10/3/2013 8:58:00 AM Taylorville woman to portray Mother Jones in Virden mine tragedy reenactment Battle of Virden anniversary set for Saturday, October 12
VIRDEN — Saturday, October 12, marks the 115th anniversary of The Battle of Virden. The Virden Sesquicentennial Group, sponsors of the Battle of Virden Monument, plans a short program commemorating this anniversary on Saturday, October 12, at 1:30 p.m. in the city park at the monument site. The celebration is open to the public.
The event will begin and end with music by Tory Grady, compliments of the Route 66 Music Shop in Virden. Mother Jones, as performed by Jodi Hogge of Taylorville, will make a special appearance. Virden historian John Alexander will also give a short talk titled, "Ten Things You Should Know about the Virden Mine Battle."
The event also features book signings by local area authors: Larry and Donna Mahan of Palmyra and Don Dennis of Springfield. The Mahans’ book “20 Day Trips In and Around the Shawnee National Forest” has recently been named the best travel guide of the year by the American Library Association. It is a soft cover book, published by Southern Illinois University Press and sells for $19.95.
A 1915 murder in little Hillview, Illinois, provides the basis for a new book by Don Dennis, which he has titled “The Witwer Files.” The murder involves the village police chief, a local gang leader, and a trip for one to the Greene County Jail in Carrollton. Dennis has added some imaginary conversation to this otherwise true crime tale. The author's family connects to the story and should appeal to fans of local history, true crime, and genealogy. The book is in soft back and sells for $16.95.
On October 12, 1898, in Virden, Illinois, thirteen people perished, including eight coal miners who were killed by armed guards hired by owners of the Chicago-Virden Coal Company (at that time the largest producing coal mine in Illinois).
The battle that resulted from a lockout was a milestone in the success of the labor movement in the United States and assured the future of the United Mine Workers of America.
The Battle of Virden Miners’ Monument depicting this important event in coal mining and labor history was dedicated in the downtown park in October 2006.
The Battle of Virden Miners’ Monument is a project of the Virden Sesquicentennial Group, a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization created to promote Virden’s Sesquicentennial in 2002 and other historical projects.