Hellraisers Journal: Big Bill Haywood Welcomed Home to Denver by Enormous Crowd and “Thunder of Roaring Cheers”

Workingmen of all kinds stood by us
in this ordeal,
both morally and financially.
I thank them.
-Big Bill Haywood


Hellraisers Journal, Tuesday August 6, 1907
Denver, Colorado – Massive Crowd Celebrates Haywood’s Return

From The Rocky Mountain News of August 5, 1907:

Haywood Reaches Home
in a Thunder
of Roaring Cheers

‘Hello, Bill’, Salutation of Crowd,
Which Surges Trough Gates
of Union Station.


Haywood Family Reunited, Boise, Wilkes-Barre Leader, May 10, 1907, Crpd

William D. Haywood arrived in Denver at 10:45 last night [August 4th], one year, five months and eighteen days after he left it [was kidnapped] to go to Boise to face a charge of conspiracy to murder Governor Steunenberg.

No one saw him start for Boise. Thousands cheered him on his return.

All day yesterday, on the journey through Colorado, Haywood was greeted at the stations by crowds, which shouted themselves hoarse and tried to drag him from the train to make a speech.

Haywood’s first care on arriving at his home city was his wife. He carried her tenderly from the train, put her into her invalid’s chair, and wheeled her through the shouting crowd to a waiting carriage. Mrs. Haywood was pale but smiling, and seemed supremely happy at the reception given her husband.

The crowd surged through the gates at the union station and pressed up close to the train. When Haywood appeared with Mrs. Haywood in his arms the crowd let loose, and men, women and children yelled their greetings. The crowd outside could not see Haywood, but they knew he had arrived, and the cheering swelled out and up Seventeenth street.


[Photograph added.]

[Continued below at “Thunder.”]


Haywood Thanks Workingmen for Support
and Says He Is Still a Socialist.

By Samuel H. Wood

1906 Elections, Haywood for Colorado Governor, IWW Poster

First liberty, now home. William D. Haywood, secretary and treasurer of the Western Federation of Miners, having been awarded his liberty by a jury, felt the full force of the word home as he approached Denver last evening.

Met on the train at Colorado Springs by two representatives of The News, Haywood declared:

I consider my acquittal a complete vindication, personally and as to the Western Federation. You can mention the federation first, because it was the federation and not myself on trial.

There is no reason to believe but that the Western Federation of Miners will continue its course to better and uplift the workingman. Its efforts will not only be for our members, but it will-whenever and wherever it can, lend a helping hand to any other craft.

I asked Haywood what he thought of the manner in which organized labor in general rallied to his support, and he became enthusiastic. Said he;

Thanks Workingmen

Workingmen of all kinds stood by us in this ordeal, both morally and financially. I thank them. The votes I received for governor [Socialist Party] last fall were certainly a splendid testimonial from my own state and my own people. About 17,000 of those votes were counted for me, and when it is declared that such a number of votes were counted in my behalf it is saying a good deal for Colorado.


[Photograph added.]

[Continued below at “Vindication.”]

From Minnesota’s Warren Sheaf of August 1, 1907:

HMP, What Jury Verdict Did, Warren MN Sheaf, Aug 1 1907


“Thunder,” continued from above:

HMP, Denver Greets Haywood, RMN p4 Aug 5, 1907


First Thought of Wife

From the station to the Albany [Hotel] the streets were lined with crowds, and long before and long after the carriage bearing Haywood passed, cheers were given him.

“Hello, Bill,” was the usual salutation, and every time he heard it, Haywood turned and smiled.

When the Albany was reached Haywood first carried his wife into the hotel and put her in the elevator, to be taken to their rooms. Then he returned to the street and made a speech to the thousands who jammed about his carriage.

It was a homogeneous gathering of people who received Haywood at the union station.

There were fully 7,000 people in the crowd, which cheered, clapped hands, shouted with all the force of their lungs, and laughed aloud from sheer joy. Well dressed men and woman joined in the pressing throng to grasp Haywood by the hand, and in doing so rubbed shoulders with plainly, even shabbily dressed men and women. Even little children blended their voices with the general shout when Haywood first appeared between the ranks of the committeemen, who cleared the way for the wheel chair in which Mrs. Haywood was taken from the train to the carriage.

