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PMWA
Progressive Mine Workers of America
 
Progressive Miners of America
PMA

1936   &   1937
Bombings, Explosions, Riots, Shootings, Mayhem & Murder continue
The Progressive Miners of America (PMA) was a coal miners' union organized in 1932.
Return to   Page 1 PMWA in 1932
Return to   Page 2 PMWA in 1933
Return to   Page 3 PMWA in 1934 & 1935
continue to Page 5 PMWA in 1938 & later
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1936
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1937

January 1936
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, January 31, 1936, Page 3
Miners May Break Union Rules
      ST. LOUIS, Jan. 30. -- (AP) -- To cope with a coal shortage brought on by the prolonged cold, President William Keck of the Progressive Miners of America said today the organization would not oppose local breaking of 35-hour week contracts so mines might be operated Saturday in Madison and St. Clair counties, Illinois.
 

February 1936
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, February 1, 1936, Page 1
Continuance of Cold Weather Increases Danger of Shortage Of Coal in Midwestern Cities
      CHICAGO, Jan, 31. -- (AP) -- Subzero cold took another big bite tonight at Midwestern coal piles.
      Temperatures ranging down 20 degrees under zero, were forecast for wide reaches of the snow covered farm belt as its coldest January in many years ended. In Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois concern over fuel supplies was evidenced at a number of points. Mines worked full blast during the day, rationing of coal was adopted in Kirksville, Mo., and in Peoria, LaSalle, Peru, and Oglesby.
      Some Illinois miners agreed to give up their Saturday holiday to dig against the piled up coal orders but the request for the extra day of work brought a dispute between the members of the United Mine Workers of America and Progressive Miners of America unions and operators employing both as to whether it should be granted. Iowa authorities sought a similar concession from union miners of that state but the negotiations had brought no work order.
      In Poplar Bluffs, Mo., only one dealer had any coal left and residents turned to wood to keep the home fires alive. Diggings, normally inactive in that state, were opened to help meet the increased demand.
      The White Hall high school was closed because of fuel shortage. At least a half dozen new deaths from the weather or fires were reported.
      Coldest spot on the midcontinent was Bemidji, Minn., with 31 below this morning. At no place on the weather map for the area was it "warmer" than 14 above. Dodge City, Kas., had that reading.
      Ohio fruit growers predicted the severe cold would result in heavy losses to the peach crop and heavy damage to other fruit.
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, February 7, 1936, Page 1
MINERS WORK INCREASES DUE TO COAL SHORTAGE
      SPRINGFIELD, Feb. 6. -- (AP) -- With continued cold weather threatening a serious coal shortage here, officials of both the Progressive and United mine workers today gave locals in the Springfield area permission to work six days a week.
      While the shortage was not yet felt in Springfield, reports of considerable suffering in the area served by the mines in this district were received.
      The governor's office was swamped with appeals for aid today. All messages were turned over to James J. McSherry, director of the state department of mines and minerals, who forwarded an appeal to union officials.
 

March 1936 No entries at this time

April 1936
 
1936 - Spanish Civil War; 17 July 1936 - 1 April 1939
Source : http://writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/spain-overview.html - paragraph 4 - Excerpt
      Spanish Revolution of 1936
      "(Though not actually affiliated, the Gillespie, Illinois, branch of the Progressive Miners of America wholeheartedly supported the effort through a sizable monthly assessment of its members.)"

May 1936 No entries at this time

June 1936
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, June 10, 1936, Page 2
Edmundson Asked To Prove Charges Of 'Paid Killers'
      GILLESPIE, June 9. -- (AP) - William Keck, head of the Progressive Miners of America union, today challenged Ray Edmundson, Illinois president of the United Mine Workers of America, to prove his contention he was the "target of paid killers by the P. M. A organization" in an attempted assassination at Springfield Saturday night.
      "We challenge and defy Edmundson to produce one scintilla of factual evidence or one iota of even circumstantial evidence to backs up his insiduous and cowardly imputation that he was shot at on Saturday night or any other time by 'paid killers' hired by the Progressive Miners of America," Keck said in a formal statement.
      "If he can furnish this proof we would be only too glad to assist in prosecuting such individual or individuals."
      Edmundson told police he was the target of three gunmen who fired upon him as he was putting his car in the garage at his home, and that two bullets pierced his clothing.
      Declaring that 20 P. M. A. members had been killed in the past four years, Keck said:
      "It is our opinion that the episode in which Edmundson claims he was fired upon, if it was not done by some of his enemies in his own organization, was a pure and simple frame-up in order the cover up and allay well-founded suspicions and perhaps give an excuse for further sniping and murders."
 

July 1936
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, July 2, Page 3
Mine Union Control Virtually in Hands Of Local Officials
      SPRINGFIELD. Ill., July 1. -- (AP) -- Control of Illinois unions of the United Mine Workers of America today was virtually entirely in the hands of local officials as provisional rule was abolished in the Springfield sub-district.
      Joe Dernoncourt, sub-district president, said local officers were chosen during the past two weeks.
      Autonomy was restored earlier in the other Illinois sub-districts, Dernoncourt said, John L. Lewis, international, United Mine Workers of America president, established the provisional government nearly four years ago, revoking local charters in the dissension that marked the organization of the Progressive Miners of America.
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, July 30, Page 3
Judge Wham Rules On Christopher, III ., Labor Union Case
      EAST ST. LOUIS, July 29. -- (AP) -- Federal Judge Fred L. Wham held in an opinion today that members of a labor union, who voluntarily leave the union retain no claim to the organizations funds. His ruling was made in an action filed by Oliver Alden, receiver of the First National bank of Christopher, Ill., to determine who was entitled to all or part of $3,659 account contributed jointly by a group of United Mine Workers of America and Progressive Miners before their split into two local unions in 1933. The money was claimed by the Buckner Local No. 1421 of the United Mine Workers and Local No. 110 of the Progressives, made up of 400 miners who left the united organization. At the time of the split 278 miners remained in the United Miners local.
      Judge Wham held that those who left the United union "did so voluntarily, therefore retain no equity in the account," and ordered it be paid to the financial secretary of the Buckner group.
 

