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Robert W. Neill, History of Montana,by Joaquin Miller, 1894

Robert W. Neill, one of Helena's successful businesmen, was born in the province of Quebec, Canada, May 12, 1852. He resided in his native land until he was twenty years of age, receiving his education there, and in 1872 came to the United States. He spent five years in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine at the end of which time he returned to Canada. In the fall of 1885 he again came to the United States, this time to Montana. During his sojourn in theEastern States he learned the trade of harnessmaker and saddler and on coming to Helena he engaged in the harnessbusiness, which he has since continued. The succes he has attained here is ample evidence of his business ability.Mr. Neill was married June 11, 1889 to Nellie Doughty, of Helena.He is a member of the Queen City Lodge, No. 42, I.O.O.F. of Helena, in which he has passed honorably through all thechairs and is now Deputy and Grand Master. Having considerable musical ability he is highly esteemed in the social as well as the business circles in Helena.

John S. M. Neill, History of Montana,by Joaquin Miller, 1894

John S.M. Neill, real estate dealer, Helena, Montana and Surveryor General of Montana, was born at St. Paul, Minneosta, March 25, 1860 and removed with his parents to Philadelphia when two years of age, and during the war removed to Washington, D.C. In 1869 he accompanied his parents to Dublin Ireland, his father Edward D. Neill, being appointed Consul at that point by President Grant. During his residence of three years on the Emerald Isle he attended grammar schools of Dublin and returning to America entered the schools of Minneapolis, graduating at the high school in 1877, and afterward attending Delaware College at Newark, Delaware, where in 1881 he graduated with the degree of B.A. He then went to Washington, D.C. and entered the Columbia Law University, remaining there until the spring of 1883 when he came to Montana, locating in Helena, where he became bookkeeper for his brother who was engaged in the lumber business. He afterward acted as business manager of the Helena Independent. Next, he engaged in the real estate business with A.J. Steele for two years, but later conducted business for himself. Mr. Neill was married in 1883 to Miss Margaret G. Evans, daughter of George G. Evans of Newark, Delaware. They have one son, George G.E. Neill.

Aaron H. Nelson, History of Montana,by Joaquin Miller, 1894

Aaron H. Nelson, senior member of the law firm of Nelson and Settles, Helena, Montana, was born in Richmond Virginia, August 4, 1838. Aaron H. Nelson traces his paternal ancestry back to William Nelson of Plymouth England, who, with his wife Martha, nee Foard, came to this country in 1621 in the ship Fortune. His great-great-grandson, Thomas Nelson of Middleborough, Massachusetts, had three sons--Job, Thomas and Stephen,--the first a lawyer, the second a doctor and the third a Baptist minister. Stephen was the father of William F. Nelson, who was the father of the subject of this sketch. William F. Nelson, after being graduated at Brown University and Newton Theological Seminary was ordained a Baptist minister and became one of the professors in the Baptist College at Richmond Virginia. In 1835 he married Susannah Hayden, a native of Eastport, Maine and a direct descendant of that John Alden who has been so beautifully immortalized by Longfellow in his "Courtship of Miles Standish."William F. Nelson and Susannah Hayden had two children, a son and a daughter, the former, Aaron H., being the only survivor the family , the father having died in 1875 at the age of sixty-nine years, the mother in 1877 at the age of sixty-four years and the sister, Emma G., in 1888 at the age of forty-eight years.Aaron H. Nelson prepared for college at the academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts and in 1854 entered Amherst College but in his sophomore year he removed to Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island where he was graduated with the degree of M.A. in the class of 1858. In 1860 he was admitted to the bar at Hastings, Minnesota but in 1863 entered the United States navy as Paymaster, serving continuously in that capacity through the war of the Rebellion and until January 1, 1872, when he resigned his commission. From that time until 1880 he was engaged in business in New Orleans. In 1881 he entered the General Land Office at Washington District of Columbia and there remained eight years. In 1889 he was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States and in June of that year resigned his position in the Land Office and removed to Montana, where he has since been engaged in the practice of his profession, making land and mining law a specialty.October 24, 1872 Mr. Nelson married Miss Anna L. Berry, a native of Massachusetts and a daughter of Seth and Mary (Simpson) Berry of Bangor Maine. Mr. and Mrs. Nelson had four children, two of whom are living, Jessie Louisa and Harold Hayden. Mrs. Nelson died at Helena Montana, November 21, 1891.

