History of German Township - New Breman, Auglaize
From: History of Auglaize County, Ohio
Edited By: William J. McMurray
Histotical Publishing Company
Indianapolis - 1923
GERMAN TOWNSHIP AND NEW BREMEN.
German township, so named on account of the nativity of the dominant element of its early settlers, a racial
dominance which still is maintained, is the northern half of township 7 south, range 4 east, its sections numbering
from 1 to 18, three miles north and south and six miles east and west, and thus covers eighteen square miles of
surface, one of the richest agricultural sections of the county. This township originally included all of the above
congressional township and so continued until in 1858, when by mutual consent a division was made and the lower
half of the township was given a separate civil status under the name of Jackson township. Most of the land in
this township was included in the canal donation and it was quickly taken up when the tide of emigration set in
up this way in the early '30s, following the departure of the Indians from this section of the state. The township
is bounded on the north by St. Marys township, on the east by Shelby county, on the south by Jackson township,
which it formerly included, and on the west by Mercer county. Here rise the south branches of the St. Marys river,
forming the headwaters of that stream, which drains most all but the west tier of townships, these latter being
drained into the Wabash, with some drainage to the south into the Miami. These tributaries with a complete system
of ditches afford ample drainage to the lands of the township. Near the geographical center of the township, in
sections 10, 11, 14 and 15, is the town of New Bremen, the site of numerous thriving industrial concerns. The township
is crossed from north to south by the St. Marys-Minster division of the Lake Erie & Western railway and by
a similar division of the Western Ohio electric line, as well as by the Miami & Erie canal, all these passing
through New Bremen.
THE COMING OF THE BREMEN COMPANY.
It was in the following year (1833) that the interesting colonization plan of the Bremen Company, one of the
numerous colonization societies organized at Cincinnati for the purpose of taking care of the land needs of German
immigrants who at that time were coming to America in large numbers following the unsuccessful revolution of 1832,
resulted in the settlement of the colony of Germans at Bremen (now New Bremen). It is narrated that originally
there were thirty three members of this company, Germans who had gone to Cincinnati upon their arrival in this
country in 1832, and that they organized as the Bremen Company, in honor of the city from which they had come.
These land seekers, prominent among whom were Frederick Henry Schroeder, A. F. Windeler, Philip Reis, Christian
Carrmann, F. Steiner, F. Neiter and J. B. Mesloh, appointed Schroeder and Windeler to "spy out the land"
with a view to the selection of a suitable place of settlement. These two men proceeded on up the Miami valley,
having in mind a location some place in Ohio, and even took a turn over into the new lands section of Indiana,
and then hearing good word concerning the portage strip up here on the "divide" examined the site at
what is just about the summit of the divide between St. Marys and Loramies and decided there to "pitch their
tents" along the line of the old military trail. They reported to the land office at Piqua and make entry
to a tract of ten acres covering the site of their proposed colony, paying for the same $1 an acre, and Windeler
went back to Cincinnati to report.
DIFFICULTIES OF THE PIONEERS.
An older chronicle relating to the beginning of the Bremen colony has it that "the houses were covered
with clapboards and left so open on the sides that the deer are said to have approached them and attempted to eat
straw from the improvised beds through the openings between the logs. It is also related that on one occasion while
Mohrman was hewing one end of a log a fox approached and stole a chicken which had hopped on the other end of the
log. Here, as in other new settlements, much difficulty was experienced in obtaining supplies, as they were only
to be secured at a distance of twenty three miles [From this statement it seems apparent that these new settlers
preferred Piqua as a trading point to the nearer towns of St. Marys and Wapakoneta, both of which by this time
had become pretty well established trading centers and the former of which at that time was the county seat of
Mercer county. - Ed.] Even in the matter of flour, the settlers were sometimes compelled to the use of the home
made grater. [Note - Christian Benner's mill at that time was in operation at St. Marys, less than ten miles away;
the old Quaker mill at Wapakoneta still was in intermittent operation, and it is quite likely that the old mill
at Loramies also then was in operation.- Ed.] In 1833 new immigrants arrived and a building was erected at a cost
of $40 to supply the place of both church and school. These settlers were all Protestants, whose first minister
was the Rev. L. H. Meyer. During the summer of 1833 several families arrived from Bavaria, among whom were Maurer,
Paul and Braun.
GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE TOWN.
It was in 1835 that the name of the town of Bremen was changed to that of New Bremen. This was upon the establishment of the postoffice there, when it was found that there was another Bremen postoffice in the State and hence a new name was given. After canal activities had secured for the town a general expansion along commercial and industrial lines, the trend was to the east side of the canal and in the spring of 1853, Ch. Ellerman platted an addition to the original plat of the town, to which he gave the name of Ober Bremen, and it is said that there persists to this day considerable of the spirit of rivalry that sprang up between the two Bremens, with only the canal between, though the old time warmth of that spirit, which found expression in something more than mere commercial rivalry, has long since cooled and the old time line between East Side and West Side which was observed in town elections in years gone by has long been obliterated. The town was incorporated for civil purposes in 1837 and G. Klefoth was the first mayor elected. Ellerman's Ober Bremen plat was a tract east of the canal beginning at the lock at the old Koop & Tangeman mill site and including Canal street, Cherry street, Main street (the old St. Marys and Piqua road) and Walnut street, north and south, and Wine, Front, High, Pearl and South streets, east and west. Since then the corporation line of New Bremen has been extended by successive additions until now it covers the southeast quarter of section 10, one fourth of the southwest quarter of same, about one fourth of the southwest quarter of section 11, one fourth of the northwest quarter of section 14, the greater part of the east half of section 15 and one fourth of the northwest quarter of this latter section. At Lock 2 (once known as New Paris), just northeast of town, there formerly was a busy warehouse and packing house, a mill and a store, the site giving promise during the height of canal activities of becoming an important supplemental center, but with the passing of canal traffic its dream of expansion ended, though the mill and store still are maintained.
The general industrial development of New Bremen has been a gradual and steady growth, beginning with the erection
there of J. H. Kuenning's horse power grist mill in 1835, expanding with the opening of the canal ten years later
and greatly accelerated by the coming of the railroad in 1877, further transportation advantages being acquired
with the building of the trolley line in 1905. During the days of canal activity New Bremen was said to have been
one of the most active points for the pork packing industry outside of Toledo in the state of Ohio, and many there
recall the winter days when the streets would be filled with wagons loaded with hogs brought in from all directions
to the packing plants, where they would be dressed and stored for shipment when the canal would be reopened for
traffic with the passing of the ice. Formerly and for many years there was a brewery there whose products were
widely and favorably known. The present industries include the flour mill and the woolen mill along the canal in
the center of the town, a furniture factory which specializes in the manufacture of library tables, a tool and
general machine manufacturing plant whose specialty is corrugating machinery, a lumber and finishing mill whose
specialty is built in interiors, two broom factories whose products are in wide demand, a truck hoist and body
plant, a plant for the assembling of steel bridge work and one of the most extensive sawmills still operating in
this part of the state. The commercial interests of the town are well organized and are ample for the needs of
the town, the population of which, according to the census of 1920, is 1,502. There are two newspapers in the town,
the Suit and the Stern des Westlichen Ohio; four church organizations, a local grange of the Patrons of Husbandry,
a post of the American Legion, a troop of Boy Scouts, a lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the
Daughters of Rebekah, a lodge of the Knights of Pythias and of the Pythian Sisters and a camp of Woodmen.
EARLY LANDOWNERS OF ORIGINAL TOWNSHIP.
