Thomas C. Power

Thomas Charles Power (Also known as T.C. Power;[1] May 22, 1839 – February 16, 1923) was a Republican senator from Montana and an American businessman.

Thomas Charles Power
United States Senator
from Montana
In office
January 2, 1890 – March 3, 1895
Preceded byNone
Succeeded byThomas H. Carter
Personal details
Born(1839-05-22)May 22, 1839
near Dubuque, Iowa
DiedFebruary 16, 1923(1923-02-16) (aged 83)
Helena, Montana
Resting placeResurrection Cemetery
Political partyRepublican

Early life, education, and careerEdit

Born near Dubuque, Iowa, on May 22, 1839, Power attended public school and graduated from Sinsinawa College with a degree in engineering. He then worked as a surveyor in Dakota until 1860, when he entered the employ of an engineering company. There, he participated in government land surveys covering much of Iowa and what was then the Dakota Territory.[2] Between 1861 and 1867, he was primarily engaged in trade along the Mississippi River, eventually becoming president of a steamer line.[3] Power first came to Montana in 1864, partnering in his enterprises with his brother, J.W. Power.[2] After settling in Helena in 1876 Power started T. C. Power and Bro, which was a mercantile company through the northwestern United States and western Canada.[3]

Senate service and later lifeEdit

An 1891 image of the 1889 Power Building in Helena, now popularly referred to as "The Power Block".[4]

In 1889, Power ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Montana, winning the nomination of the Republican Party on the first ballot,[5] but losing the general election to Democratic candidate Joseph Toole, the only Democrat on the state ticket that year to be elected.[6] A conflict erupted over the respective roles of the governor and the state legislature in appointing the first two members of the United States Senate for the state,[7] but on January 2, 1890, the Republican-controlled legislature elected Power to the second seat,[8] which he then held until March 3, 1895.

Power died at his home in Helena on February 16, 1923, and was interred in Resurrection Cemetery. The town of Power in Montana is named after him.[3]


  1. ^ "Archives West: Thomas Charles Power papers, 1867-1950". Retrieved 2020-04-25.
  2. ^ a b "Thomas C. Power Taken By Death At Helena Home", The Missoulian (March 17, 1923), p. 1.
  3. ^ a b c Encyclopedia Dubuque, Thomas Charles Power
  4. ^ "The 1889 Power Building Popularly Known as the Power Block". 2010. Archived from the original on June 3, 2019.
  5. ^ "Montana Republican Convention", Bismarck Weekly Tribune (August 30, 1889), p. 7.
  6. ^ "A Brief History of Montana". The Official Website for the State of Montana. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  7. ^ "The Montana Muddle", Ashland Weekly News (December 11, 1889), p. 4.
  8. ^ "Elected Senator From Montana", Chicago Tribune (January 3, 1890), p. 2.
Party political offices
First Republican nominee for Governor of Montana
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
U.S. senator (Class 2) from Montana
Served alongside: Wilbur F. Sanders, Lee Mantle
Succeeded by