A new edition of Butte native Sarah McNelis’s, Copper King at War: The Biography of F. Augustus Heinze will make its debut at the Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives’ Holiday Open House December 9 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Archives, 17 W. Quartz St.
Published by Riverbend Press in Helena, the book is a collaboration between the Friends of the Butte Archives who funded the project and the University of Montana Press which granted use of copyright.
Zena Beth McGlashan, author of “Buried in Butte,” with help from research assistant Lindsay Lambrecht Mulcahy, explored the extensive McNelis collection at the Archives and wrote the afterword, “The Watchman’s Daughter.”
At 2:30 they will speak briefly about their research which included letters from famed Montana historian K. Ross Toole. In 1968, Toole chose McNelis’s “outstanding manuscript” to be the first book published by the UM Press; 2018 marks the golden anniversary of the first publication of the Heinze book.
The Archives will also have its holiday shop open. In addition to the McNelis book, shoppers can choose from a selection of other Butte and Montana books, copper coins and bars, ornaments, and paintings by local artists.
A silent auction will feature items such as a one-of-a-kind neon sign depicting the ‘M’ on Big Butte and a holiday centerpiece created by local designer Bob Benson. Light refreshments will be provided.
Toole, who was chair of the UM history department at that time, is still considered one of Montana’s most insightful historians. The manuscript was the master’s thesis by McNelis whose father knew Heinze, the third and youngest of the Copper Kings. Editors changed the book’s name, prefacing her original title with “Copper King at War.”
The book has been out of print for decades, with prices for used copies running as high as a hundred dollars
The papers of Sarah and her sister, Mary, longtime Butte teachers, were donated to the Archives after their deaths in 2003 when they were in their 90s.
For further information contact the Archives at 782-3280.