In the 1800s, many Germans settled in Quincy, Illinois. The first settler and founder of Quincy, John Wood had a mother, Katharine Krause who was German. She never learned English and thus spoke only German with her son John.
The Germans came from many different parts of Germany –a country that at that time looked completely different than the present-day political entity it represents.
The first Germans came from the area of Baden. This group was followed by people from Hessen-Darmstadt. Toward the end of the 1830s, the Hannoverians came to Quincy in great numbers. Most of them under the leadership of Father August Brickeweede, who founded the first Catholic parish here and then built the first church. In the first half of the 1840s the Thuringians came. Beginning in 1852 the Westphalians came in greater numbers to Quincy. Most likely because of Pastor August Schmieding. In a decade the Westpahlians came here in such great numbers that the south part of the city was settled almost entirely by them and their descendants.
Germans in general had a reputation of being trustworthy: Johann Ostwald Tromm (12-23-1800, Kirchberg, Hesse) and wife Anna Catharine, nee Winter (10-18-1800, Kirchberg) came to Quincy in 1837. Tom had to go on foot to Quincy to check out the area before settling down. On his way he met an English speaking settler and although he only had one horse, he offered it to Tromm so he could ride to Quincy. Tromm responded that he was a total stranger, to which the owner of the horse replied: “You are a German, I can trust you.”
- Michael Mast was the first German from the homeland to settle in Quincy. He was born in 1797 in Forcheim, Baden, and emigrated to America in 1816 and settled in Quincy in 1829. He was elected in 1834 as one of the first trustees of Quincy, when it was incorporated by the State. In 1835 he opened up a general store, in the place seven miles south of Quincy called Millville.
- The first German family in Quincy was probably that of Anton Delabar. He was born in 1798 in Schelingen in present day Baden-Würtenberg. He came to Quincy in 1833 with his wife and 10-year old daughter, Juliane. His wife was Barbara, born Linneman from Herboldsheim in Baden(-Würtenberg).
- Juliana Delabar, who married Adolph Kältz was the first child of German parents to come to Quincy.
- Louise Delabar (Kältz Schroer) was the first child to be born of German parents in Quincy on March 21, 1835.
- Among the earliest German settlers of Quincy was also Christian Gottlob Dickhut, born on January 1804 in Muhlhausen, Thüringen (Thuringia).
- Heinrich Hermann Knapheide (no silent K and the last e is not silent either) was born in 1824 in Westphalia, Germany. He left for America in 1845 and after a stay in New Orleans, arrives in Quincy in 1848 with his wife Kathrine. A year later he starts the Henry Knapheide Wagon Company. The company has been around for 6 generations.
- With Heinrich Grimm, Anton Delabar established the first sawmill, which was run with waterpower and located at Third and Delaware Street. Anton Delabar also established the first brewery, first on Kentucky Street between Fourth and Fifth and later at Front and Spring Streets. In 1845 he founded the Quincy Hunters, a German Militia Company, which existed until the outbreak of the Civil War, when it was then the basis of Company H of the 16th Illinois Infantry Regiment.
- Joseph Mast, a nephew of Michael Mast (the first German to come to Quincy) was born in 1811 in Forchheim, Baden-Würtenberg. He was married in 1838 to Anna Maria Bross, born 1819 in Eigesweier, Baden-Würtenberg. They were the first German couple to be married in the Catholic Church. Joseph Mast managed a grocery store on Twelth Street. However, Jacob Wigle and Nancy Hunsaker, both of German ancestry, were married February 7th1828 in Adams County.
- Casper Hobrecker was a mechanic born in 1722 in Hamm, Westphalia. He came to New York at the beginning of the 19th century and was a mechanic in New York. He was a friend of Robert Fulton, the builder of the first usable steamship. He and his son Johann, born in Hamm in 1817, made the acquaintance of President Jackson.
- Johann Hobrecker and his dad Casper met with Keokuk, the famous chief of the Sac and Fox Indians and his four wives, when in Dallas. Father and son spend a whole week in a wigwam of the chief, who with twenty of his brave men was traveling to the big Father in Washington. The Indians were in full dress and carried many “scalps” and other war trophies in their belt. Johann took interest in Suskagee, the 18 year old daughter of the chief. He got his courage together and took his proposal of marrying Suskagee to her father the chief. He considered it very seriously. However, Keokuk demanded $800 which Johann could not afford, so his wooing amounted to nothing.