New York Dry Goods Company, History of Montana,by Joaquin Miller, 1894

The New York Dry Goods Company, one of Helena's leading mercantile firms, had its origin in Minneapolis in 1884, founded there by the same gentlemen that now compose it. After three years of successful businessin Minneapolis, believing that the city of Helena and the state of Montana offered a better field for their enterprise, they, in 1887, came to this city and opened the business on the corner of Main and State Streets, where for six years they have been doing a successful and constantly increasing business. Their present accomodations proving insufficient for the increasing demands of their trade, they are now about to remove into their commodious new quarters, Nos. 48, 50 and 52 South Main Street, one of the best locations in the city, where they will have the largest wholesale and retail establishment in Montana. In 1890 the firm incorporated under its present title, The New York Dry Goods Company, with the following officers: Henry Loble, president, Robert Heller, vice-president; H. Flegelman, secretary and treasurer and George Frankford, manager. All of these gentlemen are full of business enterprise and push, all having been reared from childhood in the dry-goods business.Henry Loble, the president of the company, was born in Hungary in 1860 and was reared and educated there. In 1882he came to the United States to live and do business under our free institutions, and has become thoroughly identified with the country of his adoption. For a year and a half he was in business in New York City, learning the values of goods from the manufacturers and large jobbing houses, and becoming acquainted with American methods of business. He then went to Minneapolis nad entered the firm with which he has since been connected. In 1891 he married Hattie Marks, a native of Diamond City, Montana. He is a member of the I.O.O.F, F & A.M., the A.O.U.W. and several benevolent societies.Robert Heller, vice president of the company dates his birth in Austria, in 1860. He came to American in 1881, and was in business in Milwaukee and St. Paul until he became a member of the present firm in Minneapolis. He was married in 1889 to Antonette Greenbery, a native of Roumania. Mr. Heller is very much devoted to his business and as yet has found little time for social affairs. He is, however, a member of the American Legion of Honor.Herman Flegelman, secretary and treasure of the firm, is a native of Roumania, his birth occurring in 1861. It was in 1883 that he severed home ties and came to America, believing this to be the best place in which to enter upon a business career. He has been with his firm since its organization in Minneapolis. Mr. Flegelman was married and has two children, his wife being deceased.George Frankford came west in 1864 and since that date has been engaged in merchandising most of the time in Colorado,Wyoming and Montana. In 1886 he became connected with the firm of which he is now manager. He is a man of fine personal appearance, is thoroughly posted on what constitutes a successful businessman and thinks more of making and keeping a customer than he does of making a sale, and since he has been a resident of Helena, he has made many warm friends here.All of the members of the firm are men of the highest probity, devoted to their business, pulling together for the success of the firm and are justly entitled to the large volume of business they have acquired. They have a mail order department, receive orders from Montana and adjoining states and in this line are doing an extensive business.

