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


Illinois Labor History Society

Biographies: T-V

Biographies: T-V

Eva Terveen

(1911-1991) [ashes scattered]

Born in Russia, Eva came to the United States with her Family in 1923. Very early in life Eva Terveen embraced the maxim, "An injury to one is an injury to all," and in her years as a worker in the garment and machine tool industries, she put the maxim into practice. An ardent union organizer, Terveen also had a keen sense of injustice; she fought to free Sacco and Vanzetti, the Scottsboro Nine, and, in later years, the Rosenbergs and Angela Davis. A passionate foe of exploitation and racism, Eva Terveen was a member of the CPUSA for more than 50 years.

John Nicolas Thale

(1964-2009) Grave 73, Sector E

John Thale was a lifelong human rights activist, teacher of immigrants, and dedicated unionist.  Born in Milwaukee, Thale was raised in a family of teachers and scholars who identified strongly with Catholic social justice traditions. Spurred to question American foreign policy at Milwaukee's Jesuit Marquette High School, he became active in opposing U.S. Policy in Central America, joining the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He studied Spanish in Guatemala, and traveled in Central America. He was in Mexico City during the massive earthquake of 1985.

Thale worked for CISPES in Washington, D.C., as a student organizer, and then in New York City.  Associates described him as a focused and dedicated organizer with a strong sense of strategy.

Moving to Chicago in 1989, Thale taught English as a Second Language for five years at Truman College. For a decade in the Chicago Public Schools, he taught mostly Mexican immigrant children in dual-language programs in Pilsen. Both at Truman and in city schools, John was a union activist.

Fred W. Thompson

(1900-1987) [ashes scattered]

Wobbly organizer and historian Fred Thompson was born in Canada and came to the U.S. in 1922. Convicted of "criminal syndicalism," he served nearly 4 years at San Quentin penitentiary in the 1920's. Editor of the Industrial Worker for many years, Thompson also taught Marxist economics and labor history at the IWW Work People's College in Duluth. In the later years he was active in the Socialist Party. In the early 1970's he spearheaded the reorganization of the old Charles H. Kerr co-operative publishing house in Chicago, and became increasingly involved in radical environmentalism, exemplifying the Wobbly slogan, "let's make this planet a good place to live." A prolific writer, his IWW: Its First Seventy Years, is still in print. His autobiography Fellow Worker was published in 1993.

Michael Asher Thorburn

(1948-2007 ) Grave 74, Sector D

In 1969, at the age of 21, Michael Thorburn led the takeover of the Upsala College administration building in a protest against the Vietnam War. That same year, he participated in the Black Panther Party's Breakfast Program in San Francisco.

In search of the party that would lead to a socialist/communist transformation of the US, Michael had meetings with the Weathermen, the Progressive Labor Party and the CPUSA. He was active in the Black Panther Defense Committee and joined the Communist Party. He wrote for the Daily World, covering a Panther trial in Jersey City. He left the CPUSA and became active in the Revolutionary Union and the American Communist Workers Movement (ML), which later became the Marxist Leninist Party (ML). In 1984, he left ML to form the Workers Party. He was its First Secretary at the time of his death.

James E.P. Toman

 (1915-1970) Grave 75, Sector G

James was born in Connecticut of Irish working-class parents, his father being a railroad worker. James was educated at Clark and Princeton Universities where he received a doctorate in Biology. He taught at the state universities of Maryland, Utah and Vermont. James became the chair of the Department of Pharmacology at Chicago Medical School. His research was on brain physiology and pharmacology.

James and his wife Maralyn were long time supporters of peace and justice issues. They worked diligently for open housing in the late 1950's in the Garfield Park area and later in Oak Park Illinois. James was an avid guitarist and folk singer.

Alexander L. Trachtenberg

(1885-1966) Grave 76, Sector B

Trachtenberg, or "Trachty," as he was known by his friends and comrades, was a leading writer, educator and publisher of works on Marxism. He was a student at Yale and wrote his dissertation in philosophy. First active in the Socialist Party, he was a founding member of the CPUSA in 1919. He founded International Publishers, a major Marxist publishing house, and wrote several historical works including a pamphlet entitled The History of May Day.

Trachtenberg was jailed for his writings and leadership of the Jefferson School of Social Studies in New York in the late 1940's and 1950's. He was jailed for contempt of Congress when he would not turn over school records to the McCarthites. He was active in the John Reed Clubs that spread on campuses and among artistic circles.

Frances Vivian

(1912-1995) [ashes scattered]

Fran Vivian worked as a librarian at the Art Institute of Chicago. A life-long member of the CPUSA, she was especially passionate about the fight for civil rights. During the McCarthyite repression of the 1950's she risked being cited for contempt of court and possible jail time by refusing to testify in a deportation hearing.

Joe Vlad

(1881-1977) [ashes scattered]

Born in Hungary, Joe Vlad came to the U.S. at the turn of the 20th Century after serving in the army of the Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Joe joined the IWW in 1913 in Akron, Ohio during the rubber strike. In the 1930's, Joe was active in the IWW Unemployed Union in Chicago and in the Cleveland metal drive.

Joe was an archetypical "Jimmy Higgins", active in the IWW until the day he died. In 1969 he took part in anti-Vietnam War demonstrations and walked the picket-line during the IWW's strike at Hip Products in 1971. He was well into his 90s when he passed away.

Louis Vormbrock

(1855-1892) Grave 77, Sector A

Little information on the life of Louis Vormbrock is available at the present time. He was believed to have been involved with the anarchist daily Arbeiter-Zeitung. The cemetery deed (purchased by Fred H. Bergmann) lists the spelling of his name as Vornbrock, were as the headstone spelling is Vormbrock. Also in the lot is Hans Radensleben (1863-1898). There is no information about Hans Radensleben in our research.