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"History of Eau Claire County Wisconsin, 1914, Past and Present"

Chapter  41 - Germanism

by Reinhold Liebau

The German Societies

(-as transcribed from pages 555 - 556)

It is remarkably characteristic of the Germans wherever they settle that they very soon try to form a kind of a society, and the Germans of Eau Claire county are no exception in that respect. The first of them were known in the sixties and seventies as "Schuetzen" and "Turnvereine." They kept practical exercises of shooting and gymnastics. It is to be much regretted few records have been kept about their existence. They also had a singing section, and when in the year 1874 the two societies dissolved they changed to the German singing society "Germania." This society has been regularly organized and has her own constitution and by-laws. In 1899 the twenty-fifth year of its existence was celebrated in grand style and it is resolved that during the present year 1914 the fortieth year of its existence will also be celebrated in the fall. For twenty years the society has been a member of the great German North American Singing Society. Every Tuesday evening is devoted to society work, either for rehearsals or business. During the year concerts, sociables, dances, picnics and other entertainments are arranged for the members and their guests. The society is in agreeable financial circumstances, owns a big hall with business rooms in the city of Eau Claire and a nice picnic ground in the Dells Park in the city limits, with a fine and substantial built pavilion, the latter being a present of one of the members of the society, John Walter. The present officers are: August Johannis, president; Anton Korger, vice-president; financial secretaries, Herman Gerke and August Stein; treasurers, Fritz Stuewer and Carl Bergmann; protocol secretary and singing conductor, Reinhold Liebau. At present the society has over eighty members.

Another German society is the "German-American County Verband," a branch of the "National German-American Alliance of the United States of America." That national alliance was founded in the year 1900 and desires to enroll American men and women of German origin within its lines. The principles of the alliance are in a short and condensed way the following:

The "National German-American Alliance" aims to awaken and strengthen the sense of unity among the people of German origin in America, with a view to promote the useful and healthy development of the power inherent in them as a united body for the mutual energetic protection of such legitimate desires and interests not inconsistent with the common good of the country, and the rights and duties of good citizens, to check nativistic encroachments, to maintain and safeguard the friendly relations existing between America and the old German fatherland. To red the history of German immigration is to be convinced how much it has contributed to the advancement of the spiritual and economic development of this country, and to realize what is is still destined to contribute, and how the German immigrant has at all times stood by his adopted country in weal or in woe.

Though this branch of the Alliance in Eau Claire county was regularly founded in October, 1913, it has already more than three hundred members, and that membership is constantly growing. Regular meetings are held on the first Sunday of every month.

The present officers are: President, Fred Arnold; first and second vice-presidents, J. J. Auer and Charles Hoehn; treasurer, Albert Hoehn; secretary, Reinhold Liebau.

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