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Toole County, Montana facts for kids

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Toole County
Toole County Courthouse in Shelby
Toole County Courthouse in Shelby
Map of Montana highlighting Toole County
Location within the U.S. state of Montana
Map of the United States highlighting Montana
Montana's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Montana
Founded 1914
Named for Joseph Toole
Seat Shelby
Largest city Shelby
 • Total 1,946 sq mi (5,040 km2)
 • Land 1,916 sq mi (4,960 km2)
 • Water 30 sq mi (80 km2)  1.5%
 • Total 4,971
 • Density 2.5545/sq mi (0.9863/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
Congressional district At-large
  • Montana county number 21

Toole County is a county in the northern portion of the U.S. state of Montana. As of the 2020 United States Census, the population was 4,971. Its county seat is Shelby. The county was established in 1914 from parts of Hill County and Teton County and was named after Joseph Toole, the first and fourth governor of Montana. Its northern boundary is the Canada–United States border south of Alberta.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,946 square miles (5,040 km2), of which 1,916 square miles (4,960 km2) is land and 30 square miles (78 km2) (1.5%) is water.

Its northern boundary is the Canada–United States border. A part of its southern boundary is formed by Marias River, which flows through the south-eastern 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.

Major highways

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 3,724
1930 6,714 80.3%
1940 6,769 0.8%
1950 6,867 1.4%
1960 7,904 15.1%
1970 5,839 −26.1%
1980 5,559 −4.8%
1990 5,046 −9.2%
2000 5,267 4.4%
2010 5,324 1.1%
2020 4,971 −6.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2020

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 5,324 people, 2,015 households, and 1,246 families in the county. The population density was 2.8 inhabitants per square mile (1.1/km2). There were 2,336 housing units at an average density of 1.2 per square mile (0.46/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 92.0% white, 4.5% American Indian, 0.5% black or African American, 0.4% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.4% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 30.8% were German, 17.7% were Irish, 15.8% were English, 10.5% were Norwegian, and 3.6% were American.

Of the 2,015 households, 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 38.2% were non-families, and 34.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.88. The median age was 41.5 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,949 and the median income for a family was $54,722. Males had a median income of $41,490 versus $32,582 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,464. About 11.3% of families and 15.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.2% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those age 65 or over.




Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

Notable people

  • Earl W. Bascom (1906-1995), "Father of Modern Rodeo" and Hall of Fame cowboy, artist, sculptor, actor, inventor; cowboyed in the 1920s on a ranch on Kicking Horse Creek once owned by his cousin C.M. Russell
  • Charles M. Russell (1864-1926), cowboy artist and sculptor; ranched on Kicking Horse Creek near the Sweetgrass Hills; honored in the Hall of Great Westerners in Oklahoma City

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Toole para niños

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