Aviva Directory » Local & Global » North America » United States » States » Montana » Cities & Towns » Miles City

Miles City is the seat of government for Custer County, Montana. In 1876, following the Battle of the Little Bighorn, the United States Army built forts in eastern Montana, including one at the confluence of the Tongue River and the Yellowstone River, known as the Tongue River Cantonment or the Tongue River Barracks. Later, a second fort was built two miles to the west of the mouth of the Tongue River, which became known as Fort Keogh, named for Captain Myles Keogh, whose horse, Comanche, was the sole survivor of Custer’s command. General Nelson Miles, commander of Fort Keogh, evicted merchants who sold liquor in the spring of 1877, and they moved two miles east of the Tongue River Cantonment, founding the first Miles City, named for the commander who evicted them from the fort. Actually, residents referred to the settlement as Milestown, but the post office changed it to Miles City. When the cantonment moved two miles west, the town picked up and moved with it, to the current town site. Miles City grew rapidly until the 1920s and 1930s, but was overshadowed by the upriver town of Billings. Elmer Holt, the 10th governor of Montana, moved to Miles City with his family as a child. Miles City is northeast of Sheffield, and southwest of Tusler and Kinsey.


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