Emigrants from the former Amt Damme, Oldenburg (now Niedersachsen), Germany,
mainly to the United States, 1830-1849

    Franz Joseph Stallo was born May 2,1793, in Sierhausen, Parish of Damme, Kreis Vechta, Oldenburg. In keeping with family Tradition he studied at the Carolinium Gymnasium in Osnabrück, became a school teacher, and taught until about 1815 at Grandorf, Parish of Damme, Oldenburg.
Stallo also learned the trade of printing and bookbinding; and was noted for his horticultural expertise.The practice of burning-off the moors for the production of buckwheat, a related evergreen reforestation project, and his success in bee culture brought him a measure of acclaim.
Stallo performed electrical experiments on information gleaned from treatises brought to him for binding and it is thought that, he was on the verge of inventing the telegraph. He also experimented with a balloon flight over Damme which was not successful.  He was versed in the English language and could sustain a conversation in this tongue.

   Stallo became interested in America through a poen he received from a friend. He printed the poem "Lied Aus Amerika" or "The Song from America" by Hölstrup, and distributed it throughout the neighborhood in both Hannover and Oldenburg. Government officials, who were eager to suppress any large scale emigration, took action against Stallo; and his business in Damme suffered to such an extent, that following his own advice, he decided to emigrate to America.  Stallo family history recalls that on Sunday, April 24, 1831, Stallo with his ailing wife and five children left "Germany" for Amsterdam to embark for the New World.  Upon arrival at Amsterdam his wife was fatally stricken and she died there at the age of thirty-eight.  Stallo secured a nurse, with the, surname Bramlage, for the children, and undaunted the group set sail for America on the salling ship, Jano, on May 2, 1831, arriving in New York, June 19, 1831. They continued on to Cincinnati and arrived at this final destination on July 27, 1831.

  In Cincinnati Stallo gained employment in the print shop of a Mr. Phillips, following his bookbinding Trade.  Here, Stallo became a good friend of William H. McGuffey, who later published the famous series of readers. The ready access to the printing press was an invitation to Stallo and he flooded his former neighborhood in Germany with propaganda concerning the excellent opportunities and conditions in the Ohio region. Soon a considerable number of farmers, carpenters, and artisans began to arrive in Cincinnati in 1832 from the land of the wooden shoe and windmill, particularly from Damme and Twistringen.  The conditions there where not favorable to the immigrants as the frontiersmen were ill-disposed to the ever increasing number of "Dutchmen" arriving daily.  Catholic immigrants were particularly frowned upon because of the suspicion that they were part of a plot by the Pope to take over, the Mississippi River Valley and create a Papal domain in America.
  The new arrivals were restless and disappointed in Cincinnati and soon questioned Stallo about where they should go.  Stallo proposed the founding of a town or colony, a dream which he may have harbored long before his departure from Damme. Acoordingly, a group of the young Germans met in Cincinnati, and designated Stallo and a Mr. Beckmann to find a suitable locality for the establishment of such a colony.  On September 1, 1832, a stock company was formed to purchase land in Mercer County, and Stallo was designated as the man to carry out the conditions of furnishing money, purchasing the land, and laying out the town.
   Stallo accompanied by six men; of which we know only the names of Johann Bernard Feldmann, Johann Herman Surmann, Heinrich Joseph Cordesmann, and Johann Friedrich Rohenkohl; proceeded to the U.S. Government Land Office at Picua, Ohio. Here Stallo purchased 1200 acres of Congress land in Mercer County and Shelby County for $1.25 per acre.  The dates of the purchases were September 28, October 3, and October 15, 1832.  The opportunistic Stallo perhaps anticipated the future extension of the Miami Canal from Dayton northward and the probable fact that the canal would pass through or near the site chosen for Stallostown.

Source: Pilgrims All, a history of  Saint Augustine parish Minster, Ohio 1832 - 1882, page 13 - 14
written by Louis, Rita and David Hoying, C.PP.S. 1982
Published by St. Augustine Parish, Minster, Ohio, 1982

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