HELENA – People gathered at the Capitol Rotunda Wednesday to recognize outstanding Montanans.
The ceremony is when prominent people from Montana’s history are added to the Gallery of Outstanding Montanans. The ceremony is held each legislative session.
This year, three Montanans were installed in the gallery.
Prickly Pear Bronc Rider champion, Fannie Sperry Steele, and two architects, John G. link and Charles S. Haire were selected. Link and Haire were close partners and designed more than a thousand buildings together.
Some of Link and Haire’s most impressive structures are the Silver Bow Club in Butte, the Montana Power Company building in Billings, and St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Lewistown.
Fannie Steele was the first female to receive an outfitters packer’s license in Montana. She was born in 1887 and continued to ride broncs until her fifties. Steele won “Lady Bucking Horse Champion of the World,” in 1912 and did it again, in 1913.
Maggie Ordon, Curator of History at Montana Historical Society stated, “If you sort of look at today’s inductees, Fannie Sperry Steele was this champion, bronc, rider and was the first woman to receive an outfitters license in Montana and we’re also inducting these two prominent Architects…so very different fields, very different backgrounds.”