Paint Creek-Cabin Creek strike

June 10, 1913: Paint Creek-Cabin Creek Hearings Begin

14 hours ago
Stacked arms during Cabin Creek strike.
e-WV / WV Humanitites Council

On June 10, 1913, a U.S. Senate subcommittee opened hearings on the bloody Paint Creek-Cabin Creek strike in Kanawha County. This marked the first time a congressional committee had investigated the actions of a state government. The hearings were prompted by labor leader “Mother” Jones, who’d been held under house arrest in the Kanawha County town of Pratt. She’d secretly sent letters to the outside world through a trap door.

May 1, 1930: Labor Leader Mother Jones Celebrates 100th Birthday

May 1, 2020
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division

On May 1, 1930, labor leader “Mother” Jones celebrated her 100th birthday at a party in Maryland. The firebrand did what she did best: ruffle feathers. On this occasion, she denounced the nation’s prohibition on alcohol, saying it violated her right as an American to drink beer instead of water.

February 13, 1913: Mother Jones Arrested in Charleston

Feb 13, 2020
Mother Jones
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

On February 13, 1913, labor leader Mary Harris “Mother” Jones was arrested in Charleston for agitating striking miners during the deadly Paint Creek-Cabin Creek Strike.

Jones was no stranger to West Virginia’s labor movement, or its jails. Since the 1890s, she’d been active in union causes across the country but felt a special affinity for miners of the Mountain State. She once reported that conditions in West Virginia “were worse than those in Czarist Russia.” During a 1902 strike, she’d been jailed in Parkersburg for violating a court injunction.

January 23, 1890: United Mine Workers of America Formed

Jan 23, 2020
UMWA District President M. F. Moran immediately launched what would become an extraordinary struggle to unionize the state’s coal mines over the next four decades.
E-WV / The Humanities Council

On January 23, 1890, the United Mine Workers of America was formed in Columbus, Ohio. Three months later, UMWA District 17, encompassing most of West Virginia, held its first meeting in Wheeling.

District President M. F. Moran immediately launched what would become an extraordinary struggle to unionize the state’s coal mines over the next four decades.

This Week in West Virginia History is a co-production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting and the West Virginia Humanities Council.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / e-WV

On February 7, 1913, striking miners from the Holly Grove tent encampment in Kanawha County fired on a coal company-owned ambulance and attacked a store at nearby Mucklow.

Their actions triggered one of the most notorious incidents of the bloody Paint Creek-Cabin Creek Strike.

Sept. 15, 1875 - Governor Henry Hatfield Born Near Matewan

Sep 15, 2017
Henry Hatfield
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Governor Henry Hatfield was born near Matewan on September 15, 1875.

While his Hatfield relatives were fighting their famous feud against the McCoys, Henry was away at college. He eventually became a coal-camp physician in McDowell County. Appalled by the lack of medical facilities, he fought to have three miners’ hospitals established in the state and served as director of the Welch hospital for 13 years.

May 1, 1930: Labor Leader Mother Jones Celebrates 100th Birthday

May 1, 2017
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division

On May 1, 1930, labor leader “Mother” Jones celebrated her 100th birthday at a party in Maryland. The firebrand did what she did best: ruffle feathers. On this occasion, she denounced the nation’s prohibition on alcohol, saying it violated her right as an American to drink beer instead of water.