August 1936
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, August 7, Page 1
FEAR LENGTHY CIVIL TROUBLE IN U. S. LABOR
Green Says Lewis Overrating Insurgents' Power to Split Most of Central Bodies
      WASHINGTON, Aug. 6. -- (AP) - Fear of a prolonged civil war in labor ranks over the conditional order of the American Federation of labor executive council suspending 10 member unions was evidenced today by a dispute between rival leaders over the immediate effect of the action.
      While war talk was soft pedaled, William Green, president of the federation, took issue with a committee for industrial organization estimate that suspension of the unions would split a "substantial majority" of central labor bodies.
      About 1,000 of these central bodies -- each representing all the local unions in a community --are scattered throughout the country. Regarded by labor men as extremely important, they handle all local issues.
      A possible move by the Progressive miners union to replace the United Mine Workers if the latter should be ousted or withdrawn from the federation was hinted recently by Green.
      If the United Mine Workers were suspended, he said, it was likely the Progressive miners would apply for a federation charter. There has been no official indication, however, of any definite action yet.
Wide Suspension Planned
      After the federation's executive council ordered the suspension of the 10 committee for industrial organization unions unless they withdrew from the committee within 30 days, Green explained to reporters that suspended unions would be put out of all state federations and central bodies.
      John Brophy, director of the committee for industrial organization and John L. Lewis' first lieutenant in the committees drive to bring all workers in each big industry into one union, told reporters this would split "a substantial majority" of the central bodies.
      Green maintained, however, that "less than one-third" would be affected.
 

September 1936
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, September 16, 1936, Page 2
A. F. OF L. MINERS MAY CONSOLIDATE
First Step Toward Possible Affiliation Taken at Convention
      GILLESPIE, Sept. 15. -- (AP) --The first step toward possible affiliation of the Progressive Miners of America with the American Federation of Labor was taken at the union's third constitutional convention here late today.
      By a vote of 144 to 40, the convention approved a resolution which would give union officials authority to consider the matter of affiliation and leave the final decision to the membership in a referendum vote.
      The resolution was a substitute measure drafted by the resolutions committee to cover nine other resolutions on this issue.
      It stated that while "advantages and disadvantages of affiliation with the A. F. of L. are rather obscure at the present time," it recommended executive officers "stand instructed to consider the matter if affiliation only after an invitation from the American Federation of Labor had been extended to this organization and then the acceptance or rejection of the proposal shall be submitted to members for decision by referendum."
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, September 23, 1936, Page 8
State WPA Graft Charged by G. O. P. National Committee
WASHINGTON, Sept. 22. -- (AP) -- The Republican national committee today cited two alleged happenings in Illinois to support charges that the Works Progress administration is "shot through with, inefficiency, graft, payroll padding, intimidation and political discrimination in New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan."
      In relation to its Illinois charges, the committee statement said:
      In DuQuoin, Ill., seven affidavits in the possession of the Republican committee show WPA workers were discharged for supporting George Dowell, candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, in the primaries this year. Dowell, who is also chief counsel of the Progressive Mine Workers' union In Illinois charged that C. E. Monteith, WPA director at Pinckneyville, Ill., discharged the workers because they were Progressive Mine Workers and supported Dowell's candidacy." Monteith replied only that he had the authority to hire and fire WPA workers as he saw fit.
 

October 1936
 
October 11, 1936 -- A Dedication Ceremony was held for the Mother Jones Monument erected at Mt. Olive.
 
Mother Jones Monument dedication photo
Photograph Courtesy of : Nelson Grman & John Fritsche
            This photo came from Mr. Matt Yurkovich ( 6th person in the 2nd row ),
      given to his daughter, Mrs. Millie Keiser, & donated to Mr. Nelson Grman, a member
      of the Union Miner's Cemetery Board.
 

November 1936 No entries at this time

December 1936
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, December 12, 1936, Page 3
SHERIFF ARRESTED IN FEDERAL PROBE OF MINE BOMBING
Union President Out on $10,000 Bond As Official Is Taken Into Custody
      SPRINGFIELD, Dec. 11. -- (AP) -- The federal government's mine bombing investigation today saw the arrest at Harrisburg of Sheriff Earl "Nip" Evans, while President William Keck of the Progressive Miners of America was released from jail here on $10,000 bond.
      Evans was a district board member of the Progressive union before taking office as Saline county Sheriff. He was released on $10,000 bond shortly after his arrest.
      Eight others were arrested in southern Illinois, but names of the new prisoners were not disclosed by federal officials who rounded up 22 men in the Springfield territory Wednesday night and yesterday. Keck, who spent the night in jail, scheduled bonds before Commissioner William B. Chittenden and was released.
Declines Further Comment
      He declined to make any further comment other than that made yesterday after his arrest when he said "I don't know what is in the indictment but I certainly am not guilty of any law violation."
      The P. M. A. leader, after he was released on surety furnished by Louis Allen of O'Fallon and W. L. Schmitt, Carlinville publisher, added:
      "I don't believe I have anything further to say; at least not until I have time to think it over."
      A. M. Fitzgerald of Springfield, P. M. A. counsel, and his assistants, Lee Ensel and Harry C. Moore, were busy all day arranging bond for some of the men held by the government in the city prison.
      In addition to Keck, four other men were released during the morning and federal officials said four or five more probably would be freed by night.
All 22 Arrested
      U. S. Marshal Paul Ruppel said that his office placed 20 of the men under arrest within five hours while the entire 22 men in this district were taken into custody within 24 hours. Ruppel disclosed that all but three of the 22 men arrested were each named in all three indictments returned by the federal grand jury.
      Suppressed since they were returned Tuesday night, the indictments charged violations of the federal anti-racketeering act, the Sherman anti-trust act and conspiracy to obstruct the United States mails.
      The three men who were not named in the anti-racketeering indictment, but who were named in the other two, were John Stanley , Dominic Tarro and Anthony Banca, all of Taylorville, Ruppel said.
 

1937
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1937 - WILSONVILLE, IL. -- Sit-down strike at Superior Coal Company Mine No. 4.

 

January 1937 No entries at this time

February 1937
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, February 20, 1937, Page 2
MINERS TOSS OUT PROPOSAL TO JOIN LEWIS' UNION
P. M. A.'s Action Follows All-Day Discussion;
'Referendum Only Way,' Says Frank Mucci
      GILLESPIE, Feb. 19. -- (AP) -- The Progressive Miners of America, meeting in a state convention, decisively rejected today a proposal to unite with their rival union, the United Mine Workers of America.
      Following all-day discussion, the proposal was defeated by a vote of 134 to 3. The resolution, introduced by the Hillsboro local of the union, asked the Progressives' executive board to negotiate with a similar group from the mine workers toward establishment of a single Illinois union.
      Offered by Frank Mucci, the resolution stated "the miners must get together someday and it is better to do so now before more blood is shed and all the conditions in the state are broken." John and Tony Lachner, Virden, voted with Mucci for adoption.
      After the proposal was voted down, Joe Ozanic, Progressives president, said "we are going to continue the battle we halve waged for the past four years."
      "The only way we would consider unity would be in a referendum vote of all Illinois members to determine the organization in which they desire to hold membership.
      The resolution asserted the division in the miners' ranks had "brought us nothing but hardships," and that Illinois miners "cannot force the operators to grant any major concessions as long as we are fighting each other."
      Early, this month, Progressive leaders spurned peace offers by a committee of United Mine Workers of Springfield sub-district No. 4 in which merger of the two unions was proposed.
 

