Photo Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 2006.044.0064
Object Name Print, Photographic
Description A Very Early Picture of The Union in Aldridge — On the back was inscribed "Aldridge Union 1896 or '97." The Western Federation of Miners was organized there on April 19, 1897. Of one of the men pictured here, you will learn, in Chapter XI, it was said early in April 1898, "He had been in camp about a year." He was not in camp after that time. That was John Webster. So, definitely this picture could be dated 1897. Among those known to be here are: (front left) George Ferguson and
William Ralph; (on Drum) Doby Sommerville; (behind him) Tom Somerville; (3rd row, 2nd from right) Matt Brooks and brotherinlaw Ramey; (right edge) Joe Bailey; John Webster (coat over shoulder in middle).

For 70 years, Mary Criswell had this picture of the Aldridge Miners Union of 1897. Although she had forgotten his name, she remembered that the man (marked with a white arrow) was one she disliked and feared during her days as Mary Parish, a schoolgirl in Aldridge. She remembered that he had choked his common-law wife and set fire to the house to hide his crime.
Photographer Bill Whithorn
Title A Very Early Picture of The Union in Aldridge
Collection Whithorn Collection