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Winnett, Montana
Rimrocks just south of Winnett, MT
Rimrocks just south of Winnett, MT
Location of Winnett, Montana
Location of Winnett, Montana
Country United States
State Montana
County Petroleum
Named for Walter J. Winnett
 • Total 1.02 sq mi (2.64 km2)
 • Land 1.02 sq mi (2.64 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
2,953 ft (900 m)
 • Total 188
 • Density 184.31/sq mi (71.21/km2)
Time zone UTC-7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-6 (MDT)
ZIP codes
59084, 59087
Area code(s) 406
FIPS code 30-81100
GNIS feature ID 0806828

Winnett is a town in and the county seat of Petroleum County, Montana, United States. The population was 188 at the 2020 census.


Winnett was named for Walter John Winnett, who was born in the Queen's Hotel—in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Winnett ran away from home as a boy, seeking adventure in "Indian country." His excellent marksmanship abilities helped him get jobs with outfits who were always looking for someone who could keep them in fresh meat. When he was captured by Sioux Indians and later adopted into the tribe, he was given the name Eagle Eyes because of his remarkable shooting skills.

Winnett established a ranch in Montana Territory in 1879 near an active trading post and the Hangman's Tree used by vigilantes in the area. The massive ranch house, which he built in 1900 housed his own family and served as a gathering place for the community. Dances, weddings, funerals, church services, and school were all held here. Billings was the closest town, so Winnett built up a freight line business to haul supplies. Each of his outfits consisted of ten to twenty horses and huge wagons. In 1910 he built a store and petitioned for a post office—and with that, Winnett became an official town (from Cheney's Names on the Face of Montana, Mountain Press Publishing Company).


Winnett is located at 47°0′16″N 108°21′4″W / 47.00444°N 108.35111°W / 47.00444; -108.35111 (47.004381, -108.351052).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.98 square miles (2.54 km2), all of it land.


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


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 316
1930 408 29.1%
1940 399 −2.2%
1950 407 2.0%
1960 360 −11.5%
1970 271 −24.7%
1980 207 −23.6%
1990 188 −9.2%
2000 185 −1.6%
2010 182 −1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 182 people, 91 households, and 50 families residing in the town. The population density was 185.7 inhabitants per square mile (71.7/km2). There were 132 housing units at an average density of 134.7 per square mile (52.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 100.0% White. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.1% of the population.

There were 91 households, of which 22.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.3% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 1.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 45.1% were non-families. 42.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 19.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.00 and the average family size was 2.74.

The median age in the town was 50 years. 18.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 3.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 19.1% were from 25 to 44; 33.9% were from 45 to 64; and 24.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 53.8% male and 46.2% female.


Covering the town of Winnett and the surrounding area, Winnett Independent School District has students from grades K-12. They are known as the Rams.

Petroleum County Community Library serves the area.

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