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Hibbard, Benjamin Horace, 1870-1955 / The history of agriculture in Dane County, Wisconsin
(1904)

Chapter II: The movement of settlers to Wisconsin,   pp. 86-90 PDF (1.1 MB)


Page 90


90       BULLETIN OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN.
attractive in the main as a convenient and representative part of
the state. But there was a quiet though powerful force at work
in one corner of the county which resulted in a solid settlement
of German Catholics.'4
  It remains to speak of the Norwegians. and this subject is
treated at length by Prof. Rasmus Anderson in his "Norwegian
Immigration." As here shown, the sixth colony of Norwegians
in America, and the third one in Wisconsin was in Dane county,
near Lake Koshkonong. The first Norwegian of this county
settled ;n what is now the town of Albion in the spring of 1840.
The preceding fall a small party of Norwegians from La Salle
county, Illinois, had come to Dane county via Milwaukee, mak-
ing the entire trip on foot; they located land in Christiana but
went to a settlement on the Fox River to pass the winter. Some
more Norwegians making the trip through the lakes to Chicago
walked overland to Beloit in i839, and in the spring came up
Rock River in a boat and took land in Albion. From this time
on there was a steady stream of Norwegians to Dane county.
  Both the Norwegians and the Germans were almost entirely
without resources when      they  reached  Wisconsin.    They   fre-
quently worked out by the day or month for pitifully small wages
in order to get the first fifty dollars to pay for a forty. Very
often the only house they had was a "'dugout.'" made by digging
a cave in the side of a bluff and covering it with brush and hay.
Many of them were twenty or more miles from market, or from
a doctor, and worse yet. had nothing to pay either for provisions
or medicine; but credit and courage carried them through.
  ""Father Adelbert Inama came to Roxbury In 1845 and this determined
the
future nationality and religion of the town. He was a highly educated young
German Catholic priest. After coming to America and living two years In
New York. he pushed westward and at the above date, built a little log cabin
In a secluded dell. back a few miles from the the WIsconsin. There was but
one
Catholic In the town at the time and he not a permanent settler; of Germans
of
any sort there were almost none. Father Inama, an enthusIast, and at the
same time an able writer, set about the task of persuading his Catholic country-
men to emigrate westward. Entering a considerable amount of land for him-
self, he held It for his friends and let them have It for the original gover-
ment price which It had cost him. The response was strong, for moon there
had clustered about him the desired parishioners, both from other states
and
from the Fatherland. For a few years the Americans were In the majority,
but no sooner had the foreigners obtained their naturalization papers than
they out-voted the rest and to-day the town Is as free from people of English
extraction as Germany Itself."-History of Madibon, Dane County and Hatrodud-
Hogs, p. 500.
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