Lewis and Clark County, MT GenWeb Bio C
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LEWIS & CLARK COUNTY, MONTANA

BIOGRAPHIES - SURNAME C

 

Charles Wesley Cannon, History of the State of Montana, by Joaquim Miller, 1894

Charles Wesley Cannon, who stands well to the front among Montana's most successful pioneer businessmen, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, July 1, 1836. Mr. Cannon is of French descent. Jan Cannon, the progenitor of the family in America, was a French Huguenot who settled in New York as early as 1692, where he was for many years a prominent merchant and honorable citizen. Among his descendants have been men of mark, both in the Colonial days and in the later history of the country. Our subject's grandfather, James Le Grand Cannon, was born in Stratford, Connecticut and was a direct descendant of Jan Cannon. His son, George Cannon, born at Stratford in 1799, was married in 1830 to Margurette White, daughter of Dr. White, of Albany New York, her birth having occurred in 1813. They removed to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was for a number of years engaged in busienss, and whence he removed to Dubuque, Iowa, there being successfully engaged in merchandising the rest of his life. His wife died when in the prime of life, leaving him with a family of little children, five sons and a daughter, of whom Charles W. was the third born. The father's death occurred September 15, 1862, in the 63rd year of his age. Both were consistent members of the Episcopal Church. In 1852 on account of the failing health of the elder Mr. Cannon, the care of his business largely devolved upon his son, Charles W., who was at that time only sixteen years of age. The experience gained at that time proved of great value to him in after life. In 1859 a partnership was formed with George B. Smith, and under the firm name of Cannon & Smith, their house became of the most successful ones in Iowa. In 1863, soon after a double bereavement by the death of their father and only sister, Mr. Cannon and his younger brother, Henry, decided to leave the scene of their sorrow and try their fortune in the far West. They accordingly sold out their business and made necessary preparations for the hazardous journey. Their outfit consisted of four mules and a wagon loaded with necessary supplies, and they had also the luxury of a French cook. They started in April 1863 from Dubuque, crossed the state of Iowa to Omaha and their route from Omaha was on the north side of the Platte river. The pleasure of the first part of the journey was unmarred, but when they arrived at a point eleven miles west of Ft. Laramie, they were attacked by a band of twenty three Sioux Indians. The Indians suceeded in getting one of their mules, and the whites, thinking that the red men were satisfied with what they got, tied the third mule to the rear of their wagon; but before they had proceeded far the Indians made another raid upon them and captured another mule. By their undaunted courage the young emigrants escaped with their lives, although the Indians fired showers of ammunition at them. Continuing on their journey, they found their load was too heavy for the two mules and they were obliged to dispense with everything they could possibly do without. The Indians followed them at a distance, but finally gave up the chase. That same day the Cannons overtook some other emigrants, with whom they camped that night. Next morning both parties started out together, and continued together until they reached Deer Creek Station, which was on the opposite side of the river. There were a few soldiers stationed there. As they were soon to enter the mountains and as the other emigrants could not render them any assistance as they had all their own teams could do, Mr. Cannon decided to cross the river and see if he could buy a team. He accordingly took a roll of greenbacks in his mouth and swam the Platte river more than 100 feet side at this point. He secured a yoke of oxen for $160.00. Although they experienced some little difficulty in getting the oxen and the mules to work together, they proceeded on their way, but before they had traveled far found that they were being followed by Indians. At this critical time they were fortunate in falling in with some other emigrants whose assistance then perhaps saved their lives. Notwithstanding all their hardships and dangers, they never once thought of turning back. Meeting with a company of soldiers who were preparing for a campaign against the Indians on Powder River, the soldiers tried to get them to enlist, but they declined. Here the French cook deserted them. Subsequently Mr. Cannon enchanged his oxen for a horse by given $40.00 to book and for a time they drove a spike team as it was called. At the Sweet Water, in Wyoming, they rested a brief time and prospected some, but found nothing sufficient to induce them to remain and accordingly they moved on. Before they reached their destination, however, the horse and one of the mules died of starvation, and it was with the aid of borrowed cattle that they were enabled to get their wagon to Virginia City. More than four months had been spent in making the journey. Upon his arrival in Virginia City, Mr. Cannon entered a barber shop to have his hair cut, the price for which was $1.00 and it was there that he found greenbacks were worth only $.50 to the dollar. Prices in gold were as follows: 100# of flour, $40.00; Coffee, $1.00 per pound; Sugar and Salt, $1.00 each per pound; a shovel, $13.00; gum boots, $11.00 a pair, the freight on all goods being $.35 per pound from the States. In Virginia City they began merchandising under the name of Cannon Brothers. A year later they removed to Helena and after they had conducted business in Helena a year, the subject of our sketch returned to St. Louis. There he formed a partnership with Captain F.B. Kershiville and Mr. M.S. Mullon, the style of the firm being Kerchiville, Cannon & Company. They chartered three steamboats, loaded with goods and miners' supplies and sent them to the house at Helena, the boats being unloaded at Ft. Benton and brought from there by wagon to Helena. This venture proved a great success. The business was continued by the firm in Helena until 1869 when Mr. Cannon purchased the interest of his partners and continued it successfully himself until 1880. That year he sold out, retired from merchandising, and has since given his attention to real estate, mining and other business interests, which by his capable and sagacious management grew to enormous proportions. Prosperity continued to attend him and he became a millionaire--the largest tax payer in Helena, a city noted for its large proportion of wealthy citizens. Mr. Cannon was largely instrumental in procuring for Helena her gas, electric-light and street-railway systems, and is president and a large stockholder in each of the companies which furnish these facilities. He is vice-president of the Montana Central Railway and a director of the Montana National Bank and also of several important mining companies. For several years he has been one of the largest wool growers in the State. His ranch comprises 3,000 acres, requires twenty-eight miles of fence to enclose it, and is stocked with nearly 20,000 sheep, besides cattle and horses. It is thoroughly equipped with all the best farming implements, and is a model of its kind. March 17, 1868, Mr. Cannon was happily married to Catherine B. Martine, only daughter of the late Captain W.W. Martin, of Ithaca, New York. He was of Spanish ancestry. His wife was before her marriage Miss Argenith Newell. Both the Martines and the Newells were early settlers in the Colonies and were participants in the Revolution, their residence for many years being Boston. Mrs. Cannon was born in Ithaca, New York, November 16, 1851 and in early life had the misfortune to lose both her parents. Her educationaly advantages were of the best and she early developed rare mental and social qualities. Soon after their marriage, Mr. Cannon built a beautiful little cottage on Broadway, at that time by far the best residence in the city, and in this home they have since lived and dispensed hospitality. They becmae the parents of two children, one of whom, Bernice Martinque, a lovely daughter, died in 1889 at the age of eighteeen. She was proficient in music and was a favorite among her circle of friends, of whom she had many. Their son, William Le Grand, was born in Helena, September 24, 1872, was educated in France and Germany and is now managing the large farm above referred to. The family have traveled extensively in Europe, and usually spend a part of each winter in New York City. Mr. and Mrs. Cannon are members of the Episcopal Church and in politics he is a stanch Republican.

