Filed Under Helena

Alex C. Johnson Home

Helena Historic District

Senator T. C. Power met A. C. Johnson in Chicago and, taking a liking to the young man, offered him a job out west. The nineteen-year-old came to work as chief clerk at Power’s Fort Benton Mercantile in 1879. Power and Johnson became friends and both moved to Helena in 1890. Johnson rose to direct Power’s American National Bank and its successor, the First National Bank of Montana. Admiringly dubbed the “dean of Montana bankers,” Johnson believed a banker’s responsibility was to those who trusted him with their money. His home, built in 1892, mirrors the image Johnson cultivated for his financial institutions: strong, fortresslike, and invincible. The home’s Romanesque style, with its castle-like tower, round-arched entryway, and rough granite blocks, well reflects Johnson’s intention. Banker Henry Hale Piggott and his family, in residence by 1927, raised their three daughters here. In 1956, the Episcopal diocese purchased the residence. It became the home of several Episcopal bishops. The “9 Cross” in the wrought ironwork on the porch, the registered livestock brand of the Episcopal diocese, recalls this past owner.

Images

Alex C Johnson Home View of facade Source: iPhone SE digital image Creator: Dan R-A Date: June 2022
Alex C Johnson Home View of façade Source: iPhone SE digital image Creator: Dan R-A Date: June 2022
Alex C Johnson Home Oblique view of home from street corner Source: iPhone SE digital image Creator: Dan R-A Date: June 2022

Location

724 Harrison Avenue, Helena, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Alex C. Johnson Home,” Historic Montana, accessed November 28, 2022, https://historicmt.org/items/show/716.