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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Billings in Yellowstone County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Mills Durant Star Building

Billings Townsite Historic District

 
 
Mills Durant Star Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 15, 2020
1. Mills Durant Star Building Marker
Inscription.  National cigar and tobacco wholesaler Louis Cohn occupied this two-story brick building, constructed in 1919. Cohn was one of three wholesalers supplying Billings’ five cigar manufacturers with tobacco. In 1923, the building became home to Harry Gullard’s automobile dealership. One of several dealerships in downtown Billings, its presence testifies to the 1920s’ booming automobile business. Local entrepreneur J. J. Mills purchased the building in 1925. Mills opened his own dealership here, featuring the low-priced Star car, manufactured by Durant Motors. William Durant, the high-flying former CEO of General Motors, founded that company in 1921 after losing control of GM. Durant Motors was one of over forty U.S. automobile manufacturers in the 1920s. After Durant went bankrupt in the 1930s, the versatile Mills expanded into farm implements and wholesale groceries, using both this building and the one next door. The Billings Grocery Co., founded by Mills and later managed by his son, operated from this building into the 1980s.
 
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker
Mills Durant Star Building and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 15, 2020
2. Mills Durant Star Building and Marker
The marker is to the left of the garage door.
is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNotable Buildings. In addition, it is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program series list.
 
Location. 45° 46.926′ N, 108° 30.172′ W. Marker is in Billings, Montana, in Yellowstone County. Marker can be reached from Montana Avenue (Business Interstate 90) near North 26th Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2610 Montana Avenue, Billings MT 59101, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Billings Implement Building (a few steps from this marker); Actor Bill Hart Visits Montana Avenue - 1927 (within shouting distance of this marker); George L. Tracy Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Oliver Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Swift and Company Building (about 300 feet away); Price Motor Sales (about 300 feet away); The ARU Railroad Strike - 1894 (about 300 feet away); The Gazette Building - circa 1935 (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Billings.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 5, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 5, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 44 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 5, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Mar. 5, 2021