We get research requests from close to home in Butte and as far away as Finland, Ireland, and Italy. Many have to do with family history. Local people like to research their homes and others request photographs from our collection. Writers and historians use our facility for academic research, and students draw upon our collections to learn about local history. The bulk of the research we do spans the years from Butte’s founding to about the mid-20th century, 1864-1955. But we can sometimes overlook the more recent parts of our story.
Recently, however, we were contacted with a request asking who Rick Jones of Rick Jones Way was. (Rick Jones Way is on the way to REC Silicon).
In case you too are wondering, Rick Jones was the business recruitment officer for the Montana Department of Commerce in the early 1990s. He was instrumental in recruiting Advanced Silicon Materials Inc. (ASiMi) to Butte – a significant and meaningful achievement in a depressed economy. ASiMi is now REC Silicon. REC is located in an industrial park just west of Butte. Sadly, Jones died of a heart attack in January 1996.
According to his obituary, Rick Jones was born in Miles City in 1958 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Oregon. He began work for the State of Montana in 1988, working closely with local development agencies until the time of his death at the age of 37. He was a musician and music enthusiast.
When ASiMi started construction on the plant in June of that year, they (or the State of Montana) named the street for him. Rick Jones Way loops around the industrial park from German Gulch Road, south to REC, and north to rejoin German Gulch Road west of the Port of Montana.
So, there you have it.