Die Deutsche Siedlung: The German Element in Southern Humbolt Township: Architecture of Compromise

 

Peter Noll

           

Peter Noll, a graduate student in the historical administration program at Eastern Illinois University and an inductee into the Omega Xi Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta in 2000 wrote this paper for Dr. Nora Pat Small’s American Architecture class in the fall of 2001.  This paper was also the co-recipient of the Lavern Hamand Graduate Writing Award.

 

“Let a man build and you have him.  You may not have all he is, but certainly he is what you have.”                    -Frank Lloyd Wright

 

            Studying architecture and the built environment helps us construct the individuals that made and used them and their society.  The building furthers our understanding, but without written records, the architecture lacks context and thus meaning.  This study of Humbolt Township examines both the builders and the buildings in conjunction, and uses both the written and physical records. 

            Beginning in 1863, individuals originating from northwestern Germany began to arrive in Humbolt Township, Coles County, Illinois.  After initial settlement, prolonged immigration into the southern part of the township persisted well into the twentieth century.  The German immigrants created a dynamic and sturdy rural ethnic community centering around Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church.  They expressed those values both in the homes they created for themselves and the church they created for each other in the last three decades of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth.  By maintaining traditional German architectural practices while adopting other ethnic traditions, the Humbolt community created a German-American culture.  Indeed, their house forms provide a series of snapshots of the acculturation process isolated within time; and prove in spatial terms the existence of a German-American culture in Humboldt Township. 

 

--History/Demographics—

 

            Who were the Humbolt settlers?  At the age of 19, in the year 1852, Wilhelm (William) Mohlenhoff left Oldenburg, Germany, to arrive at the port of New Orleans.  From there, he made his way to Tennessee where he was eventually joined by his younger brother Henry (Heindrich), and his younger sister Mary.  In Tennessee the Mohlenhoffs owned and operated a truck farm and nursery.  During the Civil War, soldiers confiscated two of William’s four horses (the other two were not shod) and wiped out his truck farm.  In 1863 William, Mary, and Henry journeyed North to a German community in Illinois that they had heard of called Dutchtown (now Teutopolis).  It was here that William met John Henry Phipps, who lived near Lerna.  Mr. Phipps told William of land being sold by the railroad in Humbolt Township.  William then moved on to Humbolt Township where he purchased a quarter section for $11.00 an acre in 1863.  What was to become “Little Germany” was underway.[1]

            The subsequent immigration of Germans that followed the Mohlenhoffs, lasting into the mid-twentieth century, is a standard example of chain migration.  Almost all of the individuals finding their way to Humbolt Township were either relatives or acquaintances of individuals already established in the township as illustrated by Elise Knebel who arrived in 1869. “The brothers wrote that they longed to see the parents again and that they had a piece of land for us across from brother William’s.[2] Although individuals came from several different areas, the main concentration of people came from Franklin County, Missouri; Cincinnati, Ohio; Indiana; or Oldenburg a small duchy in northwest Germany. For example in 1873 four Nolte brothers came with their father from Cincinnati and in 1872, several Homanns came from Franklin County, Missouri. The early arrivals tended to come as family units, while later arrivals were more likely to be single young men.  These bachelors would work for an established farmer within the German Settlement until able to start out for themselves; sometimes a marriage to a daughter of one of these farmers would establish these men as landowners.  Henry Macke arrived at the age of sixteen in 1893 directly from Oldenburg, Germany, hiring out for Louis Blume and later William Mohlenhoff before building up a successful farm of his own. 

Among the individuals there existed considerable diversity in the amount of time spent in America before arrival in Humbolt Township, some being born in the United States of immigrant parents, some born in Germany but spending several years in the U.S. before appearing in the German Settlement, and others coming directly to Humbolt Township from Germany.  Between 1863 and 1900 I have been able to find 30 men with enough documentation to establish their origin.[3]

Born in the United States

6

20%

Direct from Germany

4

13.3%

Born in Germany, but having spent time in U.S. prior to arrival in Humbolt Township.

20

66.6%

 Table 1

Note that while 66% of the men had already spent time in the United States, the range of time runs from decades to only a few years.[4]  Such information must be considered when examining the issues of the maintenance of cultural tradition.    

