Filed Under Butte

The Lillie

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.

Images

The Lillie The Lillie (PAc 91-51 B1 Roll04 F13). Front view of the building, facing south on West Quartz Street. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: Sept. 1981
The Lillie The Lillie (PAc 91-51 B1 Roll04 F15). Front to side view of the building to show the neighboring house (demolished) to the left in the photograph, facing southwest on West Quartz Street. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: Sept. 1981

Location

824 West Quartz Street, Butte, Montana | Private

Metadata

Montana National Register Sign Program, “The Lillie,” Historic Montana, accessed February 1, 2023, https://historicmt.org/items/show/2786.