Smithers & Son Photographers

128 W Granite Street, Butte, MT


Smithers & Son Photographers

Photo taken by Richard Doody in November 2006



C. Owen Smithers (1893-1973) came to Butte in 1921 as staff photographer for the Anaconda (later Montana) Standard. He photographed the full range of the city's people and events for the next half century with only a short absence for service in World War II. Smithers became an avid collector of photographs from Montana's frontier era which he displayed in his studio at 41 West Granite Street (now a parking lot). The Smithers Collection of Historical Photographs was listed among the city's must see tourist attraction in the 1940 WPA Federal Writers Project's Guide to Montana which ranked it second only to St. Gaudens statue of Marcus Daly.

C. Owen Smithers Jr. (1927-2013) followed in his father's foot steps becoming a staff photographer for the Standard and joying his father in running a commercial photo studio.

Smithers collection of his own and historical photographs numbering some 15,000 was donated to the Butte - Silver Bow Public Archives following the death of his son. This ghost sign on the rear of the Butte Water Company Building dates to ca.1940.


Montana (2,200)
Sign (83)
Silver Bow County, Montana (359)

Update Log 

  • August 9, 2019: New photos from Richard Doody
  • August 9, 2019: Added by Richard Doody


  • Richard Doody