The lyrics from Neil Diamond's song "America" seem to be torn right out of the minds and hearts of the immigrants who came to the United States seeking a better life for their families. They brought their dreams, seeking the light of freedom being offered here. Many of them came to parts of this country where other family members or neighbors had settled. Others sought out the parts of America that in geography reminded them of their homeland.
In the first half of the nineteenth century, large numbers of Swiss immigrants settled in the rural Midwest, particularly Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis were popular destinations. Immigrants who entered the United States through the port of New Orleans could take a riverboat up the Mississippi River to reach their final destination.
German-speaking immigrants continued to come to Ohio in large numbers after 1850, and set the cultural tone for many communities throughout the state. During the 1800s, they were the largest group of immigrants in Ohio. Cincinnati, in particular, was strongly influenced by its German population.
If the Kübler family arrived at New Orleans after they left Switzerland, then it is possible that they traveled by steamboat up the Mississippi River to the area that is now known as Cairo, Illinois. Though Cairo wasn't officially founded until 1858, there was a small settlement in this area at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. From this confluence, the steamboats could continue their journey up either river, and the Küblers could have traveled up the Ohio River to Cincinnati.
The first physical evidence of the Kübler family in the United States comes in the way of the 1860 federal census. Enumerated on the 6th of June, Vinzenz is now known as Joseph and lists his wife Caroline and sons John, Adloch and Joseph in the household. The family lived in the 8th ward of the city of Cincinnati. Names in census records are often spelled incorrectly, and many immigrants anglicized their names in their new country. The umlaut was dropped from the last name, though some of the descendants would later spell their last name Kuebler instead of Kubler. The ages of the inhabitants of this house match the family. Joseph Kubler is employed as a chair maker, and his oldest son John is an apprentice in the same trade. The family, from all appearances, was settling into life in Cincinnati.
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