First trip, Oklahoma. After driving through wildfires and smoke, my friend and I researched at Bartlesville Museum, Bartlesville, Washington CO, OK
Next stop is Skiatook, Osage County, Oklahoma.
Frank Little and his brother Fred attended the Hillside Quaker Mission School in Ski-a-took.
Monument where Hillside Quaker Mission School stood.
Motorist hits me while I stood in the street, pinning me between the rear car door and floorboard and causing injury.
Undaunted, the Oklahoma trip resumed in Ingalls ghost town, Payne County, Oklahoma.
Ingalls scene of Wild Bunch (Doolin-Dalton gang) shootout with law enforcement in 1893.
Frank Little’s father, Dr. Walter R. Little, doctored the Doolin-Dalton gang.
Entrance to Dr. Walter R. Little’s homestead, formerly known as “Doc Little Hill” on the Cimarron River near Ingalls, OK.
Ca 1898 Almira Hays Little, Frank Little’s mother
Bessie Courtright Little, Frank Little’s baby sister
Dodging tornados in a rain storm, we left flowers on my great-great-grandparents’ graves, Frank Little’s parents.
Ca 1914 Frank Little’s brother Alonzo Little and his wife Ella in Drumright, Oklahoma
Jim Thorpe loved Ella Little’s fried chicken; Jim Thorpe home in Yale, Oklahoma
Ca 1915 Glen Little on his donkey in Drumright, Oklahoma
Drumright’s Main Street on Tiger Hill, where Frank Little killed a teamster in 1914 while Glen watched.
Frank Little followed his brother Fred to California gold fields in 1900.
In Colorado, first stop, “The Richest Mile on Earth!”
Black Hawk, former gold camp, at night.
Casinos now dominate the former Central City-Black Hawk mining district.
Cannon’s Hall in Nevadaville, a ghost town a stone’s throw from Central City, was the site of Emma Harper’s commencement in 1894.
Commencement invitation 1894
Emma Harper was a speaker at her commencement.
Fall River Road took us to Alice, sitting high in the Rocky Mountains, an old gold camp where the Harpers lived.
Relics of a store in Alice
The Harper cabin was a boarding house for miners, including Fred Little.
Still standing, the Harper cabin was once used for a Rand-McNally Atlas ad.
This photo, discovered under the boarding house’s floorboards, pictures some of the cabin’s boarders.
William Harper, mining entrepreneur and Emma’s father, began as a mine worker in Black Hawk.
Later Harper owned mines and his own mill, including the Lalla mine.
Emmarilla Frisbie Harper, Emma’s mother, danced with Buffalo Bill.
Next stop, Cripple Creek, Colorado, another former gold camp. Fred, a gold miner, and Emma Harper Little lived here after a quick marriage.
Water-colored skies wash over Cripple Creek and its gallus frames
Old store fronts dot downtown Cripple Creek.
Burros, descendants of miners’ burros, wander freely in Cripple Creek.
We researched in the Cripple Creek Museum, discovering little.
A controversial Cripple Creek and Victor Mining Company swallowed nearby mining camps.
Site of the Victor, Colorado, bullpen for rounded up miners. Residents in this sister mining camp to Cripple Creek, still hold resentment from Colorado Labor War 1903-1904.
Jane Botkin with research buddies Arizona
UTEP miners’ pick sculpture overshadows Juarez as we head west on I-10.
We entered Bisbee, Arizona, after following the railroad tracks that carried Bisbee deportees in 1917.
Almost 1200 miners and other “undesirable” workers were deported from Bisbee on July 12, 1917. Frank had just left town.
Frank Little walked this street in Bisbee, AZ.
Frank Little checked into the Copper Queen Hotel in 1903, and we did the same, despite the “ghosts.”
Did Frank gaze at Lily Langtry’s portrait over the bar in the Copper Queen Hotel?
We researched at the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum, once Phelps Dodge headquarters.
To get a taste of underground mining, we went deep into the Copper Queen Mine where Frank likely worked.
The guide asked, where is the lady with the pencil? Any questions?
Today the Lavender Pit consumes much of the old mines in Bisbee, AZ.
Next stop Clifton, AZ, where Frank Little organized Mexican miners in 1907. The old jail, an oddity.
Stairs are everywhere, much like Bisbee, these to old boarding house rooms in Clifton.
Sacred Heart Church, scene of an orphan abduction in 1904, in Clifton, AZ.
Highway 60 on the way to Miami, AZ, where Frank lived temporarily.
On the corner of Sullivan and Cordova streets stood the miners’ union hall, now a basketball court.
Frank Little stood in a wagon in the middle of Sand Wash in July 1917 and made a speech to miners. Likely this location was part of Bloody Tanks Wash, running between Sullivan and Live Oak streets, about a mile west of the stairs on Keystone Street.
