1863 Settlers of Gallatin County, Montana

George E. McKinsey, born in Indiana Aug. 22, 1822. In 1854 he removed to Nebraska, remaining there until 1863, when he went to Montana with an ox-team, and mined for three years at Alder gulch. In 1866 he removed to Madison Valley, and established a ferry, but went back to mining the following year, and in 1869 returned to Middle Creek, settling finally near Bozeman in 1871. He married Sarah Anna Wilson in 1850.

Andrew Cowan, Hillsdale, born in Ky March 1834, and raised on a farm. Went to Salt Lake from Missouri by stage in 1863, and from there to Virginia City. Engaged in freighting for one year, after which took a farm of 480 acres in the Gallatin Valley, and raised cattle and horses. He married Rachel C. Tribble in 1872.

Henry Heebe, Central Park, born in Pennsylvania Nov. 17, 1840, was bred a fanner. In 1856 went to Kansas, where he resided until 1863, when he proceeded to Montana. In 1864, together with William Coly, William Riley, and Clarke, he discovered the celebrated Pony mine, and the McDonald and Strawberry mines. Heebe sold his interest in the Pony for a trifle, and settled on a farm on the Gallatin River.

C. Etherington was born in England June 25, 1831, and emigrated to the U. S. in 1854. After 3 years spent in Pennsylvania, went to Kansas, and thence to Colorado in 1859. Returned to Kansas, and again to Colorado in 1862, whence he went to Virginia City and Bannack in the following year, and settled in 1864 in the Gallatin Valley, 12 miles south-west of Bozeman, being the oldest resident of his section of the valley, and delighting to be called Kit Carson by his neighbors.

Among the latter was F. J. Dunbar, who was born in Ohio and removed to Wisconsin at the age of 18 years, having first learned the plasters trade. From Wisconsin he went to Iowa; then to Colorado in 1859, with the gold seekers, driving an ox team. While prospecting in Colorado he discovered the Mammoth mine, which afterward sold for $80,000, also the Julia and other quartz mines.  But he seems not to have worked his discoveries; and after crossing the plains three times, finally joined the immigration to Salmon River, which stopped at Bannack in July.  In November he went to look at the country at the mouth of the Gallatin River, and being favorably impressed with it, removed his wife and property in December and chose his future home, being then recently marred to Anna Campbell.  He erected the first house in Gallatin Valley, a log building 18 by 20 feet.  When Gallatin City sprung up he kept a hotel for four years.
He became the owner of 500 or 600 acres of land. Another settler in the Gallatin Valley this year was John E. Reese, born in Wales, Jan. 12, 1819, who immigrated to New York in 1856, and settled on a farm in Pa, where he remained but 2½ years, when he went to Salt Lake. In 1862 he found himself in Bannack; but choosing farming instead of mining, he settled 15 miles north of the present town of Bozeman, having no neighbor nearer than 7 miles. He married Mary Davis in 1840, who was the first and for some time the only white woman in his section. He owns 240 acres well cultivated, and some horses and cattle.

Robert P. Menefee, born in Mo., in 1833, went to Kansas at the age of 22 years, and was engaged in the political struggle there from 1855 to 1858, when he went to Utah, driving an ox-team. While in Salt Lake he was clerk for Gilbert Garrison. In Oct. 1862 he went to the mines at Bannack. When Virginia City arose he was postmaster from Aug. 1854 to Feb. 1865. He then remained for a few mouths in Deer Lodge Valley, returning in the autumn. He took some land in Gallatin Valley in 1867, together with John S. Mendenhall, whom he bought out in 1870.

There also resided on a farm near Bozeman, Riley Cook, a young man whose parents emigrated from the east to Boise Valley in 1862. He was born the following year, being one of the first, if not the first native of Idaho of white parentage. He lived there on a farm until 1881. James Redford was a native of Ireland, who immigrated to America in 1851, at the age of 21 years, and located himself in Pa, where he worked at common labor until 1855, when he went to Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado in succession. He drove freight teams across the plains two seasons, then engaged in mining in Colorado. In 1862 he came to Bannack with a mule-team, locating himself at Bivens gulch and mining for 11 or 12 years. In 1864 he married Julia Edwards. They had 10 children, and owned 240 acres in the head of Jefferson Valley, where they engaged in raising horses and cattle.


Gallatin County MT,

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

Search Military Records - Fold3

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top