• John Bozeman’s unhappy ending

    John Bozeman. Photo from the Montana Historical Society

    John Bozeman. Photo from the Montana Historical Society

    For our final 150th Montana Territory anniversary post here’s a little bit about John Bozeman . Yep. That Bozeman. Along he had a town named after him, turns out, he wasn’t in Montana too long:

    From Jesse Zentz:

    John Bozeman only lasted in Montana for five years, but this “character” played an important role in Montana’s early territorial days. He arrived in Montana in 1862 and died in 1867. It remains unclear whether he was killed by Blackfeet Indians or partner Tom Cover. Before his death, he helped plan the Bozeman Trail – a route from the Oregon Trail to Bannack – and he founded the city named after him in August of 1864.

    “He’s a son of Georgia. He’s clearly in flight from an unhappy marriage and an unhappy life down south. He’s in flight from the Civil War. He seems to be very good at promoting himself and he’s very good at finding schemes to pursue. In the end, he does not have a happy ending. He ends up getting shot in 1867 and one can only guess what happened there, but he may have been partly responsible. I’ll leave it at that,” said Ken Egan, executive director of Humanities Montana. 

    Just because we’re done celebrating, doesn’t mean there’s not more to see. First, check out this 365-day historical facts project from the Missoulian. Also, if you want to take part in an “official” celebration, the 41st Annual Montana History Conference, presented by the Montana Historical Society, will take place Sept. 18-20 in Helena and focus on Montana Milestones as in commemorates 150 years of Montana arriving on the map. For more information, visit www.mhs.mt.gov/education/ConferencesWorkshops.asp.

    - Jenna 

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