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Union Miners Cemetery

Mt. Olive, Macoupin County, Illinois
Union Miners Cemetery east of Lake street
Union Miners Cemetery east of Lake Street
Union Miners Cemetery west of Lake street
Union Miners Cemetery west of Lake Street
      Honor and Remembrance is having an eternal resting place for Coal Miners and their families who are buried in Union Miners Cemetery. Laid out in 1899 for burial of the coal miners who gave their lives in the Virden Massacre of October 12, 1898, this cemetery has become a distinct and notable place in the county. A celebration of "Miners Day" has been held on October 12 since the beginning year of 1899. This cemetery was also listed on October 18, 1972 on the National Register of Historic Places.
 
      Three men, also referred to as "martyrs", who gave their lives at The Battle of Virden, and is often called the Virden Massacre, were first laid to rest in the Mt. Olive Cemetery, but the man who had donated the land for this cemetery protested against them being buried there, and also protested against any memorial service the these martyrs to be held on the cemetery property that he had donated. The nearby Lutheran Cemetery did not want them buried there because they considered these men as "murderers".
Virden Monument List of Deceased The monument in Virden lists the names as:
      Joseph Gittlerle
      Ernest Kamerer
      Ellis Smith
      Ernest Long.
      The United Mine Workers of America union coal miners of Mt. Olive Local No. 728; at the time purchased .97 (97/100) of an acre of land for $97.00 from Anna De Buhr; executrix of the estate of Herbert H. De Buhr. (See : Biography of Herbert H. De Buhr shown below.) They then laid out the Union Miners Cemetery in September of 1899 and it has remained a shrine for over a century. The date of the deed is September 27, 1899 and was recorded in Macoupin County on October 27, 1899.
Miscellaneous Records, FX-361, Macoupin County, Illinois
The Grantor,
Anna De Buhr in her own right and as Executrix of the Last Will and Testament of Herbert H. De Buhr deceased of Mt. Olive in the County of Macoupin and State of Illinois, for the consideration of Ninety seven Dollars, in hand paid, convey and warrant to The Trustees of Mt. Olive Local # 728 of the United Mine Workers of America of Mt. Olive, County of Macoupin, State of Illinois, the following described Real Estate, to wit:
Beginning at the northwest corner of the Imanuels Cemetery thence north one hundred sixty nine and one half (169½) feet, thence east two hundred and fifty (250) feet, thence, south one hundred sixty nine and one half (169½) feet, thence west two hundred and fifty (250) feet to the place of beginning, containing Ninety seven one hundredths of an acre, being part of the south west quarter of the north west quarter of section two (2) township seven (7) north, range six (6) west of the third P.M. situated in the County of Macoupin, in the State of Illinois; hereby releasing and waiving all rights under and virtue of the Homestead Exemption Laws of this State.
Dated this 27th day of September A.D. 1899 Theo. H. Koch, Notary Public
Filed for Record the 27 day of Oct. A.D. 1899 at 8 o'clock A.M. John Homer, Recorder
In 1902 (deed dated November 14, 1902 and recorded on December 8, 1902), 1918 (deed dated December 3, 1918 and recorded on February 8, 1919), and 1931 more land was acquired (deed dated April 24, 1931 and recorded on May 7, 1931).
The Original Focal Point of the Cemetery
Monument for the miners killed in the Virden Massacre [ United Mine Workers of America ]
 
Erected By Sub Districts 5 & 6 To The Memory Of
Miners Killed At The Virden Massacre
Oct. 12, 1898
      The later purchase of a small plot of land was for the purpose of erecting the Mother Jones monument. Due to the United Mine Workers of America dealings in the early 1930s and the creation of the Progressive Miners of America in 1932, the cemetery became under the ownership of the Progressive Miners of America. UMWA Local No. 125 and Local No. 728 helped transfer the cemetery from the UMWA to a local union official (deed dated August 29, 1932 and recorded on January 30, 1939); then the combined locals formed Local No. 35 with the Progressive Miners of America, and the property was transferred o the PMA (deed dated September 30, 1932 and recorded on January 30, 1939), and then again the cemetery was transferred to the national PMA organization (deed dated January 20, 1939 and recorded February 7, 1939). The Union Miners Cemetery was maintained and operated by trustees of the PMA. In 1974 the cemetery was sold for $1.00 and the the deed was transferred to the Union Miners Perpetual Care Cemetery Association. This was the only Union owned Cemetery in the United States.
Mother Jones Monument
Photographed in 2014
      A twenty-two foot tall monument for Mother Jones is located prominently here. Mary Harris, known as Mother Jones was a leader in the fight for improvement in the working conditions of coal miners throughout the United States. Her wish was to be buried with her boys, and this was accomplished in the Union Miners Cemetery, where she is buried near four of the coal miners who gave their lives in the Virden Massacre, along with over twenty other coal miners who lost their life in labor related struggles over poor and unfair practices by the coal mine operators. After Mother Jones visited Mt. Olive in 1923 she made a request to be buried here.
More about the Monument shown below
Filed in the Macoupin County on January 9, 1924 , was the following :
"A Special Request to the Miners of Mt. Olive, Illinois:
      When the last call comes for me to take my final rest, will the miners see that I get a resting place in the same clay that shelters the miners who gave up their lives of the hills of Virden, Illinois on the morning of October 12, 1897 [incorrect year], for their heroic sacrifice of their fellow men. They are responsible for Illinois being the best organized labor state in America. I hope it will be my consolation when I pass away to feel I sleep under the clay with those brave boys."
Mother Jones and her boys
      Mary Harris "Mother" Jones died on November 30, 1930 and was buried on December 8, 1930. Memorial services were held on December 7th and 8th with the funeral conducted by The Reverend John W. F. McGuire of Bourbonnais, Illinois, where he was President of the Saint Viator's College. Reports of 10,000 to 15,000 people, attended the funeral at Mt. Olive's Roman Catholic Church of the Ascension.
 
