Charles H Edstrom

Massachusetts, USA
Death 29 Nov 1918 (aged 74)
Montana, USA
Burial Gibson Flats, Cascade County, Montana, USA
Memorial ID 67684938 View Source
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Charles H. Edstrom made quite a name for himself in the gold rush of the 1870s and his Helena, Mont., home is a "contributing property" of the National Register of Historic Places there.

Born in Massachusetts in 1844, he lived in Helena, Montana, for the last several years of his life, in Lewis & Clark County, near this cemetery. He died in Montana in 1918. I found online that he was buried in this Calvary Cemetery in Cascade County; confirmation is needed that he actually was buried here.

There possibly was a namesake Charles H. Edstrom who was his son; I found one living longer than this Charles likely did.

This Charles H. Edstrom is verified in the censuses because he father was born in England and his mother was born in Newfoundland. (Edstrom is spelled in countless ways in documents due to early illiteracy and people misreading handwriting.)

This Charles H Edstom (apparently buried here) worked as a harness maker or in saddle shops primarily; he father was a harness maker back East. Charles lived in Helena in the 1870 census, then moved back there after a period in Butte City. In 1880, Charles lived in Butte City and called himself a gambler in the 1880 census and at some point worked as a saloon keeper, possibly owning one in Butte City or Helena. Gold likely led to a period of gambling and building that fine house in the National Register group. After Butte City, he returned to Helena and to being a harness maker in the 1890 census.

Here's information (pasted below) on his notable Helena home; the address of this historic home is not indicated. From 1889-1898, he was living at 318 E State, Helena, Lewis & Clark County, Montana. If that's not the same address, there's always a chance he sold the house to pay gambling debts. He apparently was quite a robust character!

Helena South Central Historic District - Contributing Properties

Charles Edstrom Residence
The solid masonry construction of this exemplary home illustrates Helena's transition from gold camp to permanent settlement. Constructed between 1884 and 1888, the Italianate style residence is of a simple design with a wraparound porch, chamfered posts, corbelled chimneys, and arched windows. Mature shrubbery, a century of infill, and the elevation of State Street by two-and-a-half feet during 1970s Urban Renewal have left the home half hidden from view. Ornate woodwork graces the interior and pocket doors lie intact within the dining room wall. Onetime saddler and saloon proprietor Charles Edstrom resided here in 1890 with boarder Agnes Beauregard and domestic Ida Dickman. Samuel S. Bennett, former county coroner and undertaker, lived in the home from 1911 to 1940. A more recent owner was Howard Kathan, whose furniture store was located below Helena's last bordello, "Big Dorothy's," which closed in 1972. Kathan died in 1995, but his colorful stories about that place and south-central Helena still circulate among his neighbors.

Bio by Leslie at


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