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German Settlements in Indiana 















William A. Fritsch, 1915 


NOV 15 1915 

Dedicated to the (Membets 

of the 

German- American o^lliance 

in Indiana 

"Bjf the t/luthor 


The author of this small volume has 
been a citizen of Indiana for over fifty 
years. A German by birth and educa- 
tion, he has ever taken an interest in 
the German language and literature. In 
his travels over the state as a member 
of the State Board of Health and in re- 
sponse to calls for speeches, he has come 
in contact with a large number of Ger- 
mans throughout the state. He believes 
that over half the population of the state 
are either German or of German descent 
and feels that they have not received 
due credit for their share in the de- 
velopment of the state. For many years 
he has devoted his leisure hours to the 
task of gathering facts and data regard- 
ing the Germans as a factor in the up- 
building of the state and offers this lit- 
tle book as a result of his labors, with 
the hope that it may prove of interest to 
the reader. W. A. F. 


When in the year 1786 the United States Congress 
passed the "Ordinance for the North West Territory," 
by virtue of which the large domain comprising the 
present states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and 
Wisconsin were freed from eastern control and open- 
ed up to general immigration no one thought that in 
little more than one hundred years the great forests 
and prairies of the Middle West would be trans- 
formed into five great states. 

Governor St. Clair took control on July 15, 1788, 
the territory having then only a sparse population, 
but the fertile lands and the provision excluding 
slavery from this territory and granting entire re- 
ligious freedom to every settler brought a flood of 
immigration, which in a short time converted these 
woodlands and prairies into places of human habita- 
tion and progressive cities. 

Among these immigrants there were from the very 
beginning men and women of German descent who 
contributed their share in the upbuilding of these 
states, and to them must be attributed in some meas- 

lire the progress in science and culture for which the 
state of Indiana is famous. 

The first settlers in Indiana were Frenchmen im- 
migrating over Canada. King Louis XIV of France, 
who had seized the German countries on the Rhine, 
also sought conquests in America; and after the dis- 
coveries of de La Salle, the French pressed down the 
Mississippi valley. To establish their claims, several 
forts were built on the Wabash river, the first being 
Fort Quiatonon, not far from where the city of La- 
Fayette now stands. Ft. Vincennes, about 100 miles 
below, was built in 1727. In the wake of the soldiers 
came tradesmen, and Ft. Vincennes became a thriv- 
ing French village and subsequently the first capital 
of Indiana. Among the early inhabitants we find 
men with German names, evidently Germans from 
Alsace Lorraine, who had immigrated with the French. 
When the English tried to seize this wild country in 
which the Indians were still on the warpath, Virginia 
sent General George Rogers Clark with an army west 
over the Ohio to take possession of it for the United 
States. Among his troops there were many German- 
Americans, one of whom. Captain Leonard Helm., was 
appointed commander of Ft. Vincennes and agent 
for the Indians of the Wabash valley. When an Eng- 
lish force under Colonel Hamilton came south to re- 
capture Vincennes, they found Helm in command of 
the fort with but one soldier, the French inhabitants 
having fled. Butler, in his "History of Kentucky," 


tells us how Captain Helm, at the approach of the 
English, bravely placed a loaded cannon before the 
entrance of the fort and upon their coming within 
hailing distance, commanded them to halt, empha- 
sizing his demand by brandishing a firebrand and 
shouting that he would shoot if they came nearer. 
Hereupon the English proposed a parley in which they 
agreed that Captain Helm and his men should have 
free passage from the fort with their arms. Imagine 
their surprise when Captain Helm, with his command 
of one man, stepped forward! 

When General Clark, who was in Kaskaskia, heard 
of the fall of Ft. Vincennes, he hastened through the 
wilderness of Illinois with his army and recaptured 
it, reinstating Captain Helm in his old command. 

In 1792 the Mennonite preacher, John Heckewelder 
came to Ft. Vincennes, having been sent by President 
Washington to act as counselor and interpreter of 
Indian languages to General Rufus Putnam, who con- 
cluded a treaty of peace with the Indians at this place. 
Later we find another Mennonite missionary, A. 
Luckebach, on the White river in Indiana. All these 
good intentions availed but little at this time as the 
Indians were restless. 

"St. Vincennes, July 4, 1800. On this day com- 
mences the government of the Indiana Territory; 
William Henry Harrison being chosen as governor; 
William Clark, Henry Vanderburgh and John Grif- 
fin judges for the Indiana Territory." 

With these words of the journal, the young Indiana 
government announces itself. Indiana Territory was 
at that time composed of Indiana and Illinois with Ft. 
Vincennes as the seat of government. In 1800 its 
whole civilized population amounted to 5,651 souls, 
but large hordes of Indians roamed about in this 
wild country. In the year 1811 when Chief Tecum- 
seh and his brother, the Prophet, encouraged by the 
British in Canada, stirred up the Indians against the 
white settlers in the territory, Governor Harrison held 
conferences with the Indians and strove to pacify 
them, but when he saw that they were bent to go on 
the war-path, he gathered troops and with his little 
army of 910 men, of whom 213 were militia from Vin- 
cennes, Corydon and other places along the Wabash, 
marched against the Indians. 

Coming upon the Prophet's town in the neighbor- 
hood of the present city of Lafayette on the morning 
of November 7th, 1811, he was attacked by the In- 
dians, and the battle of Tippecanoe ensued. This was 
the first battle in the second war with England, Gen- 
eral Harrison dispersing the Indians and destroying 
their stronghold. Among the men who distinguished 
themselves in this battle were two officers, whose 
names are familiar to German-Americans and plainly 
indicate their German ancestry. One was Captain 
Geiger, who with his men conducted himself bravely 
to the last. The other. Colonel Luke Decker, com- 
manded part of the militia. When the Legislature 


soon after met in Vincennes, the assembly passed a 
vote of thanks to Colonel Decker and his men for the 
valor with which they had fought for their homes and 
firesides. Luke Decker, who lived in Knox County, 
not far from Decker's Station was a man of great 
energy and versatility and held several positions of 
importance in the new territory. In a fight with In- 
dians on Mississinewa river, December 12, 1812, 
Lieutenant Waltz of Captain Markel's company, 
was killed and praised for his valor in the reports of 
his superior officers. In the year 1796, some Swiss 
citizens of the Canton Waadt, attracted by a German 
traveler's vivid descriptions of the country, organized 
a company to buy land on the Ohio River and culti- 
vate vineyards. They bought a large tract of land 
in what is now Switzerland county and founded the 
town of Vevay on the Ohio river in Indiana. Vine- 
yards were planted which are still in existence. In 
1810 considerable wine was made here while the 
women of the colony wove straw' hats, which they 
sold to Cincinnati merchants and to the boats passing 
on the Ohio river. This was the first settlement of 
the Swiss, later we will mention others. 

In the year 1816, after the separation of the state 
of Indiana from Illinois, the constitutional Conven- 
tion assembled at Corydon, whereto the new capital of 
Indiana had been transferred. The convention 
opened on June 10th, and the first constitution of the 
state was adopted, Indiana becoming a state of the 


Union on December 11, 1816. One member of this 
assembly, Frederick (Reichard) Rapp, we will meet 
with again in the next chapter. 


In a fertile valley on the lower Wabash river about 
sixty miles from its confluence with the Ohio, lies 
the town of New Harmony. It is one of the oldest 
towns in Indiana and some of the quaint old build- 
ings of the first settlement are still standing. The 
history of this beautiful little town is certainly inter- 
esting. Let us see who its first inhabitants were and 
whence they came. 