The tax duplicate for 1848, the year in which Auglaize county was erected, shows that at that time there were
the following landowners in German township, though it must be borne in mind that what is now Jackson township
was included in German township at that time, the separation not taking place until by an act of commissioners
of 1858 Jackson township was given its separate civic identity: John G. Ankerman, George Aldhoff, B. H. Ahdelmeyer,
John B. Albers, Bernard Arms, Christian Ankenman, Johannes Antoni, D. C. L. Ahlers, Bernard Bussing, Jacob Baker,
Frederick Bambauer, Frederick Brambrink, Casper H. Bocrath, J. Bussing, Henry Black, John F. Bosche, E. H. Burgman,
Henry Brandewie, Anton Brandewie, Henry Barhorst, B. H. Borman, H. G. Borgenbrock, William Berner, John H. Berner,
H. H. Berner, Charles Brunes, C. H. Baker, Christian Boesel, Charles Boesel, Bernard Brune, B. H. Busse, A. H.
Brugeman, Frederick Blase, Henry Brochamp, John D. Bucker, William Beckman, Adolph Buhlman, Mary Buhlman, C. L.
Buhlman, J. F. Beckman, John H. Bord, John B. Behrnes, ____ Brunsmith, Joseph Bissing, Francis Barkman, Francis
Bushman, Henry Beckman, H. H. Bausman, John H. Bromlage, E. Brown & Sons, John Breitenour, Henry H. Bosche,
Francis Buschman, Frederick Baker, ____ Bornhorst, Bosch, Tangeman & Koop, John M. Drees, C. S. Dusterkotter,
Henry A. Deeters, J. H. Dickman, Bernard Danneman, Henry Dammeyer, F. H. Dickman, H. H. Duhme, Henry Danerberg,
Henry Dorson, G. H. Dwenger, Augustus Dorson, Gottleib Dryer, ____ Dickman (heirs), Adelheid Clement, Henry Eneking,
John F. Eneking, John H. Eneking, Joseph Eneking, G. H. Elerman, B. H. Flashkamp, J. H. Fornholt, H. H. Fornholt,
J. B. Frederick, Feltman & Co., John M. Funk, John H. Feltman, G. H. Feltman, Clemens Freeling, B. H. Freeling,
Albert Freeling, Nicholas Fullenkamp, J. F. Fannaman, Michael Fishback, John B. Fosche, Everhard Flickey, William
Finke, Clemens Frilling, Peter Geib, Catherine Garbrink, Andrew Garbrink, N. J. Goldshat, Christian Graber, H.
H. Gille, John W. Gosman, Luckman Gerhard, Andrew Gast, Peter Gast, Charles Gospohl, Henry Grieshoff, Herman Gerker,
H. H. Gunkenmeyer, ____ Gorman, Mathias Gerker, H. A. Glasey, ____ Gordier, J. B. Helbush, John C. Holdman, George
Hershfeld, Clement. Hershfeld, B. W. Huckereider, J. Huckereider, Henry Heitkamp, John Heitkamp, Diederick Hinders,
Henry Heinefelt, Henry Helmsink, J. H. Honebeck, Henry Hallet, Charles Hershfelt, J. H. Hosman, Arana Hernfeld,
Diederick Hone, Charles Heseker, Bernard Heilers, H. H. Hengens, Frederick Then, J. C. W. Karman, Paulus Kummet,
Gerhard H. Kizer, G. Kizer, Henry Kalverlage, Theodore Kizer, Jared Kelsey, G. H. Knost, Jacob Koppel, A. Kramer,
____ Keitham, H. H. Klute, Frederick Keitham, Henry Klebecker, Gerhard Klepforth, B. H. Koop, William Kammann,
Henry Keller, M. D., G. W., M. J. and F. L. Koop, Gerhard Knost, F. W. Klockenbrick, H. H. Kinney, H. R. Kruse,
Henry Knopke, J. B. Kokenga, Frederick Kuhlman, John Kemper, Joseph Kissing, B. H. Koster, Christian Kramer, John
B. Leining, B. H. Lohman, Philip Lange, D. G. Lamb, Albert Lemkuhl, Henry A. Lears, Charles A. Lingleback, H. H.
Lamping, Henry Lemermuhl, Andrew Leipard, G. W. Luckman, John H. Lagers, John D. Lohman, Bernard Lemkohl, H. H.
