William Haywood

Union leader; one of three accused

[Image: William Haywood]

William D. "Big Bill" Haywood was secretary-treasurer of the Western Federation of Miners, in the early 1900's and one of the founding members of the most aggressively violent union in the United States, the Industrial Workers of the World, the I.W.W., or the "Wobblies," as some people called them.

After Harry Orchard implicated him and the other members of the "inner circle" of the Western Federation of Miners, Haywood was kidnapped from Colorado to Idaho and stood trial in 1907 for hiring Orchard to kill Steunenberg.

Haywood was acquitted, left the Western Federation, and became president of the I.W.W.

During World War I, Haywood was convicted of sedition for opposing the war. While he was on bail awaiting his appeal, he fled to Russia, where he died a few years later. Part of his ashes are in the Kremlin, the rest in Chicago.