Charles Angelo Siringo

Charles Angelo Siringo (1855 - 1928), was lawman, famous detective for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency and writer. Leading up to the labor troubles of 1892 in the Coeur d'Alene area, mine owners had employed undercover detectives or spies to gain intelligence because the mine owners and non-union miners were outnumbered by hostile union miners. Working undercover Siringo infiltrated and became one of its most trusted union men in the Gem union. Siringo focused his espionage on George Pettibone the union's financial secretary. Each day Siringo mailed a handwritten report to the Pinkerton office in St. Paul, Minnesota and the information allowed the mine owners to stay ahead of the miners. Siringo's identity as a spy was made known to the union miners on July 9, 1892. The realization that the mine owners had planted a spy in the union camp has been identified as one of the primary causes of the violence that followed on July 11 when union miners battled mine owners and non-union miners at the Frisco Mill and Gem Mine. After his identity was revealed, the union tried to capture or kill Siringo. Siringo, aware that his life was in danger, decided during the fight at Gem Mine to make his escape. He dropped down a hole under the floorboards of a house and crawled under the boardwalk of the main street in Gem while union men walked above. He later escaped to safety, which only intensified the miners' anger.