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Situated in the geographic center of Montana, southeast of Great Falls, the city of Lewistown is the county seat of Fergus County. Before the area was settled by European-Americans, it was the territory of the Blackfoot Indians. Fort Lewis was established there by Company F of the 7th U.S. Infantry to provide military protection for people traveling the Carroll Trail, which was then the shortest established route between Carroll, Montana and Helena. Lewiston was named after this fort. The first permanent settlers of Lewistown were Metis, who established the town in 1879. Pierre Berger is acknowledged to be the city’s founder. He came with his family in 1879. Francis Janeaux came with a second group of settlers, and began the first public school house in Lewistown in 1883. This date is considered the official founding of Lewistown. Roy Elmer Ayers, the 11th governor of Montana, was born in Lewistown and attended area schools, graduating from Lewistown High School.


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