Lost Butte, Montana, a book by Richard I. Gibson, is in stores and museum gift shops around Butte. Or order from the publisher. It's also in E-book formats at all the usual places. And read an interview with Gibson, here, and on KXLF here. The Facebook page has many historic photos of Butte, and the Butte-Anaconda NHLD project showcases many historic buildings. Location-oriented posts can be found on HistoryPin. On Mondays beginning in January 2016, look for Gibson's "Mining City History" column in the Montana Standard.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year’s Day 1899

By Richard I. Gibson

The Anaconda Standard’s full-page article covering the year 1898 in review focused on “The Changing Map of the World” – appropriate in the wake of the Spanish-American War, colonial imperialism in Africa, and the “spoliation of China” through the establishment of European treaty ports. Willis Abbott, who wrote the article specially for the Standard, boasted of the triumph of democracy in Cuba as a result of the war, and the freeing of Crete from “Turkish misrule,” even as parts of Europe – Italy and Spain, especially, underwent bread riots and famine.

The scientific news of the year was a device invented by Polish electrician Jan Szezepanik (the "Austrian Edison") that promised to revolutionize telegraphy by transmitting images by means of oscillating mirrors. In literature, Abbott reported “Many Books; None Great.”

“The struggle between man’s worse and better nature had its striking exemplifications in 1898, as it will have no doubt in all years to come.”

Butte’s burgeoning economy was reflected in the advertisements of January 1, 1899. Gans & Klein’s Men’s Clothing Store was at 120-122 North Main (still standing), while Ley’s Jewelers was in the 8-year-old Owsley Block at Park and Main. Walsh & Craft, brokers and wholesalers for all sorts of merchandise including 6,000 cases of California canned goods, had their office at 71 West Park Street.

Sources: Anaconda Standard, January 1, 1899; city directories. Jan Szezepanik on Wikipedia.

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