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Mother Jones Heritage Project

Mother Jones Monument/Union Miners Cemetery

Learn about "the most dangerous woman in America," and why she chose this as her final resting place. Mary Harris Jones (1837-1930) was an Irish immigrant who endured great personal loss and tragedies. But through organizing in the labor and socialist movement, she became a beloved folk heroine, a figure of legend and lore. When a Congressman asked her address, she replied, "My home is where the workers are fighting injustice." She had no home, and instead traveled across the country, wherever there was a struggle. Jones chose Union Miners Cemetery as her final resting place because miners in this area had commemorated the role of the ordinary worker in changing history. She wanted to send a message for the ages to come: Those who others deemed undeserving could rise up and take power, and define their futures. This is a unique place in the history of the labor movement; it was the only union-owned cemetery in the country. This is a place with a monument to Mother Jones, but it also evokes the power and potential of the labor movement. It is a place of reflection and remembering, of thinking of the labor movement’s roots. It is a shrine not only to Jones but to the connection between human rights and labor rights, a place where people wonder when and why labor lost power. Monument photo art credit: Bob Moffit

  • 1.

    Miners' Angel Monument

    Miners' Angel Monument

    What did Mother Jones think about being called the Miners' Angel?

  • 2.

    Introduction/Map

    Introduction/Map

    Overview & map for the tour. Performances of Mother Jones speeches and writings.

  • 3.

    Virden Martyrs Monument

    Virden Martyrs Monument

    The cemetery began with the determination to honor the 1898 Virden martyrs.

  • 4.

    Joe Ozanic monument

    Joe Ozanic monument

    Learn what happened to create, but also limit, the meaning of the monument.

  • 5.

    Entrance Gate

    Entrance Gate

    Learn more about the cemetery and the humble gateway.

  • 6.

    Mother Jones Monument

    Mother Jones Monument

    The Mother Jones Monument guided tour. Listen to her speeches and autobiography.

  • 7.

    Message Kiosk

    Message Kiosk

    People have been leaving messages and items at the cemetery for decades. Leave yours with us!

  • 8.

    Jane Bradley and traditions of struggle

    Jane Bradley and traditions of struggle

    The apple didn't fall too far from the tree. The women of the coalfields.

  • 9.

    General Alexander Bradley Monument

    General Alexander Bradley Monument

    Alexander Bradley was a rebel soul. Learn about why he earned a place in history.

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