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Variety of Immigrants Come to Iowa
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Iowa Public Television
The largest group to settle within Iowa’s borders were the Germans, followed by those from the British Isles. The people from Norway were the next largest group numbering close to 18,000 by 1870. The Irish came to escape poverty and famine, the Czechs to avoid military service and the Dutch to flee religious persecution. Groups of Swedish immigrants moved into Iowa and settled in Page, Montgomery, Boone and Webster counties. In 1836 one of these groups of Swedes journeyed to Iowa to join a colony at New Sweden. They were told "When you come to Iowa, just follow the east side of the river and you’ll find us." Unfortunately there were several rivers and instead of following the Skunk River the party mistakenly followed the Des Moines River, which took them away from New Sweden.
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