Under the government of Duke Charles Eugene 
of Wuertemberg, Germany (by the grace of Napoleon 
I, the rulers of this German province are now kings), 
who had established the Karlsschule, the alma mater 
of the great German poet Friedrich Schiller, there 
lived in the rural village of Iptingen, near the city of 
Maulbronn an active and intelligent weaver by the 
name of Johann George Rapp. Besides weaving for 
other people, he cultivated a few acres of land and 
conducted a wine-press. During his leisure hours he 
read the Bible. Becoming intensely imbued with 
communistic ideas he began to preach in his twenty- 
fourth year, urging the return of the customs and 


ceremonies of the early Christians. Annoyed by his 
teachings, the pastors of the Wuertemberg state 
church and other religious denominations petitioned 
the government to forbid Rapp's preaching to the 
people. The duke of Wuertem^berg, however, regard- 
ed Rapp and his doctrines as harmless and refused to 
interfere. Rapp's propaganda bore good fruit and he 
soon had a large following. Desiring to live together 
free from persecution they decided to emigrate to 
America. Rapp, his son Johannes, and two elders 
were sent to investigate, and purchased a tract of 
five thousand acres of land twenty-five miles west of 
Pittsburg at three dollars an acre. In the spring of 
1804, Rapp went to Baltimore where three hundred 
of his people landed with the ship Aurora on July 4th. 
Another party of two hundred and sixty, headed by 
Frederick Reichert arrived the next month at Phila- 
delphia, where Rapp received them. Arriving at 
their settlement a constitution was adopted, all the 
m.embers giving up their money and agreeing to live 
and work together under chosen leaders. The com- 
munity was named Harmony, Johann George Rapp 
being elected the spiritual leader and teacher, and his 
adopted son, Frederick (Reichert) Rapp, the business 
manager of the new town, three elders being associa- 
ted with them in the management of affairs. The 
Rappites, as they were generally called, built over 
one hundred houses in their village and soon had over 
three thousand acres of land under cultivation. As 


far back as 1807 a great number of the society adopt- 
ed the celibate life; still marriages occurred in the 
society, Rapp's only son among them, Rapp himself 
solemnizing the marriage. If young couples married 
and left the community, the Rappites helped them and 
took a kindly interest in them. In the year 1814 the 
Rappites sold Harmony to a Pennsylvania German for 
$100,000, and with their goods, agricultural imple- 
ments and machinery valued at $45,000, moved down 
the Ohio River to Indiana, where they had bought 
30,000 acres of land, and founded Harmony, later re- 
named New Harmony. Here they established a dis- 
tillery, brewery, mills and factories and manufactured 
cotton and woolen goods, the daily output of their 
factories in 1822 amounting to $262.00, according to 
the "Niles Register." 

In order to guard against river pirates and warring 
redskins who were prowling about, the Harmonites 
built a fort which is still in a fair state of preserva- 
tion. The falls of the Wabash near the town were uti- 
lized to furnish water power for a mill and hammer 
factory. The town grew steadily. The work was done 
in groups or companies, each group selecting its own 
foreman whose duty it was to deliver the products 
to the general storehouse. Soon the lofts of the store 
house were filled with all kinds of manufactured pro- 
ducts and from near and far came farmers to pur- 
chase necessities and to have their grain ground. The 
producing power of these enterprising Germans be- 


coming too great for their immediate neighborhood, 
branch stores and agencies were established in Vin- 
cennes, Ind., Shawneetown, 111., Louisville, Ky., Pitts- 
burg, Pa., and other places, their products and man- 
ufactured articles finding a ready sale throughout 
the Ohio and Mississippi valleys, from Pittsburg to 
New Orleans. From a report of the English colony 
at Albion, Edwards County, Illinois, we glean that the 
manufactures of the Rappites were given the prefer- 
ence over all others, and that in the years 1818-1824, 
the English settlers had purchased $150,000 worth of 
goods from the Rappites. River transportation was 
mostly on flat boats. In 1823 Jonathan Lenz (then a 
lad of sixteen, but later one of the trustees of the so- 
ciety) had charge of such a cargo valued at $1,369 
and containing thirty-nine kegs of lard, one hundred 
kegs of butter, six hundred and eighty bushels of 
oats, eighty-eight barrels of flour, one hundred and 
three barrels of pork, thirty-two oxen, sixteen hogs 
and forty barrels of whiskey. Today its entire cargo 
would be worth many times more. Among the Rap- 
pites there were good farmers as well as good me- 
chanics; travelers coming from far and near to ob- 
serve the commercial life and the well conducted 
farms and vineyards. The typical dwelling house of 
the Rappites had no door facing the street, the doors 
being on the sides of the houses towards the beau- 
tiful flower gardens which were to be found every- 
where. Some of the houses are standing today, bear- 


ing evidence of the substantial manner in which they 
were erected. Ferdinand Ernst passed through New 
Harmony on his way to Illinois in 1819. Coming from 
Princeton on horseback, he arrived just as the vesper 
bells were ringing, the familiar sounds of which, 
though strange in America, carried his thoughts back 
to his fatherland. In a book published in Germany, 
he gives a good description of the town and his visit. 
Of special interest to us is his description of a thresh- 
ing machine, which the Harmonists used at this early 

Schoolcraft visited the town in 1821 and writes: 
"They have no spendthrifts, idlers or drunkards in 
Harmony — everybody is working." Another writer, 
George Flower, says, "With surprise all who went to 
Harmony observed with what facility the necessaries 
and the comforts of life were acquired and enjoyed 
by every member of Rapp's community. When com- 
pared with the privations and discomforts to which 
individual settlers were exposed in their backwoods 
experiences, the contrast was very striking. The poor 
hunter who brought a bushel of corn to be ground, 
coming from a distance of perhaps ten miles, saw 
with wonder people as poor as himself living in good 
houses surrounded by beautiful gardens, clothed in 
garments of the best quality and regularly supplied 
with meal, meat and other food without any apparent 
individual exertion. He could not fail to contrast 
the comforts and conveniences surrounding the dwel- 


lings of the Harmonites with the dirt, desolation and 
discomforts of his own log hut. It opened to his 
mind a new train of thought. One of them said to 
me, *I studies and studies on it,' an expression that 
depicts the feelings of every person that obtained a 
sight of Rapp's German community at Harmony." 
Father Rapp was at this time still the head of the 
communtiy and their spiritual advisor. His adopted 
son, Frederick Rapp carried on the business with the 
outer world, while Romelius L. Baker was the mana- 
ger of the general merchandise store. 

When Indiana adopted a state Constitution at 
Corydon in 1816, Fred Rapp was a delegate to the 
assembly from Gibson County, and as a man of af- 
fairs had great influence in that body. In 1820 he 
was appointed a member of a committee of ten to 
select a more central place for the capitol of the state 
of Indiana, which committee subsequently selected 

In the year 1824 the Rappites or Harmonites, 
through the agency of Richard Flower, sold all their 
possessions on the Wabash, including the town of 
Harmony, to Robert Owen of Scotland for the sum of 
$150,000, and nearly all moved back to Pennsylvania, 
where they built a third town on the Ohio River be- 
low Pittsburg, which they named Economy. A few 
remained in the state and these were the agitators 
for a large German immigration in the southern part 
of Indiana. Owen took possession of New Harmony 


and promulgated his humanitarian ideas in the wil- 
derness of America. Financially his experiment did 
not meet with the success that favored the thrifty 
Germans, who to the number of eight hundred had 
labored and built up a community which could be 
considered a model in its day. Yet Owen, McClure 
and the naturalists who frequently made New Har- 
mony their abode, among them two German princes 
from the fatherland, contributed their share in the 
uplifting of humanity and the progress of the state. 
Since the Civil War, New Harmony has had a healthy 
growth and with its fine working men's library do- 
nated by one of its public spirited citizens. Dr. Mur- 
phy, together with other endowments, is now one of 
the most beautiful and progressive little towns of its 
size in the country. 

At Economy, the Rappites displayed the same ac- 
tivity and industry. Father Rapp died here in the 
year 1847 at the age of ninety. The German historian 
Franz Loeher, visited him shortly before his death 
and gives a good account of Rapp and his co-workers 
in his book: "Land und Leute in der alten und neuen 
Welt" (Land and people of the old and new World.) 
During the civil war the Rappites displayed their pa- 
triotism by taking into their community orphan chil- 
dren of Union soldiers, who had been killed in the 
civil war, and raising them until they could support 
themselves. Among these was J. S. Duss, whose 
father had been mortally wounded at Gettysburg and 


died in a hospital. Young Duss was raised in Econ- 
omy, attended college, became a teacher and musi- 
cian, and after his marriage joined the Harmonist so- 
ciety and as one of the trustees directed the affairs 
of the community until it was dissolved in 1906. Sev- 
eral German books were published at Economy, the 
best known being the hymn book of the society with 
the title: "Harmonisches Gesangbuch, theils von 
anderen Autoren theils neu verfasst" (Harmonic 
hymn book partly by other authors, partly original 

The first edition appearing in 1827 contained the 
militant songs of the old protestant church from the 
time of Martin Luther to Ernst Moritz Arndt and 
some newer songs by members of the society. 

It was in 1869 that the writer first saw New Har- 
mony, many of the buildings reminding him of struc- 
tures in the old country. Observing the neglected 
condition of the massive old Rappist church which 
was being used as a packing house, he wrote to the 
trustees of the society at Economy and suggested that 
they buy the building and donate it to the town for 
some good purpose. After some correspondence on 
the subject, Mr. Jonathan Lenz, one of the trustees 
of the society came to Evansville to visit the writer 
and then went to New Harmony, where he purchased 
the church and turned part of it into a public school. 
He also bought the burial ground of the Rappites, 
which had been unintentionally sold with the other 


land and used the remaining bricks from the church 
to build a brick wall around this cemetery where sev- 
eral hundred of the Harmonist pioneers lie buried, no 
monuments or mounds marking their resting places. 
Some fine trees which had grown up in the Cemetery 
were ordered cut down by Mr. Lenz, much to the 
writer's regret. 

