Assignment 1 Reminder

Centralia No. 5 Based on the case study by Martin, The Blast in Centralia No. 5, in Stillman, PA, Chapter 1, write a 3-4  page paper in which you:

1. Identify and explain four (4) logistical alternatives Scanlan could have addressed.

2. Analyze and discuss Scanlan’s motivation toward the Constitution (the law), bureaucracy (as a public administrator responsible to the public), and obligation.

3. Take a position on two (2) possible paths of action for Scanlan and defend your choices.

4. Research and cite at least four (4) peer-reviewed academic sources.

Your assignment must:

· Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.

· Include a cover page containing the tile of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

· Analyze the changing nature and responsibilities for managing public and nonprofit organizations.

· Use technology and information resources to research issues in modern public administration.

· Write clearly and concisely about modern public administration using proper writing mechanics.

Case Study:

The Blast in Centralia No. 5: A Mine Disaster

No One Stopped

Already the crowd had gathered. Cars clogged the short, black rock road from the highway to the mine, cars bearing curious spectators and relatives and friends of the men entombed. State troopers and deputy sheriffs and the prosecuting attorney came, and officials from

the company, the Federal Bureau of Mines, the Illinois Department of Mines and Minerals. Ambulances ar-rived, and doctors and nurses and Red Cross workers and soldiers with stretchers from Scott Field. Mine res-cue teams came, and a federal rescue unit, experts bur-

dened with masks and oxygen tanks and other awkward paraphernalia of disaster. . . .One hundred and eleven men were killed in that explosion. Killed needlessly, for almost everybody

concerned had known for months, even years, that the mine was dangerous. Yet nobody had done any-thing effective about it. Why not? Let us examine the background of the explosion. Let us study the mine and the miners, Joe Bryant and Bill Rowekamp and some others, and also the numerous people who might have saved the miners’ lives but did not. The

miners had appealed in various directions for help but got none, not from their state government nor their federal government nor their employer northeir own union. (In threading the maze of official-dom we must bear in mind four agencies in author-ity: The State of Illinois, the United States Government, the Centralia Coal Company, and the United Mine Workers of America, that is, the UMWA of John L. Lewis.) Let us seek to fix responsibility for

the disaster. . . .The Centralia Mine No. 5 was opened two miles south of Centralia in 1907. Because of its age, its maze of underground workings is extensive, covering per-

haps six square miles, but it is regarded as a medium- small mine since it employs but 250 men and produces but 2,000 tons of coal daily. It was owned by the Cen-

tralia Coal Company, an appendage of the Bell & Zoller empire, one of the Big Six among Illinois coal opera-tors. . . . The Bell & Zoller home office was in Chicago

(most of the big coal operators’ home offices are in Chicago or St. Louis); no Bell & Zoller officers or di-rectors lived at Centralia. There are in coal mines two main explosion haz-ards—coal dust and gas. Coal dust is unhealthy to breathe and highly explosive. Some of the dust raised

by machines in cutting and loading coal stays in sus-pension in the air. Some subsides to the floor and walls of the tunnels, and a local explosion will kick it back into the air where it will explode and, in turn, throw more dust into the air, which will explode; and as this chain reaction continues the explosion will propagate throughout the mine or until it reaches something that

will stop it. The best method of stopping it, a method in use for some twenty-five years, is rock dusting. Rock dusting is simply applying pulverized stone to the walls and

roof of the passageways; when a local explosion oc-curs it will throw a cloud of rock dust into the air along with the coal dust, and since rock dust is incombustible the explosion will die. Rock dusting will not prevent an explosion but it will localize one. Illinois law re-

quires rock dusting in a dangerously dusty mine. Au-thorities disagreed as to whether the Centralia mine was gassy but everyone agreed it was exceedingly dry and dusty. The men who worked in it had been com-plaining about the dust for a long time—one recalls

