Working Undercover in the Violent 1892 Coeur d’Alene Labor Strike
BY CHARLES A. SIRINGO
On reaching a place of safety on the heavily timbered mountain side about three miles from Wallace, [at the conclusion of “the first act in the violent Coeur d’Alene miners’ strike of 1892] , Stark [a young non union guard] and I lay down to sleep on the ground, using the sky to cover us [having escaped marauding union men out for blood].
Towards noon the next day we found the cabin of a sourkrout dutchman whom I knew as a friend to the mine owners. Though a member of the union, he was opposed to the way the Miners’ unions were conducted; therefore I concluded to risk entering his cabin in order to get something to eat. We found the kind-hearted fellow at home alone, and he was fearful lest the union find out that he had fed us. He knew me as secretary of the Gem union [working as a Pinkerton spy], and had heard through his Irish partner that I had turned out to be a “traitor.”
This Irishman partner was a rank union man and had gone to take part in the riot at Gem, and now he was expected back any moment, so for that reason, we were put in a stone cabin nearby and given a key so as to lock ourselves in, while waiting for “Dutchy” to cook us something to eat.
Soon after the steaming coffee and food were set before us in our hiding place, the dynamiter partner returned with glowing accounts of the murdering of “scabs,” etc. He was worn out from his long siege and after filling up, was soon asleep. Then our German friend came to tell us to keep quiet for awhile, as his partner was going back to Wallace when he finished his nap. Stark and I then took a nap ourselves, as we knew no one could get at us without waking us up. Still, mine were cat-naps, as I feared that “Dutchy” and “Micky” might conspire to blow us into kingdom-come with giant powder, or else warn the union of our presence there.
Late in the evening “Micky” went back to Wallace to help uphold the principles of his noble union, and then Stark and I with a supply of grub and an old coffee pot, struck out again for “tall timber.”
This time we climbed the mountain side for a mile, east. Here in a secluded spot in the heavy timber and underbrush, we built an Indian “wickiup” to shelter us from the rain which was falling, and that night we slept the sleep of the just.
Next morning we tramped north nearly to the edge of Wallace, secreting ourselves on the top of a round mountain overlooking the town. Here we had a free show which couldn’t be beat for money. It was grand, viewed from a distance; especially one of the last acts wherein a tall lanky pilgrim was the “fall guy,” though he didn’t take time to fall. He just hit the high places, twenty feet to the jump. It was the unions’ grand day of reckoning with all “scabs,” and business men who had opposed union principles in the past. They were gathered up in small droves and taken to the railroad yards and there told to “hit the road” for Spokane, Wash., about seventy-five miles distant; and to give them a good start, the union men would fire over their heads. In running, some would fall and turn somersaults, but not so with the lanky individual with the stove-pipe hat and valise. At the first mile-post this tall man was leading the herd by at least 200 yards, and besides, he was handicapped with a big valise.
At the funny things which happened during the day, Stark and I split our sides laughing.
Late in the afternoon the union men captured a rail road train, and in a body, went to bury their dead.
Some union Knights of Pythias wanted to bury Ivory Bean, the man whom I saw shot through the heart, under the rules of the order, but the union wouldn’t allow it. He had to be buried as a “scab,” so far as the unions were concerned. This we heard later.
That night Stark and I slept in our “wickiup” again.
Next morning we returned to our lookout mountain, and late in the evening saw train-loads of United States soldiers and State militia arrive from the State of Washington. It was indeed a grand sight to me, and for the first time in my life did I realize the value of our troops.
When the large American flag was planted near the Carter hotel my heart broke loose from its mooring, where it had been hitched under the Confederate flag of my babyhood. Stark and I gave three cheers for the Star Spangled Banner of our united country, and deep down in my heart I made a vow to die and bleed, if necessary, to uphold the honor of this flag.
Throwing a kiss of farewell back at our “wickiup” and coffee pot, we started on a run down the mountain-side for the Carter hotel. Arriving within a quarter of a mile of the hotel and soldiers’ camp, on the outskirts of the heavy timber, I concluded to do a little detective work at the home of French Pete, a rank union man who had built a fine home on the hill, south of the Carter hotel. Pete had married an Irish mother-in-law, and it was on this old Irish woman that I got in my fine work.
