“Tough-minded and testy, a hard-rock miner and SWOC organizer who did his job for 30 years; who saw the need for ILHS and made it come to pass.”
During his career, Garvey was active in several professional and labor-related organizations such as the Midwest Labor Press Association, the International Labor Press Association, the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and the Parkview Civic Association of Chicago. Garvey served as a United Steelworkers of America staff representative for over thirty years. He spent the majority of his career in the Midwest, mostly in the Chicago, Illinois, area.
“Pioneer leader and spokesman for the Illinois miners on the national stage as early as 1873, mayor, legislator, ‘tramp’ organizer and vice-president of the AFL in 1888.”
Within a few years after immigrating to the United States from Scotland about 1869, McLaughlin wrote and lobbied for the first Illinois Mine Safety Law. During the 1870s, he became a leader of the Knights of Labor on behalf of miners’ rights. In 1885 McLaughlin founded the National Federation of Miners and Mine Laborers. Shortly before his death in 1891, he became the first Vice-President of the AFL.
“Eloquent, tireless, courageous, and inspired educator and rebel organizer of her people in Labor’s Cause, the Mother Jones of Illinois.”
Wieck began her career as a teacher but became instrumental in promoting the interests of coal miners throughout the United States. She also promoted the rights of women. During the 1930s she served as president of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Progressive Miners of America. Her major work, Woman from Spillertown as well as her contributions to the Illinois Miner did a great deal to promote the causes of both women and workers.