Page 14 - Cornelius Hedges Story
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1 The Cornelius Hedges Story

                        Chapter 1
             A Portrait of Stewardship

    Cornelius Hedges exerted a major influence on the cultural, social,
moral, intellectual, aesthetic, and religious development of early
Montana. The major contributions which Cornelius Hedges made
to Montana and our Nation are those which have stood the tests of
time and are living memorials to this early Montana pioneer. Brother
Cornelius Hedges was significantly involved in the movement for
a National Park system, development of an adequate system of
Territorial public schools in Montana, Helena Public Library, and
the development of Freemasonry as a cohesive element in Montana

    In considering the representative and constructive men of the state
of Montana the name of the Cornelius Hedges comes immediately to
mind, for he impressed himself indelibly on his generation through
his sturdy integrity, his manly virtue, the force of his natural powers
of judgment and his unselfish labors in the cause of patriotism and

    While faithful to every local interest in Helena, his subsequent
activities covered the state, and was prominent in the great
development which followed. In the beginning he put himself on
the side of those who were determined Montana should be a safe
haven for all who wished to live there and from that time to the
day of his death his talents and his time were always at the service
of his community and his state. In those early days there were few
of the pioneers who had the education of Judge Hedges. He came
to this then wild country and became one with the people. Never
a self-seeker, his ability was soon recognized and whenever there
was need for a service which it was thought could not be so well
performed by anyone else.

    But Judge Hedges was not only an educated man and student; he
was in every sense a pioneer. He won the confidence of the miners
and of the rough element as well, and his kindly counsels often in
those days prevented serious conflicts and attempts to overturn the
authority of the laws made by the miners. As the territory and state
grew there was a place for Judge Hedges. Whether at the head of the
territorial educational system, a judge of court, the representative
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