Montana Historical Society

Big Sky ~ Big History

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Montana: Stories of the Land

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Chapter 16 - Montana and World War I, 1914-1918

Learning From Historical Documents

All telegrams are from MC 290:6-29, Montana Historical Society Archives.

Context for Granite Mountain-Speculator Mine Correspondence:

The Granite Mountain-Speculator Mine fire on June 8, 1917, resulted in the death of an estimated 168 miners. News of the Granite Mountain-Speculator Mine fire spread nationally. Family members wrote to find out if their loved ones were in the mines that day.

  1. Telegram, Mrs. W. J. Wilsey to Superintendent of Speculator Mine Butte Montana, June 14, 1917

    Letter, North Butte Mining Company to Mrs. W. J. Wilsey, June 14, 1917.

  2. Telegram, H.L. Wheeler to North Butte Mining Company, June 11, 1917

    Letter, North Butte Mining Company, to H.L. Wheeler, June 11, 1917.

  3. Letter, from North Butte Mining Company, to Antone Majesky. June 15, 1917.

    Telegram, Antone Maesky to North Butte Mining Company, June 14, 1917.

About Primary Sources:

Letters, diary entries, census records, newspapers, and photographs are all examples of "primary sources," material created at a particular moment in the past that has survived into the present. Primary sources can provide clues to the past. They are our windows into an earlier time. The Montana Historical Society contains thousands of primary sources, including these telegrams.

Fire at Speculator Mine, 1917
Fire at Speculator Mine, 1917, Montana Historical Society Photo Archives PAc 2013-50.1469
Drill work in a Butte mine
Drill work, Butte mine, No. 1 A ore, ca. 1910, Montana Historical Society Photo Archives Lot 8 Box 1/9.04