Angle, Paul M. (Paul McClelland), 1900-1975, collector.

Bloody Williamson research collection, 1875-1951


Descriptive Inventory for the Collection at Chicago History Museum, Research Center

By Robert Kozlow, March 1952; rev. 1965, 2008


Please address questions to:

Chicago History Museum

1601 North Clark Street

Chicago, IL 60614-6038

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Copyright 2008, Chicago Historical Society


Title: Bloody Williamson research collection [manuscript], 1875-1951

Main entry: Angle, Paul M. (Paul McClelland), 1900-1975, collector.

Inclusive dates: 1875-1951


ca. 1500 items (6 boxes).

1 oversize folder.

8 microfilm reels ; 35 mm.

Restriction: Research use of this collection is governed by the standard rules and regulations of the Chicago History Museum Research Center.

Provenance: Gift of Paul M. Angle.

Terms governing use: Copyright may be retained by the creators of items, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law, unless otherwise noted.

Please cite this collection as: Angle, Paul M., collector. Bloody Williamson research collection (Chicago History Museum); plus a detailed description, date, and box/folder number of a specific item.


This descriptive inventory contains:

Biographical/historical note,

Summary description of the collection,

Description of some material related to the collection,

List of online catalog headings for the collection,

Old list of card catalog headings.


Biographical/historical note:

Paul M. Angle, historian and author, was secretary of the Abraham Lincoln Association, 1925-1932; State Historian (Secretary, Illinois State Historical Society, and Librarian, Illinois State Historical Library), 1932-1945; and Director of the Chicago Historical Society, 1945-1960.


Summary description of the collection:

Photostats and microfilm of newspaper and magazine articles, court testimony, scrapbooks, and pamphlets collected by Angle in preparation for his book, Bloody Williamson (published by Knopf in 1952), and correspondence, notes, and the manuscript draft of chapters 1-13 of this book. Topics include lawlessness and violence in Williamson County (Ill.), chiefly during the 1920's (but relating to the period from 1868 to 1951), involving coal mine strikes, Prohibition enforcement, and gangsterism, family feuds, and the Ku Klux Klan. Persons and places mentioned include Charlie Birger and the Birger gang, the Bullinger and Henderson families, the Shelton gang, Seth Glenn Young, and Herrin, Carterville, and Marion, Illinois.


Correspondents include Elizabeth P. Brush, John Edgar Hoover, Oldham Paisley, and Samuel O'Neal.


Includes copies of scrapbooks compiled by Oldham Paisley (editor of the Marion Daily Republican) about the Herrin Massacre and its aftermath (photostats in folders 10-32 and microfilm copy reels 1 & 2); copies of 4 pamphlets (photostats in the collections and copies on reel 2 after the scrapbooks); microfilm of the Illinois Miner newspaper (1922 Nov. 25-1929 Dec. 28, reels 3-6); microfilm of items relating to S. Glenn Young (reel 7 ca. 20 ft. of film); and microfilm of the 1923 Abstract of reports, compiled by the Illinois General Assembly, House Committee on Investigation of the Herrin Massacre, 1923 (reel 8).


Oversize materials are a certificate and negative photostats of newspaper articles in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 1924-1927; the St. Louis Post Dispatch, 1921-1929; and the St. Louis Star, 1927-1928.


Copies of pamphlets in the collection are:

The Herrin Massacre, by Chatland Parker (Chicago, Parker Publ. Co., 1923, 122 p.) photostats folder 4 and microfilm reel 2;


The Bark of the Automatics (editorials by Fred J. Kern, publisher of the News-Democrat, printed in Belleville (Ill.), 1925, 27 p.) photostats folder 4 and microfilm reel 2;


KKK Experiment in Journalism (8 p.) photostats folder 6 and microfilm reel 2;


The Life Story of Charlie Birger (Marion (Ill.), Illinois Book Co., 1927, 48 p.) photostats folder 1 and microfilm reel 2;


The Home of Lincoln Threatened with Disgrace (Illinois Manufacturers' Association, Chicago, August 9, 1922, 2 p.) photocopy folder 5;


The Herrin Conspiracy (Washington, D.C.: The National Coal Assn., [1922?], 58 p.) original in folder 4.


Description of some material related to the collection:

Microfilm of the Illinois Miner (Springfield, Ill.), 1922-1929 was made from originals in the U.S. Department of Labor Library, Washington, D.C.


Related materials at Chicago History Museum, Research Center, include the Bloody Williamson County photographs (X.1736.1991) and various published items cataloged individually.


List of online catalog headings for the collection:

The following index headings were placed in the online catalog:


Angle, Paul M. (Paul McClelland), 1900-1975. Bloody Williamson.

Angle, Paul M. (Paul McClelland), 1900-1975--Correspondence.

Birger, Charlie, 1881-1928.

Brush, Samuel Trasker, 1842-1922.

Bullinger family.

Henderson family.

Young, Seth Glenn, 1887-1925.

Birger Gang.

Shelton Gang.

Ku Klux Klan (1915- )--Illinois

Coal mines and mining--Illinois--Williamson County.

Crime--Illinois--Williamson County.

Gangs--Illinois--Williamson County.

Labor unions--Illinois--Williamson County.

Prohibition--Illinois--Williamson County.

Southern Illinois Coal Company Strike, 1922.

Strikes and lockouts--Illinois--Herrin.

Vendetta--Illinois--Williamson County.

Herrin (Ill.)--Social conditions--20th century.

Marion (Ill.)--Social conditions--20th century.

Williamson County (Ill.)--Social conditions--20th century.

Carterville (Ill.)--Social conditions--20th century.

Saint Louis (Mo.)--Newspapers.

Springfield (Ill.)--Newspapers.

Southern Illinois Region--Economic conditions--20th century.





Manuscripts (for publication).


Newspaper clippings.







Added entries:

Angle, Paul M. (Paul McClelland), 1900-1975. Bloody Williamson.

Brush, Elizabeth P. (letter 1950 Oct. 27)

Hoover, J. Edgar (John Edgar), 1895-1972 (letter 1947 Dec. 31)

Kern, Frederick John, 1864-1931. Bark of the automatics.

Paisley, Oldham.

Parker, Chatland. Herrin massacre.

Illinois miner.

Marion Daily Republican.

St. Louis globe-democrat.

St. Louis post-dispatch

St. Louis star.

Oldham Paisley scrapbooks on Williamson County.

United States--Illinois--Williamson County.


Old list of card catalog headings:

The following headings were placed in the Manuscripts Card Catalog.

Birger, Charlie, 1881-1928

Birger Gang

Bloody Williamson, by Paul M. Angle

Brush, Samuel Trasker, 1842-1922

Bullinger Family

Carterville, Illinois

Coal Mines and Mining. Illinois

Crime and Criminals. Illinois


Gangs. Illinois

Henderson Family

Herrin, Illinois

Ku Klux Klan. (1915- ). Illinois.

Labor and Laboring Classes. Illinois

Marion, Illinois

Prohibition. Illinois

Shelton Gang

Strikes and Lockouts. Illinois

Williamson County, Illinois

Young, Seth Glenn, 1887-1925.



Brush, Elizabeth P. Letter 1950, Oct. 27

Hoover, John Edgar, Letter, 1947, Dec. 31.

Paisley, Oldham