On May 16, 1891, a riot broke out in Grand Rapids that was finally quelled by fire hoses. The riot stemmed from some 4,000 furniture workers walking off their jobs at 35 plants. Better pay and working conditions were the aims of this workers’ strike that lasted 19 weeks.
Men with weapons, probably professional strike breakers, continued to intimidate the workers and the threat of widespread violence simmered until the riot broke out. Grand Rapids Police Chief Harvey O. CARR, called in “special police” to patrol the factory areas, which ended the violence at the strike sites.
Source: Michigan Every Day