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Ludlow- Imaginative damage

HUERFANO — The Cameron mine, during the 1913-14 coal strike, had so many disturbances that the Colorado National Guard had to place soldiers there. This just made the miners more imaginative in what damage they would attempt. In late January 1914, strikers tried to get near the main pipeline which drained the mine water down a slope. If they could damage the pipe, the mine soon would be flooded and mining would end. During the first try to plug the pipe, which was about a quarter of a mile long, mine sentries saw the vandals, who fled to the protection of trees. The two groups exchanged some 50 shots and the mine guards gave chase over the hills. Within a week, a second attempt to ruin the pipeline occurred. Twenty shots were exchanged this time, and the strikers could not claim success. A second flash point for strikers was the main powder house between Walsen and Cameron mines (Cameron was about a mile south of Walsen as the crow flies). So CF&I decided to abandon the powder house and move the powder because it was a “disturbing center,” in their words, with frequent troubles. The striking miners’ wives had their plans, too, organizing a mass meeting in the Walsenburg union hall. Twelve were selected to be a part of a general state committee to protest the Colorado National Guard actions. These women rallied behind Mother Jones, a union organizer considered so dangerous to the peace and quiet of southern Colorado, that Gen. John Chase had her locked up in Trinidad’s San Rafael hospital. Some 500 or more women and children held a protest march in Trinidad to free Mother Jones. That day, five women were arrested, including Mary Thomas, a young Welsh woman who will be featured in a later Huerfano World Journal article. National and state governmental agencies were increasingly concerned about the southern Colorado strike. A representative of the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington D.C. was concluding four weeks of investigating events, spending one week in the Walsenburg district, two weeks in the Trinidad district, and one week in other districts. The representative, Joseph S. Myers, apparently was not prepared to criticize the mine management or the union management, at least not publicly. And so, the strike continued into its fifth month. Information is from the Jan. 29, 1914, Walsenburg World, which finally printed a strike story. However, it was not written from the newspaper’s own reporting but was reprinted from the Pueblo Chieftain. Information also from the Jan. 23 and Jan. 25, 1914, Pueblo Chieftains.