“the dust was over your shoetops,” another that “I used to cough up chunks of coal dust like walnuts after work”—and indeed by 1944, more than two years be-

fore the disaster, so widespread had dissatisfaction be-come that William Rowekamp, as recording secretary of Local Union 52, prepared an official complaint. But

even earlier, both state and federal inspectors had rec-ognized the danger. Let us trace the history of these warnings of disaster to come. For in the end it was this dust which did ex-

plode and kill one hundred and eleven men, and sel-dom has a major catastrophe of any kind been blueprinted so accurately so far in advance. Driscoll O. Scanlan (who led the rescue work after the disaster) went to work in a mine near Centralia when he was 16, studied engineering at night school, and worked 13 years as a mine examiner for a coal com-pany until, in 1941, he was appointed one of 16 Illinois state mine inspectors by Governor Green upon recom-

mendation of the state representative from Scanlan’s district. Speaking broadly, the job of a state inspector is to police the mine operators—to see that they comply with the state mining law, including its numerous safety provisions. But an inspector’s job is a political patron-

age job. Coal has always been deeply enmeshed in Illi- nois politics. Dwight H. Green, running for Governor the pre-ceding fall, had promised the miners that he would en-force the mining laws “to the letter of the law,” and however far below this lofty aim his administration fell

(as we shall see), Scanlan apparently took the promise

literally. Scanlan is a stubborn, righteous, zealous man

of fierce integrity. Other inspectors, arriving to inspect

a mine, would go into the office and chat with the company officials. Not Scanlan; he waited outside, and

down in the mine he talked with the miners, not the

bosses. Other inspectors, emerging, would write their

reports in the company office at the company type-

writer. Not Scanlan; he wrote on a portable in his car.

Widespread rumor had it that some inspectors spent

most of their inspection visits drinking amiably with

company officials in the hotel in town. Not Scanlan.

Other inspectors wrote the briefest reports possible,

making few recommendations and enumerating only

major violations of the mining law. Scanlan’s reports

were longer than any others (owing in part to a prolix

prose style), he listed every violation however minor,

and he made numerous recommendations for im-

provements even though they were not explicitly re-

quired by law.

Scanlan came to consider the Centralia No. 5 mine

the worst in his district. In his first report on it he made

numerous recommendations, including these: “That

haulage roads be cleaned and sprinkled. . . . That tamp-

ing of shots with coal dust be discontinued and that

clay be used. . . .” Remember those criticisms, for they

were made February 7, 1942, more than five years

before the mine blew up as a result (at least in part)

of those very malpractices.

Every three months throughout 1942, 1943, and

1944 Scanlan inspected the mine and repeated his rec-

ommendations, adding new ones: “That the mine be

sufficiently rock dusted.” And what became of his re-

ports? He mailed them to the Department of Mines and

Minerals at Springfield, the agency which supervises

coal mines and miners. Springfield is dominated by the

Statehouse, an ancient structure of spires and towers

and balconies, of colonnades and domes; on its broad

front steps Lincoln stands in stone. Inside all is gloom and

shabby gilt. The Department of Mines and Minerals

occupies three high-ceilinged rooms in a back corner of

the second floor. The Director of the Department uses

the small, comfortable, innermost office, its windows

brushed by the leaves of trees on the Statehouse lawn,

and here too the Mining Board meets. In theory, the

Mining Board makes policy to implement the mining

law, the Director executes its dictates; in practice, the

Director possesses considerable discretionary power of

his own.

In 1941 Governor Green appointed as Director

Robert M. Medill, a genial, paunchy, red-faced man

of about sixty-five. Medill had gone to work in a mine

at sixteen; he rose rapidly in management. He had a

talent for making money and he enjoyed spending it.

He entered Republican politics in 1920, served a few

years as director of the Department of Mines and Min-

erals, then returned to business (mostly managing

mines); and then, after working for Green’s election in

1940, was rewarded once more with the directorship.