Landware, Francis Lange, C. W. Langhorst, Frederick Meyer, Henry Meyer, John B. Mesloh, H. F. Muker, Jacob Metz,
Hamilton Major, Henry W. Meyer, B. H. Mohrman, G. Mohrman, Jacob Mour, Charles Mour, George Mour, Frederick Miller,
J. J. Meyer, D. Menkhouse, Henry Muhle, Lewis Meyer, B. Meyer, John W. Menke, Bernard Meyer, Henry Muiers, John
H. Meyer, John C. Mohrman, Joseph Meysing, Jacob Metz, Gotlieb Neitert, John Neiter, G. H. Neiter, John W. Neuman,
Henry Neismeyer, Stephen Northoff, B. H. Neiberg, John L. Neiswenger, Chas. Neitrich, B. Ortman, Gerhard Osterfelt,
John C. Oberwitte, H. H. Oberwitte, Peter Opdike, John A. Osterloh, Theodore Oldiges, B. H. Ostendorf, John H.
Pelzer, Adam Paul, John H. Paul, John Paul, F. L. Pohlman, Bernard Planke, H. H. Pansher, Bernard Panning, J. R.
tPulsdorfer, Henry Paul, H. H. Quartman, William Ruther, George M. Runager, J. B. Klein Runebaum, Henry Rolfees,
Henry Rodekoe, C. H. Richten, Clement Rolfees, H. H. Rump, Oren Rump, Philip Rothous, Frederick Bumping, J. H.
Runebaum, Joseph Rolfees, John B. Schmeising, John H. Steinman, E. C. H. L. Sutton, Diederick Schroader, B. F.
Schroader, Bernard Schulte, Theresa Stallo, John F. Smith, H. G. Severink, J. J. Thurman, Bernard Sprock, John
Sternley, Frederick Seimer, Henry Sunderman, Herman Sunderman, William Sunderman, Henry Schemiller, Isaac Statler,
Peter Schneider, J. C. Sumner, F. A. Stube, John H. Schemel, Henry Steinmeyer, Henry Stollman, Rudolph Sagers,
Frederick Sollman, William Sollman, J. H. Schemiller, H. W. Schowa, Casper Severing, H. H. Stueve, H. Stuckenberger,
J. H. Stuckenberger, Gerhard Schilmiller, J. H. Schulter, Herman Stallo, William Scholling, H. H. Stewing, William
Sunderland, Henry Schulte, ____ Schlepper, Henry Schulter, Joseph Suerman, Bernard Smock, John W. Schelling, Peter
Staub, John R. Tanke, John H. Timmerman, J. G. Tangeman, H. H. Tangeman, J. J. Taubius, William Tonius, Bernard
Tape, John H. Taubling, C. F. Totgenhorst, J. H. Timmerman, H. H. Trankamp, H. F. Teaman, B. Tangeman, Bernard
J. Tape, Henry Uphaus, H. H. Vornholt, F. H. Vogelsang, William Vockle, J. H. Vocke, H. Vocke, John H. Vanderheer,
Joseph H. Vante, Peter VanWiddlesworth, Henry A Wehrman, A. H. Wehrman, Frederick Wehrman, William Wittie, Christopher
Wittie, J. F. Wiseman, J. R. Werbling, J. H. Wellman, E. H. Weicher, E. H. Weichman, Adam Wenner, Francis Windhorst,
Henry Wendell, William Wendell, John G. Waterman, H. F. Wellman, John Wippenhorst, Francis Weiner, H. H. Walters,
H. H. Westjohann, Herman W. Witthoff, Charles Wittenbrink, J. H. H. Zeigenbush.