It’s a mother of a monument – the Mother Jones monument, and it’s being rededicated today in Mount Olive.
The 10 a.m. event celebrates the long-ago erection of a monument for the late labor leader Mother Jones. It has needed plenty of TLC after decades of service, and the guests today include U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), along with someone pretending to be Mother Jones.
“The monument was built in the early 1900s,” said Amy Rueff, resource director for the Illinois AFL-CIO. “The caulking has come away from between the stones; the statues had kind of a milky, waxy look to them. So we raised money and got a matching grant, and we’ve completely restored the monument and enhanced the cemetery.”
The Union Miners’ Cemetery, located off Historic Route 66 at Mount Olive in Southern Illinois, is the nation’s only union-owned cemetery.