The Rev. Lewis J. Duncan, former mayor of Butte, died Monday night of pneumonia, in a hospital at Rochester, Minn.  Notification of his death was received by his window and son in Butte yesterday.  His death followed a short illness, although he had been in poor health for more than a year. He was 79 years of age. The surviving relatives are his wife, Mrs. Kate Duncan, who is making her home in Butte with her son and daughter-in-law; his son, Edwin K. of Butte; a sister, Mira, of Quincy, Ill., a half-brother, Frank Wood; also of Quincy, and another half-brother  Oliver Wood, of New Orleans, Mo. Other relatives are a daughter-in-law, Mrs. E. K. Duncan, of Butte, and two granddaughters, Katherine, a senior at the Montana State college at Bozeman and Jean a senior at the Butte high school

     Lewis J. Duncan, the first of Butte’s mayors to succeed himself, was born in St. Louis, Mo., May 4 1857.  The family removed to Illinois and located at Quincy. He received his education in the public schools of Quincy and at Hanover college, Indiana, where he took a general course.  On leaving school he entered the railway service as an accountant, decided to make it a profession and bcame certified public accountant.  Then he took up the study of law and was admitted to the bar in 1883.  During this period he married Miss Kate Keath, daughter of Uriah Keath, well-known lawyer and one time collector of internal revenue for Illinois.

     He was always a religious turn of mind and after two years at the bar gave up his law practice to become a Unitarian minister.  His first parish was at Sheffield, Ill.  He then moved to Streetor, Ill., where he founded the Church of Good Will.  Shortly afterwards he received a call from Milwaukee, where he became pastor of the Milwaukee ethical society. 

     He was called to Butte to become pastor of the Unitarian church of this city in 1902.  The illness of a daughter, who finally passed away in Milwaukee, delayed the coming of his family to this city until 1904.  He continued to follow the clerical profession in this city until 1910, when he was elected mayor.  He served until 1914, when he and Sheriff Driscoll were removed from office through ouster proceedings growing out of rioting that had resulted in the dissolution of Butte Miners Union No. 11, W.F.M.

     Following his removal from office he worked in the mines and copper tanks in this district but was too frail physically to perform this labor and accepted a call to south Dakota, where he became manager of the Nonpartisan league.  Following the dissolution of the league he removed to Minneapolis, where he was engaged in newspaper work for two years, after which he devoted himself to private teaching—English, business, public speaking, dramatics and music until ill health compelled him to retire from active work.

    Funeral arrangements have not been completed, local relatives state, but the funeral will be probably held in Minneapolis, they said.  

The Montana Standard
Butte, Montana
October 7, 1914


Lewis J. Duncan Dies
in Rochester of Pneumonia

     Butte, Jan. 28—(AP)—Lewis Johnstone Duncan, mayor of Butte from 1911 to 1915, died of pneumonia at Rochester, Minn., hospital, friends here learned.  Duncan was 70 years old, and had been in ill health for some time.

     First of Butte’s mayors to succeed himself, Duncan was born in St. Louis May 4, 1857. His family moved to Illinois and Duncan was educated at Quincy and at Hanover college, Indiana. He became a railway service employee after leaving school and later was an accountant. Then he took up the study of law.

     He was married to Miss Kate Keath after he was admitted to the bar in 1883. He gave up his law practice to become a Unitarian minister in Illinois and came here to accept a pastorate in 1902.

     He remained a clergyman until 1910 when he was elected mayor, serving until 1914 when he was removed from office with Sheriff Driscoll through ouster proceedings that grew out of rioting that ultimately resulted in the dissolution of the Butte miners union.

     Following his removal from office, he was employed in mines in this district but his health was too poor to permit him to perform manual labor. He then moved to South Dakota and later to Minneapolis where he engaged in newspaper work for two years.

     Later he became a private tutor until his failing health forced him to give up active work. Survivors include a widow and son, a sister and a granddaughter Katherine Duncan, a student at Montana State college.

     Funeral services are expected to be in Minneapolis. 

The Billings Gazette
Billings, Montana
Wednesday, January  29, 1936 - Page 10  


     Butte. Feb 29,__(AP)—Funeral services will be held here Monday afternoon for Mrs. Kate Keath Duncan, widow of Lewis J. Duncan, former Butte mayor.

     She died yesterday, just a month after the death of her husband and two days before her 76th birthday anniversary.

     A son, Edwin K. Duncan, and two granddaughters, Jean of Butte, and Katherine, a student at Bozeman, survive.

     The body will be taken to Great Falls for cremation.

The Independent Record
Helena, Montana
Sunday, March 1, 1936 - Page 8