Photo is the Solidarity March in Washington, DC , 1991; not even the name has changed!
Photo Courtesy of Brother C. Williams, Grand Lodge Representative-Retired
History of Machinists Union In Wisconsin
(Notes are from the original Business Meeting Records of Badger Lodge 66 and then renamed United Lodge 66 that have been kept since 1889. They do reflect the thoughts and verbage of our members of that time. Some abbreviations are at the end.)
1889: The history of the Machinists’ Union in the State of Wisconsin, as developed from a search of the Machinists’ Monthly Journal back volumes, starts in September 1889, when the printed roster of lodges included the name of Fox River Lodge #42, South Kaukauna, Wisconsin, with the name of Charles H. Schroeder as agent.
1890: Four months later, January 1890, the name Badger Lodge 66 appeared with Elmer E. Wood as agent.
In the same year, Spring City Lodge #104, Waukesha (July) and Rock River Lodge #139, Beloit (November) were voted in the roster with John W. Porter agent for 104 and Wm. T. Boise for 139.
These are taken from the minute book, I.E.. Wood Recording Secretary February 28, 1890National Association of Machinist Master Machinist (MR..) P. Ryan in the chair. Receipts $5.00 and Disbursements of $5.70. Per Capita Tax for the range ranged from $2.25 to $12.50. Two memberships were voted upon and the approval to spend $2.25 for a picture frame for the charter.
These are taken from the minute book, I.E.. Wood, Recording Secretary, April 25, 1890. “Moved and supported that we notify the Fox River Lodge that we will contribute $10 – for Delegate expenses. Providing delegates stops at Milwaukee.” (This was for the May Convention to which Lodge 66 did not approve sending any delegates)
These are taken from the minute book, Elmer E. Wood, Recording Secretary, May 23, 1890. “Moved and supported that a committee look up the advisability of appointing a delegate to the Federation of Labor.
These are taken from the minute book, Elmer E. Wood, Recording Secretary August 22, 1890. “Moved and supported that the question of sending delegates to the Federated trades council be laid on the table for an indefinite time.”
These are taken from the minute book, Elmer E. Wood, Recording Secretary, November 14, 1890. “Moved and that a committee of 5 be appointed to look after celebrating our anniversary.”
1891: Taken from the minute book, Elmer E. Wood, Recording Secretary, Jan 2, 1891. “…we proceed to install the officers elect for the insuring term. the following were installed:
• Master Machinist, M. Joseph Reader
• Recording Secretary, J.J. Quill in
• Treasurer, Anton Richter
• Conductor, Theo Scam on
• Financial Secretary, Henry Grunt
• Outside Sentinel, George H. Klatch”
Taken from the minute book, Elmer E. Wood, Recording Secretary, January 16, 1891. “Moved and supported that the Recording Secretary be instructed to purchase 3 locks for the Lodge use, providing they are not Yale.”
Taken from the minute book, Elmer E. Wood, Recording Secretary, March 20, 1891. (editors note: each month the first order of business is the vote upon the application of new members) “The applications of …… (four names )were duly balloted for 3 black balls appearing is now necessary to vote for the candidates separately. (name withheld) was notice for and 3 black balls appearing his case and was laid over for 2 weeks.”
Taken from the minute book Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, April 8, 1892. “Communication received from a number of Brothers working nights requesting the Lodge to hold one meeting a month on Sunday afternoon. The resignation of Brother Geo Klatch from the office of Treasurer was not accepted. The trustees reported having received and turned over to Financial Secretary. The shortage in the account of our Ex-Treasurer Brother Busby the amount being $52.35. Moved and supported that the resolution passed at a previous meeting not to accept applicants for membership who receive less than two dollars and a half a day be repealed. Moved and supported that mechanics working at our trade who received $2.25 and over shall be eligible to membership in this Lodge.”
Taken from the minute book Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, April 15, 1892. “The by-law committee offered the following amendment to Article XIII, Section IV which was laid over to a second meeting. The treasurer shall deposit all money of the Lodge in some reliable Bank of Milwaukee, and give such a bond as the Lodge may from time to time demand of him. And for the faithful performance of his duties he shall be entitled to the interest accruing from money deposited in bank by the Lodge.”
Taken from the minute book Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary April 24, 1892. “Moved and supported that an order be drawn on the Treasury for fifty dollars ($50) to pay expenses of delegate to the Chicago Convention.”