- The German Revolution of 1840 brought a lot of Germans to the US and to Quincy in specific. They often settled on the South side forming the South Side German Historic District.
- James Evangelical Lutheran Church (St. Jacobi) was started by Herford immigrants. In 1885 the pastor was Rev. William Hallerburg. He was born in Bielefield in the Herford district in the state of Nordrhein-Westfallen (Nord-Rhine Westphalia) in Germany.
- Johann Schnell was another early settler of Quincy. He was born in 1787 in Erbweiler, Bavaria. He served Napoleon I for 11 years and was taken prisoner during the Spanish conflict. After his release he had to serve in the English army and was sent to Canada where he served for three years. While in Le Havre, France, Schnell made the acquaintance of American writer Washington Irving. In 1817 Schnell married Barbara Zwick. Schnell came to Quincy in 1835 and began a blacksmith business with Simon Glass at Sixth and Kentucky. His son Johann Schnell Jr. ran a distillery in Quincy and administered the office of Justice of the Peace.
- Carl August Maertz, was a German painter who worked in St. Petersburg and was in the favor of Empress Katharina the Great. His youngest son Carl August came to the US where he married Ottilie Obert in St. Louis in 1834. He came to Quincy in May 1836 where he opened a tinsmith shop. A piece of iron flew into his eye and he lost vision in it. He built 22 houses in Quincy and became an avid painter.
- Johann Phillip Schanz was born in 1800 in Lichtenburg in Dieburg Hessen. He came to Illinois and settled in the Mill creek area. He was widely known for his incredible strength. He was so strong that he could lift a 40 gallon of apple wine. A story about him goes as follows: One night he was walking south of the city and ran into a bear. The bear chased him and Schanz quickly went behind a tree. Schanz grabbed the bear’s claws. He proceeded to break both of the legs of the bear with his bare hands. He used his strength to help his neighbors, often repairing roofs and lifting stuck wagons.
- Johann Phillip Schanz liked to fight. One day, he got into a fight over politics with Irishmen. When they charged him, he grabbed his opponents by the throat and threw them to the side. He grabbed another man by his feet and used his body to drive off the others.
- Matthias Ohnemus was born in Rust, Ettenhheim, Baden. He went to Quincy in 1835 with his wife Teresia Weber (also from Ettenheim). He planted the first vineyard in Quincy during the time of the Gold Rush.
- Georg Joseph Laage was born on 26 Nov. 1819 in Allendorf, Westphalia. In 1840, he bought a house on Hampshire Street. He was the pioneer hat maker in Quincy.
- Gottfried Ehrgott was born 23 January 1819. In 1840 he came to Quincy. He had a bakery near Dr. M. Dorway’s Apothecary. At his bakery, he delivered bread to American soldiers who were stationed in the woods near present day South Park.
- Johannes F. W. Rittler was born on 27 December 1828 in Altenburg, Saxony. He was a physian in Quincy for many years where he married Emilie Rossmaessler. He received many political refugees from Germany in his home.
- John Speckhardt was born on June, 14, 1812 in Brandau, Hessen Germany. John Speckhardt had a daughter while in Germany but shortly after her birth his wife died. John Speckhardt Sr. left Germany in 1839 unable to speak English and as a widower with a two year old daughter (who later died in Quincy at the age of 14). He landed in New Orleans on February 22nd 1840 and traveled until he reached Quincy where he resided. While in Quincy he married Eva Elizabeth Vornoff on August 27th, 1840. He made a living in Quincy as a farmer. They had 10 children, one being John Speckhardt Jr. who was born on July 4th, 1848 and married Hannah Schaeffer born on April 15th, 1870.
- John Michael Loos was born September 24th, 1815 and was born in Krumbach Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany. He left Germany on October 22nd, 1839. He journeyed up the Mississippi and resided in Quincy. He worked for John Kurk’s Brickyard in the summer and for Joel Rice as a pork packer in the winter. He married Marie Margareth Waldhaus on April 4th, 1844 in Quincy.
- Casper Heinrich Echternkamp was born in Minden, Westphalia on September 23rd, 1806. He married Anne Margareth Marie Biermann and they had 6 children. He, his wife, and their 6 children arrived in the United States on the S.S. Adonis and reached the Quincy area on December 19th, 1853. He worked as a day laborer after settling down in Quincy. One of his sons who came over with him was named Frederich Wilhelm Echternkamp. He was born on February 4th, 1835 in Bielefeld Herford. He met his wife Johannah Wilhemina Friedrike Fleer after he arrived in America.
