Name: Thomas Burans/Burns


Age/DoB: b. 1858


County of Conviction: Missoula


Judicial District: 4th


Case No.: 1130


Date of Conviction: May 25, 1918


Sentence: 1-2  years.









Allegations: In front of the Montana pool hall in Ronan on March 24, 1918, told a 21-year-old draft registrant: "Get out of the country and the jurisdiction of the draft board.  DonŐt enlist.  They are only tin soldiers anyway, and they are persecuting the IWW."


Case Details: Found guilty by a jury that included Rev. John Maclean, the father of author Norman Maclean, and memorialized in "A River Runs Through It." Denied a witness' claim that he had said he was a Wobbly. Served 13 months May 25, 1918 to June 8, 1919. Returned for parole violation Nov. 15, 1919.

 Personal Information: Born in Michigan about 1858. Parents born in Ireland. Lived in Ronan. Worked as a laborer, but also identified as a farmer on the (Flathead) reservation and later as a lumberjack. Possibly illiterate. Claimed at the time of his arrest to have been honorably discharged from the British Navy. Died in Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs on Feb. 20, 1926.


The Montana Sedition Project

Revised 4/14/06