March 1937
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, March 30, 1937, Page 1
Progressive Miners Will Not Strike
      SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Mar. 29. -- (AP) -- President Joe Ozanic of the Progressive Miners of America announced tonight his union would not go on strike April 1, but would continue under their present contract until a new agreement was reached on hours and wages.
      Ozanic said the union and Coal Producers Association of Illinois had as yet been unable to agree on a contract to replace that which expires at midnight Wednesday.
      Earlier a strike in progressive mines had been threatened if an agreement was not reached by the Wednesday deadline.
 

April 1937 No entries at this time
 

May 1937
 
Gillespie News, Gillespie, Illinois, May 20, 1937
      The election held Monday by members of the Progressive Miners of America to decide the question of accepting the invitation of the American Federation of Labor to join with that body is reported as having carried by at least 75 per cent.
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, May 22, 1937, Page 1
UNDERGROUND SITTERS FLOUT UNION ORDER
Striking Illinois Miners, 360 Feet Down, Sing, Play Bridge; Willing To Confer
      GILLESPIE, Ill., May 21. -- (AP) -- Disregarding demands of their national officers that they evacuate, 457 union miners remained entrenched, tonight in a sitdown demonstration deep below the surface in one of Illinois largest collieries, the Superior Coal company's No. 4 mine at nearby Wilsonville.
      From the pit, where they began their strike late yesterday, the miners sent up word they were willing to confer with the company's president, who had earlier expressed willingness "to meet with a committee of the would-be sitdowners at any time they choose." No meeting was immediately arranged, however.
Make No Reply
      But, while they responded quickly to the offer of the company, the miners made no reply, beyond continuing to remain underground, to the executive board of their union, the Progressive Miners of America.
      A resolution of the board, ordering them to "discontinue your unauthorized strike immediately," was adopted after a pit committee, which came to the surface and drove to Gillespie, refused to meet with the national officers. A committee spokesman said the union had nothing to offer and the men would decline to confer except if company officials were present.
Sing, Play Cards
      The backing and filling of negotiators above-ground had no effect on the routine being rapidly established in the mine. Amply provisioned, supplied with blankets and a variety of musical instruments, the miners, 360 feet below the surface of the earth, sang, played cards and read to while away the time.
      A strike committee of five members came up from the underground sitdown headquarters tonight to address a group of 1,000 other miners and sympathizers at Wilsonville.
      Each of the speakers reiterated we will stay down there until the company meets our demands.
Aid Idle Miners
      There were two demands -- that work be shared with 300 idle miners and that a stop be put to mechanization of the workings, which the miners asserted jeopardized jobs of many miners. But the "share-the-work" demand was predominant.
      Mrs. Bevia Snodgrass, president of the women's auxiliary, asserted "We will stand behind whatever our men decide." The auxiliary has taken over much of the responsibility of getting food and clothing to the sitdowners.
 
Gillespie News, Gillespie, Illinois, May 27, 1937
      Our neighboring city of Wilsonville made the first page of every metropolitan newspaper in the United States in the past week, from the reason of the "sit-down" strike of about 500 miners in the No. 4 mine of the Superior Coal Company. This being the first "sit-down" coal miners strike ever pulled off in this country.
      The cause of the strike is over the immediate division of work at the mines, caused by the installation of "hog" machines in the No. 1 mine at Eagarville.
      The "sit-down" strike took place on last Thursday afternoon at quitting time at No. 4 mine and has been in progress ever since.
 
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis, Missouri

newspaper clipping
Caption : Miners involved in Wilsonville's "sit-down" strike while away the hours with a game of cards
Newspaper clipping : Courtesy of George Vincent
 
newspaper clipping
Caption : Striking miners in Wilsonville's Mine No. 4 pose for a St. Louis Post-Dispatch photographer.
Newspaper clipping : Courtesy of George Vincent

 
Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois, May 25, 1937
Artist's concept of No. 4 mine at Wislonville
newspaper clipping
Newspaper clipping : Courtesy of minewar.org

 
May 28, 1937
1946 - Article by John B. Marchiando, President of the Progressive Mine Workers of America
"On May 28, 1937, the Progressive became affiliated with the American Federation of Labor, and changed its name to
International Union, Progressive Mine Workers of America."
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, May 29, 1937, Page 1
AFL To Seek Amendment Of Wage Bill
Council Grants Progressive Miners Of America Membership; To Fight Lewis
      CINCINNATI, May 28. -- AP -- The American Federation of Labor's executive council decided tonight to seek amendment to the administration wage and hour bill to fix minimum wages and maximum hours for men by collective bargaining standards.
      Opposing the measure in its present form, the council directed William Green, A. F. of L. president, to prepare an amendment that would make the wage and hour standards fixed for the whole industry. The councils action on the Wage and hour bill followed admission of the Progressive Miners of America, rival to John L. Lewis' United Mine Workers in Illinois, to membership in the federation.
      Joseph Ozanic, the progressives president, emphasized, however, that the progressives were "not leaving Illinois for the time being."
      Ozanic issued the following statement:
Green Presents Charter
"A charter of affiliation with the American Federation of Labor was granted to the Progressive Miners of America. The charter was formally presented to me by William Green, president of the A. F. of L., today at 1 p. m.
      District 12, United Mine Workers of America in Illinois, is ousted from the state federation and state charter will be granted to the Progressive miners immediately. The Progressive miners are now recognized as the only bonifide miners union in the coal fields, the U. M. W. of A., as the dual union.
Will Organize in Illinois
      "We will immediately put into effect an aggressive organizing campaign throughout Illinois and will demand recognition as the sole bargaining agent for all Illinois coal miners as the Progressive Miners of America is the choice of the overwhelming majority of the Illinois miners.
      "We will work hand-in-hand with the, A. F. of L. in carrying the fight to the backdoor of John L. Lewis and his C. I. O. The policies of the C. I. O. are contrary to the American labor movement and to trade union principles.
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, May 29, 1937, Page 1
MINERS END 200 HR. STRIKE UNDERGROUND
Give No Advance Notice Negotiations with Coal Officials Will Be Resumed
GILLESPIE, Ill., May 28. -- AP -- More than 350 coal miners who had occupied the Superior Coal company's No . 4 mine at nearby Wilsonville an even 200 hours came to the surface tonight to end an underground sitdown demonstration called in support of a plan to share the work with idle miners.
      John Fisher, president of the Gillespie local, Progressive Miners of America, led a large group of the striking miners, to the surface without advance notice shortly after 10 p. m. and announced:
      "This terminates our stay-down strike but our struggles will continue until our demands are met."
      The miners were greeted by the cheers of many men, women and children gathered around the mine entrance.
      The strike was called shortly after 2 p. m. a week ago yesterday. Negotiations were started immediately but officials of the company and strike representatives became deadlocked over the issues Monday and no further attempts toward settlement were made. Fred S. Pfhaler, president of the Superior Coal company, returned to his home at Evanston, Ill., announcing he would not re-enter negotiations until the mine is evacuated. Fisher indicated tonight negotiations will be resumed at once.
 