W.A. Chessman, History of Montana,by Joaquin Miller, 1894
Mr. Chessman was born in Braintree, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, August 19, 1830. His early education was obtained in the district schools, and when on the threshold of manhood he followed the excitement of the times and went to California. Taking passage by way of Cape Horn, he arrived at San Francisco, December 20, 1849 and soon was engaged in mining in El Dorado County. He followed mining in California for fifteen years with varying success, operating in El Dorado, Yuba and Toulumme Counties until the spring of 1865. In 1865 Mr. Chessman came to Montana, and has since been identified with the interests of this State. His first location was at Alder Gulch, and subsequently he took up his abode in Helena. He acquired some of the mining ground in Last Chance gulch, from time to time purchased other claims and finally obtained possession of a large amount of mining property. These claims he worked for some time to advantage and then sold out the mining privileges for about $34,000 but retained the title to the land. In 1872 he purchased from Messrs. Trutt and Atchison, the ditch for these privileges, the same being then in use, supplying water to miners--one known as the Helena or Big Ditch and the other the Yaw-Yaw Ditch--and in 1875 he began the construction of a bedrock flume in Last Chance Gulch. This flume was completed in three years, at a cost of $30,000 and was used for the purpose of working over the old ground and rewashing the tailings from the first workings of the rich Last Chance Gulch. This ground he continued to work until the construction of the Montana Central Railroad, the advent of which so enhanced the value of this land that it was worth more for building purposes than for mining. In these operations Mr. Chessman acquired title to some 400 acres of ground lying at the mouth of Last Chance Gulch, much of which is now occupied by the city of Helena for depot grounds and terminal facilities. After the placer mining was stopped, the water in the ditches was sold to the market gardeners and farmers in the lower portions of the valley for irrigating and at the time of the organization of the Helena Consolidated Water Company, the interests were sold to this company. Mr. Chessman was one of the originators of the company and subsequently became president of it. The company was incorporated October 1, 1889, the other officers being as follows: vice president--A.J. Davidson; secretary: J.B. Clayberg; treasurer: S.T. Hauser. In addition to these interests, Mr. Chessman has been actively engaged in other operations in the state--notably mining and stock raising. He is president of the Bald Butte Mining Company, vice-president of the Helena Electric Street Company, and is largely interested in quartz-mining in other parts of the state and in Idaho. For twenty three years he has been connected with the Helena Fair Association; is a trustee of St. Peter's Hospital and has been identified with this institution ever since its organization. Mr. Chessman is a man of family. He was married February 4, 1875 to Miss Penalope V. Newhall of Galena Illinois and they have three children, two sons and a daughter. One son is deceased.