In the week of June 6-13, 1914, New Harmony cele- 
brated its centennial anniversary, many literary 
men, statesmen and others assembling at the little 
town on the Wabash to pay homage to the early Ger- 
man pioneers whose keen intellects and indomitable 
zeal had blazed a path for future generations. The 
first day of the celebration was Rapp Day and many 
people of German descent, the ancestors of some of 
whom had been pioneers of the town, came from near 
and far to honor the memory of the sturdy builders 
of New Harmony in song and speech in the old ceme- 
tery of the Harmonists. The occasion was a most 
happy one and many were the wishes for the future 
prosperity of fair New Harmony on the banks of the 



After the departure of the great body of Harmon- 
ists for Economy, Pa., only a few remained behind on 
farms near the old home town. Soon, however, other 
Germans came to help build up existing villages and 
to establish new ones. Vincennes had been established 
before Knox county, of which it is the county seat. 
Soon other counties on the Wabash and Ohio were or- 
ganized, the first immigration, which came from the 
eastern states chiefly from Pennsylvania, Virginia, 
North and South Carolina, being directed to the 
southern part of the state. At the constitutional con- 
vention at Corydon in 1816 only 13 counties were 
represented by delegates. On a chart of Indiana pub- 
lished in the year 1817 the northern part of the state 
was a large empty space, only the following counties 
being given, Gibson, Posey, Warrick, Perry, Harrison, 
Clark, Jefferson, Switzerland, Dearborn, Wayne, 
Franklin, Ripley, Jennings, Jackson, Washington, 
Orange, Pike, Daviess, Knox and Sullivan. To these 
counties there came many Germans, who as sturdy 


pioneers had a large posterity though sometimes 
with slightly altered names. 

Wayne County on the Ohio border naturally be- 
came the home of many Germans across the line, 
chiefly from Cincinnati. Later, however, many immi- 
grants came directly from the old country, a large 
number coming from Hanover, Germany. Among 
these there was a pioneer physician, Dr. Wedekind, 
who settled in Richmond. Dr. Wedekind became 
widely known through his contributions to news- 
papers and magazines. At Centerville, nearby, a 
Pennsylvania-German Lutheran preacher, Samuel K. 
Hoshour, conducted a school and was the teacher of 
Oliver P. Morton, Lew Wallace and other eminent 
Indiana men. Lew Wallace gratefully mentions Hos- 
hour in his autobiography. The poet Joaquin Miller 
was born near Marion, Grant County, among the In- 
dians, who had a reservation there; and in his old 
days he wrote feelingly of his Indiana home and his 
old neighbors. Miller's mother was born at Frankfort 
on the Main. 

The Hoosier poet, James Whitcomb Riley, is also 
of German descent. 

In the year 1847 the first railroad in the state was 
built from Madison to Indianapolis. Madison attract- 
ed many Germans and for a short time a German 
newspaper was published there. In 1850, John L. 
Mansfield (Johann B. Lutz) came to Madison from 
Lexington, Ky., where he had been a professor of 


mathematics in Transylvania University and where he 
had married a lady by the name of Mansfield, whose 
name he adopted. Mansfield became very popular in 
Madison and was repeatedly elected to the state legis- 
lature. During the civil war he was appointed general 
of the state militia by Governor Morton. The India- 
napolis-Madison line was utilized during the war to 
transport many northern regiments to Kentucky. 

Between 1820 and 1840 large numbers of German 
immigrants came to Indiana via New Orleans and up 
the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. This immigration 
came chiefly from Hessen-Darmstadt, Wupperthal 
and the Rhein province. Among those from Hessen- 
Darmstadt was William Heilman, who worked for a 
while on a farm in Posey county, became a successful 
manufacturer in Evansville and represented the 1st 
Indiana district in Congress. 

From Hueckeswagen, a town on the Wupper where 
broadcloth is manufactured, came William Rahm with 
his wife and eight children. Boarding a sailing vessel 
at Antwerp in October, 1848, they landed at New Or- 
leans after a voyage of ninety-three days. Another 
trip on the steamer "Uncle Sam" finally brought them 
to Evansville, Indiana, on March 1, 1849. At Lamas- 
co, then a suburb, but now a part of greater Evans- 
ville, Rahm established a general merchandise store 
with a stock of dry goods and hardware which 
he had brought from Germany. He soon built up a 
large business and his success attracted a large num- 


ber of people from his home town. Of the new ar- 
rivals some established themselves in Knox County, 
around Bethlehem Church, Ferdinand, Westphalia 
and Vincennes. Warrick county was divided and a 
new county formed which was named Vanderburg, 
after Judge Vanderburg of Vincennes, who was of 
Dutch extraction. Many Germans also settled in the 
river towns of Newburgh, Rockport, New Albany, 
Jeffersonville, Madison, Lawrenceburg and Mt. Ver- 
non. A Swiss-German colony established Tell City, 
which soon became a live manufacturing town. 

In early days New Albany was the largest city in 
the state, but was soon outstripped by Indianapolis 
and Evansville. The country farther away from the 
Ohio gradually came under the plow. A fine Catholic 
seminary and monastery were established at St. 
Meinrad, while Fulda became the home of a pros- 
perous Swiss-German settlement. The towns of Fer- 
dinand, Huntingburg and Jasper, Dubois county, have 
a large German population, a German paper, "Das 
Signal," being published at Huntingburg. The names 
of such villages as Elberfeld, Haubstadt and Darm- 
stadt indicate their early settlers, whose descendants 
still love their mother tongue and German customs. 

New Elsass, Dearborn County, was founded in 1839 
by Frank Anton Walliser. Its early inhabitants ar- 
ranged shooting matches and other German celebra- 
tions which were attended from far and near. The 
passing through the state of the railroads brought a 


large influx of Germans, Carl Schurz writing to his 
wife in 1852 from Indianapolis that of the 18,000 in- 
habitants of that town 2,000 were Germans. Today 
Indianapolis has over 300,000 inhabitants, with a 
large, intelligent and prosperous German population. 

In the northern part of the state several counties 
were named after Germans who had distinguished 
themselves in the Revolutionary War — Steuben, De 
Kalb and Jasper. 

Terre Haute, La Fayette, Peru, Logansport, Elk- 
hart, Bern, Michigan City, South Bend, Crown Point, 
Hammond and Ft. Wayne all have a large number of 
German citizens, many of whom take a prominent 
part in the commercial and social life of their re- 
spective communities. 

When Germans settled in a town they generally 
soon built a meeting house or church, the preacher in 
the early times generally also assuming the duties of 
teacher in the community. 

When Dr. F. A. Wylie came from Pennsylvania to 
teach at the state university in Bloomington, he was 
accompanied by Lewis Bollman, a nephew of that 
genial adventurer, August Erich Bollman, who had 
tried to liberate General LaFayette when he was a 
prisoner at Olmuetz. 

The Bollmans came from Hoya on the Weser, Han- 
over, Germany. Lewis Bollman was born May 24, 
1811, at Williamsport, Pa., where he studied medicine 
before going to Bloomington, continuing his studies 


and taking his degree at the Indiana University. Dr. 
BoUman was reporter of the Indiana Legislature for 
many years until appointed statistician of the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture by Abraham Lincoln. Upon his 
return from Washington, Bollman edited a paper at 
Bloomington and took a great interest in agriculture 
and the cause of the workingman. Bollman died at 
Bloomington on Sept. 3, 1888. Contemporaneously 
with Bollman there lived in Terre Haute a leading 
German lawyer by the nam.e of Albert Lange. Born at 
Charlottenburg near Berlin on Sept. 26, 1801, Lange 
studied history and law at Berlin. The spread of the 
liberal movement attracted Lange to this country in 
the year 1829. For a short time he edited a German 
paper in Cincinnati. From there he went to Hancock 
County, Indiana, where he married the daughter of 
an old settler and farmed for some time. Moving to 
Terre Haute, he took up his old profession and prac- 
ticed law. Drifting into politics, he joined the Whig 
party under Taylor and Filmore was U. S. Counsel at 
Rotterdam. Returning to Terre Haute, he was repeat- 
edly elected to office, serving as mayor of the city for 
many years. In 1860 he was elected state auditor and 
proved of great assistance to Governor Oliver P. 
Morton during the civil war. Relinquishing his of- 
fice he returned to Terre Haute, where he continued 
to practice law until his death on July 25, 1869. 

An estimate of the German population of Indiana 
may be gained by the number of German papers 


which circulated among them. When one considers 
that in pioneer times newspapers could not be sent 
long distances owing to lack of transportation facili- 
ties, and were for the most part local papers published 
for the town and surrounding country, the large 
number of German papers published in various parts 
of the state in the early days bear evidence of the 
large and scattered German population. 

