Rocky Mountain Front

View of Choteau Mountain in June

Teton County, Montana

History and County Data links

One may find specific information about the towns and history of Teton County, Montana here.  See the databases below as aids to your genealogy search. If you have any information for Teton County, i.e. census records, land records, or family trees, and would like to post on this website, please email  Nancy Thornton.

Chouteau? or Choteau? What's the difference? According to a footnote on page 242 in "Montana, the Land and the People" by Robert George Raymer, 1930, "Choteau is the early legal spelling but on a complaint of a member of the [Chouteau] family the state legislature corrected the spelling to Chouteau [county], as it was always spelled by the family, by act of March 5, 1903."

Teton County Seat: Choteau

Teton County was organized in 1893 from a part of Chouteau County which was an original county of Montana. By March 1893 two townships were formed — Choteau and Dupuyer. Choteau township consisted of all that portion of said Teton county lying south of a line beginning at the NE corner of Section 15, T 27N, R1W of the principal meridian of Montana and running west along said line to the western boundary of Teton Co. All that portion of Teton Co lying north of said line shall constitute the township of Dupuyer.

Teton Commissioners were C.W. Gray, C.W. Taylor, and Walter S. Clark
Clerk and recorder of the board, J.E. Wamsley.
J.G. Bair, superintendent of public instruction.
S.F. Ralston Jr., assessor
James Sulgrove, county attorney
C.L. Bristol, treasurer
J.H. Day, county surveyor
G.W. Magee, JP for Dupuyer Township
John Jackson Jr., JP for Choteau Township
A.B. Hamilton, Sheriff (One of the founders of the Choteau townsite.)

The Pioneers [Transcribed from the Montanian V5-39, 2-1-1895.]
Following is the list of the pioneers of Montana, now residents of Teton County, together with the year of their arrival in Montana:
Choquette, Chas, 1844.
Schmidt, Jacob, 1854.
Kennerly, H.A., 1855.
Kipp, Joe, 1857,
Truchot, Frank, 1857,
Teasdale, W.R., 1857,
Steell, George, 1857.
LaBreche, Chas. D., 1857.
Wren, John, 1857.
Fellers, Adolph, 1862,
Robare, Louis, 1862,
Thomas, Chas., 1862.
Hamilton, A.B., 1863.
Hobbins, John, 1863.
Burd, Julian F., 1864.
Jackson, John Sr., 1864.
Richards, George, 1864.
Cooper, M.D., 1864.
McKnight, Abel, 1864.
Steele, F.E., 1864.
Ralston, S.F. Sr., 1864.
Steele, Mrs. R.M., 1864.
Ralston, W.R., 1864.
Aspling, T.P., 1864.
Barrett, W.S., 1864.
Collins, Nat, 1865.
Manton, Dennis, 1865.
Phemister, C.D., 1865.
Sullivan, Dan, 1865.
Armstrong, John, 1865.
Armstrong, James W., 1865.
Silverman, Julius, 1865.
Fawcett, Clinton, 1866.
Evans, John, 1866.
Lillard, Wm., 1866.
Gibson, James, 1866.
Scoffin, C.R., 1866.
Reece, Geo. S., 1866.
Dennis, Ed, 1866.
Taylor, C. Wallace, 1866.
Flowerree, W.K. 1866.
Crossen, Hugh, 1866.
Mitchell, Sam, 1866.
Pepion, Polite, 1866.
Derereaux, Jeff, 1866.
Trudo, Peter, 1866.
LaFranc, Jo, 1866.
Brown, James, 1866.

The first fort (stockade) and Indian agency, known as "Old Agency," [referred to as the "Four Persons" Agency by the Blackfeet Nation] was located from 1868-1876 near the Teton River 3 miles north of the present city of Choteau. By 1876 the Blackfeet Reservation boundary was changed and the agency was relocated north of Birch Creek on Badger Creek, (the Running Crane Agency.) In 1880 Old Agency was a hamlet of white men who had married Native American women, some Blackfeet, and some Metis who lived there with their mixed-blood children. See the 1880 census [link below] for a list of the population. In 1883 the land around Old Agency was sold and Isaac Hazlett platted the townsite of Choteau three miles south and moved the Hamilton and Hazlett store there.