I had cached Stark, with his rifle across a log, ready to shoot, while I went to French Pete’s home to learn the news and to get all the information possible about union matters. The Irish mother-in-law and her young son-in-law greeted me in the yard. I gave an assumed name, and wondered what we Miners’ union men would do now that the dirty cut-throat soldiers had arrived. I won the old lady’s heart, and she slobbered over me as a poor tired union miner who had fought a noble cause.
I asked if there was any danger of President O’Brien and the officers of the Central union being arrested by the soldiers. She replied no, that they would never find them as they were hiding in her (Mrs. Hollihan’s) cellar down town. Here the old lady went into the house and got the late daily Spokane Review, and Spokesman, for me. I then went out to my supposed union friend behind the log and she and her son-in-law followed. There I read the big head-lines aloud. They told of the riot and the blowing up of the Frisco mill and the killing of “scabs” and the capture of John Monihan and his 130 or more armed men, and how the next day they were marched in a body to the Wallace bank to draw their wages and savings, and then with all their cash, they were taken on a train to the head of the Coeur d’Alene lake at which point they had to board a steamer for the other side the lake; and that while waiting for the steamer at the Mission about dusk, they were fired into by the union men and many shot and robbed of their money; John Monihan being among the missing; also that a train-load of United States troops had been sent on the first day of the riot from Missoula, Mont., but that the union men of Butte City and the Coeur d’Alene blew up the bridges so they couldn’t get through; so that they had to go around through Oregon and Washington. Of course we all cheered at this good news against “scabs.” Then Stark and I bade our friends goodby, and started ostensibly for Placer Creek where the Dutchman and his Irish partner lived.
On getting out of sight in the heavy timber, we lay down and watched Mrs. Hollihan who had just come up to visit her daughter, French Pete’s wife. In a few moments she came out of the house and with an old- country stride of four feet to the stretch, she hurried down to her own home, and on arriving there, as I learned afterwards, she told her guests, the union leaders, that she had just met two poor union men who looked tired and worn out. She was asked to describe these two men, which she did. On describing me as being pitted with smallpox, President O’Brien spoke up and said: “Why, that’s that detective Allison that we have been scouring the hills to find,” or words to that effect.
Then a runner was sent down town to gather a crowd of union men to go on our trail and head us off and capture us. A large crowd was sent up the creek on the run, to scour the woods back to the point where the old lady had seen us. This crowd running up the creek armed, created an excitement, and someone friendly to the mine owners, learned that they were after me. Then General Carlin, commander of the United States troops, was notified and he sent a detail of twenty-five soldiers on the double-quick up the creek to rescue us. The soldiers were given a good description of Yours Truly.
It was just dusk when Stark and I presented ourselves to General Carlin in the Carter hotel. When he heard my name he said: “Why, you are the man we sent out twenty-five soldiers half an hour ago to rescue. Of course this was news to me, though next day I learned the whole truth of the affair, as outlined above. Then General Carlin sent runners out to bring in the soldiers, as the lost had been found. It was late when the last ones returned. They reported seeing many armed men whom they couldn’t capture owing to the heavy brush.
I told of President O’Brien being hid at Mrs. Hollihan’s house, and a squad of soldiers were sent to surround the place, with the result that President O’Brien, Joe Poynton and others of the union leaders were captured. But Dallas was not among the prisoners, who were fixing to change their hiding place when the soldiers got there. He had no doubt gone with the crowd to capture me, and thus saved his bacon, as he was never caught.
Stark and I slept soundly that night in the Carter hotel, with the glorious American flag waving over our heads, and a thousand bayonets to insure our safety.
Next day Dr. Simms was made marshal of the whole Coeur d’Alene district, under military rule, the district having been put under marshal law; and I was made one of his chief deputies.
As I knew all the agitators and union leaders, I was kept busy for the next week or so putting unruly cattle in the “bull pen,” a large stockade with a frame building in the center, for them to sleep and eat in.
We scoured the country to the Montana line. General Carlin refused to follow them over the line, out of Idaho. In less than a week we had 300 “bulls” in the corral. A word from me would liberate any of them and many were let go, as I knew the bad ones. Instead of burning me at a stake, they were now begging me for mercy, that is, a great many of them. My friend, Geo. A. Pettibone, was not captured for a few days. He was hid up in the mountains wounded by being struck with a boomerang. He had touched off the fuse that blew up the Frisco mill, causing the death and maiming of many men.