Let us see where German papers were published in 
this state and where they still exist. In Vincennes, 
when the first French settlers had died out, they were 
replaced in greater numbers by the Germans. This 
the oldest town in the state, now has several German 
congregations with fine churches. A number of its 
leading merchants, manufacturers and professional 
men can read and write German, but the German 
paper maintained by its citizens for some years no 
longer exists, the larger and more newsy German 
dailies from St. Louis and Evansville having replaced 
it at their breakfast table. 

P/lt. Vernon also once had a German paper for the 
large German population of Posey county but it also 
was forced to give way to the St. Louis and Evans- 
ville papers. 

Evansville, being the center of a large German 
population, has had many German newspapers. The 
first German paper, Der Volksbote, edited by J. Roh- 
ner was established in 1851 and was maintained for a 
long time. In 1853, Theodore Dietsch established "Die 


Reform." Dietsch had been a member of the Frank- 
furt Parliament and was perhaps too radical in his 
utterances as "the Reform" soon ceased to exist. An- 
other reason for the brief existence of the "Reform" 
may be found in the circumstance that the publisher 
of its competitor, "Der Volksbote" had secured the 
services of a brilliant young German by the name of 
Frederick Keller, a theological student of Heidelberg, 
who was forced to leave the fatherland in the period 
of political unrest of 1848-1849. Passing through 
New York, Canada and Ohio, Keller drifted to Indi- 
ana where he found employment as editorial writer 
for a number of German papers. 

Keller resided in Evansville twice and died here of 
pneumonia on Dec. 14, 1876 in his 48th year while 
editing "Die Union." Dr. Amelia R. Keller, of Indi- 
anapolis is a daughter of this pioneer newspaper man. 
The "Union" and "Demokrat" existed in Evansville 
for a long time, the former as an evening and the 
latter as a morning paper, the "Union" finally selling 
out to its competitor, which is now the only German 
paper in Evansville appearing there over fifty years, 
and edited by Frederick Lauenstein. 

Rockport and Tell City also once supported Ger- 
man local papers but are now supplied by Evansville 
and Louisville. 

At New Albany, Henry Lange- for many years pub- 
lished a German newspaper which was, however, final- 


ly crowded out by the larger Louisville paper. Lange 
is also the author of two volumes of poems. 

At Jeffersonville, G. F. Engelhardt for many years 
published the "Beobachter aus Indiana." He also 
published and circulated many valuable German 
books and pamphlets. An accident on a traction car 
unfortunately put an end to Engelhardt's activity. 

At Huntingburg, Dubois County, there is the 
"Huntingburg Signal," its long existence proving the 
strong hold it has upon the Germans of that town 
and vicinity. 

Richmond and Bern also published German papers. 

At Indianapolis a number of German papers have 
been circulated among the people of this and neigh- 
boring towns. In the year 1848 Julius Boetticher es- 
tablished a weekly paper, "Das Indiana Volksblatt." 
It was well managed and secured a large circulation. 
The publication by this office in 1853 of a transla- 
tion of the Indiana Statutes into German gives evi- 
dence of the scope of this establishment and the large 
German population of the state at that time. Other 
papers making their appearance were "Die Freie 
Presse," "Tribuene," "Telegraph," and "Spottvogel." 
At the present time there appear the daily "Tele- 
graph" and the "Tribuene," and the Sunday "Spottvo- 
gel," both having a large circulation. Indianapolis has 
had some very able editorial writers, among whom I 
might mention Julius Boetticher, Adolf Seidensticker, 


Frederick Keller, Carl Beischlag, T. B. Jeup and 
Phillip Rappaport. 

Terre Haute has also had several German papers, 
the "Terre Haute Journal" still existing. 

At La Fayette, Francis Johnson edited the "Deutsch 
Amerikaner," and published several books in the 
English language. 

Logansport still maintains a German weekly, while 
the large German dailies of Chicago seem to supply 
the needs of the large German population of Crown 
Point, Michigan City, South Bend and Hammond. 

At Fort Wayne we find the strong German daily 
"Freie Presse und Staatszeitung," ably edited by Her- 
man Mackwitz, and well supported by Concordia Col- 
lege and the many good German families of Ft. 
Wayne and vicinity. Thus we find German newspa- 
pers published and eagerly read in all parts of the 
Hoosier State. 



The early German pioneers of Indiana took little 
interest in National politics, their minds being too 
much occupied with putting their homes in order. The 
presidential campaign of William Harrison, who had 
been their war governor when Indiana was yet a ter- 
ritory and with whom they had marched in their wars 
with the Indians and the English, served to stir up the 
Hoosiers. Little did they dream then that half a cen- 
tury later many of them would fight in a greater 

At the organization of the Northwest Territory it 
was ordained that slavery should be excluded from 
its bounds, but the slavery question continued to be 
agitated with more fervor as the years passed by. It 
was, as Carl Schurz termed it, "an irrepressible con- 
flict," while Abraham Lincoln in his famous debate 
with Douglass said, "a house divided against itself 
cannot stand. I believe this government cannot en- 
dure permanently half slave and half free." The 
Germans of the United States were for freedom of 
the colored race and bitterly opposed to slavery. Out 


of eighty-eight German newspapers in the United 
States eighty opposed the Kansas-Nebraska bill, the 
Germans of Indiana sharing the views of their com- 
patriots in the Nation at large. As stated in a prev- 
ious chapter, the German revolution of 48-49 brought 
to this country many well educated men, such as Carl 
Schurz and others. Many of these became newspaper 
editors and opposed slavery from the lecture plat- 
form. In the National Republican convention at Chi- 
cago in 1860, a large number of the delegates from 
Indiana were Germans. The committee on resolu- 
tions which drafted the party platform had among 
its members such well known Germans as Carl Schurz 
of Wisconsin, Gustav Koerner of Illinois, and Judge 
Wm. H. Otto of New Albany, Indiana. Judge Otto 
being the secretary of the committee. A Hoosier 
German was thus largely instrumental in drawing up 
the platform on which Lincoln was elected. 

When the war broke out Evansville had a military 
organization known as the Steuben artillery, com- 
posed entirely of Germans and organized several 
years before. The company consisted of fifty men, 
eight or nine of whom came from Tell City, Martin 
Klauss serving as captain. They were sworn in as 
state militia and equipped with two cannons and 
twenty-four Mississippi rifles. They were first sta- 
tioned at Evansville where they examined boats on 
the Ohio river for contraband of war for the south. 
In June, 1861, they were sent to Indianapolis to en- 


list in the United States service as the First Battery 
of Indiana. Here the company was further equipped 
with cannon, ammunition and horses and sent to Mis- 
souri. The battery arrived after the battle of Wilson 
Creek and took part in the campaign following, doing 
such good service at the battle of Pea Ridge on March 
7 and 8, 1862, that they received the commendation 
of General Franz Sigel for their prompt action in 
carrying out orders. The First Indiana Battery aided 
in the siege of Vicksburg and took part in many other 
engagements during the war until mustered out of 
the service on August 22, 1865. 

The Sixth Indiana Battery was also recruited in 
Evansville, and composed of German volunteers with 
Fred Behr as Captain. Behr lost his life on the first 
day of the battle of Shiloh, the Sixth Indiana Bat- 
tery being stationed in the woodland at the extreme 
right when caught in a flank movement by the enemy, 
from which only one cannon commanded by Lieuten- 
ant Wm. Mussman was able to extricate itself. This 
cannon and two others of Hoffmann's battery in 
charge of the men of the 6th Indiana Battery helped 
to recapture the cannons which had been taken the 
day before at Shiloh Battle. Michael Mueller was the 
successor of Captain Behr and ably led this company 
till mustered out of service on Sept. 9th, 1864. 

The largest body of Germans was the 32d infantry 
Regiment recruited from the larger cities of the state, 
there being a company from Evansville, Terre Haute, 


LaFayette and other places, August Willich being its 
first Colonel and Lieutenant Colonol H. Von Trebra 
its drill master at Indianapolis. Both Willich and 
Von Trebra had been officers in the Prussian army. 
The latter was living with his family on a small farm 
near Danville, Illinois, when the war broke out. Hear- 
ing that a German regiment was being organized at 
Indianapolis, Von Trebra went there and enlisted, be- 
coming its drill master and bringing it to a high state 
of efficiency. August Willich was a dashing and fear- 
less leader and was often called the Bluecher of our 
western armies. The 32d Indiana infantry regiment 
was commanded in the German language, each com- 
pany having a book in which the orders of the colonel 
or superior officer were written in German. When 
the regiment was ready for military service, it was 
sent by rail to Madison and from there by boat to 
Louisville, where it joined General Buell's army. 
The first engagement of the 32d Indiana regiment 
was at Rowletts station near Munfordville, Ky., on 
December 17, 1861. Four companies had been sent 
south over the Green River to observe the enemy 
when they were suddenly attacked by an overwhelm- 
ing force and the bugler called for help. Colonel 
Willich being absent at a council of war. Colonel Von 
Trebra assumed command and hastened with a part 
of the regiment to the assistance of the troops en- 
gaged, driving the enemy back with great loss. In 


recognition of the valor of the regiment, General 
Buell issued the following order: 

General Orders. 

