Lapas attēli

It also owns the semiweekly newspaper and conducts a restaurant. The equipment and stocks of its various concerns at a very conservative estimate must be worth more than $10,000. Its receipts from collections, exclusive of its general credit and cash business, were about $12,000 each monthly pay day. At the time of the panic of 1907 it carried $25,000 in deposits, and since the existing depression started all of its depositors have been paid in full.

Another typical illustration is furnished by the establishment of two Bulgarians from Macedonia. These men started a small bakery four years ago and since that time have extended their business to include a bank, saloon, grocery, dry goods store, mineral baths, steamship agency, assembly rooms, etc. They also rent over 100 living rooms and have recently established a branch house, consisting of a grocery, saloon, and bakery in Hammond, Ind. Their various interests in Community E are housed in three brick buildings, valued at $75,000. Their deposits before the depression were $6,000 and have been paid in full since the panic of last autumn. The remarkable fact to be noted in connection with these establishments is that the expansion of business has been made through the profits realized. If their modest beginnings are considered in comparison with their present status, a conception of their profits may be reached. At the same time the inference is almost irresistible that such profits could not have been earned by ordinary business methods and that these concerns must have made exceptional gains from labor agencies or similar sources.

The conception of the business life of the communities would not be complete, however, without citing mercantile concerns which have been established under conditions unlike those mentioned above. Two classes of such concerns will be sufficient: (1) Those established by outside capital, and (2) those established by bringing together the savings of aliens living in the locality. As an illustration of the first class, a Macedonian firm in Hungary Hollow may be cited. This mercantile house was started in 1907. The capital, about $25,000, was furnished by a merchant who has an establishment in Macedonia, and it is managed by a Macedonian who, until coming to Hungary Hollow, was engaged in the banking business in Constantinople. It has all the varied interests of the establishments mentioned in detail above. An example of the second class is furnished by another Bulgarian house. These men secured from laborers who had confidence in them $50,000 and built a $30,000 brick building containing stores, saloon, fifty-two living rooms, and a theater. After the establishment had been operated for a number of months it failed and passed into control of a commissioner in bankruptcy. The explanations for its failure are twofold: (1) That it did not have sufficient working capital, and (2) that it was improperly promoted and managed. The latter reason seems to be correct.

These examples are typical of the larger-scale business enterprises. There are numerous cases of smaller businesses conducted by aliens, including saloons, coffeehouses, smaller general mercantile houses, shops of various kinds, independent bakeries, bottling works, and hotels or lodging houses and restaurants. The larger mercantile houses, as described above, however, control and give the stamp to the business life of the immigrant sections.


Two newspapers, one issued weekly and the other twice a week, are published in Hungary Hollow, and both are controlled by mercantile houses. The Bulgarian semiweekly paper has been published for about six months and circulates among Bulgarians throughout the country. It is printed wholly in the Bulgarian language, edited by a Bulgarian who has been in this country five years, and the typesetting is done by Bulgarian compositors. The press work is by an American printing company. The reading matter covers local happenings and a digest of the world's news, with special reference to Bulgaria and the Balkan peninsula.

The weekly publication is published by a so-called Macedonian Association, which is in reality a business partnership controlled by a local mercantile house. It has been in existence only for two years and its tenure of life seems to be uncertain. It is edited by a Bulgarian who was a student at the University of Chicago and later received the degree of doctor of philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also published several small books in the English language. The newspaper is printed partly in Bulgarian and partly in English, and the composition and press work is done by Macedonians. This publication occupies a small building in Hungary Hollow, while the Bulgarian journal has an attractive office in the town proper. The two newspapers depend largely for their maintenance upon local advertising, but secure considerable general advertising also from steamship companies, labor agencies, and similar sources. Neither

of them has a large circulation, as they have been in existence for only a short period of time, and the illiteracy among the Macedonian and Bulgarian peoples is very great. Their combined circulation is probably not more than 3,000 copies. They represent opposing business and political factions in the life of Hungary Hollow.

The motive of the rival mercantile houses in controlling these publications is twofold: (1) they desire to control as far as possible public opinion in the locality, and (2) they can use the papers for advertising their general business in the localities and the banking branch of their establishments among Bulgarians elsewhere from whom they wish to secure deposits.


The immigrant sections lie within the police jurisdiction of the two regular towns of the community under the control of the regularly constituted police authorities. The immigrants also make the customary complaint against the police and the police judges and justices of the peace. They claim that they have been arrested on various pretexts, some of which had no foundation, and have been fined heavily. They also assert that the fines imposed have not been in conformity with the offense charged, but have been levied according to the judge's opinion of the resources of the prisoner.

