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About Stuttgart Germania. (Stuttgart, Ark.) 18??-19??
Stuttgart, Ark. (18??-19??)
- Stuttgart Germania. : (Stuttgart, Ark.) 18??-19??
- Place of publication:
- Stuttgart, Ark.
- Geographic coverage:
- M. Burkle
- Dates of publication:
- Description based on: Jahrg. 13, no. 1 (6 Feb. 1908).
- In German.
- sn 90050234
- View complete holdings information
- First Issue Last Issue
Arkansas County, in southeastern Arkansas, was one of the first counties established in Arkansas Territory. It is part of the Mississippi River Delta region, one of the most agriculturally productive areas in the world. The county's economy is dominated by agriculture: mainly cotton, rice, and soybeans.
Stuttgart is in the northwestern part of Arkansas County and serves as the county seat. The Buerkle family, German immigrants, founded the town and later started one of its first newspapers. Martin Buerkle, Sr., and George Adam Buerkle (Adam) were brothers from Stuttgart, Germany, who both became ministers in the Lutheran church. In the mid-nineteenth century, the Buerkle brothers moved to the American Midwest, and while living in Ohio, Adam Buerkle decided to search for a new place to grow his congregation. In 1876 the brothers purchased 20,000 acres of land in the Grand Prairie region of Arkansas. While Martin Buerkle, Sr., remained in Ohio, Adam moved to the newly purchased land, bringing many of his parishioners from Ohio and inviting other German Lutherans from the Midwest to join his settlement in Arkansas.
In 1880 Adam Buerkle was appointed the first postmaster for the area and ran the post office out of his house. He named the post office Stuttgart, after the brothers' hometown in Germany. In 1883 a railroad company built tracks adjacent to the Buerkle land. Despite the proximity, the mail trains would not stop to deliver mail to the Stuttgart post office. To remedy this, Adam built a shack right next to the railroad tracks to host the post office, which became the first building in the future town of Stuttgart. Stuttgart was incorporated in 1889, and many of the first residents were German farmers. By 1900 there were several factories, mills, and other businesses in town.
In 1894, Martin J. Buerkle, Sr., finally moved with his family from Ohio to Stuttgart, Arkansas. In 1895, his son, Martin Buerkle, Jr., began the Stuttgart Germania. The Germania was an independent, 4-page German-language newspaper published every Thursday to serve Stuttgart's immigrant population. In 1900, Martin Jr. died, and his father and brother, Louis K. Buerkle, took charge of the Germania. At that time, the paper had a circulation of about 850 in a town with a population of almost 1,200. By 1905 the Germania's subscribers had grown to 900, a number comparable to the subscription rate of other Stuttgart newspapers. Though the Germania was listed as an independent paper, Louis Buerkle was elected to the state legislature in 1908 as a Democrat. Louis was also active in fraternal organizations and agricultural societies, in addition to conducting extensive operations growing rice, one of the most profitable crops in the area. The Germania was discontinued in 1913, when Louis became postmaster of Stuttgart and Martin Sr.'s eyesight was too poor to continue the work alone.
Provided by: Arkansas State Archives