Philipsburg Historic Disctrict
One of a network of Jewish merchants who supplied miners in the Rocky Mountain West, nineteen-year-old Benjamin Pizer arrived in Helena from Poland with his wife Jessie Silverman and their newborn son David in 1869. With limited capital, he purchased fifty pounds of dry goods, which he peddled to area miners. After seven years, he bought a wagon and expanded his territory. In 1878, he purchased a dry goods business in Philipsburg. A building boom fueled by Philipsburg-area silver mining and the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railroad prompted Pizer to invest in this one-story brick vernacular style building in 1887. Pizer sold furniture, notions, and tobacco from this shop, while a saloon operated on the building’s east side. Well integrated into the Philipsburg community, Pizer served as a Republican county commissioner and was a member of both the Knights of Pythias and the Oddfellows. A founding member of the Helena Hebrew Benevolent Society, Pizer also retained ties to Helena, where the family returned in 1896. He died there in 1921 and was buried in the Home of Peace Jewish cemetery.