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Mr. Bottoms not only requested that we participate, but demanded that all of us go. He stated that arrangements had been made so that the Sheriff's telephone line would be busy and so that the police would either be out to dinner or out of town. On Wednesday, June 24th, I was out of the City of Gadsden, but learned later that the special deputies went up town in Gadsden to carry out the threat.
Immediately after the Dalrymple assault, Self asked me why I wasn't there to belp beat up on the Communists. Carl Dunn, one of the assailants in both of the assaults has been promoted to Foreman.
The arrangements was for the special deputies to meet at the police station at 1 P. M. on Wednesday, June 24th and then go down to the Union Headquarters and execute the threat.
On Thursday morning, June 25th, Bottoms conducted another meeting which I was not requested to attend, probably because I had been away the previous day. Bottoms assumed a new attitude toward me and would not speak to me. I was downtown in Gadsden the afternoon of Thursday, June 25th, saw the Sheriff walk around a corner near the riot and state that the trouble was merely a couple of fellows having an argument.
On Tuesday, June 23rd, Bottoms stated that the power in the Plant would be shut off so that the fifty special deputies could go up town to run the Union organizers out. On the Saturday afternoon of the Union mass meeting, Mike Self came into the police station with a machine gun wrapped up under his coat. After the June 25th assault Self called me over to the steel mill, criticized me for not fighting and said that if I had gone over there and done some fighting, as he knew I could, I could have made such a showing that I probably would have gotten Michaels' job as Superintendent of the Gadsden Plant.
The fifty men in the Goodyear Plant are still deputized. They go down town, watch the hotels and keep on the lookout for any newcomers. T. L. Bottoms carries a gun practically all the time. J. W. Harwell, who participated in the June 25th affair, is a good fighter and was brought to the scene by Self from the Gulf State Steel mill.
On Saturday, September 12, 36, I left Mr. Cowherd and I came back and went to work at Goodyear Plant in Gadsden. I worked from 3 to 12 on September 12, 1936; I also worked Monday, Monday night. I worked although suffering from bad teeth and a pain in the leg. Dr. Wells pulled one of the teeth on Tuesday. I reported off to Dr. Kilpatrick and was excused by him as head of the staff and my sick card was placed in the rack. I saw my card there and on Thursday I went over to get my pay, which was the first time I became suspicious that some of the boys at Goodyear were sore at me. I was positive I was being watched in every move I made.
I went to Louis Jones, Foreman in the Tread room, who heretofore had always been friendly. He looked up from his desk and said, "What do you want in here?” I asked for my pay slip and told him I had been out sick. He said, “You can't get your pay slip now, you will have to wait until your shift comes in”. Nevertheless, one of the Foremen in the mill room got my slip and I got my pay and went on out.
About eleven o'clock, the day I had my tooth pulled, I went to the office where my wife worked and she was very excited. I had attended a Labor Day rally on Labor Day. She told me Mr. Self had called me. He is chief watchman of the Gulf States Steel Corporation and also a special deputy sheriff. My wife drove the car over with me to see Self. She waited at the front gate in the car and I went to the Commissary and Mr. Self came out with me.
Self told me, while looking very mad at me, What's the matter with you, are you crazy"? I said, "I don't know what's up." He said, “Don't you know I recommended you at Goodyear? Are you going to make a damn fool out of me? You were seen at Ensley Park Labor Day and Mr. Mitch put his arm around your shoulders”. I told him I didn't admit that. He told me who had seen me there and then I admitted it and said, “Isnt this a free country? Can't a man see a friend of his whom he has known for years?" I didn't go with any intention of joining a Union. I went as a personal reason to see a friend who I wasn't allowed to see in Gadsden. I have known George Roberts for years and whether he's right or wrong, which I don't have any right to say, I think a man has a right to see whoever he wants to. This is a free country.
George Roberts had not told me or asked me or even mentioned whether I was Union or non-Union. We met as friends, worked together at Goodrich for years before the Union was heard of. To protect me from any coercion, he had ignored
me at the public speaking when he was there and I did not think anyone would be there to spy on me.