June 1937
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, June 2, 1937, Page 2
STRIKING MINERS RETURN TO WORK
Leader Says Present Strike Rehearsal for Greater One Against Mechanization.
      GILLESPIE, Ill., June 1. -- (AP) -- Coal miners who began a sitdown strike in Superior mine No. 4 at Wilsonville, May 2 , and ended it 200 hours later, will return to work tomorrow morning.
      Although strike leaders at the outset announced the strike was called to support a demand for a "share-the-work" program with 300 idle miners, John Fisher, president of local No. 1 of the Progressive Miners of America said in a statement as the men quit the mine May 28:
      Our immediate strike is merely a rehearsal of the greater struggle that looms In the coal Industry on the issue of mechanization (of the mines).
      Fred S. Pfahler, Chicago, president of Superior Coal company, first insisted upon evacuation of the mine before he would confer on a settlement and later demanded that work resume before he met with "accredited union officials." A conference between Pfahler and union officials was expected to be held here Thursday.
      Joseph Ozanic, national president of the Progressives, ordered the miners to evacuate the day after the strike began but the leaders of the Gillespie local, which sponsored the strike, refused to call them out.
      More than 350 miners stayed in the working more than a week. Nearly 500 were there when the demonstration began. There was no violence.
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, June 3, 1937, Page 1
COAL MINERS MAY GO BACK TO JOBS TODAY
4 Strike Committeemen Discharged, But Workers Plan to Resume Operations
BULLETIN
      GILLESPIE, III., June 2. -- (AP) -- Fred S. Pfahler, president of the Superior Coal company, agreed late today, with reservations, to a "share-the-work" program demanded by coal miners who staged a 200-hour sitdown strike near here in mine No. 4. Pfahler said he would make the division of work "as soon as possible under the contract" with the Progressive Miners of America.
 
GILLESPIE, III., June 2. -- (AP) -- A full crew of miners between -- 650 and 700 -- are expected to report for work tomorrow at the Superior Coal company's No . 4 mine at Wilsonvllle for the first time since the end of the 200-hour underground sitdown strike despite the discharge today of four members of the strike committee.
      At a lengthy meeting tonight, members of Gillespie local No. 1, Progressive Miners of America, voted to take the cases of the four men through the usual channels and to stage no further demonstrations due to their discharge.
      The four men, William Campion, chairman of the sitdown strike committee; Mike Pulmatto, William Hendren, and John Buduallo, were notified by company officials of their lay-off late today. Fred S. Pfahler, president of the Superior Coal company, said "interfering with the operation of the mine" was the cause of their discharge.
      The union voted to refer the cases of the four men to the executive committee of the union, which will confer with mine officials probably tomorrow. In case there is no agreement reached the executive committee will appeal to Fred Weisenborn of St. Louis, operators' commissioner.
 
Gillespie News, Gillespie, Illinois, June 3, 1937
      The "sit-down" strike miners came out of the mine at ten minutes to 10:00 o'clock on last Friday night and the sit-down strike ended.
 
Gillespie News, Gillespie, Illinois, June 3, 1937
      The Progressive Miners of America, which is now chartered as an affiliated industrial union of the American Federation of Labor, should, and no doubt will, soon take its proper place as the major coal miners union of the North American Continent.
      By affiliation with the American Federation of Labor, the Progressive Miners of America has joined hands with approximately four million other trade unionists in this country who recognize and are determined to fight dangerous enemies of free government at work in their midst.
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, June 5, 1937, Page 5
UMWA WITHDRAWS FROM IFL; PREDICT NEW STATE BODY
C. I. 0. May Establish Industrial Councils in Cook County,
Downstate for Illinois Miners

      SPRINGFIELD, June 4. -- (AP) -- The United Mine Workers of America withdrew today from the Illinois Federation of Labor, action which labor circles predicted would result in formation of industrial councils into a parallel C. I. O. organization.
      Federation officials said the withdrawal probably would relieve them of the task of expelling the mine workers in conformance with an order from the American Federation of Labor, which last week granted a charter to the Progressive Miners of America union to replace the suspended U. M. W. A.
      The withdrawal was made in a letter to State Federation Secretary, Victor A. Olander by Ray Edmundson, Illinois U. M. W. A. president and downstate regional director for John L. Lewis Committee for Industrial Organization.
      Declaring that the state federation was violating a resolution adopted in 1936 which instructed it to seek to unite Illinois coal miners under the U. M. W. A. banner, Edmundson said in the letter:
      The United Mine Workers of America is going to continue as it has in the past in joining with all forces which are friendly to organized labor in furthering the interest of the workers of this country. Labor leaders predicted that the C. I. O. would establish industrial councils both downstate and in Cook county and that U. M. W. A. local unions would withdraw from the existing labor organizations in each city.
 

