My body? Oh, if I could choose,
I would to ashes it reduce
And let the merry breezes blow
My dust to where some flowers grow.
Perhaps some faded flower then
Would come to life and bloom again.
Hellraisers Journal, Monday November 19, 1917
Omaha, Nebraska – Joe Hill’s Ashes Seized in Raid
From the Lincoln Journal Star of November 16, 1917, we find that, in the raid upon the I. W. W. hall in Omaha conducted by federal officials on Tuesday in which 64 men and one woman were arrested, Fellow Worker Joe Hill, now dead, was also taken into custody. The article describes his arrest, or rather, the arrest of a portion of his remains:
Among the things taken from the headquarters is a framed picture of Joe Hill, one of the “I. W. W. martyrs,” who was executed in Utah a few years ago. Inclosed behind the glass is a small envelope containing a few grains of ashes of his body, which was cremated.
How long federal authorities plan to hold on to the ashes of Joe Hill is unknown at this time.