Shootout at Grabow
The legendary Grabow Riot was a good ol’ gun slingin’ showdown between the Brotherhood of Timber Workers (BTW) and the Southern Lumber Operators’ Association (SLOA). Arthur Lee Emerson was captain of that BTW crew, and in 1910 he set his boys up in DeRidder. Back in 1906, a tiny lil group of mill owners led by John Henry Kirby made the SLOA to stop all that organized labor from gettin’ to them lumber mills. After exchangin’ a whole bunch o’ jibber-jabber for a while, a large group of men from BTW came to hold a rally at the mill On July 7th, 1912. Well, them workers were ready for a fight and the demonstration turned bloody in a jiffy. Two scores o’ men was hurt and four people was dead, but locals say there was probably a lot more bloodshed than them stinkin’ newspapers reported.
Following the shootout, more than 63 men were wanted for arrest, all of whom were meant to stand trial. Shirley Buxton, a worker at Galloway Mill, testified that the mill workers “had all been drinking what they call Mexican Hot” and that “they were all pretty well organized.” This testimony resulted in all of the union workers being acquitted.