Montana · Political

Man lynched, anti-union threats left with body

August 1, 1917
Butte, Montana
Unionist Frank Little is lynched

Little was abducted by six masked men around 3 in the morning. While still only clad in his underwear, the men shoved him into a car and sped off. After a short drive, they tied him to the car’s bumper and dragged him over granite rock pavement; his knees suffered extensive damage from the dragging. The men then brought him to the Milwaukee bridge where he was beaten and hanged.

A note was pinned to Little’s naked thigh reading “First and last warning.” The note also had “3-7-77” and several initials, believed to represent other union leaders, written on it. The 3-7-77 was a marker used by vigilantes at the time, and often served as a warning. Because of the initials in the threat, it is speculated Little’s killers were anti-unionists, though no one was apprehended in connection to Little’s murder. The inscription on his grave stone reads “Slain by capitalist interests for organizing and inspiring his fellow men.”

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