Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- September 06, 1876The Old Colonists.
The day before yesterday at Wright's Grove the second annual picnic was held by the old settlers...
Mr. Joseph Kaufmann opened this festival, remarking he thinks the assembled guests would be thankful to the committee, that it selected for this occasion speakers from among the old settlers themselves, and presented as first speakers Mr. John Wentworth, who said:
"Ladies and Gentlemen!
I belong to those, who think it is a good idea, to set aside one day in the year, to forget all politics and sectarian differences and to spend it in friendly social company and reminiscences of old times. The custom of entertaining old settlers exists in many States and has proven very advantageous to the history of the land. You have laid the foundation of a society of 2the oldest settlers and hope, that it will succeed and will be kept up.
Just go back to the time, when Cook County first was organized, at that time, anyone who wanted to get married, had to travel to Peoria. The first German who voted here, was John von Horn, whom I knew well, and who was here already in 1830; the second was John Wellmacher, a baker, who made a nice profit by selling bread to the Indian settlers. Those two were the only Germans I knew, until the time of the organization of Cook County. In the year 1836 many more had arrived, There already was a German hotel, that of Adam Berg in La Salle Street, almost opposite of my present office. There I danced for the first time with a German woman.
At that time only one Catholic priest was here, and he was a German. The first German who received an appointment was Clemens Stose. He was the alderman in the second ward."
The speaker read then from a list the names of German settlers, whom he 3remembers from the year of 1839, and gave quite a few characteristic nicknames: or told little anecdotes about them. Nicholas Barth, five Baumgarten, of which a few now live in Freeport, Illinois, Adam Berg and four sons, two of whom Joseph and Anton, are still living in Chicago; also Bernhard Blasy, John B. Busch, Michael Diversy, L. Falch, A. Getzler, Philipp Groll, Wm. Hass, F. T. Heyman, Mathias Kastler, Nicholas Kastler, Friedrich Letz and two Ludwige brothers, Louis Marlfacher, Joseph Marbach, Christoph Metz, Rudolph Miguly, Mathias Muller, Nicholas Neudorf, Philipp Petri, two Periolat brothers, Wm. Perrior, John Pfund, Philipp Raber, Chas, Sauter, Jacob Sauter, Adreas Schall, Andreas Schaller, Henry Schuck, Mathias Schmidt, Peter Schedler, Clemens Stoss, Martin Straussel, Peter Reis, Winkler, Doney, Nicholas Bendell. There is still one other German settler by the name of Peter Curn, the speaker is not positive if he was here before 1840.
Among the anecdotes was one about the butcher Joseph Marbach, who in 1838 or 1839, when Stephen Douglas for the first time ran for office, came to a meeting in his working clothes and gave the above mentioned Catholic priest, who was essaying the role of a party leader a piece of his mind-in so thorough a way, and in the election won by so large a majority that 4since that time, the speaker observed priests have not had much influence on elections.
The speaker then continued:" The Germans have their own way, to struggle through life and their own views about life, I have mine. They are very industrious, thrifty citizens, and he who works hard, one can with confidence regard as a good citizen. It is to be hoped, that your descendants will inherit your good habits in every respect. What concerns your religious views, I always was of the opinion, that we have to let them go their own way; when we cross the river, we all will have to look out for ourselves, and with this opinion I have lived in peace with everybody.
We wanted to colonize Illinois and make it great, and therefore we had to be liberal and had to leave it to the newcomers themselves, how they wished to live. Therefore I always defended the principle, that you have just as much right to perform Shakespeare on a Sunday, as the Bible, and if you want to indulge in drinking, this is a matter of public order; that if in a tavern things go on in an orderly fashion, a police officer has just as little right to invade it as of going into a preacher's house to investigate 5if he is not perhaps making counterfeit money. The speaker closed with the remark, that it would be exceedingly interesting to be able to see ahead how the morals and social customs of America would be a hundred years hence, and once more strongly advocated, to proceed in earnest with the founding of a historical society.
The German festival speech was given by Mr. Henry Greenebaum, who said:
"Ladies and Gentlemen!
He who comes over here nowadays cannot feel lonesome and forsaken because he sees himself surrounded by 100,000 sympathizing German hearts but it was quite different in those gray olden times, when the first ones, who came over here were obliged to start digging at the canal for less than $1 per day... In 1849 there were only a few Germans in Chicago. Since that time however, we can record an excellent development. In those days the German way of thinking and German sociability found its first harbour in the first 6singing society, the men's singing assocaition and a few years later the Chicago Turn Community, to whom we are obligated with many thanks for today's and last year's festivals. Since that time Germandom has unfolded splendidly in every direction, and to this development the simultaneously rising German Press has very vitally contributed. The idea my predecessor mentioned, namely the founding of a Historical Society.
We hope the Chicago Turn Community will take in hand. We want to preserve the names of all those who through their diligence and perseverance and honesty have made the German a name among the natives, such as no other nation possesses."
We add that the vote about the arm chair that was to be given to the most popular old settler, had the following resukt: L. Haas, 612 votes; Greenebaum 325; Klinger 268; C. Seipp 31; J. Rosenthal 15; L. Haarbleicher 13; Huck, Beutenmuller and Herting each 10; Gollhardt 11; Petri 7; Wehrli and Berg each 5: Dietzsch and Degenhardt each 1 vote.7
From the records of the old settlers who participated at this festival we selected those who immigrated before 1856= from 1833, 3; from 1834,5;1835,3; 1836,9; 1837,7; 1838, 2; 1839,8; 1840,12; 1841,5; 1842,16; 1843,13; 1844,16; 1845,17; 1846, 51; 1847,46; 1848,40; 1849,30; 1850,32; 1851, 39; 1852,71; 1853,60; 1854,109; 1855,41; 1856,24.
III F, I F 1, I F 4, II B 1 c 3, II B 3, III A, III B 2, III C, III G
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