The town of Circle inherited its name from the brand of the Mabry Cattle Corporation who came in here in 1884. It was common at that time for a ranch to be known by its brand rather than the company or major owner’s name. In 1905 Peter Rorvik started a store and post office in the old ranch house and naturally named the Post Office “Circle”. The little town catered to ranchers and farmers, which is the most important part of its economy. When McCone County was formed in 1919, Circle won the bid for the county seat, which is an important factor in its growth. The Northern Pacific railroad came in 1928 and was later abandoned in the 1990s. Its coming caused a celebration; the biggest Circle has ever had, with 10,000 in attendance. The 2000 census was 644 with the highest census of 1117 in 1960 due to the oil boom. In 1966, Circle High School had 60 graduates and 2009 had a graduating class of 17.
Circle businesses and services today include a bank, credit union, weekly newspaper (The Circle Banner founded in 1914), grocery store and banquet room, hardware and parts stores, theatre, bakery, lumber yard, veterinary clinic, fertilizer and anhydrous application, bowling alley, State Liquor store, farm machinery dealer, car dealer, airport, local Department of Agriculture offices (USDA FSA and NRCS) as well as numerous restaurants, beauty shops and salons, auto repair shops, gas stations, insurance agencies, gift shops, and 6 churches (First Lutheran, Salem Lutheran, Catholic, Assembly of God, Evangelical, Southern Baptist). The town is also host to three member owned cooperatives: Farmers Elevator; a Division of Cenex Harvest States, McCone Electric Co-op serving over 14000 square miles of Eastern MT, and Mid-Rivers Communications for telephone, wireless, internet and cable TV service. The McCone County Health Center and McCone Clinic provide medical care to a large area with 24/7 Emergency Room care and a Physician Assistant on staff. Circle and McCone County share volunteer ambulance and fire department services. There are an active Senior Citizen and Community Center as well as the George McCone Memorial Library (with internet service available) and the McCone County Museum for residents and guests enjoyment alike.
Community activities include clubs, church functions, school events, business dinners, the annual Town & Country Day celebration in September and the County Fair in August. The area has excellent musicians, artists and craftsmen who share their talents with the community.