 

Henry Harmon Clark, History of the State of Montana, by Joaquim Miller, 1894

Henry Harmon Clark, one of Montana's esteemed pioneers of 1864, and one of the founders of the town of East Helena, was born in Granville, Hampden County, Massachusetts, Februrary 5, 1824. His father, Henry Clark, was born at the same place in 1794. He married Irene Strong, also born in the same town in 1796, and they had six daughters and two sons, four of whom still survive. The father was a man of honor and respectability, was a Selectman of his town for many years, and was a member of the State Legislature. The parents lived and died in their native town, the father in 1859 and the mother in 1874. Henry Harmon Clark, the second child in order of birth, assisted his father on the farm, and attended the public schools. In early life he began working at the carpenter's trade, and followed that occupation for a number of years. In 1850, full of the spirit of adventure, he made the voyage to California by way of the isthmus, mined for two and one half years on the North Yuba River and earned about $10 a day while in that state, his largest day's earnings having been $112 in gold dust. In 1853 Mr. Clark returned to his native town; and the residence he built at that time still continues to be one of the best in the place. Soon after his marriage he moved to Independence, Iowa, where he was engaged in farming and stock raising until 1864 and in that year crossed the plains to Montana. After arriving in this state he began mining at Big Indian, but not meeting with the same success as in California, he abandoned that occupation and embaked in agricultural pursuits. He first took a meadow ranch of 160 acres in Prickly Pear valley, to which he afterward added eighty acres, and in 1867 he was joined by his wife and two children--James S. and Jennie R. The latter is now the wife of Frank Donaldson and resides near her parents. After residing on his ranch eight years, Mr. Clark bought the Prickly Pear Hotel, now in East Helena. While engaged in running the hotel, he became the owner of 160 acres of land and in 1888 joined Mr. Riggs in the platting of East Helena. He now resides on a farm of ninety acres,while he is engaged in the raising of vegetables and fruits, and also has 480 acres adjoining this place. Mr. Clark rents his valley farm and is now practically retired from active business. Mr. and Mrs. Clark have had three children born in Montana. The eldest, Minnie L., is now Mrs. John W. Dudley, and resides in Bismarck, North Dakota. Nettie Irene died at the age of three years, and Noble Henry departed this life in his eleventh year. The latter died of congestion of the brain, having been sick only four days. He was a brilliant young scholar. In political matters, Mr. Clark has been a life-long Democrat. He has served his county as Commissioner four years, was School Trustee at East Helena a number of years, held the office of Register of Elections and has the honor of being the first postmaster of Helena. Mrs. Clark is a member of the Presbyterian Church.

