Hellraisers Journal: Honeymoon of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn Cut Short by Arrest of Husband on Mesabi Iron Range

It’s great to fight for freedom
With a Rebel Girl.
-Joe Hill


Hellraisers Journal, Sunday January 26, 1908
Mesabi Iron Range, Minnesota – Jack Jones Arrested

The honeymoon of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was cut short when her husband of less than three weeks, Jack Jones, was arrested on the Mesabi Iron Range. Jones is an iron miner and a union organizer.

From The Minneapolis Tribune of January 24, 1908:

Socialist Held as Suspect
at Biwabik

D. A. Jonas and Two Austrians Are
Arrested by Village Marshal.
Believes Men Know Something About
Dynamiting of Nicholas Home.

EGF, DEN (ca) p 21, crpd, Sept 21, 1907

BIWABIK. Minn., Jan. 24.-(Special.)-D. A. Jonas [J. A. Jones], one of the most noted Socialistic agitators on the range, occupies a cell in the village at Aurora, formally charged with being implicated in the dynamiting of the dwelling of Captain Thomas J. Nicholas early Tuesday morning. John Oflin and Anton Mariovic, two Austrians, are keeping him company.

To add to the already intense interest in the case, Jonas proclaimed publicly yesterday that he is the husband of Elizabeth Garley [Gurley] Flynn, one of the most noted Socialistic lecturers in the country. He avers most solemnly that he was wedded to the young woman some three weeks ago in Duluth [they were married January 7th at Two Harbors], and that she will now come to his assistance.


August Knuti, the Aurora village marshal, made the arrest on his own initiative and without consulting with any of the numerous detectives working on the case. Knuti admits that he has not a very strong case against Jonas and the other two men but hopes to have enough to hold them by the time that they come up for hearing Wednesday of next week.

The men were arraigned before Justice Christianson yesterday and the cases postponed to that time. But it is expected that the prisoners will be able to force a hearing before that time and secure their release if additional evidence is not secured.

Jonas came to Aurora Saturday and spoke at a meeting of the Industrial Workers of the World. As he was in Aurora at the time the Nicholas house was dynamited and, according to Marshal Knuti, cannot account for his time, the marshal concluded to put him behind the bars.


When seen at the jail Jonas professed to be highly indignant, asserting that it has grown to be a habit to throw him into jail every time that there is a case of dynamiting. He was arrested during the strike of last summer of Colraine and was held for some time.

The detectives do not take much interest in the arrests, but say that it is a good thing to have Jonas where he can be found. They continue to work on the theory the Italians committed the crime. Jonas is known in different parts of the country. He recently toured the range as the manager of Miss Flynn, to whom he now claims to be married. His statement of the marriage is believed here.


[Photograph added.]


The Minneapolis Tribune
(Minneapolis, Minnesota)
-Jan 24, 1908

EGF, DEN p 21, Sept 21, 1907

See also:

EGF and JA Jones Beat Freights to Chg IWWC, crpd, Spk Prs p2, Oct 7, 1908

Minnesota Official Marriage System
LAKE County #D32 on 01/07/1908:

Note: Image above is not wedding photo:
EGF and JA Jones “Beat Freights” to Chg IWWC, Spk Prs p2, Oct 7, 1908

EGF describes the events surrounding her wedding to Jack Jones:
The Rebel Girl:
An Autobiography, My First Life (1906-1926)

-by Elizabeth Gurley Flynn
(Pages 83-5)
International Publishers, 1973

Can be read online, see link below:
(Scroll down to page 83: “Mesabi Range”)

I romanticized the life [on the Mesabi Iron Range]-so different from New York-and the organizer who lived and worked there, under conditions of hardship. I fell in love with him and we were married in January 1908.

A joking remark made by Vincent St. John on my marriage hurt me at the time, but expressed a keen insight. He said: “Elizabeth fell in love with the West and the miners and she married the first one she met.” Jack Jones was an ore miner. The glamour of the Western Federation of Miners was around Jack Jones…[and he] was indeed romantic to me at 17. Jones was in his early thirties, he was youthful and vigorous, of medium height, with a nice friendly smile and deep blue eyes. He was of Scotch-English ancestry and had worked all over the Western country.

Almost immediately after we were married I had to go to Minneapolis and St. Paul to fill some IWW speaking dates, which were of long standing. No sooner had I left than Jack got arrested with two miners, charged with attempting to dynamite a mine captains’ residence at Aurora, Minnesota. Lurid publicity appeared even in the New York papers. “Law Breaks in on Honeymoon of Girl Orator” was headlined in the New York World, and “Girl Orator Whose Husband of Ten Days is in Jail,” was another….

But nothing serious came of it. Jack was held for eight days and then released for lack of evidence. At his insistence and because of my family’s great alarm, I returned home. Apparently, the romance was a possibility they had not anticipated and the arrest topped it off.