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Contentious Debates Emerge When Discussing Copper King Statue

Credits: Ancient Origins

A few weeks ago, I found myself in a spirited argument with a former classmate over Marcus Daly’s statue. He insisted that he had played on the statue as a young boy in the 1960s.

Despite not wanting to burst his bubble, I had to point out the inaccuracies in his memory. This isn’t the first time I’ve had such discussions, and it usually ends with frustration on both sides.

For years, The Montana Standard has received calls asking when Marcus Daly’s statue was moved from Main Street to Montana Tech. It’s a question that often leads to frustration or arguments, as some people’s memories seem to be based more on fiction than fact.

Statue (Credits: The Tour Guy)

The statue was actually moved on June 25, 1941, but some individuals remain adamant that it stood on North Main Street well into the 1950s and 1960s. Despite presenting evidence, such as articles from 1941, some continue to believe their memories are correct.

One man, who now lives in California, claimed to have played on the statue daily in the mid-50s. When presented with evidence to the contrary, he insisted his memories were accurate, dismissing the news stories as wrong.

Another woman who grew up in Butte recalled playing on the statue in the early 1950s. When told this was not possible, she became defensive, accusing me of thinking I knew everything.

The truth is that the statue was unveiled on September 2, 1907, outside the Federal Building on North Main Street. It was later moved to Montana Tech in May 1941, with the approval and financial support of Daly’s widow, Maggie Daly.

The move was likely due to traffic concerns, as the original location posed challenges for vehicles navigating the street. The statue’s new location at Montana Tech offered a more spacious and scenic setting.

Despite the facts, some continue to believe their childhood memories are accurate. The statue has been overlooking Butte from atop Park Street for nearly 83 years now, and I hope these facts put an end to any further arguments. However, knowing human nature, I doubt it.

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