F. A. Welty's Store, approx. 1910
Since the establishment of Welty's Store, it has remained at least until the present writing a fixture
of Dubois. In 1915, another addition was constructed to the front of the building. The store served many of the ranchmen
in the area. The goods purchased in Omaha were shipped by rail to Shoshoni and then brought the 100 miles to Dubois by 16-horse
freight wagons. The trip which today takes less than two hours in those days could take more than a month.
Welty's Store, 1920's
In 1922, the extension of the building and gas pump as seen in the above photo was added. In the meantime,
Frank Welty became a partner with Eugene Amoretti, Jr (1871-1950). and Ernest B. Helmer (1874-1927) in a private banking company, Amoretti, Helmer,
Welty and Company, founded in 1913. Amoretti was the son of a Lander banker and owned a 240 acre cattle operation also on Horse Creek.
The ranch was adjacent to a horse ranch owned by a George Cassidy and Al Hainer. Cassidy and Hainer purchased
their property in 1889. Occasionally they would work on the Amoretti ranch. The Cassidy-Hainer operation only lasted
about a year. Residents later recalled that the two always seemed to be able to sell
more horses than they could raise. Cassidy banked with
Amoretti's father. Amoretti later recalled Cassidy making a $17,500 deposit in the bank in
Lander. Subsequently, Cassidy became known by the nickname "Butch." Amoretti also
had an interest in a bank in Bridger, Montana. He later served as a State Representative (1927-1928). In Lander,
Amoretti owned and was the manager of the electric light company. With Amoretti's other interest and
Welty's interest in the store, general management of the Amoretti, Helmer and Welty bank was left to
the cashier, Ernest Helmer.
Welty's Store, 1920's
Later in the 1920's as seen in the above photo, Welty constructed a new gasoline station to the west of the
original store. Note, also, the lean-to section of the earlier building behind the new addition. In 1927, Ernest Helmer,
Welty's partner in the bank, died. Shortly thereafter the state bank examiners discovered that
the bank was insolvent as a result of a shortfall in Helmer's account. As discovered in subsequent lawsuits,
Helmer had been misappropriating customer funds. The shortages were made good by Frank Welty.
Welty's Store, approx. 1952. Photo by Wm. P. Sanborn
In 1945 Frank A. Welty, Sr. conveyed the store to his son and daughter-in-law, Frank A. Welty, Jr. and Alta Welty, who began a program of improvements
to the store as reflected in the above photo and the next. Frank, Jr., after a long illness, died in 1994.
Welty's Store, 1960's
Actiive management of the store has now fallen to Frank Welty, III.
Welty's Store, 2006
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