Taken from the minute book William Valentine, Recording Secretary, temp, April 6, 1892. “Communications was received from delegate Chas Gordon in regard to having an Organizer come here, providing our Lodge pay the Organizer’s expenses while in the City. Moved and supported that we have Organizer come to Milwaukee. Moved and supported that the Treasurer deposit the money of this Lodge in the South Side Savings Bank.”
In May 1891, Eau Claire Lodge #173 was chartered, to be followed in June by Fort Howard Lodge #176.
Although the columns of the early Journals were open to letters from individual members, the first letter from Wisconsin was from Milwaukee and was signed by ‘Unionist” of #66. Next in the name year came another Milwaukee letter signed by “Rosebud”.
During the year 1891, letters were printed from Waukesha, Beloit and Eau Claire and a memorial for Brother Jos. Guillotine from #42, South Kaukauna. As none of these contained any date regarding conditions, problems or plans, they have little value except as matters of mention.
Taken from the minute book, Elmer E. Woods, Recording Secretary, May 15, 1891. “Moved and supported that we levy an assessment of $.25 per member for the Richmond strikers.”
Taken from the minute book, Elmer E. Wood, September 4, 1891. “Moved and supported that a shop committee be appointed. The chair appoints the following for the:
• Rail Road Shop, Bros. Benedict Ryan, Murphy Knack
• Allis Works, Ole Olsen
• Stevenson, Richer and Ware
• Bay Tic, Mainer and Gallop
• Rolling Mills, Reader
• Wisely and Vilter, Curtin and Hentgelssian
• Prints and Woo, Scam on and Ledger”
Taken from the minute book, Elmer E. Wood, September 18, 1891. “Moved and supported that the minimum wages of candidates for admission in this Lodge will be $2.50 per day.”
Taken from the minute book, Elmer E. Wood, Recording Secretary, December 11, 1891. “Moved and supported that here-after no member of this Lodge will be allowed to use the name Machinists for any Entertainment of Public Demonstration without a two thirds vote of the Lodge.”
1892: Taken from the minute book, Elmer E. Wood, Recording Secretary, February 5, 1892. “Brother Chas Gordon was appointed as committee to meet the Pattern Markers instead of Brother Hotelman. Moved and supported that the trustees look up the books of the Lodge in regard to trouble over existing per diem the Lodge and the Ex-Treasurer.”
Taken from the minute book, Elmer E. Wood, Recording Secretary, March 4, 1892. “Moved and supported that the circular from the Typographical Union be released and placed on file and when this lodge has any printing to do it will comply with its request. Moved and supported that the report of the Committee on open meetings he accepted and committee discharged.”
Taken from the minute book Elmer E. Wood, Recording Secretary, March 11, 1892. “The Recording Secretary tendered his resignation which was laid over for one week.”
Taken from the minute book, Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, March 18, 1892. “Moved and supported that this Lodge donated the striking tanners, $25.00.
Taken from the minute book, Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, March 25, 1892. “Moved and supported that a coal bill of Brother Girard’s be paid by this Lodge the amount being $11.00. Lodge instructed Recording Secretary to notify Brother I.E.. Wood that no action could be taken regarding his communication until he placed himself in good standing with this Lodge by paying up arrears in dues and assessment. Under the Head of Election of Officers, Brother P.S. Ryan was elected as Delegate and Brother Chas Gordon as Alternate Delegate to represent this Lodge at the Annual Convention of the International Association of Machinists to be held in Chicago, May 2nd 1892. Moved and supported that an order be drawn on the treasurer for fifty cents (.50) the overdrawn dues of Brother C.T. Martindale and the same to be forwarded to Fidelity Lodge No. 7 of Birmingham, Ala.”
After the April 1, 1892 page there is a single page that reads: “This Page is Dedicated to the memory of U.W. Talbot Founder of the International Association of Machinists
In mid year 1892, Lodge 66 Secretary Gordon, Milwaukee reported organizing activity netting 18 new members and Lodges 299 and 316 were chartered in Milwaukee. Lodge #139 was not in Roster.
Taken from the minute book, Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, May 20, 1892. “Moved and supported that the motion at a previous meeting to limit the amount to be extended towards organizing Milwaukee to fifty dollars ($50.00) be recalled. Moved and supported that the Committee on Organization be empowered to draw orders on Treasurer for any amount necessary in their work.”
