Chouteau County, Montana

Lewis and Clark statue in Fort Benton
The Lewis & Clark Statue in Fort Benton

Chouteau County is in north central Montana. The Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River corridor begins just outside Fort Benton. Choteau County was named for Pierre and Auguste Chouteau, fur trappers with the American Fur Company of St. Louis who established a trading post on the Missouri River that grew into Fort Benton. For many years Fort Benton was a booming town because it sat at the head of commercial navigation on the Missouri River. Then came the railroads in the 1880's. The Great Northern Railway reached Helena in 1887 and most of the steamboat/freight traffic through Fort Benton stopped. The last steamboat docked at Fort Benton in 1922 but all the profit had gone out of the business years before.

Chouteau County was formed in 1865 and contains 3,973 square miles of land and 24 square miles of water. The county seat is Fort Benton. A large part of the tourist business in Chouteau County centers aound folks following the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail.

Fast Facts about Chouteau County, Montana
Resident Racial Breakdown:
White Non-Hispanic: 81.8%
Hispanic: 0.8%
Native American: 16.0%
Two or More Races: 0.6%
Types of Jobs:
Private Sector, wages or salary: 57%
Government Sector: 21%
Unincorporated, Self-Employed: 21%
Homemaker, Unpaid: 1%
Population Density: 1 Person per Square Mile
2011 Cost of Living Index for Chouteau County: 82.5
2009 Estimates:
Population: 5,167
Males: 2,594
Females: 2,573
Median Resident Age: 39.3 Years
Estimated Median Household Income: $37,300
Estimated Median Home Value: $112,600
Major Industries:
Agriculture & Forestry, Educational Services, Health Care, Lodging & Food Services, Construction, Government, Automotive Parts & Dealers, Repair & Maintenance, Finance & Insurance Services, Social Services
Photo of the Lewis and Clark statue courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management.
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