On June 11, 1878, 11 o'clock at night, 27 families comprising an entire trainload, arrived in Sutton. They were: John Nolde (the previously designated representative from Norka to America), Adam Bauer, Nikolaus Sauer, Heinrich Spahn, Johannes Eusel, Hanpeter Jost, Konrad Koch, Philipp and Jacob Hamburger, Johannes Ross (the old father), Konrad Deines, Adam Deines, Heinrich Schleiger, Johannes Ross, Adam Hein, Johannes Burbach, Johannes and Georg Jost, Heinrich Reusbich and Heinrich Pauly. The train stopped in Sutton and the people stayed in the cars until the following morning. Some were met by their relatives who had come there earlier. Many moved into the immigrant house which was situated near the railroad station and which served as their living quarters for a time.
Most of those who arrived in Sutton during the years 1875-1879, found work in the area. For the most part, they settled on the land. At first, they worked for wages. Soon, however, they had acquired animals and equipment and leased their own land. Some continued to work on the railroad as it moved westward where eventually they established permanent homes.
Within the decade of 1890-1900, there was great unemployment, due in part evidently, to the political situation, when many of our people did not fare well. A laborer had to work for a very meager salary. These were very difficult times throughout the land; day laborers were especially affected. With the advent of the sugar beet industry conditions improved. For many, it became the first real opportunity to earn daily bread. More and more, people moved into those regions where the government had established irrigation, and where they also made their permanent homes.
So we find the Volga Germans involved everywhere and associated with anything of worth. He is an honest, dependable and industrious worker who is noted everywhere for his outstanding accomplishments. Early, he established a home and is devoted and loving to his family. As a rule, he is known as someone who willingly pays his debts. He is also devoted to the Christian religion, which he received from his fathers and he attends church and participates in the mission effort. He is also a law-abiding person who gladly adheres to the state's precepts. The Volga German belongs to a healthy, strong, honorable and God-loving people of whom we need never be ashamed. Instead, we have every reason to be justly proud.
The Earliest Volga Germans in Sutton, Nebraska by General Mission Pastor John Hölzer. From the Illustrierter Kirchenbote Kalendar, 1927. Article published in the AHSGR Work Paper No. 16, December, 1974.