Butte National Historic Landmark District
Mrs. Lillie, as many tenants knew her, managed this apartment building from her first-floor unit for nearly fifty years. Architect Marin D. Kern designed the building in 1908 for Lillie and her husband John R. Ross. It was originally two stories with open front porches. John was a power engineer at the Steward Mine, and Lillie was at home with her younger brother, William, and daughter, Louise. John died of cancer in 1909, and Lillie married John’s friend, pipefitter Albert C. McNeil, in 1910. The McNeils added a third story in 1913 and enclosed the front porches in 1918. Lillie divorced Albert on June 4, 1929, but remained sole owner of the building, despite a lawsuit in which Albert claimed half-ownership. Three weeks after her divorce, Lillie married barber James C. Crook. James and Lillie enjoyed cross-country road trips, and Lillie was president of the Alpine chapter of the Rocky Mountain Garden Club. After James died in 1951 and Lillie in 1956, the building fell into grave disrepair. Sandy and Carl Donahue rescued it from demolition in the 1990s and converted it into a single-family home.