Montana has certainly had its fair share of rich folks over the years, however, one, in particular, stands out.

William A Clark was born in Pennsylvania back in 1839 and would make his way west by living in Iowa and Colorado before settling here in Montana. Gold is what brought Clark to the area, but it was his time as a Banker in Deer Lodge that would kickstart his journey to become one of the three Copper Kings.

Clark would use his position in the banking industry to repossess mines that had been defaulted on, which would be the start of the making of not only one of the most powerful men in Montana but in the nation.

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It wasn't just copper mining that made Clark rich, he also owned newspapers, electric companies, and railroads. In fact, some say that at the height of his business career, Clark was making 16 million dollars a month through all of his businesses.

Credit: Library of Congress
Credit: Library of Congress

Clark has multiple homes around the world, but his Copper King Mansion in Butte still stands and has become a very popular Bed and Breakfast. The 34-room mansion wasn't the only contribution that Clark made to the town of Butte.  He also built Columbia Gardens for the children of the city to enjoy.

Columbia Gardens opened in 1899 and closed in 1973. Columbia Gardens was home to an Amusement Park, beautiful flowers, areas to picnic, and a stunning Pavilion and was a favorite amongst the people of Butte and Montana for decades.

Credit: Montana Historical Society
Credit: Montana Historical Society

Clark would also serve the folks of Montana.  Not only was he instrumental in getting Helana to be the capital, but he also served as a United States Senator. Clark certainly had his fair share of scandals as well. In fact, he was accused of buying votes to try and win office to which he allegedly said, "I've never bought a man who wasn't for sale."

Clark passed away at the age of 86 at his New York City home. At his time of death, he was worth 300 million dollars, which would be over 4 billion in today's dollars.

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