Self said, "Well, Roberts is like a rattle snake to me because when a man goes to Russia two years and studies Communism, I would just as soon kill him and go on to hell in a basket. You tell your friend Roberts that he had not better light here, because he and his kind cannot stay here.” I told him Roberts had only been with the Federation for a couple of years and that he couldn't have been in Russia. He said, “What I want you to do, if you can't straighten up, you had better resign and just pick up and leave, because those boys are going to find it out. They will even come up to your house and get you." "Two or three have already told me.
You had better call or write to Mr. Miller and tell him you will resign. That would be my advice, because it won't be safe for you to stick your head out on Broad Street, or if you go to work you are likely to be beaten to death with clubs and black-jacks before you could possible run out of there." So I told him that I didn't want to be beat up. I was innocent and I was not a Union member and that it would leave my wife and mother very unhappy if anyone killed me. When I walked off he said, “Will you do that and come over and see me in the morning at ten o'clock. I will see the boys tonight and see what all they know. I see a couple or three of them every night”. I said, “What boys”? He said, “My boys, you know them. What happened to those other boys will be nothing to what will happen to you, because they all know you and will think you are s double crosser”.
On account of fear and worry to my wife, I didn't go back. I broke up house keeping and left the furniture go back to the Companies we had bought from and came on up to Akron to look for a job. I have not yet resigned from Goodyear.
(Signed) L. G. CLEERE. Personally appeared before me, a Notary Public, in and for the County of Summit, State of Ohio, the above named L. G. Cleere, who being by me first duly sworn, deposed and said that he had read the foregoing affidavit and that the facts stated and allegations contained therein are true and that he did sign the foregoing affidavit in my presence. Dated Sept. 26, 1936.
(Signed) ARLYN B. CRAMER,
Notary Public (My comm. expires May 2, 1939.) [SEAL)
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM HOWARD PARKER OF ROME, GEORGIA I was employed in the Goodyear plant in Gadsden from Dec. 1, 1935 to Feb. 1, 1937. I was a pipe fitter. I went to see Mr. Cowherd not so long ago and told him at the time what I knew concerning happenings at Gadsden. I was not a member of the plant assembly. I was a baseball player for Goodyear. I was familiar with the meetings that were held around the assembly plant. I saw Michaels and Craigmile meeting with company representatives in the Goodyear cafeteria.
I worked the day of the Dalrymple beating and heard the general agitation in the plant. Bottoms was the leader of the agitation. Before quitting time, Bottoms came to me and asked “Do you want to go over to town tonight, we are going to have a little party over there.” There was a general understanding in the plant and we all knew what it was about. I told him I guess I would be over there, and went over to the Dalrymple meeting. I was in the courthouse when the trouble started and went down to the hotel where it was wound up-the Printup Hotel. I saw Dalrymple come out of hotel after he had checked out. I saw nearly every company official, including Michaels, in front of the courthouse during the meeting just before the beating happened. There were a great many squad people in the court house at the time. There were also a few supervisors in the court room, among them Charles McGathy, and I heard him shout at the president of the Central Labor Union, Dave Green, who was speaking, "How do you know they are not satisfied?" Ralph Shalfant, department foreman; Sterling 1 Properly, Chalfont.
Hershizer, department foreman; Frock Pate, baseball manager; Pete and Carl Dunn, squad boys; T. L. Bottoms were at the courthouse. During the Dalrymple beating I saw nearly all of the company officials, dept. foremen and supervisors in or around the courthouse or Printup Hotel. The Printup Hotel is just about a half a block from the courthouse. The general understanding was that company officials and foremen were to stay out of the meeting: Between the Dalrymple beating and Tolson beating I saw a number of blackjacks around the plant. I saw as many as 3 or 4 at one time in the machine shop office. The fellows that were shop police around the plant told me that these blackjacks were made on the third shift in the machine shop, where E. G. Mallory, master mechanic, is in charge. It was generally understood that these blackjacks were being handed out to men who were friendly to the company.' On June 25, the day of the beating, right at lunch time, Frock Pate asked me if I wanted to over to town and that I wouldn't lose any time. After a lot of people had left the plant Mallory came to me and asked why I hadn't gone. I told him I didn't have any business in town. He made no reply. About 350 people left the plant at noon that day on the first shift. Some came back at 2 o'clock and others didn't get back that day. I saw some of those that did come back and they had blood on them and looked as if they had been in a fight. I didn't see anyone being hauled out for going and have never heard of anyone losing any pay for going. Since the Tolson beating Clay Bearden and I have left the employ of the Goodyear Company at Gadsden.
