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William Henry Luehr, Educator
A Family Heritage

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German Immigrants (Immigration to the
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he year 1848 saw revolutions in many European countries, including Germany, as people sought political and religious freedoms.  Also that year, Wisconsin gained statehood.  And to the forests between Lake Michigan and Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin came German settlers from Schleswig-Holstein. They founded New Holstein in Calumet County.

Among those who arrived in the first decade were John Nicholas Lühr and his wife Anna Margaretha Groth Lühr, surname later Luehr. Their second son -- and first son born in America, on June 26, 1861 -- was William Henry Luehr.  A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, he became a well respected school teacher, principal, superintendent, editor and publisher, and later a Wisconsin state employee. He and his family lived in Grand Rapids (now Wisconsin Rapids), Manitowoc, Sheboygan Falls and in New Holstein. Here is a Luehr family sketch.

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GO TO:  Arrival | Education & Marriage | Career  | Manitowoc | LaterMaps

His Family Coming to America & Wisconsin   [ Top ]

Luehr Family Emigrating: click to open the L file to see the record of
Luehr, Margaretha and young son Johannes leaving Holstein in 1858

Luhr Family Arrived in 1858: transcribed immigration records for the ship Main that arrived May 26, 1858, at Castle Garden, New York, shows
·  John Nicholas Luhr, 28, shown as S. n. Luhr, actually J. N. Luhr
·  his wife Anna Margaretha, 32, shown as Marg. Luhr
·  their son John Luhr, 3, and
·  John N. Luhr's older brother Peter Luhr, 30.

John Nicholas Lühr with his birth place in Schleswig- Holstein and his parents, his wife Anna Margaretha Groth and her birth place in Schleswig-Holstein, and their four sons, with links to more details including John's brother Peter, at

Anna Margretha Groth Luehr  was born in 1824 in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, married John N. Luehr in 1854, and came to New Holstein, Wisconsin, in 1858, her September 28, 1910, obituary recounts. They had four sons, John, in business; William, an educator; Edward, a doctor; and Arthur, a real estate and insurance agent.

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Germans in



Dithmarschen on Schleswig-Holstein 's west coast was the family's ancestral home, the Luehrs from Hassenbüttel near Wesselburen about
11 km west of Heide and Anna Groth originally from Hollingstedt to the northeast of Heide. See maps.

John Nicholas Luehr: 1860 Census for New Holstein, Calumet County, includes John, Margaretha and Peter Luhr [surname later Luehr] as well as Nicholas Boie and Ferdinand Hachez, important to the Luehr story. John farmed and had a brick-making business in New Holstein.

Claudius Johann Luehr -- William's older brother whose name was usually written John C. Luehr -- married Wilhelmina C. E. Kroehnke of New Holstein on October 31, 1877. Surname mistranscribed as Kroekuke. See their photo. See New Holstein for more on Kroehnke family.

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Immigrants in
America - The

German Americans


Johan and Magretha Luehr in 1880 Census with their three younger sons: William and Edward working in the brickyard and Arthur attending school. Household also included three young men from Prussia who worked in the brickyard and a young female servant. Family surname mistranscribed as Luchr. Wilhelm shown as Johan's brother in error.

Founding of New Holstein: first settlers from Germany arrive in 1848, with some mention of founding citizens and early businesses.

New Holstein at 75: 1923 article praises New Holstein's agriculture, business savvy and the educated people from Schlewig-Holstein in northern Germany who founded it.

A Bit of Germany in Early Wisconsin:  1927 article recalls settling of New Holstein by a group of Germans who sailed for America on the Brerens in April 1848. Their trip via New York, the Great Lakes and Sheboygan is told. 

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Wisconsin German
Land and Life

Includes Calumet, Washington and Sheboygan counties

Education  & Marriage  [ Top ]

Education: WIlliam H. Luehr's biography in Educational History of Wisconsin narrates his education in New Holstein and Chilton schools, at Oshkosh Normal and the University of Wisconsin.

Literary Society: W. H. Luehr was a member of The Trochos literary society as a University of Wisconsin freshman and of the Athena literary society during his junior year at Madison.

English Course:  William H. Luehr of New Holstein, a UW junior in the English Course, and also in 1888-1889.

Elected an Editor: on May 12, 1888, W. Luehr was elected one of the general editors of the Aegis Association, the student-owned newspaper at the UW, founded in 1886.

Bildungsverein: W. H. Luehr was censor and historian of this UW learning society that provided opportunities to use the German studied in class in conversation, debate and drama, and was a member as a senior.

