Mother Jones fearlessly questioned corporate rule and earned the title “the grandmother of all agitators.” She is a figure who lives on because the issues she raised are still of concern to us, still relevant in the twenty-first century.
Mother Jones was the most well-known coalfield organizer, and many of the men who were leaders started their life as child laborers. They identified Mother Jones as the mother for all workers, calling them to make their families lives better. From the 1860s on, coal operators were part of a power structure that drove the politics of Illinois. But miners organized, too, and eventually they came to many conflicts, that we term mine wars. Many of the sites of these mine wars and other big events in coal history are along Route 66, so we dub them the "Mother Jones" road instead of Mother Road!