After they had sent a car of giant powder down the mountain and it blew up before reaching the mill, they tried a new scheme. High up on the mountain-side there was a large wooden flume and from this to the water-wheel in the mill, there was a large iron pipe called a pen stock, to conduct water to run the mill machinery. As the mill was not then running, there was no water in the penstock. In order to reach the upper end of this penstock, the water was let out of the large wooden flume, and along its bottom, Geo. A. Pettibone and his gang of three or four men walked. Then bundles of giant powder were dropped into the penstock and found lodgment at the bottom, inside the mill. When they thought enough had been sent down, Pettibone touched a match to a fuse attached to the last bundle. He made the fuse long enough so that it wouldn’t go off till it reached the bottom among the other bundles.
Now, Judge Geo. A. Pettibone, the learned justice of the peace, of Gem, had a fine head for dishing out union justice and for crawling up a hollow tree of small caliber, but not for scenting a boomerang. He remained in the flume with his ear at the mouth of the penstock so as to hear the joyful sound of the explosion when it should take place.
Pettibone went up in the treetops and his companion picked him up outside of the flume, where he came down with a shattered hand and other injuries. He hadn’t studied concussion in his school books. If he had, he would have known that the shock of the explosion would come back up the penstock.
In this explosion at the Frisco mill, many lives were saved from the fact that most of the seventy-five or more guards and non-union miners were at the further side of the mill building, shooting at union men on the opposite side of the mountain, from where Pettibone and his small gang were doing their work. In rounding up these unruly cattle with squads of soldiers, I had some narrow escapes. Once in Burk it looked scary for me, as I only had a few soldiers and the miners were very angry at me. All they lacked was a leader to make a break for my scalp.
To show how I was hated by the miners in the bull-pen, I will quote the headlines from the Barbarian news paper:
“Allison went into the bull-pen and a rush was made for him. He had to draw his pistol. His presence in their midst had the same effect as a red flag on angry bulls.”
I made one trip with a train load of soldiers with General Carlin in active command, to the line of Montana, where Jack Lucy, “Long Shorty” and a large gang of dynamiters had a fort built on top of a mountain. From the train to the foot of the mountain, Lieutenant Page had charge. After marching about a mile it was found impossible to reach the enemy’s fort in a body, owing to brush and fallen timber. Therefore, we had to return empty-handed. But on the trip I learned a lesson in military training. Funny things happened, which would have made a stone idol grin, but not so with General Carlin. He would never crack a smile. On making inquiry, I found that at the military schools he had learned to set the brakes on his mouth, at will.
In Gem, Capt. J.W. Bubb had charge of a company of United States troops, and I did much of my work through him. He would furnish me a squad of soldiers whenever I asked for them.
In my dealings with soldiers I found out the difference between “raw recruits” and “seasoned veterans.” In going through old tunnels and caves, searching for dynamiters, the boys in the state militia would squat and often jump at the least noise, while, if I said the word, half a dozen United States soldiers would march right into a dark place where dozens of the enemy were supposed to be hidden. I would be right behind them and could note their maneuvers. A dozen bats or “bloody howls” could fly past their heads and they would never change their course or alter their steps.
On my first visit to Gem, after the soldiers came in, it was comical to see the surprise of Mrs. Shipley’s little boy. He almost had a “duck fit” on seeing me. He supposed I was still down in that hole under the floor, and his mother said that he couldn’t eat a meal without saving some for Mr. Allison. This he would drop down into the hole. Bless his little baby heart, wherever he might be. I have lost track of him and his mother, but I want them to know that my last crust of bread or dollar is theirs for the asking, should they ever be in need.
Of course, after marshal-law was declared, the mine owners and deported business men came back.
Joe McDonald, a brave man and a fighter, took charge of the Frisco mine.
After the soldiers came, John Monihan also returned. He told of his narrow escape at the Mission while waiting for the steamer to take them to Coeur d’Alene City. He said they were all sitting around on the grass, about 250 of them, under the guard of a few union men, when just about dusk a squad of union dynamiters, under the leadership of Bill Black, who was later shot and sent to the penitentiary, came swooping down on the defenseless men shooting and robbing them right and left. The murderers were on horseback. John Monihan and Percy Summers jumped into the water and swam to an island, thus saving themselves.
At the point where the shooting took place, the river is very deep, and after dark a wounded man, Abbott, who was hidden in the tall grass said he saw the union men rob several dead bodies and then cut open their stomachs, so they would sink, and dump them into the river.
