Name: R. Bruce Smith

Age/DoB:  abt 1870

County of Conviction: Lewis & Clark

Judicial District: 1st

Case No.: 1465

Date of Conviction: June 28, 1919


Sentence: $4,500 fine









No photo


Allegations: Aug. 16, 1918 editorial published in Butte Daily Bulletin questioned legitimacy of Montana Council of Defense.


Case Details:  Convicted after jury trial. (Last sedition conviction in Montana).
Conviction unanimously reversed by state supreme court on May 3, 1920. 57 Mont 563 190 Pac. 107 (1920) #4487, on grounds of judicial bias and insufficiency of evidence. Court also stated that trial in Lewis & Clark County, based on single subscription to Bulletin by Helena Independent editor Will Campbell, was a subterfuge to deprive Smith and Dunn of their state constitutional guarantee of a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the offense is alleged to have been committed."


Personal Information:  Single. Publisher and later managing editor of Butte Bulletin. President of the Butte Typographical Union. Worked as a printer for 30 years. Owned stock in Bulletin. Roomed with family of William F. Dunn, editor, in Butte. Acquitted in 1920 on charges of having intimidated a bartender with a weapon. Probably left Butte in 1921. Died in Colorado Springs in July 1950 following a stroke suffered while residing at the Union Printers Home. Descendants in Montana, Washington and Alaska.


The Montana Sedition Project