Some German Contributions to Wisconsin Life

by Lester W. J. Seifert

We are reproducing this article as part of Wisconsin Sequicentennial celebration. It was first published in the Yearbook of German-American Studies in 1983 and has been reproduced with the permission of the publisher:

Seifert, Lester W. J. 1983. Some German contributions to Wisconsin life. Yearbook of German-American Studies 18: 173-184.

It is difficult and perhaps even dangerous to write on the topic given as the title of this essay.1 It is difficult not to degenerate into a weepy sentimentality for "the good old days," even though it must be said that many fine aspects and features that characterized the way of life of the earlier German inhabitants of Wisconsin have been irretrievably lost with the passing of time. It is dangerous, because it is so easy to fall into exaggerated praise of anything and everything even remotely connected with the Germans in Wisconsin; this trend of thought leads to such absurd conclusions as the one I once heard made about the grain-binder, a farm implement now almost obsolete: "So eine gute Erfindung muß ein Deutscher gemacht haben!" But it is very hard to believe that McCormick and Appleby are likely German names.2 It is no easy task to hold a safe course between Scylla and Charybdis, to avoid the whirlpool of sentimentality and the rocks of fulsome praise. If I succeed in steering this course, my remarks may be both informative and interesting.

First, a bit of nostalgia, a little picture composed of bitter-sweet elements. The time is the end of the nineteenth century. The place is Mayville, Wisconsin, a thriving little city of roughly two thousand inhabitants located in Dodge County, approximately sixty-five miles northeast of Madison. At least eighty percent of the population is German by birth or by descent and the language of most homes and business places is naturally German, although of several varieties. The teacher of German and Latin in the Mayville High School is at that time a man born in Efferen, Germany, in 1852 whose name is Gerhard Hubert Balg.

Herr Balg spends none of his free time fishing in the East Branch of the Rock River that flows past his house, or hunting small game in the woods, fields, and marshes of the pleasant countryside around Mayville, or even playing a game of Schafskopf or Skat with a group of friends in Bachhuber's Saloon, located on the widest Main Street in all of Wisconsin. No, Herr Balg spends his free time, virtually every minute of it, bent either over his books or over sheets of paper that he has filled with materials which must be incomprehensible to all his fellow townspeople. What Herr Balg is writing will, when finished, bear the imposing title of A comparative glossary of the Gothic language with especial reference to English and German. And if he ever takes a local resident into his study, such a visitor must be astonished at the books he sees-texts, grammars, and dictionaries not only of Gothic and of English and German in their various stages of development, but also of the Scandinavian languages, of Latin and its later derivatives, of Greek, Sanskrit, Lithuanian, and of several Slavic languages; all of these are cited in his Comparative glossary. Gerhard Balg knows a lot about a lot of languages. He had, after all, earned a Bachelor's degree at the University of Wisconsin in 1881 and a Doctor's degree in 1883 at the University of Heidelberg, where he studied chiefly with the renowned scholar Wilhelm Braune, before he settled in Mayville, Wisconsin, as a highschool teacher. It takes from 1887 to 1889 just to have the type set and to have the printing done in Mayville by Jakob Mueller on the press which the latter uses for publishing his weekly German-language newspaper, Der Dodge County Pionier, a newspaper published without interruption from 1872 to 1948, certainly one of the longest-lived non-English-language newspapers to be published in the United States.3

The 683-page Comparative glossary is indeed a monumental work, the first etymological dictionary to be done in America, as we read on page xii of Balg's "Introductory remarks" which are written in an interesting reformed spelling of English:

Considering all the difficulties under which my Glossary, the first work of its kind published in America, has cum into existence, as well as the deplorable fact that in its' preparation I have had no personal help whatever, I solicit the kind indulgence of those who use it, hoping at the same time that my humble effort may be of sum value to the student of Germanic filology.

In 1883 Balg had already published an English translation of Wilhelm Braune's Gotische Grammatik and this translation saw a second edition in 1895. In the meantime, Balg's edition of the Gothic Bible was published in Milwaukee in 1891.4

In view of all this, it is safe to assume that Balg enjoyed his work with the Gothic language; so wherein do we find the bitterness mentioned at the beginning of this episode? The excellence and usefulness of his Comparative glossary are attested by the fact that it is often cited by Sigmund Feist in his Vergleichendes Wörterbuch der gotischen Sprache, a work that captured the admittedly limited market because it is even better than Balg's work.5 The similarly small market for Balg's Gothic Bible was preempted in 1908 by the appearance of Wilhelm Streitberg's great edition of Die gotische Bibel, because the latter work contained on facing pages the Gothic text of Bishop Wulfila and a Byzantine Greek version that scholars long thought could have served as the original for the Gothic Bishop's translation6, the Greek on the left and the Gothic on the right.