After the count, fourteen “scabs” were missing and some of them have never turned up to this day, and the supposition is that they were the ones sunk in the river.
Most of the “scabs,” who gave up their money without protest, were liberated. Some had a year’s savings in their pockets, as many had been working for a long time under union rules, but had turned to be “scabs” after the strike.
Many times I visited the States’ hospital in Wallace and talked with the non-union men wounded in Gem, and in the Fourth-of-July canyon on the lake. To see some of these poor fellows shot through the body, and others with their heads split open, would melt the heart of a stone man, and make him resolve to fight this kind of unionism to the last ditch.
One poor fellow seventy-five years old, lay with his head cracked open and his face and body pounded to a jelly, and this was done after he had surrendered, when the Frisco mill was blown up. And other men served in the same manner lay by his side, almost at the point of death.
This dastardly work was done under the leadership of Paddy Burke and Dan Connor, two of my brothers of the Gem union. All honor to the Irishman who had the manhood to stop these cut-throats and give orders that no more prisoners be ill-used, at the risk of their own lives. This Irishman was Peter Breen, a leader of the Butte City (Mont.) union, who had come over to help in the riots. I afterwards saw him sulking in the Wallace jail, and I felt like giving him my hand for his noble act, even though he had himself trampled the Constitution of the United States under his big brogans.
The old man referred to above, told me how he had come from California to work in the Frisco mine to save his little home from being sold under mortgage, over his old wife’s head, and tears streamed down his bruised face as he told it. Furthermore, he was an American-bred citizen, while the men who beat him up were every one foreigners of the lowest order.
Finally, I had to go on a stage coach to Murray, the county seat of Shoshone county, Idaho, this being the county in which the Coeur d’Alene mining district is situated, to appear before the grand jury against union rioters.
Murray is an old gold camp across a range of mountains, and is made up of a good class of American citizens, many of them being old Grand Army men. So, for that reason the grand jury brought in many indictments. Charlie O’Neal was the prosecuting attorney for the county, and he worked faithfully to get indictments, though he said he knew it would be utterly impossible to convict a union man in the local courts, and he was right, for the strongest case was tried first, as a test. It was against Webb Leasier, the man who was seen to fire the bullet through Ivory Bean’s heart. O’Neal had witnesses who saw Leasier fire the shot, and still he failed to convict.
While in Murray, and before I had appeared before the grand jury, the deputy sheriff in charge at that point under Dr. Simms, told me after supper one night, that he and his guards could not be responsible for my safety, as there was a well-laid plan to kidnap me by force. He said he had just got a tip from a reliable party who had seen a large crowd of union outlaws up the creek several miles, and from this gang of union men, about 300, the informant found out their intention of capturing the town of Murray in order to get me. This deputy appeared to be very nervous over the matter, and he hired several extra men to do guard duty, but said he had no hope of standing off a large gang of desperate men. He advised me to look out for myself and not depend on him.
There were no soldiers in Murray, and the town was filled with union men to act as witnesses for their side; therefore I felt a little shaky. Still, I figured that possibly it was a bluff to frighten me so I wouldn’t remain to testify before the grand jury.
That night and every night following, until all my evidence was in the hands of the grand jury, I stayed awake and sat up on the mountain side overlooking the town, with my Winchester rifle ready for action. I would pretend to retire to my room for the night, not telling a soul of my intentions; then I would slip down the back stairs and up the mountain side. Next morning I would return to the hotel at daylight and slip into my room.
After I had testified before the grand jury, I was told that Dallas and his gang were laying for me on the road to capture me when I returned on the stage to Wallace. No doubt there was truth in this report, for the stage drivers told of men stopping the stage as though to see who were aboard. Each side of the road was covered with a dense growth of timber and underbrush, so that it would have been an easy matter to capture the stage at a given signal that I was a passenger. But I fooled them by hiring a saddle-horse to take a little exercise one evening, and that night I “hit the road” for Wallace on horse back, a distance of about twenty miles.
Finally I was called to Coeur d’Alene City, Idaho, to testify in Judge Jas. H. Beatty’s United States court against leaders of the Miners’ union.
Before leaving Gem, I had the pleasure of seeing my little daughter, Viola, though no one was to know that she was my child.
