Great Falls, Montana.  Everyone usually thinks Charlie Russell, Lewis and Clark or the Missouri River and all it's dams when thinking about Great Falls.  There's even more to our history than those notable items and events.  Doing a little research, I found some things about Great Falls I didn't know, so I thought I'd pass them along, in case you didn't know either.

There was a stretch of Montana history, from 1950-1970 when Great Falls was the biggest town in the state.  It now sits at the 3rd largest behind Billings and Missoula.  (It will be interesting to see where it falls next census since the Bozeman and Kalispell areas are growing so fast.)

From the City of Great Falls website, we learn that Great Falls had a lot of firsts in Montana history.

Nick Northern//Canva
Nick Northern//Canva
  • In 1887 Great Falls got the first fire bell in the state.
  • Great Falls is the first known Montana town to elect an African American.  William H. Morgan was elected to a constable position in 1894.
  • Great Falls had the first female newspaper editor in Montana, Martha Edgerton Rolfe.  In 1895, Rolfe became the editor of the Great Falls Leader after her husband died of Typhoid Fever.  She also has the distinction of being the first white woman to live in Great Falls.  She moved here in 1884.  Her father was the first territorial governor of the state.
  • The first motorized fire fighting apparatus in Montana was in Great Falls in 1910
  • Alma Jacobs was the first African American Public Library Director in Montana.  She worked at the Great Falls Library.
  • The first female firefighter in Montana was in Great Falls in 1982.

Be sure to include Great Falls in your Montana road trips this summer.  We look forward to seeing you.

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