|People & Life Ways|
|Riches, Ranching & Railroads|
Many Greeks traveled to White Pine County, first to build a railroad, then to work in a reduction plant in McGill. By 1910, there were 7,441 people in White Pine County and 10% of those residents had been born in Greece. The foreign born workers faced resentment and discrimination from people already living in the area.
In 1908, after three Greeks died in an outburst of violence, some people living in McGill attempted to throw Greeks out of town. Along with a deputy sheriff, a group of men forced Greek workers from their homes, lined them up, and inspected them to determine if they were "good" or "bad". They decided that 87 of them were "bad," and loaded them into two boxcars on a train. The Greeks were hauled thirteen miles by the railroad, into Ely. Because no one was willing to pay the rail charges to send them further down the line, the Greeks were released and sent back home.
The violence passed, and
Greek immigrants found jobs, homes, and, eventually, acceptance in White
Pine County. Historian Russell Elliott, who grew up in McGill, has
noted that Greek businessmen were important in the development of the McGill
commercial district. Greeks owned and operated a store, two meat
markets, a barbershop, and two bakeries downtown. The slaughterhouse
on the outskirts of town was also Greek owned. Greeks were, indeed,
a productive and important part of community life.
Reader: Dimitrios Kyriakou