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St. Maries in Benewah County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
 

The St. Marie's “Occupation” of 1918

 
 
The St. Marie's "Occupation" of 1918 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 7, 2018
1. The St. Marie's "Occupation" of 1918 Marker
Inscription. During W.W. I, St Maries was a hotbed of International Workers of America (I.W.W.) unionizing activities. In December 1917, Sheriff E. Noland raided their headquarters near here and arrested secretary William Nelson for advocating sabotage.
On March 15, 1918, 300 "Wobblies" gathered on First Street between College and Jefferson Avenue, and decided to storm the jail and free Nelson. The Sheriff was assaulted while confronting them. An alarm was sounded and a local citizens brigade of 100 armed men assembled at College and Second causing the crowd to disperse.
On March 19, 1918, fifty federal soldiers from Fort Wright and fifty Idaho soldiers from Sandpoint arrived and took partial control of the the city. Tempers soon cooled, curfews were lifted and the "occupation" ended as the troops returned home.
Nelson's trial was moved to Coeur d'Alene, and in April 1918 he was convicted of "criminal syndicalism."
 
Location. 47° 18.92′ N, 116° 33.627′ W. Marker is in St. Maries, Idaho, in Benewah County. Marker is at the intersection of East College Avenue and South First Street, on the right when traveling west on East College Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 130 West College Avenue, Saint Maries ID 83861, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least
The St. Marie's "Occupation" of 1918 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 7, 2018
2. The St. Marie's "Occupation" of 1918 Marker
8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Timber Made This Town (approx. ¼ mile away); St. Maries - Steaming with History (approx. ¼ mile away); Hughes House Historical Museum (approx. ¼ mile away); The 1910 Fire (approx. ¼ mile away); Willamette Steam Donkey Engine (approx. 1.2 miles away); Splash Dam at Hobo Creek (approx. 1.2 miles away); Mullan Trail Road (approx. 1.3 miles away); John Mullan (approx. 1.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Maries.
 
Also see . . .
1. Union vs. Citizen Militia During the Occupation of St. Maries -- Bitterrootloop Wordpress. Working conditions in Pacific Northwest lumber camps were harsh around the turn of the 20th Century and the Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies) organized men to strike for an eight-hour work day and healthier living conditions in the filthy vermin-infested “rag camps,” (tent bunkhouses) scattered in the forests. (Submitted on August 19, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 

2. 1917: Wobblies, War, and Walkouts -- North Idaho Past/Present. Wobblies, while not entirely welcome, were generally tolerated in logging towns like Sandpoint in early 1917.... One of the local newspapers wrote favorably about the IWW helping a destitute family in need, paying for rent and groceries until the father was able to find work.
The tolerant atmosphere changed suddenly in early April when the United States declared war on Germany and
I.W.W. poster image. Click for full size.
By Period Poster
3. I.W.W. poster
entered the conflict in Europe. (Submitted on August 19, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Categories. Labor Unions
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 20, 2018. This page originally submitted on August 19, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 51 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 19, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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