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Mt. Olive in Macoupin County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Union Miners Cemetery at Mt. Olive, Illinois

 
 
Union Miners Cemetery at Mt. Olive, Illinois Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, October 27, 2021
1. Union Miners Cemetery at Mt. Olive, Illinois Marker
Inscription.  The Union Miners Cemetery in Mt. Olive, Illinois, is the only labor union-established and union-owned cemetery in the United States. It is the result of the Battle of Virden fought in Virden on October 12, 1898, when the Chicago-Virden Coal Company refused to honor the national wage negotiated by the United Mine Workers Union. An armed struggle broke out that day between miners and company forces attempting to use Scabs (non-union strike-breakers). Eight miners, four mine guards, and one company employee were killed. The bosses capitulated and agreed to the legal wage. Four of the dead miners were from Mt. Olive, but the owner of the privately owned town cemetery did not want dead miners buried there to prevent the cemetery from becoming a miners shrine. Therefore, the UMW purchased land in Mt Olive in order to create a dedicated union cemetery for the dead miners and all miners in the future. In 1932 the cemetery was deeded to the Progressive Miners of America Union. Today a perpetual care committee tends the cemetery with the help of labor unions from around the country. The cemetery's labor history significance is recognized by inscription
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on the National Register of Historic Places (1972).
 
Erected 2021 by The University of Illinois Mythic Mississippi Project, the City of Mt. Olive, the Mother Jones Museum at Mt. Olive, the Union Miners Cemetery Board, and the Illinois State Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesLabor Unions. In addition, it is included in the Illinois State Historical Society series list. A significant historical date for this entry is October 12, 1898.
 
Location. 39° 4.849′ N, 89° 43.918′ W. Marker is in Mt. Olive, Illinois, in Macoupin County. Marker is at the intersection of Mt. Olive Road and Old Reservoir Road, on the right when traveling south on Mt. Olive Road. The marker is located at the frontgate in the northern section of the Union Miners Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Mount Olive IL 62069, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Soulsby Shell Station, Mt. Olive, Illinois (approx. 0.7 miles away); Heart of Coal Country (approx. 5.4 miles away); Founding of the Progressive Miners of America (approx. 5˝ miles away); Macoupin & Chestnut Streets (approx. 5˝ miles away); Dedicated to the Soldiers and Sailors of Gillespie
The Union Miners Cemetery at Mt. Olive, Illinois Marker in front of the Cemetery image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, October 27, 2021
2. The Union Miners Cemetery at Mt. Olive, Illinois Marker in front of the Cemetery
(approx. 5.6 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 5.6 miles away); Ill. Traction System (approx. 5.7 miles away); a different marker also named Veterans Memorial (approx. 5.7 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  Battle of Virden.
The Battle of Virden, also known as the Virden Mine Riot and Virden Massacre, was a labor union conflict and a racial conflict in central Illinois that occurred on October 12, 1898. After a United Mine Workers of America local struck a mine in Virden, Illinois, the Chicago-Virden Coal Company hired armed detectives or security guards to accompany African-American strikebreakers to start production again.  Source: Wikipedia
(Submitted on October 28, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 
 
The view of the Union Miners Cemetery at Mt. Olive, Illinois Marker from the road image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, October 27, 2021
3. The view of the Union Miners Cemetery at Mt. Olive, Illinois Marker from the road
The Mother Jones monument image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, October 27, 2021
4. The Mother Jones monument
Battle of Virden image. Click for full size.
Public Domain - Wikipedia, October 12, 1898
5. Battle of Virden
Miners gathering at the railroad tracks in Virden, Illinois on October 12, 1898, to meet the trainload of strikebreakers scheduled to arrive by rail.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 28, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 28, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 242 times since then and 105 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 28, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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Dec. 11, 2023