In 1886-1887, he boarded at 236 W. Gilman and  in 1888-1889 at 311 Park, in Madison.

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Madison: The Illustrated
Sesquicentennial History, Volume 1, 1856-1931


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The German


William H. Luehr at UW:  During 1888-1889, he was one of three students from Calumet County reported as studying at the UW at Madison.  He earned his degree in 1889, having majored in English.

A Student in 1890-1891: W. H. Luehr listed among UW students, now apparently a graduate student.

William H. Luehr married Clara Hachez on August 28, 1890, as shown in the Wisconsin Vital Records database. Clara was the granddaughter of Ferdinand Hachez Sr. and daughter of Ferdinand Hachez Jr. who married Elise Boie, daughter of Nicholas Boie and Cecilia Tonner Boie.

Career in Education & Journalism   [ Top ]

Witter House group photo includes W. H. Luehr among the young, unmarried professional men who lived in Grand Rapids, a twin city with Centralia, the cities on the Wisconsin River later merged as Wisconsin Rapids.  The caption says he was superintendent of schools, and that he was in the back row, fourth from left.  Name misspelled Lehr.

Sept. 19, 1889:  the Wood County Reporter gave the editor's view of  W. H. Luehr of Calumet County, the new Howe High School principal, as sociable and well qualified for his role, with 40 pupils in his charge. The full text, formerly visible, was part of the Antiquarian Corner published in 1931.

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The Wisconsin

River:  An Odyssey
through Time
and Space


Education Certificate: Wm. H. Luehr 's 1889 degree in English from the University of Wisconsin was countersigned by the state superintendent

Grand Rapids Principal: Wm. H. Luehr is included on a list of principals of free high schools in Wisconsin, 1888-1890, with degrees, student enrollments and salaries listed, and same for 1890-1892. He was also in the state Blue Book for 1891, 1893 and 1897, the latter for Brillion.

1892 Summer School: Wm. H. Luehr had 58 educators in a four-week summer school in Grand Rapids, tuition $1.00 per week

Publisher & Editor:  this history of Centralia and Grand Rapids area newspapers says the Luehr and Brundage publishing firm was started in 1890 by W. H. Luehr and E. B. Brundage. Photos of several editors.

Lucille Marguerite Luehr:  William and Clara's oldest child, their daughter Lucille, was born October 24, 1891, in Wood County. The county is shown in this 1895 map with the twin cities of Centralia and Grand Rapids visible.

1892 Centralia Directory shows W. H. Luehr as publisher and editor with Brundage of the Centralia Enterprise and Tribune, a weekly Democratic newspaper located near Centralia's City Hall. See Page 8 of the pdf document for the newspaper listing, Page 15 for the Luehr and Brundage listing, Page 25 for its listing under Newspapers, and Page 28 for the newspaper's advertisement.

Catalog of Wisconsin Newspapers lists W. H. Luehr, co-publisher and editor, Centralia Enterprise and Tribune, April 1892 - December 1895.

Entertaining Teachers:  in March 1893, Mr. and Mrs W. H. Luehr entertained the Howe High School teachers. The full newspaper text was formerly visible.

Going to the World's Fair: in June 1893, W. H. Luehr and family left for the World's Fair in Chicago via New Holstein. Newspaper text formerly visible.

Visiting New Holstein: in late August 1893, Mrs. W.H. Luehr and her daugter Lucille left for a two-week visit to New Holstein to visit family and friends there, the newspaper reported. Text formerly visible.

River City Memoirs:  W. H. Luehr is mentioned in Volume 5 as shown in this index.  Dave Engel wrote the local history book series.


River City
Volume II

River City
Volume III

River City
Volume V

Printing Jobs: in 1893-1894, Luehr and Brundage had the lowest bid for printing 20,000 cranberry recipe books for the Wisconsin growers, an example of their job shop printing. The state purchased services too.

February 1896:  William, Clara and Lucille Luehr left Grand Rapids for Madison where he took a post graduate course of study at the University of Wisconsin.  Text formerly visible. He took courses in American history and economics, his biographical sketch says, from noted professors:
·  Frederick Jackson Turner, known for his theories on the influence of the American frontier on the nation's history and character, and
·  Richard T. Ely, controversial labor movements scholar and an American Economic Association co-founder, who came to UW in 1892 to direct its School of Economics, Political Science and History

Brillion: In the 1896-1898 period, likely 1896-1897, Wm. H. Luehr was principal at Brillion High School, with a three-year course. Brillion is in Calumet County, about 16 miles from New Holstein, his birthplace.