Cornelius B. Nolan, History of Montana, Sanders, 1913

Cornelius B. Nolan is a junior partner in one of the best known legal firms, that of Walsh and Nolan at Helena. He was born on the day before Christmas in the year 1855 in County Limerick Ireland. His father, Bernard Nolan and his mother, Catherine Hickey Nolan were both natives of the country in which their son was born. The father passed away in his Irish home in 1886, the widowed mother following him two years later. Of their six sons and two daughters, five immigrated to the United States. Cornelius remained at home until his sixteenth year, attending school only during the winter terms that he might be of assistance on the place during the spring and summer seasons. He completed his school education at Dublin and soon after set out for America, reaching here in the autumn of 1873. He remained at and around Owego, Tioga County New York for four years. There he attended the academy made famous by such pupils as Thomas Platt, General Tracy and John D. Rockefeller. And much more than book learning did the quick young Irishman acquire during these years of association with the youth of America. After this he moved in 1877 to Allegheny Pennsylvania where he was employed in a leather establishment. In the following year he went to St. Louis where he entered the law office of Robert B. Foster. Here he gained much valuable experience while learning his Blackstone. In 1881 he entered the St. Louis Law School, where he remained three years, after which time he was admitted to practice law in the courts of Missouri. During his years of study he acquired a proficiency in stenography, realizing its value to the young attorney. To perfect himself in this line he spent three years in a wholesale house in Chicago going from there to Montana that he might become the private secretary to the general manager of the freight and passenger service on the Northern Pacific Railroad. Soon, he relinquished this position to become official stenographer and court reporter for the First Judicial district of Montana. The First district at that time embraced Lewis and Clarke, Jefferson and Beaverhead counties reporting for Judge N.W. McConnell and later for Judge Henry N. Blake. It was while filling this position that he was elected in 1899, prosecuting attorney of Lewis and Clarke County. In 1894 Mr. Nolan was united in marriage to Miss Harriett Shober, a niece of John H. Shober, one of Montana's early pioneers. They have no family.

Henry M. Parchen, History of Montana,by Joaquin Miller, 1894

Hon. Henry M. Parchen, who is noted as one of Helena's most liberal and enterprising businessmen is a native of Prussia, born June 13, 1839. His parents were George and Mary Parchen. They were members of the Luthern Church and both Mr. Parchen's father and grandfather followed the occupation of miller and were mill owners.In 1848, Mr. Parchen's father and mother and their four children emigrated to America and upon their arrival here they settled at Town Line New York, fifteen miles east of the city of Buffalo. They continued to reside there until 1861, when they removed to Nebraska and purchased a farm and upon this farm the elder Mr. Parchen still resides, now in his eighty-eighth year. All his children are still living.The subject of our sketch was the youngest child in his father's family. He remained at home until he was fourteen,and up to that time his education was limited to the common schools. After he started out to do for himself he took a thorough course in a Bryant & Stratton business college and after completing his course was employed as clerk in a general merchandise store in Buffalo. In 1857 he went to Marshall County, Indiana and accepted a position as bookeeperfor a mercantile and manufacturing company. In 1862 we find him in Colorado, serving as bookeeper at the Planter's House in Denver. The following spring he became the lessee of the Massasoit House at Central City, Colorado, and forsome time was engaged in the hotel business. On account of failing health, he sought a change of climate and occupationand we next find him with the mercantile firm of Erfurt, Busch and Company of Virginia City, Montana, where he filled the position of bookeeper until the spring of 1865. At that time, in company with Dr. Wernigk and Louis Keysser, he opened a drug and grocery store in Helena and in the fall of that same year he bought out the interests of his partners and took W.S. Paynter into business with him. The firm of Parchen and Paynter did an extensive and successful business. In 1868 they disposed of the grocery department and for nine years longer did a wholesale and retail drug business and while their business operations were growing profitable they met with heavy losses by fire both in 1869 and in 1874. In the meantime, they had established a branch store at Deer Lodge City, and this branch of business was also destroyed by fire. These losses were most discouraging to them, but Mr. Parchen undauntedly decided to continue business and in 1874 purchased his partner's interst and continued the establishment alone under the name of H.M. Parchen and Compnay. Under his able management the business prospered until it became the leading wholesale and retail drug house in the state of Montana.Mr. Parchen took a prominent part in the contruction of three of the Northern Pacific branch roads from Helena. He is a director and a large stockholder in the Helena Gas Company, the Helena Electric Company and the Helena ElectricRailway Company. He is also largely interseted in mines and smelting works and has by persistent business industry acquired a large fortune, to which he is most richly entitled.From the time of his settlement in Helena, Mr. Parchen became interested in and identified with all the interests of the city and state and has founded with his money and influence many enterprises intended to promote the growth and development of this section of the country. Thus he has acquired the name of being one of Montana's most liberal and enterprising citizens. Mr. Parchen was one of the organizers of the Helena Board of Trade, of which he had the honor of being the first president and of which he has since served as president. He began life as a Democrat and in 1860 voted for Hon. Stephen A. Douglas for President of the United States; but after Mr. Lincoln was elected and the great Rebellion was inaugurated he joined the ranks of the Republican party, the principles of which he has since endorsed. Notwithstanding the great demands of his business on his time, he has served in several important positions. For three years he was one of the County Commissioners of Lewis and Clarke County. He was also elected to and served as a member of the Twelfth Session of the Territorial Legislature. Mr. Parchen has also given a portion of his time to siciality and has long been prominently connected with the Masonic fraternity, both York and Scottish rites. He has been Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge of the State, for twenty-three years, has held the highest offices in all the branches of the order except the chapter.

