Bon Jellico Salaries


Store Manager (1928) $75 per month
Postmaster (automatically the Store Manager) according to number of letters mailed (1 cent per letter), usually $10 per month
Miners An average day’s pay for eight hours was $2.50 - $3.50.
Teachers (1933-1938): $54.51-$72.55 per month
Principal (1928): $115.00 per month

J.C. Pemberton's pay stub for one month's work     J. C. Pemberton's Forge

(Thumbnail. Click photo for full version)

Appears to be C. J. Ellison's pay stub for one month's work

Unions at Bon Jellico

   Although there were attempts to organize and maintain a union, the management at Bon Jellico usually prevailed against the attempts. In 1917 Bill Turnblazer, a representative of the United Mine Workers union, came to Bon from Jellico, Tennessee and tried to organize the miners into the United Mine Workers of America. Several men in favor of the union living near the camp were fired and never worked for Bon again. In the late 1920’s the union tried to organize the mine again, and for a short time the union won. In the early 1930’s the company and the unions were in conflict again concerning wages and conditions. Earl Lovitt relates the following account:

“ Neither side would give in. The coal company wanted to cut wages and three or four weeks had gone by. Mr. Jack Taylor made a speech on the Commissary porch, “This is it, Men. Take it or leave it.” And to emphasize his short speech, he had Mr. Jim Pemberton to haul a wagon load (1 ton) of coal, open the back door of the store, and unload the coal in the middle of my clean floor behind the counter. (As much as to say, “We have our coal ready; so it could be a long winter.”) Of course, thanks to the depression, the good old miners of Bon gave in, took a cut and went back to work.”

UMW transfer papers

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