1959 Riot Historical

1959 Riot Historical (HM1TKM)

Location: Deer Lodge, MT 59722 Powell County
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Country: United States of America
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N 46° 23.56', W 112° 44.158'

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Old Montana Prison

On the afternoon of April 16, Jerry Myles and Lee Smart led a band of inmates in a violent riot against prison authorities. Seizing a rifle from the catwalk guard, they took control of the 1912 cell house.

Forcing their way into the administration building, the rioting inmates shot and killed Deputy Warren Ted Rothe and then took 19 prison employees and 5 inmates (stool pigeons) as hostages. The inmates threatened to burn the hostages alive if any attempt was made to rescue them.

In a daring rescue plan formed by Warden Floyd Powell, National Guardsmen fired a bazooka at the northwest tower of the cell house headquartered. The blast stunned the inmates long enough for a rescue team to free the hostages. Myles and Smart were found dead in the third floor of the tower, apparently a double suicide.

Although the riot drew attention to the numerous problems within the prison, it would be another twenty years before the old prison was closed down.

If you look at the cell house tower, you can still see the damage caused by the bazooka shell fired during the rescue attempt.
Placed ByOld Prison Museums
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, August 9th, 2016 at 9:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)12T E 366535 N 5139141
Decimal Degrees46.39266667, -112.73596667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 46° 23.56', W 112° 44.158'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds46° 23' 33.6" N, 112° 44' 9.48" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)406
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1000 I-90BL, Deer Lodge MT 59722, US
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