Massena Bullard

Massena Bullard, one of Montana's representative lawyers and pioneers, is a native of the State of Missouri, born in LaFayette County, October 7, 1850. William L. Bullard, his father, was born in the State of Virginia, July 26, 1812 and in the Old Dominion he was reared and married, the lady of his choice being Annie F. Burruss, whose birth occurred there March 26, 1815. Mr. Bullard emigrated with his family to Missouri in 1838 and in LaFayette County he engaged in the manufacture of agricultural implements. To him belong the distinction of having established the first foundry in Kansas City. He continued to reside in Kansas City, until 1860 when he removed to Buchanan County, Kansas. From 1861 to 1863 inclusive, he was engaged in freighting between St. Joseph Missouri and the Black Hills. In 1864 he removed with a part of his family to Montana, his family at that time consisting of his wife and four sons, Oscar M., Walter S., William F., and Massena. Oscar, his oldest son, was then in the Black Hills. This journey was made in one of their freight trains, the wagons being loaded with merchandise and drawn by oxen. They reached Virginia City in September and remained there until Christmas, he in the meantime continuing his freighting between that point and Salt Lake City. The family spent some time in the Gallatin and Prickly Pear Valleys, camping in the latter valley in April 1865. During the winter of 1864-65, Mr. Bullard had the misfortune to lose all of his freight oxen, except one, they having been snowed n on the Snake River and died there. He then settled down on a farm and while he continued freighting his good wife did what she could on the farm. Produce of every kind was high. She purchased $69.00 worth of potatoes, at thirty-three and a third cents per pound; cut the eyes from them for seed, and then sold the hearts for seventy-five cents per pound, and made of profit of $40 on the transaction; she planted the seed and raised a crop that brought her $1500. One particularly fine potato sold for $1. Every hill of this potato crop was like so much pure gold to them. Mr. Bullard continued freighting up to the time of his death, which occurred December 24, 1868. His wife still survives him, being now in her eightieth year. She is a faithful member of the Christian Church, as also was her worthy husband, he having had the honor of freighting into the county, free of charge, the first Protestant Church bell. Of their family of seven children, only three are now living. Oscar, the oldest is now a resident of Missouri. William F. is a stock dealer in Montana. And to the history of the other son, Massena, we now turn.
 
Massena Bullard was in his fourteenth year when his parents removed to Montana, and when he was only twelve he drove one of the ox teams in his father's freight train across the plains. He was educated in Helena and studied law here under the instructions of Woolfolk  Toole, being admitted to the bar in Helena, August 16, 1871. Immediately he entered upon the practice of his profession in this city.
His abilities were soon recognized and he grew into prominence and today he is ranked with the leading lawyers of the state. He has been connected with many important cases, is attorney for many of the large mining corporations, has held in trust much real estate of the city and he enjoys the highest confidence of all for whom he has done business. For years he held himself independent in politics but being a strong temperance man, he has recently identified himself with the Prohibition party. For twenty years he was Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Good Templars and is recognized as one of the most prominent leaders in temperance cause in his state. He has also the honor of being Past Grand Master of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
June 3, 1876 he married Laura E. Bywaters, a native of Missouri and they have three children, Clara, Oscar and Percy.
 
source: An Illustrated History of the State of Montana by Joaquim Miller, 1894

 

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