Mining Town Story: Carroll was named crew chief on the second day on the job | Local

RICHARD I. GIBSON for The Montana Standard

When Michael Carroll died in February 1891 at the age of 41 or 42, the Anaconda Standard called his service “the grandest funeral the camp has ever seen.” He was a friend of Marcus Daly and the superintendent of the Anaconda and St. Lawrence mines. Carroll died after a week of pneumonia.

Carroll had emigrated to the United States from his native Dublin around 1870, working first as a miner in New Jersey, but quickly moving on to wealthier prospects in the west, in Nevada, Mexico and New Mexico before settling. arriving in Walkerville around 1877. Carroll is said to have been promoted to foreman by Marcus Daly on his second day on the job at the Alice mine.

Carroll went with Daly from the Alice Mine to the Anaconda Mine, mining silver in its early days. As easy money played out in 1882, Carroll was said to have been present with Daly at level 300 when the drift was blasted which revealed the first huge vein of copper in the Anaconda, a discovery which prompted the excited exclamation of Daly from “Mike, we got it!” As Daly’s chief lieutenant, Carroll became the superintendent of the Anaconda mine.

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Earlier in 1882, at the Anaconda mine, foreman Carroll injured a drunken and abusive miner, Cornishman William Bosancho, with a crowbar. Bosancho died on February 10, and Cornish-Irish antipathy nearly led to the lynching of Carroll, who had surrendered and was being held in the city jail (probably the first jail on Jackson Street south of Park). Although the coroner’s inquest found Carroll inflicted the fatal wound and he was charged with murder, the Grand Jury found the indictment to be “false” and Carroll was released on February 24. .

When Marcus Daly expanded his foundry complex at Anaconda from the original Upper Works to Lower Works in 1888, Daly named the surrounding community Carroll in honor of his friend. Carroll had its own post office from 1888 to 1902, but the Old Works operation closed in 1902 when the Washoe Foundry began, and many of Carroll’s 125 houses were moved to Anaconda. The community was located near the current Anaconda landfill, about half a mile east of the Old Works Golf Course.

Mike Carroll died on February 20, 1891. Just a month earlier, he had been appointed vice-president of a new mining subsidiary of Daly, created to operate the Snow Drift, Glengarry and Silver Lick claims north of Alice. Carroll had no relatives in Butte, but the funeral procession included 184 cars and 500 walkers, following his casket. The procession departed from the Anaconda Mine on the Anaconda Road to Wyoming, Quartz, Main, Park and Washington streets to St. Patrick’s Church. After the brief service there, a mile-long procession proceeded down Montana Street towards St. Patrick’s Cemetery, where a large monument marks Carroll’s grave.

Local geologist and historian Dick Gibson has lived in Butte since 2003 and has worked as a tour guide for various organizations and museums. He can be contacted at rigibson@earthlink.net.

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