Hilger was named for an early settler in the area, David J. Hilger. Hilger was a very prominent citizen and was the secretary of the Montana Historical Society in Helena. The first post office was established in 1911 with Jesse Wicks as postmaster. The town was formerly called Kendal, after a nearby mining camp.
Hilger is located in central Montana, northeast of Lewistown on U.S. Highway 191.