Homesteaders, travelers, and railroad crews helped the tiny town of Virgelle thrive during the 1910s. Town founder Virgil Blankenbaker chartered the Virgelle State Bank in 1917 where he, his brother-in-law John G. Chancellor, C. J. McNamara, and…

The Milwaukee Land Company laid out the neat, tree-lined streets of Square Butte in 1913. Strategically located along the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific’s route between Lewistown and Great Falls, Square Butte was for a time an important…

Christopher and Edward Wilson chose this narrow canyon as headquarters for their ranching operation in 1887. The brothers lived in a dugout while they built a more serviceable two-room cabin using granite hand-cut from the nearby hillside. By 1895,…

Fort Benton’s first school opened in 1868, over twenty years before statehood. As Montana’s population grew, so did its commitment to education, fueled by the belief that a successful democracy demands an educated populace. Upon statehood (1889), the…