Gildford was named for the Guildford of Surrey, England. The first post office was established in 1903 with Bessie Schwartz as postmaster. The office and settlement were actually in Dayton, later located at Sage Creek Crossing, which is a mile west of the present-day site. Sage Creek Crossing was a wintering settlement for the trappers where there was food and feed and water for their horses. In the spring, the trappers loaded their furs on rafts and floated them to Fort Benton. During the hard days of poor crops and low grain prices, G. Fred Mundy built a flour mill. The mill has become Gildford's primary landmark.
Gildford is located in north-central Montana, between Shelby and Havre on U.S. Highway 2.