 

--Geography--

            Its sometimes seems as though every hamlet on the vast Midwest prairie lays claim to having the best farmland in the state in which it resides.  Certainly such claims exist with regards to the land of southern Humbolt Township.  The German Settlement does exist upon very fertile soil, however, it was not always so.  The area was slow to be settled because it is predominately low land and many areas could have been more appropriately designated as wetland.  Indeed, the relative undesirability of land that could not support crops without improvement helped the rapid establishment of land ownership solely by members of the German Settlement.  The land also lacked timber for building and fuel.  To remedy this, William Mohlenhoff bought forty acres of wooded land southwest of Cooks Mill.[5]  With the exception of land bought by Mohlenhoff and Schroeder, who bought some of their property from the Illinois Central Railroad, all the rest of the acreage acquired was procured through purchase from individual landowners.  Because the land needed improvement in the form of trenches or tiling to facilitate drainage to increase the productive capability of the land the original owners were probably more willing to sell.  Although there were whole sections of land owned by members of the German Settlement, there have always been pockets of non-Germans existing within the community.[6]  As a result, the Germans in Humbolt Township were not isolated from extra ethnic influences.

            As one looks at the growth of the German Settlement, it becomes readily apparent that Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church was both the physical and spiritual center of the rural community.  Driving through the countryside today within the traditional bounds of the German Settlement one need only look in the right direction to see the spire of the church breaking the horizon and piercing the sky.  As the Settlement grew and expanded it did so with the church as a focal point.  Very few of the farms were more than three miles distant from the church.  By constructing an x and y axis with the church as a focal point and the land divided into quadrants it is possible to lay out the directions in which the settlement grew based on the plat book maps between 1869 and 1913. 

                Table 2 illustrates that the German Settlement grew towards the northeast, the southeast, and the southwest.  In any one of these quadrants there exists more than twice the amount of land owned as there was in quadrant 1 (the northwest quadrant, see page 14).  The explanation for this might lay in the fact that the land west of the Settlement was possibly more desirable, and thus the original landowners less likely to sell, as this was the direction towards the small town of Dorans, only two miles away and through which the railroad tracks led to Mattoon.  The railroad track, which runs at approximately a 70-degree angle off of the x-axis two miles west of the church, can also be seen to be a physical boundary, although there was a slight amount of land ownership on “the other side of the tracks.”            

 

                Land Ownership In Acres

 

1869

1893

Percent Increase

1913

Percent Increase

Since 1893

Percent Increase

Since 1869

Quadrant 1

520

881.18

69.46%

929.2

5.45%

78.65%

Quadrant 2

160

1600

900%

2605.3

62.83%

1528.13%

Quadrant 3

0

1172.7

 

2586.72

120.58%

 

Quadrant 4

0

814

 

1964.81

141.38%

 

Total

680

4467.88

557.04%

8086.03

80.98%

1,089.12%

Table 2

            Proximity to the church and to the other members of the Settlement were also strong factors in the layout of the community.  These individuals applied concerted effort at maintaining this proximity.  Although the distribution represented the standard disbursal mode for agrarian areas, the land was massed together as closely as possible.  In her account of the early days of the Settlement Elise Knebel illustrates this point:     “The sisters were all so close together that we could visit all of them in one day.  Father lived only a year and nine months [after arriving in Humboldt Township] but he was so active that he walked to visit his children.”[7] 

It has already been established that the church, the primary social institution, was the physical center of the community.  The current location on which the church stands was not the site of the original church.  The original building was built on donated land about a mile north of the current location in 1882.  As the settlement grew and shifted southwards the location of the church was disproportionately inconvenient for congregants living further and further south of the church.  The result was that the property on which the current church structure now stands was purchased and the old building was moved a mile south in 1892, only ten years after its construction.[8] 

Fig. 2  1893 plat:  German settlement highlighted

 

 

Fig. 1   Original Church Building, Built 1882

 
Even before the advent of the automobile, one mile was not a great distance.  A half hour is a conservative estimate on the time it would take to walk such a distance, not an insurmountable task.  The 1893 plat map shows that the furthest distance that need be traveled by the vast majority of congregants was three miles.  This was the same distance that many congregants were traveling as the community expanded into the 20th century.  It would certainly have been both easier and less expensive for the congregation to have left the building where it stood, however the move may have signified something more than just convenience.  By moving the church, the community re-centered its social and spiritual core.  In doing this the community made a psychological statement in spatial terms.  Individuals, while trying to maintain spatial unity, were bound by constraints to buy up land where it was for sale.  The church, however, was communal and thus represented the community value code; by relocating the building to the physical center, they reasserted its central spiritual and social role.  At the same time, the community maintained egalitarianism among its members by ensuring that no member was a great distance further from the center than the rest.       