It is my hope that these words have raised a small monument to the memory of Gerhard Hubert Balg, a remarkable person who had the courage to follow unusual pursuits in a small rural Wisconsin community a century ago.7 He was a fitting intellectual successor to the so- called Latin farmers of Watertown -- to the Arndts, the Borcherts, the Pieritzes, the Schleys, to mention a few by name -- those highly educated fugitives from the unsuccessful German revolution of 1848 who took up land in Dodge and Jefferson counties in the 1850s and of whom it is said that they steered the plow with their right hand, while with their left they clutched an open copy of Virgil's Georgica in the Latin original, of course!

Were individuals like Balg and the Latin farmers merely eccentrics? Were they only the subjects of jokes or the objects of derision, when the less conspicuous members of the community gathered in homes and in churches, in places of business and in the saloons? I do not think so. There was, rather, a good deal of admiration for the talents and the high degree of education possessed by these unusual people. In my own family, for example, in which the different branches were farmers from the time they settled in Dodge County in the 1830s and 1840s, it was genuine praise to be characterized as "so gelehrt wie der Lehrer Balg."8

The Germans certainly had much to do with the high quality of Wisconsin's educational system from the lowest to the highest stages. It is no wonder that the people of Wisconsin in general and of Watertown in particular are proud of the fact that Margarethe Schurz began an educational institution for little children that was aptly named "ein Kindergarten,"9 a term that together with the institution so named has become an integral part of life in Wisconsin and in the United States. It is interesting to speculate, whether Margarethe Schurz through her Kindergarten didn't exert a deeper influence on America than her more famous husband, Carl Schurz. At the other end of the educational process, our colleges and universities, particularly our graduate schools, have been greatly influenced by the German model.

In the elementary schools and in the high schools of Milwaukee, Watertown, La Crosse, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, and of many other communities, German was a required subject of study until the hysterics of World War I put an end to this program. However in the Lutheran parochial school of Juneau, Wisconsin, that I attended in the 1920s, we had an hour a day of instruction given in German, consisting mostly of grammar and spelling, of singing and memorizing poetry and hymns, of reading parts of the Bible or materials based on the Bible, with smaller amounts of arithmetic and a bit of history.

The parochial elementary and secondary schools maintained by Catholic congregations, whether the parishioners be of German, Irish, or other descent, and by the German Lutherans have long occasioned heated arguments over their validity in a democratic society. Regardless of any individual's opinion, it is a fact that the number of Catholic schools has decreased in the period since World War II, while the number of such Lutheran schools has increased markedly. So successful have the latter been that other denominations, among them the Baptists and the Seventh-Day Adventists, have established their own schools in the last three decades. These parochial schools, so strongly supported by so many Wisconsinites of German extraction, have exerted a great influence on the education and the subsequent life of large numbers of her citizens.

The subject of parochial schools leads quite naturally to the consideration of another contribution of the Germans to Wisconsin life, a contribution made mostly by north Germans in conjunction with people from the Scandinavian countries. I do not know whether there are statistics available to prove it, but I am virtually certain that a higher percentage of Wisconsin's residents belongs to Lutheran congregations than is the case in any other state of the Union with the possible exception of Minnesota. There is scarcely a city or village in Wisconsin which does not have a Lutheran church--even the rural countryside is dotted with them. At Lebanon in Dodge County, there are two fine Lutheran churches less than a half mile apart, at one time there were even three in a distance of less than two miles--silent witnesses to the intransigence of mankind that led to splits of a formerly unified congregation.10 In spite of such events, the Germans exerted a powerful influence on the Lutheran Church in Wisconsin and, through the church, on the cultural and religious atmosphere of our state.

