Union Trouble: The Coeur d'Alenes in 1892

by Ali Leeds


In the late 1880's, boom towns were forming all over a region referred to as the Coeur d'Alenes.  The towns of Wallace, Gem, Burke, Mullan, Osburn, Wardner, and Milo (now named Kellogg) were sprouting up.  The discovery of gold had brought many miners with gold fever to try their luck.  Many discovered gold and some founded what were to be the mines that would cause the formation of many large towns throughout what is known as the Silver Valley.

A correspondent for The Spokane Review (a local paper that was the primary source of information for years to come) stated that, "The outlook for this town (Mullan) was never brighter.  A great deal of development work will be done this summer, and prospectors will soon be starting for the hills."1

The beginning of the 1890's ushered in an era of hope for the future and the profits that the mines would bring both to the businessmen of the area and to the mine owners.  No one could have predicted what was to happen in the years following. As the 1890's progressed, the Silver Valley and the rest of the Coeur d'Alenes became the scene of unmatched violence and feelings of ill-will.  Conflict emerged between the mine owners and the miners they employed over the rights of both groups.

The valley during this time was a place of community and closeness.  This is probably best represented by the way in which the 1890 fire in Wallace was dealt with.  On July 28, 1890, a fire started in Wallace and the water supply ran out ten minutes later.  The town of Wallace burned to the ground.  The town began to rebuild immediately after the fire.  Though they had numerous offers to help the rebuilding process, they would accept help from no one outside of the Coeur d'Alenes.2

It was noted by Bailey Avery that "The Coeur d'Alenes is a remarkable example of a harmonious agreement between capital and labor, which rebound to their mutual benefit of both."3  "A more orderly or intellectual body of men could not be found within the bounds of the United States than these Coeur d'Alene miners."4  This observation was to be proven wrong in the next decade.

The first sign of trouble was a peaceful strike at the Tiger mine located in Burke on December 11, 1890.  The strikers got their demands and went back to work within the next week.

This incident was perhaps a foreshadowing of what was yet to come.  The event also brought about the first recorded mention of a miner's union formed in the Coeur d'Alenes.  Mr. A. M. Esler noted, "The union is of recent organization."5

On August 8, 1891, the miners at the Bunker Hill and Sullivan mines, located in Wardner, went on strike.  The miners demanded that the company deduct $1.00 from each man's salary and use it to pay for the Miners' union hospital at Wallace.  Mr. V. M. Clement, on behalf of the Bunker Hill and Sullivan mines, made the proposition that the company would donate land and lumber for a new hospital to be built at Wardner or Milo.  The miners would have to provide for the rest of the expenses.  The miners refused this offer and Mr. Hammond of the company reported that the company would not budge an inch.  Finally, two weeks later, the mines and the strikers came to an agreement.  The hospital dues would be disposed at the miner's option and the mine would not provide a physician.

More trouble arose in January of 1892 when the railroad companies announced that they were increasing the shipping rate of ore by $2.00 per ton.  This could mean up to $40.00 per carload more. For some mines that was $100.00 a day more.6 The January 13, 1892 edition of The Spokane Review ran the following article:

There was a meeting of the large mine owners of this section here today in pursuance of an agreement to consider excessive railroad freights. As a result, all the mines of the Coeur d'Alenes will close down on the 15th, and the Mine Owners' Association has appointed a committee to go to St. Paul and Omaha to confer with the railway officials relative to railroad rates with a view to arrive at a speedy understanding.  This is a question of vital interest to the miners and surrounding country; and unless the agreement sought is reached in a short time, the result of the shut-down will be sorely felt by all.7

The mine owners did send a representative to Omaha, but he was not able to come to a compromise with the railroads. Upon finding that no compromise had been reached, Mr. A. M. Esler commented, "The closing down of all the producing mines on the south fork (of the Coeur d'Alene River) on the 14th of this month now seems inevitable.  Of course this step is taken very reluctantly by us.  It means throwing about 1,600 men out of employment and cannot but be a great blow to the prosperity of that section."8  During the Mine Owners' Meeting on January 20, 1892, it was decided that the mines would stay closed for at least four months.

Many people of the towns surrounding the mines were sympathetic to the mines, feeling that the mine owners should get fair freight.  One gentleman put it, "To use a homely phrase, it would seem that the railroads are 'bagging' it and retarding the country instead of developing it."9

A few of the miners suspected that the shutdown of the mines was a conspiracy to cut wages, but these miners were in the minority. Then joyous and not so joyous news was brought by Patrick Clark, the general manager of the Poorman mines, on March 15, 1892.  He announced that the mines would open on or about March 25, 1892.  It was noted, however, that the wages would be $3.50 for miners and carmen in shaft mines (the same as it had been before the mines had closed) and $3.00 for carmen and shovelers (50 cents less than when the mines had closed). This confirmed the suspicions of some of the miners that it was a conspiracy.

