Germans Come Flying Like Snowflakes!
Contrary to popular belief, Germans were a minority in this area until the late 1830’s. Prior to this time there were only about six German families. It wasn’t until 1838, when Fr. Joseph Kundek was assigned to pastor the St. Joseph’s Parish in Jasper that the German population saw an increase. Fr. Kundek promoted German immigration by advertising in German newspapers in Cincinnati and Louisville. He also encouraged current German citizens to write back to their families in Germany and tell them of the opportunities they could look forward to in Dubois County, Indiana.
As the Germans began flying in “like snowflakes” they continued to keep their native language, religion, and traditions, which led the Anglo-Americans to resent them. There was nothing the Anglo-Americans could do to stop the rapid growth of the German population. Many Germans emigrated from Jasper’s sister city of Pfaffenweiler, Germany.
World War I took a toll on the German Dubois County families. Many were second generation of young men and women born in the United States. Some families changed their German names to more Anglicized versions. Some also stopped using the German language and tried to disguise their German customs.
Today we still see and celebrate rich German heritage throughout most of Dubois County.