A fearless Montana pioneer and businessman, Charles E. Conrad made his fortune as a Fort Benton freighter and trader on the banks of the Missouri River. In 1892, Charles Conrad founded the town of Kalispell and together with his wife Lettie, built their dream home in the backdrop of the Montana wilderness.
The educated and musically inclined matriarch of the Conrad Family, Alicia “Lettie” Conrad raised her three children in Kalispell with her husband, Charles E. Conrad. Lettie balanced family life with the cultivation of the new community and the management of the Conrad Mansion estate.
The Conrads truly welcomed their guests. Both had a great appreciation for their home and the surrounding area and were filled with a strong desire to share these things with their friends and guests. Sharing seemed to be their greatest pleasure and the greater the number of guests, the more pleasure it gave the Conrads.
Half-Interest in a Silver Dollar
Charles E.Conrad Jr.
The dashing only child of Charles Conrad Sr. and his first wife, Sings-in-the-Middle, who was a member of the Blackfeet Tribe. After the death of his mother, Charles Edward attended boarding school in Montreal and later married a French-Canadian woman. While living in Canada, he corresponded with his father’s family in Montana until his early death at the age of 28.
Charley D. Conrad
As Charles and Lettie’s oldest child, Charley Davenport Conrad spent his formative years at the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. After returning to Kalispell in 1902, Charley D. managed the Conrad National bank, married twice, and had two children.
Catherine “Cate” Conrad inherited her mother’s love of music and boasted a beautiful operatic singing voice. Like many high class women of her day, Cate enjoyed entertaining and throwing lavish parties for her friends and neighbors.
As the highly intelligent and spirited youngest Conrad child, Alicia lived in the Conrad Mansion for the majority of her life. Throughout the twentieth century, Alicia managed to save her family home and its collection. In 1974, she honored her pioneer parents by donating the Conrad Mansion to the city of Kalispell.
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