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


Illinois Labor History Society

Biographies: H

Biographies: H

Elizabeth Hall

(1909-2003) Grave 22, Sector B [unmarked grave]

Elizabeth Mary Turner (Elizabeth Hall) grew up on a dairy farm north of Youngstown, Ohio, the daughter of fervent supporters of the Daily Worker and Hungarian language press. As a young woman, Elizabeth played semi-pro basketball and won a college scholarship to study math. She chose to forgo college to help support her family. She married Gus Hall in 1935 and was an integral part of the steelworkers union organizing campaign, going house to house signing up members for the CPUSA and the steelworkers union. Elizabeth herself worked as a steelworker.

During the McCarthy-era persecution of the Communist Party, Elizabeth struggled to support and raise the couple's 2 children, enduring FBI harassment while Gus was underground and when he served time in Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary.

Moving to New York in the late 1950's, Elizabeth was an active participant in peace and disarmament struggles and was a leader of the Yonkers club of the CPUSA, which was active in the campaign to de-segregate Yonkers public schools.

Gus Hall

(1910-2000) Sector B [unmarked grave]

Gus Hall was born Arvo Gustav Halberg, one of 8 children of Finnish immigrants on Minnesota's Mesabe Iron Range. Both parents were revolutionaries, members of the IWW and founders of the CPUSA.

Hall joined the YCL in 1927. He worked as a lumberjack and steelworker. He found himself blacklisted following his role as an organizer of the 1931 Minneapolis Teamster strike. He chopped off the beginning and end of his birth name and kept what was left - Gus Hall - as his new name.

Gus Hall was a founding member of the Steel Workers Organizing Committee and a leader of the Warren-Youngstown Little Steel Strike in 1937. In Youngstown he met and married Elizabeth Turner. He served in the US Navy during World War II from 1942-1946. In the 1950's Hall, along with nearly the entire national and state level leaderships of the Communist Party, was indicted under the Smith Act of "conspiring to teach the advocacy" of overthrowing the US government by force and violence, a charge the defendants vehemently denied. He went underground and was ultimately captured and sentenced to eight years in Leavenworth Prison.

In 1959 Gus Hall was elected General Secretary of the Communist Party, a position he held until 1995. He ran for President on the Party ticket four times advocating "Bill of Rights Socialism." A working class intellectual, Hall authored numerous articles and books, including Working Class USA and Fighting Racism.

Samuel T. Hammersmark

(1872-1957) Grave 23, Sector B

Hammersmark was only 14 when the Haymarket martyrs were hanged. The hangings shocked him and he became an anarchist himself and later joined the IWW. Discouraged by what he regarded as the IWW's lack of effectiveness, he joined William Z. Foster's Syndicalist League.

Hammersmark worked with Foster and Chicago Federation of Labor in organizing hundreds of thousands of steelworkers and meatpacking workers. He worked with his African-American friend, James W. Ford, in organizing the Post Office Workers Union. As a member of the CPUSA he later established a Marxist bookstore in Chicago, the Modern Bookstore. In his last years he was a close friend of Lucy Parsons.

Raymond Hansbrough

(1903-1950) Grave 24, Sector B

Hansbrough was an African-American steel worker on Chicago's south side. In the 1930's and 1940's he became a leader of the CPUSA and prominent figure in the campaigns to free the Scottsboro Nine (nine young African- American men who were framed on rape charges in Alabama in 1931) and Angelo Herndon (a Black youth framed on "insurrection" charges in Atlanta in1932 while organizing for food relief); all victims of an unjust and racist judicial system. Hansbrough was also active in the left wing cultural movement of that era, particularly in art and drama.

In the 1940's, Hansbrough moved to New York City, where he helped provide leadership to the CPUSA's Black Liberation Commission. Hansbrough was married to Amelia Ferguson, a civil rights leader.

Clarence A. Hathaway

(1894-1963) Grave 25, Sector B

Clarence Hathaway, a machinist from Minnesota, was a charter member of the CPUSA in 1919. He was a founder of Minnesota Farmer Labor Party in 1920, and served as vice-president of the Minnesota Federation of Labor in 1923. While he is closely linked with the Minnesota farm struggles on the 1930's, Hathaway also did stints as the CPUSA's Illinois district organizer and as editor of its national newspaper, the Daily Worker. Hathaway is also remembered as chief prosecutor in the famous CPUSA public trial of August Yokinen on charges of white chauvinism in 1931. In this celebrated trial before a multi-racial audience of 1,500, Hathaway delivered a scathing critique of racism.

At the end of his life Hathaway was Chair of the NY District of the CPUSA and a member of its National Board.

William "Big Bill" Haywood

(1869-1928) [ashes scattered]

William Dudley Haywood was born in Salt Lake City. He made his living as a miner, a cowboy and a homesteader. In 1896 he became a charter member of the Western Federation of Miners, and for the next decade he led his fellow miners in a bitter and often violent class war against the mine operators. In 1905 he helped found the IWW.

