Florence was named for the wife of A. B. Hammond, Florence Abbott Hammond. They were prominent residents of Missoula. The first post office was established in 1888 with Gilbert Strout as postmaster. The area was settled by Irish immigrants in 1889 and later, German settlers joined them. The first schoolhouse was built in 1889 and was made of hand-hewn logs. The church was also built that same year. In earlier days Florence had a general store, railroad station, greenhouse, a saloon, a blacksmith shop, and a cheese factory. During harvest season, as many as 100 carloads of wheat a day were shipped out.
Florence is located in southwestern Montana, south of Missoula on U.S. Highway 93.