Great Falls History. com
History, Photos, Links, and Information about Great Falls, Montana

Paris Gibson (July 1, 1830 –December 16, 1920), was a Minneapolis entrepreneur and Montana politician.

Gibson was born in Brownfield, Oxford County, Maine. He served as a member of the Montana State Senate and as a member of the United States Senate between 1901 and 1905. He abandoned his failed business interests in Minnesota to try his luck out West and, in 1880, paid a visit to the waterfalls of the Missouri River and quickly recognized their potential for producing hydroelectric power.

Gibson convinced his friend, railroad magnate James J. Hill, to invest in a town site at the falls and urged that Hill extend his railroad through the new city. In 1883 the City of Great Falls, Montana had been founded.

By 1887 Hill rail lines linked Great Falls to Butte, and Helena, Montana. However, the main line of Hill's Great Northern Railway bypassed Great Falls to the north. Despite this setback, Great Falls became a major center of trade for area farmers and ranchers, and its dams on the Missouri River contributed power for ore processing and grain milling industries.

When William A. Clark resigned from the United States Senate, Gibson, was elected to fill the seat, and he served from March 7, 1901 until March 3, 1905. He did not seek re-election. He died in Great Falls, Montana and is buried in Highland Cemetery, Great Falls.

{Copyright (C) 2014 Austin Designs  - All Rights Reserved}

Remember Great Falls When…

The History Museum