The miners of the valley held a meeting and came to a unanimous reply:

Resolved, that the secretary be ordered to notify the Coeur d'Alene Mine Owners' Association that we, the miners of the Coeur d'Alenes, will not accept the scale of hours and wages published in its statement of the 19th inst., but we are ready to resume work under the schedule of wages and hours which existed at the time of the last shutdown of mines.10

Various local towns held town meetings and announced their support as the miners went on strike.  Businessmen were also reported to be strongly in favor of the miners.  Though many newspapers throughout the valley announced their support for the miners, The Spokane Review announced that it would remain neutral and just report the news as it happened.

"From items appearing in the public press, gathered from some of our mine managers by reports in neighboring states, we are led to believe that wages cut no figure in the late shutdown, but now the only motive seems to have been to crush out organized labor and to establish in the Coeur d'Alenes by importation of contract labor (that curse of American institutions) a condition similar to that brought about from this course in some of the older states."11

The battle between the mine owners and the union miners seemed not to be over wages, but more specifically over the subject of organized labor.  Mine owners claimed that there was no trouble on the Coeur d'Alenes before the miners' union was formed while the union miners claimed that without the union they were not properly recognized.  "The statement that there had been no trouble before the union was organized is probably true; there being no organization, the mine-owners had matters their own way, and miners simply had to submit to any rates or arrangements the managers wished to enforce, which has been the cause of much subsequent trouble."12

There was talk of a conference between the miners' union and the Mine Owners Association.  When T. P. Purcell of The Spokane Review interviewed Mr. Finch of the Mine Owners' Association, Mr. Purcell asked, "Suppose we, the miners of the Coeur d'Alenes, concede your terms.  Are you ready to resume operation?"  Mr. Finch replied. "No.  There would have to be a full representation of the association here for me to answer the question, and all are not present."13  This comment was taken to mean that the mine definitely would not hire back the union men and it appeared that the strike would go on indefinitely.

April 29th finally broke the standstill when Mr. Emery of the Union Mine escorted four scabs to work.  The citizens of Burke called a town meeting.  The matter was discussed and a group was sent to the Union Mine to bring down the non-union miners.  The situation was then explained to them, and they were invited to join the union.  Two joined while two refused.  The two that did not join were promptly escorted out of town and sent toward Thompson Falls.

The mine owners did not look upon this act fondly, and Mr. A. M. Esler noted that, "The county is now under the domination of the miners' union, and probably when it becomes their pleasure to exercise their own judgment in the management of their business, then the mine owners may resume active operations."14

As a response to the dispelling of their non-union labor, the Coeur d'Alene Mine Owners' Association obtained an injunction from the United States District Court at Boise.  This injunction restrained anyone from interfering with the working of their mines.  Upon this note, the mine owners slowly began to import scabs from outside of the region.

Non-union labor would come slowly but steadily, about sixteen men arriving on the train a day.  This put much greater pressure on the miners' union to take action.  On June 11, 1892, the miners' union had a small victory in their favor.  The Poorman and the Hunter mines announced that they were no longer part of the Mine Owners' Association.  They would hire any man back for $3.50 per day for a nine hour day regardless of whether they were in the union or not.  The miner's union was in support and soon miners were busy at work in those mines.  This provided a welcome relief for the men that had gone without work or a paycheck for almost five months.

The joyous feelings did not last long.  The miners' union realized that the longer they delayed a confrontation, the less likely they would win.  Violence erupted on Monday, July 11.  The cause of the violence was a fist fight that took place Saturday night.  Two guards, one from the Gem mine and one from the Frisco went to town after work and started drinking.  They made offensive remarks about the union which several union men answered.  The guards and the union men got into a fight. The Gem guard was nearly killed.  John A. Finch, manager of the Gem mine, did not want to bring about trouble, so he requested that the sheriff not arrest anyone.

The following afternoon, a miner who was heading to visit his family, passed the barricades of the Gem mine.  A guard from the Gem mine warned him off.  They exchanged words and fought.  The miner whipped the guard and continued on his way home.  A half-hour later, three Gem guards with rifles were seen hurrying up the canyon.  The union miners ran to protect their comrade who had been in the fight earlier.  The guards ran to the Frisco mine and there was no trouble.  A warrant was issued for the miner's arrest which upset some who claimed the guard had voluntarily become involved in the fight.

