laborers were brought in at an early date to work the Carbon County mines and railroads. By the late 1890s, Italians and Austrians (primarily
Slovenians, Croatians, and Serbians) began to arrive. In 1900 Helper's
population was listed at 385 people. Sixteen different nationality groups
were represented. "Merchant" and "laborer" comprised most of the occupations
for these early immigrants.
the unsuccessful coal miners' strike of 1903-04, Italians, blacklisted
from the mines at nearby Castle Gate,
ventured into Helper to establish businesses and farms along the Price
River. The influx of strikers into Helper accelerated its growth, with
the newly established farms offering needed agricultural products.
twentieth century was launched in Carbon County (which had been formed
in 1894 from Emery County) in a shroud
of uncertainty, largely due to the strike situation. Greek and Japanese
immigrants were brought in to break the strike, and thus new ethnic
groups came onto the scene. Helper, along with Price, was fast becoming
the center of the Carbon County coalfields, providing service functions
to the outlying camps. A 1903-04 business directory listed sixteen separate
businesses in Helper; by 1912-13 the number had grown to twenty-nine,
with a population of about 850. Helper townsite was regularly organized and incorporated
in 1907 with a president of the town board and members of the board
serving the community.