Manitowoc Years   [ Top ]

Manitowoc County: W. H. Luehr is listed among the residents of Manitowoc County in the 1800s. The Luehr family -- William, Clara and Lucille -- arrived in the late 1890s when William became principal of Manitowoc South High School.

W. Luehr became principal in 1897 when C. E. Patzer went to Milwaukee Normal School, a 1904 Manitowoc County history book recorded.

Robert William Luehr: William and Clara's son Robert was born August 24, 1899, in Manitowoc County.

In 1901, the Manitowoc directory listed him as principal, First Ward School with a residence at 710 Marshall.

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Freighters of
Manitowoc: Story of
Great Lakes Freight Carrying Vessels Built in Manitowoc, Wisconsin

UW Grads - Principals:  William H. Luehr among six members of his 1889 class who were principals or assistants in Wisconsin high schools in 1901.

Manitowoc South: W. H. Luehr was principal of Manitowoc's South Side High School, with a four-year course, 1900-1902. In 1904-1905, he had four male teachers, 85 students; during 1905-1906, 99 students.

Summer Teachers' Institute:  During 1899-1900, Wm. H. Luehr and Karl Mathie held a session in Marathon County while during 1900-1902, he and colleagues held an institute in Manitowoc. He later did institutes in Fond du Lac, Portage and other counties.

Conference Speaker: W. H. Luehr spoke at the 1900 Northeastern and Northwestern Teachers Associations joint meeting in Wausau, just one example of his active involvement in his profession.

1905 Wedding Anniversary: the Manitowoc Nordwesten reported that Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Luhr [William and Clara] celebrated their crystal or 15th wedding anniversary on August 31 with friends [pdf].

Sisters-in-Law: Clara (Hachez) Luehr and Louise (Holdenreid) Luehr, wives of William Henry Luehr and Edward Luehr, with photos, marriage records

1905 Teachers Convention: W. H. Luehr, a Manitowoc principal, attended the Northeastern High School Teachers Assn. convention in October 1905, Stevens Point. [Formerly visible.]  By 1905 he was a member of the Wisconsin Teachers Association.

1906 UW Class Note: Wm. H. Luehr, Class of '89, listed as principal, Manitowoc High School.

1906 Teacher's Institute: W. H. Luehr was one of three instructors for the annual Portage County teachers' institute in Amherst. News sources show he did these institutes during many summers. Previously online.

1908 Alumni Committee:  W. H. Luehr chaired the alumni visiting committee for the U. of Wisconsin Department of Mathematics.

1909 Family Visit: the Manitowoc Nordwesten reported that Mr. and Mrs. Hachez of New Holstein visited their daughter, Mrs. W. H. Luhr.

1909-1910 Manitowoc Directory listed William H. Luehr, principal, high school, residence 710 Marshall. Also listed at that address was daughter Lucille Luehr, student, and his mother Margaret Luehr (widow John).

In 1909 he was principal of Manitowoc South High School, as recorded in Patterson's College and School Directory. page 673.

1909 UW Alumni Teachers Banquet saw  W. H. Luehr, Class of 1889, among attendees at the Milwaukee event, held in conjunction with the state teachers' convention. He also attended the 1907 event.

W. H. Luehr, "a very able instructor," was principal, First Ward High School, Manitowoc, from 1897 until school consolidation in 1910.

Sheboygan Falls & New Holstein Years   [ Top ]

Sheboygan in Sheboygan County was the arrival port on Lake Michigan for German settlers on their way west to land in Calumet County, where they founded New Holstein. Both Calumet and Sheboygan counties had many German immigrants.

Sheboygan Falls Principal:  the Wisconsin Alumni Magazine notes William Henry Luehr's appointment in  1910-1911 as the principal in Sheboygan Falls, the town located just west of Sheboygan. Both towns were bustling industrial towns.

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Sheboygan Falls (Images of America)

Biography in 1912: while serving as principal of schools at Sheboygan Falls, WIlliam H. Luehr's biography was published in Educational History of Wisconsin. His own education in New Holstein and Chilton schools, at Oshkosh Normal and the University of Wisconsin are covered as are his career in education and newspaper publishing, and his family.

New Holstein Public School: 1911 postcard shows the all-grades through high school, built in 1905. Native son W. H. Luehr was the superintendent and principal there for several years, starting in 1913.

Prof. and Mrs. Luehr of New Holstein visited daughter Lucille (Mrs. Howard D. Conger) in Sheboygan Falls in late October 1913. He was then principal at New Holstein, serving 1913-1916. [Link no longer available]

William's interest in politics remained high, as seen in his membership  in the American Political Science Association while he was principal at New Holstein. He is on page 18, List of Members, May 1916.

