Missouri became a State in 1821, after a tortuous debate over the issue of slavery, foreshadowing the Civil War. Because since the mid-1700s trailblazers like Daniel Boone had been settling in its beautiful Missouri River valley. That had attracted a young German attorney, turned writer, to see what had drawn so many settlers. Gottfried Duden was obsessed with Missouri. And after he visited and saw – he wrote a book. A Report on a Journey was published in 1829 in Germany, filled with descriptions that people referred to as “A Garden of Eden” and called Duden “the dreamspinner” because of his glowing descriptions.
In the decade that followed, at least 120,000 Germans came to the United States, and at least one-third of them came to Missouri! And amazingly, three-quarters of those 40,000 Germans settled in Saint Charles County! Even more amazing, is that those Germans soon wrote letters home, to inspire their families and their friends to join them! While I can say that there were as many reasons to immigrate as there were Germans…one was the beauty. The familiarity, the way it looked a lot like home. For over a century, they have been coming. While it is one of the fastest growing counties, it has worked so hard to maintain this beauty and its history!
Steve Belko and the Missouri Humanities Council’s German Heritage Corridor has already confirmed what everyone knew, this is the most beautiful area of the United States that is rich with our precious heritage! The Missouri Legislature agreed on that in 2017. Magnificent Missouri and the Katy Land Trust have been working for years to preserve this precious state resource. St. Charles County is one of the most historic in the state!