List of Early Montana Farmers

E. S. Banta, born in Missouri, Sept. 2, 1832; brought up a fanner; immigrated to California in 1862, with his own team; remained there one year, and came to Montana, first to the Bitterroot Valley, then to Gallatin City, and finally to Willow Creek in Madison County, where he obtained 196 acres of land, and raised stock. He married, in 1861, Mary Foster.

William McKimens, a native of Pennsylvania, was born Oct. 20, 1835, and raised a farmer. Removed to Illinois at the age of 19, and soon after to Kansas. In 1858 he went the Pike’s Peak country, and was one of the 100 locators of Denver. Returning east, he came to Montana in 1804, and established himself.

Ellis Elmer, born in England May 18, 1828, immigrated to the U. S. in 1850, settling in Illinois, where he remained 9 years, when he removed to Missouri, whence he came to Montana in 1871. Painter by trade; secured 100 acres of land at Fish Creek. In 1857 married R. T. Lambert.

F. T. Black, born Oct. 23, 1856, in Illinois, removed at ten years of age to Missouri, and at The age of 20 to Montana, where he leased improved land at Pony, on Willow Creek.

Robert Riddle, born in Ohio Aug. 18, 1840, was brought up a farmer. At the age of 18 he learned harness making, after which he resided 2 or 3 years in Illinois., coining to Montana with an ox-team in 1864, via Bridger’s pass, and mining in Emigrant and Alder gulches and the Coeur d’Alene country until 1871, when he settled at Bozeman, where he became owner of 200 acres and some stock. In 1882 he married Cynthia Stevens.

Thomas Garlick, born in Eng. Aug. 16, 1836, was 1½ years of age when bis parents immigrated to the U. S., landing at N. O., whence they proceeded to St Louis, and soon to a farm in Illinois, where he remained till 1860. Served as a volunteer in the union army, and afterward drove a herd of cows to Denver, soon following the exodus from Colorado to Montana. In the spring of 1865 he left Bannack for Helena gold-diggings, where he remained two years, when he went to Hamilton, in the Gallatin Valley, working for wages. In 1874 settled upon 160 acres near Bozeman, where be grew grain and stock. Married Nancy Jane Krattcar in 1865.

James Kent, a native of Tennessee, born July 28, 1841, removed with bis parents, at 4 years of age, to Missouri. When 10 years old his father joined the army of immigrants to California, where he died. Then the mother died, leaving 5 children to the mercy of the world. At 21 years of age James began to go west, and reached Montana in 1864, spending a season in Alder gulch and another in Gallatin county, alternately, until 1876, when he settled upon 400 acres of land near Bozeman, farming and raising horses and cattle. In 1873 he married Martha Simes.

G. W. Krattcar, born in Ohio April 4, 1826, removed to Missouri with his parents at the age of 17, where he lived upon a farm for 18 years, immigrating to Colorado in 1860 with an ox-team. Remained there three years, and came to Montana, settling first at Hamilton, but removing to the neighborhood of Bozeman in 1871, where he secured 160 acres, farm machinery, and stock. Was married in 1859 to Frances Morper. Mrs Krattcar came up the Missouri on the steamer Helena in 1866, and was 90 days on the way.

William Sheppard, born in England, March 25, 1846, immigrated to America in 1862, after being 2 years in the East Indies and Africa. He resided a few mouths in Council Bluffs, Iowa, before corning to Montana with an ox-team. He crossed the plains a number of times, and settled in the Gallatin Valley on 160 acres of land in 1870.

J. Burrell, a native of Canada, born in 1839, removed to Ohio in 1862, and to Montana in 1864 with an ox-team, in company with a train of 350 immigrants. On the Bozeman route, at Powder River, the train was attacked by 250 Sioux, whom they fought for 24 hours, 3 of the company being killed. Reached Alder gulch Aug. 2d, and the same season settled on 320 acres of land near Gallatin City, raising grain and stock. Was married in 1864 to Miss Campbell.

