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Two years before Montana was granted statehood, T.E. Collins proposed the creation of Cascade County. Collins, a representative at the first legislative assembly held in Virginia City, proposed a bill to the Territorial Congress which would designate a new territorial county. The year was 1887 and Montana was still a territory that President Abraham Lincoln had approved of creating in 1864. Collins’ bill proposed taking land from Lewis and Clark, Meagher, and Chouteau counties in order to create this new territorial county. The bill was approved, after many debates, and Cascade County was created. Two years later, in 1889, Montana was granted statehood.

One could argue that the planning done by Collins and others, in order to create Cascade County, loosely created the first Cascade County Planning Department. Officially, Cascade County Commissioners created the Cascade County Planning Board on November 19, 1973. The first meeting of the Cascade County Planning Board was held on January 22, 1974.

Cascade County population (2000 Census) 80,357
Cascade County Population (2003 Estimated) 79,561
Land Area (square miles) 2,698
Persons per square mile (2000 Consensus) 29.8
County Seat Great Falls

Highest Point in Elevation:
(Long Mountain, east of Neihart)
8,621 ft.
Lowest Point in Elevation:
(point at which Missouri River leaves Cascade County)
2,740 ft.

Historical Population of Cascade County

YEAR 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2003 2010
POP. 25,777 28,833 38,836 41,146 41,999 53,027 73,418 81,804 80,696 77,691 80,757 79,561 81,327

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