The 1982 Yearbook of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod 11 lists 477 member congregations in Wisconsin alone. These 477 congregations support 164 elementary schools, ten high schools, two preparatory academies, one two-year college, one four-year college, and one theological seminary -- all in the State of Wisconsin.12 It can hardly be doubted that such an extensive enterprise must exert a considerable influence on the life of all Wisconsin residents. Furthermore, it must be borne in mind that these figures pertain to one group only, although, to be sure, it is the one group in which the German element is by far the strongest.

From churches and schools we go on to some secular organizations that usually combined cultural and social activities in various degrees of balance or imbalance. It has been said, whenever there are three Germans together, two of them will form some sort of organization, which, for lack of anything else, might have been a funeral club, at least until roughly 1900. Membership in such a funeral club was really a sort of insurance policy that guaranteed to provide what was considered a "decent" burial in those days. The members perhaps thought that they might just as well enjoy themselves while they waited for the inevitable to happen to them, for their meetings, especially the big annual meetings, were famous, or infamous, for the quantities of food and beer consumed.

Only in the most recent decades do the Germans seem to have lost the propensity for joining organizations. Now the various turner clubs and singing societies find it increasingly difficult to enlist enough young members to insure the continuation of their activities. Only the larger cities in the state are able to support such organizations. As far as I have been able to find out, several Turnvereine have survived in Milwaukee and there are individual clubs in Madison, Watertown, Racine, Manitowoc, and Eau Claire. The Turnhallen, originally built for the practice of gymnastics and to house modest libraries, have gradually become dance-halls or are used for amateur theatrical performances. In the present days of interest in physical fitness, the gymnastic function is being re-introduced by some of the Vereine still in existence. Actually, not much is known about the history of the Turnvereine in Wisconsin and so it is hard to evaluate their importance; they deserve a thorough sociological investigation.

German singing societies had an enormous popularity in Wisconsin up to World War I and even until World War II. Today, as far as I know, there are only nine of these groups left -- three in Milwaukee and one each in La Crosse, Madison, Manitowoc, Racine, Sheboygan, and Superior. Some of these may no longer give public recitals or concerts, but do participate as members of the massed choruses at regional Sängerfeste.

The earliest known organization of this kind in Wisconsin was formed in Milwaukee in 1843 under the name of "Die Beethoven- Gesellschaft" with its goal stated as the "improvement of vocal and instrumental music." Several other societies were formed in the 1840s: "Der sociale M„nnergesangverein," "Der deutsche Sängerverein," "Der Gesangverein," "Der Musikverein von Milwaukee." This last organization presented its 390th concert on January 23, 1900, but the date of its demise is unknown to me. There were surely others, especially in the 1850s; some of them lasted only briefly, others simply changed names. It is often difficult to uncover and follow the historical thread through the maze of organizations. Such groups as the "A Capella Chorus" and "The Orion Society," in spite of their names, received their original impetus and their sustaining force from the many professional and amateur musicians and singers among the German population of Milwaukee in particular and of Wisconsin in general. One of the longest-lived and still existent singing societies is the "Madison Maennerchor," founded in 1852; its repertory is still largely restricted to German-language songs.

It is pointless to heap up names, titles, and dates of important musicians and performances.13 However, for personal reasons, I must write a few words about Eugen Luening, who was born in Milwaukee in 1852 and died at Oconomowoc in 1944. As a rather precocious seventeen-year-old youth he was sent to Germany to study piano and conducting at the famous Leipzig Conservatory. Upon his return to Milwaukee in 1873, he served as conductor of the "Maennerchor" until 1877; at the same time he composed a good number of the pieces sung by the "Chor." In that year he again went to Germany for the purpose of overcoming the depression that resulted from the death of his beautiful young wife.

Luening's stay in Germany lasted two years and early in this period he became a close friend of Richard and Cosima Wagner. Many years later he recalled those days in words that I remember as being close to these: "Ich war bei den Wagners so gut wie zu Hause; ich konnte kommen und gehen, fast wie ich wollte." When he returned to Milwaukee in 1879, he conducted the "Maennerchor," directed the "Musikverein," founded and taught in his own "Luening Conservatory of Music," and accepted many invitations to be the guest conductor for various organizations in Chicago, Cleveland, and St. Louis. From 1909 to 1912 he was a faculty member of the School of Music at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and served as the Acting Director for the academic year 1909-1910. He did not return from a leave of absence he took in the second semester of 1911-1912 for the purpose of studying and composing in Munich, Germany. He stayed there during the years of World War I for reasons that are unclear and when he came back to Wisconsin in 1919 it was to live in retirement at Oconomowoc until his death on October 18, 1944. During the ninety-two years of his life he was not only a conductor, a musical director, a piano soloist, and a teacher; he also composed songs, piano pieces, orchestral music, and a number of operas. It was an opera that brought about my all-too-brief acquaintance with him.