 

Albert Gallatin Clarke, Montana Archvies, History of the State of Montana, by Joaquim Miller, 1894

Albert Gallatin Clarke, of Helena was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, April 7, 1822. His ancestors emigrated from Scotland to this country and were among the early settlers of Connecticut. His father, Thomas H. Clarke was born in New York in 1793 and was for many years engaged in business at Batavia. He was drafted for service in the War of 1812 but hired the after well-known Thurlow Weed of New York to be his substitute. Thomas H. Clarke married in Terre Haute, Mary Dickson, who was born in Ohio in 1800 and was of German and Irish ancestry. Here they reared their family of six children, two of whom are now living. The mother died in 1858 and the father passed on in 1873. Both were people of high respectability and the mother was a devoted member of the Methodist Church. When Albert G. Clarke arrived at his nineteenth year he started out to make his own way in the world. First he went to Andrew County, Missouri where he secured employment as a farm hand at $13.00 per month. Saving his wages until 1849 he at that time opened up a small mercantile business at Savannah where he continued until 1858 meeting with fair success. That year he sold out and went to St. Joseph Missouri where he conducted business until 1862. In 1862 he hauled his goods with ox teams across the plains to Denver Colorado, then a little town and there he soon disposed of his stock at a fair profit. The following year he returned to St. Joseph and in 1864 purchased a stock of hardware and crockery, loaded the same on ox wagons and again made the trip across the plains, this time to Virginia City, Montana, where he opened up a store and remained about one year. In the meantime Helena began to grow and as it was nearer the head of navigation than Virginia City, he thought best to change the location of his store and in 1865 removed his stock to Helena. For a number of years he was in partnership with Thomas Conrad, the firm name being Conrad & Curtin. Later J.C. Curtin was taken into the firm and the name became Clarke, Conrad and Curtin. After the death of Mr. Conrad the partners purchased his interest and Mr. Curtin and Mr. Clarke continued together. The latter has retired for some years and the former now has sole charge of the establishment. Their whole business career has been characterized by honorable and upright dealings. Believing there was a great profit to be made in stock raising in Montana, Mr. Clarke in 1864 brought across the plains about 300 head of cattle, a part of them being thoroughbred Durhams. Since then he has been almost constantly interested in this industry and has owned as high as 6,000 head of cattle at one time. He has also invested largely in real estate, both in city and country and has been interested in the development of several mines. In 1889 he builta costly and beautiful residence on the corner of Rodney and State Street, Helena, which commands a magnificent view of the city, the valley and mountains and here he resides in the enjoyment of his well-earned prosperity. He was one of the organizers of the Montana National Bank in which he has since been a stockholder and in which at one time he served as director and vice-president. Mr. Clarke was married in 1850 on the 15th of October to Eliza Ann Burns, a native of Clay County Missouri, whose birth occurred in 1825, she being a daughter of Jeremiah Burns. They became the parents of five children of whom we record that Madora is now the wife of William B. Raleigh, of the firm of Raleigh and Clarke of Helena; Charles A. is a member of the above firm; Albert G. Jr. is an attorney of Helena and William H. is in Chicago. In 1865 while Mrs. Clarke was enroute to Montana to join her husband she died at Nebraska City Nebraska. Two years later he married Sarah Meek whose death occurred three years later; and in 1879 he wedded Sarah C. Morgan, his present companion.