Taken from the minute book, Chas. Gordon, Recording Secretary, May 29, 1892. “Moved and supported that a committee be appointed to notify the Brothers that work nights that if they do not attend the Sunday meetings better than they have been doing the Sunday meetings will be discontinued. Moved and supported that Brother Elmer E. Wood be expelled from the International Association of Machinists for misappropriating funds of the International Association of Machinists and talking against Lodge 66 to non members. Also that a notice of the same be published in the Journal of the International Association of Machinists.”
Taken form the minute book, Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, June 3, 1892. “Under the head of unfinished, a ballot was taken on the question of whether we should expel Brother Elmer E. Wood with the following result, 13 favored expulsion and 2 did not favor it. Elmer E. Wood was declared not a member of the International Association of Machinists.”
Taken from the minute book, Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, June 17, 1892. “Communication received from Dubuque Lodge referring to the formation of a trio State District Lodge composed of Lodges in the States of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin was laid over until next meeting. Under the head of Good of the Order, Brother Wm. W. Milord, from the Organizing Department made an address in which he explained his plan of organizing Milwaukee.”
Taken from the minute book, Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, June 26, 1892. “Communication from Dubuque Lodge 130 asking for the co-operation of Badger Lodge 66 in forming a trio State District Lodge which was laid over at previous meeting was taken and the whole matter was referred to a committee composed of P.S. Ryan, J.J. Macro and WAG Plains. They to report to Lodge 66 before taking final action. Communication received from St. Paul Lodge 112 asking that they be reimbursed for relief given to Brother Chas Peterson of Lodge 66 to the extent of $5.00. The Secretary was instructed to draw said amount from the Treasury and forward it to Lodge 112. Department Organizer Brother Milford reported that the prospects of organizing Lodge Bay View was very bright.”
Taken from the minute book, William Valentine Recording Secretary pro term, July 1, 1892. “17 applications from Norbert Mfg. Co. reported favorable on all of them except the one who reported unfavorable. Reason, that he is not receiving the required wages. Communication received from Grand Master Machinists O’ Day asking for a donation for striking Machinist in Indianapolis. On motion made and carried, the Lodge voted $10.00 as donation.”
Taken from the minute book, Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, July 15, 1892. Department Organizer Milford asked that the members of Lodge 66 attend an open meeting to be held in Bay View on the 16th of July. ” Semi-Annual Report of the Recording Secretary showed a balance in Treasury of $338.75.
Taken from the minute book Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, July 31, 1892. “Moved and supported that This Daft not be initiated for six months from date so as to show whether he can be relied upon to keep sober.”
Taken from the minute book Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary August 5, 1892. “Moved and supported that the recommendation of the Organizing Committee in regards to moving the location of this Lodge to the South Side be complied with.”
Taken from the minute book of Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, August 19, 1892. “Communication from Lodge 130 referring to united action on the C.T. and St. Paul Rail Road system to bring about a better condition of affairs on said road for the members of the International Association of Machinists was referred to Committee at District. Brothers Ryan, Ruther, Meredith, and others spoke on Good of the Order and Department Organizer, Brother Wm. Milford made a plea for more interest to be taken in the Order by the members. Moved and supported that Department Organizer Brother Wm. Milford be given a vote of thanks for his work while in this city.”
Taken from the minute book of Chas Gordon, August 28, 1892. “Moved and supported that this Lodge raise no objections to a new Lodge being instituted on the South Side of this City. Moved and supported that the Trustees be instructed to place the Treasurer under Bonds of sufficient amount to insure this Lodge against loss by any possible cause through its Treasury.”
Taken from the minute book of Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, September 16, 1892. “Communication from Grand Master Machinists O’ Day referring to strike at Jenny Electric Works in Indianapolis was received and filed. Communication with supplies from Grand Lodge of International Machinists Union received and ordered that a copy of the International Association of Machinists Constitution and an invitation to join the International Association of Machinists be forwarded to the International Association of Machinists.”
Taken from the minute book of Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, October 7, 1892. “The Committee on amusement recommended that a dance be held by the three Lodges of the Order in this City on the 7th. of November in the West Side Turn Hall and an order for $10.00 be drawn on the Treasury to secure the Hall.”
Taken from the minute book of Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, October 21, 1892. “Communication from Grand Master Machinist O’ Day referring to the Talbot Fund laid over to next meeting.”
