Huerfano County, Colorado
Oral Interviews

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1913 Killings

Scanned by Dick Chenault
Edited by Dick Chenault


What started the whole thing was the Wahimeirs, the house next door. He was a company man, but his wife lived here. They thought it was quite dangerous for her to live in town during the strike so they sent the mine guard down to move the furniture. My sister Anna lived next door and she was cleaning house, and she had all the barrel of shoes outside and the cushions and everything. It must have been a nice day because it was in October; it must have been an October like we're having now, because she said she had everything outside; the barrel of shoes and the pillows and the quilts and everything else to air them out. Her mother and father were at the farm and she was cleaning for them to come home. She was around 17 or 18 years old. What she saw was this company wagon come up the alley and mounted guards riding along with the wagon and they stopped at the Wahimeirs home and they loaded all the furniture to move it.

The first thing she knew, a group of women had stepped into the yard and were throwing the shoes and all they could find, at the wagon and at the guards. And she remembers they broke a large mirror that was on the wagon. As to who fired the first shot, all she remembers, she says, that there was a window facing west and she saw a man creeping up with a rifle. It was one of the strikers. She wouldn't identify him, though. And, of course, the guard was on his horse. As to whether the guard fired the first shot or the miner fired the first shot, she heard the shot and saw the guard fall from his horse. Then you might say everything broke loose when the first shot was fired. Then they started firing. The guards fired. The miners fired. And that's when the killings took place.

I was coming home from school, and everything was so quiet. You couldn't see anyone on the street. Of course, it had all happened already. I remember being alone and as I approached the corner, I saw this dead man lying in the middle of the street, right between our house and the bakery, in that area some place. I could see he had a pipe in his mouth. It was the queerest thing. I'll never forget it. Then I guess I didn't come into the house at all, because I remember I was so frightened. I didn't know what happened. Everything was so still and there was this dead man lying in the street. I could see a man lying over the gate post and whether he was wounded or dead, I don't know. I think he was shot through the neck. I remember someone said he was shot through the neck.

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