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Early history of Ozaukee County, Wisconsin

Trinity church-freistandt - town of Mequon,   pp. 81-82

Page 81

TRINITY c m1c',1-pVSTAD - To wA -P  -F /"4 e- P U0 -
At Thanksgiving time we honor the English colonists who established
the Plymouth settlement in Massachusetts, often forgetting that this sort of
thing took place time and time again in the history of our country by people
from different countries. The Freistadt community in Mequon is an
of this. The people came from Pomerania or "Pcwmern" and ast Prussia in
Germany. They spoke German or Platdeutsch (low German). Their reason for
coming was the same. They wanted freedom to worship as they pleased.
It all started because Friedrich Wilhelm III took a notion to consolidate
all the Lutheran and Reform churches in Germany into one State church.
Staunch Lutherans refused to unite and were prohibited from holding their
own services, A pastor found conducting services other than in the state
church lost his privilege to preach. The parishioners were often imprisoned.
Thus it was that a group of Lutherans left Germany in five ships which
sailed from Hamburg during June and July of 1839. They first settled in
Buffalo, New York. One group cane to Milwaukee. Three of the group went
out from Milwaukee to find a permanent place for the colony and picked the
land, around present-day Freistadt. Over half of the 40 families traveled
over the rough wooded terrain,,(there were no roads) and c    out in the
forest in tents and brush houses until they could erect log cabins for more
comfortable living. This was in October, 1839. The weather was kind to th
that fall and real winter diin't set in until Decber, so they were able to
get enough houses built to shelter then until spring.

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