John Potter, History of Montana,by Joaquin Miller, 1894

John Potter, to whom belongs the distinction of being the first Postmaster of Helena and who is now one of her most respected citizens, is a native of the state of Maine. He was born in Somerset County, that state, February 17, 1834, a descendant of English ancestors who settled in New England long before the Revolution.Joseph Potter, his father, was born in Reidville, Maine, in 1798, the son of William Potter, who was also a native of the Pine Tree State. Joseph Potter married Ellen Wheeler, also a native of Maine and of English extraction and they reared a family of eight sons and three daughters. Eight of this number are still living. Indeed, the family have been noted for longevity. The father reached the advanced age of ninety-two years and the mother was seventy-two at the time of her death. The latter was a member of the Congregational Church. John Potter was the ninth born in the above family. He was reared to manhood in the town of Athens, in which he had been born. He finished his education in the Somerset Academy and after completing his course there was engaged in teaching school for four or five years. In 1855 he sought a new field of operation in the western part of Minnesota, which at that time was on the frontier. After clerking in a hardware store for a while, he engaged in the lumber business on his own account, cutting logs and rafting them down the Mississippi and other rivers. Also while there he took claim to a tract of land and platted the town of Osakis, named after a lake near it. This place has grown to be a town of about 2,000 inhabitants.In 1862, we find Mr. Potter en route across the plains for Montana, the journey being made by way of the Red River to Fort Benton, in company with a party of fifty-two men. Although they had some trouble with the Indians, they reached their destination in safety, landing at Deer Lodge in August. Gold had just been discovered and they camped there. Mr. Potter mined for three years at Bannack and Alder Gulch (now Virginia City). He and three others, Charles Wyman, Washington Wyman, and Joseph Bowers, camped and mined together, were very successful in their mining and often took out $300 per day; but like nearly all miners they invested in toehr mines, hoping for big returns but instead losing all they had.August 29, 1865, Mr. Potter was appointed as first Postmaster of Helena, and two years later received the second appointment, the latter being from President Andrew Johnson. Previous to the establishment of the postoffice at Helena, the mail was brought by express at the rate of $1 a letter. As soon as the Helena office was opened it at once did a large business, people coming to this point from a radius of 150 miles to receive their mail. Often after the arrival of the mail 200 men could be seen standing in line, each waiting for his turn at the delivery. Often someone would pay another $1 for his chance. Stamps were paid in gold dust, one grain of gold for a three-cent stamp. In two years and a half the office became one of the first class. It was then located on Main Street, two doors north of the present store of Gans and Klein, was in a two story frame building 22 x 60 feet. Mr. Potter had a bedroom in the back part of the office, where he slept and the upper story was used for a courtroom and was occupied by the district Judge nad his clerk. The Helena postoffice was the second one established in Montana. Mr. Potter continued as postmaster for about five years,his successor being Mr. Crounse.In 1864 Mr. Potter had been appointed Justice of the Peace by Governor Lyon. Subsequently he was appointed United States Court Commissioner for Madison County by Governor Edgerton. In the meantime he had given his attention to the study of law, and in 1872 he was admitted to the bar. In 1873 he removed to Gallatin County and at Hamilton engaged in the general merchandise business under the firm name of Potter and Small. Shortly after they established themselves in business Mr. Small died, and from that time up to 1891 Mr. Potter continued alone. Then, after a successful career, he retired from active business.During nearly the whole of his history in Montana, Mr. Potter has been more or less interested in mines and mining. He is now one of the owners of the Whitelatch, a good gold mine and of the Iron Mountain, a valuable silver claim. He was one of the developers of the Potter and Cockrell mine. During his early life in Montana, he was a member of the Vigilant Committee and as such rendered efficient aid in helping to put a stop to the lawlessness and crime throughout the various mining camps.April 21, 1869 he married in Helena to Sarah Elizabeth Small, a native of Holton Maine. They have six children, three of whom died in infancy, the other being: Melville Mortimer, now engaged in the mail service between Helena and Butte City; and Clarence and Emma, who are at home.Mr. Potter has long been identified with the Republican party and also with the Masonic fraternity. He was one of the organizers of the Morning Star Lodge, A.F. & A.M. of Helena, and was Deputy Grand Master of the Territory for three terms. He is now a Knight Templar. Mr. Potter built a residence on Rodney Street, Helena in 1868 and since then has from time to time made other investments in real estate in this city. He is a fair representative of the Montana pioneers. During his long and useful career here he has won the respect and esteem of hosts of friends.

