Small Town Germans: The Germans of Lawrence, Kansas, from 1854 to 1918
by Katja Rampelmann
Masters Thesis, University of Kansas
© Copyright 1993
This Site Supported by a Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Abstract | Introduction | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Conclusion | Appendix | Bibliography


Abstract
   

     The thesis, Small Town Germans, examines the lives of German immigrants to Lawrence, Kansas, from 1854 to World War I. German-born immigrants arrived in Lawrence after the Kansas-Nebraska territory was opened for settlement. Numerous emigrant aid companies of the North and, later, the railroads and the Kansas Board of Immigration played an important role in attracting German settlers to Kansas. To serve the growing German community of Lawrence, immigrants established two German-speaking churches in town: St. Paul's Lutheran Church and the German Methodist Episcopal Church. A German-language newspaper, Die Lawrence Germania, was published from 1877 until 1918 to inform its German readers of news from Douglas County, the United States, and Germany. Additionally, a German gymnastic and social club, the Turnverein, served Lawrence's Germans as an important cultural and social center. By the time of World War I, second-generation Germans refused to carry on their parent's ethnic background and social pressures from the dominant culture forced the German community of Lawrence to disappear. Besides the reconstruction of German life and its institutions in Lawrence, Kansas, this work compares German immigrants in metropolitan areas and small towns of the United States. It was concluded that Germans in Lawrence had a different immigration experience than those in metropolitan areas such as Chicago or New York. The acceptance and assimilation of the minority group into the dominant culture led to a faster integration of German immigrants into American society, but also resulted in the decline of the German community.


Abstract | Introduction | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Conclusion | Appendix | Bibliography