Sol Hepner: Early Jewish Lawyer & Civic Leader of Helena, Montana

H. Sol Hepner

Values Codes H – I – E – L


Sol Hepner was born in 1869 in Tzaritzin, Russia.


Helena, Montana

In 1882, Sol Hepner’s father, Barnett Hepner (1838-1908), brought his wife, Bertha (1846-1926), and their three children to Helena, Montana, where he operated a dry goods store.

In 1885, Sol became the first boy to graduate from Helena High School.

From 1885-1889, Hepner worked for Colonel Broadwater’s Montana National Bank.

He earned enough money to attend the University of Michigan Law School, where he graduated in 1891.

Sol Hepner  then worked as a lawyer in Helena – first as a member of several firms, then in his own private practice.

State Capital, Helena Montana, Vintage Postcard


From 1897 to 1899, Sol Hepner was an elected State Representative.

From 1909 to 1910, he was the County Prosecuting Attorney, and served as Helena’s City Attorney from 1911 to 1912.

In 1918, Hepner was appointed to the World War I District Exception Board #1 by President Woodrow Wilson.



Sol Hepner was the Grand Master of the Mason’s Grand Lodge A.T. and A.F. of Montana from 1903 to 1904.

He served as Patron of the Order of Eastern Star and as President of the Algeria Temple of the Mystic Shrine.

He was a member of Helena Elks Lodge No. 193 and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Josephine Hepner was the Grand Matron of the Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star of Montana

She was also president of the Montana Children’s Home and was the first woman appointed to the Montana Library Board.



Sol Hepner married Josephine Israel (b.1874) in 1899.

They had 2 children: Claire Algeria (b.1900) and Harold Steffan  (1904-1950).


Sol Hepner died in Helena, Montana in 1938.

Josephine Hepner died in 1964.

They are buried at the Home of Peace Cemetery in Helena, Montana.



Samantha Silver is curator for this Sol Hepner exhibit.