- Harm H. Emminga, born on December 25, 1850, in Wiesens, Ostfriesand belonged to one of the most prominent citizen and businessman of Golden in this country. He engaged in the grain business. He was able to erect a flour mill of the latest model with the capacity of 200 barrels of flour a day. He looked to market this product abroad to the West Indies, England, France, The Netherlands, and many other countries. Since there was no bank in Golden, he went on to open the People’s Exchange Bank on July 1st The bank became such a success that he had to erect another bank building that covers an area of 40X50 feet. Harm H. Emminga, graduated from German City Business College in Quincy and became the cashier of the People’s Exchange Bank in Golden.
- Ferdinand Kampmann, born on June 24th 1811 in Stromberg, Westphalia, learned baking in his home country and came to Quincy. He and his wife opened a bakery/restaurant and later took over the brewery on Seventh and York in Quincy.
- Heinrich Oehlmann was born on March 12, 1817 in Goslar in the Harz area. He was a staff physician in the Royal Lifeguard Regiment in Hannover. He married Johanna Herighausen, who was born on April 17th 1819 in Wolfenbüttel, Braunschweig. They came to Quincy in 1852. Dr. Oehlmann was active as a physician for many years.
- Heinrich Korte, born July 2nd, 1826 near Herford, Westpahlia, served three years in the German military. He arrived in Quincy in 1854 and in 1857 he married Wilhelmine Beckmann, born in Herford as well. During the Civil War Heinrich Korte joined the 43rd Illinois Regiment and served to the end of the war. His son, Heinrich Korte who was born in Quincy on August 26th, 1875 was a United States Marine, serving in the Philippines and China. At one point in his deployment he traveled on the same ship as William H. Taft, then Secretary of War.
- Heavily represented in Adams County is the Hunsaker Hartmann Hunsaker came to the US around 1830 and brought a son, born May 22nd, 1828, Johann Hunsaker. His son , Johann Hunsaker and his wife, Elisabeth nee Georg P. Heller, born May 16th, 1811 in Oberau, Hesse, came to the US in 1838. He was a building constructor and was killed in 1851 by falling from the roof of a house.
- Sebastian Andreas Heidenreich, born near Mühlhausen in Thüringia, am to this country in 1844. Dr. Heidenreich was a genius in his own right. He treated people and animals with his medicines, which he prescribed in homeopathic doses and was widely known in the county and city.
- Johann Heinrich Ludolph Wöhler, born in Hannover on September 7th 1807, came to America in 1849 with his wife Johanna Christine Louise Munzel. Louis, their son, wrote his name Wheeler. This is clearly an example among many of
- Anton Binkert, born 1806 in Amoltern, Baden, came to Quincy March 8, 1837 with his wife and two children. When Binkert and his family arrived in Quincy the total of their money was 95 cents. Anton worked for a daily wage of 75 cents when he arrived in Quincy and worked throughout the summer with odd jobs and in winter in the Park House. He later got a job in a grocery store and then in 1854 opened his own store that he operated until 1868. In Quincy he learned the trade of building coaches and was later involved in a retail store and was several times elected by his fellow citizens as a tax collector. In 1876 he was elected Treasurer of Adams County and was re-elected four more times. He also served as Fifth Ward Representative in city government.
- Daniel Stahl, born in 1816 in Bilserberg, Hesse was one of the first doctors of Quincy. In Quincy he practiced for many years, survived several cholera epidemics and rendered many services. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Dr. Stahl entered the service first in the 10th Illinois Infantry Regiment and later in the 7th Illinois Calvary Regiment. In October 1864, he was named ranking doctor and served as such till the end of the war.
- Gustav G. Feigenspan, born January 5, 1837 in Mühlhausen, learned the house painter’s trade in Quincy. He did the interior work in the large magnificent residence which Governor John Wood had erected, the present Chaddock School for Boys.
- Wilhelm Heinrich Pieper born October 1, 1833 in Berge, Hannover came with his parents to Quincy in 1848. He learned typesetting in Quincy and together with Karl Eduard Winter published the “Quincy Journal” from 1855 to 1857.
- The trip could be a lengthy one: Heinrich Tenford, born on January 13th 1825 at Reesfeld, Westphalia, his homeland on April 12th 1847. He traveled via Rotterdam and Amsterdam, The Netherlands, to Glasgow, Scotland, to Belfast, Ireland and arrived in New York on September 28th. There he left for Chicago, went to Peoria and St. Louis and finally arrive in Quincy on October 18th 1847. His trip lasted seven months and six days.