No. 23. 

Headquarters Department of the Ohio. 

Louisville, Ky., Dec. 27, 1861. 

The General Commanding takes pleasure in bring- 
ing to notice the gallant conduct of a portion of Col. 
Willich's regiment, 32d Indiana at Rowletts Station in 
front of Munfordville on the 17th inst. Four com- 
panies of the regiment under Lieutenant Colonel Von 
Trebra, on outpost duty, were attacked by a column 
of the enemy, consisting of one regiment of cavalry, 
a battery of artillery and two regiments of infantry. 
They defended themselves until reinforced by other 
companies of the regiment, and the fight was con- 
tinued with such effect that the enemy at length re- 
treated precipitately. The attack of the enemy was 
mainly with his cavalry and artillery. Our troops 
fought as skirmishers, rallying rapidly into squares 
when charged by the cavalry, sometimes even defend- 
ing themselves singly and killing their assailants with 
the bayonet. The General tenders his thanks to the 
officers and soldiers of the regiment for their gallant 
and efficient conduct on this occasion. He commends 
it as a study and example to all other troops under his 
command and enjoins them to emulate the discipline 
and instruction which insure such results. 

The name of Rowlett's Station will be inscribed in 


the regimental colors of the 32d Indiana regiment. By 
command of Brigadier General Buell, James B. Fry, 
A. A. G. Chief of Staff. Many years after the war 
General John M. Claiborne, a southern aristocrat, as 
he styled himself, in a series of articles for the Gal- 
veston News, gave an exaggerated account of the part 
that Terry's Texas Rangers took in the fight at Row- 
lett's Station, which caused Wm. Friedersdorf, an old 
soldier of the 32d Indiana regiment, to send the fol- 
lowing communication to a Missouri paper. "In- 
stead of 3,000 "federal Dutch" engaged that day, our 
force did not number over 700, all belonging to the 
32nd Indiana infantry. We were called Germans 
(Dutch by the enemy) but the majority of us were 
born or raised under the flag which we served — the 
stars and stripes and understood for what we were 
fighting. We were all American citizens. I think 
fifty-five of our regiment had seen service in the old 
country. We received the same pay as other soldiers, 
and like most of the others, the majority of us could 
have made much more outside than in the service. 
We were doing picket duty, not having started on the 
march, when the rangers attacked us. There were 
just four, not fifteen cabins, "nigger quarters" at the 

We had only thirteen killed in that engagement, in- 
cluding brave Lieutenant Sacks, a Jew who died re- 
volver in hand, rather than surrender. 

On a little mound in Munfordville are twelve 


graves holding the remains of all our men killed in 
action, except those of Lieutenant Sacks, which were 
sent to a brother in Philadelphia. A farmer showed 
us two graves six or seven miles south of our little 
battle and told us they contained the bodies of two of 
our men murdered by Col. Terry's son while prisoners. 
We never heard of that youthful "aristocrat" aveng- 
ing his father's death in open battle. Not over twen- 
ty-five of our men were wounded; they all recovered. 

We admired the bravery and dash of Col. Terry 
and his command, but facts are facts, and facts are 
said to be stubborn things. If the battle was over "in 
a period of four minutes," that was all the time re- 
quired by the "Dutch" to clean up the rangers, aris- 
tocracy and all. They left their dead commander on 
the field and asked for his remains the next day." 

The 32nd Indiana was with General Buell at Shiloh 
and helped win that battle, on the second day. Col- 
onel August Willich was soon afterward assigned as 
Brigadier General of the 6th Brigade and Lieutenant 
Colonel Von Trebra took command of the 32d Indi- 
ana regiment on Aug. 9th, 1862, at Battle Creek. Un- 
fortunately Von Trebra took sick and was obliged to 
return to his home in Illinois, where he soon after 
died. A younger brother of Von Trebra who had en- 
listed as a private in the 32nd regiment, later became 
a captain and remained with his company to the end 
of the war. Colonel F. Erdelmeyer was the last com- 
manding officer of the 32nd and remained so until it 


was mustered out of service in the fall of 1864. This 
regiment had a good reputation and took part in all 
the great battles in the West: Stone River, Chicka- 
mauga, Mission Ridge and the Atlanta campaign. 

All the regiments from Indiana had Germans in 
their ranks, some having whole companies. Of the 
14th Indiana, which was sent to the Shenandoah Val- 
ley and fought at Antietam and Gettysburg, over half 
were composed of Germans, Company E being wholly 
Germans. In the 24th regiment, organized by Alvin 
P. Hovey, later Governor of Indiana, one company, 
led by Captain John Grill, was entirely composed of 
Germans, while other companies were about half Ger- 
man. A large per cent of the 42nd Indiana regiment 
were also Germans, John E. Eigenmann rising to the 
captaincy of Company D. Eigenmann was severely 
wounded and captured at the battle of Stone River. 
Being unfit for further service he was paroled to the 
end of the war. Company A, of the 136th Indiana 
regiment, was German with the exception of one 
comrade, whom we taught so much German that he 
was able to understand us. Other companies of this 
regiment were also largely composed of Germans. 
Many of the commanding officers of our regiments 
were born in the fatherland and had seen service 
there. Among these we might mention General Wil- 
lich, Colonel Von Trebra, Colonel Erdelmeyer, who 
commanded the 32nd regiment. Colonel Carl A. Zol- 
linger of the 129th regiment, and Colonel Rheinland- 


er, of the 25th. Colonel Richard Dale Owen, son of 
the social reformer, Robert Owen, of New Harmony 
fame, was educated in Switzerland and spoke German 
well, his regiment having many Germans in its ranks. 
Lieutenant Colonel Gustav Gerber died at the head of 
his regiment in the battle of Shiloh. 

Among the Indiana generals there were some of 
German descent, as well as some of German birth. 
Thus the grandparents of General Pleasant Adams 
Hackleman had immigrated from the fatherland in 
1773 and 1774 settled in the Carolinas, whence 
they crossed the mountains to Kentucky and 1800 
moved to Indiana. Hackleman's father was born in 
North Carolina in 1786, while he himself was born at 
Brookville, Ind., in October, 1816. As I was told by 
Dr. Hackleman of Rockport, a cousin of the general. 
Abraham Lincoln, after his inauguration as President, 
appointed the general as a member of a peace con- 
gress which held a conference with representatives 
from the south, without, however, accomplishing any- 
thing. When the war broke out Governor Morton 
appointed Hackleman colonel of a regiment. On April 
28, 1862, he became a general, his old regiment hon- 
oring him by presenting him with a fine sword. He 
was destined not to enjoy his promotion long, as he 
was killed on October 3, 1862, at Yuka, near Corinth, 
while leading a charge of his brigade. General Hack- 
leman was the only general from Indiana to lose his 
life on the field of battle. 


August Willich was born at Braunsberg, Prussia, 
on Nov. 14, 1810. At the age of 12 he was sent to a 
military school at Potsdam. Upon graduating he en- 
listed in the Prussian military service as lieutenant 
of artillery and was assigned to the fortress of Wesel. 
The wave of liberalism which swept through the 
Rhineland in the forties led him to quit the service, 
which he re-entered, however, in the revolutionary 
period of 1848, becoming an associate of Franz Sigel 
in Baden. At the close of this revolution Willich and 
many others emigrated to America. Being an able 
civil engineer, Willich soon found employment in the 
Coast Survey of North and South Carolina. Here he 
became acquainted with the intrigues of the southern 
slave holding aristocracy. Coming north to Cincin- 
nati he edited a German paper and at the outbreak 
of the civil war organized the 9th Ohio regiment and 
later the 32nd Indiana, of which he became colonel. 
Willich was a courageous leader and splendid disci- 
plinarian, and good to his men. After the 
battle of Shiloh he was appointed general of the 6th 
brigade. In the battle of Stone River (Murfeesboro) 
his impetuosity led to his capture by the Confeder- 
ates. He was soon after exchanged and with his regi- 
ment again and distinguished himself with his troops 
in the battles of Chattanooga and Missionary Ridge. 
At Resaca he was shot in the right arm, which was 
lame after that. After the war Willich retired to 
St. Mary's, Ohio, where he died on January 22nd, 


1878. A fine monument erected to his memory by his 
comrades, who respected and loved him, marks bis 
final resting place in Elm Grove cemetery, near St. 

General Fred Knefler, another Indiana man, was a 
German-American. He was in the thick of the fight 
at Chattanooga and Mission Ridge, of which battles 
he later gave vivid descriptions. 

