Greek Immigration to, and Settlement in, Central Illinois 1880-1930 Dissertation by Ann Flesor Beck

Dissertation by Ann Flesor Beck


Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Policy Studies in the Graduate College of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2014 

"This dissertation is a micro-history of Greek immigrants to central Illinois between 1880 and 1930. The study focuses specifically on those Greek immigrants who were involved in the confectionery trade, opening candy stores (often accompanied by soda fountains and restaurants) in the small towns and cities of rural Illinois. The study draws upon, as its primary case study, the life and experiences of my own grandfather, Constantin “Gus” Flesor, a Greek immigrant who settled in Tuscola, Illinois in 1901 and owned a candy store/soda fountain business there for 75 years. In all, this dissertation tells the stories of more than 160 such Greek immigrant confectioners in more than forty towns and cities in central Illinois. Examples from the lives of my grandfather and these other first-generation Greek immigrants are interwoven throughout the dissertation to illustrate particular experiences."

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