Filed Under Buute


Butte Historic District

Barney and Elizabeth McGillic built this Queen Anne style cottage circa 1906. The home’s distinctive wrap-around porch distinguishes it from the many brick cottages popular in the South Butte neighborhood. Barney was a private detective and former policeman who operated the Merchants Protective Patrol and Night Watch. His agency provided private security for Butte businesses and assisted local law enforcement as deputized special officers. Newspapers credited McGillic, dubbed “Butte’s Sherlock Holmes,” with thwarting numerous robberies, petty crimes, and an arson attempt. His ubiquitous presence on Butte’s streets made him party to many criminal cases and two shootouts before he died in 1915, at age fifty-six, from diabetes and heart disease. Elizabeth remarried real estate developer Abram Buchner in 1918, but they soon divorced. Elizabeth remained in residence, marrying carpenter Henry Burr in 1930. She served in various church groups and, even into her eighties, contributed to the Butte Doll Club, a statewide doll-making drive and competition that distributed handmade dolls to needy children throughout Montana. Henry died in 1957 and Elizabeth died in 1958.


McGillic/Burr External view Source: Google Streetview Date: Aug 2021


1031 Iowa Ave, Butte


Montana Historical Society, “McGillic/Burr,” Historic Montana, accessed June 25, 2024,