Filed Under Helena

Joseph K. Toole House

Helena South-Central Historic District

In May of 1890, Montana’s first governor, Helena trial lawyer and territorial statesman Joseph Kemp Toole, brought his bride, Lilly, to live in the family home on Rodney Street. The territorial brick residence had been constructed before 1880 for family patriarch Edwin Toole, who moved to Helena after the elder Mrs. Toole’s death in 1878. Under Lilly’s direction a decade later, the home became “one of the most delightful in Helena.” Used as executive mansion throughout Toole’s first term of office, the interesting floorplan was well adapted to frequent entertaining. Two well-appointed parlors graced the upper floor while the lower level contained the kitchen and dining room. The two-storied west end with double porches featured striking views overlooking the city’s then-commercial center. This nostalgically charming home nestled into the hillside appears much as it did in the 1890s, framed by remnants of Lilly’s original landscaping.


Joseph K. Toole House
Joseph K. Toole House Joseph K. Toole House (PAc 91-51 South Central Helena Roll21 F20). Front to side view of the house, facing northwest on the corner of South Rodney Street and State Street. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 1981


102 South Rodney Street, Helena, Montana | Private


The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Joseph K. Toole House,” Historic Montana, accessed June 18, 2024,