 

--Tradition--

            The persistence of German culture provides a key indicator as to how, if, and when German individuals became “Americanized.”  Absorbed into the greater heterogeneous American cultural synthesis, many German practices became invisible, while others remained distinctly ethnic.  Much of the writing on German immigrants in the nineteenth century focuses on the urban experiences, their social networks, and the efforts at maintaining German culture in the United States.  The rural experience, as embodied by the residents of the German Settlement in Humboldt Township, must be assessed differently than the urban Germans.  Rural Germans are less densely settled and thus social organizations are more rare due to the distance between families.  The church represented the largest, and only identifiable, institutional network through which the individuals of this community interacted.  While not institutional, the kinship association among the several families certainly must have resulted in a social network outside of the church. 

            Perhaps the use of the German language presents the most visible aspect of ethnicity. Services, records, and meetings of the church being held in German, and insistence by the members on a preacher who could speak the language best illustrate this.  The German Settlement was never large enough to be isolated; the members of this community interacted and lived amongst non-Germans.  With the majority of the members being either born in this country or living in this country for some time before their arrival in Humbolt Township, it can be expected that some of these individuals would eventually learn to speak English.  Initially, after the church was formally founded in 1880, German was the only language in which services were held.  Thirty-four years later, in 1914, it was decided that one service per month be held in English for those who could not speak German.  In 1919, this ratio shifted to half and half between German and English services alternating Sundays.  By 1922 all church business of was conducted in English. 

Even though by 1914 there were still original settlers who were active in the church, there were some members of the German community who did not have a firm enough grasp of the German language to understand services in the native tongue.  By 1922, it can be assumed that while some might still speak German, the majority of the community was able to communicate well enough in English.  Freda Christen (born in 1915 the youngest daughter of Henry Macke, who came directly from Germany in 1893) remembered that her parents only spoke a few phrases of German in the household, mostly when they did not want her to know what they were saying.[9]  It would seem that if the community deemed the maintenance of this tradition important, it would have been taught to the children.  The early twentieth century is also the time period when the children of the original settlers, who grew up in the German Settlement, were entering their 30s and 40s, a time in life when they were probably becoming influential in their church and community.  It would seem then that the persistence of the language and ethnic identity was not as important among the second generation.  Any such assumption though must be weighed against external forces such as increased anti-German sentiment in the nation during and after World War I.

Fig. 3  Jungfrauenkranz 1929

 
Another tradition that can be documented that is distinctly German was that of jungfrauenkranz, which loosely translates to “virgin’s wreath.”  In this practice, a wreath and greenery are hung outside the house in celebration of a young bride’s marriage.  This practice can be documented in the Elise Knebel account.  “In the year 1875 my husband’s cousin, Johanna Knapke, came to us.  She and Henry Nolte were married at Hoferkamp’s.  In the afternoon the entire congregation gathered at our house for the celebration.  The evening before an arch had been erected at the gate with a wreath containing “Hearty good Wishes” in verse as was the custom at that time in Germany.[10] This practice (figure 3) lasted at least until 1929.  Freda Christen, whose sister is the bride in this picture, recalls that this might have been the last wedding in which this tradition was used.[11] 

            The evidence so far presented suggests the persistence of ethnic tradition into the first third of the twentieth century; a trend also exhibited in the lists of names comprising the confirmation classes of Saint Paul’s.  By the 1930s children’s names are more often Americanized, Heindrichs become Henrys and Wilhlems become Williams.[12]  However, the written record does not leave us much else by which to judge the persistence of tradition within the German Settlement.  Assuming ethnic persistence is the same in the architectural tradition as it is in others we might expect to see the same patterns in the buildings of the German Settlement.  This would then support the argument that ethnic persistence faded during the first third of the twentieth century and by the 1930s, the German Settlement, while still retaining a sense of community, had lost much of what marked it as unique to the “English” world.       