Green reappointed him in 1944 with, says Medill, the

approval of “a multitude of bankers and business men

all over the state. And miners. I had the endorsement

of all four factions.” By this he means the United Mine

Workers and its smaller rival, the Progressive Mine

Workers, and the two associations of big and little op-

erators; to obtain the endorsement of all four of these

jealous, power-seeking groups is no small feat. As Di-

rector, Medill received $6,000 a year (since raised to

$8,000) plus expenses of $300 or $400 a month. He

lived in a sizable country house at Lake Springfield,

with spacious grounds and a tree-lined driveway.

To Medill’s department, then, came Driscoll Scanlan’s

inspection reports on Centralia Mine No. 5. Medill, how-

ever, did not see the first thirteen reports (1942–44); they

were handled as “routine” by Robert Weir, an unimag-

inative, harassed little man who had come up through

the ranks of the miners’ union and on recommendation

of the union had been appointed Assistant Director of

the Department by Green (at $4,000 a year, now

$5,200). When the mail brought an inspector’s report,

it went first to Medill’s secretary who shared the office

next to Medill’s with Weir. She stamped the report [with

date of receipt] . . . and put it on Weir’s desk. Sometimes,

but by no means always, Weir read the report. He gave

it to one of a half-dozen girl typists in the large outer

office. She edited the inspector’s recommendations for

errors in grammar and spelling, and incorporated them

into a form letter to the owner of the mine, closing:

“The Department endorses the recommendations

made by Inspector Scanlan and requests that you com-

ply with same.

“Will you please advise the Department upon the

completion of the recommendations set forth above?

“Thanking you . . .”

When the typist placed this letter upon his desk, Weir

signed it and it was mailed to the mine operator.

But the Centralia company did not comply with the

major recommendations Scanlan made. In fact, it did

not even bother to answer Weir’s thirteen letters based

on Scanlan’s reports. And Weir did nothing about this.

Once, early in the game, Weir considered the dusty

condition of the mine so serious that he requested the

company to correct it within ten days; but there is no

evidence that the company even replied. This continued for nearly three years. And during the

same period the federal government entered the pic-

ture. In 1941 Congress authorized the U.S. Bureau of

Mines to make periodic inspections of coal mines. But

the federal government had no enforcement power

whatever; the inspections served only research. The first

federal inspection of Centralia Mine No. 5 was made in

September of 1942. In general, the federal recommen-

dations duplicated Scanlan’s—rock dusting, improving

ventilation, wetting the coal to reduce dust—and the

federal inspectors noted that “coal dust . . . at this mine

is highly explosive, and would readily propagate an

explosion.” In all, they made 106 recommendations,

including 33 “major” ones (a government official has

defined a “major” hazard as one that “could . . . re-

sult in a disaster”). Four months passed before a copy

of this report filtered through the administrative ma-

chinery at Washington and reached the Illinois De-

partment at Springfield, but this mattered little: the

Department did nothing anyway. Subsequent federal

reports in 1943 and 1944 showed that the “major” rec-

ommendations had not been complied with. The fed-

eral bureau lacked the power to force compliance;

the Illinois Department possessed the power but failed

to act.

What of the men working in the mine during these

three years? On November 4, 1944, on instructions

from Local 52 at Centralia, William Rowekamp, the

recording secretary, composed a letter to Medill: “At the

present the condition of those roadways are very dirty

and dusty . . . they are getting dangerous. . . . But the

Coal Co. has ignored [Scanlan’s recommendations].

And we beg your prompt action on this matter.”

The Department received this letter November 6,

and four days later Weir sent Inspector Scanlan to in-

vestigate. Scanlan reported immediately:

“The haulage roads in this mine are awful dusty, and

much dust is kept in suspension all day. . . . The miners

have complained to me . . . and I have wrote it up pretty

strong on my inspection reports. . . . But to date they

have not done any adequate sprinkling. . . . Today . . .

