Malta was named after the Mediterranean island of Malta by an official of the Great Northern Railroad who by the spin of a globe determined the name. A post office was opened in 1890 and when Phillips County was created, Malta was named the county seat.
Before 1915, Phillips County was part of Blaine County and before 1912 both were part of Chouteau County. It was named in honor of rancher and state Senator Benjamin D. Phillips.
A lot of Phillips County and the area is much the way that Lewis and Clark found it in 1805. You’ll also still find cowboys riding the range here plus picturesque places with colorful names like Carson Coulee, Ruby Gulch, Telegraph Creek, Cree Crossing and more. Even many area ranches still carry the names of their brands. The infamous Kid Curry (a member of the famous Wild Bunch) lived, worked and hid out in Phillips County. His old family homestead is still here and one of his numerous hideouts can be visited.
Malta’s climate is mild during summer when temperatures tend to be in the 60s, and cold during the winter when temperatures drop down into 10s and beyond. The warmest month of the year is July with an average maximum temperature of 84.6 degrees. The coldest is January with an average minimum temperature of -2.1 degrees. Temperature variations between night and day tend to be relatively big during summer with a difference that can reach 32 degrees, and moderate during winter with an average difference of 25 degrees. The annual average precipitation is 12.88 inches. Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year. The wettest month is usually June with an average rainfall of 2.57 inches.
The Phillips County Museum traces Malta's history from its start through the days of sodbusters and cowmen, to its present important position as a hub city. It also features real life dinosaur displays. Other area attractions include the Milk River Wagon Train, 2 nearby Hutterite colonies, a large variety of area special events, the Judith River Dinosaur Institute and the Dinosaur Field Station, a working paleontological laboratory that is home to "Leonardo the Mummy" dinosaur, a 77-million-year-old Brachylophosaurus unearthed north of Malta. Also of note is the Montana Dinosaur Festival, which is held during the third week of June each year in Malta.
Public schools in Malta include Malta K-6, Malta 7-8, Tallow Creek School and Malta High School. Nearby colleges and universities include Montana State University-Billings, Montana State University-Bozeman, Black Hills State University, Casper College, Ricks College, the University of Montana-Missoula and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
Hospitals and medical centers in and near Malta include Phillips County Medical Center, PHS IHS Hospital, Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital and Garfield County Health Center.
The Milk River flows through Malta on its way to join the Missouri River farther east. At that point is Fort Peck Lake, a sprawling body of water with 1,520 miles of shoreline and lots of year-round recreation opportunities. Among the many streams that flow through the county are the Beaver, Whitewater and Frenchman. Great fishing and recreation areas formed by the streams include Lake Bowdoin, Nelson Reservoir and Frenchman Reservoir. Famous for our wide-open spaces and diversity in landscape, we offer a variety of wildlife and cultural history. We are hosts to the C.M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, which offer opportunities for deer, antelope, elk and upland game birds viewing and hunting. The Little Rocky Mountains are rich in mining history and offer a diverse mountain experience. Fishermen find Nelson Reservoir, the 2 rivers and local ponds a haven for walleye, historic paddlefish, trout and many more varieties.
Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge is only 5 minutes away. It is a 15,500-acre wetland habitat on the central flyway. Over 200 varieties of birds (including large numbers of ducks, geese and pelicans) visit the refuge, along with deer, pronghorn antelope and other wildlife. Hunting and fishing are natural pastimes to most area residents, along with riding, hiking, snowmobiling and other enjoyable pursuits. Fishermen find walleye, northern pike, trout, and even prehistoric paddlefish.
Our United Country office serves a big part of this beautiful land. We’ll give you a big "welcome" and all the courteous, professional service you would expect in your quest for that home, business, farm or other property.