When railroads replaced steamboats, Fort Benton’s importance as a trade center declined. In response, Fort Benton businessmen formed the Benton Bridge Company to construct a bridge across the Missouri River to capture the trade of the rapidly…

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),…

In 1867, merchant T. C. Power, destined to become one of the state’s wealthiest and most influential men, brought his first wagonload of goods to Fort Benton, where he set up shop in a borrowed tent. Still in business in 1916, Power constructed a…

Prominent Montana merchant and cattleman John T. Murphy, who also ran a major freighting outfit between Fort Benton and the mining camps, went into partnership with Samuel Neel to build this commercial structure in 1880 at a cost of $15,000. The…