Chope Residence

Home of First Labor Commissioner

When he was promoted, Thomas Chope offered his children a new car or this house. They chose the house.

Paired Ionic columns support a classical one-story porch while the parapet atop the curved two-story bay window evokes the image of a medieval castle. Kitty Paxson and her husband, pharmacist Robert Paxson, lived in the elegant brick residence in 1900. By 1920, Thomas and Anna Chope lived here with their five children. An Irish immigrant, Thomas began his career in Butte as an underground miner and served as a union officer before becoming foreman at the High Ore Mine. There he compiled one of the Company’s best safety records. The Chopes lived across the street in 1917, when the Granite Mountain-Speculator fire killed 168 men in the nation’s deadliest hard-rock mining disaster. To appease the miners after the fire, the Company named Chope to the newly created position of labor commissioner. According to family legend, Chope offered his children a new car or this home after he received word of the promotion. They chose the house, which remained in the Chope family until 1995. Thomas barely had time to enjoy his new home; he died in 1921, at age fifty, after an emergency appendectomy.

Images

Chope Residence
Chope Residence Chope Residence (PAc 91-51 B1 Roll23 F13). Front view of the house, facing north on West Granite Street. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: Sept. 1981
Chope Residence
Chope Residence Chope Residence (PAc 91-51 B1 Roll23 F14). Front to side of the house, facing north to northwest on West Granite 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

609 West Granite Street, Butte, Montana | Private

Metadata

Montana Historical Society, “Chope Residence,” Story of Butte, accessed April 14, 2024, https://storyofbutte.org/items/show/2068.