Pittsburg in Crawford County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The Amazon Army
— Miners’ Memorial at Immigrant Park —
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
—from Mary Skubitz’s Journal, December 15, 1921
Erected 2008 by the Miners’ Memorial. Dedicated to John & Marguerite O’Nelio. Text written by Linda O’Nelio Knoll.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Civil Rights • Industry & Commerce • Labor Unions • Settlements & Settlers.
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. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Pittsburg KS 66762, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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 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). Touch for a list and map 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 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 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.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 13, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,768 times since then and 35 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week February 10, 2013. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 14, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.