Duggan Residence

Butte National Historic Landmark District

Butte miners called the deadly rocks that fell in mine tunnels “Duggans.” The reference was to undertaker Lawrence Duggan, who lived in this house from 1910 until his death in 1939. One of the first professionally trained embalmers in Butte, Duggan opened a mortuary at 322 N. Main in 1895. Perhaps he chose the location for its proximity to the Miners Union Hall and the mines. In 1910, he and his wife, Mary, built this home, designed by Butte architect Herman Kemna. Only a block from the mortuary, the stylish bungalow, which cost approximately $6,000 to build, stood amidst the working-class cottages of the families Duggan served. Behind the house was Duggan’s heated sixteen-car garage, where he kept his hearses. Active in Irish fraternal organizations, the Workingman’s Union, and local politics, Duggan served three terms as sheriff during the 1920s. Vigilant against the Ku Klux Klan—whose members he threatened to shoot “like wolves”—Duggan was likely more tolerant of bootleggers and moonshiners. Butte retained its reputation as a wide-open town throughout Prohibition.


Duggan Residence
Duggan Residence Duggan Residence. Front to side view of the house, facing north on East Copper Street. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Mary Murphy Date: 1984


31 East Copper Street, Butte, Montana | Private


The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Duggan Residence,” Story of Butte, accessed April 17, 2024, https://storyofbutte.org/items/show/1901.