 

--Houses--

            The German influence on German Settlement houses is not overt; there are no half-timbered or stone fences.  The house forms are distinctly American vernacular.  But several of the structures exhibit alterations of the standard forms, or hybrids.  The methods of construction, specifically balloon framing techniques, may not have been completely foreign to these settlers as many were coming from north Germany.  Charles van Ravenswaay notes in his book on Missouri Germans that, “In the North of Germany, where wood was scarce and expensive, the buildings were plainer and the rails were light.”[13] A common theme running throughout the Settlement bounds is a general lack of ornamentation.  The houses can be categorized into five basic subtypes: I houses, upright and wings, massed plans with hipped roofs (square plans), massed plans with gable roofs, and cross gable constructions of either one or two stories.  Of the 25 extant structures that could have been built by the first or second generation there are five I houses, nine cross gable, two upright and wings, two massed plans with hipped roofs, three massed plans with gable roofs, and three other types that do not fit neatly into the aforementioned categories.  The majority of the extant houses are not the initial house built upon a given plot of land, but a second more substantial house built to shelter growing families and illustrate the economic success of this agrarian settlement.   

            The first houses occupied by the members of the German Settlement were of course either purchased or built.  If the early houses were purchased from non-Germans it is unlikely we would see any ethnic characteristics unless the structure was modified.  Tempering the early housing efforts was the factor that capital was more likely to be spent acquiring fertile farmland than on the construction of an elaborate house.  Freda Christen remembers that her father always used to say that money you spend on a house does not make you any money.[14]  She went on to say that the drive was always to acquire more land; this fact is born out by the plat maps.  When new settlers would come to the area, they would live with another family or rent a place until they build their own house.

Elise Knebel wrote of her and her husband’s first house that it was built with the help of a carpenter in 1870 across from her brother William.  The house measured 16 x 26 feet, and when they moved in the walls were not yet plastered.[15]    The house is no longer standing, but judging by the few other accounts of the early houses, this basic structure seems to be fairly common, with the family adding on or building a new house as the family increased in size.  The house William Mohlenhoff built across the road appears to be a similar structure.  The building (Fig. 4) appears to be a modest framed one story symmetrical five-ranked structure with a gabled entry porch accented with decorated verge boards.

Fig. 4 The Mohlenhoff farmhouse and the structure that replaced it

 
In terms of the chronology, the house types of the German Settlement generally mirrored that of other American folk housing.  The I house form, centuries old and of British origin, was in the twilight of its popularity, but was still commonly constructed at the time of settlement.  The most recent example of an I house was built on section 11 sometime after 1893 and before 1913; the others predate this, possibly being built by non-German individuals before being purchased by Germans.  The two upright and wing or gable ell houses represent a transition point to cross-gabled houses, a form which becomes predominant in the twentieth century.  The first example of a cross-gable house appears in 1890 in the form of a single story building, the remainder (all but one of which are two stories) occur on land that was purchased between 1893 and 1913.  The massed plans are positively identifiable as early as 1898 (possibly earlier) in the form of hipped roofed, almost square, buildings, and continue into the twentieth century in forms approaching the bungalow.

Finding spatial patterns is not easy with such a small sample of buildings on which to draw.  However, some patterns do seem to exist (see figure five).  The first and most obvious is that the only three brick structures, all of them massed plans, exist in section 22, the oldest part of the Settlement (quadrant 2). Four out of five I houses exist in quadrant three.  Although there are a few cross-gabled houses close to the focal point, most of them, along with the three houses that do not fit neatly into any of the classifications, form a periphery.  Furthermore, all but two of the cross-gable structures and all of the “other” houses are south of the x-axis, while all but one of the massed structures lay north of it.  In quadrant 1, which has historically had the lowest amount of land owned by the members of the Settlement, there exists only one extant structure, that being adjacent to the x axis that borders quadrant four.   

