Bozeman History

Jesse R. Green

By Dani

Jesse R. Green was born on April 18th, 1885.  He was raised in the Bozeman, Montana area.  Jesse’s parents were John H. Green and Mary E. Slater.  From 1905-1906 he went to Agricultural College.  Jesse received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1926.  Then, in 1932 he received a master’s degree.

On March 2nd, 1915 he married Olga Ellington and had three children, Mary, Ralph, and Kenneth.  In the 1930’s, Jesse had a farm of his own, but also kept with his chemical research.  About seven years later, he was hired by the Anaconda Mining Company until 1958 when he retired.  Jesse spent the rest of his life researching and writing about geology, soil, fertilizers, crops and more.  Jesse wrote over thirty articles and several news stories.  Jesse R. Green died November 1st, 1967 at age 79.

Mable Crukshank

By Mesa

            Once there was a woman and her name was Mabel Crukshank. She was a hard working and beautiful woman.  She was born in the year of 1827 and died in the year of 1965.  Mabel Cruckshank was a very amazing woman because she had a lot of hard work to do and she sorted all of the work out nice and neat ways and figured it all out.  She was also very helpful.

She had a very joyful life in her years.  Everyone wanted to know a lot about Mabel Cruckshank.  She was a very noble lady; in fact she was in the newspaper three times.  She also carried a float in the Sweet Pea parade by decorating.  Mabel Cruckshank had a son named James; in fact he went to Chicago and got killed in a car accident in the year of 1932.  It was a very tragic moment in the family’s life.

Mabel Cruckshank also had a husband named Peter T. Cruckshank; he also died on August 30, 1938, when he was 74.  He had a long and happy life as well.  It also sounds like he did some pretty amazing things as well in Masonic activities through his life and had some troubles with heart disease for quite a while.

Thank you for listening of a long and happy life of Mable Cruckshank.

John S. Mendenhall

By Carter

            John Mendenhall is a very interesting person.  He was born in Vervay, Indiana on October 18, 1835.  John came to Bozeman in 1804.  Mendenhall had a lot of firsts in his life.  He owned the first saloon in town, helped finance the first Methodist church, organized the first mining camp with companies, and he was the first territorial sheriff.  As you can see, he did a lot in his early life.

In Mendenhall’s later life he still was very active.  He traveled to Emigrant Gulch through the Bozeman Pass with John Bozeman.  In 1869 John became a business partner with Achilles Lamme.  They opened a store together.  On October 16, 1870 he married Lamme’s sister-in-law, Susan Oliver.  Her former husband had died in the Civil War.  They had a son named Samual.  Samual bought the first automobile.  It took him seven hours to drive from Bozeman to Butte.  Their son also became the first mayor of the 20th Century.

Mendenhall died of kidney troubles peacefully and calmly in 1896.  Because of all his famousness he had a street named after him.  I had a blast learning about John Mendenhall and if you’re reading this I hope that someday you can learn even more about him!

Fred Willson

By Jane

            Fred Willson was a famous architect but he had a life before that.  He was born in November 1877 in Bozeman.  The exact date isn’t really determined, most likely the 8th or 11th.  Later on in his life, he kept a diary, and he wrote in it that he went to the White House and shook hands with President Cleveland.  A few years afterwards, he went to college.  He started at Montana State College, then went to Columbia University and got his architecture degree in 1902.  He had a good childhood with several good experiences.

Fred Willson wanted to further his career in architecture.  He worked as an architect in the East for a few years.  Then, he moved back to Bozeman in 1906 to build.  Fred Willson built several buildings in Bozeman, such as the “new” Gallatin County Courthouse, the Gallatin Valley Jail, Willson School, Holy Rosary Church, the Ellen Theatre, and many more.

He ended his life August 13, 1956 at 79 years old.  He built several things Bozeman that are still there to this day.

The Basel Family

By Sophia

            Benjamin Franklin Basel was born on January 18, 1836 in Richland County, Ohio.  He was the fourth child out of eight!  Mr. Basel was raised on a farm, but he left Ohio to go to Montana.  After he mined for a year, he bought 866 acres of land.  Apparently Harper School was built on his land.  He was the very first man to run a threshing machine in the Gallatin County.  A threshing machine cuts faster than a man would.  Mr. Basel was thought to have been killed by the same “Indians” that killed John Bozeman.  That must have broken his wife Henrietta Pathence Kratter.

