Lee / O'Neil House

West Side Historic District

Rural families who valued education faced a dilemma when their children graduated from the local one-room school. Many students simply ended their studies after eighth grade. A lucky few, like Mercedes Lee, moved into town for the winter to attend high school. Some came alone and boarded with Kalispell families; Mercedes came with her parents, Hamilton and Martha Lee, whose older children cared for their Milk River ranch during the winter. In 1906, the Lees completed this seven-room home, conveniently located two blocks from the new county high school, which graduated its first class in 1902. Wide eave returns, a full-length front porch, a pedimented entry, and clapboard siding add character to the Colonial Revival style residence. Because of its location, the house retained its connection to education long after Mercedes graduated from high school. In 1930, printer Ernest O’Neil lived here with his wife, Frieda, their four children, and two female boarders, both of whom were teachers.

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617 3rd Avenue West, Kalispell, Montana ~ Private