Illinois labor leaders, elected officials and community members gathered Sunday in Mt. Olive at the Union Miners’ Cemetery to celebrate the restoration of an 80-ton granite obelisk and bronze statues memorializing celebrated labor leader Mary Harris Jones, better known as “Mother Jones.”
The Mother Jones monument, erected in 1936, is her final resting place. The monument and burial site have been a destination and place of remembrance for those inspired by her legacy. The Illinois AFL-CIO began a fundraising effort in partnership with the Union Miners’ Cemetery Perpetual Care Association, Illinois Labor History Society, United Mine Workers of America, Mother Jones Foundation and State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) to preserve and restore the national landmark. On June 17, AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan announced the restoration will be funded by the nearly $70,000 raised in their pledge drive from individuals and labor unions across the country along with a $43,000 state tourism grant.