Losekamp Block

Billings Old Town Historic District

John Losekamp brought boots and shoes to Billings by mule train in 1882, when a cluster of tents and a few log cabins defined the business district. The pioneer merchant purchased this lot around 1890, constructing a two-story brick business block by 1894. The building’s second story still looks much as it did originally. Its spirited design features a bracketed metal cornice, a decorative brick frieze with circular medallions and cream brick diamonds, raised brick accents, and embellished window heads. As Billings grew, so did Losekamp’s business, and in 1907, he advertised himself as a “men’s outfitter.” Known for his willingness to offer area cowboys credit, he sold “ranch supplies, clothing, trunks, shoes, valises.” An avid sportsman, Losekamp planted the first trout in Beartooth Lake, imported Chinese pheasants for bird hunting and, as state representative, supported enactment and enforcement of game laws. Almost entirely self-educated, he also helped pass the law establishing free county high schools. He generously supported higher education as well; when he died in 1913, he left a third of his estate to Billings Polytechnic (later Rocky Mountain College.) 



2817 Montana Avenue, Billings, Montana ~ Private