There are numerous fraternal organizations in the
county. The oldest, so far as known, having continued existence, is
Gallatin Lodge No. 6, A. F. and A. M., organized October 4, 1866,
with J. L. Noble worshipful master.
Bozeman Lodge No. 18, A. F. and
A. M., was organized March 5, 1872, with W. H. Bailey, worshipful
Western Star Lodge No. 4, Independent Order of Odd Fellows,
was organized April 26, 1872. W. L. Blackwood was the first Noble
Pythagoras Lodge No. 2, Knights of Pythias was chartered
November 29, 1879.
Lily of the Valley chapter of the Order of
Eastern Star, No. 4, was started April 1, 1890, with Mrs. Mary
Lancaster, worthy matron, and Dr. C. E. Lancaster, worthy patron.
Gallatin Masonic Lodge No. 6 and the Odd Fellows Lodge have erected
their own lodge buildings.
Bozeman Lodge No. 463, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks,
among the later orders, also erected its own building.
Fraternal Order of Eagles, a later
organization, has purchased a building. Many other fraternal orders
exist in 1932.
Several fraternal orders have established chapters
in other parts of Gallatin County.
A number of organizations were formed in early days,
among these, the Young Men's Association, for social intercourse and
to plan for a city library. The association did not last long. A
Gallatin County Teachers' Association was formed in Bozeman,
December 28, 1874, a record of the first few meetings and a copy of
the constitution and by-laws being sent to Mrs. E. L. Houston from
California by her former teacher, T. B. Gray, secretary of the
association. The object as stated in the constitution, was: "First,
the improvement of our public schools; second, the dissemination of
useful information; and third, the cultivation of social
intercourse." Names of members signing the constitution and by-laws
were N. M. Farnum, Samuel M. Reed, T. B. Gray, J. H. Aylesworth, E.
D. Ferguson, J. V. Bogert, T. C. Iliff, W. W. Alderson. F. L. Stone,
H. N. Maguire, H. H. Stone, J. W. Iliff, Stephen Allen and Matt W.
Alderson. The officers elected were: N. M. Farnum of Cottonwood,
president; Stephen Allen of Gallatin City, vice president; T. B.
Gray of Bozeman, secretary; and J. H. Aylesworth of Bozeman,
treasurer. The records do not show how long the association lasted.
The Pioneers' Society of Gallatin County was
organized in Bozeman, November 25, 1893, with the following
officers: Walter Cooper, president; George D. Thomas, vice
president; J. D. McCamman, secretary-treasurer, and W. W. Alderson,
corresponding secretary. Membership was limited to those coming to
Montana on or before December 31, 1864. The limit was changed at the
business meeting in January 1932, to conform to the state
organization, eligibility now including those who came to Montana on
or before December 31, 1868. The first social gathering of members
and their families was on February 22, 1894, in celebrating the
golden wedding of Mr. and Mrs. William Rea, and annual reunions are
still enjoyed on that date. The Society of Sons and Daughters of
Pioneers of Gallatin County was organized November 16, 1894, and the
members join with the pioneers in the annual banquet and social
gathering. George D. Pease was first president; O. P. Morgan, vice
president; Walter Davis recording secretary; Miss Hattie Street,
corresponding secretary and O. L. Reese, treasurer.
There were not many women among the earliest
settlers in Gallatin County, Mrs. W. J. Beall, who crossed the
plains with her first husband and two little daughters, arriving
August 1, 1864, being the first white woman to locate near Bozeman,
residing here until her death in April 1930, when she was nearly 92
years old. A few families settled in the county later in that year
and in 1865, and many others during the next five years, several
coming from the mining districts. Among those arriving in 1866 were
Mrs. W. W. Alderson and four children who came up the Missouri River
to Fort Benton. The pioneer women were devoted to their homes and
their families and were ever ready to lend a helping hand to those
in need and to extend comfort in time of sorrow and affliction. They
helped materially also in the church, school and civic work in
In the early days there were no women's clubs in
Gallatin County, the aid societies and guilds of the churches
assisting in civic and educational work, and cooperating with the
schools in providing entertainments. Men and women of all
denominations joined in fairs, concerts and various entertainments
given for any particular church or community benefits, the Silver
Cornet band assisting with the music for such entertainments. Dances
provided the entertainment in many rural communities, the early day
"fiddlers" furnishing most of the music for such affairs. The
officers and wives at Fort Ellis in the early seventies provided
some high-class entertainments to which Bozeman citizens were
W. C. T. U. Started
The Woman's Christian Temperance Union was organized
in Bozeman, May 24, 1884. Mrs. George Byron Morse, wife of the first
Baptist minister of the city, was the first president, and served
one year. Mrs. M. M. Rich, widow of Charles Rich, an early day
merchant, served as president of the union for 17 years. The
organization has had continuous existence.
