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Samuel Lewis


“The Bozeman Barber”

By Norah

Hello, my name is Sam Lewis. What kind of trim do you want today? Oh, right your here for the interview. Well, I was born on the islands of Haiti on May19, 1832. As a boy I moved to New Jersey with my family. Soon after, my mother died in 1844 there. And three years later my father passed away also. At age 20 I moved to San Francisco, where I opened the first of many barbershops. Two years later I relocated to Sierra, Colorado and managed a new barbershop. Here I also mined in a local gold mine. I spent the money I earned to finance a two year trip to Europe and the West Indies. Finally, in 1864 I went back to San Francisco, then to Portland, Oregon, next to Idaho City, then finally settled with Montana.  Here I opened my third barbershop in Helena and owned a few others across the state. Then in 1868 I moved yet again to Bozeman. Here I founded my final barbershop on Main Street in 1870. I lived on 308 South Bozeman. I married a widow, Mrs. Melisa Bruce, who had five children from her previous marriage. I had one son, Sam Jr., who was born in 1880. With my prophet from cutting hair I paid for my sister’s education at Oberlin College and sponsored her trip to Florence, Italy. She became a famous sculptress. At age 64, I passed away. It was March 28, 1896. Mrs. Lewis died 31 years later, April 10, 1927.

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