Stepping into the Southern West Virginia Mine Wars:
In 1900, West Virginia was the most native state in the union. However, over the next decade, this demographic phenomenon would change dramatically as the state’s rapidly developing industrial sector created a need for mine labor that could be readily supplied by the native population base. In response to that need, employment agencies with connections to railroads, factories, lumber and coal companies vigorously recruited workers both in Europe and at the country’s ports of entry. These efforts, enhanced after 1907 by a rejuvenated state Commissioner of Immigration, attracted so much foreign labor that by 1910 only 16 states in this country added more European immigrants to their population than West Virginia.

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