Missoula County lost its west wing when Mineral County was formally created.
Residents dissatisfied with the responsiveness of government in faraway Missoula, especially after the disastrous fires of 1910, agitated for their own government. Superior, a booming mining town in the 1860s and '70s, was proclaimed seat of the sprawling 1,233-square-mile county.
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Orville Willett, a leader in the movement, suggested its name in recognition of its plentiful underground resources.
Missoula County, which once encompassed everything in Montana west of the Continental Divide, would lose one more chunk when Lake County was formed in 1923.