Taken from the minute book of Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary November 18, 1892. ” Moved and supported that the Secretary be instructed to write the Grand Lodge Secretary for his interpretation of Art. XIII, Sec. 1 as to whether a member must be a member of the Lodge six months or only a member of the Order six months to be entitled to sick benefits. Moved and supported that the Secretary be instructed to have six copies of the agreement between the K.P. Railway and Lodge 112 type-written and a copy forwarded to each International Association of Machinists Lodge on the G.A. & S. P system. Moved and supported that a Committee be appointed for the purposed of co-operating with a like committee from Lodge’s 299 and Lodge 316 in their endeavor to organize a German Lodge of this Order in the City.”
Taken from the minute book of Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, December 2, 1892. “Moved and supported that the resignation of Committee on third annual anniversary celebration be accepted.”
Taken from the minute book of Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, December 16, 1892. “Moved and supported that the communication from Chicago Trades and Labor Assembly asking for signatures to a petition to Congress asking that the Worlds Fair be open on Sundays be received and the Secretary be instructed to send for 50 blanks and distribute the same for signatures. Moved and supported that the communication and blank from Lodge 191 requesting this Lodge to fill out blank which called upon the Executive Board to try and secure space for Union news in the American Machinist be received and blank filled out. Committee appointed by Master Machinists on request of Grand Master Machinists O’ Day reported sending communication to Honorable John L. Mitchell asking him to use his influence to settle strike at W. Troy.”
Taken from the minute book of Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, January 6, 1893. “Upon motion it was the expressed wish of this Lodge that a Convention of this Association be held this year. Notice of a strike in Muskegon was received and members requested to stay away. The following officers elect were installed: Chas Fuller, Master Machinists; Harley Or linger, Foreman; Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary; Ernest Tobin, Financial Secretary; Geo Klatch, Treasurer; E. H. Mercy, Outside Sentinel. Moved and supported that the salary of Recording Secretary of this Lodge be increased to $25.00 a term of six months and the salary of Financial Secretary be increased to $15.00 a term of six months and that if the incumbent of either of the offices of Recording Secretary and Financial Secretary object to holding more that two consecutive terms their names shall not be placed in nomination.”
Taken from the minute book of Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, February 3, 1893. “Committee. from Lodge 196 asking that a resolution be drawn up and forwarded to each member of the Executive Board asking them to appoint a representative to work for the passage of the eight hour amendment and such other legislation as may be favorable to our trade that comes before Congress. Moved and supported that visiting members be not admitted to the sessions of this Lodge without visiting cards and the Secretary be instructed to notify Lodges 299 & Lodge 316 of our action in the matter. Moved and supported that a committee of three be appointed and Lodges 299 & 316 be invited to appoint like committees to meet and devise some means of seeking members out of unemployment informed of any vacancies in the trade.”
Taken from the minute book of Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, February 14, 1893. “Moved and supported that the Official Circular from Grand Master Machinists O’ Day be received & filed and the Secretary be instructed to issue a special call to members to be present at the first meeting in March to elect a delegate to the fifth annual Convention. Circular from Lodge 163 Elkhart, Ind. being a request that we endeavor to keep all classes of labor from that city was received, filed and members requested take notice of the request. Under suspension of regular order of business the Committee on the Ball of November 7, 1892 reported a net profit of $39.50. Moved and supported that a committee be appointed to endeavor to get Lodges 299 and Lodge 316 to agree to join with this Lodge in sending one Delegate to the fifth Annual Convention of this Association. Said delegate to be chosen by a joint committee of Lodges 66, 299 & 316 from among the regularly elected delegates of the three Lodges. Each Lodge to stand one third of the total expense of sending delegate and the two Lodges that the delegate is not a member of to give him their proxy.”
1893: The roster of Wisconsin Lodges in the January 1893 Journal was as follows: Lodge 42, South Kaukauna; Lodge 66, Milwaukee; Lodge 104, Waukesha; Lodge 173, Eau Claire; Lodge 176, Fort Howard; Lodge 299, Milwaukee; Lodge 316, Milwaukee.
This year the Journal brought into the Roster Lodge 371, Lacrosse and Lodge 139, Beloit. The membership was informed that Brother WIC. Demean of Lodge 316, Milwaukee, would be Information Agent for Lodges 66, 299 and 316 for those seeking employment in Milwaukee and travelers were warned to “Stay Away from Eau Claire, business is flat”.
