Woodman S. Paynter House

Helena South-Central Historic District

Although modest compared to Helena’s imposing West Side mansions of a slightly later period, this well-preserved home was very grand for its early date. Woodman S. Paynter arrived in Helena in 1868 and entered into a business partnership with Henry M. Parchen. He and Parchen, whose home was across the street, ran a retail drugstore. The Paynters’ two-story frame house, built between 1869 and 1875, retains many of its original details including graceful wooden porch columns, two original chimneys, and a pediment with dentil trim over the front door. By 1888, the Paynters had remodeled their house with a one-story addition on the south, likely to accommodate indoor plumbing. The outhouse at the back was incorporated into the family’s stable, enlarging it substantially. The Paynters lived here until 1893. Later tenants included the Salvation Army’s “rescue home” from 1896 to 1897. In the early 1910s, Reverend Jacob Alford, a Methodist minister, rented the residence. From at least 1915 to the early 1960s, various members of teamster Michael Murphy’s family resided here.



3 South Rodney Street, Helena, Montana ~ Private