July 1937
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, July 31, 1937, Page 3
MINERS ORDERED TO CEASE WORK
      SPRINGFIELD, July 30. -- (AP) -- Officials of the Progressive Miners of America ordered their members to cease work when scale contract negotiations with the Coal Producers Association of Illinois were broken off tonight.
      President Joe Ozanic said his union refused to work a seven and a half hour day and objected to what was described as an innovation permitting a second shift.
      As orders to stop work went out to the PMA membership, the unions scale committee and executive board was called into session tomorrow to determine further procedure.
      Ozanic estimated the order affected 18,000 coal diggers.
      He said the Producers association demanded the same Conditions. Continuing, Ozanic's statement said in part:
      "The seven hour day was recognized by the government as a necessity to relieve employment in the mining industry and was put into effect in 1934.
      'Notwithstanding this fact, the UMWA provisions. . . signed a contract that provides not only for a seven hour day, but for a cleanup system which in effect means a seven and one-half hour day and in addition a second seven hour shift that permits the operator to cut . . . and load coal on an extra shift without the miners having a voice in the matter.
 

August 1937
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, August 1, 1937, Page 2
MINERS TO SIGN TENTATIVE PACT WITH OPERATORS
Union President Says Men Will Return to Work as Fast as Owners Sign
      SPRINGFIELD, July 31. -- (AP) -- The Progressive Miners of America, whose members were ordered to stop digging coal today because of contract difficulties, announced tonight they would sign tentative working agreements with individual mine operators.
      President Joe Ozanic of the union said his men would return to work as fast as operators signed up. The operating agreements proposed by the Progressives would, in general, continue the scale of pay under which the union has worked since its old contract expired April 1. This scale represented a 50 cent increase in the daily basic wage. Ozanic, after a meeting with the union scale committee and executive board, also expressed the hope tonight that contract negotiations with the 'Coal Producers' association of Illinois would soon be resumed.
      The negotiations broke off yesterday in an impasse over working hours, after which the union issued the "cease work" order to its claimed 18,000 members.
      The order came at the slack season in the Illinois coal fields, scene of intense rivalry between the Progressives and the older United Mine Workers of America. At Gillespie, the No. 1 Progressive local miners continued work today but President John Fisher said the men probably would comply with Ozanic's order next week.
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, August 10, 1937, Page 3
MINERS SLAYING MAY BE RESULT OF UNION ACTION
Investigate Theory That Mine Worker's Activity May Have Incurred Enmity of Rival Group
      SPRINGFIELD, Aug. 9. -- (AP) -- Authorities investigating the shotgun slaying of Glenn Stufflebeam, 39, a Progressive Mine Workers of America organizer, studied a theory today that his activities may have incurred the enmity of the rival United Mine Workers of America organization.
      Meanwhile, police released R. Kyle Moody, a U. M. W. A. organizer and former state policeman, and planned to turn loose later In the day John H. Schneider, P. M. W. A. , organizer and Stufflebeam's companion on the death ride. Both were detained for questioning.
Police Find Weapons
      However, United States District Attorney Howard Doyle said he planned to issue complaints against the two, pending an investigation of whether they had violated the national firearms law by possessing unregistered firearms. The federal law required that a tax be paid on weapons with barrels 18 inches longer less. Doyle said he had been informed that police had found weapons in both the Moody and Schneider machines.
      Turning to the possibility union bitterness might have engendered the killing, authorities investigated reports that Stufflebeam and Schneider sought to induce several miners who had left the P. M. A. ranks for the U. M. W. A. to return to their original affiliation. Police said they had been informed the activities of the men caused some high feeling.
Moody Detained
      Moody, a brother of Walter Moody, former head of the state police force, was detained for questioning after Schneider reported the car from which the shot came bore a license number which a check showed was issued to Moody. Moody denied any knowledge of the shooting, asserting he was home with his wife at the time.
      Schneider told police he and Stufflebeam were returning to Springfield from Gillespie early Sunday morning when another car drew alongside and opened fire. A charge of scrap steel struck Stufflebeam, the driver, in the side of the head, killing him.
      The car, out of control, overturned. Schneider was uninjured. He told police he noted the license number of the death car as it sped away. Police questioned and released more than 40 witnesses. Authorities said they planned no immediate arrests.
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, August 12, 1937, Page 3
357 COAL MINERS REJOIN U. M. W. A.
SPRINGFIELD, Aug. 11 -- AP --
Springfield Diggers Desert Progressive Group , Return to Lewis Union
SPRINGFIELD, Aug. 11 -- AP -- President Ray Edmundson of the Illinois district of the United Mine Workers of America declared today that 357 coal diggers here had deserted the Progressive Miners of America and rejoined the U. M. W. A. The report of the defection was denied by Joe Ozanic, president of the Progressive union, who at Gillespie described Edmundson's statement as untrue. The U. M. W. A. leader said a local charter had been granted to 357 Progressives employed by the mine B coal company, one of the largest operators in the Springfield district. The mine employs more than 400 men.
      Edmundson said the men had petitioned for the charter and that the United Mine Workers would ask for a contract with the coal company.
      The United Mine Workers have been campaigning to get the Progressive membership back into the parent union, of which John L. Lewis is international president. A 1932 split in U. M. W. A. ranks, marked by rioting and bloodshed, led to the formation of the Progressive union.
 

September 1937
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, September 14, 1937, Page 5
39 Are on Trial for Bombing of Trains
Former Union Men Plead Innocent to Charges
      SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Sept. 13. -- (AP) -- Thirty-nine men from central and southern Illinois were ordered today to stand trial in federal court Nov. 1 on charges in connection with the bombing of trains moving from the coal fields.
      Judge Charles G . Briggle set the trial date after the defendants, most of whom at one time or another have been connected with the Progressive Miners of America union, all pleaded innocent to the alleged violations.
      All the defendants were named in indictments charging conspiracy to obstruct the United States mails and to violate the Sherman anti-trust act and 26 were charged with conspiracy to violate the anti-racketeering act. The indictments were returned last December following a grand jury investigation of bombings which had occurred from 1932 to 35.
      In a motion for a bill of particulars, the defense asked federal prosecutors to show specific time, place, and manner in which the alleged violations occurred and asserted that the indictments were too general. Judge Briggle promised a hearing on the motion within two weeks.
      The trial is expected to last about six weeks. Special prosecutors from the attorney general's office will handle the case for the government.
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, September 23, 1937, Page 1
Seeks Conciliation with C.I.0.
Illinois Federation of Labor to Make New Appeal

