Located in Franklin, Kansas, Miners Hall Museum is built on the original site of the Union Hall where the Army Amazon marches began in 1921. It is dedicated to preserving and sharing Southeast Kansas coal mining history and its diverse immigrant culture.
Miners Hall Museum is built on the original site of
the Union Hall (shown in photo below). The Union Hall served as a meeting house
for the United Mine Workers Association and was also a historic location
involving the Amazon Army March.
The center & museum was built shortly after the tornado
of 2003 which destroyed much of the community including the former Franklin
Community Hall. Miners Hall Museum was founded in 2012 and began with hosting a
Smithsonian Exhibit titled The Way We Worked.
Crawford County Kansas is known for its coal mining
heritage and the settlement of many different ethnic groups who came to the
United States in search of work in the coal fields.
In 1921, thousands of wives, daughters, mothers,
sisters and sweethearts of striking coal miners in Southeast Kansas marched in
protest against unfair labor practices in the local coal mines. The women's
march made headlines across the nation and the New York Times christened them
the Amazon Army. The women, mostly immigrants from southeast
Europe, were effective and halted work in the mines for three days.
Most Kansas coal mining took place in the southeast
counties of Cherokee, Crawford and Bourbon, where hundreds of underground
shafts and above-ground strip mines were dug. Around those mines, communities
and camps were built for workers and their families. Mining companies set up
camps for workers near the mines. They built houses, sometimes little more than
shacks, for their families.