Herman H. Potting, History of Montana,by Joaquin Miller, 1894
USGenWeb Montana Archives

Herman H. Potting, the lading grocery dealer of Marysville, was born in Germany, December 13, 1838. When three years of age he came with his parents to America, locating in New Orleans, but afterward removed to St. Louis, Missouri, receiving his education at the latter place. At the age of seventeen years he went to California via the Nicaragua route. After arriving in that state, Mr. Potting mined in Nevada and Sierra counties a number of years, at times meeting with flattering success but like all miners also suffered serious reverses. In 1862 he went to British Columbia in search of gold and in the following year to Idaho undergoing many hardships and dangers during the journey. During his wanderings he had saved $20,000 but lost the entire amount in speculation.With the same fever for gold unabated, Mr. Potting came to Montana in 1865, discovered the Magpie Gulch in Meagher County, afterward sold his interest there; conducted a meat market at New York Gulch one year; next resumed mining at Trout Creek and continued to search for the glittering treasure at Quartz Gulch but in 1872 abaondoned mining. Mr. Potting then returned to St. Louis where he followed the wood business on the Mississippi River also the commission business. In 1876 he went to the Black Hills, from there again returned to St. Louis and in 1877 located in Meagher County Montana wehre he was engaged in farming and quartzmining ten years. In 1887 he embarked in the butcher busienss in Marysville but in 1889 opened his grocery store and his entire career in this city has been one of success.He is still prominently connected with mining interests, being a stockholder in the Pigeon and Ball Butte and in various placer mines. Mr. Potting has erected a residence, store and warehouse in Marysville; owns other city property,and is considered one of its most enterprising citizens.In St. Louis in 1872 our subject was united in marriage with Miss Annie Toppe, an native of Germany. They have three children--Edward, Harry and Fred. Harry is associated with his father in the store and is one of the promienent young businessmen of the place.