In the early part of the civil war there was great 
need of all sorts of war utensils and Governor Morton 
therefore established an arsenal to manufacture these, 
putting in charge a German by the name of Herman 
Sturm, who was at that time conducting a small ma- 
chine shop in Indianapolis. Sturm proved himself 
equal to the task and under his direction articles to 
the value of $800,000 were manufactured for the In- 
diana troops. At the conclusion of the war the Na- 
tional Government took possession of the arsenal. 



At the close of the war one regiment after another 
was mustered out of service, the soldiers left for their 
respective homes to become civilians again, and this 
country, so rich in resources, prospered as never be- 

The thrifty Germans made good farmers, and often 
on land where others could not eke out an existence, 
they made a good living. In the cities the German 
artisan, tradesman and professional man also pros- 
pered. They generally had large families, often gave 
their children a college education and otherwise pro- 
vided for them. Some of these German-Americans 
are worth remembering. We will give a brief sketch 
of a few. In the spring of 1853 there came to Green- 
castle, Ind., from Bischofsheim on the Rhine, not 
far from Strassburg, a young baker by the name of 
Louis Weik. Young V/eik established and successfully 
conducted a bakery for a number of years. He raised 
a large family and was highly respected in the com- 
munity, being repeatedly elected to the city council. 
His son, Jesse W. Weik, together with William H. 


Herndon, Abraham Lincoln's law partner, edited one 
of the best biographies of Lincoln in existence and he 
is now engaged to verify the route the Lincoln family 
took in moving from Spencer county to Illinois. 

Ex-Governor Conrad Baker and his brother, Wil- 
liam Baker, a former mayor of Evansville, Indiana, 
were Pennsylvania Germans, who had come to Indi- 
ana from Bethlehem, Pa., long before the war. At the 
beginning of the war, Conrad Baker, who was then 
practicing law at Evansville, was appointed colonel 
of the First Indiana cavalry. He was subsequently 
elected lieutenant governor and governor of Indiana. 
Indiana has had five state treasurers of German de- 
scent. The first of these, August Lemcke, became 
well known as a writer and financier. Lemcke was 
born in Hamburg, Germany, and as a young man 
came to this country to make his home with an uncle, 
who had a general merchandise store in Posey Coun- 
ty. Young Lemcke later moved to Evansville, where 
he held several positions in the city administration 
and was elected sheriff of Vanderburgh County for 
two consecutive terms. As state treasurer he was very 
popular and at the conclusion of his term of office 
made his home in Indianapolis. In 1905 he wrote a 
book entitled, "Reminiscences of an Indianian, from 
the sassafras log behind the barn in Posey County 
to broader fields." Several large office buildings in 
Indianapolis bear his name. 

Indiana has also had several good judges, who came 


from the fatherland. George Ludwig Reinhard was 
born on July 5, 1843, in Unterfranken, Bavaria, and 
came to America with his mother in 1857. At the be- 
ginning of the civil war he enlisted in the 15th Indi- 
ana regiment and fought in the battles of Green 
Briar, W. Va., Perryville, Ky., Shiloh, Stone River, 
Lookout Mountain, and other engagements. After 
the war Reinhard took up the study of law at Owens- 
boro, Ky. A few years later he removed to Rockport, 
Ind., where he was elected prosecuting attorney for 
Spencer and Warrick Counties, and in 1882 judge for 
these two counties, to which position he was re-elect- 
ed in 1882. Upon the occurrence of a vacancy in the 
Appellate Court in 1891, Governor Hovey appointed 
Judge Reinhard to the position, the people of the state 
sanctioning the appointment in the election the year 
following. Upon his retirement from the bench. Judge 
Reinhard was called to a chair in the law school of 
the State University at Bloomington and died as dean 
of this school some years later. Judge Reinhard was 
the author of several law books. 

Judge Peter Maier emigrated to Ohio when quite 
young and after receiving his education there, began 
the practice of law in Evansville, Ind., was elected 
judge of the Circuit Court in Vanderburgh County 
and many years later justice of the peace in Evans- 
ville, but died before finishing his term of office. 

Judge Johannes Kopelke, of Crown Point, Ind., was 
born on June 14, 1854, in Buchwald, near Neustettin, 


' Pommern, Germany. After studying law at Ann Ar- 
bor, Michigan, he started the practice of his profes- 
sion at Crown Point, Ind. The high esteem in which 

I Kopeike is held by the people of his section of the 
state is shown by his election to various positions of 
trust. He has served in the State Senate and on Feb. 
23, 1911, he was appointed Judge of the Lake County 
Superior Court by Governor Marshall. He is a ver- 
satile writer, and upon his return from a visit to 
Europe he published a fascinating book on his trip 
entitled "Sommerausflug nach Europa, hauptsaechlich 
Deutschland," (Summer Outing to Europe, especially 

Indiana has had quite a number of German-Ameri- 
can representatives in the lower House of Congress. 

John Kleiner, a German school master, was elected 
mayor of Evansville and then elected to represent the 
First district of Indiana in Congress. 

William Heilman, a m.anufacturer of portable saw- 
mills and other machinery, and who in his time was 
one of the leading manufacturers in the state, was 
elected to the State Senate and later represented the 
First district in Congress. 

John W. Boehne, who was born in a German settle- 
ment in Vanderburgh County, came to Evansville 
when a young man and by dint of industry and thrift 
amassed a fortune in the foundry business. After 
twice serving the city of Evansville as mayor, he was 


elected to represent its large commercial interests as 
Congressman in Washington. 

Charles Lieb, of Rockport, the present Congress- 
man of the First district, was born in Flehingen, Ger- 
many, May 20, 1852. Coming to Rockport when 
young he has since resided there, and as one of its 
leading bankers, has contributed his share in build- 
ing up this prosperous little town. Before his election 
to Congress, Lieb served three terms in the State 

The 13th Congressional District of Indiana is rep- 
resented in Washington by Henry A. Barnhart, son of 
a German Baptist minister. 

It has frequently been said that Germans do not 
take enough interest in politics. The names of the 
above, together with the large number who have been 
elected to the legislature and filled county and city 
offices, prove the contrary. However, it should be of 
greater interest to know how this large immigration 
has aided in the development of the state. 

The Germans are frugal and industrious, persever- 
ing and thrifty. They do not speculate nor gamble 
and by their economical mode of living they have set 
a good example to others. 

Two German schools of Indiana have exerted a 
great influence for good in this state, Concordia Col- 
lege of Ft. Wayne, which is still in existence, and the 
"German-English Independent School" at Indianapo- 
lis, which existed for many years and in which many 


of the best citizens of Indianapolis received their edu- 
cation. Teachers of the public schools frequently 
visited these schools to study the methods of the Ger- 
man teachers. 

Theodore Stein of Indianapolis, who was once a 
student of the German-English Independent school, 
has written an interesting history of his alma mater, 
which is well worth reading. When the school ceased 
to exist, its teachers readily found positions in the 
public schools of the state. One of these, Professor 
Theodore Dingeldey, taught school for many years in 
a small country school in Posey County, and upon his 
death his former pupils erected a fine monument over 
his last resting place in the Zion's Church Cemetery, 
Posey County. The writer once stood at the grave of 
this good and learned pedagogue and saw the follow- 
ing epitaph on his tombstone: 

Here lies the body of Prof. Theodore Dingeldey, 
born in Germany, 1845. 
Died Feb., 1903. 
Sleep on dear friend 
and take your rest. 
We know that you 
Have done your best. 
This stone was erected here 
By those to whom he was dear. 
Wherever Germans lived in any number a meeting 
house was built and a singing society organized. The 
Harmonists of New Harmony were the first to organ- 


ize a singing society. They had a good band and on 
the Fourth of July invited the farmers of the neigh^ 
borhood and entertained them with patriotic songs 
and music. From New Harmony singing societies 
spread over the whole state, the larger societies in the 
cities employing music directors to teach them. Thus 
the Germans have undoubtedly done much to bring 
music to the homes and firesides of the people of In- 
diana and popularized Mozart and Beethoven. 

They also introduced gymnastics here. German 
turning societies existed in the state long before the 
civil v/ar. Today calisthenic exercises form part of 
the curriculum of our public schools. 

Though only a modest beginning has been made in 
art, the future promises much. The Soldiers' and 
Sailors' Monument at Indianapolis, perhaps the most 
pretentious architectural and sculptural achievement 
in the state, was planned by a German, Bruno 
Schmitz, and the artist, who made the fine sculptural 
work at the foot and around the monument, was Rud. 
Schwartz, another German. 

