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Pittsburg in Crawford County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

The Amazon Army

 

—Miners’ Memorial at Immigrant Park —

 
The Amazon Army Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 7, 2010
1. The Amazon Army Marker
Inscription.
The women’s march of 1921 epitomizes the spirit of the Kansas Balkans, an area known for its rich cultural heritage and turbulent strike-ridden history. On December 12 of that year, 3,000 (by some reports up to 6,000) women—wives and other female relatives of striking miners—marched from the Miner’s Hall in Franklin, Kansas, to the coal fields of Crawford County in an attempt to stop scab miners (replacement workers) from reporting to work. The protest caused the governor to send a troop of Kansas cavalry to stop the marchers and made headlines across the nation. They were known as the “Amazon Army.”

There was absolutely no fear in these women’s hearts. Like the lion they would face and fight anything bare handed—no weapon of any kind—they would face the militia—their only throught was something must be done so that their little ones would have food, something to wear in the cold, even though they might meet death at the hands of the militia.
—from Mary Skubitz’s Journal, December 15, 1921
 
Erected 2008 by the Miners’ Memorial.
The Amazon Army Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 7, 2010
2. The Amazon Army Marker
Looking east
Dedicated to John & Marguerite O’Nelio. Text written by Linda O’Nelio Knoll.
 
Location. 37° 24.553′ N, 94° 42.392′ W. Marker is in Pittsburg, Kansas, in Crawford County. Marker is at the intersection of 2nd Street and Pine Street, on the right when traveling west on 2nd Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Pittsburg KS 66762, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Alexander Howat (a few steps from this marker); Wilkinson Coal Company (within shouting distance of this marker); The Weir-Pittsburg Coal Field in Cherokee County (within shouting distance of this marker); Frontenac, Kansas (within shouting distance of this marker); Immigrant Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Southeast Kansas Coal Mining (within shouting distance of this marker); The Weir - Pittsburg Coalfield (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Freedom Tree (approx. ¼ mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Pittsburg.
 
Also see . . .
1. An Army of Amazons. This website includes contemporary and recent articles on the labor unrest and the Amazon Army. “The march made headlines
Amazon Army Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
December 1921
3. Amazon Army Photo on Marker
Caption reads: “The Women’s Army of Kansas on the March: The Wives and Daughters of the Striking Coal Miners of the Pittsburg District Go on the Warpath to Oust the Strike Breakers, Invading the Mines and Scattering the Workers With a Red-Pepper Attack.”
Dec. 1921 New York Times photograph, enhanced and taken from Army of Amazons by Linda O’Nelio Knoll. ©2000.
across the state and the nation. This large-scale involvement of women, christened the ‘Amazon Army’ by the New York Times, set this demonstration apart from the labor unrest that often disturbed the area. The women’s actions echoed feelings of solidarity with male members of the mining community and linked the miners struggle to American ideals of justice and equality, which ultimately led to national social reform. This spirited act linked men and women together in one of the most dynamic pages in the history of American labor.” (Submitted on September 14, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.) 

2. Miners' Memorial. This website includes a number of stories told by family members of miners and union organizers. Excerpt: “Due to poor safety laws and lack of care by mine owners prior to 1920, some men, including my grandfather and dad, organized the miners is southeast Kansas to become part of the United Mine Workers of America. The mining companies strongly resisted and hired ‘thugs’ and ‘strong arm’ protectors. There was violence between these men and the miners. There were people killed and injured on both sides. Eventually the
Amazon Army Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
December 1921
4. Amazon Army Photo on Marker
Caption reads: Women Raiders Invading A Mine Near Pittsburg, Kan., Forcing the Workmen to Drop Their Tools and Kiss the American Flag.
Dec. 1921 New York Times photograph, enhanced and taken from Army of Amazons by Linda O’Nelio Knoll. ©2000.
Union won the right to organize, and safer mining practices were beginning to take place. The pay to miners gradually improved, too.” (Submitted on September 14, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.) 
 
Categories. Civil RightsIndustry & CommerceLabor UnionsSettlements & Settlers
 
Amazon Army Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
December 1921
5. Amazon Army Photo on Marker
Caption reads: The Joan Of Arc Of The Coal Fields, Fourteen-Year-Old Daughter Of A Striker Who Carried the American Flag at the Head of the Column of 6,000 Marchers.
Dec. 1921 New York Times photograph, enhanced and taken from Army of Amazons by Linda O’Nelio Knoll. ©2000.
Photo of Mary Skubitz on Marker image. Click for full size.
6. Photo of Mary Skubitz on Marker
Caption reads: A Leader of the March.
Joseph Skubitz Collection, Axe Library, Special Collections,
Pittsburg State University
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,593 times since then and 36 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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