      Autumn of 1934 saw the forming of the Mother Jones Memorial Committee which consisted of ten men who began collecting funds for the construction of a monument.
      On Sunday, October 11, 1936 the monument, with likeness of Mary Harris "Mother" Jones and is flanked on each side by a bronze statue of a coal miner, was dedicated, with as many as 50,000 attendees. Five special trains and twenty-five Greyhound buses, open trucks and many automobiles brought the people to the dedication. A parade is said to have had as many as 32,000 marchers. The monument was erected by Mt. Olive's Progressive Miners of America, which donated the labor and the funds raised which amounted to $16,393.25.The monument, and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Also commemorated by plaques are "General" Alexander Bradley, Joesph Gitterle. Ernst Kaemmerer, E. W. Smith. Edward F. Long, who also died in the Battle of Virden on October 12, 1898 at the age of nineteen years is buried in Edwardsville. Another depicting twenty-one miners who were considered "Martyrs of the PMA". A day-long event with speeches by Senator Rush D. Holt, who was Democrat from West Virginia, Duncan McDonald, who was a Socialist leader from Springfield, Illinois a Congressman from North Dakota, William Lemke and Secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes. Also speaking was Lillie May Burgess, where Mother Jones spent her days in the lady's farm home.
photo of Mary Harris Jones   Mary Harris "Mother" Jones
A prominent American labor and community organizer.
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
October 11, 1936 - Mother Jones Monument erected at Mt. Olive.
Mother Jones Monument dedication photo
Photograph Courtesy of : Nelson Grman & John Fritsche
 
The Crowd of Attendees at the Dedication Ceremony
1936 crowd 1936 crowd
Photographs courtesy of Nelson Grman
 

"General" Alexander Bradley
General Alexander Bradley Monument [ United Mine Workers of America ]
 
Erected By Sub Dists
5, 6, 7 and District 12
To The Memory Of
General
A. Bradley

 
 
 
General Alexander Bradley tombstone
      The Union Miners Cemetery is also the resting place of "General" Alexander Bradley, who received his nickname when in 1894 he lead a group of unemployed across country to Washington, D.C. Alexander Bradley was born in England on November 29, 1866, came to Illinois at 7 years of age and was working in a coal mine by the time he was 9 years old. His passing away was on April 1, 1918.
 

      The respect, dignity and honor of being buried in the Union Miners Cemetery is a long-lasting tribute to any coal miner who endured the work and strived to better life in general for this profession.

Mother Jones Monument
Statue of Miner with pick
Mother Jones likeness
The Mother Jones Monument faces to the east.
 
The monument has five bronze plaques located on the base at the front. Left to right they are :
      Joseph Gitterle
      E. Kaemmerer
      Mary "Mother" Jones
      E. W. Smith
      "General" Alexander Bradley
 
On the front below the statues is a bronze plaque titled :
      We Count It Death to Falter, Not To Die
 
On the right below the statues is a bronze plaque titled :
      Martyrs of the Progressive Miners of America
 
On the left below the statues is a bronze plaque titled :
      Martyrs of the Progressive Miners of America
 
On the rear below the statues is a bronze plaque titled :
      Mother Jones Monument Committee
 
Statue of Miner with hammer
Joseph Gitterle plaque Joseph Gitterle
Died in the Virden Massacre, October 12, 1898
"Life to him was sweet, and fair as the autumn sky,
But duty called, and, bravely, he answered: "Aye."
E. Kaemmerer plaque E. Kaemmerer
Died in the Virden Massacre, October 12, 1898
"He thought it better to be dead; to die for liberty and
his friends, than to live in bondage or for just bread."
Mary Mother Jones plaque Mary "Mother" Jones
Born May 1, 1830
Died November 30, 1930
"She gave her life to the world of Labor, her blessed soul
to heaven. god's finger touched her - and now she sleeps."
E. W. Smith plaque E. W. Smith
Died in the Virden Massacre, October 12, 1898
"Twas not because he loved life less, but because he loved
his friends and freedom more, that he gave his all."
Alexander Bradley plaque "General" Alexander Bradley
Born November 29, 1866
Died April 1, 1918
"The fittest way for man to die is to give his life for men,
for to live in the hearts we leave behind - is not to die."
We Count It Deathe to Falter, Not To Die plaque "We Count It Death to Falter, Not To Die
Erected and Dedicated October 12, 1936 in Honor and to the Ever-
lasting memory of Mary "Mother" Jones, "General" Alexander Bradley
and the Martyrs of the Virden Riot of 189. By the members of
The Progressive Miners of America and the Women's Auxiliary of
The Progressive Miners of America, assisted by many loyal and
devout friends, sympathizers, and labor and fraternal organizations
Mary "Mother" Jones
When the sun, in all his state.
illumed the eastern skies
She passed the through Glory's morning gate.
and walked in Paradise.
Sleep the sleep of the noble blest
for in life you sacrificed and gave
We pledge to fill your last request
"Let no taitor breathe o'er my grave"
Mother Jones Monument Committee plaque Mother Jones Monument Committee
Joe Ozanic, Chairman
Ben Kunz, Vice Chairman
Fred W. Leonhardt, Secretary
Kurt Kaufman, Tresaurer
Wm. J. Walker, Jr.
Barney Flaherty
John McCann
Mike Campion
  Chas. Bushmiller
Chas. Franz
Robert C. Schmidt
Lester Dewall
Emil Zenner
Al. H. Gerhardt, Architect
Ed. H. Becker, Gen'l Contractor
Carl C. Graf, Sculptor
Martyrs plaque Martyrs of the Progressive Miners of America
The following have given their lives
to the cause of clean unionism in America
Joe Colbert, killed at Orient, Illinois, August 17, 1932
Dominic Laurenti, killed at Zeigler, Illinois, August 21, 1932
Andrew Gyenes, killed at Tovey, Illinois, October 13, 1932
Emma Cumerlato, killed at Kincaid, Illinois, January 3, 1933
John Ward, killed at West Frankfort, Illinois, March 27, 1933
Henry Arnold, killed at Du Quoin, Illinois, April 7, 1933
James Attes, killed at Du Quoin, Illinois, April 7, 1933
Tom Urban, killed at Springfield, Illinois, June 7, 1933
Gus Callas, killed at West Frankfort, Illinois, August 6, 1933
John Hilltrop, Jr., killed at London Mills, Ill., August 11, 1933
Martyrs plaque Martyrs of the Progressive Miners of America
The following have given their lives
to the cause of clean unionism in America
William Chaney, killed at Christopher, Illinois, August 25, 1933
Melvin Staples, killed at Springfield, Illinois, October 19, 1933
Clyde Williams, killed at Galatia, Illinois, December 9, 1933
Samuel Ronchetti, killed at Kincaid, Illinois, April 24, 1934
Harry Jones, killed at Bulpitt, Illinois, September 10, 1934
Joe Sigler, killed at Bulpitt, Ill., shot Sept. 29, died Sept. 30, 1934
Harry Newkirk, killed at Harrisburg, Ill., shot Sept. 29, died Sept. 30, 1934
John Sears, killed at Harrisburg, Illinois, December 8, 1934
Edris Mabie, killed at Springfield, Illinois, April 21, 1935
Fred D. Gramlich, Sr., killed at Springfield, Illinois, May 27, 1936
 