From the minute book of Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, March 3, 1893. “From Lodge 316 notifying this Lodge that visiting members shall not be admitted to the sessions of Lodge 316 without visiting cards. Brother P.S. Ryan was elected Delegate to the Fifth Annual Convention of this Order. Brother P.S. Ryan was commissioned by this Lodge to go to Beloit and reorganize Lodge 139 in compliance with request of Grand Secretary Dolly.”
Taken from the minute book of Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, March 17, 1893. “A Circular letter was received from Cleveland stating that a boycott had been placed on the Reliable Gas stoves and it was order to be posted in this hall. Committee appointed to sit in caucus that was to decide which one of the delegates from Lodges 66, 299 & 316 reported that Brother Alldridge of Lodge 299 was elected on 3rd ballot and requested that a special meeting be called of the three Lodges for March 28th in Hall corner of 6th Avenue and Greenfield Avenue to instruct delegates.”
From the minute book of Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, March 28, 1893, Special Meeting. “After discussing a few of the amendments of the Constitution offered by different Lodges to the next Convention, it was decided to have a committee of three members of each of the three Lodge’s represented in the meeting appointed by the Master Machinist of each Lodge hold a meeting and find out what amendments it would be wise to act upon and report at a special meeting of Lodges 66, 299 & 316 to be held corner of 6th Avenue and Greenfield Avenue, Tuesday evening, April 11, 1893.”
From the minute book of Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, April 7, 1893. “Notice was received from Lodge 130 to the effect that they were prepared to send a delegate here to organize a District Lodge at any time this Lodge issued a call. Moved and supported that a Committee be appointed to look for a hall for this body to meet after this month and committee be given power to rent hall that is satisfactory to them and report at the next regular meeting.”
From the minute book of Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, April 21, 1893. ” Moved and supported that a Committee be appointed to draw up resolutions and forward same to General Convention of this Order concurring in the request and proposition of Lodge 97 in relation to the broken agreement of the Santa Fe Rail Road. Moved and supported that the Committee on District be discharged and the Secretary notify all Lodges on the St. Paul System that a call to organize a District would be called immediately after the Convention.”
From the minute book of Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, May 5, 1893. “The Secretary was instructed to inquire for details of the Labor Stock Company scheme from the Editor of ‘Once a Week’ Moved and supported that the Call for the first meeting of delegates to form a District Lodge on the St. Paul System be issued for the last Saturday in May.”
From the minute book of Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, May 19, 1893. “The secretary was instructed to notify Lodges sending delegates to District Convention that the Schlitz Hotel would be headquarters for meeting. Upon motion Chas Gordon, Chas Fuller and Wm. A. Valentine was appointed on a committee to draw up a circular putting forth the claims and successes of this Order and distribute the same in this city among machinists.”
From the minute book of Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, June 2, 1893. “Brother Chas Fuller delegate to District Convention reported District organized on the St. Paul System with Milwaukee as Headquarters and Brother Fuller Recording Secretary. Upon motion it was voted unanimously to instruct the Treasurer to place the funds of this Lodge in the South Side Savings Bank of Milwaukee, Wis.”
From the minute book of Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary., June 16, 1893. “The communication from Lodge 299 was ordered to be sent to where it came from and the Secretary was instructed to request Lodge 299 that they use at least common courtesy when they wished to communicate with Lodge 66. Also that Lodge 66 could not receive the financial part of the Delegates report without the rest of it. Under the head of Good of the Order Brother J. Mat Awe read the rules and regulations which the Lindeman is trying to establish their factory and it was moved and supported that should the members of this Order be discharged for refusing to sign said rules and regulations they shall be supported by this Lodge with strike benefits.”
From the minute book of Ernst Fobian, Recording Secretary pro temp, July 7, 1893. “A communication was read from Brother Fred Stearns asking the Lodge’s opinion about him printing a Labor Paper; where it was finally moved and supported that the communication be laid over to next regular meeting.”
From the minute book of W. A. Valentine, Recording Secretary pro temp, July 21, 1893. “Moved and carried that Brother Chas Steckling be notified to appear before this Lodge to be made acquainted with the Laws of the Order as regards breaking in helpers and apprentices.”
From the minute book of Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary, August 4, 1893. “Moved and supported that the Recording Secretary be instructed to notify the Grand Lodge Secretary of our inability to pay assessment and also in explain cause. Moved and supported that the Treasurer be instructed to file the claim of this Lodge against the South Side Savings Bank with the proper officials. Moved and supported that a bill for hall rent be laid over until next meeting when we expect to have money enough to pay it.”
