Immigrant workers sought new beginning in area's burgeoning steel industry

Mar 03, 2015 540

By Kayleen Cubbal 

When Oreste Piroli left his Naples, Italy, home in 1910, his mother, Maria, made a prediction. "I know I'll never see you again," Maria told her 16-year-old son. She was right. Oreste left to follow his father, Felice, an Italian farmer, to the land of opportunity, putting down stakes in Beaver County, where he went to work for the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Co.

Although Felice made five trips back to Italy to see Maria, who never moved here, Oreste, as his mother predicted, did not return to his homeland. He worked, raised his family and died when he was hit by a car in 1945 at the age of 50.

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