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Plentywood
Grain Elevator in Plentywood
Grain Elevator in Plentywood
Location of Plentywood, Montana
Location of Plentywood, Montana
Country United States
State Montana
County Sheridan
Area
 • Total 1.36 sq mi (3.51 km2)
 • Land 1.36 sq mi (3.51 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
2,047 ft (624 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 1,669
 • Density 1,227.21/sq mi (475.50/km2)
Time zone UTC-7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-6 (MDT)
ZIP code
59254
Area code(s) 406
FIPS code 30-58375
GNIS feature ID 0775295

Plentywood is a city in and the county seat of Sheridan County, Montana, United States. The population was 1,669 at the 2020 census.

History

The first business in Plentywood opened in 1900, and a post office was established two years later. The city incorporated in 1912, following the arrival of a Great Northern Railway branch line that eventually ran from Bainville to Opheim. Local folklore suggests that the name of the nearby Plentywood Creek, after which the city was named, comes from a search for firewood. One day, according to the story, a group of cowboys watched in exasperation as the chuck wagon cook attempted to start a fire with damp buffalo chips. Finally, in frustration, Dutch Henry said, "If you’ll go 2 miles up this creek, you’ll find plenty wood."

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.17 square miles (3.03 km2), all of it land.

Climate

According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Plentywood has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 888
1930 1,226 38.1%
1940 1,574 28.4%
1950 1,862 18.3%
1960 2,121 13.9%
1970 2,381 12.3%
1980 2,476 4.0%
1990 2,136 −13.7%
2000 2,061 −3.5%
2010 1,734 −15.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

At the 2010 census, there were 1,734 people, 820 households and 462 families in the city. The population density was 1,482.1 per square mile (572.2/km2). There were 972 housing units at an average density of 830.8 per square mile (320.8/km2). The racial make-up was 95.0% White, 0.2% African American, 1.7% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.3% from other races and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.1% of the population.

There were 820 households, of which 22.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.2% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.0% had a male householder with no wife present and 43.7% were non-families. 40.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.02 and the average family size was 2.68.

The median age was 49.7 years. 19.1% of residents were under the age of 18, 5.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24, 18.7% were from 25 to 44, 32.4% were from 45 to 64 and 24.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender make-up was 47.8% male and 52.2% female.

Climate

Plentywood experiences a semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk) with long, cold, dry winters and hot, wetter summers.

Climate data for Plentywood, Montana
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 59
(15)
68
(20)
77
(25)
89
(31.7)
97
(36.1)
105
(40.6)
107
(41.7)
104
(40)
101
(38.3)
96
(35.6)
75
(23.9)
55
(12.8)
107
(41.7)
Average high °F (°C) 20.9
(-6.17)
29.8
(-1.22)
42.0
(5.56)
58.1
(14.5)
70.4
(21.33)
79.0
(26.11)
84.2
(29)
83.5
(28.61)
71.5
(21.94)
58.1
(14.5)
37.0
(2.78)
24.4
(-4.22)
54.91
(12.727)
Daily mean °F (°C) 9.3
(-12.61)
18.2
(-7.67)
29.9
(-1.17)
43.6
(6.44)
55.6
(13.11)
64.6
(18.11)
68.8
(20.44)
67.7
(19.83)
55.9
(13.28)
43.8
(6.56)
26.2
(-3.22)
13.6
(-10.22)
41.43
(5.241)
Average low °F (°C) −2.3
(-19.06)
6.6
(-14.11)
17.7
(-7.94)
29.1
(-1.61)
40.7
(4.83)
50.2
(10.11)
53.4
(11.89)
51.9
(11.06)
40.2
(4.56)
29.4
(-1.44)
15.3
(-9.28)
2.7
(-16.28)
27.91
(-2.273)
Record low °F (°C) −43
(-41.7)
−41
(-40.6)
−33
(-36.1)
−6
(-21.1)
9
(-12.8)
28
(-2.2)
37
(2.8)
32
(0)
16
(-8.9)
−11
(-23.9)
−28
(-33.3)
−36
(-37.8)
−43
(-41.7)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.34
(8.6)
0.31
(7.9)
0.61
(15.5)
0.82
(20.8)
1.87
(47.5)
2.74
(69.6)
2.24
(56.9)
1.36
(34.5)
1.36
(34.5)
0.72
(18.3)
0.41
(10.4)
0.37
(9.4)
13.15
(334)
Source #1: NOAA (normals, 1971–2000)
Source #2: The Weather Channel (Records)


Education

Plentywood Schools educates students from kindergarten to 12th grade.

Plentywood High School

The school's team name is the Wildcats.

In 1969, Plentywood played Choteau and lost in its first Class B boys' state championship basketball appearance. The 1976 boys' basketball team won the Montana Class A title against Hamilton as one of the smallest Class A teams in the state at the time. In 1978, the boys' basketball team won the Class B title against Big Timber after declining enrollment resulted in a downward classification. The 1979 boys' basketball team finished as runners-up to the archrival Scobey Spartans at the State B Boys' Basketball Tournament. The 2007 boys' basketball team finished again as runners up, this time to Huntly Project at the State B Boys' Tournament. In 1998, the Wildcats finished third at the State Tourney and in the 1980s had two top four finishes at the State Tournament as well.

The 1971 Plentywood Wildcats American football team, coached by Doug Dierenfield, reached the class B state championship, losing in overtime 6–8 to Huntley Project.

The 1981 Plentywood Wildcats American football team, coached by Ron Smith, beat the Big Timber Herders 20-14 for the State B title in Big Timber. Smith is the only coach in Sheridan County to have ever won a State Football title.

In 1997, the Plentywood Wildcat American football team also reached the state championship, losing to Frenchtown 27-20 after being up 20–7 at half time.

The 1999 and 2000 girls' golf team won the State B-C title.

For 5 years, from 1997 to 2001, Plentywood was the state champion girls' 4x400 relay winner

In 1977, Plentywood won the Class B State Championship in boys' cross country. Cross country was later dropped from the athletic program.

The Plentywood boys' track team has won four state titles, in 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973.

Library

Sheridan County Library is a public library which serves the area.

Infrastructure

Sher-Wood Airport is a public use airport located one mile (2 km) northeast of the town.

Notable people

  • Robin Selvig: University of Montana Grizzly women's basketball coach for 38 seasons to 2015-16 is a native of nearby Outlook; his first teaching job was at Plentywood High School.
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