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Profiles

Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Billings, Montana.

Official Website

Overview

Billings is the largest city in the U.S. state of Montana, with a population estimated at 109,550 as of 2018. Located in the south-central portion of the state, it is the seat of Yellowstone County and the principal city of the Billings Metropolitan Area.

Billings was nicknamed the "Magic City" because of its rapid growth from its founding as a railroad town in March 1882. The city is named for Frederick H. Billings, a former president of the Northern Pacific Railroad. With one of the largest trade areas in the United States, Billings is the trade and distribution center for much of Montana east of the Continental Divide, Northern Wyoming, and western portions of North Dakota and South Dakota. Billings is also the largest retail destination for much of the same area.

The city is experiencing rapid growth and a strong economy; it has had and is continuing to have the largest growth of any city in Montana. Parts of the metro area are seeing hyper growth. From 2000 to 2010, Lockwood, an eastern suburb, saw growth of 57.8%, the largest growth rate of any community in Montana. Billings has avoided the economic downturn that affected most of the nation from 2008 to 2012 as well as the housing bust. With more hotel accommodations than any area within a five-state region, the city hosts a variety of conventions, concerts, sporting events, and other rallies. With the Bakken oil development in eastern Montana and western North Dakota, the largest oil discovery in U.S. history, as well as the Heath shale oil discovery just north of Billings, the city's growth rate stayed high during the shale oil boom. Although the city is growing, its growth rate has diminished markedly with oil price declines in recent years.

In July 1806, William Clark (of the Lewis and Clark Expedition) passed through the Billings area. On July 25 he arrived at what is now known as Pompeys Pillar and wrote in his journal "... at 4 P M arrived at a remarkable rock ... this rock I ascended and from its top had a most extensive view in every direction." Clark carved his name and the date into the rock, leaving the only remaining physical evidence of their expedition. He named the place Pompy's Tower, naming it after the son of his Shoshone interpreter and guide Sacajawea.

Links

Moss Mansion

Western Heritage Center

Billings Station