In 1914 a part of Teton County was taken to form Toole County. In 1919 parts were taken to form Glacier and Pondera Counties. In 1921 a part of Chouteau County was annexed to Teton County.

District Court History

March 4, 1893 — 13th Judicial District formed from the 10th Judicial District and consisted of Teton and Flathead. The 10th is Valley, Fergus and Chouteau counties.

The historic Teton County Courthouse was built in 1906 and remodeled in 2001. Designed by Kalispell architects Joseph B. Gibson and George H. Shanley, the venerable native stone building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

In the spring of 1909 H.H. Ewing, the mayor of Great Falls, was appointed by Governor Norris to be a judge of the 8th Judicial District comprising the counties of Teton and Cascade. His term extended to the first Monday in January 1911. Mr. Ewing resigned as mayor and had his chambers at Choteau. [Choteau Acantha March 11, 1909] On Dec. 4, 1909, the 1910 terms of the court of the 8th Judicial district of Cascade and Teton were set. Cascade terms for 1910 were January 3, April 4, July 1 and Oct 10.
Teton terms were Jan. 31, May 31, July 30, Nov. 30. The judges were H.H. Ewing, J.B. Leslie. The 1911 terms of the court were January 31, May 31, July 31, November 29. J.B. Leslie and H.H. Ewing were the two judges for the 8th Judicial District, counties of Cascade and Teton.

1892 Voter Lists for Belleview, Bynum, Choteau, Dupuyer, and North Fork of Sun River.
1893 July Duty Roster Teton County Montana
1893, 1894, 1896, 1897, 1898 List of Business Licenses Teton County Montana
1896, and 1915
Secret Societies in Choteau.
1896 Voter Lists for Choteau, Burton Bench and Lake Basin Precincts, Teton County, MT.
1898 and 1901 Jury Duty Roster Teton County Montana
1904 Jury Duty Roster Teton County Montana
1905 Jury Duty Roster Teton County Montana
1907 Jury Duty Roster Teton County Montana

1910 Election Precincts, Polling Places and Election Judges (September)

1920 School Districts/Population Teton County Montana
1920 Census Data Summary Teton County, Montana
1920 Teton County Voting precincts (October)