John Michal Benson, the son of a mine executive who worked for the Inspiration Mine and grandson of immigrants who moved to Arizona Territory to work, gave us a tour. This is the Rex Bar.
Rex Bar alley, where miners surreptitiously purchased a half pint of ale to sustain themselves before hiking to their shifts up a trail with its three hundred wooden steps at the north end of Keystone Street
Miners’ path at end of Keystone Street below the Miami Copper Company mine.
Racism was prevalent in the town where the YMCA was for white people only.
Frank Little and Grover Perry organized Mexican American miners when others would not.
On May Day, 1905, in Globe, AZ, Frank Little gave a speech to a parade of miners walking in front of the Amster Building.
The Amster Building today in Globe, AZ.
The Old Dominion and Copper Mine once dominated Globe, AZ. Now flooded and in ruins.
In Tucson, I met Emma Harper’s niece and my cousin, Susie Harper, right.
Miners’ Hotel Gift Shop for Frank Little Centennial
Of course, I had to go to Fresno, California, where Frank Little led the first California Free Speech Fight in the same Fresno courthouse park where Occupy Fresno protestors congregated.
How Free Speech Plaza at Mariposa and I streets looked in 1914 when Frank Little soapboxed.
Today, at Free Speech Plaza, a historical marker designates Frank Little’s free speech fight.
Fresno Free Speech Historical marker
The old marker needs some repair.
Frank, arrested for arguing with a police officer, was thrown in a solitary dungeon in the Fresno jail.
Frank Little at first refused to rake leaves on the Fresno courthouse grounds.
Fred Little spoke on the corner of F and Tulare streets near Fresno’s Chinatown.
Fresno police watched from the sidelines when vigilantes viciously attacked an immense IWW tent originally set up on the corner of Palm and Belmont streets in Fresno.
Fred and Emma Little’s home at 1809 West California Street today.
Fred spent his remaining days in the Stockton State Hospital.
I found both Fred’s and Emma’s graves in Fresno, albeit in different cemeteries.
In Spokane, Washington, Frank Little was arrested for soapboxing on Howard Street.
Frank was first thrown into the Spokane courthouse, but because of overcrowding, he was moved into the Old Franklin School annex. There the men were tortured.
Guards stood at the school entrance in case someone tried to escape. The Wobblies, including Frank, were too weak to break.
One of my last research trips was to Chicago, Illinois, in order to walk my story.
To view other buildings contemporary to 1911 when Frank Little attended an IWW convention, I took a river tour.
Frank Little crossed Chicago’s Clark Street Bridge in order to attend the 1911 IWW convention.
How the Clark Street Bridge appeared to Frank Little in 1911.
Formerly the Schweitzer-Turner Hall, the building is where the IWW held their convention.
The IWW meeting broke early one day so that members, including Frank, could visit the Haymarket Massacre Monument.
Haymarket Massacre marker
We squeezed in so fun time while researching Chicago.
In Missoula, Montana, on Free Speech Corner (Front and Higgins streets). Frank Little was arrested on this spot in 1909 for soapboxing. He was quoting the Declaration of Independence.
The Montana Historical Society commemorated the location as the first western free speech fight.
The intersection of Front and Higgins’ streets today where Frank was arrested
“You go straight to Butte, Montana,” and I did.
I made new friends at the Miner’s Hotel in Butte, Montana.
At Old Butte Historical Adventures, history buff Dick Gibson awaited us for a promised tour.
On June 18, 1917, just days before Frank Little’s arrival, the worse mining catastrophe in American history occurred.
On the edge of the Berkeley Pit, a memorial explains the death and violence in Butte, Montana, the summer of 1917.
Placard describing labor history in Butte
When the Speculator fire occurred, wailing wives and children squinted through holes in a fence to see whose relatives would be brought out.
Newspaper describing the accident.
Today, the toxic Berkeley Pit covers what once was a vast area of headframes and poor ethnic neighborhoods.
Looming over the Butte hill, is Our Lady of the Rockies, her arms signal a plea to end the historic violence.
Regarding Frank Little’s murder on August 1, 1917, is a famous motto, “We Never Forget.”
A Silver Bow-Butte Archives display depicts much of the activities following Frank Little’s murder.
Period newspaper describing the events of August 1, 1917
Funeral pall bearers carry Frank Little’s casket.
Frank Little’s body was viewed for hours by a mourning public.
A union letter demanding vindication for Frank Little’s murder.
Wyoming Street, on the right the site of Frank Little’s abduction from the Finlander boarding house.
Frank Little’s grave in Mountain View Cemetery, Butte, MT.
Frank Little's favorite song was "Oh, Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie."
Poor miners are buried, many without markers, near Frank Little’s grave.
People from all over the world come to pay respects to Frank Little, leaving small tokens on the grave.
Frank Little, 1879 – 1917, “Slain by Capitalist Interests for Organizing and Inspiring His Fellow Men.” Frank was actually born in 1878.