Cork born Mother Jones to get a historic road marker on the famous Route 66 in Illinois

A new Historic Marker to be unveiled to Cork born Mother Jones in Illinois near Route 66.

The Cork Mother Jones Committee welcomes the wonderful news that a new Historic Roadside Marker monument is to be unveiled near the I-55 Southbound Coalfield Roadway in honour of Cork born woman Mother Jones.

The large marker has been placed with the cooperation of the Illinois Department of Transportation and will be unveiled on Monday 11th December next by Mr. Brian O’Brien, Ireland’s Consulate General in Chicago.

“We are delighted to congratulate the Mother Jones Heritage Project committee in Illinois for their enormous work to ensure that Mary Harris/Mother Jones is never forgotten. We especially wish to thank Professor Rosemary Feurer who has brought this project to fruition in Illinois and who has supported and inspired the Spirit of Mother Jones festival over the past 6 years and has spoken at it twice.” stated James Nolan of the Cork Mother Jones Committee.

In addition to the Irish Consulate, representatives of the Illinois AFL-CIO, Illinois Labour History Society, the United Mine Workers of America, the Irish American Heritage Centre, the Route 66 Association and many others will attend the historic unveiling of the Mother Jones Marker.

The Coalfield rest area where the Marker is placed receives over 1 million visitors each year. This is the brainchild of the Mother Jones Heritage Project which established a museum near Mount Olive where Mother Jones is buried.

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Previously unrecorded song about Mother Jones surfaces in the US

A previously unrecorded song about Mother Jones, written in 1902, has surfaced in the United States where it was written to welcome Mother Jones to a gathering of miners in Iowa.

On the Appalachian activists listserv, Marat Moore heard about a new CD on the Battle of Blair Mountain. It won’t be released until August 1, next coincidentally Mother Jones Day in Cork and on it is this previously unrecorded song from 1902 called “Welcome, Mother Jones” sung to Mother Jones when she went to see coal miners in Iowa. Marat, a former US miner, writer and founding member of the Daughters of Mother Jones will be participating in our festival in Cork on August 1st.

Welcome Mother Jones

Submitted to the United Mine Workers Journal, printed October 16th, 1902.
Note from Journal: “The following verses, composed by the local bard Jenkin D. Reese were sung by him and family Monday evening at the meeting in the courtroom.” (Mahaska, Iowa).

All Hail, Mother Jones, to Mahaska,
The Garden of Eden in soil;
That has been the gem of all Iowa
In production of coal and of toil.
The smiling of faces that greets you,
Our heroine of labor and right,
God bless your dear soul, is our feeling
For visiting ‘Aska tonight.

The themes of your speeches are grander,
And richer than silver and gold;
The life of the mansions eternal,
Where wisdom and love will unfold.
Steer forward! March on with thy mission;
Through strife and injunction be brave,
And follow the steps of the leader,
The starving and toilers to save!

The world of today is advancing,
But Nero is yet on the throne;
And Croesus with iron rod ruling,
The devil will soon take his own.
The light of millennium is dawning,
The ages unborn will be blest;
Mother Jones will be ever remembered
When her soul joins the heavenly rest.