See : Additional Notes about the "Martyrs" listed on these plaques.

Restoration Plaque plaque 2015
A restoration project is underway for the
Union Miners Cemetery
&
Mother Jones Monument
Additional Information and Links to other sites :
 
Mother Jones Museum :
http://www.motherjonesmuseum.org/
 
Illinois Labor History Society :
http://www.illinoislaborhistory.org/union-miners-cemetary.html
 
 
Facebook pages :
 
Mother Jones Monument :
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mother-Jones-Monument/433683513415210?fref=pb&hc_location=profile_browser
 
Mother Jones Foundation :
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mother-Jones-Foundation/158123597536185

Joe Colbert
Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, August 17, 1932, Page 1
MINE UNION - OFFICIAL IS MURDERED
Joseph Colbert Shot in Gunman Fashion Near Orient.

      Chicago, Aug. 17 -- (UP) -- George Harrington, president of the Chicago, Wilmington and Franklin Coal company, said this afternoon that James Sutton, night watchman at the Orient mine near West Frankfort, was held at Benton as a suspect in the slaying of Joseph Colbert, recording secretary of Local No. 303, United Mine Workers.
      Harrington quoted Treadwell as saying Sutton had left the mine and was on his way home when Colbert, was slain. Sutton's story as told to Treadwell was :
      "Colbert flagged me down as I was going past the field and started toward me. He stuck his hand in his overall pocket as if he was reaching for a gun. I shot in self defense."
      Treadwell telephoned Harrington that it was common knowledge at the mine that there had been ill feeling between the night watchman and Colbert.
      The story as relayed to Harrington differed widely from an earlier report that Colbert was summoned to an automobile in which three men were seated ond shot down when he approached.
- - - - -
      Orient, III., Aug. 17. -- (UP) -- Joseph Colbert, 38, leader of southern Illinois miners protesting against the recent adoption of the $5 dally basic wage scale, was shot to death near here today by three men In an automobile, while his aged father looked on.
      Colbert, who was picking mushrooms in a field near his home when he was called to an automobile occupied by the three killers, was recording secretary of Orient local 303, United Mine Workers of America.
      According to Colbert's father , William Colbert, the two were in a field near the Colbert home. Father Tells of Murder "An automobile drove up the road about 100 yards from us," the aged man said, "and one of the three men in the car called 'Come here, Joe.'
      "Joe went over to the car and when he got within about 25 feet, one of the men in the car leveled a shot gun I at him and fired. "Then they drove the car away as fast as they could toward Benton.
      The father of the dead man could not give an accurate description of the trio. He said that he had never seen them before.
      Colbert, who authorities described as a radical, was chairman of the recent mass meeting of miners at Benld held to protest against the adoption by state mine union officials of the new wage scale.
      Thruout southern Illinois, Colbert was known as the leader of the opposition to the new wage scale, and presided over many mass meetings in protest.
      Authorities said Colbert held considerable influence among a large group of miners in Franklin county, where one-fourth of the state membership of the union resides.
      Since the signing of the wage contract, Colbert has urged miners at protest meetings, "not to return to work until officials make a correct count of the referendum vote of the miners."
      County authorities in charge of the investigation of the slaying said that I they were unable to determine whether the slaying of Colbert was the outgrowth of his campaign among miners or a personal grudge.
      Union officials reported that there had been no trouble at the Orient mine No. 1 where the membership of the local Colbert headed is employed. I The mine, they reported, was working today.
Arm Civilians Again
      Taylorville, Ill., Aug. 17. -- (UP) -- Armed civilian guards, patrolling highways and railroad tracks to halt "invasion" of Christian county by union coal miners intent on picketing Taylorville mines where other union coal diggers have returned to work after a $5 basic wage scale, bristled into activity today with the arrest here of a lone Picket and the appearance at the Sangamon-Christian county line near Tovey a "roving band" of pickets who "persuaded" 74 "diggers" to remain away from work.
Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, August 18, 1932 page 5
SLAYERS BOND IS $ 10,000.00
      Benton, Ill., Aug. 18. -- James Sutton , Frankfort township constable, was held today under $10,000 bond for the grand jury charged with the killing yesterday of Joe Colbert, mine union official, near Orient. A coroner's jury investigating the shooting of Colbert, who had been active in leading protest meetings against the new $5 wage scale agreement, found he came to his death by a gun in the hands of Sutton, and recommended he be held to await action of the grand jury. Sutton, a night watchman for Orient mine No. 1, admitted he killed Colbert, according to Sheriff Browning Robinson, but claimed he shot him when Colbert made a motion as if to draw a gun.
 