 

Thomas Cruse, History of Montana,by Joaquin Miller, 1894

Thomas Cruse, president and founder of the Thomas Cruse Savings Bank at Helena, and one of Montana'sbest citizens, is a native of the Emerald Isle. He was born in County Cavan in 1836, a son of Irish parents. In the private schools of his native country he received his education, and in 1856 at the age of twenty, he emigrated to the United States, landing at New York. He remained in that city until 1863 when he directed his course toward California, making the journey by way of the Isthmus of Panama and in due time landing at San Francisco. Until the summer of 1866 his time was divided between California, Nevada and Idaho. In 1866 Mr. Cruse came to Montana and at first was engaged in prospecting at Virginia City. The following year he came to Helena but soon afterward went to Trinity and engaged in placer mining and prospecting for quartz mines. For some years he was thus occupied. In April 1876 he discovered the famous Drum Lummon mine and continuedits development, taking out the considerable gold, the mine being a success from the start. In 1882 he sold it for a million and a half dollars, retaining one-sixth interest in it. Since then it has been further developed and is to-day one of Montana's famous and best-paying mines. Mr. Cruse has all these years continued his mining enterprises and owns several valuable properties, among which may be mentioned the Old Blue Cloud,which Mr. Cruse thinks will equal or surpass the Drum Lummon, and also owns the North Star, which is an extension of the Drum Lummon mine.Besides his mining operations, Mr. Cruse has also of recent years turned his attention to other enterprises.In 1887 he established his own bank,, the Thomas Cruse Savings Bank of Helena, the first savings bank organized in Montana. From its beginning it proved a success and is now one of the most prosperous financial institutions of its kind in Montana. Mr. Cruse is also the owner of one of the largest sheep and cattle ranches in the state.

Thomas Cruse, History of Montana,by Joaquin Miller, 1894

The Thomas Cruse Savings Bank of Helena, is one of Montana's most solid financial institutions. It was founded by Thomas Cruse in 1887, with a capital of $100,000, its organization dating prior to any other savings bank in the State. It's officers are as follows: Thomas Cruse, president; Frank H. Cruse, vice-president; W.J. Sweeny, treasurer; and W.J. Cook, assistant treasurer. The bank has constantly grown in favor ever since it was founded and has met with marked success. It has a very large deposit account and in addition to its large savings business also does general banking and makes a specialty of handling state, county, city and school bonds and warrants for which they pay the highest cash price.

Thomas E. Crutcher, History of Montana,by Joaquin Miller, 1894

Thomas E. Crutcher, an attorney of Helena, is a native of Kentucky, born February 22, 1839 in Hardin County. His ancestors emigrated from Wales to the colony of Virginia in the seventeenth century. James Crutcher, the great-grandfather of the subject of our sketch, emigrated from Virginia to Kentucky, shortly after the close of the Revolutionary War, two of his sons, Anthony and John having fought in that war. John,the younger of the two, lived to the age of ninety-one and is well remembered by our subject. Isaac,one of the younger sons of James Crutcher and the grandfather of Thomas E. was born in Kentucky as was also his son, Burr H., the father of Thomas E. His mother, who name before marriage was Hester Brandenburg, was a descendant of the noble family of that name in Germany. Her ancestors were also early settlers in Virginia, whence the family removed to Kentucky. The subject of our sketch was the sixth of eleven children born to Burr H. Crutcher and Hester, only five of whom are now living. His mother died in the fall of 1887, aged seventy-nine years. His father is still living at the age of eighty-nine.Our subject was reared to manhood in his native state, prepared for college under a private tutor and graduated at Center College in his native state in the class of 1861, just at the breaking out of the great Civil War.His sympathies from the beginning were strongly with the South, but out of deference to the wishes of hisfather, who was an intense Unionist, he refrained from taking part in the struggle until 1864, becoming a member of Cowan's Mississippi Battery and giving his support to the Southern cause until the conflict was ended. Among the engagements in which he participated were those of Franklin and Nashville, escaping without a wound. After the war he resumed the study of law, which he had begun previous to his enlistment in the army and in1867 was admitted to the bar, having been pardoned by President Andrew Johnson in 1866 and restored to all civil and political rights.

