“Beastly Butler” and his Gold
The discovery of gold on Fish Creek produced the boom town of Highland City which once outstripped Butte in population. Among the thousands attracted to the area was a man known only as Butler. Butler was called “Beastly Butler” because of his untidy appearance and his filthy cabin.
In a camp known for its wild spending and scandalous living, Butler was conspicuous for his quiet behavior and frugality. Instead of throwing his money away on women and whiskey, he placed his daily accumulation of gold in the empty tin cans in which he had purchased goods. He is said to have cached them near his one-room cabin on his claim.
One day Butler’s mine caved in and crushed him to death. His few close friends said he had at times boasted of a hundred or more cans of hidden gold. He had declared that when his mine was exhausted, he would dig up all the gold and return to the east. Immediately after his burial, prospectors made a search for his cans of gold but found none of them. Perhaps they are still there amid the ruins of Highland City, now a complete ghost town south of Butte.