Common to all I houses, cross-gable, and upright and wing structures was the inclusion of a rear wing, often but not always of a lower elevation than the rest of the house.  In the massed houses this rear wing was only seen in three out of seven structures.  Subdividing the massed house classification, the boxy, hipped roofed structures both exhibited the rear wing and predate the other massed structures.  Of the three brick houses listed as massed structures none exhibited the rear wing, while the remaining two wood structures were split.[16] 

 

--Evidence of Ethnicity--

            For evidence of ethnicity in the buildings of the German Settlement the exteriors of the structures are again called to give witness, telling us stories of their interior organization of space.  The ethnic element of these houses, as mentioned earlier, is not overt.  It has been shown that structurally these buildings are neither distinctive in form nor material nor method of construction.  A number of reasons to explain this are possible.  It could result from a desire to blend in physically with their non-German neighbors, it could be a result of mass-produced building materials readily available via railroad only a few miles away, or, it could stem from a desire to express the economic success these individuals experienced.  Perhaps they did not really give the form of their buildings much thought, preferring rather to invest in profitable land, or by the time the extant structures had been built they had already spent enough time in the United States to begin to lose some of their ethnic identity and perhaps architecture does not the enjoy the same degree of traditional persistence as other customs.  Many of the houses originally built by the early settlers no longer exist and other structures inhabited were not constructed, but purchased from non-Germans.  Yet, within the extant houses there does exist both evidence of ethnic identity and acculturation.

            This cultural persistence has been recorded in five standing structures and one that is no longer extant.  In most cases, it manifests itself outwardly in non-symmetrical structure types that, in the Anglo-American tradition, tend to be symmetrical.  It can also be seen in the addition of elements to create a symmetry that otherwise would not exist if the form of the exterior followed the function of the interior. 

The lack of symmetry is exhibited in two structures, both of them I houses. By definition, an I house is one room deep, two rooms wide, greater than one story tall, and split by a central hallway straight down the middle.  This general floor plan created two rooms of equal or nearly equal size.  While this form was very popular in England and across the United States, it was not as common on the European continent.  A more typical first floor plan in Germany would consist of an all-purpose dining room/kitchen (Wohnkuche) running the depth of the house along side one or two other rooms. Entry would usually be                                                                                            obtained through a door leading directly into the multi-purpose kitchen.[17]  This is, of course, impossible to do given the textbook definition and constraints of the I house.  The simple solution to the problem for the immigrant family who is used to a certain organization of space, but who also want a fashionable (or culturally nondescript) house, is to slightly offset the front door.  This then allows entrance directly into the kitchen or another room while eliminating the central hall.   

The other type of accommodation using Anglo house forms is the creation of a symmetrical façade masking an asymmetrical interior.  This trait has been documented in many areas that exhibit concentrations of ethnic Germans.[18]  There are three extant houses in the German Settlement that do so.  They accomplish the task by having two front doors instead of one.  If the floor plan holds true (which would be the only reason for having two front doors) then the resultant creation is a house that has one front door leading directly into one room, while the second door leads into another; again there is no central hall.  Most often, only one of the front doors is used. 

Fig. 7 Double door houses
 

 

Out of the five extant houses that show outward evidence of cultural influence, three of them have chimney stacks still standing.  It is important to note that all of these stacks are centrally located.  It is much more common for houses with central hallways to have end chimneys.  Also, these five houses represent an example of two I houses, a boxy, massed structure, and a massed structure.  The only house type not represented are the cross gabled house which does not easily facilitate such adaptation.  The Macke house torn down in 1953 helps to illustrate how an individual can compromise with a non-ethnic design to fit within cultural traditions. Henry Macke worked for L. Blume and W. Mohlenhoff until he acquired enough capital to purchase his own farm.  Sometime between 1905 and 1910, he added on to the house that he had purchased.  The original structure was basically an I type.  Before the addition was put on the existing structure was picked up and rotated ninety degrees clockwise.  Then a six-room addition of what was to become the front of the house was added.[19]

Text Box: Fig. 8 Henry Macke house, torn down 1953Why did Henry Macke put two doors on the front of his house?  The simple answer was that he did not want a central hall, but instead wanted direct access to the living spaces of his home just as he probably had experienced in Germany less than twenty years earlier.  The Mackes wanted the exterior of his home to be fashionable, but they wanted the inside to provide a sense of comfort and familiarity.  What is ironic is that according to Henry Macke’s daughter, most everybody always used the back door anyway.[20] 

 

--Church--

            It is impossible to ignore or escape the influence of Saint Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church on the physical landscape or as a social organization.  The Elise Knebel account from 1924 on her remembrances of the early days of the Settlement (beginning in 1869) makes references throughout to the church, illustrating the importance of the church to a community that, in a very real sense, was the church.  The congregation was formally organized in 1880, although religious services had regularly been held in the houses of the various congregants well before that.  The construction of the original church building and its subsequent change of location have already been discussed.  In 1905, the brick structure that currently stands was built. 

