Alexander and Busey Houses

Carpenter and lumber dealer Elmer Bader, who left his mark on a number of Kalispell neighborhoods, constructed his own residence across the street and this mirror-image pair of homes as investment properties circa 1903. After Bader moved his business to Eureka in 1905, he sold the twin rental houses to Isaac Busey, a pumper for the Great Northern Railway. The Busey family moved into 106 W. 5th Avenue. Isaac died in 1907, but his wife Mattie and their daughter and son-in-law, prominent ophthalmologist Dr. Adelbert Howe, remained at the family home. In 1910, Benjamin F. Knapp and his daughter and son-in-law, John Gus Thompson, rented the house at 112 W. 5th Avenue from the Buseys. Thompson, newly retired from a stellar career in professional baseball, pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first World Series in 1903. The Buseys sold the rental home to John C. and Melinda Alexander in 1911. Mrs. Alexander was an accomplished writer and speaker who eloquently championed the underdog in her literary pursuits. Kalispell mourned when she died in 1918. Alexander, a well-known auctioneer, later remarried and he and his second wife made their home at 112 W. 5th Avenue. The two houses are rare surviving examples of a number of look-alike homes built as investment properties in Kalispell during the historic period. While both have seen a few changes, each retains a number of original Queen Anne style features. These include the uneven roof line, front wing with angled corners, bay windows, and pedimented porches with decorative turned supports.



106 & 112 5th Avenue West, Kalispell, Montana ~ Private