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Butte Warehouse Explosion of 1895 Memorial

Keeping the Memory Alive

The memorial honors the 58 victims who died as a result of the Kenyon-Connell Warehouse explosion.

Butte Historical Memorials (BHM) was organized in 2015 with the goal of creating a memorial for the victims of the Butte Warehouse Explosion of 1895. Shortly after forming as a 501c3, the board was able to enlist the talents of local artist Martha U. Cooney-Simonich to capture six figures that best represented the 58 victims of the Butte Warehouse Explosion of 1895. It was decided to erect the memorial at the current Butte-Silver Bow Fire Department Station #1. The board raised close to $200,000 to have Montana sculptor Jim Dolan create the six figures: “Fateful Call Box 72”, Fire Chief Angus Cameron, Jim the Fire Horse, the youngest victim at 12 years old, E.G. Fraser, the oldest victim, at 56 years old, Edwin “Two Bear” Robins, and “Dilis” the fireman’s loyal dog.

The six figures were all chosen for specific reasons and for best representing all the victims of the Butte Warehouse Explosion of 1895. “Fateful Call Box 72” was chosen to represent the beginning of the end, from where the alarm was sounded alerting the firemen of the fire within the Kenyon-Connell Warehouse. Fire Chief Angus Cameron was chosen to represent the 13 firemen whose lives were lost that night. Jim the Fire Horse was chosen to represent the three other horses who died that night. Edwin “Two Bear” Robins was chosen as he was the oldest victim to die, while E.G. Fraser was chosen as he was the youngest victim. Dilis, the dog, was chosen to represent the heartache for all the survivors that mourned the victims of the Butte Warehouse Explosion of 1895.

Images

Great Explosion of 1895 Memorial
Great Explosion of 1895 Memorial In 2023, the memorial for the victims of the Great Butte Explosion was completed by the non-profit Butte Historical Memorials. Six metal sculptures were created by Montana Artist Jim Dolan, inspired by original artwork by Martha U. Cooney-Simonich. Source: Pat Burns Creator: Pat Burns Date: 2022
Original artwork by Martha U. Cooney-Simonich
Original artwork by Martha U. Cooney-Simonich Martha U. Cooney-Simonich captured these six-figures to represent the 58 victims of the Great Explosion of 1895. Source: Butte Historical Memorials Creator: Martha U. Cooney-Simonich Date: 2016
Edwin W. Robins and Family
Edwin W. Robins and Family Edwin "Two Bear" Robins, 56, was the oldest victim to die as a result of the explosion. Source: Joan Robins and Sue Ueland
Jim the Fire Horse
Jim the Fire Horse Jim was the only one the Butte Fire Department's four horses to survive the explosion. He was beloved by members of the Butte Fire Department and Butte community and is represented as one of the six figures in the memorial. Source: Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives Date: circa 1900

Location

120 S. Idaho Street | Public

Metadata

Lindsay Mulcahy, “Butte Warehouse Explosion of 1895 Memorial,” Story of Butte, accessed February 22, 2024, https://storyofbutte.org/items/show/3426.