The first club of women organized in Gallatin County
was the Housekeepers' Club, first called the Housekeepers' Society,
organized in April 1894, and having continuous existence, helping to
organize the state federation in 1904, affiliating also with the
General Federation of Women's clubs. The Woman's Club was organized
in 1911, and is the largest club in the county. The Gallatin County
federation of women's clubs includes these two clubs, also the
Belgrade Woman's Club, Manhattan Woman's Club, Three Forks Woman's
Club; Willow Creek Study Club, Leverich Woman's Club, O. D. O. Club,
Helpful Hour Club and Bozeman Business and Professional Woman's
Club. They aid in much civic work, the Tuberculosis Seal Sale and in
the Sunshine Health Camp.
The first fire company in Bozeman was organized in
1880, with A. P. Clark as chief. The only facilities for fighting
fires at that time were wooden buckets and homemade hooks and
ladders. The only water supply was from private wells and from the
streams running through the city. In 1884, the Bozeman Volunteer
Fire Department was organized with 50 members, William G. Alexander
being chosen chief; James F. Keown, assistant chief; Horace
Cleveland, foreman hose company; Lon Clark, foreman engine company;
William Boyle, foreman hook and ladder company. Large wells were dug
on Main Street, a steam engine was purchased and with hose carts and
hook and ladder truck, improvements were made and a hose tower was
erected. Other improvements were made when the city water system was
installed, and later with the installation of electricity, alarm
boxes were installed and with the installation of automobile trucks
and up-to-date equipment, Bozeman has a most satisfactory system in
1932, with some paid officers and a large list of volunteer firemen.
Board of Trade
The Bozeman Board of Trade was organized in March
1883, with Walter Cooper, president; J. V. Bogert, secretary; J. S.
Mendenhall, first vice president; General L. S. Willson, second vice
president, and Peter Koch, treasurer. This organization was
succeeded later by the Gallatin Valley Club that was largely a
social organization. The Gallatin Valley Commercial Club was
incorporated in 1914, for the purpose of promoting the business,
commercial, financial and social welfare of Bozeman and Gallatin
County, the Gallatin Valley Club having assumed some of these
functions for a few years, but not making the official record as a
Commercial club. The social rooms in the Story Block included an
elaborate grain and grass display on the walls in 1908. A fire
destroyed much of this a few years later. The club was succeeded by
the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce in 1916, still functioning with an
executive board and a paid secretary in 1932.
Other cities in Gallatin County now have their commercial clubs,
carrying on work for their communities and the part of the valley in
which they are located.
Building and Loan
Pioneer Building and Loan Association of Bozeman,
organized in September 1888, with a continued existence has enabled
many persons in Bozeman and vicinity to become owners of homes. It
was started largely for the purpose of helping people with small
means to build or buy, and the association has proved a good place
for small investments.
The first annual fair of the Eastern Montana
Agricultural, Mineral and Mechanical Association was held at
Gallatin City, October 7, 1872, according to announcement made by W.
S. McKenzie, president and R. B. Wells, secretary. An extensive race
program was the most important feature of this fair and others
following arranged by the same organization.
The Interstate Fair association was formed by a
group of Bozeman businessmen in 1903 with Frank L. Benepe, president
and R. D. Steele, secretary. Previous to that time, races had been
conducted every fall on a track a mile south of Bozeman, under an
association with J. V. Bogert secretary-treasurer, and a group of
local directors. The association formed in 1903, leased a tract of
90 acres north of the city, that was later purchased, and while
fairs were conducted by the association, for a few years, the
management was later put into the hands of a County Fair board
appointed by the county commissioners, with a paid secretary, and
with a number of fine buildings for exhibits and one of the best
race tracks in Montana, the Inter-Mountain fair is carried on every
fall, H. P. Griffin being the present secretary.