Miles City, Montana takes its name from General Nelson A. Miles, who was the commander of Fort Keogh. During the late 1800s, Fort Keogh grew from a modest collection of tents and makeshift cabins into a small settlement. Residents initially referred to their isolated western home as Milestown. Later, it was dubbed Miles City.
Miles City prospered and expanded as a cattle town, especially after the introduction of the railroads. Cattle were shipped to Miles City and fattened up on the endless sea of "free" grasses. The beef-laden herds were then shipped by railroad to the blossoming Chicago slaughter houses. Miles City experienced enviable growth until the 1920s, when the town of Billings started to refine oil – an industry which would lead the city to become the largest in the state.
According to the 2000 US Census, the area of Miles City is 3.3 square miles. Land accounts for all 3.3 square miles as there are no appreciable bodies of water within its limits. The elevation of Miles City is 2,369 feet above sea level. The population is 8,487 people, which creates a population density of 2,593.3 people per square mile. Miles City is in the Mountain Time Zone (MST), and in summer observes Daylight Savings Time: DST.