Amos Buck, one of the most prominent merchants
of Stevensville, was born in Sandusky, Ohio, February 26, 1844 and is of English
and Swiss descent. His ancestors were among the early settlers of Pennsylvania,
and were soldiers in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. His
father, George Buck, was born in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, in 1799 and
was married in 1818 to Susan Shell, who was born in that county in 1800.
They moved to Ohio in 1828 and in 1850 located in Monroe
Michigan where Mr. Buck died in 1858. His wife survived until 1892
and attained the age of ninety-one years. Her father, who was a soldier
in the War of 1812, lived to the age of ninety-eight years. She was
a member of the Presbyterian Church and Mr. Buck was identified with the
Dunkard Church. They had seven sons and six daughters, and five sons
and two daughters still survive.
Amos Buck, twelfth child in order of birth,
was raised on a farm in Michigan. He attended the public schools during
the winter and afterward entered the State Normal School at Ypsilanti.
After spending two years and a half as clerk in a store at Bellevue, Ohio
he drove four yoke of oxen across the plains, walking the entire distance.
His company was composed of twenty-two teams, and there were many emigrants
on the road. They spent 117 days in making the journey from St. Joseph
to Virginia City Montana, arriving at that place August 15, 1864. Mr.
Buck was engaged in gold mining during that fall, making as high as eight
dollars a day and one occasion, with three others, took out $1600.00. The
creek was mined for a distance of sixteen miles in length and at places one
mile in width. He was at that place during the trials and hanging of the
"road agents" and was a warm friend of Colonel W.F. Sanders and the great
work he did for Montana in ridding the Territory of the lawless element that
threatened the life of every successful miner.
From Virginia City, Mr. Buck went to Last Chance
Gulch, having mined on what is now the main street of Helena, and was interested
with four others in a claim 100 feet square, from which they took out $20,000.
He next mined at Lincoln Gulch, Deer Lodge County until 1870, where he lost
all his former earnings and went down the Blackfoot River to Cedar Creek.
In 1872 in company with his brothers, Henry and
Fred, Mr. Buck purchased a stock ranch seven miles north of Stevensville,
where they remained two years; but in the spring of 1874 he abandoned that
occupation and purchased the mercantile business of Joseph Lomme in this city.
The building was one story high, 20 x 40 feet, and contained $2500.00 stock
The Buck Brothers purchased the produce of the
valley, which they hauled to the mining camps, Amos doing a large amount
of the outdoor work. The partnership continued until 1886 when our
subject and his brother George organized the firm of Amos Buck and Company
and two year later they incorporated the Amos Buck Mercantile Company, with
a paid up capitol of $30,000. George Buck is president of the company,
Mr. J. Frank Burrough, vice president and our subject, secretary and treasurer.
They conduct a general mercantile business, occupy three large stores and
several warehouses and also handle large quantities of farm products.
In addition to their mercantile business, the company owns the Whippoorwill
and Last Chance silver mines and a farm of 520 acres on which they raise large
quantities of grain. They are also largely engaged in buying and shipping
Mr. Buck was married September 12, 1883 to Miss
Rosa Knapp, a native of Albion Michigan. They have one son, Charles
Amos, now seven.
History of Montana, 1898