Stephen H. Rye


Danish immigrants, Iowa, voting units, Danish Americans


Although thousands of Danish immigrants settled in Iowa, often in communities which can readily be identified, there is some difficulty in isolating voting units which were composed largely of Danish Americans. For example, Fredsville, a settlement located west of Cedar Falls in Grundy County, became the home of a sizeable Danish community, but in the voting unit of Fairfield Township, census materials demonstrate that the non-Danish voters slightly outnumbered the Danes in the late nineteenth century. However, at least five Iowa townships can be identified as having a clear majority of voters who were Danish in background, and this study is limited to the electoral behavior of these five townships.2 Four of the five are in Audubon and Shelby Counties in the area around the present municipalities of Elk Horn and Kimballton; the other is the township which includes the town of Ringsted in Emmet County.