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Donations sought to restore Mother Jones Monument

mother-jonesMT. OLIVE, Ill. (Jan. 28, 2014) –The Illinois AFL-CIO is working with the Union Miners’ Cemetery Perpetual Care Association to raise funds in order to maintain and enhance the Mother Jones monument and burial site in Mt. Olive, Illinois.

Mary Harris “Mother” Jones rose to prominence as a fiery orator and fearless organizer for the United Mine Workers during the first two decades of the 20th century. As she fought to improve deadly working conditions and against violent repression of unions, she urged all to “mourn the dead and fight like hell for the living.”

mother-jones-monument“As union members, the legacy of Mother Jones is one that is well-known and treasured. We have all quoted her words and admired her fiery efforts in demanding worker rights on the job,” said Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan. “Your generous gifts will help to preserve this national landmark and leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.”

Send your donations to: Mother Jones Monument Fund c/o Illinois AFL-CIO, 534 S. Second St., Springfield, IL, 62701. With a gift of $500 or more, donors will be recognized on a permanent marker at this site.

Erected in 1936, the Mother Jones Monument has weathered many storms. The restoration project includes:

  • Restore the monument, including professional cleaning and polishing of miner statues and the Mother Jones portrait; restoring and replacing two large plaques on the sides of the monument and five smaller plaques listing the Virden Riot martyr names; cleaning and caulking of the stone monument.
  • Enhance the entrance to the Union Miners’ Cemetery including preservation of brick pillars; replacing plywood oval sign; improving driveway and restoring signs on each side of the entrance.
  • Improve visitors’ experience to include a pavilion and seating; add a drop box and signature book; additional historic information; maintaining road markers and obtaining new ones.
  • Additional funds will be used to repair stones of miners who no longer have family in the area and to do regular upkeep and maintenance.

For more information on the project, visit the Mother Jones Monument page on Facebook, or email Amy Rueff of the Illinois AFL-CIO or call her at 217-492-2633

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