Fort Benton

Fort Benton, Montana

Fort Benton is a city in and the county seat of Chouteau County, Montana, United States. A portion of the city was designated as a National Historic Landmark District in 1961. The population was 1,594 at the 2000 census. It is named for Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri and was once an important port on the Missouri River. Steamboats routinely plied up the river with goods, merchants and settlers, coming from New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis, Hannibal, Biskmarck, Kansas City, etc. Fort Benton was a highly sociable place in the mid 1800s. It was formed as an early fur trading post. Fort Benton is also known as the place where General Thomas Francis Meagher was last seen, having disappeared while on a visit to the town. Besides being one of the most important ports on the Missouri-Mississippi river system, Fort Benton was once the world's farthest inland port.


Fort Benton is located at (47.819307, -110.669726).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.1 square miles (5.4 km²), all of it land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 1,594 people, 636 households, and 422 families residing in the city. The population density was 763.2 people per square mile (294.5/km²). There were 731 housing units at an average density of 350.0/sq mi (135.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.68% White, 0.19% African American, 0.56% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.38% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.56% of the population.

There were 636 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.4% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 23.1% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 23.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,406, and the median income for a family was $32,072. Males had a median income of $22,813 versus $20,787 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,861. About 11.6% of families and 13.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.6% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.

Notable residents


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