[Superintendent Norman] Prudent said he would fix the

water tank and sprinkle the roads within a week, said

that he would have had this work done sooner, but that

they have 20 to 30 men absent each day.” (This last is

a claim by the company that its cleanup efforts were

handicapped by a wartime manpower shortage. This is

controversial. Men of fifty-nine—the average wartime

age at the mine—do not feel like spending weekends

removing coal dust or rock dusting, a disagreeable task;

winter colds caused absenteeism and miners are al-

ways laying off anyway. On the other hand, the com-

pany was interested in production and profits: as Mine

Manager Brown has said, “In the winter you can sell all

the coal you can get out. So you want top production,

you don’t want to stop to rock dust.”)

At any rate, Rowekamp’s complaint got results. On

December 2, 1944, he wrote Scanlan: “Well I am proud

to tell you that they have sprinkled the 18th North Entry

& 21st So. Entry and the main haulage road. . . . Myself

and the Members of Local Union #52 appreciate it very

much what you have done for us.” It is apparent from

this first direct move by Local 52 that Scanlan was work-

ing pretty closely with the Local to get something done.

But by the end of that month, December 1944, the

mine once more had become so dirty that Scanlan

ended his regular inspection report, “. . . if necessary the

mine should discontinue hoisting coal for a few days

until the [cleanup] work can be done.” But all Weir said

to the company was the routine “The Department

endorses. . . .”

Early in 1945 it appeared that something might be

accomplished. Scanlan, emerging from his regular in-

spection, took the unusual step of telephoning Medill

at Springfield. Medill told him to write him a letter so

Scanlan did:

“The haulage roads in this mine are in a terrible con-

dition. If a person did not see it he would not believe. . . .

Two months ago . . . the local officers [of Local Union

52] told me that . . . if [the mine manager] did not clean

the mine up they were going to prefer charges against

him before the mining board and have his certificate

canceled. I talked them out of it and told them I thought

we could get them to clean up the mine. But on this in-

spection I find that practically nothing has been done.

. . . The mine should discontinue hoisting coal . . . until

the mine is placed in a safe condition. . . . The coal dust

in this mine is highly explosive. . . .”

This stiff letter was duly stamped “Received” at

Springfield on February 23, 1945. A few days earlier a

bad report had come in from Federal Inspector Perz.

And now at last Medill himself entered the picture.

What did he do? The Superintendent at Centralia had

told Scanlan that, in order to clean up the mine, he

would have to stop producing coal, a step he was not

empowered to take. So Medill bypassed him, forward-

ing Scanlan’s letter and report to William P. Young, Bell

& Zoller’s operating vice-president at Chicago: “Dear

Bill. . . . Please let me have any comments you wish to

make. . . . Very kindest personal regards.” From his quiet, well-furnished office near the top of the Bell

Building overlooking Michigan Avenue, Young replied

immediately to “Dear Bob” [Medill]: “As you know we

have been working under a very severe handicap for the

past months. The war demand for coal . . . we are short

of men. . . . I am hopeful that the urgent demand of coal

will ease up in another month so that we may have

available both the time and labor to give proper atten-

tion to the recommendations of Inspector Scanlan. With

kindest personal regards. . . .”

A week later, on March 7, 1945, Medill forwarded

copies of this correspondence to Scanlan, adding: “I

also talked with Mr. Young on the phone, and I feel quite

sure that he is ready and willing. . . . I would suggest

that you ask the mine committee [of Local 52] to be pa-

tient a little longer, inasmuch as the coal is badly needed

at this time.”

