Also Known As John Smith
Bertha L Eleck
1927 Columbine Mine Massacre
John Eastenes, father of six children, was first to die and first to be buried.
The Wednesday funeral saw Union Theatre in Lafayette packed to capacity. When the Reverend Mr. Boner, Methodist minister, raised his hand for silence the subdued murmuring of the miners and their families ceased, broken only by the stifled sobbing of Mrs. Eastenes and her six children.
Then the simple strains of "Lead Kindly Light" sung by a quartet of four miners filled the room. When the last notes of the old hymn had been sung the Reverend Mr. Boner talked of how Eastenes died. "He died a martyr to a great movement," he said. "He went to his death just as other martyrs of history have died for their cause".
Died in the Columbine Mine Massacre
Killed during the first Columbine Massacre, sometimes called the Columbine Mine massacre to distinguish it from the Columbine High School massacre, occurred in 1927, in the town of Serene, Colorado. A fight broke out between state police and a group of striking coal miners, during which the coal miners were attacked with machine guns. It is unclear whether the machine guns were used by the police or by guards working for the mine. In 1927 Colorado coal miners conducted a statewide strike that had been called by the Industrial Workers of the World. The Columbine Mine at Serene was the only major coal mine in the state that continued to dig coal.
Lest we Forget
At Dawn November 21, 1927, Six Union Miners were killed at the Columbine Mine fighting for a living wage and a measure of human dignity. Five are buried here:
Jerry Davis 1906-1927
John Eastenes 1893-1927
Frank Kovich 1885-1927
Nick Spanudakhis 1893-1927
Mike Vidovich 1892-1927
Rene Jacques 1901-1927
is buried at the Louisville, Colorado Cemetery
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