Manuscript Group 5
The papers of Stanly Easton were processed by Judith Nielsen in May, 1979. They are contained in one file box and have been separated into folders according to type of material. The reports of various operatives in the mines are in three folders, being in chronological arrangement within each folder. There is no arrangement within each of the other folders.
As manager of the Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mine, Stanly Alexander Easton was in intimate touch with his staff, foremen and workers. Indeed, he was perhaps the most respected of the mine managers in the entire Coeur d'Alene mining area.
Born April 7, 1873 in Santa Cruz, California, Easton established a connection with the mining industry early in life. He was first employed as an office boy for the firm of Hans C. Behr and W.I. Salkeld, specialists in mechanical area mining engineering. From office boy he advanced to the field and in construction work had his first opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the many activities in mining at that time.
With this experience behind him, he entered the University of California College of Mines from which he graduated in 1894. After leaving college he worked underground at gold properties in Calaveras and Tuolumme counties doing such varied jobs as assaying, mining, and mill and construction work. In 1896 he went to the Northwest, working underground in the mines of western Montana, Rossland, B.C. and the Coeur d'Alenes where he was employed as a miner at the Bunker Hill and Sullivan mine for the winter of 1896-97. From there he went to Silver City, Idaho where he was in charge of productive mining work. From 1899-1900 he had charge of the development work at Greenwood, B.C., and afterward at Republic, Washington.
In 1901 he engaged in mine examination work under F.W. Bradley. Bradley was impressed with Easton's ability and character and placed him in charge of the Bunker Hill and Sullivan properties when Albert Burch resigned at the end of 1902.
In addition to his mining interests, Easton was also president of the Boy Scouts, of the Idaho Mining Association, a member of the Idaho State Board of Education, and a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Idaho from 1921-31. In 1950 he received an honorary degree from that university.
After leaving Bunker Hill and Sullivan, Easton returned to California where he died December 17, 1961.
A lockout by mine owners in 1892 led to the destruction of the Frisco Mill at Gem, the killing of five miners by guards and the retaliatory shooting of several "scabs" (non-union miners) by members of the miners' union. Order was restored by state troopers and the power of the union was temporarily broken, but the atmosphere of hate continued for many years and later led to much violence.
The Western Federation of Miners was formed in 1893 and grew rapidly. In April, 1899 the Federation officials demanded the holdout Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mine unionize. The answer of the mine owners was to discharge all union miners. The unionists responded by dynamiting the Bunker Hill and Sullivan concentrator at Wardner, said to be the largest in the world. Governor Steunenberg declared martial law and President McKinley ordered U.S. troops from Montana into the area. The miners were rounded up and herded into hastily constructed barracks surrounded by barbed wire, an area later referred to as the "Bull Pen." Miners were gradually released after denying that they belonged to any subversive organization.
The influence of the Western Federation in Idaho had nearly been destroyed, and its leaders dispersed. New headquarters were established in Denver, and soon Charles H. Moyer, William D. Heywood and George A. Pettibone were officials in this new union.
Although Steunenberg had been out of office for nearly four years, living a quiet life with his family in Caldwell, the union could not forget his actions during the spring of 1899. As he was returning from his evening walk on December 30, 1905 a bomb was placed near his home . As he opened the garden gate he tripped the wire which exploded the bomb. Although badly maimed by the explosion, he lived for twenty minutes. For some time before the explosion he had been receiving threatening letters in the mail, and must have realized the source, for as he lay dying in his home he told his family that they (meaning the miners) finally got him.
It was not long before Harry Orchard was arrested and taken to Idaho State Penitentiary. Orchard soon confessed to Pinkerton agent James McParland and told him of his meetings with Western Federation of Miners officials Moyer, Heywood and Pettibone, and of their hiring him to murder the former governor. Moyer, Heywood and Pettibone were literally kidnapped in Colorado and placed on a special train which brought them very quickly into Idaho where they were arrested.
The papers of Stanly Easton are primarily concerned with the Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mine. There are numerous reports of the operatives working in the mines and of one operative detailed to work among the ranchers who had filed a damage suit against the mine owners. There are newspaper clippings about the Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mine and the city of Kellogg, Idaho, as well as a photograph collection depicting various sections of the mine.
The only items not concerned with mining are publications dealing with the Republican National Convention in Chicago in 1916 to which Easton was a delegate.
The reports of the operatives contained in this file are very interesting and would be of great use to anyone interested in the growth of the miners' union after its virtual destruction in the Coeur d'Alenes in 1899.
Box Folder Description Items
1 1 Operatives Reports, 1900-June 1901 115 2 Operatives Reports, July 1901-February 1902 110 3 Operatives Reports, 1905-1906 131 4 Operatives Reports, 1907 173 5 Operative 14 Reports, 1905-October 1907 176 6 Operative 14 Reports, November 1907-June 1908 224
7 Strike, 1919 26 8 Pageant of Silver, 1935 1 9-10 Mining, 1908-1936 51 11 Personal, 1910-1931 33 12 Political and Patriotic, 1904-1931 15 13 Correspondence, 1904-1934 10 14 Miscellaneous Publications, 1903-1924 21
15 Bulldozer at Work. 1936' 5 16 Bunker Hill & Sullivan Mine. Change House, 1916 6 17 Bunker Hill & Sullivan Mine. Power House, n.d. 5 18 Cash Payday, 1933 3 19 Dredging River to Build a Dyke, 1932-1933 8 20 Easton, Stanly, n.d. 2 21 Fourth of July Parade, Coeur d'Alene, 1936 2 22 Kellogg, Idaho. Flood. 1933 4 23 Kellogg, Idaho. Miners' Union Hall, n.d. 3 24 Sunshine Mine Strike, 1937 7 25 First Aid Contest, n.d.-1931 4 26 Bunker Hill Mine and Smelter, n.d. 2 27 Bunker Hill Smelter Site, 1916 4 28 Garage Crew, 1935-1937 2 29 Wm. McDougall, Bob Jones, Zeb White, n.d. 1 30 Unloading slag car. n.d. 1 31 Two houses, n.d. 2 32 Miners Picnic, Kellogg. Parade, 1936 1 33 First statehouse in Idaho, Pierce. n.d. 1 34 Hunting trip in Clearwater; six elk killed. 1927 34 35 Airplanes at Air Show, n.d. 1 36 Unidentified Group of 34 men. n.d. 1
37 Photographs, prizes, teams, and posters, 1918 9
38 Correspondence, 1916 42 39 Program and Publications, 1916 9
40 Reel to Reel tapes (2), 1957; Transcript, 1984 3