I saw Hershier near Gadsden and he told me to tell Clay Bearden that it wouldn't be safe for him to come around to Gadsden, he had better make himself scarce. I conveyed this message to him.
We heard all around from many sources that it was being talked around Gadsden that Bearden and I had sold out and were going to get a lot of money for telling about the Goodyear labor troubles.
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I saw Nick Nigosian, who is the chief engineer, at the corner of the Courthouse in a car with 3 others right after the Dalrymple beating. He was asking what direction Dalrymple had gone out of town. Walt Rutter was with me and he joined them. They drove in the same direction that Dalrymple was supposed to have gone.
I (in longhand) William H. Parker having read the above, hereby swear that it is a true and correct statement of the events described.
(Signed) WILLIAM H. PARKER. Witnesses: (Signed) ALLEN W. SAYLER.
S. W. CANDLE. Subscribed to and sworn before me this 18th day of March at Washington, DC. (SEAL)
(Signed) Chas E. ALDEN,
Notary Public D. C. (Stamp) My Commission Expires September 1, 1937.
(Copy) STATE OF ALABAMA,
County of Jefferson. I, Troy Elbert Higdon, a resident of 1109 E. Litchfield Ave. East Gadsden Alabama was employed in the plant of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. since April 5th 1934 and was working as a painter during the month of June 1936. On June 25th when the labor men were run out of Gadsden I was at work when R. A. Culberson, boss pipe fitter said to me "Are you going over town'? This was about ten or ten thirty in the morning when they was all getting in full bloom to go out. I asked him what for' and he said "There is going to be some hell over town” I said "no I don't think I'll go." There was something said about the Union Organizers and during the course of the conversation Culberson said “We are going to run them damned organizers out of town.” Many of the men who went over town have since told me that their supervisors and foremen told all of them to go on over town and they would not lose any time. The plant was almost completely shut down, the tire room was entirely down. A number of the fore
Information added at the end of this statement was intended to follow this point.
men in the plant also left to go over town. Among them I recall that Charlie McGathy, R. A. Culberson, of the engineering department, went with the boys. Among the engineering men that went were M. L. Shaffin, Jim Hudson, Joe Barrett and many others that I noticed were absent from the plant when this was going on, from about noon until the end of the shift at 3 o'clock. My job as a painter required me to work all over the plant, so naturally I know most of the folks by sight and a great many by name. Any worker in that plant that tells the truth will admit that there was a general understanding among all employees that the company wanted the union men run out of town and did not want any union in the plant other than the employees' representation plan, the company union. In a conversation with Chief Engineer N. A. Negosian a few days after the beating with reference to union affiliation Mr. Negosian in substance stated "We are not fighting organization on craft lines but we are fighting this industrial organization”. I am sometimes called F. E., or Froy, Higdon. I re-affiliated with the United Rubber workers Feb. 2, 1937, and was discharged March 9, 1937 on this account. At a drinking place near Gadsden, after the Dalrymple beating and after the union organizers had been run out of town, a number of Goodyear men were having a general conversation about these beatings. All this was in my presence and hearing. During this discussion, Clay “Sully” Bearden was apologizing to S. W. Caudle for having taken any part in any of the beatings and stated to Caudle "The next time you have a meeting (union) I want to go up before you boys and tell them just how sorry I am for being mixed up in the mess and if they will forgive me this time, I guarantee I'll never be mixed up in a mess like that”. When pressed for more details, Bearden said, “I can't go against the company because I'll get in trouble myself—I am the man that hit Dalrymple first when Bob Leath turned him aloose and the boys got him.” Bearden worked in the engineering department as a pipe-fitter and also played on the baseball team of the company. In the plant a day or two later, Louis Butler, supervisor in the machine shop of the engineering department, told me that it was known around the plant that “Sully” was talking and was going to testify for the men against the company. Butler said, “Sully is not a damn fool-he couldn't do that because it would get him in trouble because he was the first one that hit Dalrymple”.
(Signed) TROY E. HIGDON. Subscribed and sworn to before me this 13th day of March 1937. (SEAL)
(Signed) ESTHER CARTER,
AFFIDAVIT COUNTY OF ETOWAH,
State of Alabama, 88: I, Cecil Huey McElroy_of 1112 Litchfield Ave., E. Gadsden, Alabama, have worked for the Goodyear Tire and Rubber in Gadsden for 7 years and 7 months.
