Montana History:  Place Names (C-D)




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  Select brief notes about place names throughout the state, with an emphasis on towns.

A-B, C-D, E-G, H-L, M-R, S, T-Z

Photo above on Left:  The community of Landusky is named for
Powell "Pike" Landusky, reputed to be one of the toughest rough-and-tumble fighters of the west, who was killed by Kid Curry in 1894.

Place Names of Towns and Landmarks (C-D)
County location in parenthesis; place names are towns unless indicated otherwise.

The listing below is condensed and edited from a more comprehensive list on the Montana Railroad History site (compiled from several sources, primarily The Montana Almanac 1957 edition, published by Montana State University).

For those interested in more than this cursory listing of place names, consider purchasing a copy of Montana Place Names: From Alzada to Zortman, published by the Montana Historical Society press, or visit the accompanying interactive website. Also see the 1954 article, "Montana Place Name Records," by Lucille Childears.

Cable (Deer Lodge) - named for the Atlantic Cable mine, discovered in 1866
Calvin (Jefferson) - named for Amos Calvin, old time resident
Camas (Sanders) - named for the Indian term for a small onion which grows wild in the state
Canton (Broadwater) - named for Canton, New York, in St Lawrence county, hometown of an early settler
Canyon Creek (Lewis & Clark) - named for canyon creek which flows through the valley to the Missouri
Carbon (Carbon) - county named for the presence of coal deposits in the county
Careless Creek (Wheatland) - creek named by Wilham Berkin in 1865, following a careless incident
Carleton (Missoula) - named for Mrs. Robert Carleton, an early settler in the vicinity
Carter (Carter) - county named for former United States Senator Thomas H. Carter
Cascade (Cascade) - County named because it contains the Great Falls of the Missouri River
Chance (Carbon) -named for Nathan Chance, a stockman & early settler
Charlo (Lake) - named for Charlot, a chief of the Flathead Indians
Chester (Liberty) - county seat; named by a railroad telegrapher after his home town, Chester, Penn.
Chief Mountain (Glacier) - named for John Rowand, chief factor of the Hudson Bay Co., at Fort Edmonton
Chinook (Blaine) - county seat; named for the chinook winds which blow over the area; previously Dawes
Chouteau (Chouteau) - county & town spelled [Chouteau]: for the Chouteau family of the Mo. River Fur Co.
Cinnabar (Park) - named for a mountain exposing a vertical reef formation of an intense red color
Circle (McCone) - town & county seat named after the brand used by an early day outfit
Clancy (Jefferson) - named for Clancy Creek, named for an old timer, known as "Judge" Clancy
Clark Fork - two rivers: Clark Fork of the Columbia and of the Yellowstone, both named for Capt. Wm Clark Clyde Park (Park) - named for either early area-raised Clydesdale horses, or early rancher Clyde DuRand
Cohagen (Garfield) - named for a Mr. Cohagen, a resident of the vicinity
Colstrip (Rosebud) - a composite name, Coal Strip; home of the largest single coal mine in Montana
Columbia Falls (Flathead) - origin of name disputed
Columbus (Stillwater) - city & county seat, named for Christopher Columbus or after Columbus, Minnesota
Comanche (Stillwater) - stream (first) & town; named after a horse that survived the Little Big Horn battle
Comertown (Sheridan) - named for W.W. Comer, a local resident
Conrad (Pondera) - named in honor of Mr. W. G. Conrad, businessman who owned much of the area
Cooke City (Park) - named for Hay Cooke Jr., who was interested in mining claims in the district
Coombs (Stillwater) - named after a family of that name who were farmers living in this vicinity.
Corwin Springs (Park) - station near Yellowstone National Park, named for hotel owner Dr. Corwin
Coulson (Yellowstone) - old town named for the Coulson firm of steamboat builders, near today's Billings
Covallis (Ravalli) - named from & settled by people from Corvallis, Oregon
Craig (Cascade) - named for Mr. Warren Craig, a pioneer resident of the place
Crandall Creek (Carbon) - creek named for of that name who was killed near there by Indians in 1876