The miners told Scanlan they’d wait till the first of

April but no longer. On March 14 Medill was to attend

a safety meeting in Belleville. Scanlan went there to dis-

cuss Centralia No. 5 with him. According to Scanlan,

“When I went up to his room he was surrounded with

coal operators . . . all having whiskey, drinking, having

a good time, and I couldn’t talk to him then, and we at-

tended the safety meeting [then] went . . . down to Otis

Miller’s saloon, and I stayed in the background drink-

ing a few cokes and waited until the crowd thinned out,

and went back up to his hotel room with him. . . . I told

him that the mine was in such condition that if the dust

became ignited that it would sweep from one end of the

mine to the other and probably kill every man in the

mine, and his reply to me was, ‘We will just have to take

that chance.’” (Medill has denied these words but not

the meeting.)

On the first of April the president of Local Union

52 asked Scanlan to attend the Local’s meeting on

April 4. The miners complained that the company had

not cleaned up the mine and, further, that one of the

face bosses, or foreman, had fired explosive charges

while the entire shift of men was in the mine. There

can be little doubt that to fire explosives on-shift in a

mine so dusty was to invite trouble—in fact, this turned

out to be what later caused the disaster—and now in

April 1945 the union filed charges against Mine Man-

ager Brown, asking the State Mining Board to revoke

his certificate of competency (this would cost him his

job and prevent his getting another in Illinois as a

mine manager). Rowekamp wrote up the charges: “. . .

And being the Mine is so dry and dusty it could of

caused an explosion. . . .”

Weir went to Centralia on April 17, 1945, but only

to investigate the charges against Brown, not to in-

quire into the condition of the mine. He told the min-

ers they should have taken their charges to the state’s

attorney. Nearly a month passed before, on May 11,

Weir wrote a memorandum to the Mining Board say-

ing that the company’s superintendent had admitted

the shots had been fired on-shift but that this was

done “in an emergency” and it wouldn’t happen

again; and the Board refused to revoke Manager

Brown’s certificate.

Meanwhile, on April 12 and 13, Scanlan had made

his regular inspection and found conditions worse than

in February. He told the Superintendent: “Now, Norman,

you claim Chicago won’t give you the time to shut your

mine down and clean it up. Now, I am going to get you

some time,” and he gave him the choice of shutting the

mine down completely or spending three days a week

cleaning up. The Superintendent, he said, replied that

he didn’t know, he’d have to “contact Chicago,” but

Scanlan replied: “I can’t possibly wait for you to con-

tact Chicago. It is about time that you fellows who op-

erate the mines get big enough to operate your mines

without contacting Chicago.” So on Scanlan’s recom-

mendation the mine produced coal only four days a

week and spent the remaining days cleaning up. For a

time Scanlan was well satisfied with the results, but by

June 25 he was again reporting excessive dust and Fed-

eral Inspector Perz was concurring: “No means are used

to allay the dust.” Following his October inspection

Scanlan once more was moved to write a letter to

Medill; but the only result was another routine letter

from Weir to the company, unanswered.

Now, one must understand that, to be effective, both

rock dusting and cleanup work must be maintained con-

tinuously. They were not at Centralia No. 5. By Decem-

ber of 1945 matters again came to a head. Scanlan wrote

to Medill, saying that Local 52 wanted a sprinkling sys-

tem installed to wet the coal, that Mine Manager Brown

had said he could not order so “unusual” an expenditure,

and that Brown’s superior, Superintendent Prudent,

“would not talk to me about it, walked away and left me

standing.” And Local 52 again attempted to take matters

into its own hands. At a special meeting on December 12

the membership voted to prefer charges against both

Mine Manager Brown and Superintendent Prudent.

Rowekamp’s official charge, typed on stationery of the

Local, was followed next day by a letter, written in long-

hand on two sheets of dime-store notepaper, and signed

by 28 miners. . . . At Springfield this communication too was duly stamped “Received.” And another Scanlan

report arrived.