William E. Cullen, History of Montana,by Joaquin Miller, 1894

William E. Cullen, of Helena, a pioneer and prominent member of the bar of Montana was born in Mansfield Ohio June 30, 1837. He comes of Scotch ancestry. His great-grandfather emigrated from Edinburgh Scotland to this county in 1768 and was a Greek professor in one of the early colleges of Pennsylvania. John Cullen, the professor's son was born in that State and his eldest son Thomas W. Cullen was also born and educated there. Thomas W. Cullen was a manufacturer of woolen goods in Pennsylvania and he and his wife whose maiden name was Isabella Morrison and whom he wedded in that State in 1805 moved to Ohio in 1835, where they were respected citizens and members of the Episcopal Church for many years. She died in her sixtieth year and he in his seventy-seventh. They reared a family of five children, all of whom are living, William E. being the oldest.Judge Cullen, as the subject of our sketch is familiarly called, resided with his parents until hissixteenth year, and up to that time attended the public schools. He was then sent to an academy for three years. At the end of the three years he went to Minnesota, where he received the appointment ofSuperintendent of Instruction for the Winnebago Indians. For two years he held this position, and during this period all his leisure time was spent in the study of law. He then entered the office of Judge Charles E. Flandreau, at that time Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Minnesota, and under the instructions of this noted lawyer he continued his studies. In June 1862 he was admitted to the Minnesota bar. During the Sioux outrages in that State he entered the service as 2nd Lt. and in that capacity served through the campaign. He began the practice of his profession at St. Peter, Minnesota and soon afterward formed a law partnership with Major S.A. Buell, a brother of General Buell. They continued in business together until 1866 at which time Mr. Cullen came to the Territory of Montana.He crossed the plains with oxen and in an expedition commanded by Colonel James Fish, Helena being reached in August 1866. Here Mr. Cullen at once began the practice of his profession. The following year he was elected a member of the Legislative Council of the Territory, consisting at that time of seven members it being the first Legislative Assembly to meet in Montana after the amendment of the laws in 1866. Since then he has several times served as a member of the Legislature. In 1867 he became associated with the practice of law with H.P. Smith, who had been previously banished from Montana by the Vigilant Committee for his too zealous defense of the road agents. Mr. Smith was a man of very ardent temperament and threw his whole soul into the cases which he espoused, and for this reason had to leave, but after the excitement died out he returned and remained unmolested. They remained in business together until Mr.Smith's health gave out and he died in Helena in 1870. In 1876 Judge Cullen became associated with Colonel Wilbur F. Sanders.

