To many, Granville Stuart is the Father of Montana, a giant of a man who shaped the territory and state over half a century. But he almost didn’t come to the area.
He and members of his family went to northern California looking for gold in the 1850s and had little luck. They decided to head back to their farm in Iowa. But as they returned in 1857, Stuart became seriously ill in Idaho. Winter weather forced them to leave, and the group shifted to what is now Montana. He never left.