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Continental Europeans in Utah


Mrs. Nick Mageras ("Magerou") was midwife to two generations of Greek, Italian, and Slav women in the Magna-Midvale-Tooele area. She was renowned for her folk cures.

Many of Utah's oldest ethnic communities came from continental Europe. Today their descendants are blended into dominant "America" culture, but in the early part of the 1900s, newcomers from continental Europe stood out.

Slavic miners from eastern Europe and Greeks and Italians helped mine silver and copper ore when Utah's mines were among the most productive in the world. Basques from northern Spain came in large numbers to work as sheepherders. Later in the 20th century, Germans fled the insecurity of war-torn Europe.

New immigrants often formed organizations to help each other--like the Slovenian National Benevolence Association, the German-American Federal Credit Union, or the "Holland-American Friendship is Ours" club. For many years the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints organized foreign language congregations, and the state was home to a number of foreign language newspapers.

All these institutions provided needed services and helped new immigrants get adjusted to American society and feel at home in Utah.

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