Author: Dennis Partridge

Gallatin County Montana Genealogy and History

Welcome to Gallatin County Montana, part of the American History and Genealogy Project. It is our desire to provide you with the best information possible when searching for your Gallatin County genealogy. we are Judy White and Dennis Partridge and we are your MT AHGP host for Gallatin County, Montana. We do not live in Gallatin county and cannot assist with local searches. We suggest you try the Gallatin County MT Genealogical Society, Thanks! Gallatin County, Montana, derives its name from the Gallatin River, one of the forks of the Missouri River that rises in Yellowstone Park, the three...

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Railroads and Electricity

The Northern Pacific Railroad, the first to reach this part of the northwest, arrived in Bozeman, March 21, 1883, and the arrival was celebrated as an important event in the history of the city. In the parade from the court house to the depot during the afternoon of that day, C. P. Blakely was grand marshal, and his aides were followed by Company D, second cavalry from Fort Ellis; saluting party with gun; Bozeman Board of Trade represented by Walter Cooper, president; J. V. Bogert, secretary; Peter Koch, treasurer; C. W. Hoffman, J. Ellis and J. S. Mendenhall; survivors of the Yellowstone expedition of 1874 with the Big Horn gun band; invited guests; H. N. Maguire, orator of the day; delegation of oldest citizens; societies in regalia and other citizens of the county and of the territory. Among the distinguished citizens of the United States on the train which later passed through Bozeman for the driving of the golden spike at Gold Creek, marking the completion of the Northern Pacific Railroad across Montana, September 23, 1883, was General Northern Pacific train on way to Bozeman, after coming out of Rocky Canyon, west end of the Bozeman Pass. U. S. Grant, former president of the United States, and Henry Villard, then president of the road. Bozeman citizens greeted them at the depot, and some of the local citizens went on...

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Public Enterprises

Gallatin Canyon Road It was about 1898 that the first wagon road was built up the Gallatin River as far as Taylor’s Fork, the intention being to connect with a National Park wagon road at Swan Lake Basin. James M. Moore, a pioneer who celebrated his eighty-fifth birthday anniversary in November 1932, says that in 1910 and 1911, he and a nephew, William Moore, blazed the trail from Taylor’s Fork to West Yellowstone, building 53 bridges and culverts. In 1932, there is a fine surfaced highway from Bozeman to West Yellowstone, and this gateway to Yellowstone Park is said to have the finest scenery to be found on any park entrance. Bozeman Sanitarium The Bozeman Sanitarium, established in 1894 by Dr. H. W. Foster, was the first hospital established in Gallatin County. It was taken over by Dr. J. F. Blair after the death of Dr. Foster, and was later leased by Deaconesses of the Methodist Episcopal Church, then purchased with the aid of local subscriptions. The original hospital was transformed into a nurse’s home and rooms for the training school when the new and larger Deaconess Hospital was built. There are now some smaller hospitals in other parts of Gallatin County. Lumber Business George W. Flanders was among the first to start the lumber business in Middle Creek Canyon, and J. J. Tomlinson and Z. Sales on West...

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Pioneer Churches

The first church service held in Gallatin County was by W. W. Alderson, a pioneer farmer, who had been licensed to preach in Illinois, and whose license was also issued in Montana. This service was at the cabin of Merritt W. Penwell and Oscar Penwell on East Gallatin, about 12 miles north of Bozeman on Sunday, June 4, 1865. Services were conducted again at the Penwell Ranch and in Bozeman by Mr. Alderson, who organized the first Sunday school at the log house known as the Masonic Building, in July 1866. First Methodist Episcopal Church of Bozeman, built in...

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Montana Made a Territory

When Montana was made a Territory, May 26, 1864, the pioneers began to plan for a legislative session, in accordance with the act creating the territory. Sidney Edgerton was the first governor of Montana, being appointed by President Lincoln while he was on the way home from Washington, D. C., where he was one of a group securing the consent of the president, and assisting in arranging the details necessary to make Montana a territory. Members of a territorial legislature were chosen and convened at the town of Bannack, Montana Territory, December 12, 1864. An act was approved by this legislative assembly on February 2, 1865, creating the counties of Beaverhead, Big Horn, Chouteau, Deer Lodge, Gallatin, Jefferson, Edgerton (later becoming Lewis and Clark), Madison and Missoula. All but Big Horn were authorized to perfect their organizations, but Big Horn was attached to Gallatin County for judicial and legislative purposes, as there were few white men in the county. At that time, Big Horn County, which included that entire portion of the territory not included in the boundaries named for the other eight counties, contained practically 56,284 square miles. This, with Gallatin’s official quota made an area of nearly 80,000 square miles, more than half the territory within the limits of Montana. For many years, Gallatin carried this burden until Big Horn County passed out of existence and other...

