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POWER, Thomas Charles

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POWER, Thomas Charles. (near Dubuque, IA, May 22, 1839 – Feb. 23, 1923) Power attended public school and graduated from Sinsinawa College with a degree in engineering. He worked as a surveyor in Dakota until 1860 and from 1861 and 1867 was involved in trade along the MISSISSIPPI RIVER becoming president on a steamer line.

In 1867, Power traveled up the Missouri River to Fort Benton, Montana Territory and opened a general mercantile firm in partnership with his brother, John W. POWER. T.C. Power and Brother and I. G. Baker and Company dominated trade and freighting on the northern plains by the mid 1870s. In connection with this trade, T.C. Power and several associates were charged by the United States government with fraud. His associates were sent to prison but Power was exonerated. Power was president of T.C. Powers & Co. and T.C. Powers Mercantile Company of Fort Benton, Montana. After settling in Helena, Montana in 1876, Power started T. C. Power and Browhich, a prominent mercantile company which served the northwestern United States and western Canada. He also served as president of the American National Bank of Helena.

As a Republican, Power served as a delegate to the 1884 Constitutional Convention, ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1889, and was selected one of Montana's first U.S. Senators in a bitterly fought election in the Montana legislature. He served in the United States Senate from January 2, 1890 to March 3, 1895 as one of the state's first two senators. The town of Power, Montana was named in his honor.




Klasen, Henry C. "Shaping the Growth of the Montana Economy: T. C. Power & Bro. and the Canadian Trade, 1869-93," Great Plains Quarterly, 1991 p. 6 Online: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1609&context=greatplainsquarterly

Guide to the Thomas C. Power papers 1867-1950 nwda-db.wsulibs.wsu.edu/findaid/ark:/80444/xv64648