William G. Preuitt, History of Montana,by Joaquin Miller, 1894

William G. Preuitt, one of Montana's representative citizens, dates his birth in Madison County, Illinois March 31, 1843. Mr. Preuitt comes from Colonial ancestors. His grandfather Solomon Preuitt was born in Alabama and in the year 1800 removed to Illinois, settling in Madison County where he lived to the advanced age of eighty-nine years. In Madison County our subject's father, James Preuitt, was born, married and spent his life. His wife, whose maiden name was Malinda Storkey was a native of Tennessee, her ancestors having long been residents of that state. Two sons were born to them: Elias K., who resides at the home place in Illinois, and William Greene, whose name heads this sketch. The latter was reared on his father's farm, spent his boyhood days in attendance at the common schools, and when he reached the age of twenty years he engaged in the hay and grain business in Dorsey Illinois.Mr. Preuitt arrived in Helena in the year 1866. He came to the Territory a poor young man making the journey on foot and upon his arrival here, his first job of work was that of driving oxen on a ranch. Soon afterward he secured a clerkship in a wholesale liquor store in Helena in which he continued for four years. He then returned to Illinois and that year, 1870 he married Willie M. Hundley, daughter of Colonel William B. Hundley and A.(Lucket) Hundley, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Virginia.Coming back to Helena with his wife soon after his marriage, Mr. Preuitt resumed his former position and subsequently purchased an interest in the establishment. In 1879 in company with his father-in-law, he purchased the business and continued it successfully until 1887. That year he sold out. Several years previous to this he had been engaged in the stock business and had become one of the noted breeders of thoroughbred horses and graded cattle. This business he still continues, being the owner of an 880-acre stock ranch. At this writing (1894) he is also engaged in the hardware business, being a member of the firm of Sturrock and Preuitt, owners of the largest hardware establishmentsin the city.Mr. Preuitt's elegant residence, located on the corner of Eighth Avenue and Rodney Street is one of the finest homes in Helena. He and his wife have four children, all natives of this city. Their oldest Hundley H., has charge of hisfather's cattle interest. Elias K. is in his father's store. The other two are Willie M and Payton L.

[Debbi Greer has written in with the following corrections: "grandfather Solomon Preuitt was born in Washington Co VA and moved to IL in 1806 and lived 85 years 1 day. Melinda Storkey should be Melinda Starkey who was born in IL. I have been researching the Pruitt family for over 25 years now. I descend from Solomon's brother and grew up about 6 miles from where William Preuitt was born and about 14 miles from where Solomon and other Preuitt family members are buried in a family cemetery. The Pruitt family was quite prominent in the counties of Madison, Jersey, Greene and Macoupin in IL. I just want to make sure that others who are researching the family have the correct data rather than creating problems for the future generations with incorrect data. Debbi Geer"]

William B. Raleigh, History of Montana,by Joaquin Miller, 1894

William B. Raleigh, one of Helena's most prominent and successful dry-goods merchants, is a member of the well-known firm of Raleigh and Clarke. He was born near Dover, Tennessee, October 27, 1846. Some of his ancestors emigrated from England to this country at an early day and settled in Maryland, where James Raleigh, the father of William B was born. James Raleigh married Margaret W. Bailey, a native of Tennessee. He was engaged in steamboating and made his home in Tennessee up to the time of his death which occurred in 1848. Besides a widow, he left three daughtersand one son. This son, William B. was then 2 years old. His mother reared her family and lived to a good old age,her death occurring in 1888.In 1866 Mr. Raleigh began his mercantile career as a clerk in a store at St. Joseph Missouri. In 1869 he became a member of the firm of Bailey, Kay and Company (afterward Bailey, Townsend & Company), wholesale dry-goods dealers with which he was connected for nine years, and during that time became thoroughly acquainted with the quality and cost of goods and all the details of the dry-goods business. Disposing of his interest in that establishment, he and a partner opened five retail stores in different localities, every one of which proved a success. In 1878 he sold out and came to Helena, and it was soon after his arrival here that the firm of Raleigh & Clarke opened up the largest dry-goods establishment in the city of Helena. During all these years, from 1878 up to the present time, it has held its leading position as the best house of the kind. Their large store is well filled with choice goods and an air ofneatness pervades the whole establishment. They do both a wholesale and retail business and an important feature of their store is their mail order department, goods being sent to parties in distant towns. Mr. Raleigh's mercantile enterprises are not confined to Helena alone. He is president of the Gallatin Valley Mercantile Company, which has a fine store and stock at Bozeman. He is also connected with the leading dry-goods house at Great Falls, the firm name being W.B. Raleigh & Company. Mr. Raleigh was married in St. Louis Missouri, November 1, 1871 to Medora T. Clarke, daughter of Albert G. Clarke, one of Helena's most respected pioneer merchants and the senior member of the firm of Clarke and Curtin. Mr. and Mrs. Raleigh have four children: Susie B., Albert C., Margaret E., and Walter W.

