Monday, September 5, 2011

Belle of the Labor Union - Labor Day, 1896

Recently I wrote about discovering family information due to the Hurricane Irene power outage. Without online distractions I spent quality time investigating overflowing files. Tucked away in the Springer folder was an entire branch of the family.

How fitting that one of the first ancestors discovered was Belle Pierson Springer. Belle was the wife of John Howard Springer, my husband's 1st cousin 2x removed.

Here are several articles outlining Belle's history as a labor organizer and union leader.

Among the new delegates to the International Typographical Union convention whose personality marked the proceedings were Miss Belle Pierson, of New Albany, Indiana ; Messrs. Willis S. Duniway, of Portland, Oregon ; George Stevens and S. J. Nevens, of Boston ; Phil Corcoran, of Salt Lake City, Utah, and G. J. Curtin, of Lynn, Massachusetts.

Labor Day - Fort Wayne News - September 8, 1896

Indianapolis, Sept. 8 - The laboring people of this city yesterday celebrated labor day by parading the streets in the morning and then taking trains for Anderson, Ind., where a state celebration was held. At Anderson they listened to addresses by Samuel Gompers, of the American Federation of Labor, and W. B. Prescott and Mrs. Belle Pierson Springer, of Typograhical union.

Fort Wayne News - October 7, 1896

On Saturday evening, Oct. 10, at A.O.U.W. hall, corner of Superior and Calhoun streets, Mrs. Belle Pierson Springer will deliver an address to the wage-earning women of this city. It is earnestly hoped that every woman will try to be present and listen to Mrs. Springer, who is an interesting speaker. She will be remembered as Belle Pierson, who organized the Working Girls' Federal Labor Union three years ago. Mrs. Springer is still an organizer of trade unions. Let every man, woman and child who is interested in the labor movement turn out and give Mrs. Springer a warm welcome.

I am having a wonderful time getting to know the fascinating Belle. So grateful to these pioneering ancestors for paving the road to make our lives easier.

Have a very safe and happy Labor Day!

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