By Gene and Alice Engen
Vida (pronounced vī•də) is located in northern McCone County on Montana Highway 13 approximately 20 miles south of Wolf Point and 30 miles north of Circle.
The present sight of Vida is actually the third location for the Vida Post Office. The original Vida Post Office, started in 1911, was on the August Nefzger homestead, which was a mile south and a mile east of present day Vida, and was named for his daughter. August served as postmaster until 1938.
Terrace, located about three miles east northeast of present day Vida, was started in 1914 by Paul Faye who was from Terrace, NY. This community sported a blacksmith shop, livery barn, cafe, grocery store, school, barbershop and a bank.
Around 1919 Terrace and Vida merged and became Vida and the location was one and one-half miles east of present day Vida. This combined community then added county sheds, a garage, pool hall, a bar, creamery, another blacksmith shop, another general store and the famous Vida Hall. The Vida Hall was 30’X60’ with a basement and included a kitchen, rest rooms, cloak room, smoking room and a power plant. This power plant was powered by the Jacobs wind chargers invented by the local Jacobs brothers (The Jacobs Wind Electric Company). This community sported a larger population than Circle when McCone became a county. Vida also had the second radio station in the state, which was located in back of the bank and was run by Ed Krebsbach with the call letters KGCX. (This station was later moved to Wolf Point and then to Sidney.) Vida also had a Catholic and a Baptist church. In 1939, Helen Schillinger was appointed postmistress of Vida and her husband, Ed, started a store in the Post Office building.
The present day location of Vida started as the Presserville community, which had a store, bar, car dealership, cafe, and gas station and was located on the “new” Highway 13. Around 1951, Ed Schillinger moved his store and the Vida Post Office to this location on Highway 13. As Presserville had no Post Office, the community finally accepted the Vida name. The move from “old Vida” to new Vida was complete when the last public building, the Baptist Church, which is now the Vida Community Church, was moved to Highway 13.