- The first settlers in Quincy had to get along with limited housing. Often multiple families had to live in one room until they found their own housing. All of the cooking and baking took place in iron kettles over hearth fires. Those who lived in the “German City”, todays Fifth and Sixth Streets at York, Kentucky, and State, took care of the laundry at the stream which ran through a big ravine there. A big kettle was use to heat the wash water and the wash was hung to dry on a hazelnut bush. It was a happy time that women looked forward to where they could come together and talk about the happenings of the week.
- Martin Grimm was born 1782 in Weiler near Weissenburg in Alsace. He and his wife traveled to the United States in 1837 with four children and six other friends. The trip to New York lasted 51 days and the trip from New York to Quincy took 31 days. They rode in a canal boat through the Erie Canal, pulled by a mule team. When they arrived in Quincy they found only block huts and houses built of wooden slabs. There weren’t any streets, only footpaths, and while these travelers went down on of these paths they came upon a man with a bear. They concluded they had to be in bear country. Many of the Indians they met here spoke French that they had learned from Catholic missionaries. Martin Grimm, a builder of mills, moved to Mill Creek and erected a saw and grain mill. The mills depended on water that was not always available and so he moved the mills to the city and built the mills at Fourth and Delaware on the brook there. Martin Grimm Jr., who also built mills, operated a grain mill on Fifth Street between State and Ohio. He also served two years as a councilman on the third ward.
- Michael Brinkman mentions in his book that the most common occupation in Germany of the immigrants who came to Quincy was weaving. Other occupations were wooden shoemaker, basket weaver or bricklayer. In America however it was often necessary to change occupations.
- A farmer who owned land would almost always pass down his land to the eldest son. That often left the other children with few choices.
- The Germans who came to America around the Revolution of 1884 were often well educated. They became the newspaper editors, politicians, and business leaders.
- The people of Westphalia came to Quincy, not only because of economic reasons, but social as well, since many emigrants had already established a social network of family and friends. This was the case for the Anton Kassing, Joseph Heming and the Hotlschlag families because they were among those who already had relatives from (Münsterland) Westphalia living in Quincy.
- Some immigrants came to avoid the military service. Adelaide TImme Schutte, from the Meppen area in northwestern Germany, was a widow with 6 children. In 1872 the authorities came looking for her son Bernard Henry who had been drafted for military service. Adelaide hid her son and since she had three other boys facing the same fate, she decided to migrate to America. Her brother-in-law, Gerhard Schutte had already been living in Quincy since the early 1840s she wouldn’t be without support.
- Owning land in America was a lot easier than in Germany. Bernard William Brinkmann didn’t own land in Germany but in 1847, within four months after arriving in America he purchased a farm in Adams County, just to the north of present-day St. Antohony’s.
- To serve the religious needs of the German immigrants Bishop Juncker from Alton, Illinois and Father Dempsey of St. Lawrence O’Toole Parish (now St. Peters) in Quincy and Father Augustine Brickwedde from St. Liborius in Illinois went back to the Old Country to recruit a group of Franciscans from Warendorf. These recruits started a friary in Teutopolis, Illinois. A year later part of the group helped found the Franciscan friary in Quincy.
- Most of the clergy who came to Quincy from Münsterland were catholic except for Reverend Louis Von Rague and Reverend Julius Kramer who served as pastors of Salem Church in Quincy.
- Young people with a religious calling had to emigrate in order to joind a Cahtolic Order or to study for the priesthood. During 1889 Quincy College received five students from Warendorf: Aloysius Dopheide, August Dopheide, Gustav Carl Koenig, John Kuntze, and Father George Wehmeyer. Other clergy who left Germany were Father Carl Krekenberg, chaplain at St. Vincent’s Home, Father Joseph Still, founding pastor of St. John’s, Father John Theodore Anton Zurbonsen, pastor of St. Mary’s, and Father Paul Teroerde, pastor of St. Francis. The latter was ordained secretly in 1875 in Cologne, Germany. This was an illegal act according to the Prussian State, and he was subject to arrest. All in all, many people in Quincy benefited from the struggle between the church and state in Germany.
- To emigrate to America many Germans requested for consent. This was given through a local government office. Once official consent was given the emigrant and his family members (listed on the consent) were striped from their Prussian citizenship. Some could obtain a passport valid for two years. They could keep their citizenship and return to Germany if their stay in America was not successful. For most men of military age, the only option for emigration was to leave without consent of the government.