George W. Marshall, born in Illinois, Jan. 10, 1834, resided in Missouri from 1849 to 1863 on a farm. In the latter year began freighting for the government to New Mexico, and was in Colorado when the flood of 1864 swept away so much of Denver, the river spreading to 1½ miles in width. His camp escaped by having moved to higher ground. In 1865 came to Montana, first to Alder gulch, then to Boulder, and lastly to Salesville in 1873, where he secured 160 acres, and some farm stock. While freighting across the plains has lived for days on frozen dough, the snow having wet the buffalo chips so that they would not burn enough to bake bread.

George L. Dukes, born in Kentucky, Oct. 26, 1824, reared a farmer, removed to Missouri in 1845, and engaged in farming, merchandising, and hotel keeping until 1862, when he removed to Illinois, and 2 years later to Montana by steamboat Resided in Alder gulch one winter and in Helena 4 or 5 years, engaged in taking building contracts. Was police magistrate 2½ years. In 1869 moved to Prickly Pear, and the same year to Willow Creek, in Gallatin county, where he took 320 acres of land and engaged in farming and stock-raising. Was for 7 years county commissioner. Was married in 1848 to Catherine Deering.

John Hanson, a native of Sweden, born Sept. 4, 1840, immigrated to the U. S. at the age of 15 years, and settled in Illinois, working as a farm hand near Galesburg for 5 years. At the breaking out of the civil war he enlisted in the 42d Illinois, serving nearly four years, being wounded 3 times, once in the breast and once in either arm. After the close of the war he came to Montana with an ox-team, arriving in Alder gulch and Jefferson City in 1866. He bought a farm near the latter place, on which he resided 5 years, then went to Bozeman, and was in the Yellowstone expedition of 1874. He then purchased 240 acres of government land and 640 of railroad land near Bozeman, and established himself as a farmer. He married, in 1863, Minnie Hager.

Charles Holmes, born May 11, 1836, in Sweden, came to the U. S. in 1848, residing in Illinois 3 years on a farm, and from there going to Minnesota and Dakota, whence he immigrated to Montana in 1866 with an ox-team, going to Helena and mining for 2 years, then to Gallatin Valley, where he helped build Fort Ellis; and afterward made a business of furnishing firewood for several years. In 1872 he settled on 200 acres of land near Bozeman. While a resident of Dakota, Holmes enlisted under Gen. Sully to fight Indians, and was with him when he built Fort Rice. He married Mary Banks in 1876.

E. T. Campbell, born in Wisconsin, Nov. 6, 1842, resided there 13 years, when he removed with his parents to Iowa, and remained there until he enlisted in the 8th Iowa cavalry during the civil war, in which regiment he served 2 years and 6 months. After the close of the war he migrated to Montana, driving an ox-team, arriving in the Gallatin Valley in 1868. Followed driving for several years, settling on 320 acres near Bozeman in 1871.

George W. Flanders, a native of Vermont, born Feb. 22, 1842, was reared on a Farm. At 16 years of age he began learning the trade of a millwright and carpenter. On the opening of the war of the rebellion, he enlisted in the 6th Vermont regiment, and was wounded in both shoulders at the battle of Spotsylvania Court House. Remained in the army 4 years. In 1869 came to Montana via the river route, and worked at his trade in Helena for three years, after which he resided on Bear Creek, Gallatin county, for 6 years, when he erected a sawmill for himself on Middle Creek, which in 1883 cut 1,000,000 feet of lumber.

Amos Williams, born in Illinois, Dec. 21, 1840, and bred a farmer; went to the Colorado mines in 1850 with a horse-team, returning to Kansas, and from there to Missouri, where he resided until 1876, making a journey to Texas in the mean time. In the year mentioned he settled on 160 acres near Bozeman. Married Anna Foxall in 1868.
M. Witten, a native of California, born Jan. 14, 1856, lived a farmer’s life in California and Oregon, and came to Montana in 1880, locating near Gallatin City, on 160 acres of government and 80 acres of railroad land, raising stock and farming.