Henrietta Pathence Kratter was married to Mr. Bisel.  They were a lovely couple. They soon moved to a house on Willson.  They happily lived there for 58 years.  Miss Krater loved making crafts!  She painted a lot!!  Although Miss Kratter was 17 years younger than Mr. Bisel, she definitely was boss!  I really enjoyed learning about the Bisels.  I hope you did, too!!

William Babcock

By Sellers

            Nice to meet you, I’m William Babcock and I’m going to tell you about my past.  I was born in New York City in the year of 1837.  When I was 12 years old my father sent me away for 20 years to be punished.  Later my brother and I ran away.  In my childhood I had three total months of schooling.  I worked as an architect for a very long time.  In my childhood I had three total months of schooling.  I worked as an architect for a very long time.  In the Christmas of 1862 I went by an ox team to Gallatin County.  I took over supervising people when Mr. Byron Vreeling died.  I sold my creek in Bannock.

In 1864 I moved to Bozeman where I homesteaded and carpentry.  In 1867 I sold my farm and moved to town.  I built tons of houses in town.  In 1871 I married Miss Macy.  I was very wealthy and so it didn’t surprise people that I lived in a house which was called Castle on Church Street.

Now as you see I had a very interesting life.

F. Jay Haynes

By Finn

            Hello, my name is F. Jay Haynes and I would like to tell you a bit about my life.  I was born in Saline, Michigan on October 18, 1853. I was the noted photographer of Yellowstone National Park for over thirty years!  I also really cared about the Park’s survival; I helped insure it.  I had a lovely wife and kids.  My son followed in my footsteps and became a photographer.  My daughter sadly died at the age of 20 in a car crash.  My wife’s name was Isabel M. Haynes.  I had a great life and died at the age of 68.

Achilles Lamme

By Siena

            Hello and welcome to the story of my life!  My mother named me Achilles Lamme and I hear that there is a street with my last name.  I wonder why my mother named me that…perhaps she thought I would be a foot doctor!  She came close.  I was a doctor and after medical school I joined the gold rush to California.  I returned to Missouri to practice medicine.  I also got married!

I came to Bozeman when I was thirty-three years old.  There I opened a store with Mendenhall.  I also organized Yellowstone Transportation to get cargo here.  I lived for fifty-six years, and died peacefully.  I had been getting weak for years, but I was surrounded by my wife and children.  I had a happy life.

Lady Mary Blackmore

By Jaden

Here I was in the car with my husband and nephew.  We were on our way to Yellowstone.  But I got ill.  I died of peritonitis in 1872.  I used to be a social leader for Queen Victoria.  My husband bought five acres of land and used it as the town cemetery.  Mount Blackmore is named in my honor.  My husband buried me at Sunset Hills.  A year after that my husband shot himself in the estate library.

The Langohr Family

By Naudi

            I’m Don Langohr, Jr. and I’m going to tell you some things about my family and myself.  I’ve lived in Montana for 74 years.  My family’s big flower shop only started out with a hot bed.  Way back when we sold smaller flowers for 25¢ per dozen and bigger flowers for 50¢ per dozen.

My grandparents lived in a house on Lindley Place where my dad was born.  Our family got an ad that said, “Fresh Lettuce!” “Raised in Bozeman!”, “None of your imported stuff!”, “Next Saturday at Langohr’s!”  I have a wife named Patty and we both graduated from MSU and I recently died on October 19, 2013.  Thanks for reading.

Mabel Cruickshank

By Willow

            My name is Mabel Cruickshank.  In 1870 I was born in Hudson, Wisconsin.  At age fifteen I got married to Peter Cruickshank and I had two sons, John and James.  We all moved to Bozeman, Montana in 1899.  During World War I, I addressed wounded soldiers.  In 1936 I ran for legislator.  In that same year I became the first female representative of Gallatin Valley.  During my life I tried to pass two bills: 1. To have adult education, 2. To get preschools and kindergartens.  Only my first bill passed.  While my boys were in school I went to Montana State College (now Montana State University).  On the day before my ninety-third birthday on September 16, 1963 I fell into a deep, dark sleep forever.  Now that you’ve heard my story, what’s yours?