In the spring of 1937, when I was a senior at Northwestern College in Watertown, a friend of mine, A. Peter Wittman (now deceased), who worked at the Pabst Farms just outside Oconomowoc, suggested that we take an aged composer to dinner at a good restaurant in town. My friend Pete had been told that this composer, Eugen Luening, had composed an opera based on a German-language play written by Pete's grandfather, Wilhelm Wittmann, who had resided in Manitowoc and Sheboygan for most of his life.

At the dinner, when the question about the opera was put to Eugen Luening, he acknowledged that he did indeed write such an opera, but it had never been performed, because he was dissatisfied with his own work; out of respect for his late friend, he was still working on the score, therefore he could not comply with the younger Wittmann's request for the copy of the play. Did he, Luening, know whether the elder Wittmann had written other plays? Oh yes, he himself had read several and had picked the one most suitable for operatic treatment. Did he still have copies of these other plays? No, he had returned them to the author before he, Luening, had gone to Munich in 1912, and Wilhelm Wittmann had died shortly thereafter.

Eugen Luening was a charming person and the dinner was a very pleasant one in spite of the fact that my late friend Pete did not get a copy of the play, or plays, which he was looking for. Still, we parted with mutual assurances that we would meet again and this seemed quite possible, for at age eighty-five Eugen Luening was hale and hearty and seemed to be in complete control of his mental faculties. However, such a meeting never came about, for shortly after the one dinner the three of us had together, Pete had to move to the Milwaukee office of Pabst Farms and I went from Northwestern College in Watertown to the University of Wisconsin. The entire matter gradually receded into my subconscious mind, where it remained until Ann Reagan asked me, if I had ever heard of a Milwaukee musician and composer named Eugen Luening. When I related this episode to her and she told me of his death in 1944, I asked her half-jokingly, if she thought that we might now find the Wittmann play. You can imagine how unhappy I was, when she reported that Luening had burned many of his works before his death, apparently also the operatic score that he said he was still working on in 1937.14

Concerning contributions to everyday life in Wisconsin, allow me to begin at home on our family farm about half-way between the little cities of Juneau and Horicon in Dodge County. It is due to the vagaries of the early surveyors and road-builders that the land on which our farmstead is situated is part of a roughly rectangular tract of 1480 acres instead of being divided into the regulation square sections of 640 acres. On the inside of the road providing the bounds for the 1480-acre rectangle in question, in the 1920s there were ten farmsteads owned and occupied by the following families, proceeding clockwise from the farmstead of 1) Seifert, 2) Schoenemann, 3) Koepsel, 4) Zastrow, 5) Herrick, 6) Wrucke, 7) Bogda, 8) Schulz, 9) Pufahl, 10) Pufahl.15 Eight of the ten farmsteads were German. The Herricks were called Yankees, although they really came from western New York; they kept a most untidy farmstead. The Bogdas were Bohemians who chattered away in German with their friends and neighbors.

Of course, there have been many changes. Already in the 1920s, the Schoenemann farm was bought by the Blums, Germans from Swabia. The Zastrow farmstead has been razed and the land inside the rectangle is now part of the Koepsel farm. The Wruckes bought the Herrick farm. The city of Horicon has annexed most of the Bogda farm. The Schulz farm and the two Pufahl farms are in the hands of an absentee owner, who razed the one Pufahl farmstead; the families operating the combined farm live at the other two farmsteads. This is an example of an important fact: In eastern Wisconsin particularly, and also in other parts of the state where the land is especially good, the great majority of names to be read on the mailboxes is German--not as many today as fifty years ago, but still the clear majority.

If Wisconsin is indeed "America's Dairyland," then it is the Germans and their descendants who have made it so. As my uncle Otto Lichtenberg used to say: "Nur die Deutschen sind dumm genug, sich so vom Vieh festbinden zu lassen."16. It is true that dairy farming greatly restricts the going and coming of the farmer because of the regularity with which cows must be milked, if their milk-producing system is to be kept in good working order. In return, a dairy herd almost automatically assured continued fertility of the fields. All of us, I suppose, enjoy seeing a fine herd of black and white cows out on a green pasture. We owe it to the Germans that most of the Wisconsin herds consist of Holstein cattle17 rather than the Ayrshires of northern England, Scotland, and Ireland, or the Guernseys and Jerseys of southern England; moreover, once the Holsteins had been introduced, they could not be displaced even by the excellent Brown Swiss cattle.

We owe another farming practice to the Germans in that they brought along the concept of crop rotation as a means of maintaining soil fertility. The ancient Romans followed the practice of letting a field lie fallow in cycles that varied from three to seven years, depending upon the richness of the soil, a practice that spread throughout the Roman Empire including Britain. The Germans discovered that the same, or even better results could be achieved by not planting or sowing the same crop in a field year after year, by crop rotation in the modern terminology. This method kept every field in production by eliminating the necessity for fallowing. To be sure, the Germans who settled in eastern Pennsylvania after 1683 brought this practice with them, but it was re-introduced by the Wisconsin Germans.18

Another rural contribution by the Germans is more a matter of aesthetics than of productivity. Most of the German farmers have been very proud of their farms and of their appearance, especially of the farmstead. Accordingly, they have tended to keep the buildings and fences in good condition; there are no machines or tools lying or standing around outside, exposed to all kinds of weather, covered with unsightly and damaging rust. If an implement is not in immediate use, it belongs in a shed or some other shelter designed for it. The Germans set the standard in this respect and those who did not meet this standard were derided as Yankee or Irish farmers. It was a game for us as children, when driving through the countryside, to guess from the appearance of the farm and the buildings whether the name on the mailbox would be German or English.

It is time to leave the farm and to say a few things about German culture in the city. Again, virtually every city and village had its stores and businesses, its shops and factories owned by Germans and their descendants, often for two and three generations by the same family. Most of them, of course, were and are small but nevertheless important for the community in which they are located. In Madison, for example, three generations of Schroeders have been undertakers, three generations of Pertzborns have been plumbers, and three generations of Marlings have operated a lumber yard.

Some of the firms founded by Germans have become very large and exert an influence far beyond the State of Wisconsin, although the firm today may be German in name only: the Oscar Mayer Company in Madison, the Kohler Company outside Sheboygan, the Heil Company in Milwaukee, and of course, the former barons of beer -- Blatz, Pabst, and Schlitz. To this day, the beer brewed in Wisconsin is of the German type rather than being like the beers and ales of England. In the 1930s and 1940s, after the repeal of prohibition, there were about seventy-five different breweries in Wisconsin. Although the geographic spread of these breweries did not quite bear out the truth of the statement, it used to be said that we had a brewery for every county in the state with a few left over to let the other states know how good Wisconsin beer was.

In the 1920s and 1930s, in many parts of Wisconsin some variety of German was still used for daily communication on many farms and in many city homes. When you walked along the streets of such cities as Juneau, Horicon, Mayville, Beaver Dam, Watertown, Jefferson, in certain sections of Milwaukee, and in many other cities too numerous to name here--you were sure to hear people conversing in German.

Today, a short fifty years later, this is no longer the case. On some farms and in some particularly close-knit families, German is still used daily as the normal intra-family vehicle of communication. On the streets of the cities just named, you may hear friends greet each other with: "Guten Tag, wie geht's?" or a dialect equivalent thereof and there may be some such response as: "Immer noch zum Aushalten." However, after an exchange or two, the conversation is usually continued in English.

A few rural and small-town Lutheran congregations-e.g., in Juneau, Mayville, Iron Ridge, Hustisford -- still have German services, but this too will not last much longer. In St. John's Lutheran Church, my home congregation in Juneau, when I was a child, English services were held only once a month; by the time I was in the middle teens, services were held in both languages every Sunday; then the number of German services began to be reduced, until today there are German services only once a month. At funerals, both languages are quite often used.

The mention of funerals was, of course, not accidental, for a figurative funeral is in the offing. In my family we were brought up trilingually. We used English in the schools and with people who knew no German-we were rather surprised at such ignorance. We used a variety of Standard German in church, to a limited extent in the parochial school, and with Germans who did not know our dialect. The language of the home and the farm, of play with most of the children from neighboring farms, of large family gatherings and parties and picnics--there were dozens of such celebrations--for all these things our language was the Oderbrüchisch Low-German dialect.