On Sunday night, armed union men gathered at Gem.  Early Monday morning, men on the Frisco property could see armed union men on both hillsides of the canyon overlooking the mine.  At about 5 a.m., one of the union men fired upon the guards.  The guards later testified that the shots were probably intended to scare them.  However, one of the Frisco men said they did not return fire until bullets from the union rifles came through the roof of the shed which they were standing under.  The shooting became general with both sides aiming to kill.

Part way through the fight, union men sent powder down the flume where the penstock goes to the mill and blew the Frisco mill apart.  Fortunately, because the guards and the union men were fighting on the far side of the mill only one man, A. T. McDonald was killed after timbers fell on him . Fighting continued, but the Frisco men realized it was a worthless cause and surrendered.  They were marched to the union hall in Gem.

After the fight at the Frisco mill had begun, violence broke out at the Gem mine.  The night shift was coming out, and the day shift was going in when they were fired upon.  A fight followed in which one non-union and three union men were killed before the Gem mine was surrendered to the union men.

The day after all of the fighting, several union men slipped down to the Bunker Hill and placed explosives under the concentrator.  They threatened to blow up the concentrator if all of the non-union labor wasn't sent out of the region by noon of the following day.  The mine owners complied and the explosives were removed.

Governor Willey of Idaho proclaimed that Shoshone County was in a state of rebellion and insurrection, and martial law was declared.  Many of the union miners took to the hills to escape arrest.  The officers of the various unions were arrested.  Several hundred men were arrested but later released after the Governor realized that they couldn't all be kept in jail until the trials began. A total of ten miners were tried, and four were convicted.

Although the mining war was begun by the fight over wages, that was not the main conflict.  The war was fought over rights. "The right of the mine-owners to fix the schedule of wages that they feel able to pay will not be questioned.  With it goes the right of the miners to declare, individually or collectively, whether they can afford to work for wages offered."15

The mining war had a great impact on the Coeur d'Alenes and was the beginning of labor conflict which continued into the next century.


  1. "Mention of Mullan" The Spokane Review. April 16, 1890, page 9
  2. "A Trainload of Cooked Meat" The Spokane Review. July 30, 1890, page 1
  3. "A Boom All Along the Line" The Spokane Review. September 26, 1890 page 6
  4. "At the Mines" The Spokane Review. July 11, 1891, page 6
  5. "A Miners' Strike" The Spokane Review. December 13, 1890, page 3
  6. "Magnuson, Richard Coeur d'Alene Diary page 121 copyright 1968
  7. "Will Close the Mines" The Spokane Review. January 13, 1892, page 1
  8. "They Won't Stand It" The Spokane Review. January 12, 1892, page 4
  9. "A Hard Problem to Settle" The Spokane Review. March 11, 1892, page 5
  10. "Miners Will Resist" The Spokane Review. March 22, 1892, page 1
  11. "Reply of the Mines" The Spokane Review. March 30, 1892, page 1-2
  12. "Another Official Reply" The Spokane Review. March 31, 1892, page 2
  13. "Miners Indignant" The Spokane Review. April 19, 1892, page 7
  14. "The Miners' Union Must Go" The Spokane Review. May 10, 1892, page 3
  15. "A Conference Asked" The Spokane Review. March 31, 1892, page 6

