Get to know Billings’ Moss Mansion

Get to know Billings’ Moss Mansion

One of Billings most known historic landmarks is the Moss Mansion built more than 100 years ago. Here is a brief history lesson of the Moss family and the things they did to enrich Billings culture.

According to the Moss Mansion website, it was built by Preston Boyd Moss, or P.B. Moss, who was originally from Missouri. He came to Billings in the early 1890s and did many things that modernized the city. Moss created the first telephone company and newspaper company, an ancestor of the Billings Gazette.

On top of that, P.B. Moss developed the Northern Hotel and worked with other local citizens to create irrigation systems and the Polytemic Institute, now known as Rocky Mountain College. He also ran for U.S. Congress as the Democratic candidate in the 1920s but was unsuccessful. P.B. Moss did countless other things for the Billings community during his lifetime. He died at the age of 83 in 1947.

Martha Ursala Woodson Moss was married to P.B. Moss and had six children. In December of 1892, the two moved to Billings with their two children. Martha, whose nickname was Mattie, was an active member of the First Church of Christ Scientist in Billings. She was also the first woman to drive a car in the city as well. She died in 1951 at the age of 87 from a cerebral hemorrhage.

Woodson Jackson Moss was P.B. and Mattie’s oldest son and became a rancher in Billings after attending school at Yale University. Other children in the family are Kula Moss Arnold, Melville Hollingsworth Moss, Preston Boyd Moss Jr., and David Hickman Moss III. Virginia Moss was the youngest of their six children and was the only one born in the Moss Mansion.

Today, tourists can come to visit the Moss Mansion and learn about the rich history of the Moss family. There are guided as well as self-guided tours you can do without a reservation. The museum does not do tours on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Visit the Moss mansion homepage for more information or call 406-256-5100.

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