The Most Powerful Man In Montana? Check Out This Amazing Story.
Montana has certainly had its fair share of rich folks over the years, however, one in particular stands out.
William A. Clark was born in Pennsylvania back in 1839. He would make his way west, living in Iowa and Colorado, before settling here in Montana. Gold is what brought Clark to the area, but it was his time as a banker in Deer Lodge that kickstarted his journey to become one of the three Copper Kings.
Clark used his position in the banking industry to repossess mines that had been defaulted on. This was the making of not only one of the most powerful men in Montana, but in the nation.
It wasn't just copper mining that made Clark rich; he also owned newspapers, electric companies, and railroads. In fact, some say that at the height of his business career, Clark was making 16 million dollars a month through all of his businesses.
Clark has multiple homes around the world, but his Copper King Mansion in Butte still stands and has become a very popular Bed and Breakfast. The 34-room mansion wasn't the only contribution that Clark made to the town of Butte. He also built Columbia Gardens for the children of the city to enjoy.
Columbia Gardens opened in 1899 and closed in 1973. It was home to an amusement park, beautiful flowers, areas to picnic, and a stunning pavilion. It was a favorite amongst the people of Montana for decades.
Clark also served the folks of Montana. Not only was he instrumental in getting Helena to be named the capital, but he also served as a United States Senator. Clark certainly had his fair share of scandals as well. In fact, he was accused of buying votes to try and win office, to which he allegedly said, "I've never bought a man who wasn't for sale."
Clark passed away at the age of 86 at his New York City home. At his time of death, he was worth $300 million, which would be over $4 billion in today's dollars.