Chope Residence

Butte National Historic Landmark District

Paired Ionic columns support a classical one-story porch while the parapet atop the curved two-story bay window evokes the image of a medieval castle. Kitty Paxson and her husband, pharmacist Robert Paxson, lived in the elegant brick residence in 1900. By 1920, Thomas and Anna Chope lived here with their five children. An Irish immigrant, Thomas began his career in Butte as an underground miner and served as a union officer before becoming foreman at the High Ore Mine. There he compiled one of the Company’s best safety records. The Chopes lived across the street in 1917, when the Granite Mountain-Speculator fire killed 167 men in the nation’s deadliest hard-rock mining disaster. To appease the miners after the fire, the Company named Chope to the newly created position of labor commissioner. According to family legend, Chope offered his children a new car or this home after he received word of the promotion. They chose the house, which remained in the Chope family until 1995. Thomas barely had time to enjoy his new home; he died in 1921, at age fifty, after an emergency appendectomy.

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609 West Granite Street, Butte, Montana ~ Private