Coming to America

Our program after the meeting on July 10 was about immigration. Carol Foltz gave a short presentation and tried to answer the following questions:

Why did people come to America?
Many people came in hopes of a better life. For many reasons: religious persecution, economic hardship, famine or war. There were others who were sent as prisoners of war or criminals. My ex’s many-times great-grandfather, William Munro, was captured in the Battle of Worcester and sent to the colonies in 1651. England sent criminals until the Revolutionary War, then sent them to Australia until 1868.

When did people come to America?
There were several main waves of immigration: the colonial period, the mid-19th century, the start of the 20th century, and post-1965.

How did people come to America?
Mainly by boat, until airplanes were available. But the types of boats varied, from wind-driven sailing ships to steamboats that could cross the Atlantic in a few days. In Carol’s family, one of the latest immigrant families came over in February 1912, just two months before the Titanic.

Who came to America?
People who wanted a better life.

Where did people enter America?
We think of Ellis Island first, but it wasn’t the first port or the only port where immigrants landed. In the New York area, Castle Garden preceded Ellis Island. But other ports include Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, New Orleans, as well as ports on the West Coast.

Where did people settle in America?
Many settled in cities, but many pushed West. Some would settle for awhile, then uproot and move further West.

A history of immigration in the USA

The Irish potato famine

Immigration to the United States

Immigration to the United States, 1851-1900

The Immigration History of the United States (Video)

Growth, Cities, and Immigration: Crash Course US History #25 (Video, John Green talks very fast.)

U.S. Immigration Before 1965

10 Myths About Immigration in the United States

On this day: July 5, 1917

The Dayton Review: July 5, 1917
We learn that a marriage of local interest took place June 12th, John Hanson, son of Chas. J. Hanson, southeast of town, and Miss Mia Nordberg being united in marriage at Fort Dodge. Victor Anderson, living down on the river, where she has been staying, accompanied them to witness the plighting of their vows. The bride came here a few months ago from Montana, and has made many friends during her stay in this vicinity by her kindly ways and pleasing traits of character. The groom has grown to young manhood in our midst and is a young man of industry and integrity, respected by all who know him. The happy couple are making their home at the farm of the groom’s father, where they began housekeeping at once. We join in the congratulations and best wishes of their many friends for a happy and prosperous married life.

On this day: June 30, 1917

The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 30, 1917
Aged Woman Dies Early This Morning
Mrs. Jacob Freeberg died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. C.E. Lindquist, early this morning. Death was the result of the infirmities of old age. Mrs. Freeberg was eighty three years of age. While she had not been well for some time, she was able to be around Friday and her passing was unexpected.
Mrs. Freeberg was born in Sweden. She moved to the United States at an early age and lived for many years at Fonda. She has made her home with her daughter Mrs. Lindquist for three years. She was married twice. Three children survive her. They are mrs. Linquist, Emil Freeberg of Birmingham, Alabama and Gus JOhnson of California.
Funeral arrangements will not be made until relatives living at a distance are heard from.

On this day: June 29, 1917

The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 29, 1917
Peritonitis is Cause of Death
Prominent Young Woman Succumbs
Funeral Held on Saturday
After an illness of three months from peritonitis, Miss Jessie Markin, second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C.D. Markin, died at the home 1013 Second avenue north, at 3:00 this morning.
Besides her parents, Miss Markin is survived by three sisters and two brothers. They are Miss Elizabeth Markin of Fort Dodge, Mrs. C.D. Nedderman of Madison, wisconsin, Mrs. A.J. Ware of Corona, California, Robert W. Marking of Seattle, Washington, and W.S. Markin of Clarion. With the exception of Robert Markin of SEattle, all the brothers and sisters will be here for the funeral.
The funeral will be held at the home 1013 Second avenue north Saturday afternoon at 2:30. Rev. W.A. Minty of the First Congregational church will be in charge.

On this day: June 28, 1917

The Dayton Review: June 28, 1917
Christen Gustava Swenson was born in Forrose, Saby Socken, Jonkopingslan, Sweden, June 30, 1858, and passed away at the home of her brother, C T Swenson, south of town, June 20, 1917, aged 59 years, 10 days. She came to this country with her parents in 1868, settling north of Pilot Mound, where she had since lived. She is survived by a sister, Mrs. Manda Carlina Sandborg of Clear Lake, Wisconsin, and two brothers, J.A. Swenson of Albert City, Iowa, and C.T. Swenson of this community. She was a faithful member of the Mission Church, and lived devoted to her Master. Her funeral was held last Saturday from the Pilot Mound Mission church, Rev. Stenbock of Sloan, conducting the services, and her remains interred at the Linn cemetery. A host of lifelong friends of the family sympathize with the bereaved family in their sorrow.

On this day in 1917: June 22

The Fort Dodge Messenger
June 22, 1917
Two Divorces are Requested
Mrs. Denning Asks Custody of Children
Rehder Asks Injunction
Mrs. Mary Denning is asking an absolute divorce and custody of two children, in a petition filed in district court today. She alleges that her husband, Eugene Denning, has threatened to adopt her children away from her and she asks that he be restrained from bothering them now and after a divorce is procured.
Agnes Carter in a petition filed today, asks that she be granted a divorce from her husband, Oran Carter.
Edward Rehder asks an injunction against J.W. Smith, restraining him from canceling a lease for the Smith garage building, on First avenue north.

On this day in 1917: June 21

The Lehigh Valley Argus
June 21, 1917
Find Body of Drowned Boy
Ben Black and John Pray found the body of Delbert Haire, who was drowned in the Des Moines river at Fort Dodge, the body floating down the river to the J.B. Black farm north of town. Ben Black and John Pray had been searching for the body by the use of the motor boat for three days, when they were as last successful, finding the body lodged against some willows near the Black farm Thursday noon.

Celebrating 40 years

The Webster County Genealogical Society received its charter from the Iowa Genealogical Society in April 1977. This year marks 40 years the WCGS has been in existence.

Come celebrate with us from 10 a.m. to noon on April 29 at the Fort Dodge Public Library, 424 Central Ave. We will have a program on Who Am I? Using DNA as an aid to genealogy research.

Refreshments will be served.

Please sign up at our event page on Facebook so we have an idea how many will be there.

Who are these people?


This was posted in a group on Facebook. The person who posted said:

This mysterious picture was with my Grandmother’s photo collection.. There is no identifying information written on the back, but I am wondering whether it might have been some contest that was held at the Manson Fairground. I know they had foot races, horse races, and other contests in the early 1900s. It appears to be some kind of human-powered pulling contest. Or perhaps they are just horsing around, in the absence of horses! I am hoping that some of you might have seen it somewhere and can help put names with faces. I’m almost certain it was taken around Manson, since grandma had it in her collection.

So it may have been taken in Calhoun County. If you have any ideas on who the people are or where the photo was taken, please email and put “Race photo” in the subject line.