Immigration to Kansas

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Kansas Peoples
Native American The Plains and Emigrant Tribes of Kansas
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Newton in Harvey County,
African American Black Migration--Exodusters
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Asian American Hers Kansas, KSHS

The following article was made available through the courtesy of Stephen Chinn. It should not be quoted or retransmitted without a full citation to the author, and should not be put into print without the author's express permission.

Immigration to Kansas
30 May 1854--The Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed and signed by President Franklin Pierce, and Kansas Territory was organized and opened up for settlement. Its boundary included eastern Colorado, west to the Continental Divide. The only white persons then residing within this boundary were those about the military posts, Indian traders, missionaries and a few males, who married into the different tribes. A purpose of the Kansas-Nebraska Act was to open the country to transcontinental railways.
The Kansas-Nebraska Act was responsible for causing the label "Bleeding Kansas." The incorporation of popular sovereignty made the territory's residents (not the Federal government) responsible for the question of slavery in their own backyard. The proximity of Kansas to slave-owning Missouri and the lack of any natural border between the two regions prompted an influx of Pro-slavery individuals into the new territory when it opened up for settlement.
1854--The New England Emigrant Aid Society in Boston, MA was a company interested in peopling the frontier with anti slavery (abolitionist) settlers. 1854--This company helped to found Lawrence, Kansas (town named after Amos A. Lawrence, promoter of the Emigrant Aid Society), which then became the center of Free-State activities.
1854French SwissPottawatomieOnaga
1854French Swiss Nemaha Neuchatel Alfred Bonjour, Paul Junod
1854German SwissNemahaFourmile near present BernChristian J. MINGER
1854Swiss from NY/MIAllenGeneva
1857GermanAllen HumboldtZeno Fenn DEMOSS
1857GermanAllen Iola
1857GermanWabaunsee Alma
When? German Wabaunsee Bismarck/Halifax
1857GermanWyandotte Kansas City
1857GermanLeavenworth Leavenworth
1857GermanNemahaSenecaJames DRANEY
1857GermanShawnee Topeka
1862--The Homestead Act greatly aided in the opening of the country after the Civil War. "It gave 160 acres of federal land to any citizen or any person declaring an intent to become a citizen." All they had to do was pay a filing fee of ten dollars and then live upon and improve the given acreage for five years. The land for the Homestead Act came from the railroads. The railroads were granted with enormous acreage of federal land in Kansas plus significant land endowments from the state. The railroad also purchased huge acreage for a song from the Indians. The Homestead Act was a vigorous effort to dispose of these holdings to settlers.
Why? 1867/1868--Famine in Sweden combined with discontent produced by repressive government. American advertisement of land and freedom provoked mass emigration.
1867/1868 and 1870/1871 Swedish Lyon Stotler, Waterloo Twp name
1867/1868 and 1870/1871Swedish Osage Rapp, Superior Twp name
1867/1869SwedishOsage Carbondale Andrew Olson
1868 Swedish LutheranMcPhersonLindsborg
1868 Swedish Saline
1868 Swedish Republic (New) Scandia
1868 Swedish Morris Swedeland/White City
When? Swedish RileyLeonardvillename
When? Swedish Pottawatomie Where?name
1885/1886 Swedish Gove 11 m. N & .5 m. E of Healy Pehr John Peterson
Why? According to a Norway Village history by Alma Nelson, the first permanent settler in Norway, Republic County, Kansas was Rasmus Rimol. An only child born in 1847 in Trondhjeim, Norway, he worked in Chicago two years before coming to Junction City by train and on to Norway Township to file a homestead in 1869. He married Anne lehn, who also had come from Trondhjeim. Several of my husband's ancestors and relatives came soon after: the Hugos family in 1870, the Tiller family who later homesteaded in 1887, and the Hammer family (my husband's direct ancestor) in 1871. [Bobbie Athon contributed this material.]
1869 Norwegian Republic Norway Rasmus Rimol
Why? Coal mining region.
1871 Italian Crawford Mulberry
Italian Crawford Arma
Italian Cherokee Stilson/Scammon
Italian Cherokee Wier CityT.M. Wier
Why? 1871--Czar Alexander's announced Russian army reform that replaced the former system of recruiting soldiers only from the lower classes with a non-exempt universal military system.
1874 German-Russian MennoniteMcPherson
1874/1879 German-Russian MennoniteMarion HillsboroFerdinand J. FUNK, Reiswig
1879German-Russian LutheranMarionHillsboro Ollenburger, Tautfest, Weinmeister
When? German Marion Goessel
When?German Marion Waldeck
German-Russian MennoniteReno BuhlerBernard Buhler
When? German Reno YoderEly M. Yoder
1874 GermanRenoNetherland/Lerado
German-Russian MennoniteHarveyHalstead
German-Russian MennoniteHarveyNorth Newton
When?GermanHarveyHesstonAbraham Hess
1876 Volga German Catholic EllisCatherine Friedrich Karlin
1876 Volga German Catholic Ellis Munjor
1876 Volga German Catholic Ellis Pfeifer
1876 Volga German Catholic EllisSchoenchen
Volga German CatholicEllis Herzog/Victoria
When? German Rush Timken Henry Timken
1876 Volga German CatholicRushLiebenthal
1876German LutheranRush OtisPhilip Brack
1876Volga German LutheranRussellRussellReinhart GALYARDT
When? Russo-GermanRussell MilbergerMuhlberger
Why? Middle-class English gentleman and farmers were encouraged to emigrate to Victoria, Kansas (located south of present Victoria) to engage in stock-farming. The English who settled there are frequently called remittance men; they were not successful at farming or ranching and most of them deserted the area.
1876 English Ellis Victoria
English Harper Runnymede
English Clay Wakefield
1876Bohemian/CzechRawlinsPrag/LudellFrank Vasacek
Bohemian/Czech EllsworthAttica/Bosland/Wilson Isaac Wilson
Bohemian/Czech from IowaMarionPilsen
Why? They came for many reasons, one being free land.
1876 & 1879Irish from Syracuse, NYJewellWilliam Dougherty
Irish Anderson-FranklinEmeraldDoolin, Collins, McEvoy, McMann, McGrath
Why? 1877--Exodus of some thirty thousand African-Americans fleeing from the South. Participants in the Black migration were called "Exodusters."
1877 African-American Graham Nicodemus
1878 Danish LincolnDenmarkLorentz Christensen, Eskild Lawritzen
Why? Forbears originally of the Palatinate of Bavaria fled to Switzerland to avoid religious persecution in the 17th century. They then went to Holland. In the early 18th century they departed for Pennsylvania. Hence they were called "Pennsylvania Dutch." One group lived near the Susquehanna River and became known as the "River Brethren." Railroad advertisements in the 1870s lured the young among them to Kansas.
1878/1879German MennoniteDickinsonAbileneJacob Eisenhower
When?German Dickinson Holland
When?German Dickinson Sutphen
1879 German Rawlins HerndonFrederick Schutz
German Hungarian Rawlins
1881DutchSmith Rotterdam/Dispatch
Why? Population increase and industry was not keeping pace; World War II.
1886/1887Bukovina GermanEllisEllis
Why? Draft into the Austrian Army and the Homestead Act had something to do with their settlement choice.
When? Austrian Barton Where? Name???
1877-1881 Austrian Brown Everest John Hrenchir, Victoria Sedlacek
When? French Cloud Concordia
Why? Milton P. and Mary Jane (Alsdorf) Sadler and family migrated in 1861 from Crawford County, PA to Leroy, Mower County, MN. Milton was a farmer and cabinet maker. After a siege of smallpox, during which he built 67 coffins for the victims, including his own young son who died of scarlet fever. He moved his family away from that place of sadness, and traveled by wagon and ox team to Kansas. They arrived at Fort Sibley in Cloud County, KS in September 1870. Mary Jane was the first white woman to enter the general store there, where she purchased a cook stove.* Milton P. Sadler staked a claim on the Little Cheyenne Creek in what is now Allen Twp, Jewell Co, SE of Randall, KS. The original homestead is still owned by his descendants. *Randall KS newspaper clipping, dated July 1935. Submitted by Jan Smock, Manassas VA.
1870English/DutchAllenTwp,Jewell RandallMilton P. Sadler
When? German/French from St.Louis OsageHavana
1865 CanadianNeosho Sullivan
When? German Catholic from CincinnatiFordWindhorst
1868people from Licking Co, OHRussell Bunker HillWARTHEN, SHEARER, NETZ, FREAS
When? German Hamilton Menno
When? German Wichita Marienthal
When? German Decatur Dresden
When? German Norton New Almelo
When? German Phillips Luctor
When? German Phillips Stuttgart
When? German Pawnee Hamburg
When? German Comanche Von
When? German Jewell Rotterdam
When? German Saline Bavaria
When? German Sedgwick Germania
When? German Sedgwick Schulte
When? German Butler Elbing
When? German Republic Munden
When? German Washington Hollenberg
When? German Washington Hanover
When? German Marshall Bremen
When? German Marshall Herkimer
When? German Marshall Frankfort
When? German Riley Winkler
When? German Pottawatomie Vienna
When? German Lyon Olpe
When? German Elk Fulda
When? German Brown Hamlin
When? German Brown Germantown
When? German Douglas Baden
When? German Anderson Westphalia
When? German Anderson Welda
When? German Bourbon Berlin

