Side 1The history of New Knoxville provides one of the best examples of chain migration to America. After the Shawnee were removed from what would become Auglaize County, James Knox Lytle, cousin to James Knox Polk, purchased land in Washington Township. Lytle platted a village of 102 lots in 1836, calling it Knoxville to honor his mother's family. Meanwhile, newly married Wilhelm and Elisabeth Fledderjohann Kuckhermann (later Kuck) immigrated from Ladbergen in northwest Germany. Having missed their boat to St. Louis, the couple lived briefly in Stallostown (Minster) and Bremen (New Bremen). They wrote home, encouraging others to emigrate; in the summer of 1835 the Fledderjohanns (Elisabeth's family), Meckstroth's, and Lutterbecks arrived. The families bought land near the site of Knoxville. Side 2Establishment of the village coincided with the earliest wave of German immigration to the United States. The former Ladbergers' reports from Ohio prompted an exodus to America, especially among those with limited economic opportunities. In many cases, immigrants arranged for their relatives and friends to follow them, creating a chain migration. Until 1850, all the settlers in Knoxville (renamed New Knoxville in 1858) were from Ladbergen. Later, others from northwest Germany joined Ladbergers in settling here. The immigrants' shared culture included agricultural and architectural traditions, Protestant piety, and language - Platt Deutsch (Low German). For more than a century New Knoxville residents were trilingual, using Platt, High german, or English at home, school, church, and in their rural lives.
Auglaize County Historical Society
New Knoxville Historical Society
E.R. Kuck Family Trust
The Ohio Historical Society 2009 7-6