- Quite a few Germans from Westphalia immigrated to America illegally. In 1884 the Holtschlag family emigrated from Essen, Westphalia, left without consent since several of their children were of military age. The family bypassed the border checkpoint by walking through the countryside. Hence the term “grün” (green: going green , meaning they crossed the border through the green fields and forests.
- Some migrated to America by using someone else’s travel documents: one of the immigrants to Quincy used and kept his brother’s name and date of birth until he died. Even his gravestone at Calvary Cemetery has his brother’s name and date of birth.
- In theory only healthy people were allowed to board any of the ship going to the US. In 1869 the Dieker family boarded the Union for America. Two year old daughter Gertrude had measles. Despite the mother Anna Dierker’s attempt to cover the child’s face with a blanket the officer discovered the problem but admitted the mother and child onto ship since the rest of the family had already boarded. The child was sent to the ship’s hospital. During the voyage another child came down with the measles but when one year old Anton Boeing arrived his mother Adelheid Boeing had covered him up with a blanket and told the health examiner that he was asleep. Both got through without a problem.
- The journey to America was an unpleasant one. Tight quarters, lack of fresh air, bouts of seasickness, horrible smells, and only one toilet for 50 passengers made the voyage a very tough one. However the tough, the journey was often uneventful with a very low number of deaths. For emigrants arriving in New Orleans their trip to Quincy over the Mississippi was more dangerous and it was more likely that more people died on trips up these trips than during the ocean crossings. Besides, during the warm-weather months there was the constant threat of cholera, yellow fever and other diseases.
- The Mississippi in the 1840s and 50s was a much different river than it is now. Walter Brinkman recalled stories about people being able to walk across the river during times of low water ( before the building of Lock and Dam 21 in the 1930s). So the guaranteed nine-foot navigation channel was not present. This obviously caused problems for the (steam)boats. As did trees which often were lurking just below the surface: an obvious problem for a steamboat’s wooden hull. Sometimes low water would close sections on the river and sometimes ice in the river delayed the trip. This often forced the travelers to walk the rest of the way to Quincy.
- The crowded conditions sometimes caused serious problems among the passengers. Elisabeth Borstadt Naber and her husband Gerhard Naber arrived in New York in 1837 with a group of Hanover immigrants. Father Brickwedde, the founder of St. Boniface Parish was among them. During their journey on the Mississippi a man deliberately pushed Mrs. Naber off the steamboat. Tragically, she drowned in the river.
- John Blomer emigrated from with his family in 1843. During a stay in St. louis he heard that Quincy had a German-speaking Catholic priest. That is why he brought his family in that same year.
- The emigrants often experienced cultural differences and different foods. Lester Holtschlag remembers the story he heard from his relatives. Provision for the rail journey had been purchased by his ancestors before boarding the train. Among them was an unknown variety of apples. The relatives were unfamiliar with this fruit and raised doubts about the quality of certain New-World fruits. Turns out the unknown apple variety was actually a tomato.
- Quincy became an important trade center. The town was growing fast. By 1835 twenty to twenty-five steamboats were stopping at Quincy annually. Two years later it had increased to three-hundred. By 1838 regular packet service had been established between St. Louis and Quincy and Warsaw, Illinoi. IN 1841 the number of steamboat stops had increased to almost twelve hundred.
- In 1860 and 1870, Quincy was the fourth largest city in the entire upper Mississippi In those years, Quincy had the largest population of any city on the Mississippi north of St. Louis.
- Henry Grimm, who came to Quincy with his wife in 1835, was probably the first immigrant from the German area of called Alsace.
- 60. John Bernard Koch was one of the first known emigrants from Westphalia (Allendorf) to come to Quincy. In 1840 he brought his wife and two children to quincy.
- Henry Holtmann, who came to Quincy in 1836 from Herzlake, was one of the first of many emigrants from Hanover.
- The first know immigrants in Quincy from Münsterland were John Gerhard Kurk and his son John Kurk, arriving in 1837. John Gerhard was the first German to settle in the area near Golden.
- In 1837 both the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. John and the German-Catholic parish of St. Boniface were established. Along the entire length of the Mississippi this was the first German-Catholic parish. The first one had been established in New York City only four years before and St. Louis didn’t have a German-Catholic parish until the 1840s. The shear fact that Quincy had a German speaking catholic priest made many German immigrants to move to Quincy and not stay in New Orleans where they could have better paying jobs.