Francis S. Read

Francis S. Read, now a resident of Helena, has been identified with Montana since 1866. Following is a brief sketch of his life: Francis S. Read was born in Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky, December 27, 1840, his parents also being natives of that State. When he was six months old he was taken by them to Platte County, Missouri, where they settled and where he was reared and educated, remaining there until he was twenty years of age. During the civil war young Read was forfour years in the Confederate service, under General Price. He was promoted from a private to the rank of Second Lieutenant, and was in command of his company in one battle in which he was severely wounded. When the war ended, Mr. Read was mustered out at St. Louis, in April 1865, and returned to his home in Platte County.There he remained until the spring of the following year, when he came to Montana. His first location here was on a ranch in the Prickly Pear Valley, near Helena. Subsequently he removed to Cascade County, where he still has extensivestock interests and valuable ranch property in the Chestnut Valley. He is also largely interested in Helena real estate, having erected numerous residences in the east part of the city, where his family reside, their home being on Eighth Avenue. He spends his winters with them and his summers on his stock ranch in Cascade County. Mr. Read was married in Montana, October 27, 1869, to Miss Laura T. Thoroughman, and they have five daughters and one son, all at home. He and his family are prominent and active workers in the Christian Church, and he is alsoa member of the A.O. U. W.

Minnie A. Reifenrath, History of Montana,by Joaquin Miller, 1894

Minnie A. Reifenrath, County Superintendent of Schools of Lewis and Clarke County Montana is a native of the state of Illinois, born in the city of Chicago, July 28, 1866, a descendant of German ancestry. Her father Herman Reifenrath,was born in Germany in 1837, came to the United States when 18 years of age, settled first in Louisville, Kentucky,subsequently removed to Chicago, and was there married to Eliza A. Cartley, a native of that city. They continued toreside in Chicago for a number of years after their marriage, removed from there to Qaukegan and later took up their abode in Minneapolis. He was for seventeen years a trusted and efficient employee of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad Company. In 1885 they moved to Montana and the family now resides in Helena, where Mr. Reifenrath has the positon of baggage master of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company.Miss Reifernath with whose name we begin this article, is the eldest of six children, all of whom are living. She received her education in Chicago, Waukegan and in Minnesota, taught two years in Illinois and two in Minnesota and finished her education in the Normal school of the latter state. After arriving in Helena, she accepted the position of primary teacher in the Helena public schools, where he rendered a high degree of satisfaction and where her services were secured for six successive years. She became a member of the Montana State Teachers' Association, in the meetings of which she was active and efficient, giving the aassociation papers on primary work.

Gilmon Riggs, History of Montana,by Joaquin Miller, 1894

Gilmon Riggs, one of the founders of the town of East Helena Montana was born in Meigs County Ohio, February 5, 1836.His ancestors were English people, one of whom settled in Maryland long before the Revolutionary War. His great-grandfather, Molan Riggs, resided in Washington County Pennsylvania and there his son George, grandfather of Gilmon was born. George Riggs was married in Washington County, Pennsylvania to Miss Mary Kelly, a native of thatstate and about the year 1800 they removed to Ohio and settled in Meigs County, being among its earliest settlers and there spending the rest of their lives, his death occurring in his fifty seventh year and hers in 1864. They had a family of ten children, five sons and five daughters. Jeremiah D. Riggs, their fourth son, and the father of our subject, was born in Meigs County Ohio in 1811 and in 1832 was married there to Miss Isabelle Gillsbie, also a nativeof Ohio, born in 1816. They continued to reside on the farm on which he was born and there reared their family of eleven children, of whom five are still living and on the old farm they spent the rest of their lives and died. He died in 1875 and she in 1884.The subject of our sketch was the second born in his father's large family. He was reared at the old homestead and was educated in the public schools, the Pomeroy Academy and the DeCamp Institute at Downington. After completing his studies, he began teaching and was thus occupied in the schools of Ohio util 1863. August 15 of that year he enlisted in Company B, Ninety-second Ohio Volunteer and with his company was in the campaign in Monroe and GreenbrierCounty, West Virginia under General George Cook. They joined the main army of Murfreesborough--or the Fourteenth ArmyCorps--and served with it until the close of the war. He participated in the battles at Chickamauga and Chattanooga and took part in the great charge which captured Missionary Ridge. He also participated in the series of battles that led up to the battle and capture of Atlanta and was with Sherman on his march to the sea and back to Washington,where it was his good fortune to take part in the grand review of the victorious army. During all his service in thewar he never received a scratch. He enlisted as a private and was mustered out a first sergeant.The war over, he returned to Ohio and at Downington was engaged in merchandising until 1869. That winter he came toMontana, landing here February 22, 1870. After working for some time in the vicinity of where East Helena is now located, he bought 160 acres of land, for which he paid $1600 and on this tract he farmed until 1888. That year in connection with Mr. Clark, he platted the town of East Helena. The first season he sold $40,000 worth of lots. In platting this tract he reserved fifty acres on which his residence is located and where he is raising small fruits and vegetables and besides this he still owns other property here. He has a perpetual water right of sixty-seven inches of water which supplies him abundantly.Mr. Riggs was married in 1860 to Miss Julia Stuart, who died in 1888, leaving one son, Francis Marion Riggs, who lives in East Helena. In 1889 Mr. Riggs married for his second wife, Miss Mary C. Woodyard, a native of West Virginia, their marriage occurring in Downington Ohio. They have one daughter, Mary Louise.