Haywood was a major source of inspiration and leadership to striking workers from one end of the country to the other. He was a prominent figure in the "Free Speech Movement," a movement which sought to establish the right of workers to hold public meetings free of police and employer violence. He was also the frequent target of employer-inspired harassment and frame-ups.

Savage government repression of the IWW escalated when it opposed U.S. involvement in WWI. The national headquarters was raided, and Haywood and 105 others were jailed. Carl Sandburg reported the IWW trial for the Chicago Daily News and wrote kindly of Haywood. Found guilty of seditious activities, Haywood was sentence to 30 years in Leavenworth and a $30,000 fine. When out on bail in1921, he fled to Moscow and worked on his autobiography. Late in his life he became a member of the CPUSA. Upon his death, half of his ashes were brought to Forest Home cemetery. The other half are interred in the Kremlin wall.

Rachel Brin Helstein

(1915-2007) Grave 26, Sector B

Rachel was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was the daughter of Arthur Brin and Fanny Fligelman Brin. Her father, the founder of the Brin Glass Company, was active in Jewish philanthropies. Her mother was a suffragette and a pacifist, and was invited to be an observer at the San Francisco founding of the United Nations. Rachel came to the University of Chicago in 1935, where she majored in comparative literature and lived at International House. Rachel played the piano and harpsichord and was an early member of the Music of the Baroque. She worked at Planned Parenthood and was president of the National Council of Jewish Women. In 1939 she married attorney Ralph Helstein and was a strong supporter of his work.

Ralph L. Helstein


(1908-1985) Grave 26, Sector B

Helstein, a product of the Farmer-Labor Party era in Minnesota, served as attorney for the newly organized Congress of Industrial Organization (CIO) unions in that state. In 1942 he came to Chicago as general counsel for the United Packinghouse Workers of America (UPWA) and later served as its International President from 1946 to 1968. Under Helstein's leadership, the UPWA was noted for its major gains for packinghouse workers and for its commitment to civil rights. He was also an ardent supporter of Highlander Center, a grassroots training center in rural Tennessee. In his later years he joined Michael Harrington and others on the board of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee.

Beatrice Hepp

(1895-1899) Grave 27, Sector A

A few yards from the Haymarket Monument is a headstone which reads Hepp and Hartman. There are names on the gravestone and additional persons listed on the deed:

The Hepps buried here include Charles Hepp (1853-1890), Louis F. Hepp (1899-1954) and Beatrice Hepp (1895-1899).

Charles Hepp

(1853-1890) Grave 27, Sector A

Charles Hepp was the grand marshal of the Haymarket Martyrs' funeral procession. He was also the first husband of Regina Hepp. After the death of Regina's husband, Charles Hepp and following the death of Meta Neebe, Oscar Neebe's first wife, Oscar Neebe married Regina Hepp on July 12, 1893, one year after Neebe was released from prison. Regina Hepp/Regina Neebe (1866-1921) had emigrated from Germany in 1883. After her marriage to her second husband, Oscar Neebe, both managed her stockyards saloon. Oscar and Regina had 3 children: Rudolph W. Neebe (1897- ); Walter H. Neebe (1899-1927) and Elsie Neebe (1902-1921). Regina may have been the caretaker for Oscar Neebe's children while he was in jail. She was listed as "Mrs. Elise Hepp" on the certificate of her marriage to Oscar, but was listed as "Regina" in the census and on her death certificate. The name Regina or Elsie Hepp is not listed on the deed for this lot. The location of her burial is unknown at this time. For all of us to better understand the people surrounding the Haymarket Affair, we are leaving her bio in this document but her burial location is not know at the time of this publication.

Serena Hepp


(1883-1968) Grave 28, Sector F

Because of the unusual last name and close proximity of the Hepp graves--on both sides of the roadway, we are presuming that there is a family connection. We continue to research her life for more information.

Joe Hill

(1882-1915) [ashes scattered]

Joe Hill, born Joel Emmanuel Haagland in Sweden, came to New York with his brother Paul in 1901. He traveled throughout the U.S., working various jobs, and joined the IWW in 1910. He helped organize dock workers in San Pedro and took part in the "Free Speech Movement" in San Diego. In 1913, he helped construction workers win an organizing strike in Bingham, Utah, which earned him the hatred of the big copper companies.

Hill was a working-class cartoonist and troubadour; his many songs include 'Casey Jones – the Union Scab,' 'Rebel Girl,' and 'The Preacher and the Slave' (often known as 'Pie in the Sky").

In 1914, Hill was framed on a murder charge by the copper bosses. He was executed by a firing squad on November 19, 1915, despite a worldwide campaign to release him. His ashes were scattered on every continent and in every state except Utah. The envelope containing his ashes for Illinois were scattered at the Haymarket Martyrs monument. The memory of Joe Hill has been immortalized in the song "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night" written by Alfred Hayes and Earl Robinson.