Saturday July 11, 1914
From Goodwin's Weekly: Old Polly Pry Charges Read into Congressional Record
The charges are repeated in the article shown below, and it is with some interests that we note that the name "Polly Pry" is not mentioned. Perhaps the good Congressman from Colorado does not want his name associated with the "reporter" Polly Pry, nor with her scandal sheet of the same name.
TRUE RECORD AND LIFE OF NEFARIOUS 'MOTHER" JONES
By John R. Thornby.
Congressman Kindel of Colorado created a sensation in the house of representatives on June 13, when he presented to it what he claimed was the record of "Mother" Jones, who has been held up to public admiration as a spotless angel of benevolence. The documents which Congressman Kindel presented to the house of representatives and now appear as part of the Congressional Record of June 13, were, he said, obtained by him from the public library in Denver.
"They contain much valuable information concerning the life and character of this stormy petrel," added the Colorado congressman as he handed up to the clerk of the house of representatives the appended statements about "Mother" Jones.
The mine owners of Colorado obtained part of the information in their own state and an agent in San Francisco was commissioned to get whatever links of the chain were to be obtained from residents of this city. Following is the biographical sketch as it now stands in the records of congress. It is interesting reading as it depicts a totally different person from the tenderhearted, pious and philanthropic old lady to whom Mrs. Fremont Older and other talented newspaper correspondents devoted pages of eulogy as the greatest living exponent of true womanly qualities, and most persecuted and courageous of female martyrs to a great cause. Unfortunately for Mother Jones, her biography as written up by her newspaper friends is not preserved in the records of congress, and Congressman Kindel's terrible contribution is part of the nation's archives.
The Petrel's Stormy Life.
People settled in Maine. Educated in common school. Taught a country school for several years.
Married a prosperous farmer, and when widowed immediately allied herself with a labor movement then attracting attention in the east, claiming that she wanted to elevate the laboring classes, educationally and socially.
Began to associate with labor leaders and reformer's at the time of the A. R. U. strike of 1894. Since then has kept pretty busy stirring things up. Has had a record or never advocating peace nor arbitration; but always being for strife and war.
Was particularly prominent in the Pittsburg strike of 1895, miners' strike of 1897, central Pennsylvania strike of 1899 and 1900, the coal strike of last year in the anthracite district of Pennsylvania, and the textile strike in Philadelphia.
During the latter strike she placed herself at the head of one hundred men, women and children, and started with them on a march to Oyster Bay to interview President Roosevelt and demand his intervention in behalf of the strikers. She held daily meetings along the route, soliciting subscriptions for the maintenance of her party, and finally landed at Oyster Bay but she did not see tho president, and the expedition ended there.
That is the record, so far as the labor movement is concerned, of the woman known from Maine to California as "Mother Jones," labor agitator and leader-"Mother" Jones, who is always at the front when there is strife, with her battle cry of "We'd rather fight than work;" "Mother" Jones, who gets $5 per day and expenses so long as there is trouble brewing; who since 1900 has received a salary from the mine workers' organization, and who is said to be worth any five men as an agitator.
The Scarlet Woman.
But down in tho Pinkerton office there is another record, one that reaches back in 1889, when- "Mother" Jones was a well-known character, not alone in the "red-light" district of Denver, but in Omaha, Kansas City, Chicago, and in San Francisco.
That record covers many pages, but a few of 'the facts are all that are necessary to show you the character of this petticoated reformer.
They say of her:Vulgar, heartless, vicious creature, with a fiery temper and a coldblooded brutality rare even in the slums.And this is the woman the women and children of the deluded call "Mother"
An inmate of "Jennie Roger's" house on Market street, Denver, some twelve years ago. She got into trouble with the Rogers woman for bribing all of her girls to leave her and go to a house in Omaha, for which act she was paid a procuress fee of $5 to $10 a piece for the girls.
She was a confidential servant in Rose Lovejoy's private house on Market street, Denver, and with her several years.
Was well known to Annie Wilson, another Denver woman, who ran a place on Market street, afterwards had a place in Cripple Creek, and now lives in Kansas City.
Known to Lolo Livingston, with whom she went to San Francisco.
Lived in Eva 'Lewis's house on Market street at the time Coxey's army passed through Denver, and took a prominent part in the Denver preparations for their care.
Is known to Harry Loss, a piano player at 1925 Market street, who says he knew her first in Omaha in 1894, when she lived in a house at Tenth and Douglas. She was then selling clothes to the girls.
A sewing woman for tho sporting class, living on Lawrence street (name withheld), knew her twelve or fifteen years ago, when she lived with Minnie Hall, and afterwards with Jennie Rogers; says it was commonly reported that she was a procuress by trade, etc
"Mother" Jones always was a changeable being, ever since she was known as "Mother" Harris, in May, 1889, when she leased the house then standing on what is now 2114 Market street, between Twenty-first and Twenty-second streets.
She refurnished it from top to bottom and soon opened it as a "house" that afterwards became one of the most notorious in the city.
Had seven inmates, who were known as "the best looking girls on the row." For several months took great pride in the character of her house and the class that patronized it. At that time, it was the most exclusive house on Market street.
Made a specialty of midnight lunches and social card games, at which unlimited gambling was indulged in.
Four months after opening the house had over $15,000 on deposit in city banks.
Had a "friend" at that time called "Blackleg."
He deserted her in September and went to New Mexico with an inmate of the house. After that, "Mother" went to the bad.
Took to drink and was arrested several times on the charge of drunkenness and disorderly conduct. Left her "house" to manage itself, and in a short time it became one of the typical dives of Market street.
By November 15th she had spent the $15,000 she had on deposit in the bank only a few months before and borrowed $2,500 from S. H. Engel, a loan broker, giving a chattel mortgage on the furniture in the "house."
On December 20, 1899, the mortgage was foreclosed, the furniture sold and the house closed.
'Mother" Jones then became an inmate of the "Minnie Hall House."
Interesting, isn't it?
-San Francisco Wasp.
(Salt Lake City, Utah)
-July 11, 1914
See also: Hellraisers + Polly pry
The Death of Mother Jones-Gene Autry
O'er the hills and through the valley
In ev'ry mining town;
Mother Jones was ready to help them,
She never turned them down.
On front with the striking miners
She always could be found;
And received a hearty welcome
In ev'ry mining town.