Missoula County

US States / M / Montana / Missoula County

Missoula County is named for the Flathead Native American word “im-i-sul-e-etiku”, meaning “by or near the place of fear or ambush”, a reference to Hell Gate Canyon in which Flathead Native Americans were sometimes attacked by the Blackfeet.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Sanders CountyLake County and Flathead County

E – Powell County

S – Granite CountyRavalli County and Idaho County, Idaho

W – Clearwater County, Idaho and Mineral County


Created:   December 14, 1860               Map of Montana highlighting Missoula County

County Seat: 

Hell’s Gate   1863 – 1866

Missoula      1866 – present


County Courthouse –  Missoula 


Location:  200 West Broadway Street / North Higgins Avenue

Built:  1908 – 1910

Style:  Neo-Classical

Architect:  A J Gibson

Contractor:  W M Oliver


Description:  The building faces south and is a three story gray colored sandstone block and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Missoula. The building has a raised basement. The south front has two double columns rising from the second story to a pediment at the roof line. Wide stairs ascend to the entrance which has a large arched window above. The cornice projects from the roof line around the building. In the building center is an integral iron-clad dome with clock and small cupola at the top. Within the dome is a two ton bell. In the interior there is a rotunda under the ornately decorated dome. The plaster columns supporting the rotunda are Doric on the basement level and Ionic on the main second story and Corinthian on the third story. The large County District Court courtroom is located on the third story. There are eight murals by Edgar Samuel Paxon. The building houses the County District Court of the 4th Judicial District and County Justice Court. The building was renovated in 2016. The architect was A & E Architects of Missoula and the contractor was Jackson Contractors Group of Missoula.
See:  National Register of Historic Places – Missoula County Courthouse


County Courthouse Annex –  Missoula 




Location:  199 West Pine Street / North Higgins Avenue

Built:  1965 – 1966

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Witwer and Price

Contractor:  Pew Construction Company


Description:  The building faces north and is a four story concrete and glass structure. The building is located in the center of Missoula and is connected on the south side to the courthouse. The roof line is flat.


See:  The 4th Judicial District includes Mineral County and Missoula County.


History:  The county was created in 1860 and became part of the Idaho Territory in 1863 and of the Montana Territory in 1864. The first county seat in 1863 was Hell’s Gate. The county seat was moved to Missoula in 1866. The county rented office premises and the first courthouse was built in 1870. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1908 to 1910.




County Courthouse – Missoula




























County District Court courtroom






















County Courthouse Annex – Missoula







Photos taken 2009 and 2016