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1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
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D.C. Dunham

Forestry Pioneer

The late D.C. Dunham was founder of Plum Creek Lumber Company.  DeWitt Clinton Dunham was born in 1895 at Anoka, Minnesota.  When he was 13 years old, he went west to Tacoma, Washington, where he worked for Pacific National Lumber Company. He returned to Minneapolis as a salesman for Weyerhauser, and in 1922 was married to Gladys Oakins who died in 1947. In 1957 he married Bernice Fitzgerald Kossoff of Kalispell and Creston.

In Bemidji, Minnesota, D.C. Dunham bought the Bemidji Woods Products Company, a box factory, and this became the D.C. Dunham Lumber Company.  World War II was in progress and there was a tremendous market for boxes and lumber.  It was in 1944 that Plum Creek Logging Company was incorporated as part of his Minnesota operation.  Construction of the Plum Creek Lumber Compnay mill at Columbia Falls, Montana began in 1945.  Depletion of Minnesota’s forest lands, and a location on the Great Northern Mainline were factors in Plum Creek coming to the Flathead Valley.  The population in Columbia Falls at the time approached 700.

It took men with imagination and enterprise to build the industry which makes employment and industry possible.  No other one citizen created more jobs in the Flathead Valley.  Dunham died in 1966, at age 71.

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