Text Box: Fig. 9 St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1905            Contemporary newspaper accounts are rife with praise for the new building that was constructed. The Journal Gazette – November 20, 1905 stated,  “St. Paul’s Church was erected by one of the wealthiest rural communities in Illinois, and in points of general architecture, taste, elegance, and size it probably has no peer in the country nor in any cities of less than 50,000 inhabitants.”[21]  Perhaps the newspaper description was prone to sensationalism; however, it was at least partially true.  The total cost of the church was $15,000 dollars, a great deal of money in 1905, that was raised by members of the German Settlement to construct for themselves both a house of worship and in a less tangible but no less real sense, an identity.  The church, with Romanesque elements, illustrates fairly standard religious architecture.  It is important to note that while the houses of the German Settlement are relatively unadorned and plain the church is quite the opposite.  The Settlement people were more likely to use their money in the purchase and improvement of land than in the adornment or aggrandizement of their houses.  However, when it came to the house of God and a house for the community the members were generous and felt the need to elevate the form of their architecture to the function of the building.  This massive brick structure is the best evidence of the strength and vitality of the German Settlement.

 

--Conclusions--

            Do the domestic structures of the German Settlement demonstrate the existence of an ethnic population in the process of acculturation?  Does the persistence of ethnic architectural habits mirror in time the fading of other cultural traditions?  Based on existing evidence one might suggest that this is true.  Although the surviving German-built or occupied structures that support this line of thinking fit well into the chronology, they are the minority of structures extant in the community.  Another factor  to be considered is what seems to be the complete cessation of building, or at least a drastic reduction, during the Great Depression, the beginning of which roughly correlates with the diminishment of other cultural traditions.  This gap further hampers the efforts at a neat and tidy supposition.   No single motivation can explain the building patterns and practices of the German Settlement, how these individuals organized the spaces in which they lived.  There exists a plurality of causes, yet it seems clear that ethnic tradition did contribute to the decision making process and help maintain a sense of community in the rural landscape.   

 

               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes

           



[1]    Elise Knebel. Recollections of the time since she came to America in the year 1869. February 17, 1924. 

Located in Charleston Public Library, genealogy room, Charleston IL: February 17, 1924.

 

     Henry Macke.  Account of the early days of the German Settlement given to Coles County Historical Society.  1963                Coles County Historical Society institutional records.

 

[2]    Knebel, 4.

 

[3]     While the number of men coming directly from Germany may be higher due to single individuals arriving to work as farm hands, the number of women coming who had spent time in the United States or were born in the U.S. is slightly under represented as there are accounts of men from the German Settlement traveling to Missouri and Cincinnati to bring back brides.  Although of lesser proportions, there exists documentation showing single women coming directly from Germany and single men coming from other locations in the U.S.

 

[4]    For more detailed information, see appendix 1.  Most of the data in Appendix 1and thus Table 1 was found in the History of Coles County, 1876-1976 family histories section of the book.  Documentation was also gleaned from the Elise Knebel and Henry Macke accounts.

 

[5]   Macke, 1.

 

[6]    For detailed illustration of land ownership see accompanying 1869, 1893, and 1913 plat maps.

 

      Nichols, Ronald Historical Plat Maps of Coles County, Illinois (Charleston, IL:The Society, 1982).

 

[7]     Knebel, 4.

 

[8]     Brief History of St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Congregation, Fiftieth Anniversery. 1930.

 

[9]     Christen, Freda. Personal interview. November 20, 2001.

 

[10]    Knebel, 2

 

[11]     Christen interview.

 

[12]     Growing Together in Christ 1880–1980, St. Pauls Lutheran Church. Mattoon.

 

[13]     Van Ravenswaay, Charles, The Arts and Architecture of German Settlements in

Missouri  (Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, 1977), 147.

