Helena South-Central Historic District
The lure of gold drew miner James H. “Missouri Jim” Halford and his wife, Ellen, to Montana Territory in the mid 1860s. James was a staunch Democrat like many early Helenans, and had earned his nickname commanding a Confederate company during the Civil War. A man of varied interests, James served a term as city marshal in 1886-1887. His business concerns included mining, cattle ranching, and fuel contracting in wood and coal. Circa 1890, the Halfords built this residence overlooking Bridge (now State) Street, then the main business thoroughfare, after their four sons were grown. James died in 1897, and Ellen continued to live here until 1905. Despite several later additions, the original single-story brick home displays some fine decorative elements. A round window in the gable’s peak, segmentally arched windows with stenciled heads, and an etched glass transom remain to affirm the nineteenth-century origins of this appealing home.