Among 6,000 men employed at the Pressed Steel Car Co.'s plants in McKees Rocks and Woods Run, unskilled immigrants from southern and eastern Europe who made rail cars in 1909 spoke 16 languages.
But those men spoke with one voice when they protested dangerous working conditions, low pay and industrial bondage that left them uncertain about their weekly wages, behind in rent for company-owned housing and forever in debt to the company store.
A century ago this month, between 12 to 26 people died in the Pressed Steel Car strike -- Pittsburgh's second bloodiest next to the railroad strike of 1877. Among the dead were John L. Williams and John C. Smith, the sixth and seventh state troopers to die in the line of duty. When the anniversary of the conflict's worst bloodshed arrives on Saturday, a state historical marker will be unveiled in Presston, an intact company town of 240 duplexes in Stowe. Located near the plant, Presston was often derided as "Hunkeyville."
Pressed Steel Car went out of business in 1966 and was purchased by U.S Steel.
McKees Rocks' population peaked at 18,116 in 1930. Its 2016 estimated population is 5,951 -- a drop of 12,165 (67%).
Other disappearing cities and boroughs of the Keystone StateAliquippa. (1/12/2019)
Dickson City. (1/26/2019)
Other U.S. disappearing cities:
Baltimore, Maryland. (12/31/2018)
Benton Harbor, Michigan. (1/15/2019)
Buffalo, New York, (1/8/2019)
Cairo, Illinois. (1/5/2019)
Cleveland, Ohio (1/2/2019)
Detroit, Michigan. (1/1/2019)
East St. Louis, Illinois. (1/11/2019)
Flint, Michigan. (1/7/2019)
Gary, Indiana. (1/4/2019)
St. Louis, Missouri. (1/2/2019)
Wheeling, West Virginia. (1/16/2019)
Youngstown, Ohio. (1/9/2019)