Montpelier in Bear Lake County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
The Bank and The Burgoyne
Montpelier Historic Downtown Walking Tour
Residents of Bear Lake county have discussed the Butch Cassidy bank robbery for years with varied endings. Not unlike fishermen's boastings, tales of the exact amount of Butch's loot will be haggled over for years. Besides Butch's notorious Montpelier heist, it is interesting to note the other contributions that the "Bank of Montpelier" lent to the Bear Lake history. "The Bank of Montpelier" was established a centennial ago in April 1891 with G.C. Gray. The bank received the first Idaho state charter and opened doors in the building that Mountain Litho presently occupies.
The bank moved west and across Washington Street and built a brick building in the early 1900's. Severe financial problems arose in the 1920's which closed its doors, forcing the need for immediate alternative banking. After many months and several meetings, the Eccles-Browning Bank based in Ogden, Utah opened for business at the same brick building in August 1925.
Eccles-Browning Bank later changed its name to Find Security Bank of Montpelier. The new bank continued to use the first charter
Although Butch probably will be best known for making the "Bank of Montpelier" notable, Montpelier's first bank continues to have a profound impact on Bear Lake's banking history.
Research and photographs from 1908 show the old Y.M.C.A. building that was built by Edward Burgoyne in 1889. John Newton Downing purchased the building from Edward Burgoyne in 1901. Mr. Downing remodeled it and named it the Burgoyne Hotel. He operated it for years. By 1916, it was moved around the corner and a red brick building was built in its place.
Downing joined this new red brick building to the adjacent gray stone building, added a lobby, and the two buildings became the new Burgoyne Hotel. The new hotel was beautiful and efficiently run. After Downing died, his grandson Paul Newton Richardson ran the hotel. In the late 1950's the hotel was purchased by Cliff Jewell and J. Rodney Ream. They modernized the hotel and built several apartments in it. It operated primarily as a hotel for railroaders. Most nights, its 88 rooms were all filled.
Gustafas Thanos and his partner attempted a payroll robbery at the coal miners in Oakley. Wyoming. The robbers escaped and spent the night at the Burgoyne Hotel in room #26. The next morning as the robbers sat down for breakfast in the Burgoyne Cafe, police chief John Hillier tried to arrest them. Thanos, in the ensuing gun battle emptied his gun. Both bandits were shot and killed resisting arrest.
The Burgoyne Pharmacy was part of the Burgoyne Hotel complex. The complex included the pharmacy, the hotel and the café.Inside the hotel lobby, doors opened to the Burgoyne Pharmacy in the west wing and the Burgoyne Café in the east wing. Paul and Louise Adams were one of the early owners of the pharmacy. Their son, Fred Adams, founded the Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City. Utah.
The pharmacy was famous for its soda fountain. The soda fountain counter was a meeting place for well-dressed ladies of the time. Those same ladies frequented the jewelry store next door. Many of the old timers in the community bought their wedding rings there. They knew it as the Kammerath Jewelry Store.
Erected by Greater Bear Lake Valley Chamber of Commerce, Montpelier Gem Community Team, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, The Bear Lake County Historical Society, USDA Rural Development Agency and Utah Power. (Marker Number 2.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. In addition, it is included in the Daughters of Utah Pioneers series list. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1963.
Location. 42° 19.05′ N, 111° 18.561′ W. Marker is in Montpelier, Idaho, in Bear Lake County. Marker is on Washington Street (U.S. 89) near South 9th Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 913 Washington Street, Montpelier ID 83254, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Downtown Montpelier Historic Walking Tour (a few steps from this marker); Second Bank of Montpelier (within shouting distance of this marker); Model T's, Odd Fellows and the News (within shouting distance of this marker); Cleaners, Hospital, Plumbers and a Big Bear (within shouting distance of this marker); News Examiner (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ritter Bros. Drug and the Roxy Theatre (about 300 feet away); Butch Cassidy Robs the Montpelier Bank (about 400 feet away); Bank Robbers (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Montpelier.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on November 23, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 583 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 23, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.