Rufus Smith, born in Missouri, Feb. 16, 1855, came to California when an infant, by the ocean route. Was bred a farmer, and educated at Christian college. Removed to Montana in 1880, and located near Gallatin City on a farm.

T. T. Callahan, born in Illinois, Feb. 16, 1854, removed when a child to Arkansas with his parents, and was reared on a farm. Went to Kansas and farmed for two years; then came to Montana in 1880, and taking 320 acres of land at the Three Forks, engaged in stock-raising.

W. C. Jones, born in New York, Sept. 25, 1830, bred on a farm, migrated to Iowa at the age of 24 years, where he resided 4 years and went to St Louis, where he was for 5 years, and then into the union army for 1½ years, after which he took a beef contract from the government at Springfield, Illinois. In 1866 he came to Montana with an ox -team, mining in Alder gulch until 1870, when he removed to Boulder valley and became an owner with S. B. Rice in the silver quartz mines, The Mono, Boulder Belle, Montana, Union, and Plymouth Rock. The Mono yielded 66 ounces to the ton, and was bonded for $50,000. Married Kato Hayward in 1852.

John Colburn, born in Sweden Feb. 4, 1855, immigrated to America in 1872, and went directly to Colorado, where he remained in the mines 6 years. He came to Montana in 1878, and worked at Wickes, where he purchased the Little Giant mine in 1882, in company with Roberts and Thurston.

Charles Charlton, native of Ohio, born March 23, 1817, bred on a farm, and taught the trade of a butcher. Emigrated to Kansas in 1855, and 4 years after by horse-team to Colorado, where he mined until 1864, when he came to Montana. After a season at Alder gulch resorted to his trade of butcher, which he followed at Virginia City and Bivens gulch. In 1866 removed to Beaverhead Valley, and secured 160 acres of land, raising horses and cattle. Married Susannah Pritchard in 1844.

William Stodden, born in England Nov. 27, 1838, came to the U. S. in 1860, remaining 3 years in N. Y., and going to the copper mines on Lake Superior; and from there to Colorado, where he was 8 months in the mines; and then to Nevada, from which state he returned to Montana in 1865, when be settled near Dillon, with his brother Thomas Stodden, on 640 acres, raising stock.

Rosa Degan, born in Albany, New York, March 24, 1830, enlisted for the Mexican war in 1848, but peace being declared, was not sent out. Next engaged to go whaling for Howland & Co., which service carried him to many Pacific and other ports for 4 years. After roaming about the world for several years more, he commanded a steamer on Lake Michigan 2 seasons. On the breaking out of the war enlisted in the 3d New York. Served several months in that regiment until commissioned in the 162d New York. Fought at Big Bethel, and in other battles. On returning to Albany went into the produce business, and migrated to Montana in 1866. Tried, first, mining, but settled down in Helena to keeping a livery and feed stable. Has been city marshal. He secured 320 acres of land, and raised horses and cattle. Married Rosamond Street in 1860.

George Breck, born in New Hampshire Oct. 8, 1852, was educated at Kimball Union and Dartmouth colleges, and migrated to Montana in 1870, engaging in merchandising and stock-raising. He had, in 1884, 320 horses, being compelled to sell 700 acres in Prickly Pear Valley to procure a larger range somewhere else for his stock. Kept fine stallions and brood mares, and raised fast roadsters.

H. Gleason, born in New York in 1824, removed to Michigan at the age of 20, and from there to Minnesota, soon after, where he resided 18 years, in hotel keeping. Migrated to Wisconsin, and to Montana in 1872, by the river route. Has been a justice of the peace in Wisconsin, a constable, deputy sheriff, and superintendent of the county farm in Lewis and Clarke County. Owned 160 acres, and raised grain and stock. Married Sarah Ogden in 1844; Caroline Park in 1846; and Anna Payne in 1866.

