The Coal Miners’ Strike of 1873 & The First Italians

While the 1870 U.S. census recorded no Italians in the Mahoning Valley, two years later over a hundred Italian immigrants arrived, recruited at Castle Garden, New York, by the Mahoning Coal Company to work in their Coalburg mines in northwest Hubbard Township, which had been idled by a miners’ strike. Two months later, a second group of Italian recruits, ninety-five in number, entered the Church Hill coalfields in Liberty Township, where the mostly Welsh workforce was on strike. When the strike ended in May, some of the Italian miners accepted work on the Painesville and Youngstown Railroad. However, others remained in the Trumbull County mines. By the time those played out in the middle 1880s, more Italians were arriving in the area and entering the local iron foundries and steel mills in Youngstown. Many of the first recruits continued living in Coalburg, in a section called Little Italy.