Filed Under Helena

Heitman/O'Connell House

Helena Historic District

Minneapolis architects William Purcell and George Elmslie designed this Prairie style residence for Louis and Caroline Heitman in 1916. Before moving to Minneapolis, Purcell and Elmslie worked with renowned Chicago architects Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. In their quest to create a thoroughly American architectural style, Wright and Sullivan embraced organic themes found in nature. Purcell and Elmslie clearly distinguished their work from Wright’s, adapting the Prairie style for Montana by specifying a steep front-gabled roof to shed snow and vertical redwood siding to fit the natural environment. Inside, classic Prairie style hallmarks include the colorful leaded glass windows, exposed wood ceiling beams, and a two-sided Roman brick fireplace. Louis Heitman, one of Montana’s foremost stock growers and investors, operated Helena’s American National Bank. In 1931, J. E. “Eddy” and Eve O’Connell purchased the home. Eddy owned Eddy’s Bakery, a commercial bread company. The O’Connell’s donated much of their fortune to fund college scholarships and improve nearby Carroll College. Their only son Jim and his wife Merle perpetuated the family’s business and charitable work and the home remained in the family until 2017.

Images

Heitman/O'Connell House
Heitman/O'Connell House Photo of Heitman/O'Connell house facade. Creator: Owner Date: 2023
Louis Heitman Building Plans
Louis Heitman Building Plans Article in The Independent Record, Helena, MT. Source: Access newspapers.com articles through the MTHS Portal Creator: The Independent Record Date: 31 May, 1916

Location

712 Dearborn, Helena, MT | private

Metadata

Montana Historical Society, “Heitman/O'Connell House,” Historic Montana, accessed March 5, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/3547.