From the minute book of Ernst Fobian, Recording Secretary, August 18, 1893. “Following Resolution read and carried.
Whereas the Union Signal is published as a Labor Paper and
Whereas Mr. Fred W. Sterns has been known to us for many years as an earnest advocate of the cause of Labor therefore be it.
Resolved by Badger Lodge 66 that we recognize Mr. Stearns paper the Union Signal as the official Organ of the Machinists of Milwaukee and further be it
Resolved that all notice to the press or other matter publication be published in said paper and that we will subscribe for 20 copies of the Union Signal as soon as our finances allow it.
The Secretary was instructed to notify Brother Fred W. Stearns of this Resolution.
Moved and supported that the invitation of the Federated Trades Council be accepted and Lodges 299 & 319 be notified to that effect.
A communication was received from Chas Hoth, from Chicago asking for the password, the Secretary was instructed to notify him to pay us 1 month dues, when he can receive word to join a Lodge.”
From the minute book of Ernest Fobian, Recording Secretary, September 15, 1893. “Moved and supported that we take 20 copies of the Union Signal for 3 month and to draw 5 dollars from the treasury to pay for them. And it was further moved and supported to have the Union Signal sent to 20 members of this Lodge, those giving their addresses to the Secretary first. Moved and supported that members of this Lodge that are in arrears more than 6 months can become in good standing by paying 6 month dues, this should hold good for 2 months, but those who can give good reasons that they can not pay up in that time will be allowed longer time. Moved and supported to strike out the rate of $2.25 and $2.50 and have no limit by which a Machinist can become a member of this Lodge. Moved and supported to leave the initiation fee $3.00 and all new members handing in their application after this date and upon being initiated will receive the Journal of the International Association of Machinists for 1 year. Communication was received from Pittsburgh Lodge asking members to stay away from the place. The same with the communication from Dubuque Lodge.”
From the minute book of Ernst Fobian, Recording Secretary, October 20, 1893. “A committee of the American Federation of Labor being in waiting and were given the floor and Brother Weber the chairman of the committee spoke about federating Badger Lodge with their organization and asking us to appoint a committee to be present at there next meeting.”
From the minute book of Ernst Fobian, Recording Secretary, November 3, 1893. “A communication from District Lodge 16 was read, given notice of an assessment of $.50 per member of the system and the election of one Delegate to their next meeting. It was moved and supported to draw the amount of the assessment from the treasury and to assess every Rail Road Shipmen, the assessment to be paid before any dues are to be credited. Moved and supported that the Secretary be instructed to notify the Grand Secretary of our inability to pay the Grand Lodge Tax and to explain cause.”
From the minute book of Ernst Fobian, Recording Secretary, November 17, 1893. “It was moved and seconded that the members of Badger Lodge give their support to the Cooperative Ticket and vote accordingly on Election Day. It was finally moved and seconded that a standing hand of thanks be extended Brother Demand, for his labors performed in trying his best to keep up Milwaukee Lodge.”
From the minute book of Ernst Fobian, Recording Secretary, December 1, 1893. “It was moved and supported that all members in arrears more than 3 months and out of employment have their dues remitted until they get employment. ”
From the minute book of Ernst Fobian, Recording Secretary, December 15, 1893. “An Official Circular was received from the Grand Master Machinists regarding the word, “white” in the Constitution. It was moved and supported to have our Delegate withdraw from the Federated Trades Council. It was moved and supported to have every member be assessed $.50 instead of the Railroad men only.”
From the minute book of Ernst Fobian, Recording Secretary, January 5, 1894. “A communication was read regarding the word ‘white’ in the Constitution, when the vote was taken there were 17 members present, 2 voted to retain the word white & 11 voted to take it out of the Constitution. It was moved and supported to hold the 6th annual Convention of the International Association of Machinists next May. Two voted to hold a Convention and 12 voted not to hold a Convention. It was moved and supported that Badger Lodge stay with the Federated Trades Council.”
From the minute book of Ernst Fobian, Recording Secretary, January 19, 1894. “An official circular from Grand Master Machinists was received and read and the Secretary was instructed to notify the Grand Master Machinist that Badger Lodge placed explicit confidence in himself as well as the Grand Secretary Treasurer and that we hoped they would continue the good work they have been doing for the good of the Order, regardless of some jealous and insulting Circulars sent out by a few Lodges.”
