Oral Histories -- Coal Mining in Illinois

 
The narrators describe working conditions in Illinois coal mines in the early 20th century, the "mine wars" of the 1930's, hostilities between the United Mine Workers and the Progressive Miners of America, living conditions of striking miners and their families, impressions of John L. Lewis, and other issues related to coal mining in the state. This project was funded in part by the Illinois Bicentennial Commission. Interviews by Nick Cherniavsky and Barbara "Bobbe" Herndon, 1973-1977.

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  • Fries, Frank (1975)
    Fries discusses his coal mining experiences in Gillespie, Illinois: loading coal cars and equipment, mining before unionization, wages, accidents, owning a mine, UMW and PMA, union conflicts and violence, and the Mulkeytown ...

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  • Brown, Louise (1977)
    Louise Brown discusses her husband's work in the coal mines in Fulton County, Illinois: mules, wages, strikes, union conflicts and violence, company stores, safety laws and hazards, and attitudes toward coal miners. She ...

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  • Fassero, Louise (1974)
    Fassero discusses the organization of the PMA and its Women's Auxiliary in Gillespie and Benld, Illinois: controversies, march on the Illinois Statehouse and other marches, and meetings and conflicts of the PMA. She also ...

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  • Hughes, Eugene (1974)
    Hughes, former International President of the Progressive Miners of America, describes his involvement with the PMA: service as president, the organization of the union, the Women's Auxiliary, and union conflicts. Interview ...

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  • Koniak, Rose (1974)
    Koniak recalls her involvement with the Progressive Miners Women's Auxiliary in Benld, Illinois. She also recalls the Depression, washhouses, and miner's buckets. Interview by Barbara Herndon and Nick Cherniavsky, 1974. 1 ...

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    audio/mpegmp3 audio (3MB)

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