The Long History Of The Labor Movement In Evansville

  • 05-September-2023

The Tri-State enjoys Labor Day celebrations, but many may not be aware of the ways in which workers' rights were fought for more than a century ago.

Vanderburgh District history specialist, Stan Schmitt, says Evansville was once a significantly more modern city than it is currently. He expresses banters about fair wages and safe working circumstances have been normal here since the 1800s.

Work Day marches and picnics have been a yearly practice in the Tri-State for quite a while, as far as possible back to the work development which grabbed hold in the tri-state during the 1800s.

"Evansville was a specialist's city," said Schmitt.

Vanderburgh Province history specialist Stan Schmitt says you can in any case see leftovers of Evansville's modern past in and out of town. These include the Bucyrus-Erie building and the empty space left by the December fire that destroyed the Faultless Caster Company building on Garvin Street.

Schmitt says the main association coordinated in Evansville around 1856, the region then had its most memorable laborer's cookout in the last part of the 1850s. He says all at once, there was an association which battled for the privileges of laborers in any exchange you can envision.

"At one at once, in the city catalogs, there'd be an entire segment there of simply worker's guilds and work associations," said Schmitt.

It shouldn't come as a surprise, according to Schmitt, that Evansville was a national center for discussions regarding worker rights and fair wages given the city's high concentration of industry and trades.

“From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, all of the well-known people who worked in the unions there were occasionally present; whether it was during a strike or whether it was simply support," said Schmitt.

Schmitt says he's glad to perceive how those processions and picnics have gone on into the present.

Schmitt lets us know he even has a unique interaction to Work Day festivities. He says his father was an electrical technician, and he grew up realizing you were unable to miss the yearly Work Day march or outing.

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