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450 S Michigan Ave, AUD 1851
Chicago IL 60605
United States


Illinois Labor History Society

Biographies: B

Biographies: B

Eddie Balchowsky

(1916-1989) Grave 3, Sector G

A working-class poet, artist, musician and veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War, Eddie Balchowsky was, in the words of Studs Terkel, "Chicago's Huck Finn." Balchowsky grew up in Frankfort, Illinois, of Jewish parents who had emigrated from Poland.

After studying music at the University of Illinois, he responded to the call of Republican Spain and went there to fight Franco's fascism. Eddie lost his right hand and forearm in battle. His disability never vanquished his impulse to play music and Eddie learned to play beautifully with his left hand. He was also a gifted painter and writer. Intimately familiar with Chicago's neighborhood cafes and their downtrodden patrons, Balchowsky liked to call himself the "King of the Alleys."

Gertrude Berger

(1911-2000) [ashes scattered]

Born into a progressive Yiddish speaking family, Gertrude, first known as Gittel, attended Illinois Normal School for teachers.

Gert joined the Teachers Union and the CPUSA in 1937. She was an outspoken advocate of school desegregation and quality education for all children and was elected to the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates from Hayt School where she taught primary grades. Gert especially loved the kindergartners. Gertrude was a founding member of Concerned Rank and File Teachers, United Action Caucus, and the Labor Community Coalition to Save Public Education.

Gert was active in the Womens International League for Peace and Freedom and the Coalition of Labor Union Women. She worked her Rogers Park neighborhood for the 1983 election of Harold Washington as mayor of Chicago.

Fred H. Bergmann

(1857-1928) Grave 4,  Sector A

Little information on Fred H. Bergmann is available at the present time. He was believed to have been involved with the anarchist daily Arbeiter-Zeitung. Marie Bergmann (1845-1917) and Elizabeth Bergmann (1876-1911) are also in the plot and we have found no information on their connection to Fred Bergmann.


Clara Bielefeld

(1869-1935) Grave 5, Sector A

Clara Bielefeld and her sister Hermine "Minnie" are the daughters of Hermine and Frank C. Bielefeld. To the north are gravestones for Clara's mother and sister. More information on the Bielefelds is needed.

Frank C. Bielefeld

(1837-1911) Grave 6, Sector A [unmarked grave]

In the lot of Hermine Bielefeld, an unmarked grave exists for Frank Bielefeld, her husband and a key person relating to the activities surrounding the Haymarket incident. This grave is one of a number of unmarked graves in Radical Row where careful investigation of the deeds and lots led to this "discovery."

Before emigrating to the U.S., Frank Bielefeld had been a Prussian officer. In the U.S. he served in the Union army in the Civil War. Bielefeld was the Captain of Chicago's Lehr-und Wehr-Verein (Instruction and Protection Society), "a trade union militia organization founded in Chicago in 1875 whose mission was to defend unionists against police and industry thugs." The organization "resolved never again to be shot and beaten without resistance. Nor would they stand idly by while their meeting places were invaded or their wives and children assaulted."

Frank Bielefeld was one of the signatories to the 1886 document "To All Friends of an Administration of Justice in Chicago." During the period of the martyrs' trial, Bielefeld became business manager of the anarchist daily, Arbeiter-Zeitung.

Hermine Bielefeld

(1847-1892) Grave 6,  Sector A

This lot contains multiple burials, ashes interred and several gravestones. Four of those interred have been determined to belong to a single family, consisting of Frank and Hermine Bielefeld, who were husband and wife, and 2 of their daughters, Clara (1869-1935) and Hermine. The newer gravestone to the west is for Hermine "Minnie" Bielefeld (1884-1932). Five feet to the east is a badly worn marble gravestone for the mother and wife, Hermine Bielefeld (1847-1892). At this moment we know only that Hermine (1883-1892) was married to Frank C. Bielefeld (1847-1892). Also buried or ashes interred are Walter Bielefeld (1886-1890) and Fred Reichow ( ? -1896).

Hermine "Minnie" Bielefeld

(1884-1932) Grave 7, Sector A

More information is needed.

Arthur Boose

(1878-1959) [ashes scattered]

Wobbly soapboxer and organizer Arthur Boose was affectionately known to fellow workers throughout the U.S. as "Old War Horse Boose." Influenced by Lucy Parsons, he joined the IWW in1909 and remained in the IWW until his death. A decade later his ashes were brought to Forest Home cemetery and scattered at a May Day gathering.

Greta Lindquist Bradley

(1952-1989) Grave 8, Sector B

Bradley was born on Chicago's south side of immigrant parents. Her maternal grandparents were Welsh socialists and played an important part in her life. As a teenager, Bradley decided that she too was socialist. Upon entering college she joined the International Socialists, later leaving it when it splintered in a factional dispute. She later joined and became a board member of Chicago's Third Unitarian Church, serving for a while as chairperson of the church's social action committee.

Myron Reed "Slim" Brundage

(1903-1990) Grave 9, Sector D [ashes interred]

Described in the press as a farm hand, janitor, historian and tax resister, Slim Brundage was born in a mental hospital in Idaho. He worked as a mill hand, piano mover, and organizer for the IWW, and for most of his years was a house painter. When he arrived in Chicago, he obtained work as a bartender at the irreverent Dill Pickle Club. During Prohibition, he spent 30 days in jail for serving liquor at the Club to two federal agents. In the 1950's and 1960's Brundage owned pubs under the College of Complexes name at several Chicago sites. Each one served as an open forum for intellectuals, poets, politicians and folk singers. Blackboards were part of the décor, as patrons were encouraged to express themselves at will.

Ellen R. Budow


(1952-1974) Grave 10, Sector B

An anti-Vietnam war activist at Evanston Township High School, Ellen Budow went on to study art and art history at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She was jailed for organizing a campaign for better working conditions for food service workers on campus. Later in Massachusetts, she was a United Electrical Workers (UE) organizer and labor activist. Her early death was the result of a misdiagnosis of pneumonia.

Charles G. Burroughs

(1919-1994) [ashes scattered]

Burroughs was born in Brooklyn, NY and in 1928 his mother Williana, a teacher and member of the CPUSA, took her two sons to the Soviet Union. There they remained through secondary school. He became an apprentice toolmaker and later worked for the Soviet circus. Known as "Charley," he was fluent in Russian and a scholar of the great Russian poet and writer Pushkin. He loved reciting Pushkin in his gravely base voice. In 1945, he was drafted into WWII. He returned to the U.S. and graduated from Roosevelt University in American history.

Charley moved to Chicago and married Margaret Goss, a school teacher. In 1961, he and Margaret Burroughs founded the DuSable Museum of African-American History in the living and dining room of their home. He served as the Museum's first curator. In 1973 the DuSable Museum moved to its permanent home in Washington Park, in Chicago's South Side.

Charles is author of 2 books of poetry; Home and More Poems.