| Dubois County, established by law in the year 1818, was named
for Toussaint Dubois, a soldier who fought alongside General Henry
Harrison, and who also was the first to enter land in what is now Dubois
The northern part of the county was settled first because of the Buffalo Trace, a trail made by the buffalo as they journeyed from the prairie lands of Illinois through Indiana crossing the Ohio River and then finding their way to the Salt licks of Kentucky.
Another trail, the Yellow Banks Trail, was blazed by the Indians and crossed the Buffalo Trace near where the first fort, Fort McDonald, was established and where the oldest graveyard in the county is found.
The early settlers were Cumberland Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists. Many of these people were disgruntled with slavery and migrated to Indiana by the way of the Cumberland Gap, through Kentucky, floating down the Ohio River and then finding their way into southern Indiana and Dubois County.
The majority of Germans arrived in the county toward the end of the 1830's, departing from ports of Bremen, Bremerhaven, and LeHarve and entering the United States through the ports of Baltimore, New York, New Orleans and Boston. Many of the German Catholics coming to Dubois County came because of the influence of a Croatian priest by the name of Father Joseph Kundek, but many German Lutherans also settled the county in particular around the area of Portersville, Holland and Huntingburg. An area in Madison township was made up of Cumberland Presbyterians, while the Baptists settled in an area around Birdseye and Maple Grove.
As the population of the county increased due to the migrations
from Germany, the economic life of the county began to broaden from farming into
occupations that were associated with the vast expanses of hardwood forests of
this area. Out of all this grew the hardwood industries for which the county is
known today.....Dubois County Genealogical Society, 1998.
|The following biography is
an extract from George R. Wilson's "History of DuBois County From It's
Primitive Days". By his own account, when the book was published
in 1910, Mr. Wilson had spent much of his life researching this
It is in two parts...his military life, and his personal life.