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You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Tuesday August 9, 1904
Colorado - Michael O'Connell, Deposed City Marshal of Victor, Found Dead in Denver

Citizens Alliance Terror, Cripple Creek Strike, from the Appeal to Reason of June 25, 1904
We have received a sad report from Mrs. Emma Langdon of Victor regarding the well-liked former city marshal of Victor, Michael O'Connell. O'Connell was one of the men recently released from the bull pen after the attorney for the Western Federation of Miners was able to secure their bonds.

Mrs. Langdon reports: that upon his release, Michael O'Connell left his home in Victor and went to Denver; that he arrived in that city on August 5th;  that the following evening he met his death by falling from a window of the fourth story of the Markham hotel; that the cause of his fall from the window remains shrouded in mystery; that some believe that his mind had become partly unbalanced on account of the indignities he suffered while an inmate of "bull pen," while others are of the opinion that his death was an accident. However, asserts Mrs. Langdon, a large majority of the deported miners, now in the city, are openly charging that he has been deliberately murdered by a paid assassin.

Mrs. Langdon states that the deposed marshal's untimely death is deeply regretted by all who were acquainted with him, with the possible exception of a few people who are interested in the Mine Owners' Association and Citizens' Alliance.

Mr. O'Connell, while acting as marshal, won the esteem of all persons with whom he had dealings on account of impartiality and a desire to maintain the law, regardless of who were the offenders. It was on account of this well-known trait of his character, that he was deposed from office and persecuted, as it did not suit the purposes of the element, carrying things with a high hand in the district, to have a marshal who was impartial and would enforce the law and protect the interests of all alike.

From The Wichita Daily Eagle of August 7th:


Was It Accident, Suicide Or Foul Play.
O'Connell Was Formerly City Marshal of Victor.

Denver. Colo., Aug. 6.-M. W. O'Connell, former marshal of Victor, Colo., came to his death this evening by falling from a fourth story window in the rear of the Markham hotel.

There is doubt as to whether O'Connell met with an accident, committed suicide, or was murdered. The police hold to the suicide theory on the ground that the accident could hardly have happened, as the window of the toilet room was not raised over four inches high.

It is believed that he has enemies who would not hesitate to kill him. Against this theory is the fact that none of his enemies have been seen in the neighborhood of the hotel and there is no evidence of a struggle.

Shortly before 6 o'clock O'Connell went to his room in the Markham to change his clothing. Ten minutes later his dead body was picked up on the pavement below the toilet room window. That he had started to dress is evident from the fact that his coat and hat were found in his room. The police are investigating the various theories of O'Connell's death.

O'Connell was marshal of Victor at the time of the Victor riot, June 6, and swore in a number of union men to help him protect the peace. For this reason he was removed from office by the mayor of Victor and later was charged with participating in the riot. He was only yesterday released on $10,000 bonds. O'Connell's friends say he was not a drinking man and that he was a great favorite of the union men throughout the Cripple Creek District.

Western Federation of Miners Button
Victor, Colo., Aug. 6.-Michael O'Connell, whose death occurred in Denver today, was a working miner, coming here from Leadville five years ago. He was 43 years old and was born at Buffalo, N. Y., near which city his father was a farmer. He leaves a wife and three children, who are now in this city, where the former marshal owned his home. In 1900 O'Connell was elected city marshal on the Republican-Populist ticket and served two years. He was defeated on re-nomination on the Republican ticket, but in 1903 was again elected on the straight Republican ticket. He would have held office until next April if the riot had not occurred on June 6, when he was removed by Mayor French.

O'Connell was a member of the Western Federation of Miners, belonging to the Victor union. He was also a member of the local Elks.

Citizens' Alliance Calls the Bondsmen Onto the Carpet.

Cripple Creek, Colo., Aug. 6.--Eight of the forty-eight men who were arrested after the Independence explosion and charge with murder, conspiracy and the Victor riot and murder, have been released on bonds furnished by business men of the district in sums ranging for $1,500 to $10,000.

These bondsmen have been summoned before the Citizens' Alliance to give their reasons for going on the bonds.

Former Sheriff Henry M. Robinson, who returned to the district Thursday, departed today for Denver, after having made a formal demand upon Under-Sheriff Parsons for possession of the office which he asserts he was forced to resign under duress. He says he will attempt to regain his former position through the courts. While here Mr. Robertson was compelled under threat of arrest to report twice daily at the sheriff's office.

Appeal to Reason of June 25, 1904, Cripple Creek Strike, Sheriff of Teller Co. forced to resign.


The Cripple Creek Strike
A History of Industrial Wars in Colorado, 1903-4-5
-by Emma F Langdon
"Being a Complete and Concise
History of the Efforts of
Organized Capital
to Crush Unionism"
The Great Western Publishing Co.
Denver,Colorado, 1905

The Wichita Daily Eagle
(Wichita, Kansas)
 -of Aug 7, 1904

See also:


1). Siberia, Colorado, USA
  from Appeal to Reason, June 25, 1904
2). Western Federation of Miners Button
3). Rope for the Sheriff
 from Appeal to Reason, June 25, 1904

Union Man - Blue Highway

And when my life is over, don't mourn my passing long
Organize resistance and keep the Union strong

Here's to every miner who dared to take a stand
who lived to feed his family and died a Union man.

                                  -Tim Stafford


Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 11:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by WE NEVER FORGET, Shamrock American Kossacks, In Support of Labor and Unions, Anti-Capitalist Chat, and History for Kossacks.

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