Mother Jones memorial ready for rehab

MT. OLIVE CEMETERY, Ill. (PAI) – The 78-year-old memorial to labor organizer and hell-raiser Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, an obelisk above her grave in Illinois’ Mt. Olive Cemetery, flanked by two workers, is ready for rehabilitation, the Illinois AFL-CIO announced.

“The legacy of Mother Jones is one we treasure,” state fed President Michael Carrigan said during a June 17 ceremony announcing the group had reached the $60,000 goal it set for money to repair and refurbish the memorial. 

More than 100 unions and individuals from 17 states, led by the Mine Workers, donated funds for the project and St. Louis-area Bricklayers will donate time to refurbish the cemetery’s entrance.

Jones’ monument, dedicated in 1936, six years after her death at age 94, features a large medallion bearing her likeness, flanked by bronze statues of two standing miners, with one holding a pickax and the other a sledgehammer. A bronze plaque warns: “Let no traitor breathe o’er my grave.” 

Jones was buried, as she asked, among area miners killed in the 1898 “Virden Massacre.”  Then, 12 unionists died and 40 were injured when they tried to stop strikebreakers from crossing their picket line.

Photo: Mother Jones monument Facebook page


Mark Gruenberg
Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg is head of the Washington, D.C., bureau of People's World. He is also the editor of Press Associates Inc. (PAI), a union news service in Washington, D.C. that he has headed since 1999. Previously, he worked as Washington correspondent for the Ottaway News Service, as Port Jervis bureau chief for the Middletown, NY Times Herald Record, and as a researcher and writer for Congressional Quarterly. Mark obtained his BA in public policy from the University of Chicago and worked as the University of Chicago correspondent for the Chicago Daily News.