As early as 9 o’clock the crowd began to gather, although the train was not due until 10:40. Slowly at first they came, singly and in groups of two and three, but by 10 o’clock a steady stream of Haywood sympathizers was flowing into the station proper and the surrounding grounds. At that time the committee of Haywood sympathizers was flowing into the station proper and the surrounding grounds. At that time the committee of 100 union men of Denver, appointed as a reception committee, arrived and immediately began to put into action their plans for keeping open a way to the carriages waiting outside the station for the Haywood party.

Crowd Was Orderly

By 10 o’clock the station attaches and the squad of policemen, under the orders of Sergeant Russell, found it necessary to close the gates from the station proper into the train yard. The crowd was exceptionally orderly, however, and the services of the police were at no time in great demand.

All along Seventeenth street, from Lawrence street to the station, were groups of people standing and sitting on the curbstone as early as 10 o’clock, and by 10:30 both sides of Seventeenth street between these points were lined three and four deep with expectant ones.

From that time onward until the train arrived every person was on the qui vive, momentarily expecting the cry of “There he is!” to arise. Several times there were false alarms, and an almost involuntary surge toward the station entrance could be noticed in the struggling mass of humanity in the yard.

Questions of all sorts and kinds were asked right and left by men and women, irrespective of whom they might be addressing.

“Is he a big man?” “What kind of clothes does he wear?” “Is his wife coming with him?” “Do you suppose he’ll make a speech here near the station?” These were a few of the queries with which policemen and members of the reception committee were deluged.

Cripple Saw Big Man

“Let me through, please; I want to see Mr. Haywood,” piped a wee, small voice near the Welcome arch just at the moment of utter silence preceding the roar that greeted the appearance of Haywood at the door of the station. Bystanders turned to note who was speaking and saw in the thick of the press a boy possibly 14 years old, whose deformed right foot made it necessary for him to use crutches. Instantly the germ of good feeling that was evident in all the actions of the crowd, developed and grew into life as a strapping big six-footer near by said: “Here, sonny, I’ll give you a boost.” Without further talk and while others about them were craning for a view of Haywood, the men nearest the little fellow bunched together, lifted him to their shoulders and there he sat safe and happy while Haywood and his wife were entering the carriage. The crowd pushed and surged against the men holding the little cripple, but they stood steadfast until the last of thee carriages had driven away.

Then they let the little fellow down, and, after thanking them for their kindness, he hobbled quickly away, his crutches beating a happy rataplan on the bricks of the sidewalk as he hustled home to tell how he saw “Bill.”

An incident which shows the depth of feeling and the utter absorption of the crowd was the fact that when the lights on the “Welcome” sign in front of the station were extinguished just as Haywood stepped into the carriage which was to convey him to the hotel, hardly a person in the surging throng noticed it until a big committeeman shouted, “the artificial ‘Welcome’ sign is out, Bill, but I guess you don’t need it. You can see more in our faces than you could there.”

Hardly 100 persons nearby heard his shout because of the din, but those 100 started a cheer that rolled through crowd and onward up Seventeenth street until it was swallowed up in the next cheer…

[Photograph added.]

“Vindication,” continued from above:

HMP, Haywood Reads at Jail Window, Tpk Dly Jr, July 29, 1907


Haywood is in the best of physical condition, a strength which he has used on the return trip to carefully look after his invalid wife and John H. Murphy, general counsel for the Western federation, who arrived on the same train, but spent the time during the journey in his bed. Murphy was attended by Dr. Disbrow of Denver, who went west at Haywood’s request to look after the sick lawyer.

Taken from Colorado February 17, 1906, and weighing at the time 238 pounds, Haywood weighed when acquitted just twenty pounds less. Relating these details to me, Haywood said he had never during his confinement felt ill.

Treated Badly in Pen

[He continued:]

When I was first in Idaho, I was placed in the penitentiary at Boise. There I was not treated properly. I was put in a cell in solitary confinement, the electric lights were taken from me, no papers were furnished me, no writing materials allowed, and I was not allowed to speak to anyone from the outside. Even the cell in which I was placed was an injustice because it was in the “condemned” row. This policy was continued two weeks, when I was taken to the Canyon county jail, and later to the Ada county jail. At the last named place the treatment accorded me was excellent.

