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Please check out my latest blog post - "Dare You Fail Us Now?"
(I'm in the process of fully integrating this blog with the project's home site - minewar.org. You can check out the progress of this transition at minewar.info. All new blog posts will originate there but I'll continue cross-posting to this site.)
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Recently I had the good fortune to connect with Dominic "Bert" Bertinetti. His family's connection to the Illinois Mine War is truly remarkable.
Bert's grandmother is Emma Cumerlatto, a mine war martyr who was shot on her porch in Kincaid, IL on January 3, 1933. No one was ever punished for the murder.
Her funeral was attended by thousands and the procession extended miles from Taylorville to Kincaid. Women's Auxiliary President, Agnes Burnes Wiecke offered an inspired eulogy although she was frequently interrupted by the military aircraft buzzing the solemn event below.
and Dominic's mother, Mary is the young girl in the lower center of this
photograph which was taken about 1915. (courtesy of Dominic Bertinetti).
Bert's father is Dominic Bertinetti. He was the victim of a drive-by shooting at PMA headquarters in Springfield, IL on Easter Sunday, April 21, 1935. Although PMA leader, Edris Mabie was killed, fortunately Bertinetti survived the attack . The car's occupants included UMWA District 12 President Ray Edmundson. However, Edmundson and his accomplices were never tried because a coroner’s inquest returned an open verdict and failed to fix blame for the murder.
Remarkably, Bertinetti is also the nephew of Robert Shingleton. Shingleton was arrested and convicted of murder along with four other men after the accidental shooting of 12 year old Laverne Miller. Shingleton and a peer were members of the UMWA while the three others were members of the Progressive Miners. Popularly referred to as “The DuQuoin Boys,” former PMA newspaper editor Gerry Allard led a nation-wide campaign to win their release. In a rare instance of cooperation, the UMWA and PMA worked collaboratively to secure their freedom, along with a number of social justice advocates. Those included Roger Baldwin, Upton Sinclair, John Dos Passos and Suzanne LaFollette.
A pardon was signed by Illinois Governor Stelle on Xmas Eve, 1940