ever since. Sheep ranchers discovered the valley in 1869 and turned Dillon into Montana's largest wool shipping point. The Utah & Northern Railroad finally ran a line into Dillon in 1880, but the city was named in honor of Sidney V. Dillon, president of the Union Pacific Railroad.

These days, Dillon is still a large agricultural center in western Montana and forms the center of one of Montana's largest hay and cattle producing areas. Other major industries in the area include timber, tourism, recreation and mining. The city is also home to the University of Montana-Western and the Great Harvest Bread Company.

West of Dillon is the ghost town of Bannack, Montana Territory's first capital. The property is now preserved as Bannack State Park. Another famous place is the nearby LaCense Ranch, known internationally for its style of horse training known as "horse whispering."

Dillon, Montana
Beaverhead County Courthouse in Dillon
Fast Facts about Dillon, Montana
Dillon, Beaverhead County, MT 59725
Founded: 1857
Elevation: 5,102'
Latitude: 45.2157°N
Longitude: 112.6341°W
Resident Racial Breakdown:
White Non-Hispanic: 88.5%
Hispanic: 5.9%
Asian: 3.0%
Native American: 0.8%
Other: 0.7%
Two or More Races: 1.0%
High School or Higher: 88.6%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 30.3%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 9.7%
2009 Estimates:
Population: 3,617
Males: 1,785
Females: 1,832
Median Resident Age: 38.9 Years
Estimated Median Household Income: $32,400
Estimated Median Home Value: $123,400
Population Density: 2,218 People per Square Mile
2011 Cost of Living Index for Dillon: 85.8
Major Industries:
Educational Services, Health Care, Construction, Lodging & Food Services, Government, Transportation Services, Agriculture, Mining, Finance & Insurance Services, Social Services
Unemployed (March 2011): 6.6%
Upper photo of Dillon, Montana in 1942 courtesy of Russell Lee, LOC
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