The creek itself was named “Philosopher's River” by Captain William Clark of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. Early settlers later named it simply Willow Creek for the many willow trees along its banks. The community of Willow Creek derives its name from the creek on which it is situated. ..Originally Willow Creek was a pioneer community built around the Methodist Church established by Mr. Stateler. Mr. Stateler served a 200-mile area stretching from here to Virginia City. The community was moved to its present location when the Northern Pacific Railroad came through the valley...The initial 1867 survey point for the state of Montana is located on Old Yellowstone Trail a few miles south of town. A historic marker signifies the spot.
Willow Creek is located in southwestern Montana, south of Three Forks.