Small Town Stories: Town of Circle, MT

The City of Circle

The City of Circle

We love to “circle” the 24 states where Black Mountain Software has customers, in search of Small Town Stories, and our latest stop is the Town of Circle, Montana!

Recently, the Town of Circle happened to become Black Mountain Software’s 300th Montana customer. We decided to celebrate this milestone by delivering a $300 check to the Circle Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture to use toward their annual Town & Country Day expenses. Emily Guldborg, Treasurer for the Chamber and Manager of the McCone County Credit Union, responded that they “greatly appreciated” the extra monies for their event, which celebrates the region’s rich agriculture and ranching industries (the area’s main economic driving force).

Town and Country Parade in Circle, MT

Town and Country Parade in Circle, MT

Town and Country Day is an annual fall event, and this year’s event fell on September 20th. Town and Country Day is a homage to Circle’s agricultural past, which began in 1884 with the establishment of the Mabry Cattle Company, where Circle inherited its name. Back then, it was more common for a ranch to be known for its brand (rather than for its name or the cattle owner’s name) and the brand for this Cattle Company and ranch was a circle. So, in 1905 when Peter Rorvick established a post office and general store on the ranch, he named the post office accordingly: Circle. In 1919, McCone County was formed and the Town of Circle won an official county seat.

Ranching, agriculture, and wildlife are still a major part of life in and around Circle. Located in the Northeastern part of Montana between the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers, Circle offers endless outdoor activities thanks to the large variety of wildlife that abound in the area: mule deer, white tail deer, antelope, prairie dogs, coyotes, grouse, pheasants and eagles.

Fishing and ice fishing holes, prairie wildlife, and snowmobile and cross-country ski trails make Circle and the surrounding McCone County, the perfect spot for various rodeos and tournaments; but the area also boasts of some more unusual activities like dinosaur digs, dog trails, and fishing for the prehistoric paddle fish!

Town and Country Days in Circle, MT

Town and Country Days in Circle, MT

We discovered paddle fish were not the only prehistoric thing to be found in Circle. Until recently EVERYTHING from utility billing, to accounting, to payroll was done manually on Excel spreadsheets by the staff of Circle! Town Clerk Kelsey Kasten emailed BMS in July 2014 asking for an immediate install of software, saying, “The system I have now is really bad and not even working right, so I was hoping to get started right away on this new [Black Mountain Software] system.”

Trying to bump Circle up in the installation schedule, we let Kelsey know that the first step is to work with her IT to make sure their hardware and network are set up properly to run our software; then we can move on and ensure the installation, any necessary data conversions, and training are accurate and complete. Because of Circle’s situation, we managed to jump right on this one, and Kelsey was using BMS fund accounting, payroll, and utility billing software by August. She is one determined Eastern MT cowgirl!

Welcome aboard, Circle! It’s been a pleasure getting to know your small town and we thank you for being our 300th Montana client.

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