Later Years   [ Top ]

1921 UW Alumni Directory:  he was listed as William Henry Luehr, B. L. '89, teacher, Manitowoc, and listed with his 1889 class among those who earned a B. L. or Bachelor of Letters or Literature degree.

Manitowoc Kiwanis Founder: in 1922, he was a founding member of the first Kiwanis Club there, and was a member in 1926-1930 as well

Civil Service Commission:  William Henry Luehr's appointment as chief examiner of Wisconsin's Civil Service Commission is noted in the February 1923 edition of the Wisconsin Alumni Magazine.

UW Class Reunion in 1924: W. H. Luehr was listed in the register for the Class of 1889.

1925 UW Alumni Committee:  W. H. Luehr, 1889 UW graduate, joined a committee to set up a permanent U. W. Club in Manitowoc, the May 1925 edition of the Wisconsin Alumni Magazine reported.

Edward Luehr Honored: William's younger brother Edward, a doctor in Chicago, was listed in Who's Who in American Medicine for 1925.

1926 Address:  W. H. Luehr moved to 1033 South 11th, Manitowoc, the January 1926 edition of the, Wisconsin Alumni Magazine said.

In 1927, son Robert W. Luehr married Rosalie Marie Stark, a younger daughter of Fred and Augusta Stark who married in 1880 in Michigan and came to South Milwaukee about 1903. They had 12 children. On September 9, 1828, Robert W. Luehr Jr. was born.

Obituary in the Wisconsin Alumni Magazine, reporting William Henry Luehr's death on Dec. 20, 1930, with notes of his career as an educator, income tax assessor and Wisconsin Civil Service Commission member.

Kiel Record obituary, covering his New Holstein boyhood, education, his career in education and government service, organization memberships, and wife Clara, children and grandchildren. Also on his FindaGrave memorial.

W. H. Luehr's older brother John C. Luehr died in Milwaukee on March 30, 1931, while younger brother Edward Luehr died in Chicago on January 31, 1937, and youngest brother Arthur Luehr died in St. Louis in August 1942.

Edward's son Elmer Luehr was born August 29, 1895, and married Helen Marie Mitchell on June 18, 1925.  Author of "The New German Republic," he died November 19, 1973, West Palm Beach, Florida.

Descendants   [ Top ]

Lucille Marguerite Luehr: On September 12, 1912, in Sheboygan County, William and Clara's daugher Lucille married Howard Dale Conger, a native of Sheboygan Falls.

Howard was the son of Robert Owen Conger and Eda Dell Morey. [See more Conger genealogy and Morey genealogy]. They had two children, a son Robert William Conger [1914-1977]; a living daughter born in 1921; four grandchildren; and two known great-grandchildren.

Robert W. Luehr:  son of William and Clara Luehr, was born in Manitowoc on August 24, 1899

Robert W. Luehr Jr.:  grandson of William Henry Luehr, son of Robert William Luehr, he graduated in pharmacy from UW in the 1950s, shown here as a senior in the 1956 Badger yearbook.

Coming-to-America-Germans.jpg (6810 bytes)
Coming to
The Germans

Learn more about
New Holstein,

Genealogy & History Resources   [ Top ]

Map of Wisconsin counties in 1880 showing the percentage of settlers from Germany with Calumet, Manitowoc and Sheboygan among those in the highest category.  Map using 1890 census data shows concentration of European-born German speakers from Pennsylvania through Midwest including Wisconsin.

Calumet County History from History of Northern Wisconsin, Chicago 1881 including biographical sketches of early residents and brief histories of the various communities.

Historic Obituaries for Calumet County including New Holstein, with
-- Nicholas Boie - father of many children including Elise Boie,
   wife of the younger Ferdinand Hachez
-- Anna Groth Luehr -- mother of son William Henry Luehr as well as|
   sons John, Edward and Arthur
-- Clara Hachez Luehr -- daughter of Ferdinand and Elise Boie Hachez,
   wife of William Henry Luehr

Boie Family in the New Holstein Cemetery, nine individuals recorded, including Claus Tonner, father of Cecilia who married Nicholas Boie. For Heinrich Bernhard Tonner, son of Claus, open the file for names starting with T. He emigrated about 1854.

Claus Tonner family including daughter Cecilia who married Nicholas Boie. Note: the Tonners were from Wewelsfleth on River Stör while the Nic Boie family was from the Brunsbüttel area; none were from Kiel.

