Filed Under Bozeman

Owenhouse Building

Main Street Historic District

A projecting pressed-tin cornice and raised patterns in the brickwork (called corbelling) add elegance to the five-bay Owenhouse Building. Emanuel Owenhouse, founder in 1880 of the Owenhouse Hardware Company, hired Bozeman architect Fred Willson to design the two-story business block in 1917. The first floor housed two of his subsidiary businesses, a car repair shop and a salesroom for Overland and Chandler cars. A freight elevator in the rear of the building took cars to the basement for parking and storage.  The Chandler Motor Company (in operation between 1913 and 1929) and the Overland (later Willys-Overland) Motor Company (in operation between 1907 and 1926), were just two of the hundreds of car manufacturers vying for consumers in the 1910s and 1920s. By 1922, Oliver Stout Implement Company occupied the building’s west side, while Simpson-Truitt-Flint Co., which specialized in real estate, grain, and livestock, occupied the east. The second floor contained seventeen apartments, which in 1930 rented for $30 to $35 a month. Many of the tenants were self-supporting women—including a teacher, stenographer, waitress, elevator operator, picker in a seed house, and saleslady.


Owenhouse Building
Owenhouse Building Owenhouse Building. Front view of the building, facing south on West Main Street. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Mary Kay Peck Date: Apr. 1983


24-28 West Main Street, Bozeman, Montana | Private


The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Owenhouse Building,” Historic Montana, accessed May 30, 2024,