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Missoula (listen) is a city in the U.S. state of Montana; it is the county seat of Missoula County. It is located along the Clark Fork River near its confluence with the Bitterroot and Blackfoot Rivers in western Montana and at the convergence of five mountain ranges, thus it is often described as the "hub of five valleys". In 2019, the United States Census Bureau estimated the city's population at 75,516 and the population of the Missoula Metropolitan Area at 118,791. After Billings, Missoula is the second-largest city and metropolitan area in Montana. Missoula is home to the University of Montana, a public research university. The Missoula area was first settled in 1858 by William T. Hamilton with a trading post near current Missoula along the Rattlesnake Creek, by Captain Richard Grant, who settled near Grant Creek, and by David Pattee, who settled near Pattee Canyon. Missoula was founded in 1860 as Hellgate Trading Post while still part of Washington Territory. By 1866, the settlement had moved east, 5 miles (8 km) upstream, and had been renamed Missoula Mills, later shortened to Missoula. The mills provided supplies to western settlers traveling along the Mullan Road. The establishment of Fort Missoula in 1877 to protect settlers further stabilized the economy. The arrival of the Northern Pacific Railway in 1883 brought rapid growth and the maturation of the local lumber industry. In 1893, the Montana Legislature chose Missoula as the site for the state's first university. Along with the U.S. Forest Service headquarters founded in 1908, lumber and the university remained the basis of the local economy for the next 100 years.By the 1990s, Missoula's lumber industry had gradually disappeared, and as of 2009, the city's largest employers were the University of Montana, Missoula County Public Schools, and Missoula's two hospitals. The city is governed by a mayor–council government with 12 city council members, two from each of the six wards. In and around Missoula are 400 acres (160 ha) of parkland, 22 miles (35 km) of trails, and nearly 5,000 acres (2,000 ha) of open-space conservation land, with adjacent Mount Jumbo being home to grazing elk and mule deer during the winter. The city is also home to both of Montana's largest and its oldest active breweries, as well as the Montana Grizzlies, one of the strongest college football programs in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Notable residents include the first woman to serve in the U.S. Congress, Jeannette Rankin.
Philipsburg is a town in and the county seat of Granite County, Montana, United States. The population was 820 at the 2010 census. The town was named after the famous mining engineer Philip Deidesheimer, who designed and supervised the construction of the ore smelter around which the town originally formed. He platted the townsite in 1867.
Anaconda, county seat of Deer Lodge County, which has a consolidated city-county government, is located in southwestern Montana, United States. Located at the foot of the Anaconda Range (known locally as the "Pintlers"), the Continental Divide passes within 8 mi (13 km) south of the community. As of the 2010 census the population of the consolidated city-county was 9,298, with a per capita personal income of $20,462 and a median household income of $34,716. It had earlier peaks of population in 1930 and 1980, based on the mining industry. As a consolidated city-county area, it ranks as the ninth most populous city in Montana, but as only a city is far smaller. Central Anaconda is 5,335 ft (1,626 m) above sea level, and is surrounded by the communities of Opportunity and West Valley. The county area is 741 square miles (1,920 km2), characterized by densely timbered forestlands, lakes, mountains and recreation grounds. The county has common borders with Beaverhead, Butte-Silver Bow, Granite, Jefferson and Powell counties.
Kalispell () is a city in, and the county seat of, Flathead County, Montana, United States. The 2010 Census put Kalispell's population at 19,927. It is the largest city and commercial center of northwest Montana. The name Kalispell is a Salish word meaning "flat land above the lake".