In 1966, I was finally able to visit our ancestral home in the Oderbruch, this reclaimed marsh and swamp lying from fifty to one hundred kilometers east and northeast of Berlin. The Seiferts came from a small village called Wuschewier and I was amazed to find that only a few of the oldest people spoke Oderbrüchisch and the rest used Berlinisch. It was clear that the "best" Oderbrüchisch was not spoken in the old homeland, but in Dodge, Jefferson, and Washington counties, Wisconsin. In Wisconsin, too, the end is not far off. We can already hear the death rattle signaling the expiration of another dialect and this sad sound seems to be a fitting close to an era that is ending.

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, Wisconsin


1 This essay was first presented at the "German-American Heritage Weekend," February 25-27, 1982, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

2 There is no real reason to doubt that Cyrus Hall McCormick (born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, in 1809, died in Chicago, Illinois, in 1884) invented the horse-drawn grain-reaper in 1831 but did not have it patented until 1834, when other persons began to copy his basic design. Although John F. Appleby (born in the vicinity of Janesville, Wisconsin (?), in 1840, died in Mazomanie, Wisconsin, in 1917) is most often credited with the invention of the attachment that gathers and binds the grain into bundles, the matter of priority in inventions and patenting is complicated and far from clear. A German Bohemian by the name of Jacob Behel who lived in and around Rockford, Illinois, in the period between 1850 and 1880 seems to have played an important, perhaps even crucial though largely unrecognized role in the development of a workable binding mechanism. Cf. William T. Hutchinson, Cyrus Hall McCormick, 2 vols. (New York and London: D. Appleton-Century Company, 1930 and 1935); esp. II, 522-72 ("Harvester and Binder Rivalries, 1868-1885").

3 The Wisconsin State Historical Society has an almost complete file of this newspaper. One interesting aspect of German-language journalism in the United States was treated by Mary Anderson Seeger, "English influences on the language of the Dodge County Pionier of Mayville, Wisconsin," Diss. Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison 1970.

4 Gerhard Hubert Balg, trans., Gothic grammar with selections for reading and a glossary, by Wilhelm Braune, 2nd ed. (New York: B. Westermann & Co., 1883); A comparative glossary of the Gothic language with especial reference to English and German (Mayville, WI: The Author; New York: B. Westermann & Co., London: Truebner & Co., Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1887-1889); The first Germanic Bible translated from the Greek by the Gothic Bishop Wulfila in the fourth century and the other remains of the Gothic language (Milwaukee, WI: The Author; New York: B. Westermann & Co.; London: Truebner & Co.; Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1891); trans. and ed., A Gothic grammar with selections for reading and a glossary by Wilhelm Braune (4th ed.), 2nd ed. (Milwaukee, WI: The Author; New York: B. Westermann & Co., Lemcke & Buechner; London: Kegan, Paul, Trench, Truebner & Co., 1895). For the last three works, where the author is given as the primary publisher, I suspect that the others listed were no more than distributors of texts furnished by Balg himself.

5 Sigmund Feist, Etymologisches Wörterbuch der gotischen Sprache mit Einschluß des Krimgotischen und sonstiger gotischer Sprachreste (Halle [Saale]: Max Niemeyer, 1909). The second edition, a thoroughly reworked version, appeared in 1923. In the third edition, again re-worked and now greatly expanded, the phrase that begins with und in the title has been changed to und sonstiger zerstreuter Überreste des Gotischen; the place of publication and the publisher have been changed to Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1939. This last edition is the masterpiece among all the etymological dictionaries ever compiled. Feist's first venture into the domain of Gothic etymology was his Grundriß der gotischen Etymologie (Straßburg: Karl J. Trübner, 1888). This work, although contemporaneous with Balg's Comparative glossary, was decidedly inferior to the Comparative glossary in thoroughness and completeness. There can hardly be any doubt that Feist learned much from Balg in preparing his Etymologisches Wörterbuch. It is of more than passing interest that Feist did not include Balg's work in the list of cited works until the 1939 edition, although citations from Balg are frequently used in the earlier editions. I shrink from assuming that the early omission of Balg's name was purposeful.

6 Wilhelm Streitberg, Die gotische Bibel (Heidelberg: Carl Winter's Universitätsbuchhandlung, 1908). A greatly revised second edition was published in 1919, an edition that has been reissued in recent years.

