Come to the Big Walnut Area Historical Society meeting at 7:30, Tuesday, May 9, in the Myers Inn museum to meet Mary Harris Jones portrayed by Rosie Frasier will portray “Mother Jones.”
Born May 1, 1837, in Cork City in the County of Cork, Ireland, Mary Harris and her parents were forced to migrated to Canada as a result of the potato famine. They faced discrimination because they were Irish and Catholic so Mary moved to Michigan to teach in a convent for $8 a month. She moved to Chicago then Memphis where in 1861 she married George E. Jones, a member and organizer of the National Union of Iron Moulders. Eventually she quit teaching and became a dressmaker which carried her through the Civil War.
In 1867, a yellow fever epidemic killed her husband and children (three girls and a boy under 5 years of age). She closed her shop and went back to Chicago where she opened another dressmaker’s shop. Four years later she lost everything in the Great Chicago Fire and joined the Knights of Labor. Her true work was just beginning. She began working as an organizer for the Knights of Labor and the United Mine Workers union. From 1897, at about 60 years of age, she was known as Mother Jones. In 1902 she was called “the most dangerous woman in America” for her success in organizing mine workers and their families against the mine owners. In 1903, to protest the lax enforcement of the child labor laws in the Pennsylvania mines and silk mills, she organized a children’s march from Philadelphia to the home of President Theodore Roosevelt in New York.
Although 93-year-old Mother Jones died in November 1930, Rosie Frasier will make her come alive at the historical society meeting in the Myers Inn Museum on Tuesday, May 9th. The program is open to everyone and the admission is free.
Retired librarian Rosie Frasier is a first-person interpreter for the Ohio History Connection, a member of several historical societies including BWAHS, and on the Board of Trustees of the Franklinton Historical Society. She does historical programs for school children, senior centers and historical societies.
To learn more about Big Walnut Area Historical Society or the Myers Inn Museum visit the website at http://BigWalnutHistory.org. Plan to visit the museum from 12-3 on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays or 10-3 on Saturdays at the corner of Columbus and Granville Street diagonally across from the Sunbury Village Square.