“Dallas News” was moving into its new home in 1948, a handsome gold-headed
cane, with the name “Cornelius Ennis” inscribed on its head, was found
in the old building. The News very graciously presented the cane to the
city of Ennis, and today it rests in a glass case under the picture of
Col. Cornelius Ennis in the Mayor’s office in the City Hall.
How Ennis, Montana—Virginia City were settled
Winnifred Jeffers writes;
was discovered at Alder Gulch, Virginia City, Montana, William Enniswho
had been operating a store at Pikes Peak, Colorado came to the gold rush
country. He first freighted in Virginia City. Then realizing he needed
a home for his family, who were left in Iowa, and feed for his livestock,
he came over the Tobacco Root Mountains, a distance of some fourteen miles
and took up “squatters rights” on some land in the Madison Valley in August
1863. The Madison River Valley had tall waving grass, and a abundance of
The next year he went east and got his family, bringing them west in 1865.
kept the house and looked after the ranch duties while grandfather continued
to freight. By 1881 many other people had settled in Madison Valley and
grandfather started a small store. In those days mail was brought over
the mountains and left at our store by any one who happened to be at Virginia
City. Later a post office was established. Grandfather became the first
postmaster, then my mother, then I, so that for nearly a century mail has
been left at our place—Ennis, Montana. William Ennis was a descendant of
John McKee Ennis of Northern Ireland. The name was spelled Innes when the
family lived in Scotland.