Confronted with so many documents, Medill called

a meeting of the Mining Board on December 21. More-

over, he called Scanlan to Springfield and told him to

go early to the Leland Hotel, the gathering place of Re-

publican politicians, and see Ben H. Schull, a coal op-

erator and one of the operators’ two men on the Mining

Board. In his hotel room, Schull (according to Scanlan)

said he wanted to discuss privately Scanlan’s report on

Centralia No. 5, tried to persuade him to withdraw his

recommendation of a sprinkling system, and, when

Scanlan refused, told him, “you can come before the

board.” But when the Mining Board met in Medill’s

inner office, Scanlan was not called before it though he

waited all day, and after the meeting he was told that

the Board was appointing a special commission to go

to Centralia and investigate.

On this commission were Weir, two state inspec-

tors, and two members of the Mining Board itself,

Schull and Murrell Reak. Reak, a miner himself, rep-

resented the United Mine Workers of America on the

Mining Board. And Weir, too, owed his job to the

UMWA but, oddly, he had worked for Bell & Zoller for

twenty years before joining the Department, the last

three as a boss, so his position was rather ambiguous.

In fact, so unanimous were the rulings of the Mining

Board that one cannot discern any management-labor

cleavage at all but only what would be called in party

politics bipartisan deals.

The commission had before it a letter from Superin-

tendent Prudent and Manager Brown setting forth in de-

tail the company’s “absentee experience” and concluding

with a veiled suggestion that the mine might be forced to

close for good (once before, according to an inspector,

the same company had abandoned a mine rather than

go to the expense entailed in an inspector’s safety rec-

ommendation). Weir wrote to Prudent, notifying him

that the commission would visit Centralia on Decem-

ber 28 to investigate the charges against him and

Brown; Medill wrote to the company’s vice-president,

Young, at Chicago (“You are being notified of this date

so that you will have an opportunity to be present or

designate some member of your staff to be present”);

but Medill only told Rowekamp, “The committee has

been appointed and after the investigation you will be

advised of their findings and the action of the board”—

he did not tell the Local when the commission would

visit Centralia nor offer it opportunity to prove its


Rowekamp, a motorman, recalls how he first learned

of the special commission’s visit. He was working in the

mine and “Prudent told me to set out an empty and I

did and they rode out.” Prudent—remember, the com-

mission was investigating charges against Prudent—led

the commission through the mine. Rowekamp says,

“They didn’t see nothing. They didn’t get back in the

buggy runs where the dust was the worst; they stayed

on the mainline.” Even there they rode, they did not

walk through the dust. Riding in a mine car, one must

keep one’s head down. In the washhouse that after-

noon the men were angry. They waited a week or two,

then wrote to Medill asking what had been done. On

January 22, 1946, Medill replied: the Mining Board,

adopting the views of the special commission, had

found “insufficient evidence” to revoke the certificates

of Prudent and Brown.

He did not elaborate. Next day, however, he sent to

Scanlan a copy of the commission’s report. It listed sev-

eral important violations of the mining law: inadequate

rock dusting, illegal practice in opening rooms, insuffi-

cient or improperly placed telephones, more than a

hundred men working on a single split, or current, of

air. In fact, the commission generally concurred with

Scanlan, except that it did not emphasize dust nor rec-

ommend a sprinkling system. Thus in effect it overruled

Scanlan on his sprinkling recommendation, a point to

remember. It did find that the law was being violated

yet it refused to revoke the certificates of the Superin-

tendent and the Mine Manager, another point to re-

member. Weir has explained that the board felt that

improvements requiring construction, such as splitting

the airstream, would be made and that anyway “con-

ditions there were no different than at most mines in the

state.” And this is a refrain that the company and the De-

partment repeated in extenuation after the disaster. But

actually could anything be more damning? The mine

was no worse than most others; the mine blew up;

therefore any might blow up!

The miners at Centralia were not satisfied. “It come

up at the meeting,” Rowekamp recalls. Local 52 met

two Wednesday nights a month in its bare upstairs

hall. The officers sat at a big heavy table up front; the

members faced them, sitting on folding chairs which

the Local had bought second-hand from an under-

taker. Attendance was heavier now than usual, the

men were aroused, some were even telling their wives

that the mine was dangerous. They wanted to do

something. But what? The state had rebuffed them.

