1023 North 31st Street
North Elevation Historic District
Alice Bell lived in this cross-gable residence for over fifty years. She and husband Frank moved here with their two young children in 1914. Narrow clapboard siding, gable-end returns, and multipaned windows give the home an understated elegance. Frank was a prominent dentist, who brought the first electric drill to Billings. However, he was even better known as a pilot. After attending flight school and earning his pilot’s license in San Diego, he returned to Billings with his own airplane. Eight thousand spectators—some of whom arrived in Billings on special excursion trains from Red Lodge and Lewistown—gathered to watch Dr. Bell’s aerial display on May 30, 1913. Bell flew from Billings to Laurel and then to Park City, the longest flight in Montana at the time. Artist J. K. Rolston commemorated Bell’s flight in a 1958 mural, which remains on display in the Billings airport. The Bells clearly loved the home and the neighborhood. Son Norman, who joined his father’s dentistry practice, purchased a house just down the street in 1939.