Clothes Cleaning, Tailoring and Shoe-Shining
An Early African-American Business in Helena
Many thanks to Ellen Baumler and Patty Dean for their help with
OF TOM MULVANEY CLICK ON IMAGE
FOR A BIG VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW
and tailoring shop is thought to be that of Miles York. The
photo was taken in 1910 at an as yet undetermined Helena address.
His shop was at various locations over the years. From 1913
to 1915, it was located at 11 Edwards Street, at the rear of
the Montana National Bank building (Edwards St. was eliminated
by the 1970s Urban Renewal program). The 11 Edwards address
is seen painted on the delivery wagon in the photograph below.
In 1917, his shop was located at 127 North Main.
after York had his own business, he was a porter at various
shoe shine/barber shops, and lastly at the Placer Hotel.
OF WENDI KOTTAS PETERSON CLICK
ON IMAGE FOR A BIG VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW
shown in this photograph is as yet undetermined. The child is
thought to be Jeanette York, one of Miles' eight children.
there are two telephone numbers painted on the wagon; from 1910
to 1914, there were two competing phone companies in Helena,
the Rocky Mountain Telephone Company and the Helena Automatic
Telephone Company. The exchanges were not integrated, so some
people (and probably most businesses) had to have two telephones.
was evidently in Montana by 1894. His wife's name was Alice.
They were members of the St. James A. M. E. Church, located
at Fifth and Hoback. They lived at 515 North Idaho, which is
where Milles died in 1925; the house is now gone.
Independent, November 24 and 25, 1925
moved to Seattle after Miles' death. Two of the sons worked as
waiters on a steamboat, the widow Alice was a domestic in a private
home, and one of the daughters worked as maid in a department