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Sidney is a city in and the county seat of Richland Countymarker, Montanamarker, United Statesmarker, less than 10 mi (15.5 km) away from the North Dakotamarker border. The population was 4,774 at the 2000 census. The city lies along the Yellowstone River and is in proximity to the badlands of the Dakotasmarker. Sidney is approximately midway between Glendivemarker and Williston, North Dakotamarker.


Settlers began arriving in the area in the 1870s, and a post office was established in 1888. Six year old Sidney Walters and his parents were staying with Hiram Otis, the local justice of the peace, and Otis decided that Sidney was a good name for the town. The following year, Montanamarker became a state and Sidney was incorporated in 1911. [18800]

Sidney was originally part of Dawson Countymarker, but became the county seat of Richland County at its inception in 1914.

Agriculture became an important part of the region after the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project was completed in 1909. A dam was built on the river south of Glendivemarker, which diverted water from the river into a 115.2 km (72 mi) main canal, which runs north-south, parallel to the Yellowstone, irrigating land from Glendive north up to Fairviewmarker, where it dumps into the Missouri Rivermarker. This project irrigates and serves water to 450 farms, according to the manager of the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Districts.

The area experienced an oil boom and bust in the late 1970s and early 1980s, bringing an influx of people to the town for a short period of time. At the turn of the century, the town started experiencing another surge in oil exploration activity.


Sidney relies heavily on farming, ranching, and oil production for economic stability. The surrounding countryside is populated with many farms and cattle ranches, plus oil exploration activity. The area's main cash crop are sugar beets, and Sidney is home to a sugar beet factory, built in 1925. The factory is the largest employer in the city, next to the Sidney Health Center and Sidney Public Schools. The town is served by Sidney-Richland Municipal Airportmarker, one mile (1.6 km) west of the central business district.

The city has two community newspapers, The Sidney Herald and The Roundup.


Sidney has three public schools; one K-5 elementary school, a 6-8 junior high school, and a 9-12 senior high school. There are no institutions of higher education located within the city, however, Dawson Community College has a Sidney campus, and Williston State Collegemarker in North Dakotamarker is within commuting distance. MSU-Billings offers courses through telecommunication, and Sidney High School has a variety of adult education classes each year.


Sidney is located in the northeastern part of the state at (47.712519, -104.161486), at an altitude of 1,949 feet (594 m).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.8 km²), all of it land.

Sidney is 270 miles (430 km) northeast of Billingsmarker, and 190 miles (300 km) south of Reginamarker, Saskatchewanmarker.


As of the census of 2000, there were 4,774 people, 2,006 households, and 1,271 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,125.3 people per square mile (819.2/km²). There were 2,393 housing units at an average density of 1,065.3/sq mi (410.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.81% White, 0.10% African American, 1.89% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 1.01% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.43% of the population.

There were 2,006 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.6% were non-families. 33.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.7% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 18.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,109, and the median income for a family was $38,992. Males had a median income of $30,347 versus $18,517 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,911. About 8.5% of families and 12.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.1% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.


Notable residents


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