Historians, Muench publish book about Missouri Germans
Three St. Louis area historians and a descendant of Friedrich Muench have written a newly published book about 19th-century German immigrants to Missouri.
Drawn from a series of presentations given by the authors last spring at the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis, “The Historic 1830s German Immigration to Missouri” by Anita M. Mallinckrodt, Marc Houseman, Cathie Schoppenhorst and James F. Muench, provides a clear understanding of German immigration and the culture they created upriver from St. Louis. Mallinckrodt, Houseman and Schoppenhorst are historians in the Missouri towns of Augusta, Washington and Marthasville, and Muench is a writer from Columbia, Mo., and the great-great-great grandson of Friedrich Muench.
The book’s authors drew on their family histories and extensive historical experience as curators of local history museums to write the new book. The authors discuss how the early immigrants followed the trail of Gottfried Duden, settled the land and transferred their European culture to Missouri.
The book also counteracts the premise of a foreign exhibit, which visited St. Louis last year, that implied the 1830s immigrants were “utopians” who created a utopian community in Missouri. “Missouri’s German immigrants were not looking to build a utopia but were simply searching for freedom, just like the immigrants of today,” James F. Muench said.
Published by Footnoted Legacies Ltd. of Augusta, Mo., the book costs $10 plus postage. It can be purchased from the printer, B&J Printing of Washington, Mo., www.bjprintingonline.com, 636-239-3512. It is also available from the history societies in Augusta, 636-228-4821; Marthasville, 636-359-6175; St. Charles, 636-946-9828; and Washington, 636-239-0280; or from Far West Enterprises in Columbia, Mo., 573-864-0484, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.jamesfmuench.com.