Mr. Will F. Read had sold his home in Anna, Ill., and come out to Gem for his wife’s health, on the strength of my advice. He then bought out Mrs. Shipley’s interest in our store and became my partner. I agreed to give him half the profits from the rent of the twelve furnished rooms, which were now all occupied with non-union men, and a barber shop adjoining the store, for his trouble in running the place. Therefore, on leaving, I turned over to Mr. and Mrs. Read all my rights in Gem, including the good-will interest in Miss Gertrude Hull, a pretty young lady whom I rounded up in Spokane to clerk in our store. I had gone to Spokane City on this special round-up, and of course I roped in the prettiest girl I could find.
For the next few months my name was in the papers a good deal, as I was the star-witness against the leaders of the miners’ union. Many people came to Coeur d’Alene City especially to hear my evidence.
The United States’ prosecuting attorney was Freemont Wood, and a Mr. F. B. Crossthwaite from the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. assisted.
The Mine Owners’ Association employed Attorney Hagen and W.B. Heyburn, now a United States senator from Idaho, to assist in the prosecutions.
We also tried a batch of the dynamite leaders in Boise City, the capital of Idaho, in Judge Beatty’s court there.
During these trials I had to keep wide awake, as it was known that the miners’ union had turned me over to the Irish “Clan-na-gaels” to be killed, so that my evidence would not be used against President O’Brien and the other leaders.
In Boise City I received a “tip” that Kelly and four “Clan-na-gael” members of the Butte City, Montana union, who it was said had charge of assassinating Editor Penrose for opposing their union, a short time previous, would come to get me out of the way. The “tip” came from a man on the inside. Kelly and his four companions came to Boise by the time court opened, but they were pointed out to me, and their usefulness to the dynamite society was spoiled.
The Butte City, Montana, and Coeur d’Alene unions had employed one-armed Pat Reddy from California and Nevada, to protect their side. He was a noted criminal lawyer, and he and I had some hot tilts while I was on the witness stand, both at Coeur d’Alene City and at Boise, The Barbarian newspaper and others, came out with big headlines of how Siringo-Allison paralyzed Reddy and had him fighting mad. In Boise, Reddy frothed at the mouth and shook his fist in my face, but I only smiled. Judge Beatty upheld me. Attorney James Hawley, of Boise, a nice fellow, was employed to assist Reddy. The unions also had two other lawyers of smaller caliber.
We succeeded in convicting eighteen union leaders, among them being my friend, Judge Geo. A. Pettibone, who had recovered from his fly up in the tree-tops at the Frisco mill explosion. He received a sentence of two years in the United States prison at Detroit, Mich.
I was really sorry for the “honorable president” of the Coeur d’Alene Central Union, Mr. O’Brien. He was not a bad man at heart, but his head had gone wrong through taking the advice of such men as Joe Poynton and “Judge” Pettibone.
I shall never believe that nature intended Mr. O’Brien to wear prison stripes, but every one of the other seventeen, with the exception of Dan Harrington, deserved hanging, among them being an ex-prize fighter, Tom Whalen, who did a noble deed when he shot Bill Black through the body in a drunken brawl. Had he killed Black, who led the charge in the Fourth-of-July canyon on Monihan and his helpless victims, several lives would have been saved.
Thomas Eaton, old man Mike Divine, “Spud” Murphy, C. Sinclair, Joe Poynton, Tom Whalen and John Nicholson, were among those convicted as leaders of the miners’ union. The peculiar twist in the names of all these convicted men would indicate that they were not Swedes, Chinamen or Scandinavians.
It was late in the fall when in Wallace, Idaho, I closed the operation and started back to Denver. I had been on the operation a year and two months.
I hated to part with my companion, Frank Stark, as we had become warm friends ; but soon after my departure he lost one of his legs above the knee from a rifle bullet. It was done in my building at Gem where he was rooming, and the rifle was fired accidentally by Johnny Kneebone, the “scab” blacksmith, after-wards murdered by the miners’ union, several members of the union going to his blacksmith shop at the Gem mine in broad daylight and shooting him full of holes.
After losing his leg, Stark went to his old home in Pennsylvania and learned to be an engineer. Since then I have lost track of him, though I hope he is alive and doing well; for he is a prince and there is not a cowardly drop of blood in his veins.
