Hill and Gibson
James J. Hill Paris Gibson
By 1887, when James J. Hill, railroad tycoon, had completed the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba railway line to Great Falls, the burgeoning city was ready for development. Hill, as well as Paris Gibson, who is considered the founding father of Great Falls and a personal friend of Hill, marketed Great Falls as the ideal place for not only agriculture and commercial development, but also industry.
The silver mining industry was growing in Montana and because there was minimal local smelting competition, Anton Eilers, a famous metallurgist from Germany, and New York investors decided on Great Falls as the location to build the first industrial complex for the city.
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