Daniels County is located in the northeastern region of Montana close to the Canadian border. It was established in 1920 from sections of the neighboring Sheridan and Valley counties, and the region is predominantly rolling plains with the Poplar River flowing through it.
Incorporated towns in the county are Scobey and Flaxville, and there are a number of much smaller, unincorporated towns in the region. Scobey is the largest, and is also the county seat, situated just 14 miles south of the Canadian Border.
Settlers in Daniels County first started moving into the region around the turn of the century, as was the case with many other Montana towns, and one of the first settlements was formed along the Poplar River under the influence of one Mansfield Daniels, who the county was named after.
In 1913, the line of the Great Northern Railroad was said to be coming from the neighboring Plentywood, with its final destination being 1.5 miles from the existing settlement. So the town upped and moved in preparation for the railroad’s arrival to the area now known as Scobey, incidentally named after Daniels’ friend Major Charles Scobey.
The homesteaders turned the majority of the area into fields, and to this day agriculture and ranching are still the most prominent industries. Like many of the early Montana towns Scobey has a touch of history by way of various outlaws who passed along the infamous Outlaw Trail that crossed into Canada.
One building that bears testament to those times is the current Daniels County Courthouse, which was formerly a hotel and brothel known as One-Eyed Molly’s. This historic building is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
The county is 2,400 feet above sea level and offers year-round activities both indoors and out by way of the summer festival Pioneer Days and the Daniels County Fair, as well as snowmobile races in the winter.
The area is also one of the best hunting and fishing regions there is and attracts outdoor sportsmen from near and far. The big game hunters come in search of deer, antelope, pheasants, and grouse, and there are some great fishing opportunities around the county’s rivers and reservoirs.
Visit the Daniels County Government website.
Special Events in Daniels County
- June – Pioneer Days
- July – Daniels County Fair
Main Attractions in Daniels County
Daniels County Museum & Pioneer Town
Located slightly to the west of Scobey on 20 acres of land, the Daniels County Museum and Pioneer Town comprises of thirty-five historic buildings. The buildings have been restored to represent a town from the early 1900s, and the museum contains antique cars, tractors and machinery. The museum’s main function is to exhibit and preserve Daniels County’s history in all its various aspects.
The Daniels County Museum & Pioneer Town is known for its ‘Dirty Shame Show’ an annual event held during Pioneer Days on the last weekend of June. This is a variety show that features mainly local talent, and both the show and the museum rely heavily on volunteer efforts and contributions.
Whitetail Reservoir is a popular site in Daniels County for fishing and various other activities. It is located 7 miles north of Flaxville and 14 miles from Scobey. This is a day-use-only site where small fishing boats can be launched from ramps around the 21-acre lake.
Anglers come from far and wide looking to catch a variety of fish such as Northern Pike, Rainbow Trout, Walleye, and Yellow Perch. The lake is suitable for various types of fishing like spinning or fly fishing, and the well-stocked lake offers a fair chance of getting a bite or two.