Bibliography

Primary Sources

  1. "Mention of Mullan" The Spokane Review. 16, April 1890. page 9. The outlook for Mullan and other mining towns of the district is bright and promising.
  2. "Local Mines" The Spokane Review. 18, April 1890. page 10. A series of several articles describes the mines and the towns nearby them.
  3. "An Awful Fire" The Spokane Review. 29, July 1890. page 1. Wallace burned to the ground in a terrible fire.
  4. "A Boom All Along the Line" The Spokane Review. 26, September 1890. page 6. Wardner is building up fast as gold is struck. Wallace is rebuilding quickly after the fire.
  5. "A Miners' Strike" The Spokane Review. 13, December 1890. page 3. The men at the Union and Tiger Mines walk out.
  6. "At the Mines" The Spokane Review. 11, July 1891. page 6. Coeur d'Alene mines have much potential for development and profit.
  7. "The Big Strike" The Spokane Review. 9, August 1891. page 1. Men at the Bunker Hill and Sullivan mines go on strike to protest the company's refusal to support the union hospital.
  8. "The Miners' Strike" The Spokane Review. 21, August 1891. page 3. Mr. Hammond reports that the company had made its offer to build a hospital, and now it will not budge an inch.
  9. "The Wardner Mines" The Spokane Review. 25, August 1891. page 7. The strikers will be taken back once the strike is over.
  10. "Bunker Hill Shut Down" The Spokane Review. 3, September 1891. page 3. Bunker Hill is shut down and four hundred men are put out of work on account of a water dispute.
  11. "The Wardner Strike" The Spokane Review. 26, September 1891. page 2. An impartial reporter states the difficulties in Wardner as he sees it.
  12. "Important Meeting" The Spokane Review. 26, September 1891. page 2. The Strike is settled at the Bunker Hill and Sullivan mines. The mines agree to provide support for the union hospital.
  13. "From Wallace" The Spokane Review. 21, October 1891. page 8. The miners held a ball to celebrate Halloween.
  14. "Dancing Miners" The Spokane Review. 22, November 1891. page 9. The miners celebrated Thanksgiving by holding a ball. It was well attended, and all had a good time.
  15. "Our Minerals" The Spokane Review. 1, January 1892. page 19. The Coeur d'Alenes promises to be an area rich in minerals with a valuable future.
  16. "They Won't Stand It" The Spokane Review. 12, January 1892. page 4. The mine owners announce that they will close the mines until the freight rates are lowered.
  17. "Will Close the Mines" The Spokane Review. 13, January 1892. page 1. The mine owners will close the mines on account of the high freight rates.
  18. "Mine Owners' Meeting" The Spokane Review. 22, January 1892. page 1. The mine owners discuss their response to the raising of freight rates.
  19. "Mine Owners' Meet" The Spokane Review. 3, February 1892. page 3. There is a meeting of the mine owners and a discussion on the best course of action to take following the raising of freight rates.
  20. "Mines Will Start Up" The Spokane Review. 16, March 1892. page 1. The mine owners state that they will open up the mines. The hours will be increased, and the wages will be decreased.
  21. "Miners Work" The Spokane Review. 19, March 1892. page 8. The mines announce that they will soon be opening up again.
  22. "Reply of the Mines" The Spokane Review. 20, March 1892. pages 1-2. The mines state that they will stick with the reduced wages and increased hours.
  23. "Miners Will Resist" The Spokane Review. 22, March 1892. page 1. The miners state that they will only go back to work under the old scale of wages.
  24. "Sympathy For the Men" The Spokane Review. 27, March 1892. page 6. Wallace citizens state that they will stand by the miner's union in the present struggle.
  25. "Sympathy For the Men" The Spokane Review. 30, March 1892. page 2. Burke citizens will take the miners' Union's side.
  26. "The Miners Return Thanks" The Spokane Review. 30, March 1892. page 2. The miners thank the various towns for announcing their support for the miners in the strike.
  27. "Gem, Via Burke" The Spokane Review. 30, March 1892. page 2. The town of Gem held a mass meeting to decide how to proceed upon the troubles between the miners and the mine owners.
  28. "Another Official Reply" The Spokane Review. 31, March 1892. page 2. The Coeur d'Alene Miners' Union sent a letter to the paper explaining its feelings and actions toward the mines.
  29. "Wardner's Mass Meeting" The Spokane Review. 31, March 1892. pages 1-2. The businessmen of the Coeur d'Alenes will stand by the miners.
  30. "A Conference Asked" The Spokane Review. 31, March 1892. page 6. In a letter to the editor, one man's request that the miners and mine owners meet and hold a conference.
  31. "A Conference Talked Of" The Spokane Review. 31, March 1892. page 1. Both sides have talked of a conference between them, but so far there had been no results.
  32. "Mullan Stands In" The Spokane Review. 31, March 1892. page 1. The city of Mullan announced that its full support lies with the striking miners.
  33. "Idaho Mine Troubles" The Spokane Review. 31, March 1892. page 1. This article reviews past troubles the union miners and the mine owners have had.
  34. "The Struggle Begins" The Spokane Review. 2, April 1892. page 2. Miners refuse to go to work in the Sierra Nevada mine.
  35. "Both Sides Firm" The Spokane Review. 5, April 1892. page 8. The mine owners and union miners refuse to give any slack to the problem.
  36. "Mine Owners' Association" The Spokane Review. 12, April 1892. page 3. The mine owners announce that work in the mines will not resume for quite some time.
