Montana Genealogy

Early Settlement

According to articles written by the late W. W. Alderson, an early Gallatin Valley pioneer, and corroborated by other pioneers, it was in the fall of 1863, and the spring of 1864 that the first settlements were made in Gallatin Valley by a few mountaineers. Joe Wilson, Al Nichols, J. Gallaher, Lotzenheiser brothers, Dunbar brothers and others settled near the three forks of the Missouri River, where they started Gallatin City, and W. J. Beall, D. E. Rouse, Jacob Gum, W. O. P. Hays, George D. Thomas, M. W. Penwell, Oscar E. Penwell, W. H. Babcock, F. A. Meridith and …

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Early Newspapers of the County

The first newspaper published in Gallatin County, one of the early publications of the territory, was the “Montana Pick and Plow,” published and edited by H. N. Maguire in Bozeman. Mr. Maguire had been connected with the “Montana Post,” the first newspaper of the territory, published in Virginia City. A copy of the first number of the Pick and Plow, issued December 31, 1869, and preserved for 60 years by Mrs. W. J. Beall, an early pioneer who died in 1930, was presented to Mrs. E. L. Houston, secretary of the Pioneers’ Society of Gallatin County, whose father, W. W. …

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Early Montana Trails

The Bridger Trail Jim Bridger, the old mountaineer who led his first party over the divide in the early sixties, and traversed the same route many times afterward, was said to be the most famous frontiersman to act in the role of trailblazer into what is now Montana. The Bridger Trail left the main transcontinental route, the Oregon Trail, at a point on the north fork of the Platte River, a short distance east of Independence Rock, Wyoming. Proceeding northward, the trail crossed tributaries of the Big Horn River, entering Montana west of the Pryor Mountains, in what is now …

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Early Day Banks

The First National Bank of Bozeman opened for business in August 1872, was the first bank established in Bozeman or in Gallatin County. The officers were: President, L. M. Black; cashier, George W. Fox; additional directors, C. J. Lyster and John P. Bruce. The bank suspended in 1878. The Bozeman National Bank opened in 1882, with Emory Cobb, president; C. H. Cobb, vice president; D. F. Sherman, cashier; directors, Thomas Lewis, W. H. Tracy, F. M. Esler, C. W. Hoffman, G. W. Wakefield and Walter Cooper. In 1893, this bank was closed for four months, on account of the panic, …

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Cemeteries and Monuments of Gallatin County Montana

Our monuments have been erected in Gallatin County, impressive ceremonies marking their dedication or unveiling. On August 8, 1914, a monument unveiled in Bozeman was erected. “In commemoration of the organization of the Territory of Montana, May 26, 1864, and of the admission of the territory to the union of states, November 6, 1889. Erected August 8, 1914, by the Society of Montana Pioneers, assembled in annual reunion.” The reunion that year marked the Golden and Silver Jubilee of Montana, and the Golden Jubilee for Bozeman, the city being officially named August 9, 1864. The Montana Daughters of the American …

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Blackfeet Indians

The Gallatin Valley has never been the permanent abode of any tribe of Indians, so far as historical records show, but it has been claimed by the Blackfeet, and has been crossed by hunting and fighting parties of the Blackfeet, Crow, Bannock, Nez Perce, Flathead and Snake on their way to the hunting grounds of the Yellowstone, or the trapping grounds of the Snake River plains. The trail was worn deeply into the soil by the moccasins of the Indians and the hoofs of the Indian pony. A writer who was adopted by the Blackfeet Indians is authority for the …

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Yellowstone Expedition

The Yellowstone Expedition down the Yellowstone in 1874 is identified in a way with the history of Gallatin County, as it was started from Bozeman, the prime object being to open up the Wolf Creek country, where the men supposed there were rich placer mines as represented by a man named J. L. Vernon, a former Bozeman teacher, who claimed he had found gold in paying quantities in the Wolf Creek Mountains. James Gourley, one of the party, a pioneer who came to what is now Montana in 1862, and who on May 4, 1932, celebrated his ninety-second birthday anniversary …

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Variety of Products

While the Gallatin Valley is beautiful, and was called by the late Theodore Roosevelt, “a fair dimple in the cheek of nature,” when he visited here a number of years ago, the valley is recognized as one of the most productive in the state. In early days, wheat and oats with several kinds of vegetables were the principal products, and there was some wild hay put up. Later, barley was a standard product, and then crops of clover, timothy and alfalfa became especially important. Potatoes have been one of the principal vegetables in the valley since pioneer days, and records …

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