New Holstein memorials at FindaGrave including Clara Hachez Luehr and William Henry Luehr, William's parents John Nicholas Luehr and Anna M Groth Luehr, and Clara's parents Ferdinand Hachez and Eliese Boie Hachez, and Clara's grandparents Nicholas Boie and  Cecilia Tonner Boie.

Calumet County Genealogy and History: census, business directories, cemetery records, more

Calumet County WiGEN Page

Calumet County Census: online indexes

Genealogy Resources for New Holstein and Calumet County at New Holstein Public Library

Calumet County Message Board: genealogy resource from Rootsweb

WICalume-L: how to join the list or
-- browse archives by month WICALUME-L
-- search archives by year WICALUME-L

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Germans to America:
Lists of Passengers
Arriving at
U.S. Ports


MORE HISTORY & GENEALOGY at the New Holstein page

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Genealogical Dictionary


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Calling This Place Home:
Women on the Wisconsin
Frontier, 1850-1925

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Germans to America (Series II) October 1848-December 1849

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Coming to America:
The Germans


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German Americans
(Spirit of America)


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Address Book
for Germanic
Genealogy 6th ed.


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Your Guide to the Federal Census: For Genealogists, Researchers, and Family Historians


New Holstein Today  [ Top ]

New Holstein's Name comes from Germany's Schleswig-Holstein region where its first settlers came from -- and the city today.

New Holstein Chamber of Commerce

City of New Holstein: official site with city government, organizations, links

New Holstein Profile with Timm House photo

New Holstein History & Genealogy in depth

Germans in Wisconsin  [ Top ]

How Wisconsin Came by its Large German Element in the 1800s, an 1892 article

Germans in Wisconsin: including why Milwaukee was seen as a German Athens

Arrival of German Immigrants - 1840s: Milwaukee became known as the German Athens due to its rich German culture.

Map of Wisconsin counties in 1880 shown by the percentage of German settlers

German, Scandinavian and other immigrants influenced music and art in early Wisconsin.

Milwaukee in 1882: German element had its beer gardens, music, Turnverein events.

Milwaukee Genealogy   [ Top ]

Links to the Past for Milwaukee:  major source for genealogy and history

Milwaukee Genealogical Society

Milwaukee County Historical Society and the county's area historical societies

WCHS Research Library

Wisconsin Genealogy   [ Top ]

Wisconsin Historical Society:  Genealogy resources including Vital Records database

Wisconsin History Dictionary

Wisconsin State Genealogical Society

Rootsweb Resources for Wisconsin

MORE GENEALOGY at New Holstein, Milwaukee and Sheboygan pages

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Ancestors in German

Archives: A Guide to
Family History Sources


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Wisconsin Office of Emigration 1852-1855 and
Its Impact on German Immigration to the State


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Urban Culture: Writers
& Theaters in
Early Milwaukee


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Of Kindred Germanic
Origins: Myths, Legends,
Genealogy and History

of an Ordinary
American Family


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Organizing Your

Family History Search


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.Genealogy 101: How to
Trace Your Family's
History and Heritage


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RootsMagic Family
Tree Genealogy


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Planting Your Family
Tree Online: How to
Create Your Own Family
History Web Site


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Wisconsin History:
Teacher's Guide


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Cultural Map of Wisconsin:
A Cartographic
Portrait  of the State


Maps of New Holstein  [ Top ]

New Holstein Map: a large, detailed map showing streets, wards

1878 Calumet County Map

1893 Manitowoc South Map with churches, schools, breweries, more, including the First Ward School

Map of Calumet Townships showing New Holstein in the southeast corner and the city at the heart of the township

Calumet County with a state locator map

Maps of Wisconsin   [ Top ]

Cultural Map of Wisconsin: click for large image of cover -- order the map at left

Map of Wisconsin counties in 1880 shown by the percentage of German settlers

1895 Wisconsin Atlas: state and county maps plus index to towns, cities

Historical Maps of Wisconsin: digital maps

Wisconsin History Reference Maps

MORE MAPS at New Holstein, Milwaukee and Sheboygan pages

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Wisconsin's Past
and Present: A
Historical Atlas


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all about


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The Atlas of Ethnic Diversity in Wisconsin


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Swiss in

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Danes in Wisconsin:
(Expanded Edition)


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Map Guide to
American Migration
Routes, 1735-1815


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The Researcher's

Guide to American
Genealogy 3rd Ed.

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Then and Now

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.Milwaukee Streets:
The Stories Behind
Their Names

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Cream City
Chronicles: Stories

of Milwaukee's Past

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Pickled Herring and Pumpkin Pie: A Nineteenth-Century Cookbook for German Immigrants to America


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