  37. "Miners Indignant" The Spokane Review. 19, April 1892. page 7. The miners were upset about the comments the newspaper published about them and their union.
  38. "Scabs Kicked Out" The Spokane Review. 30, April 1892. page 2. Two scabs are sent out of the valley toward Thompson Falls.
  39. "Not at a Stand Still" The Spokane Review. 7, May 1892. page 7. The businesses of the Coeur d'Alenes continue to work even with the miners on strike.
  40. "To Work Their Mines" The Spokane Review. 7, May 1892. page 1. Mine owners intend to bring in non-union labor to work their mines.
  41. "Miners' Union Enjoined" The Spokane Review. 10, May 1892. page 3. The mine owners have obtained an injunction against the union miners and their sympathizers.
  42. "The Miners' Union Must Go" The Spokane Review. 10, May 1892. page 3. Mr. Esler announces that the mines will not be bullied into granting the union's demands. He claims that the union terrorizes the local businesses.
  43. "Possible Injunction" The Spokane Review. 11, May 1892. page 2. There are rumors that the mine owners are getting an injunction against the union miners.
  44. "All Quiet at Mullan" The Spokane Review. 12, May 1892. page 2. Although Mr. Esler insulted them, the union miners at Mullan remain quiet and peaceful.
  45. "A Crisis Near at Hand" The Spokane Review. 12, May 1892. page 1. The injunction from Boise arrives at Wallace, and it is feared there will be a violent reaction to it.
  46. "Deputy Marshals En Route" The Spokane Review. 12, May 1892. pages 1-2. Because of the concern of violence, extra deputy marshals have been ordered to head to the Coeur d'Alenes.
  47. "The Injunction" The Spokane Review. 12, May 1892. page 2. The injunctions are being served against the union miners and their sympathizers.
  48. "The Injunctions's Reception" The Spokane Review. 13, May 1892. page 1. The miners were very polite and orderly and made no fuss over the arrival of the injunction.
  49. "Coeur d'Alene Trouble" The Spokane Review. 13, May 1892. page 1. Non-union miners are on their way to the Coeur d'Alenes from Duluth.
  50. "President O'Brien Talks" The Spokane Review. 13, May 1892. page 1. O'Brien states that the miners' strike will no erupt into violence.
  51. "The Sentiment Divided" The Spokane Review. 13, May 1892. page 1. Not all of the people in the Coeur d'Alenes are siding with the miners.
  52. "Statement of Mine Owners" The Spokane Review. 13, May 1892. page 1. The owners announce that they don't object paying $3.50 per day for miners, but they don't think that they should pay that much for unskilled labor.
  53. "Affairs at Wardner" The Spokane Review. 14, May 1892. page 1. The miners union at Wardner announced that there would be no violence and that things would be handled diplomatically.
  54. "All Quiet at the Mines" The Spokane Review. 14, May 1892. page 1. Nothing is happening at the mines now that the workers have gone on strike.
  55. "Peace at Mullan" The Spokane Review. 14, May 1892. page 1. An article in the paper describes the scene at Mullan during the time of the strike.
  56. "At Mullan" The Spokane Review. 15, May 1892. page 1. A dispatch was received in Mullan that stated that the mine owners intended to bring at least one-hundred more non-union men to the mines under the cover of darkness.
  57. "Butte Miners Fooled" The Spokane Review. 15, May 1892 page 2. Butte miners attempted to stop a train from the east bringing non-union miners, but they stopped the wrong train.
  58. "A Different Story" The Spokane Review. 15, May 1892. pages 1-2. The Wallace miners announced that they had received information to the effect that one hundred non-union miners had deserted the mines and left for home.
  59. "Miners At Work" The Spokane Review. 15, May 1892. page 2. The non-union arrivals had been put to work in the mines.
  60. "Injunctions Served" The Spokane Review. 15, May 1892. page 2. The marshal bringing the injunction from Boise was greeted with a brass band in Mullan and treated well.
  61. "The Non-Union Miners" The Spokane Review. 15, May 1892. page 1. Over one-hundred non-union miners arrived in Missoula. There was no fighting, and they were taken to the mines peacefully.
  62. "At Mullan" The Spokane Review. 17, May 1892. page 1. Two non-union miners tell the story of their desertion.
  63. "And the Fight Goes On" The Spokane Review. 17, May 1892. page 1. It is reported that three-hundred more non-union miners are coming.
  64. "The Seat of Trouble" The Spokane Review. 17, May 1892. page 1. A map included with the article showed how remote Wardner is from the other mining towns.
  65. "Contradicts the Story" The Spokane Review. 18, May 1892. page 2. Mine owners state that the reports are false, and no non-union men are deserting the mines.
  66. "Dispatches Sent East" The Spokane Review. 18, May 1892. page 2. Non-union miners sent notices to papers back east saying that they are being well treated.
  67. "Notes About Wallace" The Spokane Review. 18, May 1892. page 1. This article notes that many saloons in Wallace have shut down and businesses are suffering. It also mentions that Bunker Hill is planning to bring in non-union labor.
  68. "The Owners' View" The Spokane Review. 18, May 1892. page 2. In a letter to the editor, a local states that he believes that the owners should prevail in this strike.
  69. "Peace Reigns Supreme" The Spokane Review. 18, May 1892. page 1. The article congratulates both sides for keeping the peace in dealing with their argument, but it reports that there is no end in sight.
  70. "His Name Was Oleson" The Spokane Review. 18, May 1892. page 2. A man believed to be a spy was run out of town by the union miners.
