German Immigrants

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German Immigrants started to arrived in the late 1840's and 1850's as refugees from the unsuccessful revolutions of 1848. The leaders of the revolution who fled, were men of culture and distinction who became the leaders of Newark's German population. Three of these men were Dr. Louis Greiner, a Munich lawyer who broke out of prison to emigrate, Rev. Frederick August Lehlbach, who fled a fifteen year prison sentence and Dr. Fridolin Ill, who lost his medical practice because of the side he supported, fled the county and resumed his practice in Newark. The bulk of the German immigrants became factory owners and workers, jewelry makers, and brewery owners and workers.

They mainly settled in the HILL section, which at that time was the wooded region lying to the west and northwest of downtown Newark, the Sixth Ward. Today the approximate borders of this land are High Street, Clinton Ave, Irvine Turner Ave., and Springfield Ave. This area was recreated as a German Village, including beer gardens, singing societies and turnvereins (Athletic Clubs). By 1865, one third of Newark's population was either German or of German heritage.

The custom of visiting beer gardens and singing on Sundays, along with their belief in public aid to parochial schools drew the ire of the Anglo-Saxon townspeople. The German immigrants worked hard all week with Sunday afternoon being their only time for relaxation and enjoyment.

The initial housing for the immigrants was in the form of decaying barns, carriage houses, warehouses, breweries and the other old dilapidated structures of the city.

The names of the famous German Brewers of Newark were Hensler, Krueger, Feigenspan, Schalk, Trefz, and Laible. Some less famous ones were Frielinghaus (my great-great-grandfather), Traudt and Rumpf. The largest brewer in Newark was a Scotsman, Peter Ballantine, but he concentrated on making the light lager beer enjoyed by the Germans instead of the heavy English ale of his ancestors.

For more information on this subject, see the books used for this page:

Clara Maass, a Nurse, a Hospital, a Spirit" by John T. Cunningham