Teton Towns/Placenames

Agawam - Post office 1913-1956.
Beck Community-Established the Immanuel Cemetery.
Belleview - Post office 1885-1910.Belleview Post-office Discontinued.
The post office at Belleview was discontinued last Monday, August 15, 1910. The office had been in existence for a long time, and served a considerable number of patrons. Some time ago when the contract for carrying the mail from Choteau to Belleview expired, the same having been held by Robert Twiggs, new bids were called for, but none of those which were submitted were accepted. The action of the department in discontinuing the office seems to be the result of the failure to let a contract for carrying the mail. The office has been located at the C.W. Gray ranch and T.J. Twedt was the last postmaster. An effort will probably be made to have the office re-established. The nearest office for people of the community is a Strabane, on the Peebles ranch north of the Teton. [Transcribed from the Choteau Acantha Aug. 18, 1910.]
Blackleaf - See Raymond.
Bole - Post office 1914 -1943,Formerly Limington. Named for Great Falls Tribune editory W.M. Bole in 1914..
Burton - Post office 1894-1899. See Farmington.
Breezy Hill - a community in the early 1900s
Brighton - Post office operated 1890-1891 and 1895-1903 in the railway station at Collins.The name of the post office at Brighton has been changed to Collins and the site has been changed to Collins station on the Montana & Great Northern Railway. A.S. Truscott of the Collins Mercantile Co. is postmaster. [Montanan and Chronicle March 20, 1903]
Bynum - Post office opened in 1885 and is still active.
Choteau - Post office opened as Old Agency in 1875 and name changed to Choteau in 1882. The Postmaster changed it to Chouteau in 1903 but changed it back to Choteau when the city incorporated as Choteau in October 1913. Still active
Cleiv - (See Kleiv).
Collins - Post office operated 1891-1893 and 1903-1961.
Cordova - Post office opened 1917 as Plummerton and name changed to Cordova in 1924, closed in 1938.
Dutton - Post office opened in 1909 and is still active.A Good New Town.
The town of Dutton that lies directly east of Choteau in the eastern part of the county is one of the wonders of wonderful Montana. One year ago Dutton was nothing more than a whistling station on the G.N. while today it is a bustling little city of wide awake people. It is the outgrowth of the conditions that are produced by a fertile soil and the finest climate imaginable. Dutton is not an accident, but is on the map for the reason that it is needed.
It is the supply point for a large section of country extending for miles on either side. While there is not a depot as yet the G.N. stops their trains and receive freight and passengers. Since the opening of spring the receipts of freight have been large, especially building material. We are informed by N. Whitacre, the first lumber dealer in Dutton, that there has been over 50 cars received by the merchants and that he is now unloading his 32nd car. When you stop to think of this you will perceive that it figures up to a tidy sum. All of this goes to help build up the country and Teton Co. Dutton has three general stores, one hardware, one hotel, two rooming houses, one butcher shop, a real estate office, a racket store, two barber shops, four lumber yards. [Transcribed from the Choteau Acantha Sept. 16, 1910.]
Elizabeth - Post office 1898-1910. A post office known as Elizabeth, has been established in the southwestern corner of Teton county, with James B. Kellogg as postmaster. It will be supplied with mail by an extension of the Choteau-Bellview-Saypo route, a distance of about 8 miles. The new office was named for the late Mrs. Elizabeth Kellogg, the mother of the Kellogg brothers.[Reprinted from the Teton Chronicle, Feb 11, 1898.]
Fairfield - Post office opened in 1908 and is still active.
Farmington - Post office 1899 -1951. Farmington is the center of what is known as the Burton settlement and it is a mile or mile and a half north of where the Burton post office was located and about eight miles northeast of Choteau. There is a store there and a post office will be established will be established shortly. The Teton creamery is located at this point and is doing a rushing business in the midst of a prosperous settlement. [Transcribed from the Montanian July 21, 1899]
Freezout - See Lake Basin.
Fish Lake - now in Glacier County.
Kalma - Post office 7-19-1915 to 4-15-1919.The supplies for the post office at Kalma, recently ordered established at the Wanish ranch, about 18 miles west of Choteau in the Watson flat country, arrived here the first of the week and will be sent out to the post office as soon as possible. Mrs. Mark Wanish, has been appointed as postmistress and her commission has also been received, consequently as soon as the supplies reach there, the office will be in shape for business. The mail for Kalma will be sent out twice a week, from the Choteau office, although for the first three months there will be no regular carrier under government employ, the patrons of the office agreeing to carry the mail without expense to Uncle Sam for that period. There are a large number of settlers in that section who will undoubtedly find the new post office a great convenience to them in sending and receiving their mail. [Transcribed from the Choteau Montanian 9-3-1915.]
