1109 North 31st Street

North Elevation Historic District

Built in 1915 at the height of Craftsman style popularity, this two-story home features the style’s characteristic exposed rafter tails and inviting front porch. Less typical is the way the porch extended over the driveway to create a sheltered place to park. The home also had a one-car garage facing the alley, a common amenity in Billings’ first automobile suburb. William and Olive Ladd and their two children lived here by 1917. A grain broker who advertised that he would “pay the high dollar” for carload lots of “wheat, beans, and hay,” William participated in Billings’ booming commodities market. In the 1920s, building and loan manager Joseph McMahon and his wife Catherine purchased the home, where they lived with their seven children. The McMahons were committed and active Catholics. Catherine helped organize fundraisers for Catholic orphanages and St. Vincent’s Orthopedic Hospital, while Joseph was a state-wide leader with the Knights of Columbus. Their fashionable home bustled with social activities—from bridge parties to progressive dinners. In the early 1940s, this was the childhood home of John Bohlinger, Montana’s twenty-ninth lieutenant governor.

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1109 North 31st Street, Billings, Montana ~ private