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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

CANNON, Charles W.

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CANNON, Charles W. (Cincinnati, OH, July 1, 1835---Helena, MT, Sept. 4, 1909) Cannon moved with his parents to Dubuque, Iowa, in 1837, where he was raised and educated. When his father's health failed, Charles, at the age of sixteen, took over his merchandise business. In 1858 he formed a successful business partnership with George B. Smith. (1)

Charles and Henry, his younger brother, came to Virginia City, Montana on September 11, 1864. (2) For a short time was engaged in trade in the firm of Cannon Brothers. He moved to Helena, Montana in 1865, where he again engaged in merchandising with the firm of Cannon & Quade. This developed into Kerchival, Cannon & Company, a wholesale grocery and supplier of mining equipment which became one of the most prosperous in the state. (3)

Commissioned by C.W. Cannon, real estate investor, at a cost of $10,000, the building was completed in Helena in 1890. It originally housed five shops.

Cannon was instrumental in obtaining gas, electric light, and street railway systems for Helena and was the president and largest stockholder in each of the companies three companies providing the service. He served as vice-president of the Montana Central Railway and was a director of the Montana National Bank and several other businesses. He was one of the largest wool producers in the state with 3,000 acres and 20,000 sheep. (4)

He is buried in LINWOOD CEMETERY.



1. "Early Residents of Helena, Montana." Online: https://www.accessgenealogy.com/montana/early-residents-of-helena-montana.htm

2. "Biographies of the Pioneers of Lewis and Clark County, Montana." Online: http://genealogytrails.com/mon/lewisandclark/bios_pioneersociety.html

3. "Career of Charles Cannon," Dubuque Daily Herald, May 11, 1892, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=_OG5zn83XeQC&dat=18920511&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

4. Ibid.