“How about your trip home,” I asked.

[Haywood replied:

It has been a very pleasant journey, barring the fact that we left Pettibone in jail.

“Will the federation make a fight for him?”

Yes, indeed. As to my own trial, I feel that Judge Fremont wood was very fair, and I took occasion to tell him so.

Since the trial I have met several members of the jury and they seem to be fair men. They were citizens of standing in the community. All of them were or had been farmers, and most of them were actively engaged as farmers at the time they were selected to serve on the jury. The people of Boise were kind to me and considerate of my family.

We had a cordial reception all along the line. At Pocatello 1,700 met us at the station. At Ogden and Salt Lake we were well received and at Glenwood Springs the people were most friendly and had a band out for us. Palisade welcome us, and I much appreciated the good wishes of a delegation which came down from Leadville to the junction. Pueblo and Colorado Springs greeted us kindly.

I talked with Haywood about his experiences and plans for the future, but he was conservative in discussing these matters, and said:

I’m gong back to Denver to take up my work as secretary and treasurer of the federation, just where I left off. That is all that is to be said just now. It was quite a coincidence that just before my most unexpected arrest the board of the federation had voted me a vacation. But I am back now for work. James Kirwan, who has done my work while I have been away for a year and a half, has made an excellent record, and he will remain for the present at headquarters because there is work enough for us both. I have received hundreds of congratulatory telegrams, and Kirwan tells me he has hundreds more awaiting my inspection.

I am glad to get back to Colorado. It is my home, my work is here, and here I hope to carry it on as faithfully as I know how. When my wife and children came to Boise the home was temporarily broken up, and we will be for a time at the Albany hotel until we can get located again.

When I talked politics to the acquitted man he declared:

I will continue to be a Socialist.

Only on one subject did Haywood speak sarcastically. He declared:

The Pinkertons have been completely routed, and some of them who became members of the federation to serve their masters will now probably retire from our ranks.

[The leader of the union miners further declared:]

With the exception of a few feature writers, the newspaper men at the Boise trial treated me fairly, and I was fortunate in that the federation secured the services of such able lawyers as Richardson, Darrow, Nugent, Murphy, Edgar Wilson, Breen, Miller and Whitsell.

Recently I’ve had amply opportunity to follow the news of the day and keep in touch with labor matters. It is my belief that the general labor situation in the country is improving all the time, especially as to the Western Federation of Miners. Gratifying concessions to our members have been made in many instances during the past eighteen months, both as to hour and wages. In fact, there seems to have been a remarkable wave of betterment in all labor conditions, notably among the railroad men.

Noticeable, indeed, was the conduct of Haywood enroute. He could not restrain himself every few minutes from going from the smoking room to the center of the car and ascertaining if his invalid wife or “Eight-Hour” Murphy, the sick federation lawyer, needed his attention in any way. In the party beside the Haywood family-father, mother and two daughters-was Murphy, his sister Louise, Dr. Disbrow, Acting Secretary Kirwan of the federation, who met the party at Colorado Springs; John R. McMahon of Wilshire’s magazine, New York, and Margherita Arlina Hamm, a noted New York Special writer.

Nearing Denver, Haywood declared he could talk no more, and spent the last moments of the trip arranging for the comfort of the invalids.

[Photograph added.]


The Rocky Mountain News
(Denver, Colorado)
-Aug 5, 1907, pages 1 & 4

Haywood Family Reunited, Boise, Wilkes-Barre Leader, May 10, 1907,
Haywood for CO Governor, 1907 Poster
HMP, What Jury Verdict Did, Warren MN Sheaf, Aug 1 1907
HMP, Denver Greets Haywood, RMN p4 Aug 5, 1907
HMP, Haywood Reads at Jail Window, Tpk Dly Jr, July 29, 1907

See also

Hellraisers Journal: Biography of William D. Haywood, Socialist Candidate for Governor of Colorado

Bill Haywood’s Book
The Autobiography of William D. Haywood

-by Big Bill Haywood
International Publishers, 1929
The trip home and arrival in Denver: