Elsa Marie Fasel ’14

Full name: Elsa Marie Fasel Gillette



+++++24 June 1885 in Iowa


+++++John Fazel and Babette Schiezel

Occupation Prior to Law Study:


Law Study:

+++++Silver Bow Law School, about 1914

Admitted to Practice:

+++++Montana 1914


+++++Frank A. Gillette, on 18 June 1915, in Idaho


  • Butte, MT
  • Portland, OR


+++++20 April 1955

26 November 1914 — Anaconda Standard — “Butte Woman Will Ask Leave to Practice Law”

+++++“Among the 26 applicants for admission to the bar of Montana who will go before the school for examination at Helena next Tuesday will be 10 from Butte, and one of them is a woman. Miss Elsa M. Fasel has studied law for some time and feels confident of her ability to pass the examination.”

2 May 1915 — Anaconda Standard — “Admit Miss Fasel to Federal Court; . . . The Fifth Woman Lawyer”

+++++“Miss Elsa Marie Fasel of Butte was admitted to practice by Judge George M. Bourquin yesterday when the adjourned February term of court was resumed. Miss Fasel studied law in Butte and successfully passed the bar examination last fall. She was admitted to practice in the supreme court of the state last December. She was admitted yesterday on the motion of J. A. Poore. . . .”

6 May 1915 — Fergus County Democrat — “Miss Elsa Fasel is the Fifth Woman Lawyer in the State”

+++++“Miss Elsa Fasel, who was for a considerable time a teacher in the Kendall school and who resided in Fergus county some years, has just been admitted to practice in the federal court. . . .
+++++At the same time that Miss Fasel took her oath, James T. Shea, also a graduate of the Silver Bow law school, swore to uphold the rules of the court . . . Mr. Shea intimated that he and Miss Fasel will be partners in the city soon.
+++++The young woman barrister is the fifth of her sex to be admitted to practice in the federal court in the Montana district. The others were Ella Knowles Haskell, Miss Martha [sic — Marguerite or Margaret] Young, Miss Nadeen [sic — Madeen] and Miss Josephine Harris. Mrs. Haskell is dead. Miss Young is a member of the law firm of Young & Young of Forsyth; Miss Nadeen [Madeen] has a law office in Hamilton, and Miss Harris was admitted in Helena.”

14 January 1916 — Anaconda Standard

+++++“Miss Wilson Ill.  Miss Nellie Jane Wilson, a member of the Silver Bow law school, has gone to Boulder to recover from an illness. She was accompanied by I. G. Denny, dean of the school. Mrs. Elsa Fasel Gillette will have charge of the school until Mr. Denny returns.”

9 July 1919 — Anaconda Standard — “Former Butte Woman Lawyer Back for Visit”

+++++“Mr. and Mrs. Frank Gillette of Portland are stopping in Butte for a few days, preparatory to resuming their tour of the Northwest in their automobile. They will visit Yellowstone and Glacier national parks. Mrs. Gillette prior to her marriage was Miss Elsie Fasel, sister of Charles Fasel of Fasel & Robish, 125 South Main Street. She attended the Silver Bow Law School here and enjoys the distinction of being the first woman to pass the bar examination before the supreme court of Montana.  She was admitted to practice in 1914. While studying law, Mrs. Gillette taught in the public schools of Butte.”

3 September 1922 — Anaconda Standard — “First Butte Girl Lawyer Visits City”

+++++“Frank Gillette, accompanied by his wife, Elsie Fazel [sic] Gillette, arrived in Butte yesterday by motor from Portland, Ore., where the Gillettes now reside and will spend some days in the city calling on old friends. Mrs. Gillette, according to Judge Denny, is the first Montana woman to be admitted to the state bar. [Incorrect — she was the ninth woman to be admitted to the Montana bar.] She was the first woman to take the bar examination in the state. There were two women practitioners before her but they were graduates of eastern schools and are believed to have been admitted on motion. Fortune is said to have smiled on the Gillette family in Oregon. Mrs. Gillette is a sister of Charles Fazel of Butte.”

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