In many other things, making for progress, the 
Germans have taken the initiative. From them we 
have learned a great deal in scientific and intensive 
farming and the care and breeding of our domestic 
animals. The German word for domestic animals is 
"Hausthiere," which would signify that they belong 
to the house and should receive humane treatment. 
With this impulse Adolph Melzer, a citizen of Ger- 


man birth and a friend of animals, has built a 
"Friendly Inn" for horses in Evansville, the second 
largest city of the state, where he boards hungry and 
neglected horses, giving them shelter and food at the 
lowest possible cost to their owners. He has also 
caused to be placed in one of the streets of the city 
a fine fountain for horses and dogs. 

It is a little early to speculate on the influence of 
the Germans on the English, or rather American lan- 
guage, yet we find many German words used in Eng- 
lish books. Thus we find the words "plunder" and 
"plunder box" in the works of Eggleston and other 
writers in expressing things of little value and boxes 
for storing them. 

Not long ago while walking through the public 
market the writer saw a small boy walk up to a stand 
with a bowl in his hand and call for a dimes' worth 
of Schmier-Kas (cottage cheese). Sauer-kraut has 
also become almost as popular here as in the old 
country, while Froebers kindergarten has now a 
strong hold in our public communities and with it, 
the word kindergarten has been incorporated in our 
language. We could extend this list of household 
words of German origin, but these few may suffice. 



One of the largest factories in Indiana is the South 
Bend establishment of the Pennsylvania-German, 
Studebaker Brothers, the greatest wagon builders in 
the state. These Americans were proud of their 
Pennsylvania-German origin. They moved from 
Pennsylvania to Ohio, later to South Bend, Indiana, 
where they started with moderate means their large 
wagon factory, which has grown from year to year, 
notwithstanding many discouragements and a severe 
loss by fire, which consumed the entire plant. Un- 
dismayed, the brothers set to work and rebuilt it, with 
added improvements, making now also automobiles 
and kindred articles. Their products go to every part 
of the civilized world. The Studebakers were patriotic 
people. In a park near Lincoln City, which now is 
state property, Peter E. Studebaker had a slab raised 
to the memory of Nancy Hanks Lincoln, the Presi- 
dent's mother, whose grave had been neglected for 
more than 60 years. The erected slab bears this in- 
scription: To the mother of our martyred President. 


Erected by a friend. No one knew who gave it, with 
it were directions that it should be placed above the 
grave of Nancy Hanks Lincoln, with an iron fence 
around it. The request of the unknown donor was 
carried out, but the men who did the work at the 
time did not know who paid them. The money came 
through a bank in Rockport and that was all that was 

Col. Geo. M. Studebaker, eldest son of Clem Stude- 
baker, was the commanding officer of the 157th Regi- 
ment Ind. Vol. in the Spanish war. 

John Moler Studebaker, the sole survivor of the 
five brothers, celebrated his golden wedding in 1910 
and is still hale and hearty. He has been a munifi- 
cent patron of South Bend, one of his recent gifts 
being a $25,000 electric fountain, erected in one of the 
parks — and furthermore has done much to aid in the 
promotion of the South Bend park system. 

In Evansville we have the largest cigar factory un- 
der one roof; the ground on which the factory stands 
measures 241 by 469 feet, the buildings of brick, are 
modern and sanitary, a model of its kind. 2,000 per- 
sons, mostly girls, work in this factory and when they 
go to or return from work swarms of neatly clad 
women throng the sidewalks of the streets. The 
daily output of hand made cigars is 400,000. Diamond 
Joe and Charles Denby are the main brands of the 
factory. The founder, Hermann Fendrich, was born 
on the I4th of April, 1813, in Baden-Baden, Germany; 


when 8 years old he came with his parents to Balti- 
more, where he worked with four brothers in the to- 
bacco business. In 1850 he came West and established 
his own tobacco store on Main street, between First 
and Second streets. After many years of hard labor 
and industry, he became wealthy and after death left 
the management of his large business in the hands of 
his son, H. Fendrich, who erected the present build- 
ings and enlarged the business. 

Another example of foresight and perseverance is 
Herman Hullman, Sr., of Terre Haute. Born in Ger- 
many he came to this country without means and laid 
a foundation for his wholesale business so strong and 
good that he could branch out and extend his busi- 
ness in Terre Haute to other cities, where he estab- 
lished new stores; by and by he established new stores 
in Mattoon, 111., and Evansville, which flourished as 
the mother house. At the same time he was a benevo- 
lent citizen in his home town and wherever he went. 
He donated large sums to a hospital, and other insti- 
tutions received aid from him; when he died two years 
ago he left a large fortune to his two sons. On Pigeon 
Creek, near its confluence with the Ohio river, is sit- 
uated the oldest and well arranged saw mill in Evans- 
ville. It was erected by John A. Reitz, an emigrant 
from Dorlar in Westphalia, Germany, who came to 
Evansville, December, 1836, and was followed by 
many relatives; he started the mill in 1845, which has 
been in continuous operation since. After the death 


of John A. Reitz, his eldest son, Francis Joseph Reitz, 
born in Evansville in 1841, became manager of the 
saw mill; he is interested in the furniture business 
and other industries and had been for some time a 
trustee in the City National Bank of Evansville, when 
he was elected its president. The new bank recently 
occupied, was erected under his supervision and is as 
substantial as it is beautiful. Francis Joseph Reitz 
is a kind hearted man, righteous in his dealings with 
others and well liked. The Old State National Bank 
in Evansville, the oldest in the city, has also a Ger- 
man president, Henry Reis, born on February 15, 
1847, near Mainz, Germany; came with his parents 
from the fatherland in 1849 to Indiana; they settled 
in the country, but soon moved to Evansville, where 
young Reis had better opportunities to receive an 
education. When he left school, he worked for some 
time in a drug store, then in a bank and worked him- 
self up from a bank clerk to his present position. He 
celebrated not long ago his 50th anniversary as a 
banker and received on this occasion many acknowl- 
edgments of good friendship and fellowship. The 
bank is building a splendid new business house, in 
which the Old State National Bank will occupy the 
lower floor, in the spring of our centennial year. 

The People's Savings Bank is too presided over by 
a German pioneer, Henry V. Bennighof, born in 1833 
in Wonheim, Rhein-Hessen, came to Evansville in 
1852, engaged in business and took part in the Sav- 


ings Bank, where in 1875 he was elected a trustee and 
is now the bank's president. Mr. Bennighof at the 
age of 82 is still active and goes to the bank every 
day to greet his many friends. The reader will not go 
amiss if he concludes that the other officers and the 
stockholders of these banks are mostly Germans or of 
German descent. Many German business men and 
artisans have helped to build up these banks and they 
have done their part faithfully, as no bank has ever 
failed in Evansville. 

Such a good, honest citizen, for instance, was Gott- 
lieb Bippus; he was born in Holtzhausen, Wurtem- 
berg, October 13th, I8I3, and arrived in Evansville 
in 1836. He married the following year and estab- 
lished himself as a house carpenter and contractor in 
Lamasco, an adjoining town; many houses were built 
by him there and in the surrounding country. He was 
one of the founders of the "Dreieinigkeits Gemeinde" 
(the first Lutheran church) and built their first frame 
church. He and his wife raised a large family and 
one son, Jacob Bippus, the well known contractor, and 
nine grandsons followed in his footsteps and became 
carpenters in Evansville and Illinois, as he had been. 

Indianapolis has many German business houses and 
financiers. Men like Hermann Lieber, who was not 
only a manufacturer but also an art connoisseur and 
progressive citizen; Clemens Vonnegut, O. N. Fren- 
zel, president of the Merchants' National Bank, and 
his brother, J. P. Frenzel, president of the Indiana 


Trust Co., Theodore Stempfel, Armin Bohn, are well 
known throughout the state. Over the state, in many 
other places, we find manufacturers and financial in- 
stitutions, which are controlled by officers and stock- 
holders of German descent, who have proved them- 
selves capable men. 

The churches of the different religious denomina- 
tions and their schools are substantial and fine struc- 
tures, which do honor to the religious sentiment of 
their people. Indiana can also be proud of her many 
benevolent institutions, to whose support the Ger- 
mans have freely contributed. 

There are hospitals in the larger cities, a home for 
old people in Indianapolis and an orphan asylum. The 
singing societies and turners have fine buildings with 
large, splendid halls and in Indianapolis they are 
rightly proud of the "German House." 



As rich as commercial activities of the Germans in 
Indiana were, we must not forget what was accom- 
plished in the professions by them. In the course of 
our narrative, we called the attention of our readers 
to officers, lawyers and judges, who were known and 
respected by the people; so we had physicians and 
doctors who held an honored place in their communi- 
ties. The pioneer physician was not an expert in ab- 
dominal surgery or modern bacteriology, but never- 
theless he was an adept in the healing art and prac- 
ticed it conscientiously in his neighborhood. Such an 
old pioneer physician was Doctor Konradin Homburg 
in Indianapolis; he was born in Rhein-Pfalz, Ger- 
many, in 1797, and came to the United States in 1826. 
Cincinnati was his first stopping place, but he soon 
came to Indianapolis. A busy practitioner, he was 
also a progressive citizen and at one time a trustee 
of the German-English Independent school; he died 
in Indianapolis March 1, 1881. 

