Early Residents of Helena, Montana

Isaac D. McCutcheon, born in New York in 1840, removed to Mich, with his parents in 1846, and was there educated. He began teaching school at the age of 18 years, and continued to teach for 5 years, after which he studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1868. He practised his profession in Charlotte, Michigan, until 1882, when he was appointed secretary of Montana. He resigned in 1883 to return to the practice of the law.

F. S. Witherbee, born in Flint, Michigan, in 1860, removed to Louisville, in 1873. He was educated for a physician, graduating in Philadelphia 1883, but not liking his profession, he became a publisher in Washington D.C. He sold out his business in 1888, and came to Helena, where he engaged in real estate, organizing the Witherbee and Hunter Estate, Loan, Investment Co., Limited.

O. K. Allen, born in the state of New York, in 1852, received a collegiate education, and in 1876 went to Colorado, where he remained until 1883, when he came to Montana and engaged in mining. In 1880 he acquired the Gould mine, and organized a stock company to develop the property. The mine has produced over $1,000,000, and is still producing richly.

F. P. Sterling was born in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, in 1843, and was educated in his native town. In 1861 he entered the union army, serving through the war, after which he removed to Iowa, and engaged in school teaching until 1874, when he came to Montana. In 1876 he was appointed register of the U. 8. Land Office at Helena, serving until1883. The following year he was elected judge of the Probate Court, and served two years, since which time he has practised law in Helena.

T. H. Kleinschmidt was born in Prussia in 1837, and came to the U. S. with his parents in 1841. He was raised and educated at St Louis, Missouri. In 1862 he went to Colorado, where he followed merchandising for two years, removing to Montana in 1864. He was one of the organizers of the 1st National bank of Helena in 1866, and has been active in its management ever since. He was twice elected mayor of the city.

Samuel Word, born in Kentucky in 1837, was educated in his native state, and removed to Missouri in 1857, where he read law and was admitted to the bar. He practised his profession there until 1863, when he came to Montana, settling in Virginia City, where he remained until 1880. He then moved to Butte, and in 1885 to Helena. He has been a member of the legislature and speaker of the house, and is permanently located at the capital.

Charles W. Cannon, born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1835, removed with his parents to Dubuque, Iowa, in 1837, where he was raised and educated. He came to Montana in 1864, and for a short time was engaged in trade at Virginia City. He removed to Helena in 1865, where he again engaged in merchandising until 1880, after which he has been employed in the care of his real estate, city and country, and his mining interests.

Ashburn K. Barbour was born in Falmouth, Kentucky, in 1856, and educated there, studying law, and being admitted to the bar. In 1878 he removed to Kansas City, Missouri, where he remained until 1882, when he came to Helena, and has practised his profession here.

J. J. Leiser, born in Pennsylvania in 1845, was educated there, and studied medicine in Philadelphia. After practicing in several towns, he took a post-graduate course at his alma mater, and in 1878 came to Helena, where he has steadily followed his profession. He takes an interest in noting the climatic influences on different diseases in his adopted state, on which he has written his observations.

H. M. Parchen was born in Prussia in 1839. At ten years of age he immigrated with his parents to the U. S., being located in western New York. At the age of 14 years he left home to enter a merchant’s employ, and continued from that time to learn business. In 1862 he went to Colorado, and in 1864 came to Montana. After one year in Virginia City he settled permanently in Helena as a druggist. He has served several terms in the legislature, and is a public-spirited citizen.

Col James Sullivan, born in Ireland in 1842, migrated with his parents to America in 1849, settling in Boston, where he was educated. When a young man he learned the barber’s trade, and followed it in Boston and New York for many years. In 1878, on account of losses by speculation, he determined to remove to Montana. He purchased a barber’s business in Helena, and prospered in it. In 1885 he was elected mayor, and in 1887 was appointed territorial auditor. He has served on the staff of three different governors, and is a prominent citizen of Helena.
Richard Lockey was born in England in 1845, and came to the U. S. in 1846, his parents settling in Dubuque, Iowa, where he was educated. In 1862 he entered the Union Army, serving three years. In 1866 he came to Helena, and engaged in merchandising until 1881, when he gave his attention to real estate.

