The Surprising Dark Secret Of Great Falls’ Founder, Paris Gibson
In Great Falls it's pretty hard to escape Paris Gibson. His fingerprints are all over the town he founded in 1883. There is however a mind-blowing secret about Paris Gibson that not everyone knows about. Rumor is he helped cover up the murder of his wife.
See Also: Visiting Great Falls? Don't Miss Gibson Park
Paris Gibson's Vision
It's no secret that Great Falls owes plenty to Paris Gibson. His idea of hydroelectric power generated from the falls turned Great Falls into a hub of power for mining. It also became a central trading location for ranchers and farmers.
Today his name adorns parks, museums, schools and even local restaurants.
Paris Gibson was born in Maine in 1830. In 1854 he married Valeria Goodenow Sweat when she was just 16. They had 4 children, two of which died at an early age. The other two also died prior to Paris Gibson's death after spending time at Warm Springs at state mental hospital.
Alleged accomplice in murder
Story goes that their son Theodore went mad one day and grabbed his mother, Valeria, by the neck and pushed her down the stairs. The fall resulted in her breaking her neck, thus killing her. Not wanting his son to be charged with his mothers murder, Paris had her body carried through a secret tunnel under his house. That tunnel connected to the New Park Hotel, which Paris owned. Valeria's body was then thrown from the window of a suite in the hotel, and her death was ruled a suicide.
Paris Gibson's Legacy
Today Paris Gibson's House is considered one of the most haunted houses in Great Falls. It was even featured on an episode of The Travel Channel's Dead Files. We may never know if Paris Gibson did help cover up his wife's murder, as he died carrying the secret to his grave upon his death in 1920.