The weathered epitath on Frank
Little's grave in Mountain View Cemetery in Butte reads "Slain by Capitalist Interests
for Organizing and Inspiring His Fellow Men."
Frank Little came to Butte to
persuade miners to join the One Big Union, the Industrial Workers
of the World.
Little gave public speeches
telling the miners that the Great War in Europe was a conflict
that should be left to the capitalists who started it to finish.
Workers, he argued, had more in common with each other, regardless
of their nationality.
- These were not tolerant times in Montana and Little
had picked the wrong time and place to incite dissent and to
encourage what the Company- backed newspapers called acts of
- In the middle of the night on
August 1, 1917, six men, identifying themselves as officers,
abducted Little from his boarding house room. They beat him,
dragged him behind a car, and finally hung him from a train trestle
on city's edge. No one was ever convicted of his murder.
- A procession of thousands followed
his coffin as thousands more lined the streets to show their
solidarity. While few workers subscribed to Little's radical
message, all were uniformly outraged at the way the messenger
was so brutally silenced.