Born in Quebec, Exzelia Pepin followed his uncle Simon Pepin—Havre’s town founder—to Montana in 1888, a year after the Great Northern Railway reached Fort Assinniboine. Not long after, the Great Northern decided to build a division point at what was then called Bull Hook Bottoms. Exzelia was among the original homesteaders who voted to rename the community Havre. Exzelia became the postmaster, a politically connected position, owned a meat market, and ran cattle. In 1914 he and his wife Anna hired Havre architect Francis F. Bossuot to design them a home worthy of their stature. Bossuot borrowed from several architectural traditions including the Neo-classical (the prominent two-story portico), Italian Renaissance (the flat roof surrounded by a balustrade and dentils under the eave), and Queen Anne (the patterned, leaded-glass windows). The south wing was added after 1920, by which time the Pepins had enclosed much of the veranda. Anna died unexpectedly in 1921, and by 1929 the commanding residence had been converted into apartments. Early tenants included a minister, a grocery store clerk, a stockman, and a dental assistant.