100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Union Members Get Sunday Dinner In Jail

Since the 1880’s different labor group have tried to organize into unions to fight deplorable conditions such as 12 hour work days and unsafe, unhealthy conditions. In 1911 in Louisiana, the Brotherhood of Timber Workers’ succeeded in closing down lumber mills by striking. Grabow, Louisiana had a sawmill and in July 1912 the BTW planned hold organizing rallies at Grabow and two other sawmills towns. On July 7 after BTW president A L Emerson spoke to a crowd of sawmill workers, a gun battle broke out between company guards and sawmill workers who came armed. 4 men died, 50 were wounded and over 300 shots were fired. Emerson and 64 BTW members were arrested as well as the mill owner and three company guards. A Grand Jury held up charges against the union men and let the owner and guard go.

On July 28, 1912 while the union prisoners were being held in the Lake Charles county jail awaiting trial, women from the nearby town of De Ridder brought them a Sunday supper.

“Union prisoners in Lake Charles jail and the big dinner given them by the ladies of De Ridere, La.”
July 28, 1912

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