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Western Settlement Society


Posted By: Jane Delger
Date: 5/2/2009 at 20:22:18

I found this paragraph in a book in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. The book is called 'Neuer praktischer Wegweiser für Auswanderer nach Nord-Amerika' by Capitain B. Schmölder. It was published in 1849, and the call number is Uu6539-1/3.

Captain Schmolder was a “Land-Agent” with the U.S. Federal government, and seems to have had personal knowledge of the places and people he mentioned. I suspect that he either knew or heard first-hand about the people who started the German settlement of Guttenberg. I am not certain that the Herr Müller, the unnamed baker, and the “stock-company in Cincinatti” are the same organization as the Western Settlement Society which is mentioned in histories of Clayton County, but I think that there must be a connection.

Unfortunately, this brief mention does not give many clues for tracking down the Western Settlement Society and its records (if they still exist) but elsewhere in his book, Capt. Schmoelder mentions articles in several German newspapers about an association for “Deutsche Auswanderer” (German emigrants) and the effort to stop the worst con men and hucksters from preying on Germans who were hoping to and buy property and start new lives in the United States.

For several years I have been curious about the role played by formal and informal emigration societies in bringing people to the U.S. My next step will be to look at the newspaper articles and try to discover the names of people and organizations. I will probably never discover why exactly my great-great grandfather decided to come to Guttenberg, but I hope to fill in a bit of the historical background of how everyone came to Guttenberg in the late 1840s.

Please use the file however you choose. Obviously, there is no longer a copyright. I am sending it to you in the hope that you can make it available to anyone who might be interested.

Jane Delger

DuBuque ist wegen seiner Bleiminen und wegen des daselbst stationierten General-Land-Bureaus von Iowa und Wisconsin ein besuchter Ort and Allen anzuempfehlen, die einen strengen Winter lieben. Im Frühjahr 1845 schickte eine deutsche Aktiengesellschaft aus Cincinatti zwei Commissäre (Einem Kaufmann, Hrn. Müller, und einen Bäckermeister, der mir übrigens sein Handwerk besser, als den Ländereienkauf zu verstehen schien) nach St. Louis, um sowohl daselbst Erkundigung einzuziehen, als auch eine Strecke Landes zur Colonnisirung anzukaufen. Obschon ihnen in St. Louis das Missourithal, sowohl des gemäßigteren Klimas, als auch der vortheilhafteren Verbindung mit dem Westen halber, zur Wahl ihrer Niederlassung anempfohlen wurde, so hat Hr. Müller es doch vorgezogen, die Niederlassung in dem nördlichen Theil von Iowa in Township 94, Reihe 3, Westl. und in ihr das Städtchen Gutenberg zu gründen. Die Bewohner von Cincinatti, die seit dem Jahr 1840 dargethan haben, daß die weiße wilde Rebe durch Kultur einen vorzüglichen Wein erzeugt, hätten jedoch bei der Wahl ihrer Niederlassung auch auf ein Klima Rücksicht nehman sollen, was dem Weinbau günstig gewesen wäre.


Dubuque is, because of its lead mines and because of the General Land Bureau for Iowa and Wisconsin, a visited place and recommended to all who love a tough winter. In the spring of 1845 a German stock company from Cincinatti sent two agents (a merchant, Mr. Müller, and a master baker, who, to me, obviously knew his job better than buying real estate) to St. Louis in order to investigate on one hand and to buy a piece of land for colonisation on the other hand. Because of the moderate climate and the advantageous connection to the West, earlier in St. Louis the Missouri-valley was recommended to Mr. Müller; but in spite he preferred the settlement in the northern part of Iowa in Township 94, row 3, west and to found the village of Gutenberg there. Since 1840 the inhabitants of Cincinatti claimed that the white wild grapes produced excellent wine. But when choosing a settlement they should have considered a climate which was more suited for viniculture.


Clayton Documents maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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