In Evansville, Doctor Francis Muehlhausen was the 
pioneer German physician. He emigrated with his 


wife and son Mathias, from Hesse Darmstadt, Ger- 
many, in the fall of 1838. They landed at Baltimore 
and moved to Taylorsville, Ohio, where Dr. Muehl- 
hausen practiced medicine for about one year, and 
then came to Lamasco, an adjoining German town of 
Evansville, which was incorporated later into the 
greater Evansville, where he opened an office on Ful- 
ton avenue. In this new country and among his coun- 
trymen from abroad he gathered a large practice and 
soon built a commodious house in Lamasco, where he 
died in the year 1862. 

Doctor Ludwig Fritsch, born February 3, 1824, in 
Paderborn, Germany, came to Evansville from Cin- 
cinnati in 1849; he was a well educated physician, a 
very busy practitioner; being also a horticulturist, 
he loved to cultivate flowers on his farm just outside 
the city. Dr. Fritsch has done much to popularize 
natural sciences; he died June 26, 1900. 

Doctor Adolphus F. Wulkop was another pioneer 
physician in Evansville. He was born in 1809 in the 
province of Hanover, Germany, and came to the 
United States in 1838. For some years he practiced 
in Louisville, Ky., where he was also interested in a 
drug store. In 1855 Doctor Wulkop came to Evans- 
ville and for 30 years until the time of his death, ©n 
November 24th, 1884, was a successful practicing 
physician of this city. 

In Ferdinand, Dubois Co., there lived about this 
time Doctor Matthew Kempf, who was known as a 


surgeon and whose services were in great demand in 
the country and in the surrounding territory. No 
doubt there were other physicians throughout the 
state who made friends in the families in which they 

The clergy of the Catholic and Protestant churches 
were generally scholars and school masters, teaching 
the children in the German language. When the con- 
gregation became larger and could afford it, a teacher 
was employed. A number of the pastors and teachers 
wrote books and through them became more widely 
known. Pastor Henry Meissner, of St. Charles 
church, in Peru, Ind., came from Muenster, Germany, 
where he was born in 1842. He watched over his peo- 
ple, who honored him as a father, about 30 years, and 
when he died, he left some literary productions, which 
are worth reading. One, "Knabbeln," is written in 
"Low German," the language of his native country, 
and is, as the title indicates, of a humorous nature. 
His poems, "Orgeltoene," printed in 1887 in Bocholt, 
Germany, contain beautiful specimens, the inspira- 
tions of a talented man. Dr. W. Sihler, pastor and 
teacher in Concordia College, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 
published in 1872 "Epistel Predigten," which were 
much read by members of his church. In the State 
University at Bloomington first class German in- 
structors were employed. Carl Osthaus, who gradu- 
ated from the Gymnasium in Hildesheim, Germany, 
and later from the State University, has for many 


years been an efficient teacher in our University. He 
is the author of several German text-books for 
schools and has contributed articles in German and 
English for magazines and newspapers. 

Dr. Carl H. Eigenmann was born in Flehingen, 
Germany, March 9, 1863. He came to America as a 
boy and received his early schooling in Rockport, 
Spencer Co., Ind. He studied at Indiana University 
and at Harvard and has been Professor of Zoology at 
Indiana since 1891. He has won especial eminence in 
the field of ichthyology and has written several books 
and numerous papers on his favored study. 

We have quite a number of German authors in In- 
diana, who deserve mention in this chapter. 

Otto Stechhan of Indianapolis came to this coun- 
try with his parents from Berlin, his birthplace, at 
the age of three. He attended the German-American 
Independent school in Indianapolis and remembers 
with pleasure his school days and his teachers. He 
was in the furniture business and became independ- 
ent. Elected to the Indiana legislature as a represen- 
tative from Indianapolis, he went there with good in- 
tentions for reform, but was not so successful and 
was glad to return to private life. He has written 
novels and poems in English and German. A volume 
of poems, "Lieben und Leben," (Love and Life) ap- 
peared in 1894. 

Lorenz Rohr, born in 1847, in Vinningen, a village 
two miles from Landau, Rhein-Pfalz, studied in 


Munich and Tuebingen, and was for many years and 
at the time of his death in 1902, editor of the German 
Demokrat, in Evansville. In 1869 he published a small 
volume of poems under the title, "Zwewle, Knowloch 
un Marau," in the dialect as spoken in his native vil- 
lage. These humorous poems inspired by his love 
for his old home, were received with great pleasure 
by his countrymen. 

Joseph Keller, of Indianapolis, has given us a good 
book in a volume "Zwischen Donau und Rhein." He 
gives therein an account of his younger years and de- 
scribes the beautiful country of his native land, the 
Black Forest, Hohenzollern, Hohentwiel and other ro- 
mantic places. The beautiful views and pictures of 
villages and cities in the book make it still more 
agreeable to its readers. 

The singing societies over the state, especially in 
Indianapolis and Evansville, had the best of teachers. 
The Maennerchor in Indianapolis had, as its director 
for many years, Professor Carl Baruch, and the Ev- 
ansville Liederkranz, the oldest singing society in the 
metropolis on the Ohio, had Professor Johannes Wer- 
schinger and other talented directors. 



Like the great banyan tree, whose branches and 
foliage cover more than an acre of land, the German- 
American Alliance spreads its network of societies 
over the whole country. The German-American Al- 
liance of Indiana is a branch of the National Organi- 
zation and is governed by the same principles. They 
are in brief: 

1. The Alliance refrains from all interference in 
party politics. Whenever its principles are attacked 
or endangered by political measures, the society re- 
gards it as its right and duty to defend these in the 
political field. 

2. Questions of religion are strictly excluded. 

3. It recommends the introduction of the study of 
German in the public schools on the following broad 
basis: Along with English, German is a world lan- 
guage. Wherever the pioneers of civilization, trade 
and commerce have penetrated we find both English 
and Germans represented, and wherever the knowl- 
edge of two languages prevails an independent, clear 


and unprejudiced understanding is more readily 
formed and friendly relations promoted. 

4. We live in an age of progress and invention. 
With the rapid pace of our time the demands on the 
individual are inexorable, requiring a healthy mind 
in a healthy body. The Alliance therefore favors sys- 
tematic instruction of physical culture in our public 

5. It favors taking the school out of politics, for 
only a system of education that is free from political 
influence can attain the best results. 

6. It urges all Germans to acquire the right of citi- 
zenship as soon as possible, to take an active part in 
public life and to exercise their right at the polls. 

7. It favors either the liberal interpretation or the 
abolition of laws that put unnecessary difficulties in 
the way of acquiring the right to citizenship and fre- 
quently prevent it. Good character and not the abil- 
ity to answer a set of arbitrary questions on history 
and politics ought to determine the fitness of the ap- 

8. It opposes every restriction of immigration of 
healthy persons of Europe, exclusive of anarchists 
and convicted criminals. 

9. It favors the abolition of laws which check free 
intercourse and restrict the personal freedom of the 

10. It favors the founding of societies which fos- 
ter the German language and literature; teach those 


anxious to learn; and arrange courses of lectures on 
art and science, and topics of general interest. 

II. It favors a systematic investigation of the 
share Germans have had in the development of their 
adopted country, in war and in peace as the basis of a 
history of German-American activity. 

The German-American Alliance of Indiana this year 
held its I2th annual session at Ft. Wayne. The Alli- 
ance now embraces 123 different societies, including 
singing and gymnastic societies, Catholic and 
Protestant benevolent societies, etc. Since its organ- 
ization it has been ably presided over by Joseph Kel- 
ler, of Indianapolis, who with the other officers, have 
spared no effort to make the Alliance a success. The 
various societies and city organizations constituting 
the State Alliance give all kinds of German entertain- 
ments, engage good lecturers, promote the German 
theater, singing, etc. 

The State Alliance now has a membership of over 
10,000 members of both sexes, there being a number 
of women's clubs. Every year the Alliance meets in 
one of the cities of the state, the various organiza- 
tions being represented by delegates. The session of 
the convention generally closes with a German day 
celebration of speech-making, song and frolic. The 
proceedings of the convention and the reports of the 
various societies and the committees of the state or- 
ganization are published in pamphlet form and are 
eagerly read by Germans in this and other states. 




The Early Settlers of Indiana 5 

New Harmony a German Settlement 10 

Other Immigrants 19 

Germans in the Civil War 29 

After the Civil War 40 

German Industry and Public Institutions 48 

Pioneers in the Learned Profession 54 

German-American Alliance of Indiana 59 



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