UA Library

PRESCOTT JOURNAL-MINER

THURSDAY MORNING, October 19, 1915

WESTERN FEDERATION TACTICS IN CLIFTON-MORENCI STRIKE DISTRICT SHOWN UP IN AFFIDAVITS BY MEN WHO SUFFERED ATTACKS

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        PHOENIX. Oct. 18. – Despite the emphatic and reiterated statements by Governor Hunt that his friends of the Western Federation of Miners have indulged in no violence or other overt acts, the facts show exactly the contrary to be the case.  Not only have members of the Western Federation shamefully beaten and abused those not bowing to their dictates, but have driven many men out of the Clifton-Morenci district, forcing them under threats to forsake their homes and families.  The three affidavits herewith presented, out of large number secured, give an inkling of the high-handed and lawless methods persued by this organization.

Brutally Beaten.

      J. I. Watson, whose nose was broken by members of the Western Federation of Miness, makes the following statement relative to the attack on him:

      “I am a pump repairer and have been employed for five year here, am married and have one child, am an American citizen, a property owner and taxpayer.

      “On Tuesday, October 5th, Talbot Tom Smith, Chuck Smith and a little German by the name of Franz, representing the Western Federation of Miners came in at the back door of my house and right through the house and tackled me on the front porch almost before I saw them. These men were the ring leaders or picket men.

      “Talbot came rushing at me saying. ‘I thought you left town long ago.’ And while he was saying that he smashed me in the face with his fist and did not give me any chance to make a reply. He smashed me again several times and seemed to be intent on hitting me in the same place right on the nose.

      “I said, ‘What have I done?’ and he said ‘You went to the mill that morning when we told you the mill was down’ and with that he smashed me in the face several times breaking my nose. I went to the doctor and he told me my nose was broken.

      “I went to Judge Lally to see if something could not be done and said ‘Judge, you know I am as peaceable a man as you have here’ and he said ‘You need not tell me that for I know it, Watson.’  I said ‘I have stayed away from them absolutely, I have not spent one minute listening to public speeches but have stayed away entirely,’ and he said he was very sorry but his hands were tied and he could not do anything.  He said the people wanted Cash for sheriff and now see what they have.

      “After they got through beating me they started off as if they had another job waiting for them.  As they were leaving Talbot waved his hand telling me to get out of camp.  I left the next morning and took my family with me.  Judge Lally wanted me to get right out but I waited and took my family.  I stayed about two hours in Judge Lally’s office and he called a deputy sheriff in and told him the circumstances and he said ‘Wait here awhile’ and he went out and I supposed tried to get some of those fellows but whether he got them or not I do no know.  I was not feeling well and told the judge I was going home and he said not to go without somebody and I said I was not afraid and would go home.  I went home and went right away to Dr. Davis at the A. C. hospital and he treated my nose. I am still under the doctor’s care and go to the doctor twice every day since that time.

      “I left Morenci for the reason that I thought if I got out they would let me alone and would not burn my property and it would be for my wom safety for if they ordered me out of town it was best to go.”

Driven Out of Camp

      Gregorio Ramirez was taken into custody by members of the Western Federation of Miners and put in jail for six hours on October 2nd. Two others, Eduardo Varela and Fernando Uribe were arrested at the same time. In the evening after his wife had interceded with the jailer he was let out on the condition that he leave Clifton during the night.  He stayed at home for three days and did not go anywhere for fear of being arrested.  On the third day a number of Western Federation men went to his house and tried to break in to take him out.  He escaped to the hills and did not return until evening when he took up his belongings and left on the train.  David Antes, the jailer told him he belonged to the union and had to do as he was told by them.  Ramirez was compelled to leave his family of seven without any provisions whatsoever.  He has lived in the United States for twenty-seven years.

He Took the Hint

      Seledonino Trujillo, a foreman of the Arizona Copper Company, was compelled to leave Clifton on account of efforts of the Western Federation of Miners to run him out of town.  He left him home at midnight and managed to slip through the cordon of men posted around his house.  He counted six and his wife wrote that the house was watched every night for several nights after he left.  A workman for the company he was constantly threatened and Juan Guerera, president of the Clifton local W. F. M. said in one of his speeches pointing to Trujillo: “Here you have one of the men who had been sold to the company. He was the one that lowered the wages to $1.40 and he is one of the men who has done the most wrong to the people and he has done nothing good for the people.” After this the people got up and said, “ Let’s run him out.” He left Clifton September 14th, leaving his family of six there. A friend informed him that he would be run out of town and that Mayor Frazer of Clifton had advised him to tell him to leave.