Emigrant/Immigrant Sources

On-line Books

Other Kansas Migration sources

Barry, Louise. The Beginning of the West - Annals of the Kansas Gateway to the American West (1540-1854). Topeka: Kansas State Historical Society, 1972.

BRAKE, Hezekiah. On Two Continents - A Long Life's Experience. Topeka: Crane & Company, Printers. 1896.

Cutler, William G. "History of the State of Kansas" Publ. by A. T. Andreas. Chicago. 1883 (Kansas Collection)

Dary, David. True Tales of Old-Time Kansas. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. 1984.

Davis, Kenneth S. Kansas - A History. New York: W. W. Norton and Company. 1984

Davis, Louise Littleton. "The Mystery of the Melungeons." Frontier Tales of Tennessee (pp. 165-179). Gretna: Pelican Publishing Company, 1976.

Ebbutt, Percy G. Emigrant Life in Kansas. New York: Arno Press, 1975.

Fitzgerald, Daniel. Ghost Towns of Kansas -- A Traveler's Guide. University Press of Kansas. 1988

Gallaway, Dorothy L. Dwight, Kansas - The First 100 Years (1887-1987)

Midwest Research Institute. The Capper/MRI Quick-Fact Book of Kansas. Topeka: Capper Press. 1990

Rydjord, John. Kansas Place-Names. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1972

Shortridge, James R. Peopling the Plains, Who Settled Where in Frontier Kansas. University Press of Kansas, 1995.

Werner, Morris. Pioneer Trails From U. S. Land Surveys. 1988-89, Rev. Oct. 1995.

Crossing Boundaries African-American and American Culture, Kansas Humanities Council

American West History: The Expansion of America's West

WWW-VL: United States History

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