      LA SALLE , Ill., Sept. 22. -- (AP) -- After a sharp oratorical skirmish on the convention floor late today, the Illinois Federation of Labor decided to make a new appeal for conciliation of the C. I. O. controversy.
      The debate came unexpectedly when delegates of the Progressive Miners of America, sitting in the convention for the first time since their affiliation this year with the American Federation of Labor, protested against an armistice with John L. Lewis, the C. I. O. generalissimo.
      Richard Corbridge, O'Fallon; Thomas Phillips, West Frankfort; and Barney Flaherty, Gillespie, all Progressive union delegates, took the floor to berate Lewis.
      'If you go out of this convention with a wishbone where your backbone ought to be, we'll never have peace in this labor movement," Flaherty said, as some of the delegates shouted and applauded. When Corbridge referred to Lewis as a "misleader" and Flaherty referred to the C. I. O. chieftain as the man who "forced us to leave the United Mine Workers union," Secretary Victor A. Olander of the federation took the platform to plead for calm judgment."
      " A year ago in convention at Quincy we in Illinois were the first to take a conciliatory attitude on the C. I. O.," he said, and it started wheels of negotiation in motion. True they were halted later, but perhaps by this action today we can start them again. Surely we are going to gain nothing by letting our emotions govern us rather than our brains.
      Previously Delegate Phillips had moved to non concur in the resolutions committee report and when the question was put the report was adopted with a chorus of "ayes." Only a few "no" votes could be heard.
 

October 1937
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, October 2, 1937, Page 1
Green Sees War on CIO 'Rebels'
Says AFL will Charter New Unions to Fight Lewis
      DENVER, Oct. 1. -- (AP) -- William Green predicted today the American Federation of Labor would expel C. I. O. unions, then start unrestricted war on the John L. Lewis rebels.
      "We'll carry the war into the enemys country where we re going to win decisive battles," the usually mild mannered A. F. of L. president roared in a speech at the federation building trades department convention.
      Later, at a press conference, Green said the federation probably would charter new unions to fight the C. I. O. in the automobile, steel, rubber, and glass industries.
      In Lewis' own territory, the soft coal fields, Green said the A. F. of L. would support the Progressive Miners of America if that union started a campaign to supplant the United Mine Workers. These campaigns, he said, depended upon the expulsion of the C. I. O. unions from the A. F. of L., since the Lewis unions were only suspended A. F. of L. members.
      Much as the American Federation of Labor loved Samuel Gompers, president for 50 years, Green said, no union would have dreamed of giving him the "autocratic powers" with which Lewis was vested today. "We want to maintain our labor movement on a sound, democratic basis," Green said. "It is not a one-man organization.
 

November 1937
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, November 21, 1937, Page 7
Miner Testifies in PMA Case
Says Union's Leaders Summoned Parley to Suppress Records
      SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Nov. 20. -- (AP) -- A miner testified in the bombing conspiracy trial today that local officers of the Progressive Miners of America were summoned into emergency session early last year and warned to keep your records away from government investigators.
      Andrew Skrievicus of Springfield, who changed over to the rival United Mine Workers of America recently, testified the meeting was presided over by Dan McGill of Springfield, executive board member of the P. M. A. and one of the 41 defendants on trial.
      Considerable apprehension was expressed at the meeting that the government was getting too close, he said, adding that McGill advised some of them to change your books.
      Skrievicus, one of the government's key witnesses in the conspiracy trial in connection with central and southern Illinois mine and train bombings from 1932 to 1935, is awaiting trial in Sangamon county circuit court on a charge of shooting al P. M. A. miner and his wife in an argument two months ago.
      In halting English, he asserted he was eating lunch in the headquarters with a companion in April, 1933, when John Schneider and Dan Malaya, defendants, and several other P. M. A. members unloaded the food and explosives.
      The following year, in August, the witness, continued, he visited McGill's home and talked over railroad bombings. The witness said he had been given between $150 and $160 by McGill and Schneider to keep me from complaining at meetings about the use of relief funds for "other purposes."
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, November 23, 1937, Page 1
Sells Dynamite to Miners
Merchant Testifies against Accused Bombers
      SPRINGFIELD, III., Nov. 22. -- (AP) -- A Benld hardware merchant testified in federal court today he had sold large quantities of dynamite to three of the Progressive miners on trial for conspiracy to bomb railroads in the Illinois coal fields.
      Joseph Turigliatto, critically wounded by assassins less than two months ago, testified that two Springfield miners, John Schneider and William Crompton, got more than 1,200 pounds of dynamite and that it was paid for in cash by John Taylor of Gillespie, a relief committeeman for the Progressive Miners of America.
      Then the special prosecutors from Washington called other witnesses in an effort to show that dynamite similar to that consigned to Turigliatto was used in the bombing of a Peabody mine at Springfield.
      Turigliatto also testified that Schneider, Crompton, and Taylor got telephone wire, six-volt batteries, and dynamite caps. The three men, with 38 others, are on trial for conspiracy to dynamite railroads, delaying mail and freight, in the violent fight for union supremacy in the Illinois coal fields. Most of the defendants are members of the Progressive union.
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, November 25, 1937, Page 1
Miner Testifies at Bomb Trial
Says He was Offered $1,000 to Blow Up Mine in 1933
      SPRINGFIELD, Nov. 24. -- (AP) -- William L. Weber, former Springfield miner, testified in federal court today that members of the Progressive Miners of America union sought to hire him to blow up mines and trains.
      Appearing as a witness for the government in its trial of 41 men on conspiracy charges, Weber described how he was offered $1,000 and $50 expense money to blow up the airshaft of the Peabody Capitol mine here in Nov., 1933.
      He declared the offer was made by John Fancher of Springfield, now PMA vice president, who, he said, was to get the money from William Keck of Gillespie, then PMA president. Both Fancher arid Keck are defendants.
      Saying he once worked for R. C. Saunders, investigator in the state bureau of criminal investigation during the height of the mine union controversy. Weber testified he later was told by defendant John Tatman of Gillespie that "Keck wanted a train blown up," and was asked if would do the work.
      Weber asserted that Fancher promised him that if the Capitol mine job was successful there would be more such work in southern Illinois.
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, November 28, 1937, Page 1
Implicate Keck in Bombings
Witnesses Say Miner Invited Their Help in Mining Plot
      SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Nov. 27. -- (AP) -- Two former members of the Progressive Miners of America testified in federal court today that William Keck invited them to "take part in some bombings" while he was president of the union.
      Clyde Manasco, formerly a state scale committeeman at Zeigler, testified he wasn't interested and walked away when Keck allegedly propositioned him in 1935 to help out with some bombings around Taylorville where he was a new face and wouldn't be recognized.
      Frasher Kenderick of Christopher said that shortly after he had met Keck for the first time in Gillespie in 1934, the union head asked him if he would help with some bombings in the interest of the unions struggle with the United Mine Workers of America.
      Government hoped through this testimony to prove that Keck, who was P. M. A. head from 1935 to 1937, aided in a conspiracy in which 41 defendants are charged with bombing mines and railroads handling coal produced by the U. M. W. A.
      There was one of two things to do, Manasco quoted Keck as saying in a conversation at Gillespie on Feb. 18, 1935 -- to discontinue the strike or stop the production of coal at the mines, "and we have no intention of calling off the strike."
      Both witnesses denied on cross examination that they had been asked by Ira Gassaway, official of the U. M. W. A., to "frame Bill Keck and break up the progressive organization or had demanded $500 to testify in favor of the defendants.
 

