Our Story: Highlights of the Life and Times of Froid
Before Lewis and Clark, semi-nomadic Indian tribes roam the high plains hunting buffalo, deer, and elk. Stone teepee rings dot nearby hills and a famed buffalo jump is east of town.
1805 Lewis and Clark camp near the mouth of the Big Muddy River, south of Froid. There Captain Lewis kills his first grizzly after the wounded bear chases him 80 yards.
1862 The first wagon train crosses the Big Muddy headed for Montana’s western gold fields.
1871 Ft. Peck Indian Agency is established to serve Assiniboine and Sioux Indians tribes. Today the Ft. Peck reservation encompasses two million acres.
1900 With the completion of the railroad homesteaders arrive, lured by the promise of fertile, plentiful land. The railroad gives ranchers a way to get cattle to market quickly.
1910 Froid is incorporated as a town. On July 4 the townspeople hold their first town celebration.
1915 The Louck residence is successfully wired for electricity by the pastor of the Congregational Church. The lights are turned on in Froid.
1928 Froid’s Biggest Day On July 27 a crowd of 20,000 turns out to see the Ford National Air Tour. Froid is one of the 30 stops. In the book The Ford Air Tours:1925-1931, Froid gets noticed: “Phoebe Omlie was first to take off as befitted the first lady pilot in any air tour, and her Monocoupe went pop-pop-popping bravely away into the cloudy sky, toward Indianapolis…and a cowtown somewhere out in Montana with the unlikely name of Froid.”
1930s Depression, drought, and the “dirty '30s” duststorms besiege the country. Farms and ranches fall into bankruptcy and many are abandoned. Survivors rebuild Froid into a vibrant town. The old Froid Opera House becomes the Liberty Theater featuring traveling theatrical shows and dance bands. Shops, businesses, eateries, and a library line the downtown streets.
1940s Highway 16 is completed replacing the Old Stage Coach Road to Plentywood.
1950s Population peaks and Froid enjoys a period of unprecedented prosperity.
1960-80 Politics, weather, global competition, and economic swings bring alternating feast and famine. Weary of the ups and downs, many seek their fortunes elsewhere and population dips.
1980s Oil is discovered beneath the wheatfields. Froid’s population stabilizes at several hundred as births and newcomers offset losses. Many former Froid residents return seeking a quieter and more fulfilling life among friends. Froid Water Tower is erected.
2007 Montana’s Gov. Schweitzer speaks at Froid High School graduation where Roxie Britton is the only member of the senior class. It draws the attention of national media, and Roxie appears on The Ellen DeGeneres television show which shows a video of Froid folks.
2008 A new Froid Community Center and Firehall is built, and the town Christmas Party is the first celebration at the new 7,200 sq. ft. building.