  71. "Quiet at Mullan" The Spokane Review. 18, May 1892. page 2. Miners believe that they will come out victorious at the end of the strike.
  72. "Story of an Imported Man" The Spokane Review. 18, May 1892. pages 1-2. A non-union miner stated that he was not informed that there was a strike going on in the Coeur d'Alenes when he signed up to come west and work.
  73. "At the Guarded Mine" The Spokane Review. 20, May 1892. page 1. A reporter for the paper states his views on the present conflict and how it should be resolved.
  74. "Michigan Miners Warned" The Spokane Review. 20, May 1892. page 1. Non-union miners write back East to state that they have left the mines because they were mistreated.
  75. "Mine Owners' Moves" The Spokane Review. 21, May 1892. page 2. The mine owners' intentions are to import as much non-union labor as they possibly can and to make union labor obsolete.
  76. "Believed to be a Ruse" The Spokane Review. 21, May 1892. page 2. Union miners believe that the reported injunction that the mines have acquired is a fake.
  77. "An Appeal to Miners" The Spokane Review. 21, May 1892. page 2. A miner writes in to plead to the unioners to realize that his children need to be fed and clothed. As long as the mines are offering them fair wages, they should go back.
  78. "Both Sides Sanguine" The Spokane Review. 21, May 1892. page 2. Both sides still believe that they will come out victorious over the other, and they are prepared to fight it out to the end.
  79. "Up at the Union Mine" The Spokane Review. 21, May 1892. page 2. The Union Mine is now running smoothly on non-union labor and daily shipments of ore are being made to the concentrator.
  80. "Five More Non-Union Arrivals" The Spokane Review. 21, May 1892. page 2. Five more non-union men have arrived and been put to work in the Union Mine.
  81. "The Miners Sanguine" The Spokane Review. 21, May 1892. page 2. The miners are positive of a victory over the mine owners.
  82. "Rumors of Violence Condemned" The Spokane Review. 21, May 1892. page 2. The union officers state they have never ordered any violence to take place nor do they approve of it.
  83. "The Situation Unchanged" The Spokane Review. 22, May 1892. page 1. The mine owners state that they have not changed the wages and many non-union men still want to work.
  84. "The Train Was Stopped" The Spokane Review. 22, May 1892. page 1. The union men learned that a train was bringing in non-union men. They stopped the train at Mullan and forbade it to proceed.
  85. "Three Thousand Men Wanted" The Spokane Review. 22, May 1892. page 1. It was announced in Duluth that three thousand men were needed to do mining work in the Coeur d'Alenes.
  86. "At Burke" The Spokane Review. 22, May 1892. page 1. Non-union men are steadily arriving and being put to work in the mines.
  87. "Effect of the Suspension" The Spokane Review. 22, May 1892. page 1. A land owner states that he can no longer sell his previously valuable property because of the strike.
  88. "All Are Cared For" The Spokane Review. 25, May 1892. page 2. A letter was written to the paper denying that any women or children are suffering. The union takes care of them.
  89. "Appearance of Burke" The Spokane Review. 25, May 1892. page 2. Saloons and other businesses of Burke are shutting down. The ones staying open are suffering.
  90. "Burke Very Quiet" The Spokane Review. 25, May 1892. page 2. More non-union men will start work tomorrow. The town is very quiet.
  91. "A Constable's Story" The Spokane Review. 25, May 1892. page 2. The constable of Mullan stated that two union men came into his house and demanded a letter that he had written to the governor about the situation in the Coeur d'Alenes.
  92. "En Route to the Mines" The Spokane Review. 25, May 1892. page 1, Governor Willey has decided to come to the Coeur d'Alenes and view the situation for himself.
  93. "Sheriff Cunningham" The Spokane Review. 25, May 1892. page 2. Citizens and union miners are questioning Sheriff Cunningham's decision not to arrest the guards of the mines.
  94. "Viewed Impartially" The Spokane Review. 25, May 1892. pages 1-2. A reporter for the paper gives his view on the story and shows both sides' arguments.
  95. "Mr. Cowley's Views" The Spokane Review. 25, May 1892. page 2. Mr. Cowley wrote a letter to the editor expressing his belief that the mine owners are the sufferers.
  96. "The Other Side" The Spokane Review. 27, May 1892. page 1. The union miners' lawyer arrives in Mullan. He will go to Boise to fight the injunction.
  97. "Coeur d'Alene Mines" The Spokane Review. 27, May 1892. page 1. Most of the mines are now open and producing by using non-union miners.
  98. "Effects of Willey's Visit" The Spokane Review. 27, May 1892. page 1. It will be a victory for the mine owners if martial law is declared by Governor Willey.
  99. "At Burke" The Spokane Review. 28, May 1892. page 1. The town of Burke was lavishly decorated for the arrival of Governor Willey.
  100. "At Wardner" The Spokane Review. 28, May 1892. page 1. The Bunker Hill and Sullivan Company resumed work with no interference from the union miners.
  101. "Big Victory for the Miners" The Spokane Review. 28, May 1892. page 1. Fifty non-union men refused to go any farther after learning at Missoula that there was a strike in the Coeur d'Alenes.
  102. "Will Aid the Miners" The Spokane Review. 28, May 1892. page 5. Labor organizations of Spokane announced that they would aid the union miners.
  103. "Governor Willey's Welcome" The Spokane Review. 28, May 1892. page 1. Towns put up lavish decorations and brass bands at the mining towns in the Coeur d'Alenes.