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V.Charles Rinda, History of Montana,by Joaquin Miller, 1894

V. Charles Rinda, one of Helena's respected pioneers, is a native of Vienna Austria. His father, Antone Rinda, came to America in 1853 and settled first at Dubuque Iowa, whence three years later he removed to Minnesota. He settled on a farm in the latter state and spent the rest of his life there, his death occurring in the seventieth year of his age. His wife died in Dubuque. Four of their five children are still living, the subject of our sketch being the second born. V. Charles Rinda received his early education in his native place and after their coming to America he continued his studies in Dubuque. He then learned the trade of saddler and the carriage making business, but soon afterward turned his attention to the boating business and was engaged in steamboating on the Mississippi River. In 1862 he worked forMr. Banprie, a well-known man in the west and one of the first settlers of St. Paul. After leaving his employ Mr. Rinda went to St. Louis and from there came up the Missouri River in the spring of 1864 to Omaha, crossed the plains to Soda Springs on the Snake River, prospected for a short time and went to Idaho City and then back to East Bannackon the Salmon River. He then mined and prospected for a short time. In 1867 he came to Helena and remained here untilthe fall of the following year, when he returned to his home in Minnesota. He remained, however, only a short time, for the next year we find him back in Montana again. He spent a portion of the year 1870 in Missoula County, but in the fall he returned to Helena and has since continued to reside here. All these years he has been engaged in prospecting and mining. He was one of the discovers of the Jay Gould Mine, the East Pacific and other properties, and made considerable money. In 1876 in company with Mark Sklower, he purchased the International Hotel, built additions to it, and ran it until 1881, being successful in the enterprise. In 1881 they purchased the ground on which the Grand Central Hotel stands. Mr. Rinda built the foundation of the hotel, then induced Mr. Reed to take an interest in the enterprise, and together they completed the erection of the building, which they opened May 7, 1885. Mr. Rinda conducted it alone until 1892, when he sold a half interest to his partner for $45,000 and since then Mr.Rinda has been partly retired from active business. He still, however has large mining interests, being the owner of several quartz mines in Jefferson County, the best among them being the Fohner, Morse and Shuster. He also has large copper mining interests in Ridersburg. Mr. Rinda was married in 1871 to Emma Will. Two children were born to them in Helena: Mamie and Theodore W. Mrs. Rinda died in 1873 and in 1875 Mr. Rinda married Charlotte Allbright, whose untimely death occurred when her only child, Allbright, was fifteen months old. In 1878 Mr. Rinda was again married, the maiden name of his present wife being Addie N. Rodda. They have four children: Blanche N, Charles J, Bennie and Harrison, the last named dying at the age of four years.



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