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The Bank and The Burgoyne

Bank of Montpelier's Impact on Local Banking History
Residents of Bear Lake county have discussed the Butch
Cassidy bank robbery for years with varied endings. Not
unlike fishermen's boastings, tales of the exact amount of
Butch's loot will be haggled over for years. Besides Butch's
notorious Montpelier heist, it is interesting to note the other
contributions that the "Bank of Montpelier" lent to the Bear
Lake history. "The Bank of Montpelier" was established a
centennial ago in April 1891 with G.C. Gray. The bank
received the first Idaho state charter and opened doors in the
building that Mountain Litho presently occupies.

The bank moved west and across Washington Street and
built a brick building in the early 1900's. Severe financial
problems arose in the 1920's which closed its doors, forcing
the need for immediate alternative banking. After many
months and several meetings, the Eccles-Browning Bank
based in Ogden, Utah opened for business at the same
brick building in August 1925.

Eccles-Browning Bank later changed its name to Find
Security Bank of Montpelier. The new bank continued to
use the first charter of the state of Idaho throughout the
1930's until the First Security Banking system received a
national charter. When First Security Bank vacated the
February 1963. Tri-State Bank & Trust began banking
operations in the building until it merged with Zions Bank in 1997.

Although Butch probably will be best
known for making the "Bank of Montpelier"
notable, Montpelier's first bank continues to
have a profound impact on Bear Lake's
banking history,

Burgoyne Hotel
Research and photographs from 1908 show
the old Y.M.C.A. building that was built by
Edward Burgoyne in 1889. John Newton
Downing purchased the building from
Edward Burgoyne in 1901. Mr. Downing
remodeled it and named it the Burgoyne
Hotel. He operated it for years. By 1916, it was moved around
the corner and a red brick building was built in its place.

Downing joined this new red brick building to the
adjacent gray stone building, added a lobby, and the two
buildings became the new Burgoyne Hotel. The new hotel was
beautiful and efficiently run. After Downing died, his grandson Paul Newton Richardson ran the
hotel. In the late 1950's the hotel was purchased by Cliff Jewell and J. Rodney Ream. They
modernized the hotel and built several apartments in it. It operated primarily as a hotel for railroaders.
Most nights, its 88 rooms were all filled.

Burgoyne Cafe
The Burgoyne Cafe was a part of the original
Burgoyne Hotel, built in 1915. Jim McKee was
one of the early owners and the cafe was highly
patronized by railroad men and was also a
favorite of local residents. One of the famous
events that occured in the cafe happened on
February 4, 1922

Gustafas Thanos and his partner attempted
a payroll robbery at the coal miners in Oakley. Wyoming. The robbers escaped and spent the night
at the Burgoyne Hotel in room #26. The next morning as the robbers sat down for breakfast in the
Burgoyne Cafe, police chief John Hillier tried to arriest them. Thanos, in the ensuing gun battle
emptied his gun. Both bandits were shot and killed resisting arrest.

Burgoyne Pharmacy
The Burgoyne Parmacy was part of the Burgoyne Hotel complex. The complex included the
pharmacy, the hotel and the cafe in the east wing. Paul and Louise Adams
founded the Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City. Utah.

The pharmacy was famous for its soda foundain. The soda fountain
counter was a meeting place for well-dressed ladies of the time.
Those same ladies frequented the jewelry store next door. Many
of the old timers in the community bought their wedding rings
there. They knew it as the Kammerath Jewelry Store.

[Picture Captions]

"...Butch Cassidy probably will
be best known for making the
Bank of Montpelier notable.."

This Bank of Montpelier vault still
esists in the basement of Zions Bank.

Built as a bank in 1910, the building continues
into the new century as a full service bank.

Burgoyne Hotel—picture taken circa 1916

Taken circa 1908

North side of Washington Street includes the Burgoyne buildings—picture taken in 2005

The Burgoyne family
had several business
enterprises throughout
town. This cash
register from one of
the Burgoyne stores is
currently located at
the Rails & Trails
Museum in

Sponsors: Greater Bear Lake Valley Chamber of Commerce, Montpelier Gem Community Team, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, The Bear Lake County Historical Society, USDA Rural Development Agency & Utach Power, History reseach by Jo Ann Fernsworth & Steve Allred.

Don't miss the rest of our virtual tour of Montpelier, Idaho in 893 images.