Did you know that there was a sawmill strike in Merrill in 1920? That over 1,000 mill workers – members of the International Timberworkers Union Local No. 128 – participated in the strike, shutting down all but one mill? The mill owners hired the Pinkerton Detective Agency to infiltrate the union and sabotage its efforts? Probably not, as this is a part of our local history that has been “lost” for many years.
The collections of the Merrill Historical Society include a file of reports written by six Pinkerton agents who came to Merrill. The “Pinkerton Reports” have been used as the basis of a new book written by Bea Lebal titled, Strike! The Pinkerton Papers; Industrial Espionage in 1920 Merrill, Wisconsin.
The book is full of intrigue and subterfuge: false identities, clandestine meetings, hidden agendas, and underhanded tricks. After all, the reports were written by industrial spies!
Just released in time for Christmas. Call or stop in at the Merrill History & Culture Center to purchase your copy soon.
The Merrill Historical Society is a private nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation. Its mission is to educate the public about our heritage using the unique historical and cultural resources they collect and preserve.