- In the 1880s immigration to Quincy from Münsterland had declined. Only 109 immigrants arrived here. A decade later that number had dropped to 22. The number dropped even more thereafter. The last know immigrant to Quincy from Münsterland was Herman Sand, who was born in Plantlünne, Hanover. He came to Quincy in 1923. The last known surviving immigrant from Münsterland was Anna Kemner, who died in 1962.
- The use of the German language was so widespread it was sometimes necessary for an English speaker to learn Standard German , or even the dialect of Low German, to get a job with some German employers. Even Father Augustine Tolton (1854-1897) the first African-American Catholic priest in America, learned German. He was trilingual since he spoke Italian as well.
- The use of German in the Quincy area continued up to WWII, but during World War I many (grand) parents stopped passing on the German language to their (grand) children, understandable considering the hostile attitude towards anything German. Among the younger generation, the everyday use of German in Quincy was already declining after 1870. For most of Quincy residents who were born after 1914, German was non existing.
- For a long time Quincy had various newspapers printed in German. However, after 1922 Quincy did not have any German-language newspapers anymore.
- Many German Americans where members of local choirs. In 1877, the third annual Sängerfest (singers festival) was hosted by Quincy.
- The south side of the city was populated with Germans whose parents or grandparents stem from the area of Herford, Westphalia. That part of the city was long called the Herford Heath or New-Bielefeld. At first the houses were small, one or two rooms; the people lived sparingly and simply. Poor houses along bumpy streets were soon replaced by beautiful structures, surrounded by friendly gardens and the streets were smooth, mostly paved.
- The German emigrants at first had to endure much misery, sickness and need. Cholera and smallpox raged for several years. Pastor Schmieding was one of the clergy tirelessly active consoling the suffering, fanning new courage and hope, and also helping with money whenever possible. He had a heart for the poorer man and worked blessedly.
- Joseph Stuckenburg, born in 1813 at Essen, Oldenburg came to America in 1829. He and his wife Elisabeth Imbusch, born in Essen in 1815, eventually came to Quincy in 1844. He bought a building site on the south side of Hampshire between Sixth and Seventh street and put up a two-story brick building, where he operated a “general store”.
- The winter of 1845-6 was very severe. In November the water in the Mississippi froze, forming an ice cover that lasted until Easter. During that time no boats could run during that time and boats were the only form of transportation for bringing supplies from St. Louis to Quincy. A great shortage of all kinds of groceries plagued the city. There was no flour so the homemakers used sifted bran to make pancakes. Corn was roasted and used as coffee. People became angry and went to Stuckenburg and demanded he got them groceries. So he harnessed his horses to a sleigh and drove to St. Louis to get groceries. With a heavily laden sleigh he went back to Quincy. While crossing on the ice of the Illinois River the sleigh broke through and fell into the water. The sleigh and its load and one of the horses was lost. Wrapped in a blanket the surviving Stuckenburg rode to Quincy by horseback. Having arrived home he was so stiff from the cold that his wife had to help him down off the horse. He fell full length in front of the open door of his house. Neighbors brought him into the house. His boots had frozen to this feet and had to be cut off. The man had turned into a broken man. This event eventually lead to his death in 1848. Stuckenburg was one of the founders of the St. Boniface Society and was also the first one of the society to die. He was also the first one to be brought to his final resting place in Quincy in a regular hearse.
- Rudolph Hutmacher, born on February 28, 1836 in Dorsten Westphalia. He came to Quincy in 1863 with his parents and his wife Josephine Stuckenburg. He started a soap manufacturing business and later a very successful ice business. Once arriving in New Orleans with his ice-loaded barks and being greeting with jubilation: yellow fever raged in the city and there was a great need for ice. Julius Hutmacher obtained a patent for the manufacture of ice.
- Ernst Meyer, born in Bremen in 1829 left his hometown in 1848 and made extensive trips first in Europe and then in Central and South America, becoming acquainted with six languages. He came to Quincy in 1861 where he married Lisette Michels, a daughter of the old pioneer Michels. He was secretary of the F.W. Menke Stone and Lime Company for 23 years.
- Nikolaus Kohl was born on March 19 1836 at Unterabsteiach, Lindenfels, Hess. He moved to Quincy in 1857. I 1896 he founded the N. Kohl Grocery Company.