Franklin Fridley

By Riley

            Hello.  My name is Franklin F. Fridley, a.k.a. Frank.  I am six feet tall; I was born in Virginia in 1824.  I moved to Bozeman in 1864 when I was 40. I built the third house in Bozeman shortly after Bozeman was started.  Later in my journey through Bozeman my brother Sy Fridley joined me.

Here is an interesting story – wow, it really takes me back!  While at the local general store with John Bozeman, being a democrat and me being a republican made an insulting remark about democrats, which led into a fight.  While both of us were fighting like fools, John Bozeman’s friend McKenzie thought scale weights were the right tool to use to assist J. Bozeman with the fight.  Meanwhile the general store owner, Mr. Story, picked up an axe to dissuade McKenzie.  Well that’s all, I wish there was more I could share with you, yet sadly that is all I can remember.

William White Alderson

By Tess

            Hello. My name is Alderson, William White Alderson.  I would like to tell you a bit about my life.

I was born in England in 1831.  When I turned thirteen years old, I was employed to work in the lead mines of Yorkshire.  I worked there until I was seventeen.  That was when my mother told my family we were emigrating to America.

America was fascinating.  We lived in Wisconsin where I met my lovely wife, Francis.  We had four children in Wisconsin, but eventually I decided to leave them and go up to the gold mines of Virginia City with my brother, John.  We fell in love with the Gallatin Valley and became farmers.  John and I were two of Bozeman’s first pioneers.

Than, in 1866, my beautiful family joined me in Montana.  Francis and I had five more children together.  After my family joined me, I went into the dairy business, and was very successful.

Then, I was named agent of the Fort Peck Reservation! It was 1873 at the time.  I was again successful in my new job but decided to return back to Bozeman and Francis in 1877.  My new job was editor for the “Avant Courier” with my son, Matt.

Finally, I died in 1906.  But I lived a good life, and my name will live on in my nine children.

Ellen Trent Story

By Madi

            My name is Ellen Story; I was born I Leavenworth, Kansas I 1844.  I married Nelson Story in 1862.  I occupied myself by baking pies and bread and selling to miners.  I also made butter from my jersey cow.  Tracy and Main was the birthplace of my children.  When the Storys and I moved to Bozeman, I gave birth to seen children.  Me and my family moved to the Story Mansion in 1880 but it was torn down in 1938.  Nelson and I lived long and productive lives and were major figures in Bozeman’s history.

Edna Tracy White

            Hello, my name is Edna White.  I was born March 17, 1887 in the Tracy home on the corner of Mendenhall and Tracy Avenue.  My parents were William H. and Sarah Bessie.  I graduated from Montana State College in 1908 with a degree in chemistry.  I married on August 22, 1914 to John J. White.  We made our home in Bozeman and I died in 1982.

Henry T. P. Comstock

By Devon

            I died in 1870 and was born in 1820.  My name is Henry T. P. Comstock and lots of people called me Old Pancake.  People thought I was a bad guy because I tricked some people into thinking that I owned the property that they were mining on.  I was making a meager living in 1859 in western Nevada.  I found a mine that had over $400,000,000 of precious metals.  I ended up in Bozeman and lived in a small shack before I committed suicide by shooting myself.

The McDonald Family

By Makenzie

            My family, the McDonald family, packed up and left St. Joseph, Missouri.  It took about a year but we finally reached Virginia City, MT.  Richard and Mary, my parents, were born into slavery.  My mom, Mary McDonald, was taken away from her mom as a child and only had a picture for remembrance.  Their second son, Eddy, was born.  We didn’t stay in Virginia City for a while and we moved to Gallatin County.  My mom wanted to increase our family so my parents did.  My parents added two sons, Lewis and Arthur; they also added two daughters, Belle and Melissa.  But both of my brothers died as young boys.  The Civil War broke out in 1861, the year Richard and Mary were married in Missouri.

The trip wasn’t easy.  My mom’s infant son died and was buried along the trail.  Richard remodeled the kitchen and died during the remodel.  Richard lived to be 66 years old, 1833 to 1898.  My family’s house is located at 308 South Tracy.  My house also holds history of freed slaves that helped settle Bozeman.

