• Immigrants awaiting inspection in front of Ellis Island's Main Building

    Ellis Island

    Part of Statue of Liberty National Monument NJ,NY

People

The Workers of Ellis Island

An Ellis Island working conducting a trachoma exam.

An Ellis Island worker conducting a trachoma exam.

Library of Congress

Ellis Island nurse Lillian Wheeler giving a child a bath.

Ellis Island nurse Lillian Wheeler giving a child a bath.

National Park Service, Statue of Liberty NM

 
On a typical day at the Ellis Island Immigration Station, immigrants came face to face with inspectors, interpreters, nurses, doctors, social workers, and many others. As a large federal facility employing approximately five hundred employees at a time, Ellis Island was a well-organized workforce.

The complex work of processing thousands of immigrants a year required a full complement of staff. Some names are known; others remain anonymous, but all of them contributed to the primary function of the Immigration Station on Ellis Island -- to make sure that newcomers to the United States were legally and medically fit to enter the country.

Learn about the types of work performed on Ellis Island and some of the individual employees who worked in these jobs.

Inspector Clerk Interpreter
» Full Profile » Full Profile » Full Profile

Aid Worker Nurse
Doctor
» Full Profile » Full Profile » Full Profile

Did You Know?

Guastavino ceiling Ellis

The Guastavino Ceiling in the Great Hall: Rafael Guastavino Moreno (1842 –1908) was a Spanish architect and builder. He created a "Tile Arch System" patented in the United States in 1885 used for constructing robust, self-supporting arches and architectural vaults using interlocking terracotta tiles and layers of mortar, it is found in some of the most prominent Beaux-Arts landmarks across the United States