Filed Under Butte

Cocking House

Butte Historic District

The Miner’s Lumber Company storage yard occupied this corner of Colorado Street until 1896 when mine carman Fred H. Kohl built this brick-veneered duplex for $1,600. Kohl, who was elected County Clerk and Recorder that year, rented the house to miners. The home—originally designed in the Queen Anne style—featured projecting bay windows, colored glass transoms, and spindlework porch railings. As the Craftsman style gained favor after 1910, new owners, James. G. and May Cocking, updated the interior and exterior. Signature exterior Craftsman style elements include the tapered porch columns, shingled dormer, and exposed brackets in the eaves. The Cockings lived here from 1904 until May’s death in 1966. James ran a coffee and tea business from the house and May was a homemaker and landlady. In 1921, with the mines closed and the city facing bankruptcy, James successfully ran for mayor. His campaign promise, “If elected I will insist that this city lives within its income,” resonated with residents, and he easily defeated incumbent William H. Davies. Although he was not reelected in 1923, James saved Butte taxpayers $500,000 during his term.

Images

Cocking House
Cocking House Exterior view Source: Google Streetview Date: Aug 2021

Metadata

Montana Historical Society, “Cocking House,” Historic Montana, accessed March 4, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/3514.