Toole County, Montana 1921

Toole County, situated in the northern part of Montana, with the Canadian line as its northern boundary, is an agricultural and livestock county, having practically no other industries, aside from the mercantile business in the towns. It was created from parts of Hill and Teton counties on May 7, 1914, and has a land area of 1,958 square miles. A part of its southern boundary is formed by Maria's River, which flows through the southeastern 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 which may result in future development. Save for these hills, which occupy the northeastern corner of the county, and the brakes along Maria's River near the southern border, Toole County is a rolling prairie. Land values range from $10 to $50 an acre. A considerable advance in values is probable in the near future, owing to an important irrigation system, embracing between 200,000 and 300,000 acres, launched by the land owners and which will soon be under construction.

At present wheat, oats, barley, flax and native hay are the chief crops, but irrigation will permit the extensive raising of alfalfa. Tourists may find picturesque scenery in the Sweet Grass hills.

In 1920 the population of Toole County was 3,724. The county seat and principal town is Shelby, a railroad junction point, which is the trading center for a large and productive territory. Its altitude is 3,286 feet and its population in 1920 was 537.

Galata and Devon are farming towns in the eastern part of the county, and Sweet Grass in the northern part of the county is a port of entry from Canada. There is a high school at Shelby accredited for the four-year term and the county in general is well supplied with good rural schools. The growing season for crops is from 93 to 106 days.

Montana Counties 1921

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Source: Montana its Story and Biography, by Tom Strout, Volume 1, The American Historical Society, 1921

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