Robert A. Cooley Residence
Bon Ton Historic District
A full-length front porch welcomed visitors to the clapboard home constructed on this lot in 1904. Robert and Edith Cooley purchased the residence from Golden Rule bookkeeper R. A. Black the following year. The couple had moved to Bozeman in 1899 after Robert, an entomologist, joined the college's faculty. After successfully lobbying the legislature to establish the position, Professor Cooley became state entomologist in 1903, a post he held for many years. In 1908 Cooley joined the fight against Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a deadly tick-borne illness that plagued the Bitterroot. Cooley championed tick eradication efforts, particularly dipping livestock in arsenic to control the spread of the disease. Edith and Robert raised four children here, and their home became known as "a center of culture and social refinement." In 1919, however, tragedy struck when the Cooleys' seventeen-year-old son Robert Jr. died of influenza. A year later, Edith also died. Not long after, Robert moved the surviving family to Main Street. Over the years, this residence has evolved, with an addition built between 1912 and 1927 and major remodeling completed in 2008.