Bohemians in Grant County, WI - why did they move there?
I am tracing the ancestry of four different Bohemian families who ultimately end up in North Dakota. I am currently focusing on Augustin Leshovsky and John Kotchian and their families who initially moved to the Town of Muscoda in 1869 and 1858 respectively. By about 1880, they had left for the Dakota Territory.
What I am trying to determine is the reason they chose Muscoda, along the Wisconsin River, in the far southwest corner of the state? There were large Czech populations in Milwaukee, Racine and Chicago. My relatives were farmers, not city people.
I have suspicions: Land was available, relatively cheap; lead miners had gone to Calif with the Gold Rush and some did not come back, leaving a bit of a manpower vacuum; there was an economic boom until about 1873; the hilltops of this regions were not particularly good farm land, but experienced farmers could make a go of it.
I have read histories of the county and of Muscoda, by way of background.
Has anyone looked at this part of Wisconsin during this period, and have any thoughts?
This is my first post, with likely more to come in.