Mary lived to be 100 years old, 1841-1941.  The daughter Mollie married Charles Ward and bore two children, Belle, named after her aunt, and Richard. When Mr. Ward died Mollie married Charles Gross. After Mollie died Belle had one surviving relative, her aunt Melissa.  Melissa died in 1967.  That’s the story of the McDonald family.


Walter Cooper

By Autumn

            Hello.  I am Walter Cooper.  I had a very different life from those around me.  I guess I was famous in a way, if you look at my life.  You might think that too after reading this story.

To start off, I came to Montana in 1863 and went through the Colorado gold fields, but didn’t stay. Oh!  I almost forgot I was born through fireworks on the Fourth of July 1843 in Cayuga, New York.

Now that I think about it I just realized how many jobs I had to support my family.  My wife was Mirian Skeens, and we married in 1870 and one of my three surviving children, Mirum, was born 20 years into our marriage.  Back to my jobs, I was a miner in Alder Gulch and a coal miner.  I moved freighting  supplies and did a lot of business travel with my wife before we had Mirum.  I was also a merchant, a miller and made improvements to guns.  My main improvement was giving the barrel of the gun certain grooves in certain places.  It made the bullet spin so it had better aim and power.  Anyway, I was also the first gunsmith to use platinum on the gun’s sights.  Also, me and a few other people built a railway for Rocky Fort.  I also opened Gallatin Canyon Travel.  In 1902 I made Walter Cooper Company and lastly in 1889 I made Bozeman Water Works.

Leader M. Black

By Nina

            Leader M. Black had a history like everybody else.  He was born in 1830.  He married Marry A. Black, and had three children.  In 1869 Leader came to Denver to Bozeman.  Leader Black died on June 18, 1881; he lived to be 51.  That is Leader M. Black’s story.

Leader had very many accomplishments.  He had a partnership with Nelson Story.  Also, he bought the Guy House and changed its name to Northern Pacific Hotel.  He helped make the first Bank of Bozeman.  He made the newspaper The Bozeman Times.  Leader had a couple jobs like in 1869 he was an agent for the Crow Reservation he built businesses and had a job transferring wood, hay and grain for the government.  Later he made a road from Bozeman to Helena that shortened the way 40 to 50 miles.  In 1866 if he died his family would get $250,000.  Those are just some of Leader M. Black’s accomplishments.


John Bogert

By Jocie

            John Bogert is an interesting and important man in Bozeman history.  Bogert was born in New York City on May 9, 1840.  He lived there until he was 32 when he moved to Bozeman, Montana with his two sisters, Mrs. Place and Miss Bogert. There he was appointed to the United States Land Office.  He helped people find land money and materials for a homestead,

In 1883 at the age of 43 he was elected the first mayor of Bozeman.  He was a Republican.  He recommended that we should pave Main Street, build permanent sidewalks and add a cemetery.  He also made the fires department.  In 1899 at age 59 he stepped down from his seat as mayor.  John Bogert said goodbye on the 29th of September in 1907 at 11 o’clock.  He was 67 years old.  John Bogert is an extremely important man in Bozeman’s history.

William Henry Davis

By Sage

            William Davis was born in 1850.  One fact about William Davis is his family made the first crop in Gallatin Valley. To make his crop he needed a plow.  To make a plow he had to use thorn bush to dig the trenches.  He got married in 1871.  Later in life he worked as a fire fighter.  That’s a little about William Henry Davis.


Jesse R. Green

By Dani

            Jesse R. Green was born on April 18th, 1885.  He was raised in the Bozeman, Montana area.  Jesse’s parents were John H. Green and Mary E. Slater.  From 1905 – 1906 he went to Agricultural College.  Jesse received a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in 1926.  Then, in 1932 he received a master’s degree.

On March 2nd, 1915 he married Olga Ellington and had three children: Mary, Ralph and Kenneth.  In the 1930s, Jesse had a farm of his own, but also kept with up with his chemical research.  About seven years later, he was hired by the Anaconda Mining Company until1958 when he retired.  Jesse spent the rest of his life researching and writing about geology, soil, fertilizers, crops and more. Jesse wrote over thirty articles and several news stories.  Jesse R. Green died November 1st, 1967 at age 79.

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