December 1937
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, December 3, 1937, Page 3
Judge Prevents Union Dispute Testimony
Blocks Charge Lewis Caused Bombing of Illinois Mines
      SPRINGFIELD , Ill., Dec. 2. -- (AP) -- Federal Judge Charles G. Briggle definitely blocked today defense attempts to inject into the government's bombing conspiracy trial testimony relating to the violent Illinois mine union dispute.
      The court's order that "we're not going into the controversy of the two unions" was issued as defense Counsel tried to support their opening statement that John L. Lewis, international president of the United Mine Workers of America, was responsible for the trouble in the miners ranks.
      The 36 defendants, most of whom are connected with the Progressive Miners of America, are charged with conducting a reign of violence aimed primarily at the U. M. W. A. and violating federal laws.
      Frequent objections from the prosecution halted the attempt of A. M. Fitzgerald, defense attorney, to question Claude E. Pearcy of Gillespie, first P. M. A. president and present secretary-treasurer as to conditions which led to the formation of the new union.
      Fitzgerald indicated he planned to make an effort to show there was a counter-conspiracy involved in the series of central and southern Illinois dynamitings, but strenuous opposition from both the court and government attorneys led him to drop that plan of attack, at least for the present.
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, December 12, 1937, Page 1
Asserts P. M. A. Bribed Rivals to Fight Lewis
      SPRINGFIELD, Dec. 11. -- (AP) -- An attorney for the Progressive Miners of America testified in the bombing conspiracy trial today that his union contributed funds to swing elections of the rival United Mine Workers of America against John L. Lewis.
      The witness , Sidney M. Ward, of Benton, former United States commissioner and county judge of Franklin county, said on cross examination that approximately $600 in PMA funds had been handed out by him in $5 and $10 lots during 1935.
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, December 18, 1937, Page 1
Jury Deliberates Bombing Trial Evidence
Impassioned Pleas End 5-Week Tale of Union Rivalry
      SPRINGFIELD, Ill.., Dec. 17. -- (AP) -- A federal court jury began deliberating tonight whether 36 men of central and southern Illinois plotted the series of bombings in the stated coal fields between 1932 and 1935.
      The case, in which testimony was given for five weeks, was given to the jury at 6:50 p. m. after a day of impassioned pleas by opposing attorneys. The trial adds another chapter to the history of the bitter and violent dispute between the states rival mine unions; the United Mine Workers of America and the Progressive Miners of America.
      Judge Charles G. Briggle instructed the jury to determine whether laws had been violated and commented:
They Mention Mr. Lewis
      "This case is not a contest between two labor unions -- you should have no brief for either side. The name of John L. Lewis, international president of the U. M. W. A., was mentioned by chief defense Counsel A. M. Fitzgerald, who had contended during the trial that Lewis union was to blame for the coal field violence.
      "I like to think of John L. Lewis as Napoleon," Fitzgerald said in his summation. "I think Napoleon was nuts -- I think Lewis is too."
      Defense Attorney Jesse R. Brown of Edwardsville told the jury, the defendants were victims of a "frameup." Later he assailed "the spirit of the prosecution that stalks in this court room and in the person of John L. Lewis."
      The defendants, most of them P. M. A. members now or formerly, were charged with a conspiracy to interfere with interstate and foreign commerce and to obstruct mails.
Controlled Union's 'Pocketbook'.
      Several trains were bombed during the disputes between the rival unions over control of work at the mines.
      Chief Prosecutor Welly K. Hopkins asserted the defendants had control of their union's "pocketbook" and that they tried to stop production or increase the cost of operations at mines employing United Mine workers.
      Fitzgerald, who declared several of the government's witnesses were liars, told the jury the true story had not been brought out.
      Hopkins charged that P. M. A. funds, obtained through the check-off system, went for purchases of dynamite and that union leaders knew of the "campaign of terrorism to force the operators to sign P. M. A. contracts."
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, December 19, 1937, Page 1
36 are Convicted for Bombings
Defense Seeks New Trial for Union Miners
      SPRINGFIELD, Dec. 18. -- (AP) -- Conviction of all 36 defendants climaxed today the federal government's prosecution of prominent members of the Progressive Miners of America as conspirators responsible for widespread railroad bombings during the inter-union violence in the Illinois coal fields.
      The federal jury's verdict of guilty on all three counts in two consolidated indictments ended the five weeks trial and a department of justice investigation of more than two years.
      Defense attorneys immediately moved for a new trial and indicated that the case would be appealed.
      Judge Charles G. Briggle set Wednesday for arguments on the motion and further disposition of the case.
Men Downhearted
      The three dozen men, including Sheriff Earl Evans of Saline county and four present officials of the Progressive union, were taken into custody by United States Marshal Paul Ruppel. All but two of the defendants are or have been Progressive miners.
      Downhearted but stolid at prospects of a gloomy Christmas, they sought to provide $10,000 bond each, with three exceptions.
      Two Valier miners, John M. McDonald and Robert Robertson, were sent back to the state penitentiary; to finish five to 25 year terms for the bombing of a Valier mine. They were the only men convicted in state courts for the bombings of trains and mines from 1932 to 1935.
Bail Set at $20,000
      Bail for John Tatman of Gillespie, twice sentenced to die for murder in Missouri, was fixed at $20,000.
      The farmer dominated jury, which received the complicated case last night, filed in with the verdict at 9:25 a. m. Deep sobs from wives of several defendants broke the silence.
      Maximum penalties of four years imprisonment and $20,000 in fines face the men under the indictments charging conspiracy to interfere with interstate and foreign commerce and to obstruct the mails.
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, December 29, 1937, Page 3
Convicted Miners Get Maximum Penalty
Judge Criticizes Local Officials for not Enforcing Law
      SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Dec. 28. -- (AP) -- United States District Judge Charles G. Briggle , expressing regret that heavier punishment could not be given the leaders, imposed today the maximum penalty of four years imprisonment and $20,000 fines upon 36 men convicted of violating two federal statutes.
      The three dozen men, all but two of whom are now or were affiliated with the Progressive Miners union, were found guilty recently of interfering with interstate and foreign commerce, and conspiring to obstruct the mails in connection with a series of bombings, in the Illinois coal fields between 1932 and 1935.
      Involved in the five-week trial also was the PMA dispute with the rival United Mine Workers union.
Plan Appeal
      As their attorneys planned an appeal to the circuit court of appeals at Chicago tomorrow or Thursday, the men went back to jail after several days freedom on $10,000 bond each for their appearance in court today.
      Denying in order motions for a new trial, arrest of judgment, a stay of sentence, and bail, Judge Briggle in a pointed statement from the bench declared that "perjury ran rampant in this case," and criticized local of officials for not enforcing state laws.
      "That law enforcing officers of the counties involved have failed to bring to justice those responsible for the many violations of state laws, ranging from assault to murder, is deplorable and a sad tribute to those charged with responsibility in that behalf; but can be no excuse for a like failure on the part of those charged with responsibility in the present proceeding," he added.
      Declaring that there were "unmistakable and unfaltering signs of the rankest kind of perjury" in the case, Judge Briggle urged prosecutors to launch an investigation.
      Asserting , that if a "seeming inequality existed in the sentences," Judge Briggle said it was because there was no sufficient penalty available for those more deeply involved."
Union Officials Included
      All but two of the men are to serve then sentences consecutively. The terms of Robert Robertson and John Mitchell McDonald of Valier, will run concurrently with their five to 25-year sentences now being served on a state conviction in connection with a Valier mine dynamiting. For conspiracy to obstruct the mails a two-year prison sentence and a fine of $10,000 was imposed, while each of the two counts in the Sherman anti-trust indictment brought a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
      Those receiving the penalties included John Fancher of Springfield, PMA vice president; Jess Anderson of Harrisburg and Dan McGill of Springfield, PMA executive board members; John Taylor of Gillespie, member of the PMA relief committee, and Earl Evans of Harrisburg, former PMA board member and present Saline county sheriff.
 
