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Mother Jones

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Mary Harris Jones Mary Harris was born on May 1, 1830. She was born near Cork, Ireland. Her father got into some political trouble and had to move the family to Canada when she was eight years old. After high school Mary decided she wanted to be a schoolteacher and later moved to Tennessee in 1861. That is when she met George Jones and they got married. He was an Iron Molder like her father. In 1868, Marry Harris Jones' lost her entire family to yellow fever. She was 37 years old and it killed her four children and her husband. It had swept Memphis where they lived. After this happened to her, Mary moved to Chicago to become a seamstress. Before she could get her little shop going a fire burnt down her business and her house with all of her belongings in 1871. Mary was having an awful time but managed to keep on trying. She finally got a job working with people who wanted to get decent wages and have their working environment improved. She also tried to stop child labor. Her work involved making speeches, recruiting members and organizing soup kitchens and women's auxiliary groups during strikes. Mary Jones later became an official for the United Mine Worker's Union. She was in her sixties at this time and everyone knew her as Mother Jones. She was also known as a hell raiser and called the Most Dangerous Women in the World. The establishment types she battled had less flattering things to say about her. On the floor of the House of Representatives she was branded a ''notorious and troublesome woman." Mary became a member of the Industrial Workers World. This is also known as the Wobblies. Mary Jones traveled the country helping workers to form themselves into unions. In 1908 Jones played a leading role in the mine strike in Paint Creek, West Virginia. During the strike, men employed by the mine-owners machine-gunned the strikers and their families. Mary was accused of being involved in this act and when one of the guards was murdered



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