7 Many of these remarks are based on stories told in the family of my mother, Anna Sophia Ernestina Jagow. Several of the Jagows were close acquaintances, perhaps even friends of the Balg family. He taught in the Mayville High School only five years, then taught two years in the Milwaukee school system, and after that he was the private tutor of the children of a number of wealthy families, mostly in Milwaukee. His family continued to live in Mayville and he commuted by train. He died in Mayville on September 28, 1933.1 have so far found three obituaries: (1) The Milwaukee Journal, 3 October 1933; (2) Der Dodge County Pionier, 5 October 1933; (3) The Wisconsin Alumni Magazine, November 1933.

8 In our North German Oderbrüchisch dialect this, in phonetic transcription, was [,zo: je'li:rt vi: der ,li:rer 'balx].

9 The little building in which the first Kindergarten was held has been preserved although moved to the grounds of the Octagon House Museum in Watertown, a museum of local culture and history.

10 The German Lutherans were not the only ones to have this problem. The Norwegian Lutherans at Koshkonong in southeastern Dane County also split and built two churches only a long stone's throw apart from each other.

11John A. Trapp, ed., 1982 Yearbook Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1981).

12 The two academies, the four-year college and the seminary, are partly supported by the Wisconsin synod's member congregations in other states.

13 Ann Reagan, "Art music in Milwaukee in the late nineteenth century," Diss. Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison 1980, treats the situation in Milwaukee for the period from 1850 to 1900. One of Reagan's main sources of information about Eugen Luening's life and work was the latter's son Otto Luening whom she interviewed at Kenosha, Wisconsin, on April 2, 1979. Otto Luening is also a musician and composer, one who is in the forefront of electronic music; he lives in New York City. See esp. Reagan, pp. 62-81. Since Reagan completed her study I have uncovered a few bits of additional information in the University of Wisconsin records. Eugen Luening served as Acting Director of the School of Music only for the academic year 1909-1910. For 1910-1911 he was listed as Associate Professor of Voice Culture and Theory, while Louis A. Coerne served as Director. For 1911-1912 Luening was an Associate Professor of Music with the cryptic addition "On leave of absence, second semester, 1911-12"; Coerne was again Director.

14 Cf. Reagan, p. 80.

15 Some of these farms also had land across the road from the farmstead.

16 Uncle Otto actually said it in Oderbrüchisch:[,blo:t di 'dy:t Sen zin dum je,no:x, ,zix ,zo: font ,fe: 'fes,biN: te lO:ten]*. The Lichtenberg farm is located just west-northwest of the village of Hustisford.

17 This breed was developed along the North Sea coast of Germany and the Netherlands in the seventeenth century and is therefore often called the Holstein-Frisian breed.

18 As far as I have been able to find out, there is not one treatise dealing with the origin and spread of crop rotation, in German called "Fruchtwechselwirtschaft." Of course, all histories of agriculture must deal with this subject, but some do so only very cursorily; moreover, the views expressed by different writers vary widely. What I have written here finds corroboration in Richard Krzymowski, Geschichte der deutschen Landwirtschaft (Stuttgart: Eugen Ulmer, 1939); Richard H. Shryock, "British versus German traditions in colonial agriculture," The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 26 (1939-40), 39-54. Divergent views are to be found in Theodor Freiherr von der Goltz, Geschichte der deutschen Landwirtschaft, 2 vols., (Stuttgart and Berlin: J. G. Cotta Nachfolger, 1903); Norman Scott Brien Gras, A history of agriculture in Europe and America, 2nd ed. (New York: F. S. Crofts & Co., 1946). For an evaluation of statements made about agriculture by the ancient Latin writers, see Albert Thaer, Grundsätze der rationellen Landwirtschaft, neue Ausgabe. (Berlin: Wiegandt, Hempel & Parey, 1880). The first edition was published in installments from 1809 to 1812. This work was so outstanding that it was pirated almost immediately. It became a foundation stone in "scientific agriculture." Cf. the American translation, The principles of agriculture, William Shaw and Cuthbert W. Johnson, trans. (New York: C. M. Saxton and Company, 1856).


* Note: [See note 16]: <S> is used here for an alveopalatal fricative ("esh"), <N> for velar nasal ("engma") and <O> for a lax mid back vowel ("open o").