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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

BANDLOW, ROBERT - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

BANDLOW, ROBERT (4 June 1852-29 Jan. 1911) was an organizer for the Central Labor Union, predecessor to the CLEVELAND FEDERATION OF LABOR, and for many years the business editor of the CLEVELAND CITIZEN. Born in Germany to Henry and Caroline Bandlow, the family immigrated to Cleveland in 1854. After a public-school education, Bandlow became a typesetter for the Wachter am Erie newspaper and an early participant in the labor movement. First organizing Local 16 of the German Typographical Workers in the 1870s, he quickly gained a reputation as a leader who could balance long- and short-term goals. When the CLU was formed in 1887, Bandlow worked days as a printer and nights and weekends as an organizer for this infant AFL affiliate. Within 2 years, he organized 26 unions linked to their respective internationals, and built CFL membership up to 500. His constant theme at union meetings, labor forums, and the FRANKLIN CLUB was the education of the worker, which he felt to be the best hope for instilling the discipline necessary to attain labor goals. By 1891, Bandlow, a Socialist, supported Henry C. Long and MAX S. HAYES† in founding the Citizen, which Bandlow regarded as a solid educational tool, mobilizing CLU support in the form of guaranteed subscriptions. Within 2 years, he was the business editor. To the time of his death in 1912, Bandlow shaped the Citizen into a powerful organizing and educational tool for Cleveland labor.

Bandlow and his wife, Barbara (Kachel) had four children: Lissing, Karl, Robert, and Walter. Bandlow died in Cleveland and was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.

Last Modified: 11 Jul 1997 03:19:36 PM

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