Early Mexican Settlements in Railroad Boxcar Communities in Greater Chicago, Illinois, and the Midwest
Railroads were essential to the growth and development of the United States. Since the 1910’s, throughout the U.S. and particularly the Midwest, very large numbers of Mexican immigrants were employed by the railroads. Mexican immigrant railroad workers and their families literally lived on railroad property, in railroad boxcars and “section houses.”
Illinois Humanities Road Scholar Antonio Delgado will discuss these railroad boxcar communities populated by Mexicans in the Chicago metro area and the Midwestern states of Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas, particularly during the period between 1910 and the 1950s. The presentation will highlight the vibrant social and cultural life of these Mexican settlers who lived in the railroad boxcar communities. It will also include discussion of the injustices and challenges of living in an often-prejudicial environment.
The presentation is suitable for general audiences and all age groups and is available in English, Spanish, or a bilingual format.
Funded project of Illinois Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.