Dominic Laurenti
Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, August 22, 1932, Page 1
ONE KILLED IN MINE ROW AT ZIEGLER
      Ziegler, Ill., Aug . 22. -- (UP) -- Domtuic Lauranti, 32 year old miner, was shot to death today in a clash between deputy sheriffs and pickets at the Bell & Zoller mines here.
 
Andrew Gyenes
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, October 16, 1932, Page 2
Mine Front Quiet; Troops to Regulate Rites for 'Martyr'
      TAYLORVILLE, Oct. 15. -- AP -- All was quiet today along the troubled Christian county miners battle front, but national guardsmen prepared to stand behind state highway police to insure a speedy and orderly burial tomorrow of Andrew Ganis, fatally shot Thursday by a national guardsman. Seven companies of troops were ordered to police the funeral cortege that will follow the body of Ganis, Tovey miner whose death brought him the title of martyr, to Progressive miners. Funeral services will be held at 2 o clock at Pawnee, across the Sangamon county line, but the place of burial was not definite. The widow of the slain man said she would not consent to his burial in Christian county, insisting that he be interred at Mt. Olive, where lie the bodies of Mother Jones and three miners killed in the Virden riots of 1898.
      Leaders of the Progressive union, however, expressed confidence Mrs. Ganis would change her mind and permit the burial in Taylorville.
      Authorities said no restriction would be placed on the number of persons allowed to gather for the funeral, but that the procession must be orderly and keep moving. Corporal Russell D. Meyers, guardsman of Peoria who fired the shot that killed Ganis, is under military arrest, and the military tribunal investigating the shooting has adjourned until next Wednesday.
 
Emma Cumerlato
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, January 4, 1933, Pages 1 & 2
TWO KILLED AS WAR FLARES UP IN GOAL FIELDS
Lead Splatters Through Streets of Kincaid as Wage Dispute Breaks Out Anew
      TAYLORVILLE, Jan. 3. -- (AP) -- Lead splattered through the streets of nearby Kincaid tonight as the Central Illinois coal mine wage war, alternately subsiding and flaring since last August, broke out anew.
      Two deaths -- one a woman -- were added to the mounting casualty list. Authorities said apparently the woman was struck by a stray bullet. The dead were: Vincent Kodems, Springfield, a working miner, and Mrs. Emma Comulato, 51, Taylorville.
      Working miners emerged from the No. 7 mine of the Peabody Coal company at Kincaid to find picket lines confronting them. Someone fired a shot. Others followed. When the melee was over, Rodems and Mrs. Comulato were fatally struck. A dozen others, including a mine guard, were injured. All were reported to be working miners.
      The Kincaid killings climaxed weeks of violence in the area. Last week a Wabash passenger train was wrecked at Jacksonville and two lives were lost. The state's attorney there said it was caused by vandals who filed open a switch lock. Previously a railroad bridge was dynamited in Christian county, halting coal shipments from the mines for several days, and about the same time a cache of dynamite was found under a railroad bridge near Litchfield. The sheriff's office at Decatur said railroad bridges had been patrolled for weeks as a result of the mine trouble.
Claim Progressive Was Cause
      W. C. Argust, in charge of Peabody operations in the county, said picketing started at Kincaid today after an official of the newly organized Progressive Miners union appeared here yesterday urging strikers again to resort to picketing. The Peabody concern operates under wage contracts from the older United Mine Workers union.
      "As the men came out of the mine gates to the main street," Arguat said, "they were met by a group of pickets. The pickets were armed with clubs, and pick axes, and some had pistols, shotguns and rifles."
      "Apparently the first shots came from snipers hidden in houses across the street. One shot sounded, and then another. It was not determined immediately if the actual picket lines joined in the firing, but we believe they did."
      Argust said that the workers were unarmed and offered no resistance. "They were helpless," he said.
Mrs. Comulato Visiting Brother
      Mrs . Camulato was visiting at the home of a brother in Kincaid. Her relatives said she ran outside onto the porch of the house at the sound of the firing. She fell, struck through the heart by a bullet.
      Eleven of the wounded were taken to Taylorville hospitals for treatment. Another was reported taken lo Springfield.
      Christian county has been the vortex of the wage dispute. The first concerted action of the Progressive miners, opposing the wage scale negotiated by the United Mine Workers last summer, resulted in a "march on Taylorville" in September and the Peabody mines in the county were closed temporarily.
Guard Was Withdrawn
      Later the mines re-opened under watchful eyes of the Illinois national guard. Less than two weeks ago, the guard was withdrawn as officials said everything was quiet. Within 24 hours, two bombings occurred to make 12 bombings in and near Taylorville.
      Peabody officials, while fearing possible outbreaks as the men attempted to return to work tomorrow, expressed confidence that Christian county officials would be able to cope with the situation and said they would not ask that the national guard be recalled.
[ PEABODY IS SURPRISED ]
      CHICAGO, Jan. 3. -- (AP) -- Stuyvesant Peabody, president of the Peabody Coal company, tonight expressed surprise at the mine picket shooting at Kincaid and said he had assumed that labor troubles in the coal fields had quieted down for good. Informed of the shooting by the Associated Press, Peabody said no plans had been made to ask for troop protection for working miners in Christian county. Employment in Peabody mines has gained steadily during recent weeks and is now at its peak, he said.
 