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Organizations of Gallatin County

There are numerous fraternal organizations in the county. The oldest, so far as known, having continued existence, is Gallatin Lodge No. 6, A. F. and A. M., organized October 4, 1866, with J. L. Noble worshipful master. Bozeman Lodge No. 18, A. F. and A. M., was organized March 5, 1872, with W. H. Bailey, worshipful master. Western Star Lodge No. 4, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organized April 26, 1872. W. L. Blackwood was the first Noble Grand. Pythagoras Lodge No. 2, Knights of Pythias was chartered November 29, 1879. Lily of the Valley chapter of the Order of Eastern Star, No. 4, was started April 1, 1890, with Mrs. Mary Lancaster, worthy matron, and Dr. C. E. Lancaster, worthy patron. Gallatin Masonic Lodge No. 6 and the Odd Fellows Lodge have erected their own lodge buildings. Bozeman Lodge No. 463, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, among the later orders, also erected its own building. Fraternal Order of Eagles, a later organization, has purchased a building. Many other fraternal orders exist in 1932. Several fraternal orders have established chapters in other parts of Gallatin County. Other Organizations A number of organizations were formed in early days, among these, the Young Men’s Association, for social intercourse and to plan for a city library. The association did not last long. A Gallatin County Teachers’ Association was formed in...

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John Bozeman

John M. Bozeman and Thomas Cover left Bozeman April 17, on horseback, a packhorse carrying bedding and provisions, for Fort C. F. Smith, to see about an order for flour, for the Cover and McAdow Mill in Bozeman. They spent the night at the Story and McKenzie Ranch where Livingston is located. While camped on Mission Creek for lunch the next day, with their horses picketed, four Blackfeet Indians, supposed to be friendly, visited the camp, shot and killed John M. Bozeman, slightly injured Tom Cover, and stole the horses and most of the supplies. Cover wrapped Bozeman in...

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High Schools and College

Gallatin County High School The Gallatin County High School was organized in 1898, absorbing the Bozeman High School, and including pupils from all parts of the county. It was held first in what was known as the old Academy building on ground where the Holy Rosary Catholic Church stands. The first Gallatin County High School building of ten rooms was erected in 1901 and 1902, and an addition with a remodeling of the old building was erected in 1914. G. B. Swan was the first principal of the county high school. The Bozeman Academy The Bozeman Academy was opened in October 1872, by the Rev. L. B. Crittenden and his daughter Mary Gertrude, in the Good Templars’ Hall, where the Episcopal Church now stands. Later, the Academy occupied a building on West Main Street, continuing only a few years. Gallatin Female Seminary Miss Gertrude Crittenden started the Gallatin Valley Female Seminary in Bozeman in 1873, at a private residence. Later, it was transferred to Hamilton where it was conducted for a few years. Holy Rosary School The Holy Rosary School, under the supervision of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church of Bozeman, was started in 1919, and has pupils in all grades and high school, as well as a musical course. The school has a group of specially prepared Sisters as teachers. Schools in County There are district high schools,...

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Healthful Hot Springs

Hot springs that have proved beneficial for health and recreation have been discovered in what was formerly Gallatin County. Hunter’s Hot Springs, now in Park County, were discovered by Dr. A. J. Hunter, an early Montana pioneer, in 1864, while he and his family were traveling overland from Missouri on the way to Alder Gulch. Later, he secured a patent to the land, developed the springs, treated hundreds of patients and finally sold the property and spent the rest of his days in Bozeman. Chico Hot Springs, now in Park County, have been visited by many for health and recreation. Bozeman Hot Springs, about seven miles southwest of Bozeman, were first known as Matthews’ Hot Springs, when Jerry Matthews, with an outdoor pool and bathhouses, helped people to secure health and recreation there. E. M. Ferris made important improvements to the plant and it was a popular resort for several years then the property lay idle for a few years, until Sam Collett secured the property and he and his son Gerald erected a large bathhouse and pool that were destroyed by fire. They built a larger pool and bathhouse, with private baths for the sick, and with the large recreation hall and the immense grove and picnic grounds provided a healthful and popular resort, especially during the summer months. Many Gallatin Valley families have summer homes in Gallatin...

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Gallatin Courthouse

The Gallatin County Courthouse was built in 1880 at a cost of $25,000, the lots on Main Street near the corner of what is now Third Avenue, being donated to the county. A separate building was erected a few years later for the office of the clerk and recorder. This was later torn down and an addition was built to the main building. See County Organization, names of first officials. Bozeman Opera House and City Hall The first opera house in the county, combined with a city hall, was completed in 1890, and was opened with a grand concert by the Queen City Band, September 19, 1890, the proceeds to provide scenery and curtains for the stage. A grand opening of the opera house was held October 13, 1890, with the Mendelssohn Quintet Company of Boston providing the entertainment. Traveling companies produced many high-class entertainments there in early days, and when the motion picture industry struck Bozeman, the opera house was used for a time as a motion picture theater, until modern theaters were built. Part of the building is still used for city offices, for the Bozeman Fire Department and a city jail. The main opera house section is now used for storage. Bands in Bozeman The Bozeman Silver Cornet Band was a prominent organization in 1880 and for a few years later, A. B. Charpie, the leader,...

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