Published in the Interest of the Staunton Community for Over 143 Years

German heritage prevalent in Illinois

By Tom Emery

German-American Day is observed every October 6, and in Illinois, there is plenty of reason to celebrate.

German ancestry remains prevalent in Illinois, as it has for a century and a half. The strength of German-Americans helped shape Illinois history through a Civil War, as well as two world wars against the old country.

Of the nearly 1.8 million residents of Illinois in 1860, nearly 325,000 were of foreign birth. Germans were the largest ethnic group with 130,000, nearly eight percent of the state’s total population. Twenty percent of the Chicago population was German. Many had...


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