Skip to content
Home » US States » M » Montana » Choteau County

Choteau County

Choteau County is named for Jean Pierre Choteau and his son Pierre Choteau, Jr., who were part of the Choteau fur-trading family.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Liberty County and Hill County

E – Blaine County

S – Fergus CountyJudith Basin County and Cascade County

W – Teton County and Pondera County


Created:  February 2, 1865                    Map of Montana highlighting Chouteau County

County Seat: 

Fort Benton   1865 – present


County Courthouse – Fort Benton


Location:  1308 Franklin Street / 13th Street

Built:  1884

Style:  Queen Anne style

Architect:  Kees and Fisk of Minneapolis, Minnesota

Contractor:  Gus Senieur


Description:  The building faces southeast and is a two story red colored brick structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Fort Benton. The building is rectangular in shape with cut granite trim. The building has a high square brick tower on the south corner with a wood top and gold colored dome. The center front rises to a peaked roof at the roof line. There is also a peaked roof on the southwest and northeast sides. The first story windows have straight stone lintels and sills, the second story ones have arched stone lintels with stone sills. In the interior, the entrance hall on the first story runs the entire length of the original building with twelve-foot ceilings plastered and four-foot wainscoting of beaded wood. The stairway is within the tower and enters on a large foyer in front of which the large front window opens. On each side of the second story are two small offices and then double doors open into the large County District Court courtroom. The courtroom has the original furnishings. The building houses the County District Court of the 12th Judicial District and County Justice Court.  A two story addition was constructed at the rear of the building. The building was renovated in 1972.


Note:  During construction, Sam Houston and Charles Berg held the brick and stone contract with stairways by James Moore of Cleveland, Ohio.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Choteau County Courthouse


Note:  The building is the second oldest courthouse in Montana still in use after the courthouse located in Madison County


See:  The 12th Judicial District includes Choteau County, Hill County and Liberty County.


History:  The county was create d in 1865 and Fort Benton was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was a one story wood structure built-in 1880 at a cost of $12,000. The courthouse burned on January 5, 1883. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1884 at a cost of $43,000.



County Courthouse – Fort Benton























County District Court courtroom













Photos taken 2009 and 2016