While at work on June 25th, 1936, Sterling Hershiser, foreman of my department came to me and said, “If you want to hold your job why go over in town and fight for it.” I told him, “All right, sir," and left the plant about 11:30 and went home and got my brother and he and I want over town but did not go to the Folson Building.
I went back to the plant at about 2:45 and punched my card;
It is the first in the time I've been at the plant that men were allowed to leave their shift and not have trouble about it.
Three others, Price, Clif Waters, Moultrey, and I went out at same time from plant.
Hershiser went over too.
I never did go back on my job that day. I saw at least a hundred men, supposed to be at work on the first shift, over in Gadsden at the time in question. Witnessed: (Signed) V. C. Finch.
(Signed) CECIL MELROY. Subscribed and sworn to before me, a notary public in Etowah County, Alabama and in the presence of V. C. Finch of the National Labor Relations Board assigned
as investigator for the Sub-Committee of the Senate Committee on Education and Labor. On this the 14th day of March 1937.
(Signed) MILDRED ALFORD, Notary Public. My commission expires Sept. 1, 1938.
STATEMENT OF Clay BEARDEN, OF ROME, GEORGIA I started to work for the Goodyear Rubber Company in Gadsden in June, 1934, until December 24, 1936. I left Goodyear to take a better position with the Tubize Chatillon Corporation in Rome, Georgia.
I am a baseball player and was on the Goodyear baseball team. (In ink: "C. B.")
I was working for Goodyear at the time of the Dalrymple beating. During the day the beating took place there was a lot of talk in the engineering room of the plant. I was asked to go to the meeting by Mr. R. A. Culberson, pipe fitter foreman. He said, “If you want to protect your job you had better go'to town tonight.” He meant this to apply to all the boys as he said if the plant was organized it would probably shut down. I went to the meeting. I saw a whole lot of squad boys and also Bottoms, Culberson and C. E. McGathy. As I walked up the stairs of the courthouse I saw Dalrymple wipe an egg off his face. Then there was a great deal of commotion. Sheriff Leath took Dalrymple to the Printup Hotel and I was in the crowd that followed them around. Just before they reached the hotel there were a number of people who were beating Dalrymple. In this crowd were Carl Dunn, Roy Pate, Hilliard Tubbs, Lou Butler, Red Lett, Crow, employees at Goodyear's Gadsden plant, and a lot of steel plant men. Hershier kicked Dalrymple and said “That's one for my old man.” This was at the Printup Hotel.
I was present in the crowd at the time of the Tolson beating. I punched in about three minutes of 12 and as I was on my way down to my department I saw a great deal of commotion and someone asked me “Aren't you going to town?” Culberson then asked me “Aren't you going to town?” I told him I would go. Mallory, master mechanic, also asked me if I was going to town. Mallory told Parker and myself to come back from town after it was all over and punch out and that would be all right. I came back and punched out about 3:30. . I went to town with a group of the men in an automobile. When Culberson and Mallory asked me to go to town they told me there was some men who were going to be run out of town. He didn't say they were union men but I knew what it was all about. The crowd tried to get the organizers out of their office and when they refused to come out they went up the stairs and tore up the office. I saw some of the crowd run after Gray. He was bloody at the time. I saw one other organizer who was being chased by the crowd. I saw all this from a corner drug store and was at no time a participant. I walked up to the Reich Hotel with the crowd. They had heard that organizers were there in a room.
After Mr. Finch came to see Parker and me in Rome, early in Jan., word was sent to Gadsden that we were going to Washington to testify against the Goodyear Company and that we already had tickets for the purpose. Then I heard from Parker that Hershier told him to tell me that I had better stay out of town if I knew what was good for me. I saw a gun or pistol sticking through a venetian blind in the building across the way from the Tolson building pointed at the office where the organizers were. It was then I decided not to get out of the drug store.
I Clay Beardon having read the above, hereby swear that it is a true and correct statement of the events described.
(Signed) CLAYTON C. BEARDEN. Witnesses:
(Signed) ALLEN W. SAYLER
(Signed) S. W. CANDLE Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 18th day of March, at Washington, D. C. (SEAL]
(Signed) Chas. E. ALDEN,
Notary Public D. C. My Commission Expires September 1, 1937.