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, December 31, 1937, Page 2
Release Ordered for Sentenced Bombers
Judge Sets A Bond at $10,000 Each for 34 Miners
      SPRINGFIELD, Dec. 28. -- (AP) -- Thirty- four men convicted by a federal court jury for conspiracy bombings in the Illinois coal fields were ordered released from jail today on $10,000 bond each, pending appeal.
      Circuit Court of Appeals Judge J. Earl Major of Chicago, after a two-hour hearing, granted the supersedeas bail over the protests of government prosecutors as defense counsel set forth a long list of contentions as a basis for a review of the recent five-weeks trial.
      Meanwhile, Director J. Edgar Hoover of the federal bureau of investigation directed the Peoria field office to assign department of justice agents to an investigation of perjury charges in connection with testimony in the case.
Signs of Perjury in Case
      Hoover issued the order at the request off United States District Attorney Howard Doyle after District Judge Charles G. Briggle earlier this week declared there were "unmistakable and unfaltering" signs of perjury in the case and urged that the guilty persons be determined and punished.
      When Judge Briggle imposed the maximum penalties provided for interfering with interstate and foreign commerce and conspiring to obstruct the mails he denied a stay of sentence and bail.
      Two other convicted men, Robert Robertson and John Mitchell McDonald of Valier, did not join in the appeal case since they are now serving state prison terms in connection with an explosion at Valier mine.
Each Must Raise $20,000
      As the result of Judge Major's order, the men faced for the third time since they were arrested late last year the task of scheduling at least $20,000 each, or double the amount of the bond.
      All 31 obtained their release after the return of the indictments and again while the motion for a new trial was pending.
      All but two of the 36 men are now or have been affiliated with the Progressive Miners union. The trial involved that organization's bitter and violent dispute with the United Mine Workers and the bombing of mines and railroad property between 1932 and 1935.
 

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Mother Jones Monument
Union Miners Cemetery
Mt. Olive, Illinois
photo
"Mother" Jones Monument
Union Miners Cemetery

Gillespie News
Gillespie, Illinois
October 8, 1936

The monument erected at Mt. Olive by the Progressive Miners of America and friends in memory of Mary "Mother" Jones and the martyrs of the cause for clean unionism in America will be ready for the dedication that will be held Sunday.
Virden monumnent
Virden Riot Monument
Union Miners Cemetery

 
Battle of Virden
1898
Coal Miners Riot

Monument located in Virden, Illinois
See all monument photos :
Virden Monuments
photo
Mary Harris "Mother" Jones
A prominent American labor and community organizer.
From : Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Born in Cork, Ireland on August 1, 1837
Died on November 30, 1930 in Silver Spring, Maryland
Burial : Union Miners Cemetery, Mt. Olive, Macoupin Co., Illinois
 
Gillespie News
Gillespie, Illinois
December 10, 1930

      Thousands of miners from the coal fields of Illinois, and many from other states, gathered in Mt. Olive Monday morning to pay a final tribute to "Mother" Jones, the friend of labor, and to hear Rev. J. W. R. Maguire eulogize "Mother" Jones, "the fearless woman with the great and indomitable spirit, flaming tongue and burning love of a mother."
      All of the mines of the Superior and Gillespie Coal Company were closed for the day in order that the miners might attend the funeral, which was the largest ever held in this county. Beautiful floral offerings from the different unions banked the hall in which the body has been in state over Sunday.
      The funeral was held from the Church of the Ascension in Mt. Olive at 10:00 o'clock Monday morning and the remains laid to rest in the Miners' Cemetery by the side of the men who lost their lives in the Virden Riot.
      Special cars were run on the Interurban to take care of those attending from this section.
      The remains of "Mother" Jones arrived in Mt. Olive Thursday night in a special car under the escort of committees from the different miner's locals, and were taken to the Odd Fellows Hall, where they laid in state until the funeral.
      The remains were laid to rest beside the bodies of four miners who lost their lives in the Virden Riot : Ernest Long, Joseph Gitterie, Ernest Kamerer and Ernest Smith.
      "Mother" Jones is no more, but her memory will live in the minds of the men whom she befriended during the long years of their struggle.
      - - - rest of article omitted - - -
 
See also : Union Moners Cemetery

 
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