John Ward
Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, March 27, 1933, Page 1
THREE FALL, ONE DEAD, IN FUSILLADE
BULLETIN
      West Frankfort, III., March 27. -- (United Press.) -- John Ward, Progressive mine union leader, was killed and two other men were wounded by gunmen who opened fire on them from an Automobile here today.
      One of the wounded men was identified as Clarence Cooper of West Frankfort. The second wounded man was said to be a resident of Harrisburg. His name was not obtained immediately.
      Ward was head of the West Frankfort unemployment relief committee also.
 
Henry Arnold
James Attes

Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, April 7, 1933, Page 2
ONE HURT, THREE KILLED IN MINE WAR
      Du Quoin, Ill. April 7. -- (UP) -- A progressive miner was shot to death and another critically wounded and a deputy sheriff was wounded in a gun battle today with Perry county deputy sheriffs who sought to arrest them for questioning in connection with the critical wounding of a 14-year-old daughter of a deputy sheriff.
      James Atess, 35, progressive mine union leader, was killed and his companion, Henry Arnold, 47, was critically wounded when they opened fire on four deputy sheriffs approaching Atess' home.
      The deputies went to the Atess home to arrest the mine leader. A woman told the officers that Atess was not at home. The officers turned to leave when one of the deputies saw Atess thru a window.
      Atess and Arnold, the officers said, opened fire when the deputies started back toward the house.
James Henry Arnold
Buried on April 9, 1937 in Old Du Quoin Cemetery, Old Du Quoin, Perry Co., IL.
Henry Arnold
MARTYR
Progressive Mine Workers of America
Sept. 18, 1882 -- April 7, 1933
Tombstone Erected by P M W of A
Tombstone photograph of Henry Arnold
Photo courtesy of Robert Boyett

 
Tom Urban
Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, June 9, 1933, Page 1
DYNAMITE IS STOLEN : FEAR NEW VIOLENCE
      Springfield, Ill., June 9. -- (UP) -- New outbreaks of violence in a mine union war were feared today by Sangamon county authorities following he theft late yesterday of a quantity of dynamite from a highway construction camp north of Springfield.
      A ban on picketing was ordered yeserday by Gen. Black following a conference with local authorities. Leaders of the Progressive Miners of America were ordered to attend the conference and when they refused they were placed under arrest by national guardsmen anc lakeu before the authorities.
      A group of women from the Midland mining area in Christian county presented a petition to Speaker Arthur Roe, democrat, Vandalia, of the house of the Illinois general assembly yesterday in which they requested the state to stop evictions from their homes or provide tents to shelter them.
      Roe said be would turn copies of the petition over to the legislative mine investigation commission and to the Illinois emergency relief commission for consideration.
      An inquest into the death of Thomas Urban, 25, Progressive miner who was fatally wounded during Wednesday's rioting between members of the two unons, will be conducted next weak, Coroner J. P. Knox has decided. Meanwhile State's Attorney Alfred Greening Is conducting a preliminary investigation
      Miners injured and wounded during the rioting were reported to be improved in condition at local hospitals today and no more fatalities were expected.
 
Gus Callas
Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, August 7, 1933, Page 1
DEPUTY THO SHOT TWICE, SLAYS FOE
      West Frankfort, III , Aug. 7. -- ( United Press) -- Stanley Mundel, 42-year-old deputy sheriff of Franklin county, drew his revolver and fatally wounded Gus Callas, 45, after being struck by two bullets from a gun in the hands of one of four men who cursed and assaulted him on the main street of town here last night.
      Mundel was getting in his automobile when he noticed three men talking to another man sitting in a carl parked next to his own.
      "You scab son------," one of them called out. Mundel stepped back only to have a bullet strike and glance off the back of his head. The impact of the shot turned him around as his assailant fired again. This time the bullet struck the deputy n the mouth knocking out his false teeth. Mundel was uninjured except tor bruises from the impact of the shots.
      Callas altho mortally wounded, staggered several hundred feet to a restaurant where he went in, sat down to a table and died.
      Reports that the three other men had been apprehended and were in jail at Benton proved unfounded.
      Mundel had recently started to work at Zeigler mine No. 1 when it reopened as a shot firer, but he still retained his deputy's commission.
Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, August 12, 1933, Page 2
Slayer ls Exonerated
West Frankfort, Ill., Aug. 12. -- (United Press.) -- Stanley Mundell, Franklin county special deputy sheriff, who last Sunday night shot and killed Gua Callas, 45, Zeigler miner, in a pistol duel here, was exonerated today by a coroner's jury, which returned a verdict of self-defense.
John Hilltrop, Jr.
John Hilltrop, Jr., killed at London Mills, Ill., August 11, 1933
Nothing further known
William Chaney
Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, August 28, 1933, Page 4
Pleads Self Defense
      Benton, Ill., :Aug. 28. -- (UP) -- Jarret Gray, 38 , brother of Dewey Gray, shot to death on a Christopher street several weeks ago, was in jail here today while officers investigated his claim that the shooting of William Chaney yesterday was in self defense.
Melvin Staples
Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, October 19, 1933, Page 1
TENSE SITUATION CREATED BY KILLING OF PROGRESSIVE UNION MAN AT SPRINGFIELD
Two Companies of State Troops Held in Readiness For Possible Outbreak at Mass Meeting Called Following Shooting

