Coal Mining in Illinois

Braidwood Photos


James Braidwood

James Braidwood,
1831 - 1879

Civil Engineer and Coal Mine Operator


Mrs. James (Ellen Ralston) Braidwood

Mrs. James (Ellen Ralston) Braidwood

Ellen Ralston married James Braidwood in 1854. She left
Scotland to join her husband in the United States in 1865.


William D. Ryan 

William D. Ryan,
1861 - 1949

Ryan was a labor leader from Braidwood who went on to become the Secretary and Treasurer of the United Mine Workers' Union.


John Mitchell

John Mitchell,
1870 - 1919

Mitchell was a prominent labor leader who was born and raised in Braidwood, and President
of the UMWA from 1899 to 1907. He has been called the "Father of the Miners' Union."

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John James

John James

He was a prominent Braidwood
labor leader. He was the national Secretary of the Miners
National Union, a predecessor
of the UMWA.




Anton J. Cermak

Anton J. Cermak,
1873 - 1933

He was a Czech immigrant, and
former Braidwood resident, who
became the mayor of Chicago.
While shaking hands with
Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933,
he was fatally wounded in an
assassination attempt.

Library of Congress, Prints &
Photographs Division,
photograph by Harris & Ewing
[reproduction number,




George E. Brennan  

George E. Brennan

Brannan was a Braidwood resident who went on to become a powerful political leader in Chicago in the 1920's. Brennan, at the age of sixteen, lost a leg in a mining accident. He also taught in Braceville and Diamond for a time.

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number,




Alex Howat  

Alex Howat

He was a prominent labor leader from Braidwood. He became the president of the Kansas Miners' Union and took part in many notable labor struggles there.

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division [reproduction number, LC-DIG-ggbain-31086]