R. E. Wirkman, Western Immigration Agent for the railroad stated, "We are receiving at the present time from 60 to 80 inquiries a day regarding Washington at our St. Paul office. They are from people who want to engage in business and have sums of money from $500 to $5000 to invest." As an inducement to migrate westward, the Great Northern offered a flat fare of $25 per person for new settlers.
The Seattle International Railway reported that 500 immigrants from Kansas were due to leave for Seattle on March 1, 1900, and further that 400 heads of families from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, North Dakota, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma had written for information on moving West. Settlers frequently cited the desire for milder winters as their reason for moving.