  104. "Will Fight to a Finish" The Spokane Review. 31, May 1892. page 2. Mine owners state that they will not budge on the matter of the wages.
  105. "Work at the Bunker Hill" The Spokane Review. 31, May 1892. page 2. None of the non-union men at work in the Bunker Hill and Sullivan mines have quit.
  106. "The Guards Are Leaving" The Spokane Review. 31, May 1892. page 2. Mine guards were seen leaving the mines and heading out of town. It is guessed that they are going to meet more non-union men.
  107. "Governor Willey Talks" The Spokane Review. 31, May 1892. page 2. Governor Willey states that all is peaceful in the Coeur d'Alenes and that it is not time yet for martial law.
  108. "A Quiet Set" The Spokane Review. 31, May 1892. page 2. Mullan is reported as being a peaceful place with no threat of violence.
  109. "Wardner Mining News" The Spokane Review. 1, June 1892. page 2. Development work continues at the Wardner mines. The cable for the Bunker Hill and Sullivan mines had been taken up one hundred feet.
  110. "A Report Denied" The Spokane Review. 1, June 1892. page 2. It was reported that the miners' union had stopped another train. They denied this report.
  111. "The Strike Situation" The Spokane Review. 1, June 1892. page 2. Union men have not gone back to work at the Tiger Mine.
  112. "From One of the Guards" The Spokane Review. 1, June 1892. page 2. An unidentified guard reports that many non-union men are leaving the mines.
  113. "Mr. Dallas Talks" The Spokane Review. 1, June 1892. page 2. Mr. Dallas gave a speech to the union men and encouraged them to hold out.
  114. "Union Men Quit" The Spokane Review. 3, June 1892. page 2. Union men working at the mines in Osburn have quit.
  115. "Miners Will Not Yield" The Spokane Review. 3, June 1892. page 2. The miners' union again states that it will not give up in this battle.
  116. "In the Sierra Nevada" The Spokane Review. 3, June 1892. page 3. The Sierra Nevada mine has opened, up and several non-union men have been sent to work.
  117. "Quiet at Burke" The Spokane Review. 4, June 1892. page 5. Though there is no fighting yet, both sides are preparing for the worst.
  118. "Work Rolls Right Along" The Spokane Review. 4, June 1892. page 1. A mine owner denies that the quitting of several union men has caused him trouble.
  119. "Married Men are Firm" The Spokane Review. 4, June 1892. page 1. Several married men wrote to the paper to state that they would stand by the union until the end of the strike.
  120. "Fight on the Street" The Spokane Review. 4, June 1892. page 5. There was a fight on the street between a union sympathizer and a non-union man.
  121. "Guns Sent to Wardner" The Spokane Review. 4, June 1892. page 5. Three cases of Winchester rifles were sent to Wardner from Burke.
  122. "Non-Union Men Under Arrest" The Spokane Review. 5, June 1892. page 1. Two non-union men were arrested and tried for making threats against union men and carrying concealed weapons.
  123. "Martial Law Possible" The Spokane Review. 5, June 1892. page 1. The Governor announced that if anything violent happened in the Coeur d'Alenes he would declare martial law.
  124. "A Row at Mullan" The Spokane Review. 5, June 1892. page 1. There was a fight in Mullan between a mine owners' employee and a union miner.
  125. "To Serve Injunctions" The Spokane Review. 5, June 1892. page 1. Mr. Pinkham made a quick trip to Burke to serve the injunctions there.
  126. "Whirled Through" The Spokane Review. 7, June 1892. page 5. A carload of non-union miners rolled through Osburn without stopping.
  127. "At Wardner" The Spokane Review. 7, June 1892. page 5. One hundred and fifty men are now at work in the Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mines.
  128. "Brighter Times Ahead" The Spokane Review. 7, June 1892. page 5. The manager of the Hunter mine arrived in Mullan and delivered the news that the Hunter mine is no longer part of the Mine Owner's Association.
  129. "The Fight in Boise" The Spokane Review. 7, June 1892. page 5. The Miners' Union has representatives down in Boise fighting to have the injunction against the union miners dissolved.
  130. "No More Men Wanted" The Spokane Review. 7, June 1892. page 5. The mine owners sent a telegram to eastern newspapers telling them that they do not need anymore non-union labor sent west.
  131. "Left to the Union" The Spokane Review. 8, June 1892. page 2. The union miners say that the offer of the Tiger Mine to come back to work needs official recognition.
  132. "In the Coeur d'Alene" The Spokane Review. 8, June 1892. page 2. Citizens at Mullan state that there is no need for martial law.
  133. "A Dignified Protest" The Spokane Review. 8, June 1892. page 2. The request of the miners' union to dissolve the injunction was denied.
  134. "Indignation at Burke" The Spokane Review. 9, June 1892. page 5. Burke disagrees with the Governor's ruling. They state that no martial law is needed.
  135. "Blame the Governor" The Spokane Review. 9, June 1892. page 5. The citizens of Gem say the Governor overreacted and that there is no need for martial law.
  136. "Sympathy for the Owners" The Spokane Review. 9, June 1892. page 5. A man in Wallace states that not everyone sides with the miners or approves of their strike.
  137. "From Spokane Friends" The Spokane Review. 9, June 1892. page 5. The miners received provisions from the labor organizations in Spokane.
  138. "Bank Closes" The Spokane Review. 28, March 1893 page 2. The National fraternity Building and Loan Association closed on March 27, 1893
Secondary Sources

