Page 11 - Cornelius Hedges Story
P. 11

For This And Succeeding Generations   Gardiner vii


    The historian Thomas Carlyle once said in his treatise On
History that “History is the essence of innumerable biographies.”
Montana’s history can perhaps be well examined in that manner.
The personalities of Nathaniel P. Langford, Wilbur F. Sanders,
Conrad Kohrs, W. W. (“Brother Van”) Van Orsdel, Granville Stuart,
Joseph K. Toole, and Samuel T. Hauser are representative of those
who contributed much to the early years of Montana’s growth. The
names of Conrad Kohrs, Nelson Story and Granville Stuart are
prominent important figures in the catt­le industry. Samuel T. Hauser
and C. A. Broadwater have left their marks on our state’s history
because of their banking and numerous other business interests.
Marcus Daly, William A. Clark, F. Augustus Heinze, and Tommy
Cruse are well-known in mining developments. William Clagett,
Martin McGinnis, Benjamin F. Potts, Joseph K. Toole, Wilbur F.
Sanders, and Thomas J. Walsh have been rightly recognized for their
contributions to Montana through the media of politics. However,
there is one import­ant phase of the development of Montana which
has somewhat regrettably been neglected. That aspect is its cultural
and non-material growth, with all its facets social, moral, intellectual,
educational, aesthetic, and religious. One personality shines most
brightly in this composite field that of Cornelius Hedges.

    Among these early pioneers a significant number of them
were Freemasons including: Langford, Sanders, Kohrs, Toole,
Story, Hauser, Broadwater. Sanders served as Grand Master in
1868; Clark served as Grand Master in 1877. Both Sanders and
Clark would go on to serve as US Senator.

    Although the motivation of the magnates of cattle, banking,
busi­ness, mining, and politics was largely the material gain and
emolument, the motivation of Cornelius Hedges was his dedication
to promote a better place to live in a not so perfect world.
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