Michigan Copper Strike
Joseph Minerich was shot in the abdomen by a deputy near Hurontown on October 8th, 1913. His brother-in-law, Luka Plese, later reported that he and Minerich were walking back to Hurontown from Houghton when they passed Deputy James M. Pollack. Minerich made a remark to the deputy which so inflamed the deputy that he pulled out his gun and shot the striking miner. Minerich, though gravely wounded, was able to return fire. The deputy was shot in the head and died two hours later. Plese and Minerich managed to make their way to a boardinghouse in Hurontown, and Minerich was transported to a hospital in Hancock where he died the next night. Brother Minerich insisted until his death that he, alone, was responsible for the shooting of the deputy. Nevertheless, nine union men were rounded up in connection with the shooting of Deputy Pollack.
From the Miners' Bulletin of Oct 9th:
James Pollock Jr. a deputy sheriff of Houghton early Wednesday morning was found just outside the city limits with a bullet-hole behind his left ear, his brains oozing out from his scalp.Report on the incident from the U.S. Department of Labor:
Joseph Minerich a union man lies in St Joseph's hospital with a badly lacerated head and a wound in his abdomen which will no doubt prove fatal.
There seems to be some connection between the incidents. the Bulletin is not in position to throw any light on the tragedies. It is entirely possible that the mystery at present surrounding them may never be cleared away. The authorities are devoting all their energies to discovering the assailants of Pollock; the life of a striker has not counted at any time. Their action in this case is in striking contrast with the indifference shown after the brutal murders at Seeberville. But a few mornings ago the Gazette was boasting of Pollock's prowess in whipping a half dozen strikers at Hurontown. The Calumet News repeated the ghastly boast in the issue that told of his death. Such a boast at such a time seems rather hollow as though it was not such a great achievement after all. But the sense of decency is not possessed by the News.
On the morning of October 8 Deputy Sheriff James M. Pollack, Jr., was found in an unconscious and dying condition on the sidewalk leading from Houghton to Hurontown. He had a number of wounds in his scalp and a bullet hole in his head. He lived less than two hours and never regained consciousness. On the same morning Joseph Minerich, bleeding profusely from a wound in the abdomen, walked into a boarding house at Hurontown. He was taken to a hospital in Hancock and died the night of October 9. Until his death he maintained that no one else was implicated in the shooting.SOURCES
However, nine men suspected of having been with Minerich at the time of the shooting were arrested on the charge of murder. One of these men, named Luka Pease, a brother-in-law of Minerich, is alleged to have made a statement that he, Minerich, and another man were walking on the sidewalk toward Houghton, that Minerich said some thing to Pollack which Pease did not hear, that thereupon Pollack shot Minerich in the stomach, and that while Pease was holding Pollack the latter was shot by Minerich.
Rebels on the Range
-by Arthur W Thurner
"Published by authority of
Western Federation of Miners
to tell the truth regarding
the strike of copper miners."
-of Oct 9, 1913
Michigan Copper District Strike
-United States. Dept. of Labor,
-Walter B. Palmer, John B. Densmore, John A. Moffitt, Royal Meeker
U.S. Government Printing Office, 1914
-page 66 using scroll bar at bottom of document
Photo: Parade of 1913 Michigan Copper Strikers