Thomas A. Cummings, History of the State of Montana, by Joaquim Miller, 1894

Thomas A. Cummings came to Montana in 1867 and has since been one of her most worthy citizens. He was born in county Kilkenny, Ireland, August 3, 1845. His father, Patrick Cumings, was born in Ireland in 1818, reared in his native county, and in 1843 married Ellen Fitzpatrick, who was born in the same county and is a member of his own church. They emigrated to America in 1849 settling at Evan's Mills, Jefferson Co. NY. Being a blacksmith by trade, he followed his vocation ever since he came to this country until he retired from active life. He still resides there, seventy six years of age and his wife also is spared to him, one year older. They are faithful adherents of the Catholic faith, people of industry and worth. Of their eight children, only two survive. Thomas A., the first born, was attending high school when the news of the firing upon Fort Sumpter was telegraphed over the country. President Lincoln issued his call for volunteers, the cry to arms resounded throughout the land and the entire North aroused as it were from a sleep. In every hamlet the fife and drum were heard. At the same instant the patriotic zeal of Cummings was exited to the fighting head, and August 29, 1861 he enlisted as a member of Battery C., First New York Army Corps, the Army of the Potomac. He served his term, and in Dec. 1862 re-listed in the same battery and served till the close of the war. He participated in the battles of McClellan's, Burnside's,Hooker's, Meade's, and Grant's armies, was at the surrender of Lee at Appomattox and particpated in the grand review of the victorious army at Washington in 1865. During his entire service, he did not receive even a scratch or a wound. He was honorably discharged June 27, 1865. All this before he attained his twentieth year. He returned to his home both a veteran and a victor. April 1, 1867, seized with a desire of adventure and of improving his financial condition, he started up the Missouri River, intending to make the Territory of Montana the scenes of his future activities. Landing at Ft. Benton, July 8, he proceded to Helena, where he was employed during the winter of 1867 by Vanderburg and Ellis. In the spring he obtained a position in the hardware business of John Kenna, in which he continued until the autumn of 1869. In 1869 he was employed at Blackfoot City, as manager for the Montana Hide and Fur Company. In 1870 he went to Washington Gulch and opened a store on his own account and continued it for two years.In 1872 he was appointed Indian Agent for the Flathead Indians, but his appointment was not confirmed. In March 1872, he was, by President Grant, appointed Collector of Customs for Montana and Idaho, and served four years, when he was reappointed by President Hayes, in 1877 and served a second term of four years, being then succeeded by H.W. Hunt, now Judge of Lewis and Clarke county, who after serving a part of the term, resigned to receive the appointment of Attorney General. In December 1884, President Arthur restored Mr. Cummings to his former position as Collector of Customs, which position he held until June 1889. Since 1867 Mr. Cummings has been actively engaged in the cattle business. In the meantime, he has been a special officer of the Treasury Dept.. He has built two residences in Ft. Benton, the last, a very commodious one, in 1893 in which he and his interesting famiy reside. They are active and highly esteemed members of the Catholic Church,having aided in the building of their house of worship and in all the interests of the church. Politically Mr.Cummings has always been an active Replublican, is now secretary of the Republican State Central Committee and is a respected and influential citizen of Montana. Sept. 4, 1880, he married Mary Gallager, a native of Carthage, Jefferson Co. NY and a daughter of Richard and Maria Sherwood Gallager. On her father's side she is of Irish ancestry and on her mother's American. She was American born and bred. Her father was an Englishman and her mother a Scotch woman. Mr. and Mrs. Cummings have three children: M. Marguertie, Helen S., and Thomas S.C. Page 373

