History of German Township
Source: History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
Hon. John V. Hadley, Editor in Chief.
Chas. C. Chapman & Co.,
There is a peculiar, instinctive characteristic of man which seems to lead him, as it were unconsciously and imperceptibly, in the footsteps of progress and direct him to locate in that part of an unsettled country which is destined to become in the near future a country the most highly civilized, the most beautiful and fertile. It is probably to be attributed to this innate feature of finite man that German was among the earliest settled townships in St. Joseph county. Taken as a whole, there can surely be no more desirable locality in the county in which to live than German township. Here everything exists in abundance, and the country is richly embellished with all the beauties of nature; and, all in all, it seems to be one grand and lovely combination Of nature and art in which the former largely predominates; for, civilize the country all you may, improve it all you can, and then bring to bear upon it the inventions wrought out by all the skill and ingenuity of man; then compare its condition with what it was in its early, pristine state, when the timbered land was inhabited by the red man, and the prairies were covered with tall and waving grass, interspersed here and there with wild flowers which sent forth their sweet 'perfume as a presentiment of the coming future, yes, do all this, strain your imagination to conceive and comprehend all these, and you will find the two conditions almost incomparable, with the present one gradually fading away like the rays of the setting sun. But no commendatory prelude can do justice to the history of German township; plain facts must be presented.
Nov. 25, 1830, at a special session of the Board of Justices, the following order was passed: Ordered by the Board aforesaid that from the second principal meridian of the State until the center of range 2 east, shall form and constitute a township in said county, to be known by the name of German township; and that the sheriff is hereby ordered to give public notice to the citizens of said township, according to law, for the qualified voters to meet at the house of David Miller in said township, to elect one Justice of the Peace in and for said township, on the 18th day of December next."
On the appointed day the citizens of said township met at the house of David Miller, and at that meeting elected Lambert McCombs the first Justice of the Peace of German township.
We have been unable to ascertain definitely why the name "German" was proposed for this township; but all supposition in regard to the subject is based upon the fact that at the time of the organization of the township nearly all the inhabitants of it were Germans or of German descent.
From the order passed by the Board of Justices it would be difficult for one to imagine the size of the township. Suffice it to say that it is quite small, being little more than half of a full township. It is township 33 north, range 2 east; is bounded on the north by the State of Michigan, on the east by the St. Joseph river (and beyond it lies Clay township), on the south by Portage, and on the west by Warren township. About one third of the northern tier of sections of this township lies in Michigan, and on the east the line is quite irregulars, owing to the indentations made by the St. Joseph river which marks the eastern boundary.