Bennett, Earl H., Siems, Peter L., and Constantopoulos, James T. "The Geology and History of the Coeur d'Alene Mining District, Idaho" 1989 from Guidebook to the Geology of Northern and Western Idaho and Surrounding Area: Idaho Geological Survey Bulletin 28.

This section covers all of the various historical mining sights in Idaho and gives background information of the history of each.

Fargo, Lucile F. Mrs. Hercules: The Story of May Arkwright Hutton. Unpublished manuscript at the Spokane Public Library, Spokane WA.

Ms. Fargo provided a citizen's point of view on the strike as seen through the eyes of Mrs. Hercules.

Livingston-Litter, D. E. An Economic History of North Idaho. 1800-1900. United States: Lorrin L. Morrison and Carroll Spear Morrison, 1965.

This source provided much information in the form of charts and records. It contains the tables of lead and silver prices through the various years, and includes a listing of the numbers of non-union men were employed at various mines during the time of the strike.

Magnuson, Richard G. Coeur d'Alene Diary. Portland, Oregon: Metropolitan Press, 1968.

Mr. Magnuson covers the events of the war in detail from 1890 to 1893. He also includes information of other interests in the towns of the Coeur d'Alenes.

Norlen, Art Death of a Proud Union. Cataldo, Idaho: Tamarack Publishing, 1992.

This source provides information on the impact of the 1892 war on later struggles in the Coeur d'Alenes.

Video at the Wallace District Mining Museum North Idaho's Silver Legacy

A brief pictorial history of the region and the history of local mines.

Smith, Robert Wayne. The Coeur d'Alene Mining War of 1892. Corvallis, Oregon: Oregon State University Press, 1961.

Siringo, Charles A. A Cowboy Detective. Chicago: W. B. Conkey Company, 1912.

Charles A. Siringo was a detective that the Mine Owners' Association hired. He became a member of the Miners Union and secretly reported back to the association. His autobiography follows the events closely with "perhaps" a few exaggerations.

Wood, Fremont The Introductory Chapter to the History of the Trials of Moyer, Haywook and Pettibone, and Harry Orchard. Caldwell, Idaho: The Caxton Printers, Ltd. 1931.

Mr. Wood discusses the trials that took place after later wars between the Mine Owners' Association and the Miners' Union, he also mentions the results of the trials following the mining war of 1892.


Ali Leeds - Senior Division Historical Paper reprinted by James R. Fromm (jfromm@3rd1000.com)