Charles W. Rank House

Virginia City National Historic Landmark District

Charles W. Rank arrived on the third train into Bozeman in 1883. There he launched a career in the drug store business that would span more than half a century. In 1884, he came to Virginia City to manage a small drug store. Partnering with his brother-in-law J. S. Allen, Charles purchased the store and later was the sole owner. Rank Drug Store’s inventory was as extensive as the leading stores in Montana’s largest communities. Not only was Charles a prominent businessman, but he also served terms as city councilman and mayor. Charles married Irish-born Elizabeth Hill in 1887 and the couple built this home in 1898. They raised an adopted daughter and spent the rest of their married lives here. The home’s Victorian-era footprint, with its three-sided bay window, gabled roof, and tucked in corner porch, remains intact. In 1937, well-wishers crowded the home and showered the Ranks with flowers and gifts as they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. Charles passed away in 1939, and Elizabeth maintained the family home and ran the drug store until her death in 1946.

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201 East Idaho Street, Virginia City, Montana ~ Private