 

Ravenswaay writes much on the architecture of Franklin County Missouri, a heavily German area from which several of the Humboldt Township residents migrated.  However, the architecture is very different in Franklin County with half timbered, stone, and masonry buildings being common.  That area of Missouri has a much more abundant and readily available supply of stone for building than does Coles County, which partially explains why they did not duplicate that architecture in Illinois. 

 

[14]    Christen interview.

                                 

[15]    Knebel 1,4.

 

[16]    For pictures of the houses see appendix 2.

 

[17]    Glassie, Henry, “Eighteenth-Century Cultural Process in Delaware Valley Folk Building,” in Upton, Dell and John Michael Vlach ed, Common Places: Readings in American Vernacular Architecture (Athens and Georgia: The University of Georgia Press, 1986) 406, 407. 

 

[18]   For more information, consult the following sources.

 

     Glassie, 406-407.

 

     Peterson, Fred W. Building Community, Keeping the Faith: German Catholic Vernacular Architecture in a Minnesota Parish  (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1998) 44, 45.

 

      Touart, Paul B. “The Acculturation of German-American Building Practices of Davidson County, North Carolina.” Wells, Camille ed. Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture, II (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1986) 73-76.

 

      Van Ravenswaay, 145-177.

   

      Chappell

 

[19]     Floor plan drawings created by Freda Christen and were digitally altered by the author of this paper to represent the changes in the structure over time.

 

[20]     Freda Christen interview.

 

[21]     Journal Gazette, November 20, 1905, front page as excerpted in Saint Paul’s 100th Anniversery Publication.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

 

 

A Brief History of St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Congregation. 50th Anniversery, 1930.

 

Census of Population Records for Coles County, Illinois, 1880. [Microform] Washington

D.C.:    Bureau of the Census, 1982.

 

Coles County, Illinois Genealogical Society.  The Prairie Sleeps: Cemeteries of Coles

County Illinois, Volume II, Humboldt, North Okaw, and Matoon Townships. Coles County, Illinois Genealogical Society, 1985.

 

Glassie, Henry. “Eighteenth-Century Cultural Process in Delaware Valley Folk

Building.”  Upton, Dell and John Michael Vlach ed. Common Places: Readings in American Vernacular Architecture. Athens and Georgia: The University of Georgia Press, 1986. 

 

Growing Together in Christ 1880-1980, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Mattoon, 1980.

 

Knebel, Elise.  Memoirs.  Translated by Alma Homann. Charleston Public Library

 Genealogical Room, Charleston IL: February 17, 1924.

 

Ladd, Martha Catea, and Constance Schneider Kimball ed. History of Coles County,

1876-1976: Coles County Illiniois. Charleston and Mattoon Bicentenial Commission, 1976

 

Macke, Henry.  Account on settlement of German community in Humboldt Township

reported to Coles County Historical Society. Board Minutes of Coles County Historical Society, 1963. 

 

McAlester, Lee and Virginia McAlester. A Field Guide to American Houses. New York:

            Alfred A. Knopf, 1988.

 

Nichols, Ronald. Historical Plat Maps of Coles County, Illinois. Charleston, IL:

            The Society, 1982

 

Peterson, Fred W. Building Community, Keeping the Faith: German Catholic Vernacular

Architecture in a Minnesota Parish.  St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1998

 

Van Ravenswaay, Charles.  The Arts and Architecture of German Settlements in

            Missouri.  Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, 1977.

 

Thomas. Richard L. Chicken Tommy and Other Stories. Mahomet, IL: Mayhaven

            Publishing, 1994.

 

 

 

Trommler, Frank and Joseph McVeigh, ed. America and the Germans: An Asssessment

of a Three Hundred-Year History.  Vol. 1. Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press, 1985.

 

Touart, Paul B. “The Acculturation of German-American Building Practices of Davidson

County, North Carolina.” Wells, Camille ed. Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture, II. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1986.

 

 

Interviews

 

Christen, Freda. Daughter of Henry Macke, immigrated to Humboldt Township in, 1893.

  Personal intverview, November 20, 2001.

 

Degler, Marylea.  Genealogist having done much research into the German Settlement. 

            Personal interview, October 31, 2001.