- George Rupp from Pfaffenwiesbach, Nassau was born on December 16th in 1841. He became one of the most successful businessmen. In all he preserved the German language, customs, loyalty and honesty, and proved to be benevolent to all German untertakings.
- Many German immigrants in Quincy wore wooden shoes. Wooden shoes are practical for work in the wet fields and gardens, since they stayed dryer than than leather boots and shoes. Expensive leather boots tended to take a long time to dry out and, without the proper care, could become moldy. Rubber boots were either unheard of or were too expensive.In earlier years wooden shoes were manufactured by Henry Arning, Bernard Bockhold, and Henry Gerding. Catherine Maas, a member of St. Anthony’s Parish, always were her wooden shoes to church, but removed them before receiving communion.
- Wilhelm Schipple, born November 2nd 1839 at Berndorf, Waldeck, came to Quincy with his widowed mother Anna Elisabeth nee Hanke in 1843. His mother remarried Heinrich Mangold in 1853. Wilhelm was taken in and raised by Orville H. Browning, the prominent lawyer and later Illinois representative in the federal senate, as well as Secretary of the Interior in President Johnson’s cabinet. His German name of Schipple was changed to Shipley at the same time. He served in the Civil war and was killed in action during the battle of Belmont in November 1861
- Wilhelm Miller was born in Quincy on January 6th 1855. His dad Gottfried Miller, born in 1826 in Thüringia and his mother Elisabeth Schmidt (November 9, 1830) came to Quincy in the second half of the 1840s. As a young child Wilhelm fell on the cellar stairs suffering a spine injury that afflicted him all his life. He laid the foundation for an express delivery service of the Miller Brothers Company which was a thriving Quincy business.
- Dr. Johann Wilhelm Koch (4-7-1828 at Dietelsheim on the Rhein, Hesse) and his wife Katharina Zimmermann (3-21-1828 in Friedberg, Hesse) came to America in 1851. Their son Georg, born in the US, studied medicine for a while but didn’t complete his studies because of the death of his father. Instead he joined the police force. He served twenty years, seventeen of them as a secret policeman, exhibiting great skill in the force and exceptional zeal. Because of him various dangerous burglars were caught and rendered harmless.
- In 1852 Peter Heinrich Boschulte (1801), from Hörst, Halle, Westpahlia and his wife Maria Elisabeth Springmeier (1804, in Hörst) came to the US in 1852. Three of their sons, Wilhelm, Heinrich, August, and Carl, all born in Westphalia, served in the Illinois Infantry Regiment during the Civil War.
- DeLafayette Musselman, born in 1842 in Fulton County, Illinois, claimed he was of German descent but had no paperwork to proof it. Although he was not able to speak the German language, he too exhibited, as did so many others in this country, the good personal characteristics of a man of German blood. Musselman was the founder of Gem City Business College. In 1896 the large, five-story college building was erected on Seventh and Hampshire, a commercial school with 1500 students a year from no fewer than 33 states and territories, one of the most famous teaching institutions of its kind in the entire country.
- Friedrich Schaller (7-20-1834 in Sachsenhausen) was accused of helping 11 slaves escaped in 1859. Schaller lived in LaGrange that time. A number of pro-slavery people appeared at the residence at night, brought Schaller out of the house and dragged him into the woods, where the kangaroo court began. He was accused of having helped the escaped slaves and was brutally whipped until blood flowed and left to lie half dead with the warning to leave the county if he valued his life. With great effort the shamefully mistreated man reached Quincy, where he found shelter and care with relatives until his injuries had healed. He joined the Illinois Infantry Regiment in 1861 during the Civil War. His brother Georg Schaller joined as well. After the war Friedrich Schaller ran a wholesale liquor business until his death.
- Heinrich Schauf (10-13-1809, Schweizhausen, Minden, Westphalia) and his wife Theresia born Rettiker came to Quincy in 1837. Heinrich built many houses and barns. The work was hard. He had to fell the trees himself. These trees had to be cut down with an ax, so the work progressed slowly, but the houses and barns were of great quality.
- Gottfried Kellermann (2-15-1797 in Langula near Mühlhausen, Thüringia) came with his wife Marie (1790, in Langula) to Quincy in 1847. Gottfried died in 1849 of cholera, a disease that over the decades had effected so many emigrants. Marie was now under the name “Grandmother Kellermann” since she made herself particularly useful by being in good standing with the stork and bringing many children into the world.
