Mary Harris Jones a woman just like any other, until certain events shaped her to being one of the biggest threats in union history.
Starting from the very beginning, Mary Harris Jones was born in Country Cork, Ireland but when she was a teenager her family moved to Canada, where she got her education since the tuition was free. When Jones was 23 she decided to move to America to become a teacher. She taught in a school that was in Monroe, Michigan. She did not enjoy her profession so decided to move to Chicago then to Memphis where she met her husband George E. Jones. George was a part of industrial unions which would later be an important part of Mary Jones life. Jones decided to leave her teaching profession all-together and decided to open up a dress making shop. Life was simple and good to Jones.
Hitting Rock Bottom
There were two main events that would forever shape Jones' life. In 1867 there was a yellow-fever outbreak which unfortunately killed her husband and four children all in the span of one week. Jones was devastated, she lost those she loved the most. She couldn't bare to stay in Memphis, so decided to move back to Chicago to pick back up her dress making business. When things didn't seem like they could get any worse... they did. In October 8, 1871 a giant fire broke out in her town in Chicago which then burned down Jones home and dress making business. Jones officially lost it all. She had hit rock bottom. Jones had no one, or so she thought. The union group known as the Knights of Labor took Jones in. Jones former husband was wildly involved in the union and with that connection Jones felt completely comfortable with the union. Which started all of Jones involvement with her activist works with labor unions. Jones had felt like this was her calling, so that she could keep fighting like her husband fought, and have something to live for.
Earning the title "Mother Jones"
With time Jones earned the title "Mother Jones" for the reason that she would look out for industrial workers all across America. Jones gained so much strength from her struggles, and used her pain to help out as many other people as she could. She gained the characteristics of being relentless, stubborn, and fearless. Which was her strongest weapons when it came to her activist works. Mother Jones won the majority of her battles, not right away sometimes, but that was where her characteristic of being relentless took part. She would not give up until she got the outcome she wanted. This started getting Jones attention by unions everywhere. Everyone wanted Jones to come and help them with their battles. A topic Jones was extremely devoted to was helping children who were forced to do child labor. Mother Jones organized the march of the mill children crusade which was a march that started from Philadelphia and ended in the hometown of the president at the time (Theodore Roosevelt) in New York. Even though child labor wasn't completely abolished, because of this event Child labor was brought into the light, and became an issue that would soon be addressed and fixed.