The earliest Irish immigrants who settled here called the town "One Horse" for the little creek that runs through it. It was later named for the wife of A.B. Hammond, a prominent resident of Missoula. Hammond was instrumental in developing the area for timber production. He brought the railroad to the area to transport the lumber and built a sawmill to process it. 

Florence grew up at the center of a prime wheat producing area also. At one time, history records as many as 100 carloads of wheat per day were shipped out of the area.

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