Charles Arthur Broadwater

Charles Arthur Broadwater

Charles Arthur Broadwater

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Charles Arthur Broadwater (1840–1892) was a wealthy and influential Montana railroad, real estate, and banking magnate.

Broadwater was born in St. Charles, Missouri. He was president of the Montana Central Railway, a spur line which ran between Great Falls, Montana Helena and Butte, Montana. He opened the Montana National Bank in Helena, and had extensive real estate holdings in the state. Montana's Broadwater County is named after him.

Broadwater began his career in 1862 as a livestock trader in the gold rush town of Bannack, Montana. He soon extended his interests into transportation, becoming superintendent of the large Diamond R Freighting Company, which dominated shipping in the Territory of Montana before the coming of the railroads.

In the 1870s, Broadwater allied himself with James J. Hill, founder of the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway, which, in 1890, became the Great Northern Railway . Broadwater was also one of the Democratic "Big Four" of early Montana politics, along with Marcus Daly, William A. Clark, and Samuel T. Hauser.

He may, however, be best remembered for the luxurious but ill-fated Hotel Broadwater and Natatorium, which he built near Helena between 1888 and 1889.

Broadwater died of influenza at his hotel in Helena, Montana in 1892. More than 5,000 people attended his funeral. He is buried in Forestvale Cemetery.

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