history daredtodreamAccording to the earliest records of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the union's first convention was held in St. Louis on November 21, 1891.

Ten delegates, representing 286 members, met to form what was then called the National Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Those ten members are credited as being the founders of the IBEW.

One of the delegates of that first convention was TJ Finnell from Chicago, Illinois.

Less than two months later, on January 14, 1892, a small group of electrical workers, seven in number and believed to be the Charter Members of Local Union No. 9, were issued a charter by the National Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Their names and initiation dates are: 

T.J. Finnell - January 2, 1892
F.R. Sanstrom - January 2, 1892           
W.J. Murphy - January 2, 1892
J.J. Smith - January 2, 1892
H.G. Bowles - January 3, 1892
F. Garland - January 4, 1892
J.W. Johnson - January 7, 1892


This charter was short-lived, as the records show that a charter issued July 7, 1894 had twenty-two men initiated on that date, and these men are considered the Charter Members of the local now known as Local Union No. 9, IBEW. Their names are as follows:

C.B. Baldwinn W.F. Harter C.E. Bogan R.W. Peck
Chas. D. Hatt H.L. O'Neill E. Lynch H.M. Elliott
Thos. O'Neil D. Cunningham Chas. Ross C.D. Mills
A. Dill R. McCarthy W.H. Gilmartin J. Thompson
P. McDonald E. Sullivan S. Bayless  
W. Taylor Jay Mott O.C. Irwin  


Of the eleven names shown on the existing charter issued to Local 9 in 1913, seven of these were on the original charters issued in 1892 and 1894, namely:

T.J. Finnell
O.C. Irwin    
D. Cunningham

Thos. O'Neil
W.F. Harter

Chas. Ross
Chas. D. Hatt

So, from these records we see that TJ Finnell was not only a charter member of Local 9, but was also one of the founding members of the IBEW.

The second convention was held in Chicago in 1892, the year of Local 9's charter. At the sixth convention of the NBEW in 1899, which was held in Pittsburgh, the name of the Union was changed to The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

The officers and members are happy and proud of their achievements over the past century and will continue to extend every effort for the further progress of IBEW Local 9.