David A. Cory was born in Canada in 1842, removing to the state of Illinois with his parents in 1855. For more than 20 years he was a commercial traveler, and in 1886 came to Montana, becoming a member of the mercantile firm of Bach, Cory, & Co. of Helena, devoting himself to its business.

A. J. Seligman, junior member of the above firm, was born in New York City, and educated to be a civil engineer, graduating from two of the most prominent schools in Europe. He came to Montana m 1881, making Helena his home; has served in the legislature, and is devoted to the interests of the mountain state.

Dr C. K. Cole was born in Illinois in 1852, educated in his native state, and graduated in medicine in 1878. He first practised in Jacksonville, Illinois, but removed in 1879 to Helena, Montana. He was twice a member of the city council, and in 1888 was elected a member of the territorial council, of which he was president.

John H. Ming was born in Virginia in 1831, migrated to Missouri in 1840 with his parents, and in 1849, at the age of 18 years, came to California, working in the mines and teaming for 3 years, when he returned home. In 1859 he went to Colorado, engaging in merchandising at Denver, until 1863, when he removed to Virginia City, Montana, remaining there 5 years. In 1868 he made bis home in Helena, where he did much to promote the growth of the city. His death occurred in 1887; the above facts being furnished by his widow, Katherine L. Ming.

K. W. Bach was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1852. He came to Montana in 1878, being engaged in various enterprises until 1883, when he commenced a wholesale grocery trade in Helena, as senior member of the firm of Bach, Cory, & Co., which does a business of over $1,000,000 a year. He is also interested in the Helena Street Railroad Company, and the St Paul and Helena Land and Improvement Co.

E. W. Knight was born in Indiana in 1838, but removed with his father’s family to Kentucky when a child, was educated there, and studied and practised law. In 1873 he came to Montana, locating at Helena. He was one of the original stockholders of the 1st National bank of Helena, in which he was bookkeeper from 1873 to 1876, when he was elected cashier. He was the second mayor of Helena.

A. M. Holter, born in Norway in 1831, learned the carpenter’s trade, and immigrated to the U. S. in 1854, locating in Iowa. He was among the first to go to the Colorado mines, from whence, in 1864, he came to Montana, mining and running a sawmill near Virginia City for two years. In 1866 he removed to Helena, and engaged in hardware business. He is one of the directors of the 1st National bank, along with S. T. Hauser, A. M. Helter, Granville Stuart, E. W. Knight, T. H. Kleinschmidt, John C. Curtin, R. S. Hamilton, C. P. Higgins, A. J. Davis, Henry M. Parchen, and T. C. Power. Hauser is president, Davis vice-president. Knight cashier, Kleinschmidt assistant cashier, and George H. Hill second assistant. Paid-up capital, 1500,000; surplus and profits, $500,000.

John Kinna, born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1837, came to the U. S. with his parents in 1842, and resided in Orange County, New York. At the age of 18 years he went to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he learned the tinner’s trade. In 1864 he same to Montana, remaining for one year at Virginia City, when he removed to Helena and engaged in hardware business. He was the first mayor of this city, where he constantly resided until his death, in 1887, and was treasurer of Lewis and Clarke Company; these facts being furnished by his son, C. J. Kinna.

William M. Thornton, born in Eutaw, Alabama, in 1853, came to San Francisco with his parents at the age of one year, where he was educated. In 1869 he engaged in business in Unionville, Nevada, where he remained until 1874, removing to Virginia City, in that state, to take the position of secretary of the Virginia City and Truckee Railroad Co. In 1885 he removed to Anaconda, where he became cashier of the 1st National bank. In Aug. 1889 he was nominated state senator from Deer Lodge County, and elected.

C. A. Broadwater, born in Missouri in 1840, had limited means of education, and when 17 years of age began clerking for a commission firm in St Louis. In 1859 he went to Colorado, and in 1864 came to Montana, where for 4 years he was wagon-master of the R. Freighting Co. In 1868 he purchased an interest in the business, and was actively engaged in it until 1879, when he sold out. He then secured the post tradership at Fort Maginnis, which he retained until 1885, when he located in Helena and organized the Montana National bank, of which he is president.


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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