Filed Under Virginia City

Elling Bank

Virginia City National Historic Landmark District

Bankers Nowlan and Weary set up business in this brick-veneered building, one of the town’s oldest stone structures, in 1864. Three well-proportioned Gothic arches with elaborate tracery, removed during 1910 remodeling, originally graced its stone façade. In 1873, Henry Elling took over the banking business. His first fortune, made in merchandising, had disappeared along with his partner, but Elling quickly recouped his losses. The buying of gold dust proved a most profitable venture, and Elling became an expert, able to determine the exact location of extraction from the texture and color of the dust. Under his shrewd direction, Elling’s tiny bank became the first financial capital of Montana. The ornate vault, still intact, always carried large amounts of the dust. The Elling State Bank was organized in 1899 and Elling died a millionaire the following year. His family continued to operate the bank for another thirty years.


Elling Bank building, Virginia City
Elling Bank building, Virginia City View of a small stone building with a boardwalk along the front and the right side. Banking house of Henry Elling, upper north Wallace Street, Virginia City, Montana. Building was formerly Nowlan & Weary. Source: PAc 956-101, Montana Historical Society Research Center Photograph Archives, Helena, MT. Creator: Unknown photographer Date: ca. 1880-1915
Elling Bank, Virginia City
Elling Bank, Virginia City View of Wallace Street facade Source: Montana Heritage Commission Creator: Kate Steeley, Montana Heritage Commission Date: Oct 2019


201 West Wallace Street, Virginia City, Montana | Private


The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Elling Bank,” Historic Montana, accessed July 13, 2024,