- Johann Altmix (1825 in Warendorf, Münster, Westphalia) arrived in Quincy in 1854. He married Katherine Kettler (1832, Hannover). Johann was a man of energetic, positive character. For many years he was active in business, served for many years on the Board of Supervisors and was also a teacher at St. Boniface Parish School.
- Wilhelm Gentemann (3-15-1837, Elverdissen, Herford, Westphalia) came to Quincy in 1857. He opened a greenhouse in the city. His sons Hermann and Philip, and his daughter Minna took over the business.
- Louise Meyer (born 5-20-1821 near Osnabruck, Westphalia ) arrived with her husband Friedrich Bürmann in Quincy in 1843. One day Louise was surprised by a bear in the stable of her property. She got a pitchfork and “finished it off”.
- Ferdinand Flachs (7-24-1821 at Alsleben on the Saale) come to Quincy in 1844. He became one of the prominent citizens of Quincy and for a time ran a bank business. He was also engaged in the drug business and eventually acquired a soap making business.
- Georg Ertel (4-10-1830 at Neuburg am Rhein, Bavaria) came to America in 1854. While living in Liberty he started to manufacture hay presses and perfected it. In 1868 he moved to Quincy and focused on the fabrication of hay presses. The business was very successful. Ertel sold hay presses in the entire country and also in Canada, Mexico and other countries. In December 1893 the business was incorporated under the name George Ertel Company.
- In Germany in the 1700s and 1800s, children born to catholic parents were often baptized on the day of their birth or one or two days later. This custom continued in Quincy.
- Woman gave birth at home with the assistance of a midwife. A neighbor made the joyful event known. Maria Christina Hoebing and Maria Catherine Bordewick were well-known midwives in the Melrose Township. Sometimes, when a baby was stillborn or when it became apparent that the newborn would not live long enough for a priest to baptize it, the baby was baptized by the midwife or someone else in the home.
- In the 19th century a woman in Münsterland was considered a ward of her father or if married, a ward of her husband. Arranged marriages were not uncommon. Often the fathers arranged the marriage for his daughter(s). The dowry of the bride played an important role. The agreement was completed by shaking hands on it. Marriages for love did not predominate. The custom of arranged marriages continued in Quincy among the German immigrants.
- In the early 1900s, a typical German-Catholic wedding in Quincy consisted of a morning marriage ceremony in the parish church. Shortly afterwards was a breakfast provided for close members of the families. In the late afternoon friends and other relatives gathered at the bride’s home for supper. Following this meal, music was played, and there was dancing on a wooden platform in the yard.
- 97% of the American marriages of men who immigrated to Quincy from Münsterland were to women who were of German descent.
- Early German immigrants surprised many of Quincy’s merchants with their increased spending just prior to December 25th. For most Anglo-Americans the custom of buying gifts for Christmas was unknown in the mid-nineteenth century. The emigrants did however not make a big fuss about birthday’s. After all Catholics didn’t usually celebrate birthdays. Instead they celebrated their name day. The name day was the Feast Day of the saint that an individual was named after. December 6th for example was a feast day for those named after St. Nicolas and November 11th for those named after St. Martin. These customs continued in Quincy.
- Another custom brought over by the Germans was the New Year’s celebration were residents celebrated the new year by shooting shotguns in the air, along with some fireworks. That practice continued in Quincy until sometime in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
NAMES MOST COMMONLY NAMES SEEN AMONG THE IMMAGRANTS TO QUINCY FROM HERFORd:
-Brünger (day laborers)
-Fleer (craftsman and day laborers)
LEGEND: SURNAME,Given Name – Birth date – Place of birth – Year of arrival in Adams
MENKE, Frederick Wm. – 1832 – Westphalia, Prussia – 1852
MENKE, Friedericke L. Wulfmeyer – 1837 – Herford, Westphalia – ?
MENKE, Hannah F. Recksiek – 1807 – Herford, Westphalia – 1852
MENKE, Herman Henry – 1803 – Herford, Westphalia – 1852
MENKE, Maria Anna – ? – Herford, Westphalia – 1852
MESTER, Louise Schultz – 1814 – Herford, Westphalia – 1846
MEYER, Peter H. – 1840 – Herford, Westphalia – 1856
MICHELS, Arnold – 1838 – Westland, Westphalia – 1842
OENNING, Henry A. – 1834 – Nord Vehlen, Westphalia – 1856
PANZER, H. AGE: 20 RESIDENCE: Herford
PETER, Johanna AGE:25 RESIDENCE: Herford