Hungary Hollow, which stands in an isolated position so far as the American section is concerned, and which, legally speaking, is governed by the authorities of the larger American town, has a unique system of public control and self-government for the decision of questions which particularly interest its population. Public

opinion is largely influenced by the alien press, and the press in turn, as before pointed out, is controlled by representative mercantile houses. Representative men, however-usually the heads of mercantile houses are the most potent factors in the control of public opinion. Each mercantile house, as already described, has from 50 to 500 immigrants who room in its buildings or purchase their supplies from its stores. The typical mercantile house will have a patronage ranging in number from four to five hundred persons. These aliens not only make their purchases from the mercantile house, but tend, on account of their ignorance of the language and American customs, to look to the manager of the mercantile house for advice in all the affairs of life. He becomes a sort of patron to them, and develops a paternalistic attitude toward his entire clientele. He communicates to them the opportunities for work and advises them whether they should accept or reject work which is offered to them. In these and other ways he gains and retains a hold on a large part of the alien population.

The population, as a natural result, tends to become divided into certain factions, the leadership of which centers in the various mercantile houses. The immigrants readily follow the advice of their leaders, and the system of control, therefore, narrows down to a contest between a group of leaders resembling somewhat in their influence and activities the small American political boss. In Hungary Hollow the various factors of influence and control seem to extend outward from two leading Bulgarian mercantile houses.

The ostensible control in the community is vested in a meeting of the alien population, before which various questions are put and discussed. While these questions are argued pro and con by the leaders, and the population is theoretically free to act as it deems best, practically each individual's decision is influenced by his affiliations with certain leaders and the forces which they can. bring to bear upon him. By way of illustration, some southern sugar planters recently offered to employ a number of laborers on their plantations. The communication to the people of the community came through a Bulgarian labor agent who was affiliated in his interests with one of the mercantile houses, which in turn controlled one of the Bulgarian newspapers as well as various business interests. A mass meeting was called to consider the proposition of the southern planters. The faction represented by the labor agent urged strongly the acceptance of the offer. On the other hand its acceptance was vigorously opposed by another Bulgarian mercantile establishment, on the ground of peonage in the South. Men were placed before the meeting who had been in the South, and the evil conditions there were described by the editor of the Naroden Glas, the newspaper owned by the opposing mercantile house, and the request made that no Bulgarians accept the work in the South. As the result of this opposition the men decided not to go and the proposition was rejected.

This illustration serves to show that in a segregated community such as Hungary Hollow a form of direct democracy is developed to control local affairs, or, rather, to consider and decide questions and policies that affect the community. Apparently these questions are debated and a decision reached by a popular expression of opinion. In reality the mass meeting is more a form than an actual working

force, and the ultimate factors of control and determination are in the hands of certain leaders, the heads of mercantile houses, who largely direct the community's affairs by the influences they are able to exert through their various interests.


There are no distinctly foreign churches in the community that have been erected and maintained by recent immigrants. The Bulgarians projected and partly constructed a Greek Catholic church, but it was found necessary to discontinue the work on account of the industrial depression. The building is extensive and when completed will cost between $20,000 and $30,000. About $10,000 has been already expended in its erection.

Two Protestant churches maintain alien missionaries at good salaries, who work among the recent immigrants.

The recent immigrants, as a rule, seem to be very lax in their adherence to and support of the church. This is in large measure to be accounted for on the ground that during the recent struggles for liberty and greater personal and civil privileges in their home countries the orthodox church supported the old institutions and rules, and, as a consequence, alienated the population.



Ownership of homes Schools Citizenship-Ability to speak English-[Text Tables 628 to 632 and General Tables 356 to 361].


The following table shows the number and percentage of families owning homes, by general nativity and race of head of family:

TABLE 628.-Number and per cent of families owning home, by general nativity and race of head of family.

[blocks in formation]

From the above table it will be seen that, of a total of 50 families, only 12 per cent are shown as owning homes. Of the two races appearing in the table the Magyar is the only one reporting a sufficient number for computation, 10.6 per cent of the households of this race having acquired their own homes.


Both of the towns of the community are well supplied with school facilities, the largest having a high-school building, the erection of which cost $50,000. There are also two parochial schools conducted by the Lutheran and orthodox Catholic churches.

Because of the fact that there are few families and children among recent immigrants the school attendance of Bulgarians and other races of southeastern Europe is, comparatively speaking, small. There are at present 10 students of recent arrival, from 18 to 20 years, attending the public schools in the community. Two of these are in the fifth grade and eight in the second grade. Before the industrial depression and the recent exodus there were 25 in the graded schools who had recently come to the United States. The alien missionaries maintained by the local Protestant churches in addition to their other duties teach the Bulgarians and other for

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »