In 1881, Clarence Goodell and his bride, Parmelia "Millie" Priest, made the treacherous 300-mile journey from Helena to the Judith Basin. The Goodells built a log cabin there and staked a tree claim on the Judith River. By 1889, the enterprising Clarence was farming and ranching over 3,000 acres. That same year local builder Richmond Jellison began construction of the Goodells' new wood frame residence in nearby Philbrook. There Clarence operated two local stagelines equipped with horses bred at the Goodell farm. Dubbed "Goodell's Folly" by the locals, the Queen Anne/Colonial Revival home was a curiosity among the log cabins of the valley. Though its turret was removed after a windstorm and the porches are now enclosed, the residence appears much as it did when Millie applied her creative touches. Even today her peony bushes and hand-painted interior trim delight the eye. In the 1890s, Clarence served as state legislator and county commissioner while Millie was Philbrook's postmistress. One of the area's first women settlers, Millie often traveled miles to assist in childbirth or tend the sick, and the Goodell home was always open to those in need. The residence and still functional pre-1920s outbuildings symbolize the transition from frontier to farming community. Wood Lawn Farm today is the last thriving remnant of the once-vital settlement of Philbrook and a tribute to these resourceful pioneers.

Images

Map

5 miles west of Hobson on Utica Road #239, Hobson, Montana ~ private