Joe Maghe and I were discussing via e-mail how the Irish arrived in his home state of Kansas. I didn't realize that we were exchanging e-mails, and thought rather that the discussion was here in the forum. Joe, would you mind if we recreated our two exchanges on the subject here?

 

Anyone else know any Irish in Kansas?

 

 

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From Joseph Maghe to Gerry Regan
Sent on Friday

My father's family came to America in 1913. They came here via rail from New York's Ellis Island. His father was a coal miner.


Nearly all of the small towns in southeastern Kansas were coal mining towns at that time. The coal company owned many of the houses and the main store in these towns. These stores were referred to as the "Company Store" where the miner's family could purchase all types of goods on credit against the miner's earnings. Each of these towns or "camps" as they were often called had a multitude of nationalities of "New Americans". Most miners came to an area where someone of their town or family were already settled.


As the coal was depleted and other mining methods devised the towns shrank in population, businesses closed and the settlements became a shadow of its former days with some towns disappearing.


From Gerry Regan to Joseph Maghe
Sent on Friday

Remind us where you are from, Joe, in particular, within Kansas. How did your ancestors come to settle in Kansas, presuming they did?


 


Any idea how immigrants made their way to Kansas then? Railroad? I wonder how arduous that journey might have been from, say, New York or Chicago?


From Joseph Maghe to Gerry Regan
Sent on Thursday

This area of Kansas was primarily settled in the early 1900's with mining of coal and lead/zinc mines. There was a great migration into the area from Europe as a whole. The Irish constitutd about 10% of the immigrants. The Slavic peoples and Italians were the bulk of the new Americans.
From Gerry Regan to Joseph Maghe
Sent Sep 28

Joe, what is the history of Irish immigration to your part of Kansas? What traces of it do you see there?

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