      By DON E . CHAMBERLAIN ( United Press Staff correspondent.)
      Springfield, Ill., Oct, 19. -- Violencoe in a factional mine union war in Illinois was renewed here today with the shooting to death of a member of the Progressive Miners of America as several thousand of the latter "marched" on Springfield to stage a demonstration to force federal settlement of the controversy.
      The miner killed is Melvin Staple, Taylorville. He was shot thru the heart on a downtown business corner as he walked with a group of other Progressives in the direction of Progressive headquarters, half a block away.
      Sought for questioning in connection with the shooting is Peter Haines president of a provisional united Mine Workers of America local at Taylorville.
      The shooting occurred shortly betore 9 a. m. Witnesses declined to talk but Dan McGill, progressive executive board member for the Springfield sud-district, who talked to Staple's companions, said Staple was murdered. He said Haines had been named by witnesses as Staple's assalant.
      It is quite plain that Haines came here armed with a gun he meant trouble, said McGill.
Creates Consternation
      News of the shooting created consternation among the various authorities.
      Adjutunt General Carlos E. Black, of the Illinois National Guard, said that the situationwas being watched closely.
      Two companies of state troops here are understood to be ready to mobilize for emergency action altho they have not yet been formally drilled out. Tho shooting occurred on a down town _business corner but was witnessed mostly by only a handful of Progressives, a heavy cold rain keeping the streets clear of pedestrians.
      Staples died about an hour later at St. John's Hospital.
Clyde Williams
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, December 10, 1933, Page 1
TWO RIVAL MINE LEADERS KILLED
Fight Flares on Galatia s Main Street; Third Man Injured

      HARRISBURG, Dec. 10. --(AP) -- Two men, leaders of rival factions of mine workers, were slain in a gun battle on Galatia's main street tonight. A third man was wounded. The dead men are William Swain, president of the provisional United Mine Workers' local of Peabody No. 47 mine at Harco, and Clyde Williams, a Progressive.
      J. L. Pittman , a United Mine Worker, was wounded in the shoulder. He was-taken to a hospital at West Frankfort.
      Witnesses said Williams and a friend, whose identity was not known, were walking down the street when they met Swain and Pittman. As they met, investigators were told, someone started shooting. It was not learned immediately who fired the first shots.
The Daily Register, Harrisburg, Illinois, December 14, 1933, Pages 1 & 6
CORONER'S JURY SAYS SWAIN AND WILLIAMS KILLED EACH OTHER; INQUEST HELD HERE
      That many people anticipating trouble, followed William Swain and Loren "Red" Pittman down the main street of Galatia to the scene of the double slaying Saturday night; that Clyde Williams knocked Swain down, before the shooting occurred, after beiong hit by Pittman; and that Harold Culley was with Pittman and Swain in Lambert's cafe before the shooting were a few of the facts made public for the first time last night in the double inquest into the deaths of Williams and Swain.
      After hearing similar stories of several eye witnesses, the coroner's jury found Williams came to his death of gunshot wounds inflicted by William Swain, and that Swain came to his death of gunshot wounds inflicted by Williams. Pittman's name was not mentioned in either verdict.
Tell of Shooting
      Vivid accounts of the shooting were told by Hoyt Edwards and Paul Jones of Galatia who said they were standing a few feet behind Swain and Pittman during the shooting.
      Edwards said he saw some people following Swain and Pittman going west on the main street and he followed them, expecting trouble. He said they stopped walking about 200 feet west of "Dutch" Shelton's cafe, and were talking to Williams who was across the street.
      Williams crossed the street to the sidewalk where Pittman and Swain were standing, Edwards said, and by that time Edwards had crowded to a few feet behind Swain. Pittman struck Williams staggering him, and Williams knocked Swain down, Edwards said. Then Williams turned and shot Pittman, and by that time Swain got up. The two emptied their guns at each other, Edwards said.
Cries "I'm Shot"
      Swain turned around after the shooting and cried, "I'm shot!" Edwards said. He saw Swain was gioing to fall and attempted to catch him but he failed, and he saw his gun fall to the ground just north of the sidewalk. He saw the gun no more, he said. Pittman started walking east on the main street toward Dr. Gratton's office, and Williams was walking across the street to Lambert's cafe.
      This story was about the same as was told by Paul Jones.
      Roy Riddle and Charles Dalton saw the shooting from Riddle's yard across the street. they too believed trouble was brewing just before the shooting and stepped out into the yard to see it.
      Riddle saw Williams coming back across the street after the shooting and yelled to him to stop but the cry was unheeded. They carried Swain to Dr. Grattons's office, and he died when they reached the office ands placed him in the chair.
      Robert Bovinet was about 200 feet from the scene but saw little because the crowd was in the way. Lancve Karnes was about twelve from Swain and Pittman when the shootingoccurred. Stanley Maples saw the flashes of the guns.
See no "Knucks"
      None of the eye witnesses saw any of the three with a pair of "knucks" which were turned over to the officers and which were said to have been found at the scene. Eight .380 shells were turned over to the sheriff also, but the automatic from which they were fired was never found.
      Harold Culley testified he was with Swain and Pittman in Harco earlier in the evening and that he rode to Galatia with them. In Lambert's where they were eating a sandwich, Swain asked Lambert if he would go to work at the mine Tuesday. Clyde Williams came from the kitchen to the dining room, and spoke to Swain, Pittman and Culley, the latter testified. He said both Swain and Pittman smelled of liquor, but they did not appear to be intoxicated. He added that they had taken no drink while he was with them. He said he was in Shelton's cafe when the shooting occurred.
      James Lambert told of their being in the cafe, and testified that there was no argument bewtween either him of Williams and the two, Pittman and Swain,. Ralph Smith, Orval Gulsby, Hubert Bond and Willaims were in the cafe at the time, he said.
      After the shooting Williams came in and said, "I'm shot, get a doctor," Lambert testified. Prentiss Williams asked his father who shot him and Williams replied, Swain, Pittman and Culley," according to Lambert's testimony, Williams walked upstairs and was put in bed where Dr. Garrison administered first aid.
Ordered Away
      Orval Gulsby and Wayne Byrd testified that a few minutes before the shooting they were standing in front of Shelton's cafe, and they were ordered out of town by Swain and Pittman. They then walked down the main street toward Lambert's cafe, and entered the cafe without seeing Williams. They both testified they hardly knew Swain and Pittman. Swain seemed provoked at Byrd and cursed him, Byrd testified. Pittman told Gulsby to get along with Byyrd, Gulsby said. Neither saw the shooting.
      Murray Stinson, deputy sheriff, who with Sheriff Eugene Choisser, Deputy Hal Bynum and Allen Davis investigated the shootingSaturday night, testified as to the wounds of the fatally wounded men.
      Coroner James Lyon was assisted by State's Attorney John Kane. A large but orderly crownd attended the inquest.
Clyde C. Williams
Buried on December 12, 1933 in Brushy Cemetery, Harco, Saline Co., IL.
C. C. Williams
MARTYR
Progressive Mine Workers of America
Oct. 21, 1890 -- Dec. 9, 1933
Tombstone Erected by P M W of A
Tombstone photograph of Clyde C. Williams
Photo courtesy of Gary Williams
The Daily Register, Harrisburg, Illinois, December 12, 1933
Williams Rites Today; Swain's Held Yesterday
      The funeral of Clyde Williams was held at Brushy today and was attended by a large crowd of miners from Harrisburg, as well as his personal friends from Galatia.
      William Swain's funeral was held at the Methodist church in Galatia yesterday afternoon.
      Swain, president of the Peabody 47 local of U. M. W. A., and Williams, a Progressive miner and township road commissioner of Galatia township, were fatally wounded and Loren "Red" Pittman, treasurer of the Peabody 47 local of U. M. W. A., was seriosly wounded in a gun battle on the streets of Galatia Saturday night.
      Pittman is in serious condition in the West Frankfort Union hospital.
      No dates have been set for the inquest according to James Lyon.
 
