Joseph Jordan

Pullman, a Home for Workers

Joseph Jordan decided to leave behind the violent racism of the Jim Crow South. In the 1880s, he led his family out of Virginia and found work as a teamster for the Pullman Palace Car Company. Joseph, his wife Martha, and their children made their home in a rowhouse in the town of Pullman.

Company founder George Pullman created the town to rent homes to workers like Jordan who enjoyed access to parks, schools, and entertainment. The town even had indoor plumbing with a sewage system that made Pullman one of the cleanest towns in America. George Pullman envisioned the town as an idyllic home for workers. The town fell short of this vision during the economic depression of 1893, as Pullman decreased wages without lowering rents. His refusal to meet with a delegation of workers resulted in a nationwide strike in 1894. Though not perfect, Pullman was home to Joseph and Martha Jordan for the rest of their lives—Martha passed in 1923 and Joseph followed in 1940 at the age of 79.


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