“We lived in the Logstown section of Woodlawn, a typical settlement of foreign-born millworkers. Jones & Laughlin controlled everything: the church, the schools, the whole system. They dominated the town of Woodlawn through their private coal and iron police. I remember them so well because they threatened me and questioned me dozens of times. If you had any kind of meeting you had to get a permit. If they felt you were left leaning or might be ‘talking unions’ you did not get a permit. Well, I had meetings, anyhow. So they’d arrest me.”
1926. “We unearthed a system of despotic tyranny reminiscent of Czar-ridden Siberia at its worst,” Lowell Limpus, a reporter for the New York Daily News, wrote of a Pennsylvania coal town he visited in 1925. “We found police brutality and industrial slavery.” Woodlawn, in Western Pennsylvania, was the fiefdom of Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation. As in coal mines in the West and timber and textile towns in the South, constitutional rights were all but suspended. Pete Muselin’s efforts to organize steelworkers there resulted in his arrest on multiple occasions and finally his imprisonment in the county workhouse for more than two years for sedition.
Part of the set: "Social Activists of the Last Century."