Samuel Ronchetti
Urbana Daily Courier, [The Evening Courier - Illinois Magazine] Urbana, Illinois, February 9, 1935, Page 13
Murder Stalks the Coal Field
      There was a village election in Kincaid on that April 18. Then there was a United Mine Worker auto parade to celebrate the surprisingly heavy vote. And then there was a post-election riot which left Angenendt, Ronchetti and Core dead in its wake.
      William Boogh, lanky United Mine Worker, admits that he started the ball rolling when he got drunk and took on two too many Progressives in a fist fight in front of the P. M. A. commissary, across the "square" from the United Mine Workers' side of the tiny business section of Kincaid.
      United Mine Workers poured across the intervening "no man's land" to rescue Boogh's bruised body. Some one fired the first shot. Then several guns blazed. Bullets made a sieve of the boarded-up front of the commissary, the windows of which had been blown out months before by mine war bombs.
      When the shooting stopped, Angenjendt and Ronchetti, the more seriously wounded, were taken to St. Vincent s hospital in Taylorville. They died within a week.
      Core, alias Swift, gunman imported from Morgantown, W. Va., met death about 9 p. m. that day as he drove his coupe from Kincaid into the adjoining village of Bulpitt. Riding with Core was Douglas McWhinnie, who at the inquest told a tale of mine war terror but did not aid in identifying his companion's slayer.
      Bulpitt's able-bodied male population carried special police commissions in 1933, stood guard over their darkened streets every night. Buckshot slugs tore into Core's car as he turned off the hard road. One slug entered his brain. McWhinnie, wounded crawled from the bloody wreck and fled for his life across back lots to his home in Kincaid.
      Dick Johnson and Paul Pruett, Kincaid Progressives, were indicted for Angenendt's murder, but never tried. No United Mine Worker was indicted for Roncherti's death.
 
Harry Jones
Joe Sigler

Urbana Daily Courier, [The Evening Courier - Illinois Magazine] Urbana, Illinois, February 9, 1935, Page 13
Murder Stalks the Coal Field
      Harry Jones and Joe Sigler of Bulpitt were the next to leave bereaved families to mourn their "mine war" deaths.
      Booze, as is so often the case, was the immediate cause of the tragedy. One "Hap" Donnelly, one of two _United Mine Workers bold enough to live in the Progressive-inhabited village of Bulpitt, got drunk, roaring drunk, the Saturday night of Sept. 8, 1934, in his favorite Kincaid saloon.
      Donnelly was afraid to go home, and said so, So Jones, a neighborly Progressive, and Sigler, a neutral garage owner, volunteered to see Happy home.
      About 1 p. m. Jones and Sigler got Donnelly to his front porch, but he would not go in his house. Mrs. Donnelly came out into the yard to talk with the men. There was talk for several minutes.
      Suddenly from out of the darkness across the road came the muffled roar of a shotgun, the muzzle of which apparently was wrapped in rags.
      Sigler, standing where Mrs. Donnelly had been a moment before, doubled up in pain, mortally wounded in the abdomen with a buckshot slug. Jones, wounded in the back and in the leg, was paralyzed. He died about a week later.
      Half of the life in the village was awake that night. In fact , half of the life in the village stays awake every night. But who shot Sigler and Jones? Whoever may know is not telling. The "mine war" takes care of its own; and it makes a good business for the undertakers.
 