From the minute book of Ernst Fobian, Recording Secretary, February 2, 1894. “A official Circular from the Grand Master Machinists was received regarding a Brother lost his life in defense of his Union principles and left a family in destitute circumstances, a collection was taken amounting to 2 dollars and it was moved to read this letter again at the next meeting and take up another collection if possible.”
From the minute book of Ernst Fobian, Recording Secretary, February 16, 1894. “A collection was taken for the widow of Brother F.H. Mathews who lost his life in Maton, Illinois. It amounted to $1.40; the money together with $2.00 collected at the last meeting was sent to the Grand Secretary Treasurer A bill to the amount of $5.00 was handed in to renew subscription of the 20 copies of the Union Signal for 3 month. It was moved to discontinue the Union Signal because of no funds in the treasury, carried.”
From the minute book of Ernst Fobian, Recording Secretary, March 2, 1894. “A communication was received from the Grand Master Machinists stating that we will not hold a convention this year. For the good of the order, Brother Geo Kratsch read a paper on political economic. It was moved and seconded that in every meeting hereafter under the head of Good for the Order, we will discuss political economic but if Mechanical science will come up for discussion it will be given preference, carried. Moved and seconded in form of a resolution that private ownership of Railroads, Telegraphs, Telephones and other means of transportation and communication is all right and that this will come up for discussion under good for the Order at the next regular meeting, carried.”
From the minute book of E. Fobian, Recording Secretary, March 16, 1894. “The resolution of last meeting, on private ownership of Railroads etc. came up for discussion – it was finally moved to take a vote on the question, when it was found that those favoring government ownership of Railroads etc. where in the majority.”
From the minute book of Ernst Fobian, Recording Secretary, April 6, 1894. “A communication was received from the Grand Secretary Treasurer regarding the changes we wanted in the constitution, saying that there can be no changes made until the Convention meets, and as there will be no Convention this year, the constitution will have to remain as it is. For the next meeting, for the good of the order all members should state why they joined the International Association of Machinists.”
From the minute book of Ernst Fobian, Recording Secretary, April 20, 1894. “The amendment to Article 9, Section 1 came up for a third reading and was adopted as read, it reads as follows: Article 9, Section 1. Any person having been a member of this Lodge for the space of 6 months and being in good standing shall be entitled to $1.00 per week in case of sickness or injury, not caused by unnecessary exposure or immoral conduct for the term of 3 months. Under, Good for the Order, every member was asked to give his reasons, why he joined the International Association of Machinists. The Federated Trades Council wants to know, if we will endorse the movement of the Cooperative Party, and under what name, it was moved to lay the communication on the table. At the next meeting under, Good for the Order, it was moved to discuss if it will be better, if we go into Politics or stay out of it.”
From the minute book of Ernst Fobian, Recording Secretary, May 4, 1894. “It was moved and supported that this Lodge will take an active part in politics. A lengthy and heated discussion followed this motion. It was finally moved and supported, that we will hold an open meeting where this question will be discussed and a vote taken. The meeting to open at 8:45, and all members, whether in good standing or not, to be notified to attend. The date of meeting to be May 18th.”
From the minute book of Ernst Fobian, Recording Secretary, May 18, 1894. ” Brother Long spoke on the object of the meeting, which was, that the machinist should organize and take active part in politics. After several Brother Machinists gave their views on the situation, and the best plan of organizing machinists, it was finally moved and supported that we hold up the Union and take an active part in politics. Carried by a vote of 35 to 5. There being nothing further to do it was moved to adjourn the open meeting.”
From the minute book of C. Gordon, Secretary, June 1, 1894. “The resignation of Brother E. Fobian as Recording Secretary was tendered and excepted.”
From the minute book of Chas Gordon, Recording Secretary pro temp., July 20, 1894. “Moved and supported that we pay all bills due with money in the Treasury and that we return all books and papers together with our Charter and balance of funds to Grand Lodge. Motion carried. Six (6) members voting in the affirmative and four (4) in the negative. Moved and supported that the Master Machinist appoint a Committee of Five to audit the books and send them to the Grand Lodge. Carried and committee appointed as follows, Brothers Beirdrich, Gordon, Demand, Fobian & Kratsch.”
1894: Lodge 432, South Milwaukee was chartered and Lodge 66 dropped. Wisconsin passed a law prohibiting interference with right to vote. Go to ‘OUR CHARTER’ View the original charter for ‘Badger Lodge 66’.
