Hellraisers Journal: Evansville Press Reports Villa’s Firing Squad Killed Don MacGregor at Minaca

Pray for the dead and fight like hell for living.
-Mother Jones

Wednesday April 5, 1916
From the Evansville Press: Don MacGregor Died by Firing Squad at Minaca

Evansville Press, Page 1, Apr 4, 1916.png

Featured on the front page of Indiana's Evansville Press, yesterday, was an article which claims that Don MacGregor died before Villa's firing squad. Also published was an article by reporter, H. D. Jacobs, which claims that Villa's army is almost broken following an attack by a squadron of American cavalry near the village of San Geronimo.

From the Evansville Press of April 4, 1916:


Stood Up Against Wall At Minaca and Shot March 27-
Paid Penalty for Sending Across the Border
What He Believed to Be the Truth
of the Mexican Situation.
Wrote Under the Name of David Bruce-
In Colorado Miners' Strike He Was
On the Side of the Miners.
Don MacGregor Last Message, Evansville Press, IN, Apr 4, 1916.png

Don MacGregor, correspondent of The Evansville Press in Mexico, WAS SPOTTED:

He faced Villa's firing squad!

In the town of Minaca, near Chihuahua, the bandits stood him against a wall, March 27, and his life paid the penalty for defying Villa in sending across the border what he believed to be the truth about Mexico.

MacGregor, who had been associated with this newspaper, went to Chihuahua last spring to tell the people of the United States the truth about it. His articles were printed in this paper under the pen-name of David Bruce.

It was his courage and enterprise in newsgathering and newswriting that led him to that blank wall in Minaca.

The World Was His Country

MacGregor was a British subject, a native of Scotland, but the "world was his country." He explored its remotest corners. He came to America eight years ago soon after his graduation from the University of Edinburgh. He was making a tour around the world and stopped at San Francisco.

From San Francisco he went to Chicago where he became an active worker and writer in the labor movement. Tho born close to the seats of the social and financial mighty ones, MacGregor took his place in the ranks of the masses, and his writings are almost exclusively devoted to the "class struggle," considered from the viewpoint of the masses.

Worked In Chicago On Day Book

After a year's service for The Day Book of Chicago, love of adventure led MacGregor to Colorado on the eve of the great Rockefeller mine strike in September, 1913.

As a correspondent for the Denver Express he was sent to the strike zone, where he remained a month, living in the miners' tent colonies and sharing their hardships

In April, 1914, he was in Denver when news of the Ludlow massacre came. Within an hour MacGregor was armed and ready to make a flying auto trip to Walsenburg. There he organized a company of miners and led them against the state militia, capturing and holding the "Hogback Ridge," a strategic point in the strike district until federal troops came to his relief.

Led Colorado Miners In Colorado Strike

During this battle, which continued several days, MacGregor was recognized by both the miners and the mine operators as "Gen." MacGregor, leader of the "Hogback Ridge" charge.

At the close of the battle MacGregor made a formal statement to the commander of the federal troops that he alone was responsible for the charge and only he must be charged with whatever fatalities occurred in the raid.

By this statement MacGregor was later indicted with 100 miners and miners' sympathizers on charge of murder. He was never arrested, as he left soon after for Chihuahua.

Recently, in a trial of miners involved in the Rockefeller strike held at Castle Rock, Colo., four of the men who served under MacGregor were acquitted and fully exonerated.

Miners on Trial at Castle Rock, CO, UMWJ Feb 17, 1916_0.png

If MacGregor had lived three months longer, or until these cases were disposed of, he would probably be wholly cleared of the charge against him.


[Photograph of Colorado Miners added.]


Evansville Press
(Evansville, Indiana)
-Apr 4, 1915

Evansville Press, Page 1, Apr 4, 1916
Don MacGregor Last Message, Evansville Press, IN, Apr 4, 1916
Miners on Trial at Castle Rock, CO, UMWJ Feb 17, 1916

See also:

Pancho Villa Expedition

DK Tag: David Bruce

C99 Tag: David Bruce

Don MacGregor writing from Mexico as David Bruce for the Evansville Press
-search at Newspapers.com (behind paywall) reveals articles published
in 1915 on April 2 & 3, June 4, and Aug 7:

Don MacGregor writing from Mexico as David Bruce
-available at Chronicling America:

The Tacoma Times of Apr 1, 1915

The Seattle Star of June 5, 1915

The Seattle Star of July 2, 1915

The Seattle Star of Oct 9, 1915

The Seattle Star of Dec 29, 1915

St Tammany Farmer (Covington, LA) of Mar 11, 1916

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Gerrit's picture

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Resilience: practical action to improve things we can control.
3D+: developing language for postmodern spirituality.

JayRaye's picture

Wish someone would dig up all of MacGregor's writings from Mexico and put them into book form. Would be every bit as good a book as Reed's Insurgent Mexico.

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Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away their wealth.-Lucy Parsons

kharma's picture

I still can't get over that photo of the miners. Of the four of them, three started working at the mines at aget 12, the other at 10. It is sad and somewhat amazing what cruel demands we humans required of our littlest members in those days.

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There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties.. This...is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.--John Adams

JayRaye's picture

Took a lot of guts to be a union miner in those times.

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Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away their wealth.-Lucy Parsons

thrownstone's picture

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“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” Voltaire

Galtisalie's picture

Don MacGregor pieces. Thank you so much for HJ and for this segment that gives recognition to this great species being and friend of the workers.

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