Early Residents of Great Falls, Montana

Paris Gibson came to Montana in 1879 to engage in sheep raising, and his consequent observations of the country led to his fortunate investment in land at the falls of the Missouri. I have no data concerning his previous life.

Hon. H. P. Rolfe was born in Vermont in 1849, and educated there, choosing law for a profession. He came to Montana in 1876, and was for two years supt of public schools in Helena. During 1879 he was managing editor of the Butte Miner. He next removed to Fort Benton, where he practised law, but in 1884 located permanently in Great Falls. He was elected probate judge in 1880, serving one term, but prefers to keep out of politics.

George W. Taylor was born on a farm near Lexington, Kentucky, in 1853, raised and educated in his native state, where he also taught school for several years. He came to Montana in 1883 and studied law with Hen. J. K. Toole, being admitted to the bar in 1884. Immediately he located at Great Falls, the first lawyer there. He was appointed county attorney on the organization of Cascade Company, and in 1888 elected to the same position. He was a candidate for reelection on the state ticket of 1889.

E. G. Maclay was born in Pennsylvania in 1844, and removed with his parents to St Louis when a child. He came to Montana in 1863, and for twenty years was engaged in freighting, after which he entered mercantile life. He was the first merchant in Great Falls.

Ira Myers, born in Ohio in 1839, went to Colorado in 1859, and came to Montana in 1863. Mining and cattle raising was his business until 1884, when he erected a sawmill at Great Falls, and has been in lumber business ever since. He was one of the organizers of the Electric Light Co. of Great Falls, of which he is president, and is one of the principal owners in the water-works.

H. W. Child was born in 1855 in San Francisco, and educated there, being a clerk in the stationery-house of H. S. Crocker & Co. from 1870 to 1875. He came to Montana in 1876, engaging in various enterprises until 1882, when he became general manager or the Gloster and Gregory mines. In 1887 he removed to Great Falls as manager of the Montana Smelting Co.

H. O. Chowen was born in Minneapolis, Minn., in 1859, and educated there. He came to Great Falls in 1884, in the employ of Paris Gibson. In 1885 he organized the Cataract Mill Co., to which he gives his special attention, but is largely interested in city real estate.

J. H. Fairfield, born in Maine in 1856, removed to Minneapolis at the age of 9 years, and was there educated. He studied medicine and graduated from the Pennsylvania Medical College in 1880, and was surgeon of the Philadelphia hospital for two years. He then practised a year in Minnesota, after which he came to Great Falls, where he now practices his profession. He was elected mayor in the spring of 1889.

A. G. Ladd was born in Maine in 1851, and educated in his native state. He studied medicine at the Maine Medical College, Portland, graduating in 1878. He came to Montana and purchased a cattle ranche in what is now Cascade County in 1883, living on his land and practicing his profession. When Great Falls was organized he removed to the town, but retains his land and stock.

Will Hanks was born in Ohio in 1860. He came to the Sun River country in 1883, and established the first newspaper between Fort Benton and Helena, the Rising Sun. In 1885 he removed to Great Falls, establishing the Weekly Tribune, but sold it in 1887, and went into real estate business. When, in the spring of 1889, the Cascade bank was organized, he was elected its vice-president, which position he now holds. He is also chairman of the board of county commissioners, to which he was elected in 1888.


Bancroft, Hubert H. Bancroft Works, Volume 31, History Of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, 1845-1889. San Francisco: The History Company. 1890.

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