Printed by Germania Publishing Co.1895
|In the Land of the Lippe River||1|
Agnes of Breman (name of the boat); Overcrowding and hardship on the boat; Ship hardtack; Disease and cases of death on the boat; Sunday Services; Landing in Quebec; The trip to Buffalo; Across the inland sea to Milwaukee.
Branching Out of the Colony .......
Causes of the Branching out; Name register of the colony; To Sheboygan; To Freeport.
In the Primeval Forest ......
Sheboygan; The wagon train into the forest; Officer Dene; Pioneer Outfit; The Tule-bear (a skunk); The Settlement.
The living in "lean-tos"; The building of houses; Clearing; The Sawmill; The German tools; The howling of the wolves; Deaths; First Birth.
Depressing Times .....
The winter of 1848/49; Hardships; No more resources; Shingle Industry; Transport of Shingles; Fix and Peiter; Young men and girls looking for jobs elsewhere; Low pay.
Returning youths; Marriage; Building of a saw and flour mill; The village Franklin; Travelling preacher Berky; Pastor Plup; Dr. Bossard; New arrivals; Pastor H.A. Winter; The community of Saron.
The enthusiasm of Pastor H.A. Winter; His missions in Wisconsin; The idea of a missionhouse; Pastor J. Bossard, Ph.D.; The first building; Dr. Muhlheimer; The anniversary; In the company of the Governor.
Anecdotes and Experiences ......
Getting lost in the forest; A night in the forest; Getting taken for a "Yankee"; The sorrows of a pastor; Fix and Peiter; The "Shingle-thieves"; The white horse of the mission; Misunderstanding; Schmed-Carl as an interpreter; One, who knew how to help himself; Indian wars; The people of Lippe in Missouri; A disciple of the Saints of the last days in the colony; Civil War; A burden of love; The storm of the 4th of July; The croaking of the bullfrogs; Indians.
Branch Colonies ............
The "Seedlings"; In Clark County, Wis.; In Allmakee, Jasper, Buena Vista and Sac Counties, Iowa; In Jefferson County, Nebraska; A similar settlement in Iowa; An entire community of Lippe people in America.
The Settlement At Present (1895) .. .........
The changes; Wealthy farms; Family life; The dead ones; The old ones;
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The following pages are dedicated to the memory of my mother, through whom I learned of the hardship of the first years after the arrival in America, the difficulties which they had to overcome, the patience with which they bore the hardships, for all the good things she did for her children as a loving and Christian mother, I devote this in love to her. J.C.A.
Franklin, Wisconsin, May 1895
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The history of the first settlement of the people from Lippe-Detmold in Wisconsin is not only of interest to the descendants of these pioneers, but also to each one, who knows how to appreciate the hardship of the settlers, who recognize the important part that these early settlers played for the American civilization.
The data of this account rests mainly on oral tradition. They have been told by a few still living eyewitnesses. Obvious exaggerations and doubtful accounts have been rejected by me. Should, however, some one find good reason to doubt the truthfulness and accurateness of this account, please let me know, so that I can go to the root of the matter. The German work "Geschichte" (History) comes from "geschehen" (happened), and should therefore be synonymous with truth.
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III. In the Land of the Lippe River
We dont want to describe the land of the Lippe River and its inhabitants. That is not our task. We only want to accompany the Langenholzhouser group of colonists who left that pretty country in the year 1847 in order to move to the primeval forests of Wisconsin. Our visit to the Lippeland is therefore brief, similar to a fashionable short visit. We dont take the opportunity to look at the beauty of the landscape, the favorable climatic conditions which prevail at the small princedom. We call it small, since it is not bigger than an American county. It might have been interesting maybe to look at the fat, well-nourished estate owners with their long pipes, looking down, with their assumed superiority, with disgust upon the laboring class almost like a cock on his hens. Probably we would have been more interested in the laboring class and would have been shocked by their poverty and misery. For our democratic ears the noise of the weaving machine on which an old woman is sitting, the sound of a spinning wheel, that a barefooted and poorly dressed girl is handling, the mundane music of the women threshers, the songs of the young men who are leaving to find work as brick makers elsewhere would have been more interesting than the artificial (superficial) conversation of the wealthy.
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Our colonists belonged to the poor. They were poor by birth, as their parents and grandparents had been. Poverty and wealth were inherited. They hardly had enough bread and they had to steal the wood for fuel (although they knew the Christian command against theft). Poverty drove them out of the country. Men who dont care too much about the truth but prefer sensational things love to tell that our colonists were persecuted on account of their religion and that they immigrated. But these are imagined reasons, that do not rest on truth and it is hardly necessary to bring proof against it. Also the fact, that the Heidelberg Catechism, with its difficult language had been removed and replaced by a religious textbooks written for children, and this could not have been the reason, since this change had taken place with the full approval of the Lippe government and was not opposed by the Christian communities.
Our colonists were chiefly from Langenholzhaufen. People labeled them as religious, as they had a more deep religious sense than many of their neighbors. They did not seek after riches, as perhaps those that moved to California to search for gold did, instead, they gave their chief attention to their home, to arrange for the supreme happiness of a free family life. They were penetrated through with the ideas of duty and justice, and even though here in their shy seclusion, they took no place of high importance in society, through their quiet, pious change, a blessed influence in the new world was
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exerted and their colony in the primeval forest stands like the "Mayflower" at Plymouth Rock, strong and unshakeable. Blessed light beams came from them and went out in all directions. These blessed beams, that wove warmth and light like the beams of the noon-day sun, we shall now trace and consider the fruit that matured from these beams.
It was in 1847 when our colonists determined to move to America. Certainly a very difficult and extremely dangerous undertaking, when one takes into consideration the conditions of those who wanted to emigrate. Their small possessions would not hold out long, and the cost to defray the cost of their trip, and the idea to come to a land, begging-poor, was certainly not a pleasant one. Many fearfully left the group of emigrants and stayed at home. Wild, bloody, hair-raising stories came from America, and tales of the Indians were told, and we know too well that there was much truth to be found in these stories.
So many traveled to America, as if to a different, as if to a new, unknown world, and it was as if these would never be seen again on this earth. Their fellow countryman, Freiligrath, the beloved Lippian poet, had already written at that time the moving emigration poem, "The Emigrants" . And how deeply it must have affected those colonists, when someone cited to them Freiligraths lines:
I cannot turn my eyes from you
You men, who lay upon your necks
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These are the same pots and jugs
That you filled often in your homeland.
When everything is still on the Missouri
They will paint for you a picture of the homeland.
Please tell me why are you going away?
Our colonists must have been strong and definite in their determinations, to be able to resist the pleas and the notions of their friends, acquaintances and relatives, and even more valiant to overcome the pain of leaving. Yes, the Lippians are courageous and valiant - - to bear witness to it is the Marmor peak that high above the Teutoburger Woods looms upwards. They also showed their courage and bravery in America, and not just because that they rechristened the townships Howard in Herman, rather, they raised a more important monument: a church in the west that commemorates their life, and as a monument to their striving and work, stands the Missionhouse, a citadel of German customs, a stronghold of the German language and a rock of German Christianity.
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On May 4, 1847, our Lippians left Bremen. The colony consisted of 24 families, 13 unmarried men and 2 unmarried women, in total, 112 people. A record of names of this colony can be found in the following section; it is certainly possible that a few names are missing, that have not been brought to my attention. With many difficulties I have assembled what I believe to be the complete roster. The ship was called "Agnes of Bremen", which transported this costly cargo across the ocean.
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meal, was a delicacy that was greedily devoured. There was also bean soup, which seemed to consist of mainly lukewarm saltwater, in which the isolated beans dashed about like a herd of wild horses on the wide prairie. Our Lippians were often aware of a vacuum in their stomachs, that outside of the bread from ground grain, and brown meal, and the water soup, all the food was distributed with the frugality of a Til Eulenspiegel, who, when he wanted to fertilize a field, brought a cart-load of fertilizer over the country and then let the words, "Stink, stink!" ring out.
Even more noticeable was the lack of fresh drinking water. The "Agnes of Bremen" was not equipped to handle the necessary quantity of drinking water for 400 people. Through this, the emigrants suffered much from thirst. They could still their hunger by means of the obligatory "Lippian Patience", but not thirst, while the "Swallow of the jug" that they could have, didnt last long.
As could be expected, there was sickness on the ship, even mortal illness, and 13 or 14 bodies had to be given up to the ocean. Of these, 3 Lippian emigrants were also buried in the sea - - Mrs. Sophis Domeier, wife of Mr. Frederick Domeier, died this way as they crossed the ocean, and her body was buried according to Christian custom in the deep in the vicinity of New Foundland. Her new-born baby remained alive to make the long trip to the primeval forest, but with loving, motherly care, died before the colony was permanently settled.
A widower also died, a Mr. Schmieding. The third offering to the deep was the 4-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Buker. She sickened for a long time, and died, although she was given much care and food. One can understand the pain of the mother: with the prayers to God ringing, she knelt down on the free deck, surrounded by sailors and passengers, and asked God, if it was his will, to make her daughter well. He, however, resolved it differently.
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During this long, sorrowful trip of eight weeks, our Lippians did not, however, also forget to practice the spiritual things, and regular church services were held on the ship. The worship was well looked after, and the Lippian colonists were bound in Christian love through this tie. And this tie binds them still today, and will remain, as long as they remain here on this earth.
It was really a sorrowful trip. Everything that happened was trouble, misery and restrictions in this small ship. Nothing amusing or cheerful could be told of this trip. The voyage contract which read for arrival in New York was not fulfilled at all, instead, they actually landed in Quebec, Canada. The ships company did this because they had more passengers on board than their license allowed, and because of this they had to get around the watchful eyes of the law in New York. Our emigrants certainly knew that they could get justice for what the ships company had done, but they lacked two things, namely time and money in order to receive their rights.
After Quebec the trip went west, indeed, to Milwaukee. At the time, this trip was tied up with many obstacles. Travel was done on the St. Lawrence Seaway with ships and canal boats, anywhere it went. Other distances had to be covered again with the railroad. These were nevertheless, primitive railroads. The trains traveled so slowly, that now and then the young men had enough time to get off and take fruit from the gardens located nearby. When the train came to a hill, the male passengers had to get of, and help to get the train over the difficult spot, which was met every time with cheerfulness. In Buffalo, our emigrants got off and got onto a steam-ship which brought them over the Great Lakes to Milwaukee, where they thanked God that they were able to make it over the longest distance of their trip.
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V. Branching Out of the Colony
The destination of the colonists was originally the prairie state of Iowa. In Milwaukee, However, they fell into the hands of the land speculators, who told of the cheap lands near Sheboygan. The objections to a long land trip to Iowa - far away over the Mississippi - was vividly painted they were assured that the land over there was much too high in the price, yes, so high that poor people shouldnt even consider buying it. Besides, the lack of wood upon the prairie would not be an easily gotten over emergency. They did not fail to take notice then of the preferable land in the beautiful wooded state of Wisconsin, where the land would be so cheap, that every colonist would be able to have his own piece of land. Also, they said, that Wisconsin would have an advantage above all others, because right away the colonists would be able to make money from working in wood, as well as being able to raise buildings on the property without expense.
The people were irresolute. Some wanted to go to Iowa, others still to Wisconsin. The latter were just exhausted from the long, toilsome journey, and looked forward to home that would come soon. From their fears and anxieties in suspenseful pain, their noble-minded, charitable advisor and leader, Friedrich Reineking, who, after giving consideration to the reasons for and against, and being convinced that the poor people would find no land they would be able to buy, said to them, "New children, where we bloom, there we all bloom." This pointed the way - the majority chose to chance Wisconsin.
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We shall follow the Wisconsin colony, and list the names here, as we believe, of the colonists that went. It is certainly possible, even though I took great pains in order to give the full register, that there may be some irregularities and false statements here.
1. Widow Marie Arpke
1. Died on the ship; aged 4 years and some months. 2. Died aboard ship.
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12. Widower F. Stock:
Friedrich, Louise, Heinrich
13. Mr. and Mrs. Heinrich Uphof:
Adolph, Sophie (C.F. Arpke), Henriette (Bierhaus)-(Ohse).
The following 4 families come without parents:
14. Bodeker: Friedrich, Heinrich.
15. Widower Schmieding 5: Amalia (A. Marten).
16. Steffen: Friedrich, Sophie (Anton Weber).
17. Wehrmann: Karl, Katharine (S. Reineking).
1. Miss Louise Bartrich. 6
5. Died on ship. 6. A seamstress, better known as "Pastors Minchen", stayed in Buffalo. 7. A seamstress, who stayed in Milwaukee, where she got married.
Single youths and menL
1. _____________ Delendorf, 7. Conrad Stock
From the Zweig-Colony, who traveled across the prairie and settled in Freeport, Illinois, I have found the following names:
1. Mr. Braad (Widower), Maria, Friedrich, ___________ a son, __________ a daughter.
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3. Adoph Frietag:
Adolph, Heinrich, Louise, Charlotte.
4. Mr. and Mrs. Diesenmeier, Sr.
5. Mr. and Mrs. Diesenmeier Jr.: a child
6. Mr. and Mrs. Heinrich Gerke: no children
7. Mrs. Steinke_Friedrich
8. Mr. Stode, Unmarried
Those colonists settled down in the fruitful area by Freeport, Illinois, and quickly become wealthy. We find them there in the Evangelical and Reformed church.
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VI. In the Primeval Forest
Sheboygan was only a small fishing village that showed few houses and inhabitants as our Lippians reached there in 1847. One could have also perhaps found that the wigwams of the Indians outnumbered those houses and shanties of the white man. The city was thickly forested with mighty fir-trees, the natural ornament of the beautiful Wisconsin. They towered above, as if, as trees of freedom, to announce to the newcomers that they were in the land of freedom. The mighty fir trees are no longer there; in their place stands a lively and splendid city. People still call the city today the "Evergreen City", even though today pitifully few of these proud firs remain in the citys fountain park.
From Sheboygan the journey went into the primeval forest. Here one had to use horse-drawn vehicles, and since at first there were very few paths, the journey was accomplished by difficulties. One guided himself on this trip through the forest by certain markings on the trees, or followed the paths of the Indians. From Sheboygan to Sheboygan Falls was an open and travelable path. The land agents led the colonists over Sheboygan Falls and from the north, following the so-called Green Bay Road. It was the same one northern running road, which the government had constructed in 1836 from Green Bay and Fort Howard to Chicago and Fort Dearborn.
Whoever has already traveled in a forest with oxcarts and primitive wagons can easily understand how filled with
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difficulties this journey was. A shaft broke and because of this unfortunate event one of the wagons had to be left behind. As our colonists advanced into the forest, up to about the middle of what is today Section 15 of the town of Herman, they discovered a lean-to and inside found a single inhabitant - a strange fellow. They were very happy to run into a white man and even more, as they noticed, that their settler was German. As an answer to the question of how long he had lived there, he answered with a sigh, "Oh, my God, Ive been here for three days." They named this unusual man Officer Nene and began a friendship with him.
While our colonists rested here and waited for the wagons that were behind, they had the opportunity to study the ways of pioneer life, and received a foretaste of the joy that they had yet to experience. They could learn from this odd fellow much worldly wisdom, just like his famous predecessor, the Greek Diogenes, while this man also needed little from life. He only possessed a few bowls in his lean-to, and as a stocking place for his provisions, he used a cavity in a tree. It was too bad that there was no strong tree in the neighborhood whose cavity was large enough for him to stick his body into, as certainly he did not build a very luxurious lean-to. Instead, it was very simple, as his philosophical predecessor, who lived in a cask that was stuck in a cavity of a tree.
We must tell the anecdote of the Tule-bear here. Our Lippians naturally met much that was foreign to them, many of the wild animals of the forest were strange to them. There lives in our forests "Wild cats" which are famous all over for their beautiful black backs with white stripes, with long haired tails, which usually look like a bush as it stretches out over their backs, and look altogether very charming. People named these apparently harmless creatures "skunk" in the language of the land; the German named these creatures a
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somewhat indelicate name, but they hit the nail on the head. The name pointed out exactly the peculiarity of the animals. They spread, when aroused, such a nauseating smell, that it drives right through the senses. As a few met these lovely and innocent looking examples of these creatures, one of the leaders, who was well-aware of defense mechanisms of this creature, but who wanted to play a joke on one of the boys, said, "Boys, a Tule-bear! Capture him!" Immediately, some of the young men ran after the animal, and since that animal was not used to men - perhaps he had never seem men before - - behaved very peacefully, until our hero pressed him to the ground with his skill. Our hero should not have rejoiced too soon with his victory, he was soon shown his inexperience. The blue, unbearable smell contaminated swiftly the whole woods, like the smell from many carcasses. The story of the Tule-bear is retold after many years by the colonists, and even today the animal is still called by this name.
On the 25th of July-Saint Jacobs Day-our colonists settled. They settled in the regions of Sections 16 and 17, Town of Herman, about where the paths cross, a mile north of Immanuels Church. All families acquired land, forty acres or more, and paid about $1.25 per acre. It was government land, and they bought the land from the soldiers claims. Eleven weeks had passed since they had left Bremen, and as they settled here and built simple huts, they praised and thanked God for His guidance and for the good land that He had given to them.
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VII. Pioneer Hardships
The life in the leaf huts was especially miserable, even though they gave room for the inhabitants, they lacked protection against wind and weather. Our Lippians did not certainly need much room, for outside of the large, spacious, iron-covered, long-lasting emigration crates, they owned a few pieces of furniture. These leaf-huts offered so little protection against storms, that even a normal rain would drench these inhabitants of these primitive dwellings through and through. It is told that the inhabitants of these huts would move their beds for protection against the rain in much the same way as a hen would her brood, that is, they protect themselves against it.
They began immediately to build houses. They built large houses, and in this our inexperienced Lippians made one lamentable mistake. The people did not understand the practical way of life of the Americans; no Americans lived in the nearby regions that they could now and then receive tips from, and they began to build filled with spirit and certainty, without knowing the American way of building. Instead of building according to the American style of "log-cabins", which are quickly raised, and answers the needs of a settler in a forest, meaning that they are warm, roomy, lasting and in my eyes even beautiful, they built grand houses in a style of right angles. The quickly-completed American shanties did not appear solid enough for them, and so
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they built their block houses with right angles according to the German style. When one says according to German style it means to use the wood for more than just practical purposes, and not to shy away from work on the building. Many of these houses still stand today, and are made up from beams that are two feet thick, and planks that are eighteen inches wide. When one thinks about this type of building, one has to involuntarily exclaim, "Oh, that beautiful wood!"
Even more surprising is that they made the planks, rafters, doors and shingles for their houses using tools that they had brought along with them. What a difficult, death-tiring task it must have been to carve those mighty fir trees into planks using handsaws. They had a very peculiar saw apparatus. Whether our Lippians discovered this - necessity could have brought this about - or whether they got it from the ships workshop, I dont know, but I will try to describe this saw apparatus. It was made up of scaffolding, upon which a log was rolled. A man stood under the scaffolding, and another upon the log, and in this manner, sawed it to and fro, until the log was in planks. This is easy to describe, but difficult to do.
The German tools that they brought along were not adequate. The small, wedged-shaped German axes were good enough for splitting the logs, but just could not do the job when it came to the felling of the trees. They hacked with these axes until the tree was ready to fall, which, sorry to say, did not always fall in the right direction; swinging, they would hack at the tree, not knowing for sure which way it was going to go. The stumps and the hacked-up logs often looked like they had been chewed by beavers.
When I think about the tiresome work that these industrious people did, the idea often comes to me, that if these hard-working people had settled in the nearby, stone-covered
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township of Rine, instead of the fir treed forests of Herman, and if they had been stone masons instead of carpenters, they would have without a doubt built stone castles, which would have lasted for many generations. Konrad Krez, the loveable Irish poet of Wisconsin, who, with his own eyes saw the work of this colony a few years later, perhaps had our Lippians in mind when he wrote in his greeting to another set of newcomers who werent as serious as the first set (which by this time had become a nuisance) this verse:
"Its better that everything is ready for your reception,
At that time there still were many wolves, whose horrible howling could be heard during the night deep in the woods. Deer were also plentiful, and many made some good roasted meat from them. Indians moved here and there, mostly along the river, and had a city where the village of Franklin stands today.
Our colonists held regular Christian religious services; traveling preachers came to them regularly, and they were
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organized in 1848 as part of the reformed assembly of Immanuel. Before they had a regular preacher, they held services in "Pitchville", which today is Howard, where a traveling preacher in the service of God stopped. A traveling preacher baptized eleven children once in the house of Reineking, and consummated two marriages - those of the two Bodekers, Cord and Heinrich. These were however not the first marriages -
there was the marriage of Mr. Friederich Stock and Miss Amalia Reineking, the first in the town of Herman. Another took place between Mr. H. Friedrich Reineking and Miss Charlotte Luhmann. This marriage took place in Milwaukee.
The first child to be born was of the couple, Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Marten.
It would be nice to remark that the first winter of the colony was an easy one. The godly care that our colonist built upon, protected them from perishing in the winter.
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VIII. Depressing Times
Our colonists did not find a land flowing with milk and honey. Only through superhuman strivings, and through extraordinary limitations did they build an existence fit for human beings. They carried through the loads and difficulties of the days, and threw their worries to God, who led them in all that they did.
They went through exceptional needs during the second winter after their arrival. It was in this harsh winter from 48-49. Deep snow fell, and our colonists were walled in muchlike a ship in a sea of ice. Their small "clearings" were covered with snow, their stumps were towered over with snow, even the high fences they made were covered by the snow like a grave. Animals suffered need in the bitter cold in their poorly supplied stalls. The snow lay so deep that they could find no food in the woods; so also with the bitter cold came hunger. People tried to help them as much as they could, lifted trees, so that the animals could be closer to the buds and small twigs.
Little, very little, did they gain from their small clearings. The clearing of the land, the building of the houses, the setting up of the fences, took up much valuable time that could have been used for the setting of the fields in order. Meanwhile, they had used up what little money they had brought along, and to their needs of more families, who they had to support, because the young men and women were busy trying to make money. No one was ready for the
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harsh winter, especially after the rather mild past one. Not the smallest prospect of making a living could be seen; the number of milk cows was so small that they couldnt even take care of their own needs. There was our colony, hungry, freezing, and unprepared for the harsh winter which attacked them much like an enemy beleaguers a city.
During this hard winter, wild animals, namely deer, often looked for food in the clearings. They often ventured in front of the doors of the houses of the settlers, where they could be killed easily and used for food.
The provisions were exhausted. A source of living had to be made. People conferred as to what could be done, and since necessity makes people inventive, they came up with a way of making a living - the shingle industry. They began and made shingles to sell. The deep snow made it very difficult to get the necessary logs from the wood, especially for these poor people, who did not possess any draught animals. They had to drag the logs back using hand drawn toboggans. The work took many days; at night they cut up the logs into shingles by torchlight. One can still see the remains of the shingle industry today. The shingles were brought to Sheboygan to be sold, where the people bought provisions.
The transportation of the shingles was also filled with difficulties, especially for these poor people, who did not own any horse drawn vehicles. They could transport butter and eggs by backpack, but not the shingles; these had to be transported using horse-drawn vehicles. Luckily, S. Luhman and A. Nagel took care of this worry, while they owned the pair of famous oxen, "Fix and Peiter". These were the only pair of yoked oxen in the north in this colony. For this service, the families paid with what they earned daily or with something
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else. There were two other oxen in the south of the colony, and these also were used, and were owned by F. Feineking and S. Steffen.
My mother often told that when she was a young girl, she and her brother, who was not many years older, would help bring the logs that were felled for the making of shingles home on the hand-drawn toboggans, and at night would cut the pieces of wood used for the torches. After this tiring work, they had to drag the shingles along paths they made themselves, since the oxen could only be used along already established paths.
In the first years of the settlement, because of the work, many men, young men and women left, and it was often very difficult for them. They went to places, but they never forgot their home. "In east and west-home is best", is something they thought often, and if time and provisions permitted it, they went back home after a short time. Most of them looked for and found work in and around Manitowac, Two Rivers, and Chicago. Many found work in the building of a canal in Illinois. The girls worked most often in Sheboygan.
They made very little money from their work. The men made about four to eight dollars a month. Even though there was regular currency in the country, they seldom received their pay in this manner; instead they received credit in stores for animals or for useful tools. So it often occurred that instead of returning with regular currency, they came back with a pair of oxen; others who werent as fortunate in what they earned, came back with only one ox. A third came back with a wagon; and a fourth, for whom things did not go so well, came back with only the shirt on his back, for which he worked three months. The few who went to work on the canal in Illinois,
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came back with frost-bitten friends, who were tired of scratching out an existence.
Booth, the famous general of the Salvation Army, once stated that it is very difficult for the starving to be Christian. In the case of the slum-dwellers of London, he may have been right, but this does not apply to our Lippians. Even in their poverty, they held fast their faith in God, and regularly held their Christian services. They worked and prayed, prayed and saved, and the words that Moses said to the people of Israel applies to them word for word: "Your clothes have not worn out upon you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet." 5 Deut.: 29:5. Also what the Lord God said to the widow from Zarpath through his servant Elias: "The jar of meal shall not be spent and the cruse of oil shall not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth." I Kings: 17, 14.
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IX. Development and Flourishing
In the 92nd Psalm it is lovingly and comfortingly pointed out that the righteous will green like the palm trees, and grow like the cedars of Lebanon. This was also fulfilled in our colony. After years of hard work and need our colony bloomed like an Eldorado; this is testified to loudly by the industry and diligence of those who lived in it. From year to year the clearings were broadened, and the crops became more productive. One after another the young people come back, bought land for themselves, and built houses upon them. The service of the "Marthas" also brought back some hard earned money to the colonists, and the people were happy about this and let them be free.
The winning of a mate at that time did not consume much time as it does today. One came, saw and conquered. And so it came to pass that today the large settlement is one relationship, that without exception, every family of Lippian descent can trace themselves back.
With the exception of a few, all those who wandered from the colony returned, as it didnt make any difference if things had gone well or badly for them. They belonged to the same Christian group that their friends and relative belonged to. The surrounding land was taken care of, and the people divided the work evenly among them. Through their brotherly cooperation the building of a dam and a sawmill was made possible in 1853. The building of a sawmill was of
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great importance for the colony, for now the people could saw the wood for the building of houses, and found more work to do so that they could with the passing of time sell the wood in Sheboygan and Chicago. In 1855 and 1856 a grain mill was built. The building of this took two years, but they were helped by the fact that the need for it was great. Instead of having to travel great distances to get the meal milled they could have it done in the vicinity without so much hard effort and time.
In the fifties more settlers came to the colony, mostly Lippians, so that the colony extended and expanded. In 1856, a town in the vicinity of the mill grew which was named Franklin by the founders. This town, which was some distance from the railroad, was not too important then, but was because of its charming situation-wreathed with many decorative and shade-giving trees, bounded by a romantic hill on the west side, gave it the appearance of a mountain city-which is inhabited by the people of the Missionhouse, which has now been raised to the university city, and was an idyllic place for the peaceful people. Of course a church and school was missing in the town of Franklin. Dr. H.J. Rutenik, who helped to set up this community, left the region too early. Although the Missionhouse stood in the shade of the city, no one tried to set up a Sunday school, and resolutely protested allowing a church to be set up there.
The people made steps forward in the direction of the church. Through the reformed preacher A. Berth, our colonists, led a reformed church movement out of their existence, and the Swiss Pastor C. Plup was soon sent by the Lutheran Pastor Muhlhauser from Milwaukee. As the first reformed preacher,
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Pastor J. Possard, Ph. D, who in 1854 was taken up by the Presbyterian Church, in alliance with the Sheboygan group, served this group.
The later arrivals from the land of the Lippians deserve mentioning. A few of those followed those who came in 47 in the next few years, and naturally went through many of the same toils of the first pioneers; others come later. A few settled here in the same settlement, a few settled a few miles to the south in the town of Sheyboyan Falls; others to the north in the town of Centerville and Newton, Manitowoc County; a few to the east in the town of Mosel, and to the west in the town of Rhine. They built, or helped to build, churchs in all of these places. Those churches in the town of Sheboygan Falls (Saron), in Rhin (Zvar) and in Mosel were ready in 1855-56 to be organized by and served by Pastor H. A. Winter (a Lippian-Detwoldian). The later arrivals, who joined with the first colony, and constantly turned to them in a close friendship, is worthy of mention. If the names of a few families in the following list are missing, please be patient, as they were not possible for me to find:
Achtemeier, Arnhölter, Begemann, C. and H. and S. Bodeker, Boger, A. and F. and F. Brand, Bransmeier, Buffi, F. and H. and H.H. Decker, Depping, Dickmann, H. and S. Domeier, F. and H. Engelking, Engelmeier, F. and S. Fasse, Franzmeier, Frewert, Grapmeier, Greibe, Gröne, F. and W. Grundmeier, Hahn, Hamann, Hanke, Hare, Hase, H. and F. Helming, Helger, Hilker, F. and S. Hollensteiner, Humpke, Johnanning, Kenter, A. and H. and P. Klemme, Kielsmeier, F. and S. Riesau, C. and H. Klocke, C. and A. and H. H. Knöner, Köhring, Kracht, Krampe, Kreite, Ruhfup, C. and F. Langerberg, Lübke, Lüdeking, Meier, Meierkord, Meinert, Mesch, Mühlmeier, F. and A. Nagel, Noah, Opfer, Ortmeier, Reme, Rickmeier, Sandermann, Sandmann, Selberg, Schaper, Schafer, Schäferkord, Schnitger, A. And C. and F. Schnülle, Schröeder, Schwarze, Sieker, Siekmann, Simmonsmeier, Sofker, Stahl, L. and H. and F. Stock, F. and W.
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Stölting, Stuckmann, Sübold, Tasche, Viet, H. and Herm. Vietmeier, Waldecker, C. and W. Weber, Wehrmann, Winter.
A noteworthy experience was had by the settlement through a similar settlement in the town of Sheboygan Falls, some miles south. This settlement was already in 1855 organized into an assembly (Sarons) by Pastor H. A. Winter, a child of the Lippians. These settlers saw the first days of the first pioneers, and much was told of their work and the fruits of their work. Through the advice of their ambitious Pastor, they bought 20 acres for the newly founded assembly. They next built a house for the pastor from the wood in the area, indeed, near the present pastors house. The young men felled these trees by moonlight, while the pastor gave them instructions in English. The noise the axes made while being swung by so many sinewy fists made lively music which rang through the still moon-lit night, and when one of the forest giants they chopped fell, it made a sound like distant thunder. When enough trees were felled, the people would come with oxen, carts and axes, and gallantly helped. The logs were sorted out for the sawmills, log fences and other purposes, and then were carried to their destinations by the indispensable oxen. The community managed to fell trees, set up all kinds of housing and fences, with "note bene" the help of the oxen, so that the condition of the colony took on a familiar character.
In 1857, Pastor Winter left the community that was felling the fir-trees, to go to the sawmill to see them made into planks. He promised to gather the money for the sawing of the logs from the members of his group, which then happened. In these years a church with a turret was built, the first church in Saron. The man who made the pulpit received as his payment a wife-that is, the pastor married them without asking for payment. The pastor drew up the plans for the strong, inexpensive and comfortable church pews himself,
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and also took care of the plans for the painting of the church. More than that-for he brought the needed paints - in twenty-five pound barrels- from Sheybogan to the place where the church was being built.
Pastor Winter of the Saron assembly also served the assembly he set up in the town of Mosel. This assembly used the old "blockschoolhouse" as a church then. The road to Mosel was poor, and an old log often served as a bridge. The continually spirited and dedicated Pastor made many travels as a missionary in those first years, mostly by foot, later with the famous white horses of the missionhouse. He visited Ashford, Bandina, Lowell, Watertown, Saulk City and other places, and always came back with good news- although very tired and with torn clothes. Around 1858 he took
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X. Missions and the Founding of the Missionhouse
I have often heard of the "fiery spirit" of the Pastor Winter for the founding of a theological institution in those days. My father once told me that he entertained the plan for the institution to be built on the hills in the west overlooking Franklin: he foresaw long before what such a place would demand.
Even in the time when he was a student of theology, he had deep feelings for the idea of establishing a German learning institution. As a man of foresight, he knew the need of the Church for such a German institution. He often told his fellow students of his plans, even though they were to go to nothing but small cities. Even so, he worked often and with style for his great work, so that even when he was a student, he was so much of a missionary, that he helped lead in the reformed church, or had the occastion to give advice to, we find: Tönsmeier, Mühlmeier, Lienkämper, J.J. Bred??, C. Sauer, Blätgen, P. Greding, Bergens, Hinske.
A famous historian of England once said so appropriately that the history of a nation was the history of its emerging ment. This meaningful statement can be employed also in the area of the Church. If one was to describe, for example, the
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life story of Pastor Winter, one would be describing for the most and important part the story of the reformed church in Wisconsin, and the Mission house, as he founded thirteen assemblies in Wisconsin. These are the following; Milwaukee, Sheboygan Falls (Saron), Rhine (Zvar), Mosel, Lowell, Reesville, Watertown, Ixonia, Sauk City, Herris, New Berlin, Waukesha. He also founded assemblies in other states.
Besides these, he interceded in the founding of these following new assemblies in Wisconsin; Ashford, Wayne, Prairie du Sac, Mayville, Beaverdam, Portlan, Waterloo, Nord Greenfield, Vernon; many of the assemblies became Lutheran under those that came after him.
In 1850, as he studied in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, the idea had already come to his mind to found a German institute for learning. He made the practical beginning a Missionhouse in 1853 in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, where he served in the place of J.J.Brecht, who had died. In 1857 we find him in the Saron assembly in the town of Sheboygan Falls, where he and Dr. J. Bossard, pastor of the Immanuel group took over for the then deceased pastors Korrtheuer and Grosshüsch.
Pastor Winter wrote early in 1860 the thought-provoking article about the Missionhouse, "Ideas About the Missionhouse". It was a long article, divided into three parts and appeared in "Evangelist", the organ of the reformed church at that time. People now had a name for the institution that was to be when Pastor Winter named it "Missionhouse", which for the Germans was a name that rang true. The dedicated pioneer moved confidently forward and also soon found supporters. The land for his Missionhouse was offered to him in Watertown and in Mayville, Wisconsin, and also in other places. The first donation received was from Dr. Zahner; it was one hundred dollars. He also collected one hundred dollars from Dr. Schneck.
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in the same year - a large sum at that time. This was in 1859.
The beginning of a Missionhouse had begun. It was of course questioned as we would question it today. Yes, many were apprehensive about it, and didnt believe in the idealistic future plans of Pastor Winter. But he had no doubts. His confidence overcame all difficulties. He had found a name for the future institution, and then began a Mecedonian cry for help, and help came. The Sheboygan group resolved itself by Mr. Friedrich Reineking and Simon Steffen offering five acres of land, and with this began the building of the institution in the middle of the Lippian settlement.
Pastor J. Bossard, Ph. D., was chosen as teacher. He was an able educator and lecturer, and was learned in all sciences - and even more than this, he was a perfect example of a Christian, and honorable man, with the love of Christ running through and through him; also an intimate and highly valued friend of the originator of the institution. He held the position of teacher until his blessed end.
We give here an excerpt from the personal writings of Pastor Winter, who described so aptly the conditions, and is of great interest to read:
"In early 1859 the center of the missions was with the Immanuel group. Dr. H.J. Rutenik, who was editor of the "Evangelist" from the Ohio Synod was invited to come. I invited a farmwagon of guests from Lowell. Added to these were a wagon load of Swiss from Ashford. Pastor Brecht and I went over the long way over hills and valleys on the Missionhouses white horses with them. The Swiss sang "Traveling-with-oxen-songs", which caused a stir. The celebration continued. They seemed to know what was to come. Many groups of people came for days. I had made it my business to make inquiries about the land, made the purpose of the land known, worried about future costs, and so on. The proposition took on a lot of long, bitter debates. A few feared personal dangers, others thought we would be viewed as rebels in the east. But the proposition was begun. A president, treasurer, and secretary were named. A few of us saw this as the beginning of development, which eventually was fulfilled. If one read the report Dr. H.J. Rutenik gave of our gathering, one would have a very clear idea of the problems that were faced, as well as an interesting personal account from the leader of a group. (I found the account in the June or
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July issues of the "Evangelist", 1859, and it can be found in Cleveland, Ohio). In my ardor, Dr. Rutenik wrote, I had talked too much and had contracted a disease of the throat, which would eventually speed my death along, and of which I still am not cured. To always hold services in the small block school houses, where one had to be the leader, and then to ride in buggies, where you did not have enough warm clothing, was too much for even the strongest man. The missions-committee gave the order for journies to the missions. But even the most heartfelt orders will not keep one warm. My enthusiasm often helped me conquer difficulties. Finally I found a name for the future institution.
the best sound in German for the institution. Names have a lot of meaning, especially this one, if something is to be successful. Mr. Georg Jorris in Watertown offered 10 acres of land, that was placed in a beautiful area, as a gift. He offered more land at a very inexpensive price. It was near a
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developed German city, with two railroads. In Watertown there is a Lutheran as well as a Catholic university today.
In 1859, in December, we had another meeting of the different groups. Finally, I came forward with my project again. But it was received very coolly. They thought that I should have the money ready to lay on the table, and not get into debt. Another poured over his comments icily as he spoke, "Oh, I know that in six years no Missionhouse will be standing." That was in 1859, and in 1862, the Missionhouse was already standing.
When one wants to understand the idea behind the work, one should read the
The first building was raised in 1862, and by the Lippian master builder, Mr. Friedrich Stolting. Dr. Bossard wrote at the time in the "Evangelist" about the cost of the building, "The cost was paid in part by our group, partly by others in the church and was 1027 dollars and 28 cents. For this money there now stands a two-story house with walled rooms. I would like to call Gods blessings upon the residents, who worked to set the foundations of this building, and worked diligently to set other stones upon these. In closing, one has the duty to take note of the Immanuel assembly without whose willing help, such a house could not have been built."
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Pastor Winter did not help with the building himself, because he was busy with building of his own church, but during the time gathered up money.
Mr. Muhlmeier was chosen in 1864 as a director, and with the exception of the few years in which Dr. Klein, Director, was head of the institution. Later, because of his form of advice, he was named Inspector. He lived devotedly for the Missionhouse, and the institution prospered under his care. He handled things very economically, and the thirty years of his regime are widely known.
In 1886, the Missionhouse celebrated its 25th anniversary, and the following report of the celebration.
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alone in the advocation of the institution. For a long time I found no supporters. The times were very hard. Everyone had to struggle for themselves. Finally, I got all my ideas together, and in 1860, in Lowell, I wrote "Ideas About the Missionhouse". They appeared in the "Evangelist". This found favorable reception. Ten acres of land were donated in the area of Watertown, Land that was unasked for, very good farmland that went for 15 dollars per acre. Others followed the example, and two years later the house was built, where it stands today. One hundred and fifty students were there at that time; now eighty students are there, they eat at one table, live as one family, have 130 acres of land and live very economically. The housefather who served many years is old and gray. One can wonder, with what perceptions I viewed them as a guest. My first Ideas had taken on strong forms. The fortunate name: "Missionhouse" helped to form the undertaking from the beginning, very probably. It has become a mighty tree. The "Ideas" from earlier times were enacted with better alterations. A paragon of frugality and domesticity appeared like magic before the eyes. Three of the old people of Mercers were there, of which I was the pioneer. They treated me very lovingly. The old ones from earlier assemblies were very happy to see me again, their children and grandchildren heard about it. I was the center of hearty greetings. The speaker of the day gave affectionate thanks to the first founder of the northwestern church and the Missionhouse in the name of the three Synods. Also, appreciation for this life. Many appreciative things were said, and much went unsaid, but understood. Even though I was a guest, every fibre in me was in jubilation. How the lord allowed all to occur so wonderfully. One loves the children of pain, this I know now.
Much pain went behind these voices of the Jubliee. What was now such charming land was once a primeval forest, which had been inhabited by bears. I saw the place again
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where Master Pess had built a house behind our windows. And the poverty of those times! Tired feet, wounded hearts, but our Lord helped us through all of these. Now it is for me a year of jubilee, and the collection of pictures of now-standing churches is now a trophy. Mightily growing in spirit, I was very happy to see old friends streaming back to many old memories, and it was as if I had made a journey in my mind during the festival. These were just a few from the many.
On the 14th of November, 1888 the new stone building of the Missionhouse was consecrated. Pastor Winter was not there.
In the "Biographical Sketch of Sheboygan Co." which had short section on the history of the Missionhouse within it, there was a historical mistake of much meaning made, in that instead of Pastor Winters name as a member of the founders of the Mission, the name of someone else was put down. People noticed this, because through errors like these come many historical lies.
Pastor Winter made his last visit to the Missionhouse in the company of the governor of the state, W.D. Hoard, and his last endowment here was a so-called Farmer Institute in Franklin. He lives now in the capital, where he serves a German Presbyterian assembly, and is very much loved, popular, and active. For many years he has been the chaplain of the state government.
We only can report the founding of the Missionhouse; over the further development we do not have room. As a closing to the above it should be mentioned that even though this institution was founded through the Sheboygan Assembly of the reformed church, it has been the property of the three German Synods of the reformed church in the United States.
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XI. Anecdotes and Experiences
In the first years of the settlement, it often came up that the colonists would lose their way in the forest. Many did not trust themselves to journey any further from the settlement than could be reached with oxen or cow-carts, because getting lost in the woods can be a very serious thing. Wild animals, like bears and wolves could not be counted among seldom occurrences. Once, two neighbors, W. and U., got lost and came along by the Sheboygan River, and even though they were only a mile from their home, they could not find their way back to the settlement. They couldnt see any way out of their misfortune outside of following the river to Sheboygan Falls; because the river would take them back to the path back that they knew, even though the way was full of bends and turnings. They undertook the difficult march - plowed through the forest, climbed over hills and fields, went through gorges and undergrowth and often had to travel along the riverbed, because the thickness of the forest was so impassable. To save their shoes, they took off their shoes and socks and wandered further barefoot. Soon their undertaking took them across sharp stones, which painfully pierced their white feet. Half dying of thirst, and half-dead, they came to a settlement
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in the region of Sheboygan Falls, where they tried to speak in English, demanding "Brod", while they yelled, "bread. bread". The Americans understood the hand signs of the lost ones better than their words, and as they pointed with their fingers to their open mouths, they were filled with food.
A Night in the Forest
Mrs. Amalie and Mr. H.H. got lost once, as they looked for cows, and even though they were just a little way from home, could not find their way. It was useless to listen for sounds that would tell them in which direction the settlement lay. The sun soon set, it became darker and darker in the forest, but they still wandered, searched here and there. No noise came to their ears; and in spite of their exertions, and the knowledge of their difficulties, it was not possible for them to reach the settlement. Out of despair, the young man said to his companion, "Woman, we cannot wander any further, because otherwise we will wind up in Glenbeulah or Fond du Lac; we must wait in Gods name until the morning sun lights our way home." So they sat down between roots of two strong fir trees, which sit today on the crossroads, a half a mile south of the Missionhouse, and waited until sunrise. The settlement was greatly upset. People called and yelled, they rang bells, so much that the planks of the houses shook, but no noise got through the thickness of the forest to the ears of the lost ones. They spent the entire night under the two firs. This was during the frightening night, when they knew that at that time wild animals still roamed the woods. In the morning they heard the shots of the flint rifles, and the calls of the others, and were able to find their way home.
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Getting Taken for a Yankee
Our Lippians were not alone, as there were other people in the forest. So once a lost person from the north came to the settlement. They gave him something to eat and set him on the right path. As he heard the language of our settlers who helped him was unknown to him (Lippian dialect), he told his German settlement that was a few miles north, that he had met a large settlement of Yankees. A few years later, a settlement of these Platt Germans of Mr. G. was connected with our colony.
The Sorrows of a Pastor
In the first years of the settlement there were many exciting adventures. Pastor C. Pluss, who lived there at the time, lived many of these. At that time in Sheboygan there was a large group of freethinking people, and in addition to serving the Immanuel Assembly, he often came in contact with these freethinking Germans. They thought of a practical joke that they could play on the Pastor. Once some young louts decided to give the Pastor a good flogging. A favorable opportunity offered itself for such a base joke, while the Pastor normally traveled the path from the settlement of Sheboygan unaccompanied. One night as he rode in the twilight, he was in the vicinity of a German saloon, which had the beautiful name of "Small Castle in the Woods", was overtaken by a journeyman smith. He had not heard of the strength and the agility of the "Bush-Pastor", and Pastor Pluss beat him thoroughly, and gave him the advice, if he ever wanted to play such a joke on a Pastor again, that he should ___ to him first.
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Fix and Peiter
Many stories were told about the two famous oxen, Fix and Peiter, so that the two became practically proverbial. They had many tricks and intrigues, which could not be totally told, and since they have no real historical value, it is not our place here to tell them all. Except for this one story, while not disparaging the quality of these two precious oxen, we must tell, namely, their special abhorrence to climbing hills. The pulling on the back-breaking logs over the bridges was childs-play to them in comparison to the climbing of the rises and hills. To pull the wagons over the log bridges - as has already been noted - was a pleasure. They pulled them complacently, until they came to the other side, and then they would halt, very complacently, until their heavy wagonloads of logs settled, making a rattling sound, which was hearty music for their oxen ears. Still, they would trot peacefully on, pulling their load with their great strength. It as entirely different, though, when the darlings of the settlement came to a rise, about in the region of the Pigeon River Mountain, and there they would show their oxen nature in a very bright light. When they came to the hills, they would stand still suddenly, and look about themselves helplessly. But since their ways were well known, they didnt get upset with them. Sternness would be of no use here, so they tried loving ways, meaning that in this instance the lead-man would go up front with a bundle of hay, and lead the oxen on.
The Shingle Thieves
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The White Horses of the Mission
Pastor Winter made many difficult Missionary trips regularly. The distant wanderings "per pedes apostulorum" became very difficult and uncomfortable, so that he set out to buy a horse. That was easier said than done. As it is today, it was then- the Pastor had everything except money. But Pastor Winter always wanted to help. He won the people over to his cause, and soon he had enough money to buy a horse fitting to the purpose. Certainly he had to take care of his property, and he found his horse in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and had to travel the path from Fort Wayne to Chicago, Milwaukee and Sheboygan, which was during the time of flooding. He often was in great danger, but his horse was a brave animal, and if they lost their footing in the flooding water, the horse brought his precious load, swimming, upon solid ground.
It as a great difficulty for our settlers that they did not understand the language of the land. This gave the possibility of many comical situations. It is told that once someone tried to sell some fresh hens eggs in the city, and when a lady who was interested in buying them asked , "Are they fresh?", our Lippians thought the American wanted to know if they were goose eggs. Shaking his head, he said, "Oh, no, no," and was very amazed as the lady quickly left.
Schmed-Carl as Interpreter
The young people who went away soon learned enough English so that they could be somewhat understood. Their readiness with the language, even if they only understood a few phrases, was something which often helped them out. For
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example, one winter, a great number of those who understood some English left, mainly from Franklin, to go to a lumber camp. Now the American loggers came, who would let their logs swim through the dam, but, oh, misfortune, the logs caught fast in the village bridge and built up a log-jam. The bridge was in danger - the inhabitants gathered with concern and worry - forgivable, while they could not understand the American loggers. In their need, Schmed-Carl came, who had spent a long time away. They ran to him and asked him to be their interpreter. After he thought over what one would say, when one was in the land of the Lippians in this case, he said, "Well, breakfast now is better than a day without it", ate his breakfast, swung his hammer above his shoulder, and followed the worried supplicants. At the dangerously blocked bridge, the original man of the right words at the right time stood, swinging his heavy hammer, and threateningly he said, "We kill you!" The Americans understood these words, and quickly began to free the threatened bridge.
One Who Knew How To Help Himself
On the trip from Bremen to Bremerhafen one of the young men was chosen as a helper to the ships cook. He slept with the emigrants, though, there was no way in which he could easily get out to the kitchen in the early hours of the morning. Many would not have responded and gone to the kitchen. Not our eager cook. He took a deep breath, started to run, and with a "Watch out for me!" he ran, stepping on the people, one on the foot, another on the head, a third on the body, to his post.
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The People of Lippe In Missouri
Pastor Winter came to America in 1846, one year earlier than our settlers, and settled in St. Louis. One time he was a porter for a clothing business, and on trips he learned about the people in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. He wrote spirited letters about America, especially about the Missouri valley to his brother Adolph, who at the time was a merchant in Lippe-Detmold. The letters were taken from house to house and read with interest until they fell into pieces. The young porter must not have known that his letters made such a big impression in Germany, and gave many the inspiration to emigrate. One morning in June, 1847, he was wakened from his sleep with the news that his brother Adolph and 400 emigrants were on the east side of the Mississippi and were waiting for the stream to settle down. The young porter helped to bring the large group over, and it was the first large German colony that came to St. Louis. The major part of the colony settled in Casconade County, Mo., where they, or their descendants live today as busy farmers or city dwellers. They still love to tell today of the time when the letters of the young porter made such an impression in the Lippe area that they gave their parents the drive to travel to American. Perhaps our Lippians in Langenholzhaufen
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also heard of these letters, read some like them. The "Wisconsin State Journal", which for years had written about the emigration work of Pastor Winter, closed with the words; "This Moses deserves a monument for what he accomplished".
A Description of the Saints of the Last Days of the Colony
When a Mormon preacher once visited, many took him with a great deal of surprise. His visit was in the Sarons Assembly. Carpenters and the Pastor were busy putting the doors on the newly built church, as a young, strong man, who was totally clad in brown, came to them, and asked for the director of the school. The Pastor asked, without questioning the brown clothed one, "For what purpose?" The stranger answered that he wanted to preach that evening. The Pastor was curious to know why a stranger wanted to preach to his group, and explained to him that he was the preacher. As an answer to the question, "May I ask, what do you want to preach?" the stranger answered, "I preach the word of God, as the Bible tells it!"
"Yes", answered the Pastor, "I also do that, but to what Church do you belong?"
"I belong to the Church of the Latter Day Saints," he gave back.
"So, are you really a Mormon from Utah?"
"Yes", he answered quickly.
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The friendly Pastor accompanied him to the director. The Mormon strode powerfully forward, and the astonished preacher found time to ask him from what region of Germany he came.
"From Mecklenburg", he answered.
The director granted the strange apostle his request, without further inquiry. This was too much for the preacher of the assembly, who would rather have something to do with a bear in the forest than with a Mormon preacher. He explained the teachings of the Mormons to the director, which consisted of that they can have more than one wife, in order to be blessed before God, and to have only one wife is an abomination before God. The schoolmaster could not understand what the preacher meant, and said, "Of such things, Reverend, I have never heard you speak/" But the wives who were against it understood the explanation better, (especially when they saw how angry the Mormon became); they gave a definite veto to it, and the Mormon had to go. First, however, he called out at the preacher with infamous threatening words, until he started to leave.
The Civil War
The Civil War also called many Lippians to the flag. Not all those who were drafted in the war went; many found substitutes. The names of those who served in the war are: Frederich Bucker, Heinrich Riefrau, Adolph Marten, and Fritz Schafer; the last one named did not return from the war. The ones who were not in the war had to do much for their freedom, in making their march to Fond Du Lac. It was during the time of terrible cold, so bad that they practically froze on the trip. Pastor C.F. Waldeck, who accompanied this trip as an interpreter, and also had the mission to free a relative and friend from service in the war, remembers the terrible cold very well.
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A Burden of Love
The first years of the settlement must have been exciting and joyful. Cut off from the world, the colonists could live in intimate friendship with one another. The turmoil of the world, the search for money, the speech of bad tongues, did not affect them. Their world was the settlement, and the borders were drawn by the forest. They could live happily and with spirit in this world, working together, hoping, achieving. The pain of one was the pain of all, and the joy of one was the joy of many; the strong helped the weak and the fortunate aided those in need. One episode from a happy time has a place here. A young lady and a courageous boy of about fourteen years went alone to look for cows. The cows had wandered on this day farther than usual, and as the two came to the place where Franklin now stands, they found that the tracks of the herd went over a river. The lady couldnt cross the stream as she had low shoes, and it was important that the two stayed together in the forest. The young man didnt have low shoes on, but neither did he have high ones; he stood like the picture in Auerbachs "Barefoot one"; without thinking about it long, took off his socks, and took the nonplussed young woman in his arms to carry her across the river. She did not trust the strength of the youth, and cried worriedly, "No - you cant make it!" but the noble-minded youth strongly carried her across to the other side.
The Storm on the 4th of July
This is what people named the horrible tornado that with great strength hit Wisconsin, causing much damage on July 4, 1873, and struck the Lippian settlement as well. It was not truly a cyclone, but rather a very unusual
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windstorm. The path of destruction it cut was also wider than the usual cyclone. Of the Lippians, Simon Reineking suffered the most damage, as his highly valued fir tree forest, as well as his barn, which he had erected in the past year, were destroyed. Others who suffered because their forests were destroyed by the storm were Heinrich Riefrau, Friedrich Stollting, C.F. Arpke and Simon Arpke. Simon Arpke also had just erected the framework to a new house, and this was driven to the ground. The storm also moved through a lumberyard and spread planks all over a field; and while many farmers already had lumber in their yards, it took much work to gather and sort out the lumber.
The Croaking of the Bullfrogs
Many delighted in the croaking of the frogs, and many feared it. Our Lippians wondered at the deep croakings as well, and were astounded that such a deep bass-tone could come from such a small animal. From this they tell a small story; a woman who belonged to the Lippian colony was washing clothes in the river. All went well until sundown. The bullfrogs began to voice their evening opera, "Up on the logs, up on the logs!" They sang together, and she thought it was the howling of the Cerberus of the underworld, or a water demon, and ran away in terror.
A few believed that the lively concert of the bullfrogs was done to annoy them. About this an old Mecklener complained. This good man lived for years by the mill-pond, and even though he was a musician, could find no pleasure in the concert of the bullfrogs, and even today he complains about the water musicians. Once he complained angrily, "Oh, how many nights I have stood in despair in front of my house, and
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with my gun shot at these questionable concert singers, but it was fruitless. It is a head-pounding cry that sounds in house and land, - I am surrounded!"
The free summer concerts of the bullfrogs are very enjoyable, like all music so we leave the above to the diverse impression of one, who could not get along with it. The song is in perfect bass, in rhythm, and means:
The bullfrog is indeed an oft complained about, but innocent, creature, who God created. Public opinion is against him, and the voice of the people criticizes and makes fun of his songs without reason or cause, as the peaceful and settled bullfrog has certainly done no harm to these enemies. Certainly, his song comes after the song of the nightingale in preference, but he sounds as magical as the song of the sea-maiden, or the melody of the sirens, against whom Heinrich Heine warns us, instead, he can be said with one word, that he is a perfect bass, who understands to the fullest and deepest what music is, and leaves the complaints behind. It must be a perfect choir. When one hears a single voice, it is the sign that a choir is being gathered, or that the throat is being exercised, that is, it is being freed of imperfections, he does this in much the same way that a violin player tunes up the mistones in his violin.
One should not mix up the bullfrog with the vulgar and frivolous brook frog. The latter croaks in an abnormal
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falsetto voice that sounds as if you were polishing iron. The frog also does not stand in high esteem, and is made fun of in these lines written in the town of Rhine:
"The frog, the frog
He makes a lusty choir
One does not need to come
They do not have a sound."
No, not only not "sound", that one can agree with, but also no song, and I would rather hear the bass of a thousand bullfrogs than the squeakings of a few frogs.
There are laws for the protection of many animals, humanitarian groups formed, the positions of fish warden and game warden formed, but the modest bullfrog is unprotected; hunters can kill them where and how they will. For the murder of the frogs, the hunters are considered to be doing a service, so much so that now there is hardly a full singing choir in the Franklin mill-pond.
You were welcomed with friendship
You smoked with us the pipe of peace
You laughed at our huts
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"They arent for us to live in
They are too cold for our papooses
It gets cold in this region
And winter is coming soon.
Winter comes, much snow will fall
Winter comes, and the cold will storm
White man must build a warm house
He must build with poles
He must build with bear pelts
He must not live as we live now
He must build strong and fast
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When the first snow came, so deep
Leaf huts went up
They went in and happily cried:
White squaw has a small papoose.
It is now dead, to the home of the noble,
The white man must die
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XII Branch Colonies
The settlement has with the passage of time come to full bloom. It grew like a tree that is planted by the banks of the river; just as a plain seed is planted in the ground, but with the true, untiring care, grows into a tree, who has its roots, boughs, and branches spreading over the border.
A branching out of this colony can be found, for example, in Clark County, Wisconsin, in the vicinity of Greenwood and Neillsville. Here we find, with other colonists, the families of Friedrich Buker, H. and F. Decker, H. Humpke, S. Sieker, and F. Wehrmann. In this place a reformed church was also formed.
In Iowa we find many branch colonies. The oldest is in Allamakee County, in the area of Wankon and Postville. Here we find many families who earlier were residents, and among others are: Heger, H. and S. Riefrau, Klemme, H. Luhmann, Meierkord, Opfer, Schnitger, Siekmeier, Steffen, C. Weber, A. Winter. Here they belonged to the Presbyterian and reformed church.
A number of families traveled further and went to Jasper County and settled in Newton and Baxter, where they founded a reformed church. Here we find the families of: Achtmeier, Bodeker, A. Fasse, Hare, Noah, Sandermann, Wehrmann, as well as others.
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One certain settlement of earlier members of the Wisconsin colony is in Buena Vista County, about in the region of Storm Lake. Here live families, who earlier resided here, like: C.F. Luhmann, H. and S. Marten, F. and H. Steffen, A. and Ed. And L. and O. and W. Stollting.
In the southern-bordering county, Sac, in the area of Schaller, we find a great number of families, who previously resided here, like: Junkenmeier, A. Marten, Hahn, Chr. Schafer.
Also in the state of Nebraska, in Jefferson County, near Diller, we find a hopeful settlement, which previously had been members of the Wisconsin group. Here we find: A. Arpke, Sandmann, Schnulle, Stahl, Steffen and Tasche. They formed a reformed church here.
A settlement that has related roots in Iowa, which has some members of the Wisconsin colony, which is still growing, is the Lippian settlement by Hubbard, in Hardin County. The settlement is still young - hardly fourteen years old - and from year to year grows with new settlers from Germany, and promises to be the largest German colony in America. The first settlers here were Mr. August Boke, from Silixen, and Heinrich Granner, from Asendorf. The two men came twenty-four years ago to this region. The actual settlement occurred eight years later. The largest number of these settlers came from Stemmen, or, as they sing in their folksongs, "The princely Lippian city, that lies on the border." These colonists did not have the problems and burdens of the first pioneers; they also did not have to battle against the difficulties that the Wisconsin pioneers did. They found for the most part, a tolerable land, and soon were self-supporting. Even though they were of the house of the reformed church, we find them in four different denominations; in the Evangelist Church, in the Evangelist
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Assembly, in the Lutheran Church, and in the Baptist Church. The ways of the church are very strong within them, but they gave up their petty differences, and can work peacefully together, with many churches, but under one God, in the work of the Lord. Their Sunday Schools, Singing and Youth groups, bloom and are the pride of the area. The Evangelist Church is, without a doubt, the largest purely German church in American. In this large assembly are only a few families that did not come from Lippe-Detwold, or are of Lippian descent. Even the beloved and diligent young pastor, even though he is not Lippian, they are inclined to, because his wife is of Lippian descent, and because this hard-working young preacher, who himself set the example, not to win young people into the church by coercion, but through love, the churchs growth can largely be written off to him.
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XIII The Settlement Today
We are in the settlement of today. From all directions we see the grand productive farms. The stumps of the mighty fir trees are gone, the low places and swamps of the land have been flattened and the farms stand in the highest place in the culture. The former log fences have totally disappeared, even the worthy log cabins and split-bar fences are extinct. And when we see the remains of a stump fence, we wonder at it as a rarity. The old time plank fences also seem to be like this, because the wire fences are becoming more and more common. Truly, the world "moves".
The beautiful farms are surrounded by mighty forests. The people were wise enough not to chop down the whole forest; they spared wood for later years, and these reserved woods, which have been cleared of dead trees, are now being turned into parks, and now the whole landscape has the appearance that each farm has a park. We still see in these parks the proud, ever-green fir trees, the wide, strong oaks, the gray trunks of the beech trees, the leafy, shady elms, and here and there the silver trunk of the birch trees.
The spacious farm houses and fields, how neat and practical! Industriousness, Platt-German industriousness, was responsible for this. The gardens with their neatly kept rows help to make the place homey, and the large, worked upon vegetable gardens tell every wanderer that Germans, true Germans, live here.
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Walk right in - you are greatly welcome- and look at the model household of a Christian family. No, you wont find any luxuries, or all the comforts that sweeten life. Pictures cover the walls of the rooms, the furniture is modern, and the different family libraries will show that the people carry intellectual development as something of worth.
Will you take a walk through the stalls and see the feeding of the animals? In the settlement there is not one poorly fed animal; no one would let such a shame come to him. And the stalls, how warmly they are built! And the silos, - I use the plural, because many have more than one.
There stands the Missionhouse! One should say Missionhouses, because many buildings almost form a city there. Remember that this institution is what it is, without certain or definite plans, through the prayers of the faithful who worked on it.
I must think of those who have passed away - many, yes, many I have known, other I did not, but certainly I have heard of all of their good works. They appear in spirit before me - I could name each name - and I recall the words in my mind, that come to me from their lips, "All is vain, if only we think of our own joy, then is all else another matter."
And those of the still-living old ones - how small the number of their names has become in the last few years: Fathers - C.F. Arpke, Simon Arpke, Heinrich Bodeker, Heinrich Marten, H. Ohse (Bierhaus), Friedrich Reineking, Simon Reineking, Conrad Schnulle, Friedrich Stollting. There are sixteen in total and a few others live in other regions.
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And how is it with the youths who live here? That would be the first and most important question that those that come here ask us. I believe you would be happy to find one thoroughly Christian youth in the colony. The old ones back in Langenholzhausen like to say: "The apple does not fall very far from the trunk," and so the descendants of the colonists also have not fallen far from the trunk; they have honored all the highly-held values of their parents.
The youths have grown up in the discipline and fear of the Lord. They live for the most part on the farms of their parents, and live satisfied and honorably their position; others have tried a business life, some teaching, a few special ones chose the ministry, a few medicine. A few show some special talents. Our Lippians arent so active in public offices, as they are still newcomers in the state government.
Our Lippians can be proud of their peaceful colony, and the wide expansion of it, of the improvement and beauty of the farms, the fruitfulness of the land, and the beauty of the surrounding nature, though they know this is not where their fame comes from. "Soli deo Gloria" is it, which they like to call to the wanderer in their still valleys the Lord had told them truthfully: "The name of the Lord is a mighty fortress, the righteous can run within and be protected."
In two years - in 1897 - it will be 50 years since the Lippians settled here, and it is the wish of the writer that this fifty years of settlement of this colony be celebrated in all ways possible. It should be made known to the world that this colony bloomed without set down laws, without a constitution, for the glory of God and to the welfare of many.
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Translated by: Sponsored by:
Diane L. Kiley Paul Nagel
__923 Cleveland Avenue University of Wisconsin
Racine, Wisconsin 53405 Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Student at UW-Eau Claire Professor, Elementary Education
This manuscript was typed for Gen Web use by: Rhonda Schwarze
We Also Suggest. . . .
Sheboygan County settlers from Lippe-Detmold, Germany
Responses. . . .
My grandmother was a descendant of Simon Friedrich Runte and Wilhelmina Elisabeth Schroeder who came from Lothe, Lippe-Detmold, Germany--possibly in 1847. They were married February 28, 1847. Am wondering if they could have come with the group you have written about that settled in Sheboygan Falls, WI, with some settling in Freeport, IL. My great great grandfather Simon died in Davis, IL, in 1887. My great grandfather Charles eventually went to Iowa and then finally settled in SD. When I noticed that these people were headed for Iowa it makes me wonder. Marilyn Rogers Almlie
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