As stated in the previous blog article, John Boyd was arrested in 1899, on charges of theft at the Bi-Metallic and the charges were vacated two years later, due to lack of evidence. The lack of evidence, according to the Daily Inter Mountain newspaper in Butte, was due to the following: Albert Maley had been arrested and held in jail as a witness. According to the records Maley had been released on a $500 bond but there was no evidence that a bond had ever been put up. The jail records showed Maley was still incarcerated, but he was not in the jail system and was no where to be found. It was unclear why his “bondsmen” were exonerated or why Sheriff Patrick Regan of Silver Bow County had released Maley.
Born in Iowa in 1863, Albert Maley arrived in Granite County about 1888. He spent the next 45 years mining and trapping. Numerous news articles discuss his arrests by the game wardens for poaching of beaver and other fur bearing animals. Each arrest always ended up with a jury trial finding Al not guilty and returning to the Sapphire Mountains. Al was an employee of the American Gem Mining Syndicate. Maley Gulch on the Sapphire Mines property was named in his honor.
Obviously several thousands of dollars of silver bullion just sitting around at the Bi-Metallic was a great temptation and was again too much for some individuals in September 1904. On September 9, the Philipsburg Mail carried the following event:
“ A bold and desperate attempt was made between 12 and 1 o’clock Saturday morning to rob the bullion vaults at the Granite Bi-Metallic Consolidated Mining Company, where at all times there are stored several thousand dollars of silver bullion. Two men appeared near the retort room at the mill where the vaults are situated and there met watchman George Johnson. They ordered him to throw up his hands and upon his refusal to do so they knocked him down and beat him over the head with the butt of a revolver. The men then carried Johnson to a barn nearby and bound him hand and foot and gagged him also. The robbers then returned to the bullion room, where they met George McGuire, an electrician in the employ of the Montana Water, Electric Power and Mining Company, who had come into the room for some supplies for his department. He was also commanded to put up his hands. McGuire at first thought the intruders were joking, but they soon convinced him that they were in earnest. McGuire was also knocked down and carried to the barn where Johnson lay bound and gagged. He as well was tied hand and foot and a gag placed in his mouth. The robbers then again returned to the bullion room and set to work to effect an entrance to the vaults where the bullion was stored. They had tools with them for breaking through the brick walls to the interior of the vault and tools also for boring the iron portions of the vaults and they worked vigorously at their enterprise for a time. In the meantime Johnson, lying gagged and bound in the barn, somehow managed to work his shoes off and slip the ropes from his feet. He then got out of the barn and gave an alarm. The robbers evidently saw their game was up and quit, leaving their work only started and the tools they had been using on the ground near the vault. James Thompson and Arthur Smith were arrested the next morning, having been suspected of being connected with the affair. Smith has since been released, there not being any evidence against him, but Thompson has so far been unable to satisfactorily explain his whereabouts on that night and is still in jail. Hank Noble and Jack Boyd have been arrested, the complaint charging them with burglary, for which they have been placed under $5,000 bonds each. A second complaint charging them with assault in the first degree has been preferred and $6,000 bonds each. making a total of $11,000 each in bonds. Both say they are innocent.”
By March of 1905 the trial had been scheduled and a jury selected. One of the defense witnesses was the superintendent of Silver Bow Schools who had sat next to Mr. Boyd at 10:30 pm in the Chequamegon Café in Butte the evening of the burglary. Other witnesses included three members of the Butte Police Force who had seen Mr. Boyd that same evening. Both Boyd and Noble were found not guilty of burglary and the assault charges were vacated.
Pictured is the bullion displayed semi-weekly as it was readied for shipment by the Bi-Metallic.
Unfortunately the names of the men pictures is not certain.