Harry Newkirk
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, September 30, 1934, Page 3
Police Fearing Crowd, Fail to Arrest Miner
HARRISBURG, Ill., Sept. 29. -- AP -- Shot as he stood on a street corner here tonight, Harry Newkirk, 19, son of a coal miner, was in a critical condition in a local hospital as a crowd of several hundred milled about a bank building where officers said his assailant had taken refuge.
      Police blamed Norman Tavender, 24, a United Mine worker, for the shooting and said he fled into a nearby bank building as Newkirk fell to the ground. The quickly formed crowd jammed all entrances and officers were unable to arrest Tavender but they were confident he had been unable to escape from the building. Police, alarmed by the crowd, indicated they would not attempt to arrest Tavender until it had dispersed.
      Witnesses said Tavender walked up to Newkirk as he stood near a street intersection and shot him without warning. The bullet struck him in the head and he was reported near death. Officers were unable immediately to determine the union affiliations of Newkirk's father, Bert. Several months ago this city was the hub of mine warfare between the United Mine Workers and members of the Progressive Miners of America union.
 
John Sears
John Sears, killed at Harrisburg, Illinois, December 8, 1934
Nothing further known
Edris Mabie
The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, April 23, 1935, Page 1
MINE WORKER HEAD CHARGED WITH MURDER
Wounded Edmundson Held for Death of Rival Miner After Easter Riot
BULLETIN
      SPRINGFIELD, April 22. -- (AP) -- Wounded and charged with murder, state president Ray Edmundson of the United Mine Workers of America was held in jail tonight for the death of a rival miner in Springfield's Easter Sunday riot. No statement was made by the labor official as he was brought back to Springfield from Taylorville, where he was secretly held in a hospital after surrendering to the sheriff last night. He had a "fairly severe neck wound."
      Edmundson who has taken a leading part in his union's struggle with the rival Progressive Miners of America for labor supremacy in the Illinois coal fields, is charged with the murder of Edris Mabie, Progressive organizer, in a gun battle in which 10 were wounded.
Two Others Arrested
      He was brought to the back entrance of the jail and hurried to a cell. Already under arrest, charged with murder, are two men alleged to have been with Edmundson in his automobile when the riot broke out in front of the local Progressive headquarters.
      William Furlow of Alton, his neck bandaged where he had been cut by flying glass, surrendered to police this morning and refused to talk. It was reported he had been with Edmundson at Taylorville.
      The third prisoner is Fred Thomason of Springfield, identified as a former member of the old Birger gang under the name of Thomasson. Thomason, slightly wounded, was taken into custody soon after the riot.
 
Fred D. Gramlich, Sr.
Fred D. Gramlich, Sr., killed at Springfield, Illinois, May 27, 1936
Nothing further known
 

      Herbert H. De Buhr, a successful dealer in wines and liquors, claims Germany as the land of his birth, lie was born in the Kingdom of Hanover, on the 25th of July, 1850. and is a son of Heie and Anna (Slaughter) De Buhr, who spent their entire lives in Hanover. The father came of an old family who had lived there for many generations and its members mostly followed farming as a means of securing a livelihood. The parents of our subject became quite well off and owned a farm valued at more than $10,000. Mr. De Buhr, who was born May 8, 1813, died on the 8th of December, 1890, having survived his wife about five years. She died at the age of sixty-five in the faith of the Lutheran Church, to which he also belonged. Their family numbered ten children, five, sons and five daughters, all of whom grew to manhood and womanhood and were married, while nine still abide. Seven of the number came to this country and six of those are residents of Illinois. One of the sons served for three years in the late war and is now located in Christian County, Ill.
 
      Herbert De Buhr, our subject, who is the sixth in order of birth, spent the days of his boyhood and youth in his native province and acquired a good education in the public schools, being thereby fitted for the practical duties of life. In the summer of 1867, he secured his passage upon a sailing vessel which reached New York City after a voyage of five weeks from Bremen. He was then seventeen years of age and hence his entire business career has been enacted in this county. He came at once to Illinois, having since resided in Mt. Olive and vicinity. For seven years he worked as a farm hand and by industry and economy saved the money necessary to begin business on his own account. He now owns one of the finest bars in the city and his saloon, situated on the corner of Main and Poplar Streets, is a favorite with the public. He has carried on business in this line since 1878, and thereby has acquired all the property which he now possesses.
 
      Mr. De Buhr has been twice married. In this county he wedded Miss Anteje Arkebauer, who was born and reared near Mt. Olive and died at her home in this village in the autumn of 1882, when only twenty-five years of age. At her death she left two children, Mary and Henry. Mr. De Buhr was again married in this locality, his second union being with Anna Thimes, who was born near her husband's childhood home in 1864, and when a young lady came to this country. Their union has been blessed with four children -- William, John, Anna Amanda and Julia.
 
      Mr. and Mrs. De Buhr are identified with the Lutheran Church and to its support contributes liberally. He has also been a generous contributor to all enterprises calculated to upbuild or benefit the community and is regarded as one of the leading German citizens of Mt. Olive. In politics he is a Democrat but has never sought or desired public office.
 
Extract from :
Portrait and Biographical Record of Macoupin County, Illinois
Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County
Chicago; Biographical Publishing Company; 1891

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