Crane (Gallatin) - town later changed name to Cardinal
Crane (Richland) - named after the owner of Crane's ranch at this place, as shown on a map dated 1881
Craver (Stillwater) - named for J.C. Craver, superintendent for Northern Pacific Railroad
Cruse (Lewis & Clark) - named after Thomas Cruse of Helena, banker & discoverer of Drum Lummon mine
Culbertson (Roosevelt) - named in honor of Alexander Culbertson, chief factor of the American Fur Co.
Curry (Dawson) - named after Howard Curry mechanical superintendent of the Northern Pacific Railroad
Cushman (Golden Valley) - named for Mr. Cushman, a local ranch owner, old settler, cowboy & conductor
Custer (Treasure) - named for Lieut. Col. G. A. Custer, afterwards killed by Indians in 1876
Cut Bank (Glacier) - town & river named from deep gorge near the city made by Cut Bank Creek
Cyanide (Lewis & Clark) - named for the cyanide treatment of ore; a large plant operated there
Cyr (Mineral) - station named for A. Cyr & E. Cyr who provided the right of way for Northern Pacific railway
Dalley (Park) - station on Livingston-Gardiner-YNP line of the NP Railroad, after Ebenezer & Samuel Dalley
Daniels (Daniels) - named after Mansfield A. Daniels, a pioneer, rancher & storekeeper
Danmor (Jefferson) - station on the NP Railroad named for Dan Morrison, discover of Lewis & Clark Cavern
Danvers (Fergus) - station on the Milwaukee RR east of Great Falls; named after an old town in Mass.
Darby (Ravalli) - named in honor of the first postmaster, James R. Darby
Darby (Ravalli) - named after James Darby, a pioneer farmer near there
D'Aste (Lake) - station on Dixon to Polson branch line of the NP RR, named for a Jesuit Indian missionary
Dawson (Dawson) - county named for Maj. Andrew Dawson of the American Fur company.
Dawson (Silver Bow) - station west of Butte
De Borgia (Mineral) - town & church named for St. Regis de Borgia River, named by father De Smet in 1841
De Smet (Missoula) - station named after Jesuit Indian missionary father Pierre Jean De Smet
Dearborn (Lewis & Clark) - river named by Lewis & Clark, 1805, in honor of Sec. of State Henry Dearborn
Deer Lodge (Powell) - county seat in Deer Lodge valley, Called by Indians "Lodge of the White-Tailed Deer"
Deer Park (Gallatin) - Indian tradition said that deer came here in large numbers during the winter months
Deever (Park) - station near Gardiner named after Mr. Deevers, owner of a stockyard at this point
Dehart (Sweet Grass) - station west of Big Timber, named after H.A. Dehart of Big Timber, former rancher
Dempsey (Powell) - station named from Dempsey Creek, named from pioneer rancher Robert Dempsey
Denton (Fergus) - named after Dent brothers, stockmen who owned the land on which the town was built
Dewey (Beaverhead) - named for D.S. Dewey, an early-day rancher in the vicinity
Dillon (Beaverhead) - named fro Sidney Dillon, president of the Union Pacific Railroad
Dodson (Phillips) - named for an old-timer, who had a store and saloon prior to the building of the railroad
Donald (Madison) - post office named for Donald A. McIntosh, railroad contractor
Donlan (Sanders) - station named after Ed Donlan, lumberman & state senator from Missoula
Dooley (Sheridan) - named for W.D. Dooley, a local merchant
Doolittle Creek (Beaverhead) - named for an early settler (Anaconda Standard, February 20, 1916)
Dowd (Roosevelt) - named for a man of that name
Dowlin (Rosebud) - station on the Colstrip branch line, named after Charles Dowlin, a state senator
Dracut (Cascade) - station on Great Falls-Agawam line of the Milwaukee RR; Named for Dracut, Mass.
Drummond (Granite) - named after a trapper who in the territory; formerly known as Drummond Camp
Duffy (Lewis & Clark) - named for John Duffy, an old-time settler in the vicinity
Dupuyer (Teton) - named from Dupuyer Creek, named after French "depouilles" ("back fat of a buffalo")
Durant (Silver Bow) - station named by Anaconda employee M.S. Dean, in honor of a friend named Durant
Dwyer (Roosevelt) - named in honor for Jack Dwyer, a resident of the vicinity


Montana History Net is produced by Bruce Gourley.  Photographs, except Clark signature, copyright Bruce Gourley.