UA Library

Jim Brew, IWW

Jim Brew, IWW

Jim Brew's grave site in the Evergreen Cemetery, Bisbee.
Photo taken by Beth Henson, Nov. 2004.

Born 1872. Died July 12, 1917.

Jim Brew was a miner and boilermaker who had worked in a number of western mines; he had taken part in the Cripple Creek strike of 1903-04, which led to the organization of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). A member of the IWW, Jim Brew had stayed home and away from the picket line for several days and was asleep at his boarding house when vigilantes forced their way in. He warned them that he would shoot if they persisted; when Orson McRae, an unarmed shift boss who was accompanying the five deputies assigned to pick up strikers, entered his room, he shot and killed him. The deputies immediately shot and killed Brew. These were the only two deaths which occurred during the deportation. His body was buried at midnight in the Elks section of Bisbee's Evergreen Cemetery. In the 1970s, latterday IWW members organized an annual commemoration at his gravesite on July 12.

[James W. Byrkit. Forging the copper collar: Arizona's labor management war of 1901-1921. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1982.; AHS vertical files]