Butte Courthouse

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An execution that may have been a mistake has caused a restless spirit.



Historically this part of town was the place where the Butte County Courthouse and jail has always stood, from the very beginning of the town. The original courthouse was a structure that by 1908 was deemed a little too funky and ratty looking for the booming, rich mining town of Butte, so a new, grander courthouse was started in 1910, built upon the same lot where the old one had stood. It was finished by 1912. It was and is one of the West’s most beautiful public buildings, designed in the Beaux Arts style. It cost 482,600 dollars and was financed by public bonds.

Today, this impressive courthouse building is used as office space for county government employees and officials. The modern jail was built across the street just to the east of the building.




A miner named Miles Fuller was convicted of killing another prospector probably over a claim or a card game. While a prisoner, he was kind and thoughtful to the guards, leaving thank you notes with the empty food trays, while being held in the jail next to the courthouse.

Because he received the death sentence, Miles was executed by hanging via the portable gallows which were set up in the yard, which was located on the north side of the jail behind the courthouse on May 18, 1906. As his coffin was being placed on the funeral wagon by his pallbearers, a loud crack-like noise, sounding like thunder, was heard by the living, bringing up the possibility to those who heard it that he may have been innocent of the murder. UH OH!



Throughout the years, an apparition looking just like Miles has been seen wandering around this same yard, by the back door of the courthouse ground floor.

Cold spots have been felt in the ground floor offices, and doors have opened and shut by themselves.


Yes, it seems to be.

Although the old courthouse has long been torn down, this gentle spirit still haunts the land where it once stood by wandering the old gallows yard and occasionally visiting the inside of the ground floor area of the present courthouse building, which is also next to the outside yard area where Miles was executed via the gallows almost 100 years ago.

Miles is perhaps still looking for something at the scene of his death, needing, perhaps, to clear his name before passing on to the other side. Or perhaps though he was justly convicted, he wasn’t ready to die just yet.



155 West Granite Street
Butte, Montana



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