Charles Davis Curtis, History of Montana,by Joaquin Miller, 1894

Charles Davis Curtis of Helena, is one of Montana's most honored pioneers and public spirited citizens. He was born in Cloyne, County Cork, Ireland, March 11, 1839. His father, William Curtis married Miss Honora Eugenia Doyle, an accomplished daughter of the house of Desmond. Mr. William Curtis was a man of superior education and culture and was a large property owner, but being a patriot and connected with the patriot troubles in his native land in 1848 he sailed for American and was followed by his wife and children in 1850. They spent a short time in New Orleans, afterward settled in St. Louis and in the latter city Mr. Curtis lived retired from active business the remainder of his life, his death occurring in 1876 at the advanced age of 78 years. His wife died in 1855.Their family consisted of three sons and two daughters. The youngest son, a graduate of the Christian Brothers' College of St. Louis, while on a visit to his sister, Mrs. Captain Wildman at Point Isabel Texas, met his death which resulted from exposure and extreme exertion in saving the lives of a number of inhabitants of that ill fated town, caused by the overflow of the Gulf of Mexico which inundated it in 1867.Charles D. Curtis, the second born in his father's family, was educated at the St. Louis University. In 1857 he accepted the position of special agent for the overland mail and served on the plains where he first established his reputation as a scout and Indian fighter. The following year after passing a rigid examination he was commissioned as Second Lt. in the U.S. army and was detailed for duty on the frontier where he remained until he went to Camp Floyd Utah. He remained at Camp Floyd with Johnson's army until the fall of 1860. Unfortunately about this time he had a severe attack of measles which settled in his eyes. He resigned his commission and went to Salt Lake City from thence to Denver, Colorado where during a part of the following two years he devoted his time to the study of medicine with Dr. Farmer as his preceptor. At the end of that time, Dr. Farmer went South and Mr. Curtis was employed as a scout and carried important dispatches from Governor Gaplin to the commanding officer at Ft. Laramie and other posts in Wyoming and New Mexico. He was offered a commission in the Second Colorado Cavalry, but declined as his pay as a scout was $10 per day. After this he was engaged in purchasing cattle to supply the Colorado troops with beef. When the troops left Colorado for New Mexico and the South, Mr. Curtis became interested in an auction and commission business with Picket and Lincoln, with whom he remained until April 1864 at which time the gold excitement at Alder gulch brought him to Virginia City, Montana where he arrived on May 16, 1864. Here he engaged in business with John C. Curtin and Watt King, under the firm name of King, Curtis and Company. For a time they carried on two stores--one on Wallace Street and the other on Jackson Street. While residing in Virginia City Mr. Curtis took an active interest in its affairs and was promptly identified with its early history. He was instrumental in effecting the organization of the Fire Department of that city and commanded one of the companies. He was elected the first City Clerk of Virginia City, with a salary of $2000 a year. Soon after his election to this office, the fame of rich gold diggings at Last Chance Gulch was spread over the country and he deputized Judge Francis Bill to fill the office, left his partners to take care of the business, and came to Helena, arriving in the latter city on the 5th of June 1865. Seeing that it was a lively camp he sent for one of his partners. They decided to open a store and did a most extensive business in that city. An important freature was buying and selling stock of which department Mr. Curtis had the management. He bought as high as 500 California horses at a time, broke them and sold them to miners, prospectors and traders. In 1866 he sold out to his partners and until the spring of 1868 was engaged in speculating. He then went to Wilson Gulch, Jefferson County, where he was interested in mining, merchandising and packing lumber across the mountains in company with Hugh Daly which work he continued up to 1870 then sold out and returned to Helena where he engaged in the grocery business with his brother, John H. Curtis (now of Butte City), under the firm name of Curtis Brothers. They conducted business one year, when our subject again sold out and turned his attention to buying and selling stock in partnership with T.E. McKoin. In May 1872 he opened an auction, commission and stock business at the foot of Broadway, George Booker becoming a co-partner in the enterprise, and in this they continued until 1888, a period of sixteen years. Mr. Curtis was appointed postmaster of Helena by President Cleveland, the duties of which office he entered upon July 1, 1886, and served until March 31, 1891. That he made a good record as Postmaster is evinced by the endorsements of the Department. On the 5th of June of the same year he paid $10,000 for a third interest in the mercantile house of F.S. Lang and Company, extensive dealers in house-furnishing goods and hardware and was elected vice-president and treasurer of the company. With this establishment he is still connected. At present writing (1894) he is sheriff of Lewis and Clarke County, having been elected to that office by a very large majority. On the 17th of September 1891, a lady who was wheeling an infant in a baby carriage was passing along the street in Helena and was in danger of being dashed to pieces by a runaway horse. At this critical moment Mr. Curtis appeared on the scene and saved the lady and her child at the peril of his own life. While she fell, and the baby carriage was turned over, neither was hurt but Curtis received the full shock and was thrown down a stairway into a basement and his head shoulder and dies were badly cut and his leg crushed into splinters. He was disabled from September until March. In 1866 when it became necessary to raise troops to protect the settlers of Montana from the Indians, Mr. Curtis raised three companies of volunteers. He went to the front and remained in active service until the Indians were subdued. On June 10, 1872 he married Mary Louise Hanratty, an accomplished young lady, a native of St. Louis, her parents having resided at that place since 1819. They have had nine children of whom six are living: William H., Mary Leonora, Charles Louis, Estella Margaret, Francis Cleveland and David Paul.

Charles B. Cutler -
   

 

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