Joseph Ettor, 1885-1948

Joseph Ettor
Joseph Ettor

A short biography of Industrial Workers of the World union organiser, Joseph Ettor, written by the Black Rose Anarchist Federation.

Submitted by Steven. on July 23, 2017

Joseph Ettor - known to his friends as “Smiling Joe” was a IWW organizer.

He joined the IWW in 1906. Ettor became one of the most influential organizers of the organization.

In 1907, he was involved in the Portland lumber strike and remaining on the IWW Executive Board from 1908 to 1914.

However, Ettor is mostly known for his role in as an organizer during the 1912 Lawrence, Massachusetts strike that became know as the Bread and Roses strike.

During the labor dispute, an IWW striker Anna LoPizzo was killed. A man by the name of Joseph Caruso was falsely accused of the crim. Ettor and another IWW organizer, Arturo Giovanni were arrested and charged with being accomplices. Witness identified the real killer as officer Oscar Benoit. The three men were eventually acquitted of the crime. Bettor would continue to organize for the IWW, organizing a waiters strike in 1912 and a barbers strike in 1913.

A dispute of trial strategies during the Mesabi Range Strike of 1916 led to Ettor stepping back from his role in the IWW.

Ettor return to northwest, living for a time in Washington state. In 1923, Ettor popped up in Los Angeles, living at 735 E San Jose Ave in Burbank. He continued to live at this address until 1942, working as a fruit shipper.

Ettor then moved to Ontario where he and his wife, Iva, lived at 126 San Bernardino Ave.

He passed away on February 20, 1948 and was buried at the Santa Barbara Cemetery (Plot: Room 2, Group J, Row 05, Niche 05)

Taken from here