In the past few months, there has been considerable discussion about the Bronze statue of a young girl facing the Bull on Wall Street, New York City.  The statue titled “Fearless” was commissioned to represent the need to respect gender, equality, racial diversity in the financial world and indeed in every world.

Well, FEARLESS are these young children of Butte–facing a machine gun held by a United States Guard who was sent to Butte by the United States government to assist with the domestic disturbances following the devastating Granite Mountain-Speculator Fire.  The strike that followed the Granite Mountain disaster like the Fearless young girl in New York was held for miners to be treated fairly, to obtain more equitable pay, for safer working conditions, and collective bargaining.

Federal troops were sent to Butte August 10, 1917, just after the hanging of Frank Little and in the early months of the dramatic strike. The Federal Government needed to have the mines working full force due to the need for Strategic Weapons.  The United States had just entered World War I and metals were in high demand.

Not certain why the children are at the mine gate – perhaps looking for some loose coal or to gather general information.  Not certain why the gun needed a steady hand poised on the trigger in the presence of children.  Just my thoughts.

I noted in the Glasser report that “proper function of United States Guards …..They should be stationed at the mines to guard against the entrance of unauthorized persons and stop the outbreaks of Violence….”   The instructions further provide for when weapons should be used, children aren’t mentioned.


Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives, C. Owen Smithers Collection, Photo no. 21-023-01



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