contents ©2016 by Harold Pfohl

Note: as the blog progresses and the contents are filled in, headings will appear in dark blue as links to the relevant sections



WISCONSIN, 1850s – 1930s 




Prologue – Emigrants – 1 – Conditions in Germany

Prologue – Emigrants – 2 – The Families

Prologue- Emigrants – 3 – The Land – Pommerania

Prologue – Emigrants – 3 – Contd – The Land-Mecklenburg & Schwerin

I.  Pioneers – Mid Nineteenth Century

See Menu (top right) for photos, maps & Heimat (homeland)

Journey to the New Land – Crossing the Atlantic Ocean

Journey to the New Land – By rail in the USA

The New Land


Part 1.  The Cost of Ambition: Sacrifice, Exhausting Labor, Harsh Existence

Part 2 – The Restless Ambition of the Niemann Family

Part 3 – Lüders Families – Success, Tragedy, Grief, Perseverance

Part 4 – Fromm Family – Water, War, Religion, & Running to Iowa

Part 5 – Brüss Siblings, Legacy of Serfdom, Religious Dogmatism

 II.  Settled & Prospering – 1890s & Early 1900s

Part 1 – Half a Century of Change – Nothing in History is Remotely Comparable – Train Wrecks, Reaper, Telegraph – From Sears: Farm Equip., Bust Enhancer, Flush Toilet, Baseball Pants, Arsenic Complexion Wafers and Much More

Part 2 – Cedarburg – a German American Farm Town at the Turn of the Century

Part 3 – Cedarburg Township – Two German-American Families, the Grandchildren of the Pioneers

Part 4 – Daily Life – Working on the Farm – Pride in a Horse, Seeding, a Barn Fire, Sawmill, Elevating a Barn, Threshing & More

Part 4 – Continued – Daily Life – Aside From Farm Work

Part 5 – Celebrating the 4th of July, Humorless Germans (!!??), Party Time (Township Cop Included), Grandma Visits Missouri, Music Circle

Part 6 – Three Nieman Weddings, Catastrophe, Two Funerals, Religious Dispute, Northern Exile, and a Prussian Lutheran Minister

Part 7 – North Woods – Seeking One’s Fortune – Religious Exile

III.  Early Twentieth Century

Early 20th Century – overview

Part 1 – The Little Ones – Pride, Baby Food, Grief

Part 2 – The Automobile Enters the Scene

Part 3 – John’s Wretched Model T – or – How a New York Farm Boy Became Part of a Wisconsin German-American Clan

Part 4 – Four Wisconsin Germans Tour California & Visit Their Uncle and Aunt

Part 5 – Early 20th Century – Making a Living – Herding, Milking, Butchering, Shearing, Picking…Work, Work, and More Work

Part 5 Contd – Making a Living – Plowing, Planting and Harvesting

Part 5 Contd – “Unserer scheune ist abgebrannt!” – Ambition, Expansion, Fire, Construction, and Cleaning Out a Pig Sty for Adaptive Reuse

Part 6 – The Girls – Milk, Scrub, Feed, Hoe, Pitch, & Shovel a Ton of Manure

Part 7 – Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic…& No Plumbing, No Bus, No Janitor 

Part 8 – Religion and Rites of Passage – Birth, Death, and a Wedding Skunk

Part 9 – The Great Depression, Scraping By, A Teacher’s Experience, Adventurous Travel

Part 10 – Country Love – A Long, Tough Courtship, a Brief Wonderful Life Together, a Child Is Born in a Terrible Labor and the Mother Dies.

Part 11 – Epilogue – We Remember Them

Latter Day Images of the Farm