James A. Smith, born in Kirkville, Bear County Missouri, in 1848, resided there until 1864, when he took employment on a steamboat transporting supplies to the federal forces at Memphis and other points above the blockade. In the winter of 1869 he was in the service of the military at Fort Belknap. In 1880 he came to Fort Benton, and from there returned to his early home, where he was persuaded to study law, which profession he practised at Missoula.

Emmerson Hill, born in Tennessee, sent to school at Trenton, Tennessee, and St Louis, Missouri, living alternately on a farm and in the city, came to Montana in 1881, and located himself at Red Rock, in the dairying business. He married Margaret Bess in 1879.

Joseph Haines, born in Missouri in 1844, was brought up on a farm, and educated at McGee College. At the age of 20 years he came to Montana, mining at Alder gulch and Helena, and working in a bakery at Blackfoot. From that he went to livery keeping, and to stock raising, first on Sun River and again on the Yellowstone. He accompanied Gen. Miles on his campaign against Lame Deer, being in the battle. He prospected over a great extent of country, but settled finally near Red Rock, in 1878, at stock raising. He married Mrs Rose Hoovis in 1884.

Thomas T. Taylor, born in England in 1840, immigrated to Illinois in 1861, and came to Montana in 1806. He was forced to fight the Indiana from Powder River to the Yellowstone on the Bozeman route. He settled at Sheridan, mining in the vicinity until 1873, when he began farming, having between 300 and 400 acres, well stocked.
Thomas Donegan was born in 1847, and came with his family to America. He came to Montana in 1865, and mined moat of the time until 1878. He was elected assessor for Madison County for 1871-2.

John Penaluna, born in England in 1843, came to the U. S. and Montana in 1864, where he was engaged in mining at Bannack until 1881, when he preempted 160 acres on Horse Prairie and began stock raising. He was coroner of Beaverhead County when the Nez Perces raid occurred.

Among the settlers of Yellowstone Valley was William Arthur Davis, who was born in Virginia in 1845, bred a farmer, and attended the common schools. He crossed the plains to California in 1856, and returned as far as Colorado 2 years later, mining in both countries. He owned some shares in the town of Auraria, which he sold for a few hundred dollars in 1862, engaging in business in Nevada, but corning to Montana in 1863, where he mined in all the principal camps. He became owner in the Davis lode in Madison County, which carried 80 oz. of silver to the ton; but resided at Riverside in Custer County, where he had a stock ranche. He married Minnie Price Ferral in 1879.

William H. Lee, born in Ohio in 1841, was brought up a farmer, with a common school education. He immigrated to Montana in 1863, driving an ox-team, mined for 2 or 3 years, and settled on some land near Fort Ellis, where he lived during 1866-7. Being driven from here by the military authorities, he went lower down the Yellowstone, but when the Crow reservation was set off he was again forced to move, the Indians burning his barns and hay crop. Again he went to the Gallatin Country, and took a claim 3 miles west of Bozeman, where he remained until 1871, when he returned to Riverside, Yellowstone Valley, and became engaged in the cattle business with Nelson Story. He was married in 1877 to Viola B. Swan.

O. Bryan was born in Ohio in 1854, and immigrated with his father, Henry B. Bryan, to Colorado in 1860, where he remained until 1862, corning that year to Bannack. The elder Bryan mined until 1870 in Bannack and Alder gulch, after which he settled on some farming land in Gallatin Valley, and cultivated it until 1875. After that, father and son mined in Emigrant gulch for 5 years, when they removed to Riverside and engaged in merchandising, owning besides 160 acres of coal land in Custer County.



MLA Source Citation:

Bancroft, Hubert H. Bancroft Works, Volume 31, History Of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, 1845-1889. San Francisco: The History Company. 1890. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 25 October 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/montana/list-of-early-montana-farmers.htm - Last updated on Aug 16th, 2013


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