Christmas Night Shootout
In January 1927, H. Wetter Manufacturing Company, South Pittsburg's largest employer, a unionized company, closed its stove factory. When Wetter tried to reopen with non~union labor, the unions established picket lines. The strike hurt the local economy. High tension between four local unions and Wetter not only drove a wedge between employer and employees, but divided residents, politicians, and law enforcement officials. Growing resentment, coupled with political rivalries from the last sheriff's race, soon led to officer battling officer.
The gunfight on Christmas night of 1927 at Third Street and Cedar Avenue left six officers dead and several injured, bringing national attention to the city. Dead were Sheriff G. Washington Coppinger, Deputy Lorenza A. Hennessey, City Marshalls Benjamin Parker and Ewing Smith, and Wetter guard Oran H. LarRowe. Police Chief James Connor died the next day. Governor Henry H. Horton dispatched the National Guard to curtail additional violence.
Erected by Tennessee Historical Commission. (Marker Number 2B 32.)
Topics and series.
Location. 35° 0.73′ N, 85° 42.325′ W. Marker is in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, in Marion County. Marker is at the intersection of 3rd Street and Cedar Avenue on 3rd Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: South Pittsburg TN 37380, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Birthplace of Jobyna Lancaster Ralston-Arlen (within shouting distance of this marker); James Thomas Fitz-Gerald, Jr. (within shouting distance of this marker); Marion Post No. 62 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Christ Church Episcopal (about 700 feet away); McReynolds High School (approx. 0.4 miles away); Fort McCook (approx. 0.7 miles away); Bean-Roulston Graveyard (approx. 1.8 miles away); Chiaha (approx. 2.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in South Pittsburg.
Also see . . . South Pittsburg History in Pictures Industry. Pictured above is the H. Wetter Manufacturing Company plant at South PIttsburg as it appeared around 1908. This mill orignally started in 1887 as Perry Stove Works and ended in the 1990s as U.S. Stove. The building running parallel to the street (Cedar Avenue) and directly back from that was razed in 2003. (Submitted on October 21, 2016, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 22, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 21, 2016, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 790 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 21, 2016, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.