The supplies for the recently created post office at Kalma, in the Watson flat country west of Choteau, have been delivered to the postmaster there, and the office is now ready for business. The mail will be carried from Choteau twice a week. [Transcribed from the Choteau Montanian 9-17-1915.]
Kleiv - (Cleiv) Platted in 1918 but no post office, abandoned.
- (Koyl) Post office 1916-Jan. 1, 1917. It is reported that the GN Railway has changed the name of their station between Claude and Bynum from gay Paris to Koyl. They might have selected a worse name than that, but we are at a loss to know what it could have been. [The Choteau Montanan 9-17-1915.]
Lake Basin, (a community in 1899) aka Green's Lake Basin, post office sought 3-9-1894.
Liberty Center ( a community in 1917)
Limington -Platted in 1913. The post office was opened May 1, 1914, now abandoned. Name changed to Bole in 1914.
- Post office 1897-1943.
Old Agency - see Choteau.
Paris - Platted in 1913 but no post office, abandoned. See Koyl. On account of a post office already established in Monana bearing a similar Name, the name of the town, Paris, first station south of Bynum, has been changed to Koyl, [Bynum Herald 2-17-1916.]
- Post office opened in 1916 and is still active. [New townsite of Pendroy, eight miles North of Bynum, at the terminus of the Great Northern Railway of its Bynum branch. (TCMT04-07, 1916-08-11.) New townsite of Pendroy, eight miles North of Bynum, at the terminus of the Great Northern Railway of its Bynum branch. (TCMT04-07, 1916-08-11.) A post office will be established at Pendroy about Jan. 1 [1917.] C.C. Sheble last week received notice of his appointment as postmaster at that place. Mr. Sheble, who now makes his home on his ranch situated about midway between Bynum and Pendroy, is prepared to assume his new duties at once and will likely remove with his family to Pendroy in the spring. - Bynum Herald. TCMT 12-22-1916.]
Plummerton - See Cordova.
Porter - Post office 1910-1915. County commissioners vacated townsite of Porter on June 7, 1945.
Power - Post office opened in 1910 and is still active.Post-office at Power.
Under a recent order of the postmaster general the new town of Power, 25 miles southeast of Choteau, will have a post office. Frank A. Steere, a resident merchant in the town, and a brother of Kirt L. Steere, of Choteau, will be postmaster. [Transcribed from the Choteau Acantha July 7, 1910.]
Premium Center Community- near Collins in 1960s.
Raymond - Post office opened in 1891, named changed to Blackleaf in 1910, closed in 1936.
Saypo - Belleview. There is a prospect for the establishment of a post office in the district in the near future. The postmaster is to be Frank Cady, and the office called Saypo. It is to be hoped that the neighbors will get together and establish a route that will benefit the whole community…Frank Cady, John S. Lane and Frank Salmond went to Choteau Wednesday on business connected with the establishment of the post office. [Transcribed from the Choteau Acantha ACAN17-19, 1911-01-26.].
Strabane - Post office operated 1909-1919, except for 1917-18 on the James Peebles Ranch.Strabane is a new post office in Teton County, being situated at the ranch of Jas. Peebles, who is postmaster. The official blanks for the new office will go out form Choteau Saturday. Choteau Acantha Sept. 16, 1909.
Jas. Peebles, the post master of the new post office of Strabane, located at his ranch was in town one day this week. Sept. 23, 1909.
T.L. Bench - (a community in 1917.)
T.L. Gap - (a community in 1917.)

Post offices in 1893 when Teton County was formed were Belleview, Brighton, Bynum, Choteau, Cut Bank, Dupuyer, Kipp, Piegan, Pondera, Raymond, Robare, Shelby. [Transcribed from Montanian 04-05, 1893-06-09.]

The post office routes as of November 11, 1909 were:
Browning to Babb, 38 miles and back three times a week.
Browning to Family, 16 miles and back six times a week.
Dupuyer to Conrad, 28 miles and back six times a week.
Choteau via Bynum to Dupuyer, 37 miles and back six times a week.
Raymond to Bynum 17-3/4 miles and back twice a week
Choteau via Belleview to Elizabeth, 37-1/2 miles and back twice a week.
Fairfield to Choteau, 18 miles and back twice a week.
Choteau via Farmington to Collins, 23-1/2 miles and back six times a week.
Lytle to Collins, 25 miles and back once a week.

Indian population Teton County Partial
1870 Teton County Partial
1880 Teton County Partial
1900 Teton County Partial
See also

Naturalization Records 1892, 1893, 1904, 1908, 1909, 1910
Ongoing transcription project

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