James Tufts, Secretary and Governor of Montana Territory

James Tufts (September 19, 1829–August 18, 1884) was a United States politician and acting governor of Montana Territory in 1869.[1]


Born in Charlestown, New Hampshire, Tufts graduated from Middlebury College in 1855. He was admitted to the bar in 1857 and was an attorney in Iowa.


Tufts moved to Niobrara in the Nebraska Territory in 1859, where he became a probate judge and served in the territorial legislature. Tufts moved to the Dakota Territory in 1861 and served as secretary for the legislative council of the Dakota Territory. He was appointed US Commissioner to adjust military claims in the Dakota Territory in 1862.

Tufts moved to Idaho Territory in 1863 and served in the Idaho Territorial Legislature. He was the first Speaker of the Idaho Territorial House of Representatives.[2]

He was appointed territorial secretary for the Montana Territory in 1867, and served as its acting governor from 1868 to 1869.[3][4]

Tufts ran for the Montana territorial delegate to the United States House of Representatives and lost the election. He moved back to Niobrara, Nebraska, to farm and practice law.


Tufts died in Niobrara.[5] He is buried in L'Eau Qui Court Cemetery.


  1. ^ http://www.worldstatesmen.org/US_states_L-M.html
  2. ^ "Territorial Offices Established". Idaho Genealogy Trails. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  3. ^ "Governor of Montana". Soylent Communications. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  4. ^ Malone, Michael P. (1991). Montana: A History of Two Centuries. University of Washington Press.
  5. ^ "Catalogue of Officers and Students of Middlebury College in Middlebury Vermont," 1901, p. 146

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