Well, why did they not go now to the higher officials of their own union, the UMWA? Why not to John L.

Lewis himself?

One of them has said, “You have to go through the

real procedure to get to the right man, you got to start

at the bottom and start climbing up, you see? If we

write to Lewis, he’ll refer us right back to Spud White.”

Spud White is Hugh White, the thick-necked president

of the UMWA in Illinois (District 12), appointed by

Lewis. Now, Lewis had suspended District 12’s right

to elect its own officers during the bloody strife of the

early 1930s, when the members, disgusted with what

they called his “dictator” methods and complaining of

secret payrolls, expulsions, missing funds, stolen bal-

lots, and leaders who turned up on operators’ payrolls,

had rebelled; in the end the Progressive Mine Work-

ers was formed and Lewis retained tight control of the

UMWA. A decade later the Illinois officers of UMWA

demanded that he restore their self-government, but

Lewis managed to replace them with his own men, in-

cluding Spud White. By 1946 President White, a coal

miner from the South, was consulting at high levels

with Lewis; he was receiving $10,000 a year plus ex-

penses (which usually equal salary), and he was main-

taining a spacious house on a winding lane in the

finest residential suburb of Springfield, a white house

reached by a circular drive through weeping willows

and evergreens.

Evidently the perplexed miners at Centralia already

had appealed to District 12 for help, that is to White.

Certainly Murrell Reak, the UMWA’s man on the Min-

ing Board and a close associate of White’s, had asked

Weir to furnish him with a copy of the findings of the

special commission: “I want them so I may show the dis-

trict UMWA. So they in turn may write Local Union

down there, and show them that their charges are un-

founded or rather not of a nature as to warrant the rev-

ocation of mine mgr. Certificate. . . .” Jack Ripon, the

bulky vice-president of District 12 and White’s right-

hand man, said recently, “We heard there’d been com-

plaints but we couldn’t do a thing about it; it was up to

the Mining Department to take care of it.”

And yet in the past the UMWA has stepped in

when the state failed to act. One unionist has said,

“White could have closed that mine in twenty-four

hours. All he’d have had to do was call up Medill and

tell him he was going to pull every miner in the state

if they didn’t clean it up. It’s the union’s basic re-

sponsibility—if you don’t protect your own wife and

daughter, your neighbor down the street’s not going

to do it.”36 Chapter 1/ The Search for the Scope and Purpose of Public Administration

Perhaps the miners of Local 52 knew they must go it

alone. They continued to address their official com-

plaints to the State of Illinois. On February 26

Rowekamp wrote once more to Medill: “Dear Sir: At

our regular meeting of Local Union 52. Motion made

and second which carried for rec. secy. write you that

the members of local union 52 are dissatisfied with the

report of the special investigation commission. . . .”

No answer. And so the members of Local 52 instructed

Rowekamp to write to higher authority, to their Gov-

ernor, Dwight H. Green.

It took him a long time. Elmer Moss kept asking if

he’d finished it and Rowekamp recalls, “I’d tell him,

Elmer, I can’t do that fast, that’s a serious letter, that’ll

take me a while.” He wrote it out first in pencil and

showed it to a couple of the boys and they thought it

sounded fine. Then, sitting big and awkward at his

cluttered little oak desk in the living room of his home

outside town, he typed it, slowly and carefully—“any-

thing important as that I take my time so I don’t make

mistakes, it looks too sloppified.” He used the official

stationery of the Local, bearing in one corner the de-

vice of the union—crossed shovels and picks—and in

the other “Our Motto—Justice for One and All.” He

impressed upon it the official seal—“I can write a let-

ter on my own hook but I dassen’t use the seal with-

out it’s official”—and in the washhouse the Local

officers signed it. Rowekamp made a special trip to the

post office to mail it. It was a two-page letter saying,

in part:

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