Engelhart Lieberg

Engelhart Lieberg, 17th & 22nd U.S. Marshal for the District of Montana

Engelhart E. Lieberg, 17th & 22nd U.S. Marshal for the District of Montana

Engelhart Lieberg was born in Norway on January 4th, 1871 and immigrated to the United States at the age of 18 (1889). He first lived in Minnesota and North Dakota, before moving to Montana. He studied the law while working as a stenographer in the office of Burton K. Wheeler (later U.S. Senator) and was admitted to the Montana bar in 1906. A 33 year U.S. Department of Justice employee; Lieberg started working in the office of the United States Attorney’s Helena office in January of 1911 as a clerk and stenographer and was appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney in 1915. He married on December 23, 1915 to the former Martha Marindal of Helena, who would later serve as a matron-Deputy U.S. Marshal.

In 1920, Lieberg was appointed a Deputy U.S. Marshal at Helena, serving under Marshals Joseph L. Ashbridge, Rolla Duncan and John C. Orrick as Chief Deputy. When Marshal Orrick suddenly died in March 1928; Lieberg was selected by U.S. District Judge Charles N. Pray to serve as the Marshal for the District of Montana, until Tom Bolton was confirmed several months later that May. Lieberg continued his government service under Marshal Bolton and then again under Marshals Duncan, Willis and Crawford. Marshal Crawford had been a 1938 Franklin Roosevelt recess appointee, but his nomination failed to gain confirmation in 1939. Again, Lieberg was the court appointed Marshal, selected by Judges Pray and James H. Baldwin on August 7th, 1939. Marshal Lieberg served until President Truman’s nominee; George A. Wright of Havre was confirmed on May 9th, 1944. One of Marshal Lieberg’s noted achievements during his long career was that he was the first U.S. marshal to transport prisoners by air. He had to obtain permission from the U.S. Attorney General to charter Morrison Air to fly two prisoners to the U.S. Penitentiary at McNeil Island, Washington.

Marshal Lieberg was a 50 - year Mason and member of the Scottish Rite. He died on Sunday, November 5th, 1966 at St. Peter’s Hospital in Helena; following a brief illness and was interned at Forestvale Cemetery following a Masonic service. He was 95.

Great Falls Tribune: 3/3/28:5; 8/9/39; 11/8/1966:4
Helena Daily Independent: 8/9/39, 11/7/66:1