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Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.

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Business and Industry - Labor - Unions - United Mine Workers of America

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Alexander Howat

Alexander Howat
Creator: Literary Digest
Date: December 31, 1921
A photograph of Alexander Howat, "czar of the Kansas coal fields" copied from Literary Digest. Howat was chiefly responsible for the organization of a powerful and aggressive union for coal workers in southeast Kansas. In 1919, during a general coal strike, Howat and District 14 stood firm in spite of pressure from Governor Henry Allen. This is probably one of the big reasons why Allen introduced the Kansas Industrial Court Law. Howat was bitterly opposed to the law and immediately set out to discredit it. District 14 pledged full support to their president. When he called a strike in defiance of the law, he was sent to jail in Girard, then in Columbus, and finally in Ottawa. The officers of the International United Mine Workers of America ordered him to call off his strike. He refused and thus in 1921 was expelled from the Union.


Secretary to Governor Henry J. Allen to Local Union 4405, United Mine Workers Association

Secretary to Governor Henry J. Allen to Local Union 4405, United Mine Workers Association
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1919-1923 : Allen)
Date: January 10, 1920
In this letter, the secretary to Kansas Governor Henry J. Allen of Topeka writes to United Mine Workers of America local 4405 in Arcadia, Kansas, in response to a letter of protest received a few days earlier. The letter attempts calm the fears of labor representatives that unions will not receive fair treatment by the proposed Kansas Court of Industrial Relations.


United Mine Workers of America resolution pardoning of Alex Howat

United Mine Workers of America resolution pardoning of Alex Howat
Creator: United Mine Workers of America
Date: January 5, 1923
John Morgan and James Hunter of Arma, Kansas, were leaders of the United Mine Workers of America Local Union 3962. In this resolution they ask Kansas governor Jonathon Davis to "right the wrong that was committed by the Industrial Court Law" by pardoning Alex Howat, August Dorchy, Willard Titus, John Fleming Sr, James McIlwrath and Hearl Maxwell from the county jail in Girard. All of these men protested the creation of the Court of Industrial Relations and refused to follow rules set forth by the court, and were subsequently jailed. During his run for governor, Davis opposed the Court of Industrial Relations and campaigned that if elected he would work to abolish the court. The Industrial Court was created in a special session of the Kansas legislature in 1920 to oversee labor disputes in the state.


Workmen's Compensation Law

Workmen's Compensation Law
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: 1915
This file includes correspondence relating to workmen's compensation law. Topics included, but not limited to, in the correspondence is financial responsibility for paying workers compensation, specifically for coal miners, and reduced pay for workers with permanent injuries from work related accidents. This is part of a bigger collection of Governor Arthur Capper correspondence.


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