Montana Genealogy

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 …

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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 …

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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 1866 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 a …

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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 …

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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. …

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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 …

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