I arrived in Denver and discontinued the Coeur d’Alene operation just before Christmas. Superintendent McCartney was glad to see me back alive, after the strenuous life I had been leading. On several occasions in the Coeur d’Alene I had saved my life by being handy with the pistol and getting the drop. I always avoided taking life, though I had the law on my side. I had a chance once in Coeur d’Alene City during the trial there, to kill a bad dynamiter right before the eyes of Prosecuting Attorney Wood, and be upheld by the law. Also another time on a crowded train between Gem and Wallace, when Mr. “Mace” Campbell and other mine owners were present. Some of the tough union men had raised a “racket” with me. I made them sit down and kept them covered with my gun till we arrived in Wallace. Then I had Sheriff Simms throw the leader, a big Irishman, in jail for threatening to kill me.
On reaching Denver I started out to have a good time by spending my money freely. I figured that I could afford it, as outside of my weekly salary, I was drawing $135.00 per month from the rent of my Gem, Idaho, building and furnished rooms, besides a good profit from my half of the store.
But with me, good things don’t last long, for one morning early in January, 1893, Miss Mollie Rucker, our cashier, handed me a telegram from Mrs. Will F. Read in Gem, which stated that my building and store had burnt to the ground and that her husband was in jail for shooting the union dynamiter merchant, Samuels. Thus my $3,000.00 had taken wings and flown up in smoke, and my extra income was cut off. I had had $1,500.00 worth of insurance on the building, but a few weeks before the fire, $1,000.00 of it was canceled owing to a fear that the union would set the town afire. The $500.00 of insurance money was used to pay some debts in Idaho and to assist the Reads who later joined me in Denver.
While the fire was raging on our side of the street, Will Read had carried his wife’s trunk containing her keepsakes across the street and put it upon Samuels’ store porch where it would be safe from the fire. Then Samuels gave the trunk a kick out into the street, as Read was not liked by the union men on account of his friendship for me. Read at once went back into the burning building and got his double-barrel shotgun loaded with buckshot, and “winged” dynamiter Samuels by shooting his right arm off at the shoulder; but before doing so, Samuels fired a couple of shots at Read with a pistol, after Read had knocked him through his own glass-front store, shattering the plate glass.
Barrels of whisky had been rolled out of the burning saloons, which lay between the Union Hall, where the fire started and my place, and the union mob were all drunk on free liquor.
After the shooting Read was knocked down and the “scab” Deputy Sheriff Frank Rose secured Read’s gun. The drunken dynamiters seeing their brother with his arm shattered to threads and Rose with the smoking gun in his hand, supposed he did the job. Poor Rose tried to explain matters, but he was a “scab” and they wouldn’t listen to his pleadings. While they were fixing to hang him, the truth was explained that Allison’s partner shot poor Samuels. Then Rose was liberated and the mob started after Read, who by that time, was half way to Wallace.
Arriving in Wallace about 5:30 a.m. Read surrendered to Sheriff Simms who took him down to the jail as a matter of duty, but forgot and left the jail door open; and he also forgot and left a Winchester rifle and 100 rounds of cartridges where Read could get them.
Soon the mob came in sight. Read lay on top of a stockade with his rifle ready to do business. When within a few hundred yards of the jail, Webb Leasier, the man who is said to have killed Ivory Bean, succeeded in stopping the mob. He had been pleading with them to let the law takes its course, as Read was a brother Odd Fellow [a fraternal society] of his; but they wouldn’t listen, until finally Webb Leasier got in front of the leaders with cocked gun, and threatened to kill the first one who made another step forward. They knew he meant business, and besides, they loved him as a good “scab-killer,” so they turned back and spoiled Read’s chance of making a glorious name as a slayer of dynamiters.
Webb Leasier’s action goes to prove that there is some good in all men, even in murderers.
At the preliminary trial before my friend, Judge Angel, in Wallace, Read was liberated.
This ends the second and last act of the bloody Coeur d’Alene strike of 1892, which taught me many new lessons in my study of human nature.
My only regret is that I couldn’t have bottled up that hole in the floor [where I hid from the union mobs] before it went up in smoke, so as to keep it as a relic to be handed down to my descendants, to remind them of the first time their worthy grandsire had crawled into a hole in time of danger.
The Coeur d’Alene trouble had been caused through the miners’ union wanting to dictate as to how the mines should be run. When they made a demand for shorter hours, and that “muckers” and common roustabouts receive $3.50 per day, the same wages as skilled miners, the mine-owners closed down the mines and sent out for non union men.