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Charles and Jennie Velsek Papers

Identifier: LP001104

Scope and Content

The papers of Charles and Jennie Velsek reflect the administrative and financial functions of the IWW and, to a lesser extent, the Velseks' involvement with other unions and workers' movements. The collection consists of one folder of correspondence plus IWW and International Association of Machinists (IAM) membership cards, credentials and dues books.


  • 1924 - 1978


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.


Charles Velsek was a member of the IWW from 1923 to 1979. He served as secretary of the IWW Agricultural Workers Union Local 110, which maintained its office in Minneapolis during the decade of the 1920s. Jennie Lahti Velsek (1913-2006) became involved with the IWW in 1927 when she joined a miners' strike in northern Colorado in which her father and other relatives were involved. In 1933, Charles participated in a strike by Local 110 orchard workers in Yakima, Washington, and subsequently was arrested. Jennie was imprisoned there as well and brought to trial, but both were ultimately freed. Charles Velsek also served as chairman of the IWW General Executive Board for a brief period in 1938. He remained an active member of the IWW for many years until incapacitated by advanced age and failing health. Charles Velsek died in 1979.


.5 Linear Feet (1 MB)


A member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) for over 50 years, Charles Velsek served as secretary of IWW Agricultural Workers Industrial Union (AWIU) Local 110 and, for a brief period, as Chairman of the IWW General Executive Board. Jennie Velsek was an active labor advocate and participated in a number of IWW strikes. The papers of Charles and Jennie Velsek reflect their involvement in the labor movement and the activities of Local 110 in Yakima, Washington.


Files are arranged alphabetically.




Approximately 10 photographs relating to IWW functions and groups as well as photos of the Velseks and Fred Thompson have been placed in the Reuther Archives Audiovisual Collection.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in January, 1984.
Guide to the Charles and Jennie Velsek Papers
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA