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Thread: Iowa Germans

  1. #1
    Senior Member Anfang's Avatar
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    Iowa Germans

    North Eastern Iowa Germans : Dubuque County and Environs.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Dubuque County-

    The last time I checked the population of Iowa was 97% White and almost all of that Germanic, Augmented with a large Irish Minority. It is primarily a German Catholic community, many towns don't even have a Protestant Church. People have lost their German Lamguage by and large, although many german traditions still remain. Many hail from Baden Wurtenburg and the surrounding areas. If you open up a local phonebook, you will have to search for the non German names.

    "and is Now a predominantly German Community"2008

    http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ia...owns/dyer.html


    http://www.boeding.net/ne-iowa.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_B...ch,_New_Vienna

    http://www.city-data.com/picfilesc/picc32120

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    The German language and culture persecuted in IOWA

    Divided by a Common Language: The Babel Proclamation and its Influence in Iowa History
    Stephen J. Frese
    Marshalltown High School, Marshalltown, Iowa
    Senior Division Historical Paper, National History Day 2005 Competition



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    MRS. FRANZ STRACKBEIN received a letter from her sister describing the events of November 11, 1918, in Lowden, Iowa. It was Armistice Day, celebrating the end of World War I, but the scene in Lowden was anything but peaceful.

    Monday we had an awful time. People acted like savages. They came in mobs from towns all around and one mob got the minister and made him march through town carrying a flag. Then they made him stand on a coffin...and kiss the flag while a band from another town played [the] Star Spangled Banner. On the coffin was written, "Kaiser now ruler of Hell.".... Then he was ordered out of town.1 1
    The minister, Rev. John Reichardt, served the Zion Evangelical German Reformed Church in Lowden, a German-language congregation in a town where the majority of people were of German heritage. His crime: maintaining pride in his German cultural roots and failure to abandon the language of the enemy.2 The anti-German sentiment during World War I reached a point where "people speaking German on the street were attacked and rebuked."3 Iowa Governor William L. Harding legitimized such expressions of prejudice and war-time fanaticism when he issued "The Babel Proclamation" on May 23, 1918.4 Antagonism toward Germans and their language escalated nationwide, but Harding became the only governor in the United States to outlaw the public use of all foreign languages. Harding understood the connection between communication and assimilation. He was convinced that destroying the vital bond of language within ethnic communities would force assimilation of minorities into the dominant culture and heighten a sense of patriotism in a time of war. Harding's understanding of immigrant assimilation offers insight into subsequent efforts to superficially create unity through language legislation. 2

    A Land of Immigrants
    Throughout the nineteenth century, Iowa, along with other Midwestern states, hoped to attract immigrants to increase the state's population. In 1870, the Board of Immigration published Iowa: The Home for Immigrants, in English, German, Dutch, Swedish, and Danish languages offering "useful information with regard to the state for the benefit of immigrants and others."5 By 1900, German immigrants had settled in all ninety-nine Iowa counties and represented the largest immigrant group in the state.6 3
    Historically, anti-German sentiment surfaced throughout the United States coinciding with waves of German immigration.7 It reached a boiling point during World War I when German submarines attacked U.S. passenger and merchant ships in European waters. Americans were outraged. President Woodrow Wilson was reluctant to commit U.S. troops to a distant war that had already claimed millions of lives since its beginning in 1914. In addition, the public, including more than twelve million immigrants who had arrived in America since 1900, disagreed about the conflict and America's role in it. "It was necessary for me by very slow stages...and with the most genuine purpose to avoid war to lead the country on to a single way of thinking," Wilson wrote.8 On April 2, 1917, Wilson delivered his war message to Congress. "The world must be made safe for democracy," he stated.9 Four days later, the United States declared war on Germany. 4
    Wilson acknowledged that "millions of men and women of German birth and native sympathy live amongst us....Should there be any disloyalty it will be dealt with a firm hand of repression."10 War closed America's doors to immigration and intensified nationalistic efforts to create a homogenous society. Once recruited as hardworking assets to the nation's economy, German-Americans were viewed with suspicion. Could they be loyal Americans while still speaking the enemy's language? 5
    Governor Harding did not think so. The loss of one's native language, Harding believed, was a "small sacrifice compared to the good it could do saving the lives of American boys overseas by curbing sedition at home."11 As he defended his language ban, Harding articulated his own fear that immigrant communities possessed enough political power to subvert the war effort. Ironically it had been the political strength of the German-Americans that propelled him into office in 1917.12 6

    In the Name of Patriotism
    The systematic eradication of German language and culture proceeded in stages under the guise of patriotism. On November 23, 1917, the Iowa State Council of Defense resolved "that the public schools of Iowa, supported by public taxation, should discontinue the teaching of the German language...in the interest of harmonizing and bringing our people together with a common language, believing thus they would act more patriotically and more essentially with a common purpose."13 German language instructors were fired and German textbooks burned. 7
    Parochial schools where German was the language of instruction became the next target. Immigrant communities relied on parochial schools to communicate their culture and traditions to the next generation. When that foundation was attacked, ethnic cultural identities deteriorated. Engaged in a battle to prove their loyalty to their adopted nation, German-Americans did not aggressively resist efforts to restrict their language and traditions. "I am an American citizen of German birth," wrote F. W. Lehman, in 1917. "Ancestry is one thing, and allegiance is another and very different thing, not in any way to be qualified by ancestry...."14 8
    To escape the stigma of disloyalty, many German-Americans altered the spelling of their family names. Berlin Township disappeared from Clinton County; the more acceptable name of Hughes took its place. In Muscatine, Bismarck Street became Bond Street, and Hanover Avenue became Liberty Avenue. In Kossuth County, the town called Germania was renamed Lakota.15 9



    ---------------------------------------------------------

  3. #3
    Senior Member Hilderinc's Avatar
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    Good thread


    One of the links is broken, so here is the working one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_B..._Vienna,_Iowa)


    The church is on the National Register of Historic Places.

    Saint Boniface Church is the Catholic parish church for the city of New Vienna, Iowa and the surrounding area. It is a Gothic-style church, with stained glass windows, a handcarved main altar, and a striking 200-foot (61 m) spire The parish, part of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, is partnered with Ss. Peter and Paul Parish, Petersburg, Iowa - the two parishes share a pastor.

    The history of the parish can be traced back to the 1840s when a number of German American families come to the area from Ohio in search of farmland. On January 6, 1846, Bishop Mathias Loras of Dubuque celebrated Mass at the home of Hermann Wiechmann, the first Mass celebrated in the New Vienna area. For the next two years, Mass was celebrated at the Wiechmann home.

    In 1848, the first permanent structure was built. This wood building measured 24 feet (7.3 m) by 30 feet (9.1 m) and had walls that were 10 feet (3.0 m) high.

    By 1853, the population had increased to the point that a new structure was needed. Construction of this new church was completed in 1855. The church was 64 by 100 feet (30 m) with 22-foot (6.7 m)-high walls. A local resident, William Steffen, Sr., was sent with two teams of horses to get three bells for the church. He arrived back in New Vienna just before Easter; the bells were raised in time to chime for the first time on Easter Sunday. This second structure was used until 1887.

    In 1887, the third and present building was completed. This building is 172 feet (52 m) long by 62 feet (19 m) wide. The walls are 35 feet (11 m) high. The stained glass windows are 14 feet (4.3 m) wide by 30 feet (9.1 m) high. The steeple is 200 feet (61 m) high.

    The church has five altars made of carved wood which are still present in the church today. The old high altar was built by E. Hackner of La Crosse, Wisconsin. This altar cost $5,000.

    The organ was built in 1891 by the Schuelke Organ Company. The organ at St. Boniface is one of the few intact Schuelke organs that still exist today. Aside from regular maintenance, the organ has remained basically unaltered over the years. One of the few alterations made to the organ was the addition of an electric blower in the 20th century.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_B...w_Vienna,_Iowa)
    New Vienna was initially settled by a group of German immigrant families who were living in Ohio. These families had come to the area in search of farmland.

    One such family was that of William Steffen Sr. and his wife Mary. William and Mary were originally from Recklinghausen, in what today is Germany. They came to the United States and settled in Ohio. William and Mary and their children joined the other German immigrant families who came to New Vienna in the 1840s. The descendants of William and Mary number in the thousands today, and some of their descendants still live in New Vienna and surrounding areas.

    As of the census of 2000, there were 400 people, 167 households, and 122 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 100.00% White. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.25% of the population.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Vienna,_Iowa
    This is the great thing about the Midwest, small towns with great history and historic architecture.

    _____________


    Dubuque is certainly German, but the Quad Cities are much more so.



    In the mid-to-late 1800’s millions of German citizens left their homeland and settled as immigrants in the United States. The 1900 U.S. Census documented that over half the citizens in Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota were German immigrants or their descendents. Scott County, where the first passenger railroad crossed the Mississippi River, was the entry point for many immigrants to the upper Midwest region and points west. In 1900, Joseph Eiboeck, a veteran German newspaperman, described Davenport as, “the most German city, not only in the State, but in all the Middle West, the center of all German activities in the State”.

    Founded on August 1, 1994 as a private, not-for-profit organization, the German American Heritage Center (GAHC) seeks to preserve the heritage of our German speaking ancestors for present and future generations and to enrich our knowledge of the German immigrant experience.

    Today GAHC, a National Historic Site, has evolved a museum that includes a large permanent exhibit and two rotating special exhibits. Within the permanent exhibit, visitors enjoy an orientation theater, six education stations, and two restored hotel rooms. Visitors enjoy an interactive experience as you learn about immigrants’ journey by sea, train and foot, to their final destination at the German American Heritage Center building, which was originally a very busy hotel for thousands of immigrants in the 1860s. One of the highlights in the exhibit is called “Step into my Shoes.” Visitors will find footprints of a child, female and male at this section. They can step on any set of the footprints, which then triggers the corresponding character to appear before them on a screen and talk about their personal experience as an immigrant. Visitors may also try on clothing that immigrants would have worn during the turn of the century, and enjoy exploring many artifacts on display. The museum also provides educational programs, workshops and classes relating to the German American experience and culture; Assists in the coordination of festivals to foster an understanding of German American heritage; provides for cultural exchange through language classes and production of cultural presentations to the public; and partners with other heritage groups on programs, exhibits and events.

    The GAHC building was built in the 1860s, and was originally the Standard Hotel where thousands of German immigrants stayed in the 1800s when they arrived in the area. The building was purchased in 1995, partially restored in 1999, and reopened to the public in May, 2000. In October 2009, GAHC debuted a newly expanded space including a new large interactive permanent exhibit called the “German Immigrant Experience,” two traveling exhibit spaces, and large program facilities. GAHC offers several new programs based on the new permanent exhibit and two new temporary exhibit spaces.

    The German immigrant experience is an integral part of the history and fabric of life in Iowa, in the region and in the nation. The German American Heritage Center (GAHC) was formed in 1994 to document and celebrate this heritage.

    The Germania House was among the earliest of many “Gast Haus” building in the area. This structure is the last remaining immigrant hotel of that period in the region and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The GAHC saved the building from deterioration and potential demolition by raising $1.3 million to restore the exterior of the building and to restore the first and second floors of the four story building for use as a historical center. That work to save this historic treasure and to utilize it as the German American Heritage Center was completed in 2004.

    The Mission is to “preserve and enrich for present and future generations knowledge of the German immigrant experience and its impact on the American Culture.” GAHC’s focus is cultural programs and immigrant contributions. GAHC seeks to reach out to other cultural groups and demonstrate the contributions immigrants from many countries and from varied backgrounds have made to the ethnic palette which is the United States.

    http://www.gahc.org/

    They have some interesting photos on their facebook page.






    When German immigrants entered the United States by the thousands after 1848, suddenly a lucrative market for German-language newspapers emerged. Of the 2,526 newspapers that existed in America by the middle of the century, around fifty were printed in German. This number would rapidly increase in the following years as the stream of German immigrations would hold on throughout the decade. In Iowa, it took a German population of 1,000 to 2,000 in a county to sustain a German weekly newspaper, according to Forty-Eighter expert Joachim Reppmann .

    Since Davenport was the center of German immigration to Iowa, attempts to found a German newspaper were made as early as 1850.

    In the early 1880s, Der Demokrat had developed into a well-regarded German-language newspaper with a circulation of more than 1,300 for the daily and more than 4,300 for the weekly edition. (Davenport had a little more than 20,000 inhabitants at this point). The considerable influence the paper had on the German population in Scott County became measurable when Iowa voted on a prohibition amendment in 1882. Although the amendment won popular support on the statewide level, it was clearly rejected in Scott County where 5,197 people voted against and 1,467 people voted for it.

    In the following years, Davenport remained largely unaffected by the prohibition amendment. Davenport’s oldest brewery and the largest in the state, “City Brewery,” owned by Forty-Eighter Matthias Frahm, continued its operation even during prohibitionist times. Mayor Ernst Claussen said that this is mainly due to Stiboldt’s paper, which agitated tirelessly against the prohibition movement.

    http://webbasics.iowajmc.com/cmmay/n.../demokrat.html
    The website the above quote is from also has some interesting old postcards.


    Lady of Germania, statue from Davenport's Washington Square.


    By combing through old newspapers, she learned that on June 3, 1875, the city council appropriated $1,000 for the fountain. Citizens also contributed another $440 through a subscription. John Rowe was hired to build the fountain at a contract price of $1,500. The fountain's jets were turned on in May 1876.

    Just what became of the fountain is not known, she said. Washington Square, home to other monuments, became the site of the Scott County Family Y in the early 1960s.

    http://qctimes.com/news/local/articl...4d9b914a8.html



    Crossing the Centennial Bridge into Iowa, one is welcomed by a larger-than-life sculpture of a woman with outstretched arms. Behind her is an approximately 90-foot-long colonnade with the word “Davenport” in large capital letters across the top. This gateway is at the location of the city’s first park, Washington Square, and the statue is based on a figure that once stood there.

    The sculpture is the centerpiece of the first of two gateways that were completed in 2006. The other, a corporate-style sign with five-foot-tall letters, faces north on Welcome Way. According to Greg Albansoder, project manager with the City of Davenport, funding is in place for three additional gateways into the city: on West River Drive near Bettendorf, on East River Drive near Schmidt Road, and on Northwest Boulevard. Each gateway is intended to be unique and reflect the character and history of its area of the city.

    It is appropriate that the first completed gateway is located downtown, where the early immigrants came into the city by riverboat and railroad. Among the first settlers were educated Germans who had fought against the entrenched aristocracy during the 1848 democratic revolutions in Europe. As Washington Square became the center of a rapidly growing German community, a 35-foot-high fountain was erected at the park’s center in 1876. On top of the fountain was a statue of Germania, a symbol of strength, unity, and freedom that was closely associated with the German revolution of 1848. Facing the river, the statue’s open arms welcomed all immigrants who came to Davenport.

    The original statue, however, was removed and sold as scrap iron. Although the date of its removal is unclear, it likely occurred in the backlash again German Americans when the United States entered the First World War.

    http://www.rcreader.com/art/art-in-p...y-of-germania/

    I'll make more posts later, I could not neglect to mention all of Iowa's German-ness

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    Senior Member Stanley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilderinc View Post
    I'll make more posts later, I could not neglect to mention all of Iowa's German-ness
    Quite often I find myself surprised I have so little German ancestry despite living in Iowa. You seem very fond of Iowa. Have you lived here before? Or do you perhaps live near the border, in western Illinois? And please do post more about this wonderful state.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnEndingAscent View Post
    Quite often I find myself surprised I have so little German ancestry despite living in Iowa. You seem very fond of Iowa. Have you lived here before? Or do you perhaps live near the border, in western Illinois? And please do post more about this wonderful state.
    My county is on the border, although I don't live on the border itself. I've never lived in Iowa, although I have many relatives there.

    There is no distinct Illinoisan identity, seeing as the south was mainly settled by Kentuckians, the east being dominated by the entity that is Chicagoland, and in the north-west, the same German stock that populated Iowa and the rest of the Midwest reigns supreme.


    You say you have Luxembourgian ancestry, are you originally from Iowa? I remember hearing about a city in Iowa that was founded by them, but I cannot recall its name.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilderinc View Post
    My county is on the border, although I don't live on the border itself. I've never lived in Iowa, although I have many relatives there.

    There is no distinct Illinoisan identity, seeing as the south was mainly settled by Kentuckians, the east being dominated by the entity that is Chicagoland, and in the north-west, the same German stock that populated Iowa and the rest of the Midwest reigns supreme.


    You say you have Luxembourgian ancestry, are you originally from Iowa? I remember hearing about a city in Iowa that was founded by them, but I cannot recall its name.
    St. Donatus, maybe? I know there is also a Luxemburg, Iowa; although, I don't know the degree to which it is actually associated with a Luxembourgian history.

    Yes, I am originally from Iowa, with no plans on ever moving.

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    Iowa is a great state. Very Germanic. Iowans are some of the friendliest people you'll meet anywhere.

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    Senior Member Hilderinc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnEndingAscent View Post
    St. Donatus, maybe?
    Ah, yes, that's the one!




    Guttenberg, Iowa.



    It's rather hard to find pictures of some of these towns, but here is the church, a grand old building.

    Prairie La Porte, meaning "the door to the prairie," was the first name given to Guttenberg by French explorers in 1673. The Guttenberg area was a site of Sac and Fox campgrounds until 1823. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 transferred ownership to the United States and the Black Hawk Purchase of 1833 finally opened the area for legal settlement.

    Guttenberg’s past is preserved today in the many limestone buildings built by German immigrants in the mid-to-late 19th century. These structures were used for both residential and commercial purposes. Many are pre-Civil War era and are on the National Historic Register (NHR).

    Guttenberg's riverfront location was pivotal in its early commercial development. The town first served as a focal point for westward settlement and as an early governmental and administrative center. It was the early location of the county seat from 1838-1843. Guttenberg served as a supply center for the general area until the Civil War, when railroads and an interior road system combined to detract from Guttenberg's role as a market center.

    The earliest businesses included general supply stores, blacksmith, wagon shops, and hotels. The loss of the county seat in 1843 slowed growth and the population declined. Economic revival began in 1845 with the influx of hundreds of German immigrants under the auspices of the Western Settlement Society of Cincinnati and continued with the development of the lead mining industry along Miners Creek.

    The German immigration began in 1845, and by 1850 the town was sizable and nearly all German. The city takes its name from Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of movable type. A replica of a Bible he printed is on display at the public library.

    Guttenberg incorporated in 1851. The influence of the German population was best indicated by the construction during the period between 1845 and 1865 for over one hundred stone buildings. The bluff limestone was easily obtained and good, local clay and lime for construction was available. Four large riverside warehouses opened and a large flour mill, stores, and hotels appeared during this period. The steamboat trade deposited merchandise and picked up farm produce, milled flour and lead ore.

    Guttenberg experienced many floods, the most recent and devastating being in 1965, after which a levee was built. Today, Guttenberg's population is 1,980 and it is the largest town in Clayton County.

    As of the census of 2000, there were 1,987 people.The racial makeup of the city was 98.89% White, 0.45% Black, 0.05% Amerindian, 0.15% Asian, 0.05% from other races, and 0.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.50% of the population.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guttenberg,_Iowa

    The Western Settlement Society of Cincinnati was a semi-charitable organization founded to aid German immigrants who wished to settle in the American Midwest. In 1844, the Society purchased three hundred acres to the north, and 160 acres to the south, of the Prairie la Porte plat, and the next year acquired the plat as well. Five German families arrived in March 1845, the most determined of an original band of 200 souls, most of whom had remained behind in Burlington, Iowa. By 1851 the town had grown to nearly 300 people, and by 1856 to over 1500, only a few of whom were not German immigrants. The new settlement was appropriately renamed "Guttenberg", and the name was accepted by the State Legislature. Additional streets were laid out, from the south Hermann, Wieland, Lessing, Schiller, Herder and Goethe streets; and, above the original plat, Mozart and Haydn streets. Prairie la Porte survives in county records as the north half of the original town plat.

    Guttenberg's most important historic resources represent two broader themes in its history. The first is the remarkable vernacular architecture of an early Iowa immigrant community, with its heavy reliance on use of local native building materials. The second is the variety of commercial and industrial pursuits that brought initial and later long-term prosperity to Guttenberg and enabled the town to fully exploit its location on the Mississippi River. Guttenberg has long been noted for its well preserved pre- and post-Civil War vernacular architecture. Perhaps the most striking feature of Guttenberg's architectural landscape is the large number of limestone structures, the majority dating from before the Civil War and some perhaps built as early as the mid-1840's. They represent a rather extensive use of a locally-available but unwieldy, building material, possibly even in preference to equally-available timber. Examples of stone construction include not only industrial and commercial buildings (where the material's load-bearing and fire-retardant qualities would have been most appreciated) but also houses, large and small. Use of limestone is not unique to Guttenberg it is found in many eastern and central Iowa communities, and as in Guttenberg was most commonly used in the 1845-70 period, but the high proportion and variety of stone structures remaining in Guttenberg sets this community apart from many towns of its age in the state.

    (excerpts from "Guttenberg Iowa-The Limestone City of Clayton County Its Architecture and History, 1854-1951 by James E Jacobson)

    http://www.cityofguttenberg.com/inde...D26ECC67B67%7D

    ____________


    Here's some more of Dubuque.


    Cathedral Historic District.


    Dubuque County Courthouse.


    Red Stone Bed & Breakfast.


    H&W Building, Dubuque, IA - City Council Member Joyce Connors

    Uploaded by David Johnson

    Joyce Connors:

    I first saw this building when I was 19 and working at Flexsteel (one block away). I commuted daily from Wisconsin and passed the H&W Building on my way to work. Even as a teenager I was impressed with the beauty of this building, especially the towers. Eventually I moved to Dubuque and lived near two gentleman who both drove semi for H&W. They often shared stories about this building and the families who owned it.

    As a city who is passionately committed to preserving historic buildings, it makes no sense to neglect this building. Not only is it architecturally stunning, it also has lots of Dubuque history. If we lose this building, we not only lose a beautiful landmark, we lose the history. This building is important to many people who live in the north end of Dubuque which I represent as Ward 3 Council member.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/preserv...n/photostream/


    German Theological Seminary Building - Dubuque Historic Preservation Commissioner Chris Wand

    Uploaded by David Johnson

    Chris Wand:

    The German Theological Building matters because of its unique architectural character, and the building was once the home of the German Theological School of the North West from 1872 until 1907 before the college moved. The college eventually became the University of Dubuque which still exists today. This building has seen several other uses and several other owners since the college moved away and is currently in need of rehabilitation. Due to its location, it is not a building that often comes to mind when people think about the historic buildings in Dubuque.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/preserv...in/photostream
    There are other photos of Dubuque uploaded on that guy's Flickr.


    The City of Dubuque is among the oldest European settlements west of the Mississippi River. The first Europeans to explore the area were Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet, who travelled along the river in 1673. They were commissioned by the colony of New France to map the unexplored region. The entire area was claimed for France in 1682 by René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, who named it "Louisiane" in honor of French King Louis XIV. Following the 1763 French defeat in the Seven Years' War, Spain gained control of Louisiana. The first permanent settler to what is now Dubuque was a Quebecois pioneer, Julien Dubuque, who arrived in 1785. In 1788, he received permission from the Spanish government and the local Fox tribe of American Indians to mine the area's rich lead deposits. Control of Louisiana (and Dubuque's mines) shifted back to France in 1800, then to the United States in 1803, following the Louisiana Purchase. Dubuque died in 1810, but the wealth of minerals drew a number of new pioneers and settlers, mostly Frenchmen and other Europeans.

    The current City of Dubuque, named after Julien Dubuque, was settled at the southern end of a large, flat plain adjacent to the Mississippi River. The city was officially chartered in 1833, located in then-unorganized territory. The region was designated as the Iowa Territory in 1838, and was included in the newly-created State of Iowa in 1846. After the lead resources were exhausted, the city became home to numerous industries. Because of its proximity to forests in Minnesota and Wisconsin, Dubuque became a center for the timber industry, and was later dominated by various millworking businesses. Between 1860 and 1880, Dubuque was one of the 100 largest urban areas in the United States. Also important were boat building, brewing, and later, the railroad industry. Iowa’s first church was built by Methodists in 1834. Since then, Iowans have followed a variety of religious traditions. Throughout the 19th century, and into the early 20th century, thousands of poor German and Irish Catholic immigrants came to work in the manufacturing centers. The city's Roman Catholic presence became so predominant that it was designated as the seat of the newly-established Archdiocese of Dubuque, and numerous convents, abbeys, and other religious instititutions were built. Much of the population remains Catholic to this day.

    Early in the 20th Century, Dubuque was one of several places which saw a brass era automobile company, in this case Adams-Farwell; like most others, it folded. Subsequently, although Dubuque grew significantly, industrial activity remained the mainstay of the economy until the 1980s. During that time, a series of changes in manufacturing, and the onset of the "Farm Crisis" led to a large decline in the sector, and the city's economy as a whole. However, the economy diversified rapidly in the 1990s, shifting away from heavy industry. Today, tourism, high technology, and publishing are among the largest and fastest-growing businesses. Dubuque attracts well over 1,500,000 tourists annually, and this number continues to increase. Some of the more important changes include the ongoing construction of the America's River Project's tourist attractions in the Port of Dubuque, the expansion of the city's colleges, and the continued growth of shopping centers, like Asbury Plaza.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubuque,_Iowa#History

    A longer history.
    Dubuque was the first permanent European settlement in what would become the state of Iowa. This area was important in the French-Indian fur trading culture; the earliest record of lead mining dates to 1690 and the French trader, Nicholas Perrot. In 1788, Julien Dubuque was granted rights by the Mesquakie Indians to mine their land for lead; he settled near the mouth of Catfish Creek. Dubuque, for whom the city is named, is considered to be the first white man to settle in Iowa. Julien Dubuque's tomb remains a local landmark.

    In 1833, the area where Julien Dubuque settled and worked was opened up to settlement by the United States Government. Miners created a settlement, this settlement eventually became the city of Dubuque. A small Catholic parish was established that year, it eventually became the Saint Raphael's Cathedral parish. The parish was the first church of any Christian denomination in what would become the state of Iowa.

    A Catholic church council recommended to the Pope that three new dioceses be created, one of which was at Dubuque. In 1837, the Dubuque Diocese was created, and Mathias Loras was appointed as a Bishop. When he arrived in Dubuque, there was only a few priests to cover a large area that consisted of several states.

    Bishop Loras encouraged large numbers of immigrants to come to the area from the crowded cities in the eastern US. Many immigrants settled in Dubuque and the surrounding area. Also, immigrants tended to gather with other immigrants from the same ethnic background, this often helped with their assimilation into their new nation.

    Many Irish families came to the area because of their desire for a fresh start from the poor conditions in Ireland, and the crowded conditions in the east. For many years, Irish families mainly settled in the southern parts of the city - that area was often referred to as Little Dublin.

    They were followed by a small group of Germans. However, over the years the German population grew until Germans became one of the two main ethnic groups in the city.

    The years following the Civil War were ones of growth and expansion for Dubuque. When the Milwaukee Railroad Shops opened in Dubuque, a population explosion occurred when a number of young German families moved to the area in search of jobs.

    Lead mining no longer played a central role in the city. Now Dubuque was becoming a transportation center due to its position on the Mississippi River. Also, the lumber industry had a large presence in Dubuque.

    The Ku Klux Klan was a presence at times in the area. In the 1920s, at the height of its power, Klan influence became visible in the area. Several crosses were burned in the area over an 18 month time period. One Klan meeting near the Center Grove section of the city degenerated into a huge fight when anti-klan demonstrators attacked Klan members. In 1925, the Klan held a gathering which they called a "Konklave." The Klan claimed over 50,000 people attended the rally. The Klan held another "Konklave" as well as a parade.

    The influence of the Klan soon began to weaken. National scandals and power struggles weakened the Klan, which was mirrored locally. The Klan had pretty much disappeared from the public view for a number of years.

    Most recently, during the 1990s, there was a brief resurgence of the Klan's presence in Dubuque. Actions were taken and the Klan's presence has since disappeared.

    At about the same time, the city embarked on a plan to encourage more minorities to move to the area. Some of the critics tried to stir up fear by telling people that the city was planning on taking a bus to a large city and grab the first 100 blacks that they found. In reality, the city was planning on making a recruiting drive to bring black professionals to the city.

    The cross burnings and the city's plans had the effect of bringing negative media attention to the city. ABC's 20/20 did a news segment on race relations, which many felt was biased against the city and the people living in it in general. An episode of Donahue featured some of the major personalities in the controversy.

    In 2007 racial tension have heated up once again after the stabbing of a white male in downtown Dubuque by a group of blacks at a party.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Dubuque,_Iowa

    As of the census of 2000, there were 57,686 people. The racial makeup of the city was 96.15% White, 1.21% Black, 0.19% Amerindian, 0.68% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 0.69% from other races, and 0.96% from two or more races. 1.58% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

    The modern religious character of the city is still dominated by the Roman Catholic Church. Although sources vary, Catholics make up between 65-85% of city residents, with even higher percentages in the surrounding rural areas. This contrasts with the remainder of Iowa, which is only 23% Catholic.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubuque,_Iowa#Demographics


    Also, in Dubuque County, but not the city of Dubuque, is where the Field of Dreams is located.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Hilderinc's Avatar
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    Might I suggest changing the title of the thread to "Mississippi Valley Iowa Germans" or simply "Iowa Germans". The Mississippi valley has a rich history, as it was once the western frontier of America and a very important waterway (meaning it was settled earlier and more extensively than surrounding areas). However, as I mentioned earlier, the Germans in the rest of Iowa and the Midwest are not too different from each other.


    Cedar Rapids.

    Veterans Memorial Building.






    1st Ave. and 1st Sts panoramic, 1907.[1]

    The first permanent settler, Osgood Shepherd, arrived in 1838. When Cedar Rapids was first established in 1838, William Stone named the town Columbus. In 1841 it was resurveyed and renamed by N.B. Brown and his associates. They named the town Cedar Rapids for the rapids in the Cedar River at the site, and the river itself was named for the large number of red cedar trees that grew along its banks.

    In 2009, Cedar Rapids was rated one of the "Top 10 cities to Grow Up In" in the United States, partly due to a low crime rate and a good public school system.

    As of the census of 2000, there were 120,758 people. The racial makeup of the city was 91.86% non-Hispanic White, 3.71% Black, 1.77% Asian, and 1.71% Hispanic. In the 2000 census, Cedar Rapids was 91.9% non-Hispanic white, with well over half of the population claiming a specific ethnic European ancestry, such as Germans (35.5%), Irish (17.1%), English (9.4%), Czechs (7.8%), Norwegians (5.1%), and French from either France or Canada (3.2%). The city also has a growing minority population: for example, in the three-year period from 2006 to 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that 4.9% of the Cedar Rapids population identified as blacks, up from 3.7% in the 2000 census. There are also Asian (such as Cambodians, many of whom arrived in the 1980s), Arab and Hispanic communities after an influx of immigrant workers arrived in the 1990s. It also has the first exclusively Muslim cemetery and the 2nd oldest mosque in America, after the one in Ross, North Dakota.

    Cedar Rapids is one of the largest cities in the world for corn processing. The grain processing industry is Cedar Rapids' most important sector, directly providing 4,000 jobs that pay on average $85,000, and also providing 8,000 indirectly. A large Quaker Oats mill, one of the four that merged in 1901 to form Quaker Oats, dominates the north side of downtown. Other large companies that have facilities in Cedar Rapids include Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, General Mills, and Nordstrom. Newspaperarchive, based in Cedar Rapids, is the largest newspaper archive in North America with a repository of more than 150 million pages assembled over 250 years; it was taken offline for two days by the 2008 flood.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cedar_Rapids,_Iowa

    Growing from a tiny village of a few hundred people in the 1840's to the second largest city in Iowa, Cedar Rapids has a unique history full of innovation and special character that continues to define it as a wonderful place to live, visit and experience.

    A focus and priority on quality of life and culture has been part of Cedar Rapids since its beginning. Early pioneer families designated large areas of land for the development of beautiful city parks and green spaces. In 1880, Cedar Rapids built Greene's Opera House, the largest theatre at that time between Chicago and Denver. The rich cultural heritage of Cedar Rapids is also demonstrated in the Czech Village and New Bohemia historic districts which are officially recognized as Arts and Cultural Areas.

    The city's determination to obtain a railroad connection in the mid 1800's led to Cedar Rapids' role as a major Midwest industrial center. The T.M. Sinclair Company, started in 1871, was one of the five largest packing houses in the world within its first ten years of operation. Cedar Rapids is still home to the largest cereal mill in the world, Quaker Oats, begun in Cedar Rapids in 1873.

    Industrial and technological innovation in Cedar Rapids continued into the 20th century. In the 1920's, Collins Radio Company was founded by local resident Arthur Collins at a time when radio was cutting edge technology. Expanding into avionics and other technologies, today Rockwell Collins remains a driving force in the local business community. In fact, Cedar Rapids currently has more engineers per capita than any other city in the United States.

    Historically, Cedar Rapids has always had a higher percentage of exported products, per capita, than anywhere else in the United States. The recent addition of a wind power industry to Cedar Rapids demonstrates the ongoing commitment to innovation today.

    In addition to beautiful landmarks and thriving industry, Cedar Rapids has been home to many familiar names in American history. Orville and Wilbur Wright were Cedar Rapids residents from 1878-1881. A little girl named Mamie Doud who lived in Cedar Rapids early in the 1900's, later became First Lady Mamie Eisenhower. Cedar Rapids was the longtime home of artist Grant Wood and his most famous work, "American Gothic", was painted here. Austin Palmer developed a nationally well known form of penmanship writing in Cedar Rapids. Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay, also lived in Cedar Rapids.

    http://www.cedar-rapids.com/about/history/
    As you may have noticed in the above articles, Cedar Rapids has a large number of people who are Bohemian descended. I'm not sure how many are Czechs and how many are German.


    ____________________



    Iowa City.

    Clinton and Washington St. A similar sight can be seen in every Midwestern city.


    Iowa Capitol in 1855.


    2008.


    Hotel where legislature first met in Iowa City, 1903.


    The Close Mansion also known as the Close House, was built in 1874 at a cost of around $15,000 was one of the great mansions of Iowa City, Iowa and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


    Linsay House.


    The Park House Hotel is an historic apartment building in downtown Iowa City, Iowa. The building was built in 1852 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.


    The Johnson County Courthouse in Iowa City, Iowa, the county seat of Johnson County, Iowa, was built in 1901; it was the second courthouse to stand at this location. It is notable for its fine sandstone exterior carvings and interior stained glass domes.


    Detail.

    Iowa City was the second capital of the Iowa Territory, and it was also the first capital city of the State of Iowa. The Old Capitol building is a National Historic Landmark, and it is a tourist attraction in the center of the campus of the University of Iowa, as well as being an integral part of the university. The University of Iowa Art Museum and Plum Grove, the home of the first Governor of Iowa, are other tourist attractions. In 2008, Forbes Magazine named Iowa City the second-best small metropolitan area for doing business in the United States.

    Iowa City was created by an act of Legislative Assembly of the Iowa Territory on January 21, 1839, fulfilling the desire of Governor Robert Lucas to move the capital out of Burlington and closer to the center of the territory.

    While Iowa City was selected as the territorial capital in 1839, it did not officially become the capital city until 1841; after construction on the capitol building had begun. The capitol building was completed in 1842, and the last four territorial legislatures and the first six Iowa General Assemblies met there until 1857, when the state capital was moved to Des Moines.

    As of the census of 2000, there were 62,220 people. The racial makeup of the city was 87.33% White, 3.75% Black, 5.64% Asian, 2.95% Hispanic.

    Corine Mauch, mayor of Zürich, Switzerland, was born in Iowa City.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iowa_City,_Iowa
    It's silly how there are so many historical places in Iowa City, but I cannot find any more information for you.


    ____________________



    Burlington.

    Burlington High School.


    Known as Cedar Knoll, this property was an original land grant by President Andrew Tyler in 1841. The house was built during the Civil War, and it has been in the National Register of Historic Places since September, 1986.[2]


    Police and fire headquarters.


    Status: Remains in use exclusively as the main fire station. According to current Burlington Fire Chief Thomas J. Clements, the building "was built in 1907 and designed for horse drawn fire carts ... we are in the beginning phases of a complete renovation and expansion." As can be seen in the photo below, some unfortunate alterations and additions were made to the building in past years. [3]


    Capitol Theatre (built 1937/closed1977). It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996, and listed as one of America's Eleven Most Endangered Historic Places in 2001. [4]


    A common and sad sight in the Midwest, deteriorated old buildings...[5]


    First public library, constructed between 1896 and 1898.[6]


    New library, only a few years old.


    The American Fur Company established a post in the area in 1829, but actual settlement began in 1833, shortly after the Black Hawk Purchase when Samuel (who also went by Simpson) White and David Tothero crossed the Mississippi River from Big Island. According to an account A.T. Andreas wrote in 1875, White erected a cabin in the area later platted to be Front Street between Court and High streets. Tothero went farther inland. Andreas called White and Doolittle the Romulus and Remus of their settlement, referring to the ancient heroes who founded Rome — another city surrounded by hills.

    A few weeks later, William R. Ross crossed the Mississippi and established a general store. In November and December, he surveyed the settlement for White and Doolittle, and the following spring they allowed the purchaser of the first lot, John Gray, to rechristen the town. For $50, Gray named it after his hometown in Burlington, Vermont

    In 1837, Burlington became the second territorial capital of the Wisconsin Territory. After the Iowa Territory was organized in the following year, Burlington became its first territorial capital.

    Iowa's nickname "The Hawkeye State" has its roots in Burlington. At Judge David Rorer's suggestion, publisher James G. Edwards changed The Iowa Patriot newspaper's name to The Hawk-Eye and Iowa Patriot in tribute to his friend Black Hawk.

    Burlington was a bustling river port in the steamboat era and home to the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. The CB&Q (1848–1970) merged into the Burlington Northern Railroad (BN, 1970–1996), which in turn merged into the BNSF Railway (BNSF, 1997–present). Even today, one of the BNSF's main east-west lines crosses the Mississippi at Burlington.

    Burlington Iowa is also known for the famous Mosquito Park. From a 2011 census it is known to be the smallest park in the United States of America.

    A former business in Burlington, called The Popcorn Palace, now takes up residence at the Smithsonian Institution, and is labeled as one of the smallest small businesses in the nation.

    As of the census of 2000, there were 26,839 people. The racial makeup of the city was 91.6% White, 5.0% Black, 2.06% Hispanic.

    The downtown area holds a number of buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, among them are the Burlington Apartments (listed as the Hotel Burlington), the Burlington Railroad Depot, the Des Moines County Courthouse, the Burlington Fire Department central station, the Port of Burlington building, Memorial Auditorium, River Park Place (as Burlington Mercy Hospital), the Burlington Police Department building (as Burlington Paper Company), First Congregational Church and several others. The downtown skyline is noted for several church spires that appear all over the area.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burlington,_Iowa

    A New York Times article published October 8, 1889.
    AMERICA AND FATHERLAND.

    A GRAND CELEBRATION OF GERMAN DAY IN BURLINGTON, IOWA.

    BURLINGTON, Iowa, Oct. 7.—This has been a genuine gala day for Burlington. Fully 15,000 Germans, residents and visitors from neighboring towns, thronged the streets and participated in the exercises of the day. The occasion was the celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of the landing on American soil of the first German immigrant. Elaborate preparations had been made, and an interesting programme made up, all of which was carried out under the most happy auspices.

    The day was delightfully bright and cool, and the streets began to fill at an early hour with the rapidly-arriving delegations. The streets and business houses were gayly decorated with flags, banners, and bunting, profusely interspersed with significant mottoes and legends. The public buildings were all elegantly draped in patriotic colors and evergreen. Large arches, gayly entwined with streamers and tri-colored bunting, spanned the principal streets, the most attractive ones being on Main-street, at the Grand Central Station, and at the foot of Jefferson street. The feature of the morning exercises was the parade. Fully eight thousand people were in line, including over a thousand little children from the German schools of this city. Along the procession were beautiful and artistic floats, some bearing upon the idea of the day's celebration and still others of a more practical nature. In all there were some twenty-five floats. Probably the most beautiful one was that of "Columbia, Germania, and Father Rhine." It was drawn by eight richly-caparisoned horses, attended by knights with lances, and escorted and followed by phalanxes of the olden-time warriors.

    The procession was a little short of two miles in length, composed of ten divisions, each headed by a band. After parading the streets a halt was made at the City Park, where the immense throng listened to German and American addresses by the Hon. John Zimmermann, Prof. E Poppe, and others. The addresses, while referring in loving terms to the Fatherland, over-flowed with patriotic sentiments for America, the new home. Rounds of applause followed each reference of this kind. The exercises were interspersed with gems of German songs and poetry by able singers and speakers.

    After a grand picnic and dinner the great throng adjourned to Schlampp's Park in the south part of the city, where additional addresses were delivered. The feature of the afternoon exercises was the amusements. The Turners' Society had erected a temporary pavilion, and feats of strength and athletic exhibitions were given. The notes of an old German band rendering the exquisite Rhine waltzes attracted the ears of the fun-loving Germans, and quickly a large dancing pavilion was crowded with a whirling, perspiring, and thoroughly-happy crowd of young people. The afternoon passed all too quickly in these amusements, and soon the darkness of the early Fall evening fell upon the scene, only to render available the opportunity for dazzling illuminating effects.

    The scene this evening is one of the most beautiful ever witnessed in Burlington. All the business houses are brilliantly illuminated and the streets are full of a surging, laughing crowd of happy, gayly-dressed ladies and their escorts. No programme was carried out this evening, the crowd being turned loose to enjoy themselves as Germans alone can do.

    Arrangements have been made to make this a permanent holiday, to be observed each year, and it will doubtless become a fixture among America's great feast days. Dispatches from neighboring cities state that the day was variously observed with appropriate ceremonies.

    Source
    German-American Day is still a holiday observed on October 6, although there are not any major celebrations, apart from in some large cities, that I am aware of.


    ____________________



    Muscatine.

    Muscatine County courthouse.


    1865 engraving.


    Old postcard. I do not believe that it is the same street as the below photo.




    The former Hotel Muscatine has been under construction. New changes include a Martini bar, Thai restaurant, and condos including a penthouse. The construction has been controversial because opposers state that it will ruin the history of the building.


    Sunrise over the Mississippi River.


    A few miles outside of Muscatine, Iowa, is the Pine Creek Grist Mill, a unique attraction that allows visitors to see the inner-workings of a historic flour mill. The beautifully restored mill is over 150 years old and thought to be the oldest working mill between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains.[7]


    Giant oak trees surround this Muscatine, Iowa, 1850 Victorian Bed and Breakfast farm house.[8]



    Muscatine began as a trading post founded by representatives of Colonel George Davenport in 1833. Muscatine was incorporated as Bloomington in 1839, but the name was changed to reduce mail delivery confusion as there were several Bloomingtons in the Midwest. Before that, Muscatine had also been known as "Casey's Woodpile".

    A button company was founded in 1884 by a German immigrant named J.F. Boepple, producing buttons by punching them out of clam shells harvested from the Mississippi River. Muscatine was known as the "Pearl Button Capital of the World." Hole-punched clam shells can still be found along the riverfront.

    From the 1840s to the Civil War, Muscatine had Iowa's largest black community, consisting of fugitive slaves from the South and free blacks who had migrated from the eastern states.

    Sam Clemens (better known by his pen-name Mark Twain) worked for a while at the local newspaper, the Muscatine Journal, which was partly owned by his brother, Orion Clemens. He lived in Muscatine in the summer of 1855. He made a few recollections of Muscatine in his book Life on the Mississippi.

    Muscatine's slogan, "Pearl of the Mississippi," refers to the days when pearl button manufacturing by the McKee Button Company was a significant economic contributor. In 1915, Weber & Sons Button Co., Inc. was the world's largest producer of fancy freshwater pearl buttons. From that time forward, Muscatine was known as "The Pearl Button Capital of the World". Weber is still manufacturing today, and celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2004. Next to the mother of pearl button history, Muscatine is nearly as well known as the "Watermelon Capital of the World".

    As of the census of 2000, there were 22,697 people. The racial makeup of the city was 90.40% White, 1.08% Black, 12.30% Hispanic.

    One of its sister cities is Crespo, Argentina, which is mainly populated by Volga Germans.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscatine,_Iowa

    History of Muscatine County Iowa, Volume I, 1911, pages 265-269

    FROM "DER FADERLAND" CAME MANY TO MUSCATINE COUNTY.

    It appears that most of the early German settlers from the old "fatherland" came to Muscatine county by way of New Orleans and up the Mississippi river by steamboat. Later on, they came by way of Baltimore and New York city. While from 1838 to 1850 quite a number of German pioneers arrived in this county, a much greater number came from 1850 to 1870. But undoubtedly the greatest part of Muscatine's large German population came here in the years following the French-Prussian war. Most of the Germans locating here, hail from Hessen and Hanover. Our citizens of German descent in Muscatine county, as well as elsewhere, are known to be, as a rule, industrious, honest, sociable, and their love of freedom is proverbial. They have done their full share in the upbuilding of thrifty cities and towns, and were largely instrumental in transforming the prairies into beautiful farms and orchards. In common with all other citizens, originally coming here from various countries of the old world, they have shown up true to the land of their adoption, and when the call to arms for the preservation of the Union resounded, they responded in large numbers and gave additional proof of their worth and patriotism on many bloody fields of battle. Muscatine county was no exception, as the reader will find on perusal of the long list of German names of warriors, appearing in this sketch hereafter. In times of peace, too, our citizens of German descent take rank with the best. They are fond of home life and champions of athletics, music and song. This fact will be more clearly revealed in the historical statements regarding the German Turner societies, bands and choirs in Muscatine, appearing in connection with this article.

    On account of the limited period of time allotted to the writer for this purpose, it is simply impossible to give a complete and correct statement of the arrival of all the German settlers in Muscatine county prior to 1870, but we have endeavored to secure the names of as many of them as possible, circumstances considered, and trust that the reader may thereby readily notice, in a measure, that our citizens of German descent were and still continue to be a great factor in shaping and maintaining the progressive affairs of Muscatine county.

    The first German settlers in Bloomington ( now Muscatine) came here in 1837. They were David Kiefer, Jacob Kiser, John Kindler, Daniel Mauck, Israel Mauck, J. Berg, Thomas J. Starke. These pioneers presumably hailed from the state of Pennsylvania.

    http://iagenweb.org/muscatine/biogra...romgermany.htm
    It goes on to give more names of early settlers.
    All that is necessary for Evil to triumph is for good Men to do Nothing. ~ Edmund Burke

  10. #10
    Senior Member Hilderinc's Avatar
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    Okay, the images are much smaller now, sorry for breaking everyone's computers.



    New Vienna.




    Heritage House Museum.


    Luxemburg.




    Guttenberg.


    St. Mary's Catholic Church, built 1904.


    An old Gutenberg Bible facsimile at the library. (Zoom in, you can read it!)


    Bust of Gutenberg.


    St. Donatus, the Luxembourg Village.




    Gehlen House Inn.


    The sign on the door reads: Oldest Iowa Barn; Gehlen Barn 1839.
    Last edited by Hilderinc; Monday, August 1st, 2011 at 09:06 PM. Reason: Smaller Images
    All that is necessary for Evil to triumph is for good Men to do Nothing. ~ Edmund Burke

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