1895: This years Journal shows Lodge 437, Racine and Lodge 443, Madison in the fold and Lodge 66, Milwaukee back in good graces; while Lodge 42, South Kaukauna and Lodge 316, Milwaukee were out of the Roster.
The International Association of Machinists Convention was held in Cincinnati this year but the Journal did not carry the proceedings. However, in the editor’s comments on the convention he mentions the delegate from Milwaukee but no name was given.
A letter from Beloit reported a dispute that had been settled to the satisfaction of the men. No details given.
1896: During this year, the reports sent to the Journal from Wisconsin gave the average daily pay for a 10 hour day as follows:
· Eau Claire started at $2.00 and finished at $1.80
· Fort Howard (1 report) $2.40
· Beloit (1 report) $2.00
· South Milwaukee $2.25
· Racine $2.00
· Madison $2.00 then $2.10 then $2.25.
Lodge 432, South Milwaukee reported a banquet and mentioned Master Machinist President Brother Permian and Master Machinist Past President Brother Arvin.
The Stilt Brewery signed up after a successful boycott and this was the signal for all breweries to “sign the scale”.
Carpenters in Milwaukee wanted a minimum rate of $2.75 for a 10 hour day. They were getting $1.50 to $2.25. The Milwaukee coal dealers organized and the City Attorney advised the Milwaukee City Council that it cannot buy stock in the proposed municipal street railway.
1897: This year McKinley was inaugurated as President and the International Association of Machinists Convention was held in Kansas City with Jos. S. Myers serving as delegate from Lodge 299, Milwaukee with proxy from Lodge 66, Milwaukee and Lodge 443, Madison giving its proxy to Lodge 440 Rockford, Illinois (Myers’ picture is in Journal).
Wage statistics only showed Waukesha, $2.50; Eau Claire, $2.00; and Madison, $2.00 for a ten hour day machinist.
The Unfair List had in its names: Berger Bedding, Milwaukee; C. Schreier-Maltster, Sheboygan; Fuller & Warren Stove Co., Milwaukee; and Seig & Walpole Bicycles, Kenosha.
The German Machine Woodworkers of Oshkosh had reorganized with 139 charter members. Wages had dropped to $.50 a day ($.05 per hour).
1898: Wages Statistics – average for 10 hours:
· Eau Claire $2.20
· South Milwaukee $2.40
· Madison $2.25
(High in the reports was Temple, Texas with $3.25.)
Roster additions were: New Lodges: Lodge 300 and Lodge 301, Milwaukee; and Lodge 343, West Superior. Off the Roster – Lodge 104, Waukesha.
On April 1 of this year the system of Death Benefits was initiated by the International Association of Machinists.
Stuart Reid, Organizer for International Association of Machinists cut quite a swath in Milwaukee and organized Lodge 300 and Lodge 301.
Brother W. W. Scott of South Milwaukee ran for Delegate to the American Federation of Labor unsuccessfully but was President of City Council, South Milwaukee and responsible to a great extent for an 8 hour day for city workers.
Lodge 66 negotiated an agreement with Milwaukee Brewers Association (text in Journal) and Pabst Malt Extract was advertised in the Journal.
Go to ‘Original Agreement’ between Lodge 66 and the Brewers Association. (in English and German)
1898: The Woodworkers had to strike in Oshkosh and the militia was called out to put them in their place.
Members of Lodges 66 and 300 carried out a successful boycott on overtime at the Smith Machine Shop (one of the largest factories in Milwaukee) in resisting a move to pay only straight time for time over ten hours.
The City Council of Kenosha orders the Typo Union Label on all city printing
May 16, 1898 Agreement with Brewers Association.
1899: Wage statistics reported in 1899 in the Journal give $2.40 as the average daily wage for machinist in Milwaukee for 10 hours.
Lodge 437, Racine was reorganized and Brother Stuart Reid visited Beloit and Lodge 139 was again in business.
Milwaukee Carpenters succeeded in getting $.275 per hour and the 8 hour day.
The International Association of Machinists convention was in Buffalo, New York and James A. “Yellow Kid” Reynolds represented Lodge 300, Milwaukee and A.J. Linck was delegate from Lodge 437, Racine. Many of us still remember Brother Linck and the writer had the pleasure of knowing Brother Reynolds who at the time of his death (April 16, 1951) was known as being the holder of the record for continuous good standing in the International Association of Machinists He served on the Executive Board of the International and was Supervisor of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, for many years.