Constructed in 1871, the residence at 402 N. Spring found original ownership in Oliver P. Chisholm, a prominent local attorney, and his wife, Sarah.  Chisholm had roots in the West, and eventually made his way back to Montana where much of his family lay to rest.  Chisholm’s father is one such family member, who made a large life in Montana as a miner, lawyer, and a prominent veteran of the Civil War.

Upon moving back to Montana, Oliver sold the home to Simon and Mary Jeanette Brown in 1885.  Simon Brown was an 1869 graduate of Rush Medical College. After graduating, he moved to Elgin and started a practice.

Mary passed away in 1913 with Simon passing away a year later. The home was then passed on to their son, William. William was also a Doctor who practiced in Elgin. He lived at 402 N. Spring until 1945, when he passed away. The home was then sold to Dr. Kenneth P. and Doris M. Johnston. The Johnston family continued ownership for the home for a number of years following.


402 N. Spring Street is an excellent example of Gothic Revival style, and one of the few of this style seen in residential architecture.  This style was popular from roughly the 1830s until the 1870s.  Some characteristics of the Gothic Revival style include its steep gabled roof with bargeboard detailing highlighting its eaves.  The Gothic arched windows on the façade and paired windows with drip molds add to the style.  This home is a significant structure in the Spring-Douglas Historic District.



Sources: 1997 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud