The Year Was 1910

Raymond Francis Dyer, ca. 1910The year was 1910 and in the United States, it was a census year. As the enumerators went door to door, the U.S. population stood at 92,228,496. Urban residents represented 45.6 percent of the total and 54.4 percent of the population lived in rural areas. Twenty years prior, in 1890, only 35.1 percent of the population lived in urban areas and 64.9 percent lived in rural areas, and fifty years prior, in 1860, only 19.8 percent of the population lived in urban areas as opposed to 80.2 percent living in rural areas.
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau.)

The growth of cities and industrialization was changing society and there was a feeling of inequality. William Howard Taft was President of the United States, which was in the midst of what is commonly referred to as the “Progressive Era.” Continuing what his predecessor, Theodore Roosevelt began, Taft began eighty anti-trust suits, aimed at breaking up large monopolies.

Labor disputes pitted labor unions against factory owners in the Bethlehem Steel Strike, Chicago Clothing Workers’ Strike  and the Cloakmakers’ Strike. In Los Angeles, in the midst of a strike of metal workers, the building of the Los Angeles Times, which had taken an anti-union position, was dynamited and the building caught fire trapping many of its workers. Union activists later plead guilty to the crime.

On a sad note in U.S. immigration history, the immigration station at Angel Island opened its doors in January 1910 in an effort to enforce the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. It is estimated that more than 1 million persons coming to and leaving the U.S. were processed through Angel Island, including 175,000 Chinese immigrants and 150,000 Japanese immigrants, with some being held there for weeks or even months in horrible conditions. For more information, see the FAQ on the Angel Island website. Chinese exclusion records are available to members online for San Francisco, New York, and Hawaii.

In other parts of the world, the Mexican Revolution began in November when Francisco I. Madero called for an uprising against President Porfirio Diaz. Six months later Diaz abdicated and Francisco Madero was later elected president.

In Paris, the Seine River flooded the city. Low-laying railroad lines and the unfinished underground Metropolitan railroad filled with water when the Seine rose 8.72 meters and overflowed its banks.

In the UK, suffragettes clashed with police in what is known as “Black Friday” in a protest outside the House of Commons.

NOTE: The gentleman in the photograph is Juliana’s great-grandfather, Raymond Francis Dyer, taken around 1910. Click on the image to enlarge it.

A printer-friendly version of this article can be found in the Library.


10 thoughts on “The Year Was 1910

  1. I thought this was a wonderful addition to the newsletter and just wished it had been longer.

  2. Great to read about the year 1910. Printed out copies for all of my family history books. Can you print out the other years like this?
    Thanks for a well done job.
    Harold Waitsman

  3. Thank you for the 1910 article. I would love to have such an article for other years and census years in particular. For example, in 1920 a line I am searching in Ann Arbore MI lied about their birth country and language.

    I wonder what might have been going on there that would make them not want to admit to being Irish. All other census years from 1900 through 1930 they were truthful about where they were born

  4. Was delighted to discover this as 1910 was my mother’s birth year and it will make an informative addition of her life and times to the family history.

  5. I love ALL of the articles concerning a particular year in history. Keep them coming! They are very informative and will help immensely as I write my family history book.

  6. I really didn’t think that the year articles would be much help, but the more I thought about it the more I liked the idea. It gives a much more rounded idea of what was going on in the world at the various times of our ancestors lives. Keep up the great work with this and the rest of the newsletter.

  7. My mother was born on September 25th, and has just celebrated her 97th Christmas. She grew up on a farm in rural Texas (Nemo — still has a small post office) at a time when there were no autos in the entirity of Somervell County, until a doctor finally bought one so that he could make house calls quicker. Yet the families there were close and many descendants still maintain contact.

    Our family held a reunion this past fall, celebrating 150 years in this community — a very long time for Texas. Unfortunately, the family homestead burned in 1973, losing many historical items and records.

  8. My mother, Frances Eloise Webb Zurschmit, was born on Aug. 14, 1910, in Akron, Ohio, and is now 96 years old. She had one sister and 2 brothers. Two other siblings died as infants. Her father, John Roscoe Webb, was a machinist for the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Later, Frances’s mother, Carrie Mae, worked there, as well, and then went to work in the cafeteria of the YWCA. The family used to take the train to visit various relatives out in the countryside. Frances can trace her Webb ancestors back to the 1200’s in England. They are connected in various ways to some VIPs both in England and in America.

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