GEORGE T. BAGGS
George T. Baggs, the leading attorney of Stevensville,
Montana has led a life full of incident and activity and not altogether
in the romantic and picturesque. He now has the most lucrative practice
not only in Stevensville but in Ravalli County and is engaged on difficult
cases throughout the district and sometimes in distant parts of the state.
Although an office lawyer of ability, it is his power as a pleader that has
brought him distinction. As an orator and public speaker he is also much
sought after, on occasions not of professional nature.
Mr. Baggs was born in the busy little town of Smyrna,
Delaware, known throughout the east as a grain and fruit market. Here the
father, William H. Baggs, had married Sarah M. Denning and together they
reared a family of four children. Of these, George T. Baggs, who came to
them as a New Years gift on the first of January 1857 was their last born.
Until the age of nineteen he attended the schools of Delaware and then taught
in his native county until he reached his majority. Life in the little eastern
state did not offer to him the hardships he so longed to override, not did
it hint of a goal worth the struggle. In a word he wanted real life with
its experiences, its failures and its victory. It was in search of life that
he set out for the west and his search was amply rewarded. In the spring
of 1887 he located in or near Stevensville, Montana. His funds were low and
he worked at whatever offered, laying up little capital but a fund of experience
that was later easily cashed in. Sometimes he worked as a cow puncher on
vast ranch lands, again as hand in the grist mills or laborer in the lumber
camps. Opportunity offered him a variety of occupations and necessity demanded
that he accept what came, without hesitating to pick or choose.
In 1879 the senior Mr. Baggs was appointed postmaster
of the small Delaware town and in order to bring the youngest son once again
within the home circle, he offered him the appointment as his assistant.
The youth started on the long journey eastward, driving an ox team from
Helena to Fort Benton. At the latter point, he took passage on a steamer
for Bismarck, North Dakota, and thence by rail to Delaware. His wonderings
had taught him the value of a reliable profession and scarcely was he settled
once more in Smyrna, when he began the study of law in conjunction with
other duties. In the autumn of 1880 he entered the legal department of the
University of Maryland at Baltimore. In one year he completed the entire three
years' course, partially owning to his previous study and was graduated from
the law school of Maryland University in the class of 1881. He began his
professional life in Easton, that state, but after one year became persuaded
that success would come as easily in a city as in a village and removed to
Baltimore. After almost ten years in practice, he was appointed by President
Harrison, U.S. Consul to New Castle, New South Wales. Being a very stanch
Republican, he resigned his office immediately upon the inauguration of
It was the call of the west that had been ringing in
Mr. Bagg's ears for more than a decade. Now that he was once more footloose,
he returned at once to Stevensville, Montana where he took up the practice
assured of a warm welcome and of ultimate success. He is a leader not at
the bar alone, but attractive personality and fine voice cause him to be
much in demand at social gatherings, as well as in political circles.
Since coming to Montana, Mr. Baggs has been in active
military service for thirty one days when fighting with a band of fellow
citizens against the Nez Perce Indians. In 1910 he was elected vice-president
of the First State Bank of Stevensville, which position he now holds. He
also served as alderman, for his city until April 1912.
On the ninth day of October 1895, Mr. Baggs was united
in marriage to Miss Agnes T. Towers, a native daughter of the
Emerald Isle. Mr. and Mrs. Baggs have three attractive children.
The little ones are Dorothy, George Towers and John T. Baggs.
History of Montana, Sanders, 1913