Wednesday, October 05, 2005
54 miles south of Springfield lies the village of Mount Olive, Illinois, featured today in the Washington Post as the last resting place of Mary Harris Jones.
Known as "Mother Jones" during her long public career, 1870-1930, she was a tiny, white-haired woman with a gift for passionate oratory. She fought against low wages and poor conditions in mines and factories, helped organize labor unions, and often went to jail for her beliefs.
The monuments to her today are Mother Jones magazine and her grave in the United Mine Workers Union Cemetery in Mount Olive. She asked to be buried there, with other martyrs of the labor movement, 75 years ago this summer.